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

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.

KonMari, a Survival Tactic by Chima “Naira” Ikoro

I have two vivid memories of standing in the hallway
where the walls part for the bathroom,
my sisters old room,
my old room,
my brothers room, (all the same room)
and my parents’ room.

In the first memory,
we’ve discovered my uncle is soaring past
the upper room
where there’s a nap waiting for him
that no hospital bed could ever promise.

In the second memory,
Escitalopram has used the Marie Kondo Method
on my brain, and now I have room
for the person that lives there to lie down
on something more than a pile of clean laundry
worn by other people
but washed and dried by me.

In both memories,
Not a single thought wriggling up my back.

In the first memory,
I am too young
to understand grief enough to cry.

In the second, grief
has outlived some of my friends
and is finally taking a nap for the first time
that no backseat of a car or ambulance
could ever promise.

In the first,
the silence is out of respect for the dead.

In the second,
the silence is out of respect for myself,
alive finally.

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶


“What is something you remember vividly for seemingly no reason? What does recalling this tell you about yourself?”

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

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶

Featured below is a response to a previous prompt from a reader. The last poem and prompt can be found online.

the freedom i feel when i am practicing yoga outdoors by Victoria Mendiola

the wind
whispers my name
“v i c t o r i a”
the sun
tickles my face
with warmth
the soil welcomes
my feet
with grass blade

all of nature
embraces me
a love that is omnipresent

a freedom that is felt
a truth that is known
“i am a part of you
you are a part of me”

✶ ✶ ✶ ✶

Chima Ikoro is the Weekly’s Community Builder.

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