- The Exchange: To Our Flags
- The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
- The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
- The Exchange: Sans Fleur
- The Exchange: Blindspot
- The Exchange: Her.
- The Exchange: Lint
- The Exchange: Reality Check
- The Exchange: Caution
- The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
- The Exchange: The Path
- The Exchange: sTREEtS
- The Exchange: Butter
- The Exchange: The Bright Side
- The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
- This Empty Cage
- Paper Machete
- The Exchange: Marketplace
- The Exchange: One Year Anniversary
- The Exchange: Sunscreen Affective Disorder (SAD)
- The Exchange: Immigration & Culture
- The Exchange: Love, Street Cleaning, & Other Myths
- The Exchange: An Accent Enters a Room and Says Good Morning
- The Exchange: An ode to Oceania
- The Exchange: Happy New Year
- The Exchange: NEW GROOVE/LODESTAR
- The Exchange: Wolves, Strides, and Landslides
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.
Every Third Tuesday (?)
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro
“Street Cleaning” is a myth. i know this, because i hosted a show
and at that show, my friends partner brought us
snacks and stuff for the green room,
things from Trader Joe’s. Fruit Snacks. Drinks
I went and picked this stuff up from her before the show
and then i brought it to the venue and i put this stuff in
the green room and unpacked everything, lined it up all neat,
put a few in the performers dressing rooms. i didn’t really eat any though
so at the end of the show, when we were packing up to leave
i grabbed a few things, one of those things was a can of pineapple juice
it was the last one. everyone said it was great, and that i deserved it,
the last one.
so i put it in my bag. and went to my car. and drove home
and parked on my block. and while i was juggling all the things i had
my pineapple juice
rolled out of my bag
and then slipped slightly under my car
and it was December
and the ground was gross
and i was exhausted
and it was like midnight
and i was really looking forward to drinking it
and i’m an environmental studies minor so before you say shit to me about littering
i was carrying so many things
so i left it. there. and slammed my car door closed with my butt
and went inside.
yesterday. i happened to park in the same spot.
mind you, it’s March. the can of pineapple juice was flat as Florida
still at the edge of the curb
just beneath the sidewalk
so i would like to contest every ticket i’ve received for parking on a street
that y’all claim you’re about to “Clean.” this is not a poem.
this is a draft letter to the Mayor’s office
please let me know if it sounds good.
Chima Ikoro is the community organizing editor for the Weekly.
“What is something that seems relatively realistic that you suspect is actually made-up?”
This could be a poem 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured below is a reader response to a previous prompt. The last poem and prompt can be found here.
Love like a rose
by Lucy Walsh
Distract me with your intoxicating ambiance.
Bury me in your flaws and inspire me with your strengths.
Color me with kisses and
let your whispers wash over me.
Until your stories and secrets are as familiar as my own,
And the outline of your body is engraved in me like stone.
So that I don’t notice your tangled roots suffocating me when they crave for more
Or the treatment you give when you’re feeling poor.
Our love changed like the seasons
And we part with our own reasons
This time together has been wrung dry.
Even if our hearts resist the goodbye.
Please leave me to heal, tucked away in my room.
So one day a new love can bloom.