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

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

The Function of Forehead
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro 

Inspired by a workshop led by E’mon Lauren 

theoretically speaking, 
functionality considered, 
you gotta be big
you’ve got big responsibilities;
need the proper room to hold meetings and mediate
between my eyebrows and my edges. 
hold my thoughts in place,
Steward of My Frontal Lobe/wig. 

remind folks i am my fathers child,
this is where i hold his genes.
remind me of the moon, so 
influential. 
you drive a facial expression home, 
shift skin around like the tide, 
ripples remind folks i have an 
attitude. 

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Chima Ikoro is the Weekly’s Community Builder.

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Prompt

“Explain the functionality of something you see every day.” 

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 reader response to a previous prompt. The last poem and prompt can be found here

Spring Commute
by Sky Patterson

Cold sheets of rain fall 
as I march to my bus stop.
Walk turns into run.

A Haiku about Fall/Spring, Death/Rebirth
by Alejandro Hernandez

A lively Summer
Fades. Leaves turn golden and die,
Nourishing next spring

A Haiku About Smoking Weed in a Forest in Michigan
by Alejandro Hernandez

Green all around me
Smoke signals drift in the wind
God bless Mother Earth

Honest Haikus
by Monica Kakkar

haiku 1

spring springs memories
Lake Michigan on my mind
Tai chi with the trees 

haiku 2

head, tail, cross and more
winds, I take off and … Touchdown! 
The Windy City!

haiku 3

we are the people 
spring of possibilities
Chicago South Side

haiku 4

my Achilles’ heel 
mixed-media artistry
Chicago Deep Dish

haiku 5

few honest haiku 
home-brewed blend of honest tea
here’s to Wrigley Field!

Easter Interlude (Haikus)
by Imani Joseph

Once upon a time
My nigga rose from the dead 
For ghetto Mecca

Cold morning hot night 
Blooms orchids n cicadas 
Flip flop weather holds 

Dancing bark teasing 
Sprouting pollen n apples
Miss forest’s floor 

Is wet from the rain
My homies drowning inside
Swamp ghost trap launches 

New blaxploitation
Film featuring the city
Gurlll trickster in spring

fairy observations
by Diacos Love

No.1 the endorphin rites

let lavender’s lust 
seduce fems with a rose toy 
when in cherry time 

No.2 his gaping hole

the most powerful 
Exothermic pumping of 
a holy halo 

No.3 fall

thanks giving…is it 
ethical? yes. like mac cheese 
from an un-clean pot 

No. 4 a strange teacher

you’re bald with loose leaf’d 
hair that flakes on our class but 
do you have purpose?

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Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Dear Chima Ikoro,

    I am delighted to revisit my haiku published in response to the prompt “write a few honest haikus.”

    Thank you for your consideration. Best wishes.

    Sincerely,

    Monica Kakkar

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