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

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.

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some coffee by C. Lofty Bolling

Some coffee is sweet and others savory.
Determined to give more,
some coffee is black and some is black.
Some coffee is coffee and some coffee is black.

A flower vase doesn’t grow with the flowers and that’s the secret of it all.
The side effect, what affects the side profile affects the whole silhouette.
What affects the outside of the bean affects the sugar inside.

The vessel the coffee sits in validates the timeliness and approximates its importance appropriately, i’ve rehearsed it so religiously I find no dissatisfaction in its eventual disappearance. the coffee table too. suddenly no coffee nor coffee table
I consumed them both to bone leaving their vessels.

Some coffee is sweet and some is savory,
Determined to give more/
Some coffee go and some coffee come.
Some coffee is alive and some coffee is coffee.

I’m over-determined by paisley prints and jumping flowers on chairs.
I am over determined by chrysanthemums and rose bushes full of thorns,
throne rooms surrounded by greenery and shrubs, seraphs cloaked in weathered mercury,
kief and iron residue on the lips on plant vases.
white china and blue denim hold coffee stains
I’m waiting in line.

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Prompt:

“Personify your favorite comfort foods or drinks and compare them to people you are close to.” This prompt was inspired by and curated with C. Lofty Bolling.

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.

Bright Boy by Cortez Stewart

What allows you to see at night the Christmas decorations and street lamps in your neighborhood? Cuz we got youngins lighting up Our blocks.
so I hop on tracks to get away, with no light at the end of the tunnel so no plight when you fold if you stumble, your never to dream so big but the wic on my candle burns for fantasy. can’t be snuffed out won’t become content for me this ray of hope pulls me through trials and tribulations away from darkness and its fixations although I’ve been every connotation of both
The bright kid “u a star you gone make it far” “show em who u are” bright boy how you get like that bright boy why talk like that bright boy why you talk. so. bright, boy.
youngins that will smith ya.
But they ain’t acting on bright boy no flashes for your entrance they take our light and put them In prisons
cuz how can you shine in a black hole we take our light and put them through prisms reflecting refracting on set goals being told
Not to waste time being shown
everybody hates Chris until he let it shine
that’s what will was banned for how could
He be like that when these other stars are so “pure” Being dimmed by constructs that can’t take the heat that’s why Jasmine was up in the stars being shown a whole new world singing songs but Tiana is of course she happy staying a frog
But if we make any buzz about it it’ll be light years before another one of us receive any shine
And they know that we know
So why fight it bright boy a bunch of strays of rays can’t compete with the sun bright boy
So enjoy the show, eat the chips watch your
Moment in the sun fore you get eclipsed
bright boy
Tell’em we are the screens, bulbs and the sun and we burn bright boy

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