1. The Exchange: To Our Flags
  2. The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
  3. The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
  4. The Exchange: Sans Fleur
  5. The Exchange: Blindspot
  6. The Exchange: Her.
  7. The Exchange: Lint
  8. The Exchange: Reality Check
  9. The Exchange: Caution
  10. The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
  11. The Exchange: The Path
  12. The Exchange: sTREEtS
  13. The Exchange: Butter
  14. The Exchange: The Bright Side
  15. The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
  16. This Empty Cage
  17. Paper Machete
  18. The Exchange: Marketplace
  19. The Exchange: One Year Anniversary
  20. The Exchange: Sunscreen Affective Disorder (SAD) 
  21. The Exchange: Immigration & Culture
  22. The Exchange: Love, Street Cleaning, & Other Myths
  23. The Exchange: An Accent Enters a Room and Says Good Morning
  24. The Exchange: An ode to Oceania
  25. The Exchange: Happy New Year
  26. The Exchange: NEW GROOVE/LODESTAR
  27. The Exchange: Wolves, Strides, and Landslides
  28. The Exchange: Honest Haikus
  29. The Exchange: Foreheads, Haikus and More
  30. The Exchange: Softness, Water Bottles, and Movie Theaters
  31. The Exchange: Algae and Understanding
  32. The Exchange: we like it here!
  33. The Exchange: tag & waiting
  34. The Exchange: spare
  35. The Exchange: Marketplace
  36. The Exchange: some coffee
  37. The Exchange: A Scary Story
  38. The Exchange: Consumer Report
  39. The Exchange: Affirmations and Sunflowers
  40. The Exchange: Autopay and A Fast Summer
  41. The Exchange: Squirrels and The White
  42. The Exchange: The Taj Mahal and Rutina de Sueño
  43. The Exchange: The Garden
  44. The Exchange: Jess Taught Me My Body Is Trying Its Best
  45. The Exchange: Jollof Rice and Losing it
  46. The Rotation
  47. The Exchange: Definitely late, but here, and Doubt
  48. The Exchange: KonMari and Yoga
  49. The Exchange: “Unexpected” and The Institution of Dreamin
  50. The Exchange: Dating a Girl From Chicago, and See
  51. The Exchange: Un alma cotorra
  52. The Exchange: Time Travel and Chasing Love & Ambition

The Exchange is the Weekly’s poetry corner, where a poem or piece of writing is presented with a prompt. Readers are welcome to respond to the prompt with original poems, and pieces may be featured in the next issue of the Weekly

Consumer Report by Chima “Naira” Ikoro

  • on a rating scale, most people say just “fine”
  • impressive, super efficient 
  • capable 
  • made for families, protective 
  • relaxed, unhurried
  • willing to do long distance 
  • top pick if you prefer frugal, reliable, comfortable
  • plenty of space for your baggage
  • good if you don’t expect anything that inspires passion 
  • not an end goal, just a means to take you there 
  • not a dream but pretty good for now 
  • fun, fast (if that’s what you want)
  • not needy, easy to fix 
  • easy to buy, too
  • good on gas.

The Nissan Altima won the MotorWeek Drivers choice award, and is an IIHS top safety pick.
Isn’t that enough? What, you want me to post you, too?

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Prompt: 

“Write about a time when you wanted more for yourself, but felt stuck.” 

This could be a poem, journal entry, or a stream-of-consciousness piece. Submissions could be new or formerly written pieces. 

Submissions can be sent to bit.ly/ssw-exchange or via email to chima.ikoro@southsideweekly.com

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Featured below is a response to a previous prompt from a reader who is currently incarcerated.

Fruits From A Poisonous Tree by Marvin (Prince Saleem) Alexis

They say bad fruit comes from a bad tree, sprouted from a bad root of a bad seed.
However, we, we have somehow forgotten the awful gardens from which these particles were planted and plotted.
Sown and sodden by a psychotic potter’s hand.
Surrounded by murky mildewed milieus which serve as toxic arenas,
Where wild weeds were tranced then mutated into wild hyenas
Who circle our nurseries, poisonous fangs seeping venom, dripping to rip us from our culture and roots.
We were shamed, then stripped of the knowledge of SELF.
They drew a line between Him and I, then divided the two.
They exiled him to the heavens, and made him out of reach for our spiritual pursuit.
Our education was then soiled by 10th editions and false renditions,
All while being washed and bleached like dishes of its literal truth.
We were made to be blind, deaf, and dumb folk.
And the moment we began to turn the tides like jump ropes,
We were told that we would never accumulate to more than the cumulus… But, those clouds were just gun smoke.
So, they kept us high and drunk folk.
Then said we’d never have the vision to see beyond the haze of our prisons… But see, those clouds were just blunt smoke.
Unable to reach the stars, we began reaching for straws, Scurrying to assemble ourselves as scarecrows to fend our seeds from the vicious murders, their ravenous teeth and lacerating claws.
There was no winter wonderland, no Aurora Borealis, Only cold, cold horrors that,
Brought morbid darkness to our promised lands, Turning them into killing fields.

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Chima Ikoro is the Weekly’s Community Builder.

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