From the editor It’s incredible how one person’s dreams and aspirations ripple into so many different avenues inspiring other people to express their own voice. 45 Magazine Women’s Literary Journal (45 Mag) was inspired by my alma mater, Indiana University’s Michiana Monologues, a theatrical stage play and fundraiser that was actually inspired by Eve Ensler’s Tony Award Winning production The Vagina Monologues. Zorina Frey Editor-in-Chief Florida 45magazinestories@ gmail.com
My voice is 45 Mag, and 45 Mag is the voice of many women who, for the most part, share the same mind and fiery spirit. Aside from the anonymous submissions, I personally know most of the contributors. Whether it’s just their beautiful faces, their talented stroke of the brush, their witty and spicy way of telling a story, or poetically describing an experience, it somehow gives me an increased admiration of the strength, integrity, beauty, grit, and grace that is woman—and respect for the male contributors who recognize it. I may not have experienced exactly what these writers have gone through, but my heart understands theirs. Even the fictional writing offers a heartfelt message. All of these creative writings were randomly chosen. While the Black Lives Matter theme was planned, the writers had free range to express their perspective, and I graciously accepted them, as it was a donation of their time and talent. Many thanks to all of the 45 Mag contributors. My heart is theirs, and they have chosen to share it with 45 Mag, and 45 Mag is me. 45 Mag is you! (Psalm 45)
COPYRIGHT April 2017 All Rights Reserved
JAN KRAUSE GREENE Massachusetts jan.krause. greene@gmail. com
DAVID KIMBALL Florida david kimball8 @gmail.com
MAGGIE DINZLER SHAW New York lambersoncorona@ gma il.c om
COVER ART IWA Publishing Services COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Laura Leigh Schroeder COVER MODEL Desiree Fiallos 2
45 Magazine Women’s Literary Journal P.O. Box 226184 Miami, Florida 33222 www.45magazine.com No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written consent of the publisher except where permitted by law.
Shift of Hear t Paths to Healing and Love Shift of Heart: Paths to Healing and Love vibrates love, inspiration, compassion and encouragement. Each chapter gently guides us towards increased selflove, inner peace, balance, presence and mindfulness. Every inspiring word seeks to unchain inner turmoil and encourage a sense of greater freedom and creative flow. Shift of Heart is packed with crystal wisdom, practical tools for navigating challenges, true inspirational stories, short guided visualizations, reflections and meditations, positive affirmations, and a self-help approach humorously entitled “My 5 Minute (Chakra) Quickie.”
“Cheryl Melody Baskin has a clear, upbeat voice as a singer and now she applies that same voice towards writing. Feisty, full of heart and direct wisdom, Baskin urges us, at any age, to open to all of our gifts, fall in love with our lives, even in chaos, and to experience a shift of heart.” ~Tama Kieves, USA Today featured visionary career/success coach and bestselling author of This Time I Dance! and also Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in your Life’s Work!
ISBN: 978-1518727269 Perfectbound, $11.99 Publication Date: October 4, 2016, 128 pages NON FICTION, MOTIVATIONIAL 3
Life in Black and White, Part One: A Lesson by Jan Krause-Greene firstname.lastname@example.org
This isn’t a history lesson. But even if it was, it wouldn’t tell the whole story. A history lesson can never tell the whole story. Because no one knows the story of everyone who lived and loved and laughed and cried. How they lived and why they died. History books leave out most of the story. Some of us tell our own stories, And I am going to tell you part of mine. You won’t be mentioned in this story, just like you’re not mentioned in the history books. But you are part of this story and you are part of every history lesson Because, we are all connected from the past and into the future, Connected in ways we will never even know by a thread that we cannot see. We are shaped by the past and we shape someone else’s future. So at the end of every story is the unspoken truth that what happens next is up to all of us. You could say my story begins in 1948 when I was born, or in 1938 when my parents married, or in the 1800s when my mother’s ancestors came to Canada, or in the 1700s when my father’s ancestors came to MD and became Mennonite farmers, or you could go back further to the history that made them come and allowed them to stay. Or you could say the story began before the 1600s when Africans were brought to America and forced into slavery. But this part of my story begins in 1970 when I met a black man and fell in love. I married this man in 1971 when people still called it interracial marriage Miscegenation—which rhymes with aberration. 4
Photography by Raymond Gregory
Miscegenation defined as the interbreeding of
Miscegenation, which rhymes with aberration.
different races â€“ a definition that dehumanizes
Aberrationâ€”defined as deviating from the norm,
the lovers, relegating them to the status of
the rules, the moral path.
breeding farm animals.
In 1967, anti-miscegenation laws were deemed
A word used to write laws that
unconstitutional, so our love was legal in every
state, but to many it was still an aberration.
This is just one part of my story.
We have five sons and each of them is living their
and diced love into codes of who to love,
as if love resides in the color of oneâ€™s skin,
Separate versions of life in black and white.
as if love is something to be feared, as if love can be contained in a book of regulations, as if love is not the most powerful force on earth. 5
Good Food Will Travel Havana 1957 by Bobbie B Free bbfree61.blogspot.com
B.B. Free has been an elementary school teacher for 17 years in Miami, Florida. Free has other passions as well. She travels a lot, loves photography, and treats fine dining as a sport! In fact, her foodie blog, a journal of gastronomic adventures called “For the Love of Food!” allows her to combine all three of these hobbies. The Cuban restaurant field in Miami is crowded, to say the least, and competition is fierce. To stand out in this contest, you can either go forward and innovate or you can capitalize on the element of nostalgia. Havana 1957 impresses with its striking nightclub environment, a traditional Cuban menu, and a spirited live music show that is quickly becoming a favorite among the great Cuban population. That said, this native Cuban always looks for a certain flavor that will conjure up memories of that special seasoning in my mother’s and numerous aunts’ cooking. I have found it before, but not here. I live for gastronomic experimentation, but when it comes to Cuban food, there’s a standard that must be met for me to consider it good. It’s a generational benchmark set a long time ago by a group of masterful women who ruled in the kitchen. For that reason, when I visit a Cuban eatery, I have to go for the staples. John ordered the ‘vaca frita’, refried shredded beef and sauteed onions with rice and black beans for sides. I ordered pork chunks, also with sauteed onions, in the company of black beans and ‘tostones’, or plantain fritters. John’s vaca frita was arguably one of the best I’ve had. It was well seasoned and tender, a quality not easy to achieve with refried beef. My pork chunks were average. The flavor was forgettable, and they were just a bit overcooked. The tostones were perfectly suited for the pork chunkstoasted right, but not accompanied by any ‘mojo’, the traditional garlic oil marinade for your dipping pleasure. The dessert menu offered the expected flans, guava cheesecake, and Tres Photos Courtesy of BB Free Leches (Three Milks), a moist yellow cake that has been soaked in a mixture of whole, evaporated, and condensed milks. We skipped that course. We were on the hunt for a concoction we’d heard about at a different restaurant called Nutella Overdose. That’s another story, but the name says it all. 6
Red Beans and Rice (fiction) by Guy Sims
edited by Maggie Dinzler-Shaw Bernadette looked hard at the door as a half dozen teenagers filed into the room. She knew she didn’t belong here and she should turn around and go home. She stood frozen not knowing what to do. “Will you be joining us in class this evening?” Startled by the voice, Bernadette turned to see another black woman, the only other one she had seen that evening. The woman’s eyes were bright, as if all the worries of the world had been cleared away, and her smile suggested a sense of security, of self-assurance and strength, making Bernadette uncomfortable. “I think so,” Bernadette replied, sheepish and unsure. Still smiling, the woman crossed to the front of the room, leaving Bernadette to make up her mind. After taking a deep breath and asking the good Lord for a shove, Bernadette found herself seated among the rest of the students. “I would like to welcome everyone to English 103, Creative Expression. I am Professor Denise Bell.” Her voice was calm. “I expect serious work from my students, but I want you to know that if you have any problems with the workload, you can come to me. I am confident that we can work things out.” Bernadette sat motionlessly. She would wait until break time and then leave. What do I need school for? Reflecting on her life, she thought, I didn’t need it then and I damn sure don’t need it now! How is this class going to help me get a job? Are they going to ask me to recite a poem at an interview or write a short story about a dream I had? Not hardly! They’re going to ask if I can type, or work a computer, manage some people, and all I will say is no! I don’t need no writing course for that! Bernadette thought about the jigsaw puzzle that had been her life. There was a slow start in grammar school, had her first baby by the second year of high school, a series of nowhere jobs, a string of nowhere men, and a one-way trip to the social services island. But now, like a fool, she had believed the advice from one too many day-time shows that she had the power inside of her to turn her life around. Who was she kidding? By 6:45 pm, Professor Bell was telling the students when to return after the
break. Bernadette had decided that she would not return. Bernadette headed toward the bus stop without a word to anyone. The aroma of red beans and rice from the cafeteria made her pause. She had eaten only half a tuna melt sandwich and a cola for lunch, and she didn’t feel much like fixing dinner. Her mother had already fed the kids by now and wouldn’t expect her home this early anyway. She fished inside her handbag, found several stray dollars, and made a detour into the cafeteria. Although crowded, the line moved quickly. Mixed within the aroma of cafeteria food, there was chatter about dates for the weekend, nagging parents, horrible boyfriends, terrible food, and other things that made her feel even more out of place. There was nothing she could identify with. After paying for her meal, she found a small table in a far corner where she thought she could eat undisturbed. All she wanted to do was eat, ride the two buses, and fall face first into her bed. But then, she heard the dull screech of a chair being pulled out from under her table. “Mind if I join you?” Bernadette looked up. It was Professor Bell. Still chewing slowly, she motioned for her to sit. “What are your feelings on the class so far?” Bernadette looked at her sharply. Her face looked about thirty-ish, but she had to be older. Her wire-framed glasses sat stylishly over her high cheekbones. She wore a business suit that appeared neither out of style nor faddish. Her hair seemed only two days removed from the salon. “You know, you are the first sister that I’ve had in any of my courses,” Professor Bell continued as she picked at her salad. “I guess too many sisters don’t have time for writing rhymes unless they’re rappers.” Bernadette caught the professor off guard. After hesitating for a moment, the professor replied. “If that were true, tell me where I can get a Sojourner Truth CD.” Bernadette didn’t get the humor nor did she know who this Sojourner Truth was. “I’m just kidding with you. Is this your first class?” Bernadette nodded. “Yeah. My first one.” “What’s your name again?” Professor Bell began to sip her diet cola. “Bernadette Mason,” Bernadette said 7
abruptly, wanting to hurry and catch the bus. Bernadette wanted to tell her that she wasn’t coming back. She was on her way back to life the way she knew it-- a life that didn’t need any changes, any schooling, and definitely not any creative expression. “Pass me the pepper, please,” Professor Bell smiled. Bernadette noticed the professor’s hands as she handed her the pepper. The contrast of their lives was obvious in the hands. The professor’s were well manicured and there wasn’t even a ring on her finger. She was free, smart—she had it all. Bernadette looked at her own hands, hands that ached from domestic work. They were hard, with ash pockets between the fingers and on the knuckles. Even her press-on nails were beginning to chip. It was just one more thing that made her believe she didn’t belong, not in the class, not in the school, and not at this table. She rose abruptly. “Did I say something to offend you?” Bernadette folded her arms, leaned back on her right leg, and took a deep breath. “You wanna know what offends me? All that stuff you were talking about in class offends me. Ever since I was seventeen, all I’ve been doing was moving from one bad situation to another. I’ve been living like this for so long that I ain’t given it two no never minds...at least until tonight. I realized that I’ve been sinking in quicksand all my life. Tonight you reminded me of how much my life isn’t a life at all.” “Let me explain something to you,” Professor Bell responded. “I am the fourth child of eight, the third to go to college, and the first to finish. I’ve worked all kinds of jobs to try to make my dreams come true. There are plenty of things in my life I wish I had, but I don’t. It’ll be a long time before these student loans of mine are paid off and even longer before I am living the life I dream about. You ask me what writing a short story or poem can do for you? Well...not a damn thing! Nothing in this world can do anything for you. You have to make things work for yourself. Whenever I go to family gatherings, there are plenty of people just like you...and like me. It’s my hope that they see me as an example of what could be if they set their minds to it and I’m there to encourage them every step of the way.” Continued on page 21
My mother knew she was dying. She told me that this time she would not be leaving the The Secret hospital…ever. I was sure she was wrong. (anonymous true story) I tried to reassure her that recovery from a broken shoulder after a fall would not kill her. edited by Jan Krause-Greene She was only 78 and the surgery had gone well. Yet, I saw in her eyes that she was convinced she would not make it. Maybe it was because she had been hospitalized just a few months before and I had hired a woman to take care of her when she was discharged. Eventually, I felt she needed to get her independence back, so I replaced her caretaker with a pendant that would enable her to call for help if she ever needed it. Of course, a pendant could not prevent a fall. So when she broke her shoulder, I felt guilty for letting the lady go. Still, I expected her to recover fully, even though she insisted this was the end for her. Over time, it became evident that she was right. I visited her daily and each day her mental state was different. Sometimes she knew where she was and carried on a conversation that fit into real time. Other days, she was in some other place and time. I often had trouble figuring out which state she was in. One particular day she complained about her Foley catheter. “They shouldn’t be able to do that,” she told me. I explained why she had it and what it was doing for her. She responded by telling me that my aunt had also reassured her that it was a normal thing for the staff to do. She complained about it again the next time I came. Although a visitor to the patient in the next bed told me it was not good to have it in that long, I assumed that the hospital staff knew what they were doing. One day, she brought up the subject again, but this time, there was a difference, a connection to something in her past. She said, “They should not be allowed to do that.” I waited and she continued. “They shouldn’t be able to do that to a nineteen-year-old girl.” The new twist caught my attention. At nineteen, my mother was already a married mother of a baby boy. “He took me, your father, to a place in Jamaica, Queens. I didn’t want to go. But he made me.” I knew that in their marriage, my mother often had no say in decisions that affected her directly. She continued to tell me that my father had belonged to a male club that had a focus on finding ways to make “things” better between a husband and wife. Apparently, my father had loaded my mother into the car and taken her to some woman who performed surgeries on women in her basement. I had no idea what that entailed, but the fact that she related it to the catheter gave me a hint. “She did it and then told me, ‘Now you can sleep with your husband.’” Continued on page 40
Lamberson Corona Press
ell 45 Mag Wholesale ontact editor Zorina Frey @
In Insomniac Bliss, author Pat M. Kuras guides you through a poetic string of musing relationships that represents the inner thoughts of a beautifully composed literary symphony, fondly reflecting the cacophony of the physical and mental, sparks, sizzle, and fizz of past intimate relationships. This is the follow-up to her first publication, Hope: Newfound Clarity.
INSOMNIAC BLISS ISBN-13: 978-1542578806 IWA Publishing Services Publication date: 4/2/2015 Pages: 34, 5.2 x 0.1 x 8 Poetry / LGBT
True story I couldn’t make this shit up if I wanted to. The Black Lives Matter Movement.
The New “Talk” (non-fiction) (anonymous true story) edited by Zorina Frey
“You’re doing it all wrong.” He says. White guy. Cool as fuck. I like him. Yet, this is what he’s telling me.
conclusion that we already knew years, even centuries ago. “You need a better martyr!” he simply shrugged again.
“How so?” I inquisitively ask.
“So, someone else has to die?”
I mean, if you want intel, get it from a conservative, right?
(All black lives matter.) “No!”
“Everyone who got killed were criminals. Nobody cares about them. You guys need a better marytr.” He shrugged. Blink. Blink. “So, those lives don’t matter because they had a criminal record?” “No.”
“Then what?” His eyes vigorously shifts from side to side trying to find the right answer within himself. Myself and the Black Guy cordially remain silent in a civilized manner. No antagonistic self-righteous vibe. Neither one of us smugly waits for his answer, no FOX News/CNN antagonistic commentary. Just three people wanting to work together in harmony.
(Black lives matter.)
The White Guy released a flustered sigh.
“Then, what are you saying? I’m really trying to understand what you’re saying.” “I’m saying you need a martyr who doesn’t have a past criminal record in order for anyone to care.”
“I don’t know.” He admitted. No matter how absurd I thought his input was, I released the same flustered sigh myself and patted him on the back.
“Welcome to the struggle, my friend.”
(All black lives matter.) “So, what about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? He wasn’t a good enough martyr?” I ask, entertaining this train of thought. “That was a long time ago, and it’s a different situation.” [I promise, I actually had this conversation!] “No. No, it’s not. It’s not different at all. That’s just it. It’s the same story!” Another Black guy chimes into the conversation. “So what else can be done to stand up for our rights? We can’t march. We can’t kneel silently in protest. What can we do?” The Black Guy asks. Because now, both he and I are appeasing this White Guy, playing the submissive role. Really, we’re just waiting for him to come to the
Lashes 101: Knowing the Pros & Cons
Kerri Spencer is the salon owner of Kerri’s Avenue Salon, It Works Global Health and Wellness Coach, a cosmetology educator, and global master colorist in Granger, Indiana.
by Kerri Spencer
Type of Lash Fiber Mascara
Pros Daily application DIY - Apply Step 1 (Black Gel) Apply Step 2 (Fiber) Daily Application No mascara needed DIY TIP: Cut each lash in half and use the short piece on the outer edge of your eye. No mascara Not glued on the skin
Cons Daily application May effect contact lens wearers or irritate eyes
Last 6 – 8 weeks Fuller, thicker, and more natural looking Can wear mascara Can use eye make-up remover
Cost $33 - $150 Depending on the company
Daily application Lashes glue onto the skin May need a patch test
$10 - $20
If one cluster falls out, you’ll have an obvious gap on your lash Only last 2 weeks. 1 – 2 hours to apply Expensive Not a DIY project
$80+ for a professional application $10 - $20 for DIY
Full set is $100 - $200 and includes a 60-day after care kit. Fill in 2 – 4 weeks at $50 - $100
Photography by Keith Anthony
Photography by Alberto Suarez
Consume Fresh and Colorful Foods!
Chronic Illness: Eating the Right Foods to Feel Better by Pati Chandler
Pati Chandler was diagnosed with Arthritis in 1990, Ankylosing Spondylitis in 1995, and Fibromyalgia in 1998. It was the Fibromyalgia that urged her to research natural options. It became quickly evident that prescriptions weren’t getting her where she wanted to be, healthwise. So as she researched, tested and tried a variety of supplements, alternative treatments and foods, she found the “right combination” for her and never looked back. Her last doctor visit for symptoms of these conditions was in the year 2000. Choosing the right foods and natural options has helped all her symptoms to where she leads a normal life, free of daily pain; even the flares are short-lived and manageable.
Foods of color are best–reds, yellows, blues, oranges, greens, purples. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds contain the necessary enzymes, prebiotics, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to actually feed and support your body with the nutrition it needs to heal. Aim for organic, local and non-GMO foods (not genetically modified). Shop the outer edges of your grocery store and be sure to wash your produce thoroughly. This can easily be done by creating a 1:4 solution of white vinegar and water. Even better, you can support your local farmers and shop your local farmers’ markets. Careful Not to Overcook Veggies!
At the core of all autoimmune and chronic illnesses lies inflammation. It stands to reason that the best, most effective hands-on way to help your body heal is to begin an anti-inflammatory diet. But, all the anti-inflammatory foods in the world won’t help if you are still eating all the foods that create the inflammation in the first place! Right now, you can begin by deleting or cutting way back on the foods that create inflammation. Then you can take the next step and keep wellhydrated with good pH+ water, begin adding Omega 3 essential fatty acids, probiotics and herbs and spices. You can begin by adding more real foods–food that grows, lives and breathes, and essentially passes that life force onto you! 14
As mentioned above, this is the time to choose your foods wisely. Live, real foods contain enzymes (catalysts) that enable literally every biological function and help fight inflammation at the same time. Keep in mind that enzymes only exist in real raw foods, and that heating real foods over 117˚F destroys enzymes. Therefore, warming raw food rather than just flat out cooking it is a much more effective way to preserve enzymes. A half lemon squeezed into a glass of water is also an excellent way to add enzymes and stimulate your liver’s production of enzymes at the same time. You can choose live, real foods—the foods that neutralize free radicals and ease inflammation and pain—to get your beneficial antioxidants. All manner of fruits like avocados, tomatoes, apples, cherries, as well as all manner of berries, are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Tart cherries, for example, serve as great pain-relievers and inflammation fighters due to their cox-2 inhibitors, anthocyanins, and a bonus of melatonin for restful sleep. Super Foods In addition, all manner of veggies like cabbage, leaf lettuces, celery, beets, zucchini, potatoes, Continued on page 34
45 Mag Cover Girl Desiree Fiallos: Knocking Down Barriers email@example.com
As a cancer survivor, the one thing I’d like to do is encourage other women who may be struggling with something in their life. My hope is to encourage others when they feel hopeless. So, I want to share how I’ve overcome some things that were meant for me to give up on myself. One challenge was coming from a small town in
Photography by Laura Leigh Schroeder
Occupation: Senior Executive Recruiter State of Residence: Florida but grew up in Iowa. Hobbies & Interests: I love spending time with friends and family , watching crime dramas, and playing racquetball. The craziest thing I’ve ever done is: Bungee jump off a bridge in Colorado. One bucket list wish: Travel to Italy. My favorite movie: “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”. BEST song: Anything that would have Jon Bon Jovi singing. BEST TV show is: The Walking Dead BEST sports team: Green Bay Packers 15
Iowa to find a rewarding career in Miami. My weight is something I’ve always struggled with and I still struggle from time to time. But now, I’m able to step out of my comfort zone and do something that makes me feel beautiful. Posing for these pictures gave me a confident boost that enabled me to see a beauty in myself that I’ve chosen not to recognize for years.
“Be true to yourself, be
loyal to others, and never be afraid to stand by your ideals. People are watching and you will inspire others just by doing what is right.”
At age 42, not being a mom has been the most emotionally draining process I’ve ever endured. My husband and I have struggled to have kids. After undergoing the process of in vitro fertilization and three miscarriages, I still have not given up. I’m still focusing on doing what I need to do in order to make my dream of being a mother a reality.
How Trump’s Campaign Sparked Outrage Against the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) by Allison Torsani
Why I believe in the BLM campaign:
Allison Torsani is a writer, foodie, and aspiring chef living in Annapolis, MD. She earned her Bachelor of Science in English with a focus in writing from Towson University, and she’s currently taking a shot at culinary school, too. Right now, she’s obsessed with La La Land, the 1970s, and petting Boston Terriers. I mean, isn’t everyone?
And that’s where BLM comes into play: for people, minorities, like me who are scared for their lives and rights as a human. Yes, real live humans. Don’t take this the wrong way. Look, I love police officers just as much as anyone else. I’ve never been a person to blame cops for things, or to advocate for them to be put in danger. I have respect for them; they put their lives in harms way all the time.
It feels bittersweet writing this at the end of President Obama’s term. For many of us, the future is unsure. We’re left wondering whether we’ll be seen, heard, or even hated in the coming weeks, months, and years.
And that’s just the thing — I think a lot of BLM activists and supporters would agree with that sentiment. We’re not here to take down anyone in blue. But the hard part for us to swallow is seeing how many stand up for blue lives, knowing full well that those officers have chosen this career path; they take off their blue uniforms when they’re on a date, with their spouse, shopping at the grocery store, at a football game, or driving their cars.
It may not sound like much to you, but Trump is taking office — and as a black woman, I’ll admit I’m terrified. It’s not just Trump’s holierthan-thou that scares me, or his lack of filter. It’s his disrespect toward women, ethnic minorities, and other religions. It’s his ban on people who are of different religions or backgrounds than himself. And while these things are undoubtedly concerning on their own, his followers and supporters also scare me.
We, on the other hand, do not have that luxury.
To be fair, not all of them. It wouldn’t be right for me to judge someone entirely on their support for our nation’s current president — some were taught to blindly follow those in power without challenging their judgement. But I do fear the white supremacists who’ve posted in celebration, saying things like, “whites are finally taking this country back, niggers.” And I wish that were a gross exaggeration, but it’s not.
As Obama kindly reminded us “The effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn’t suddenly vanish in the ‘60s.” So, what we want you to understand is that BLM is not an outcry against police officers, or white people, or authority. Repeat after me: BLM is not a call to go out and harm anyone. It’s a plea. A plea for peace. A plea to make us human, not just another dark and dangerous shadow of the night.
The fact that these people feel so strong, fearless and powerful — that’s what scares me. You know you’ve already seen reports of hate crimes coming from both sides since he entered office, and this is just the beginning.
Our movement is not called “Police Lives Don’t Matter” or “Black People are the Only Ones Who Matter.” 16
Photography by Icedmocha
We’re not going against authority just for the heck of it because we like the excitement and danger of resisting. No. We are out here begging for mercy at the hands of our officers and security guards, and anyone else with a gun in their hands and prejudice in their hearts. Listen to our words: we matter. We matter. We matter. We are meaningful. We are valuable. We are human. We are worthy. We are loved. And we want everyone else to believe it as well, but anti BLM activists are fed lies saying we blacks deserve what we’ve gotten as a race. If only we’d complied. If only we had been respectful. But body cam after body cam tells us a different story; one that’s hard to stomach and impossible to bear once you’ve seen it. We don’t want special treatment. We want equality, justice, and the freedom promised by our Constitution. You might not want to believe it, but the media plays a big role in how BLM is viewed by various groups of people. Because they have an
agenda: make interesting news. That’s why they show you all the biggest and baddest moments from protests, like the one that tore Maryland in half over Freddie Gray’s death. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. At first, I believed the hype of the media — that every protestor out there had gotten violent, dangerous, and out of hand, purposely injuring those around the community they’re part of. And sure, a little bit of that did happen. But that’s the problem of the single story — we aren’t apt to believe there’s any truth beyond it. But in the wake of Freddie’s passing, most protesters were protesting peacefully, in somber remembrance of his life. In the way that MLK Jr. taught, many BLM advocates are in favor of standing up for our civil rights without hurting others. Obama’s words at his farewell address remain branded in my mind. They are words we all need to take to heart: “Race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society . . . All of us have work to do.” “When they wage a peaceful protest, they aren’t demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment that our founders promised.” – President Barack Obama, 2017 17
Who Am I? Women Artists Narrative by David Kimball
Josephine Baker: Black Activist, exotic dancer, entertaining singer. At the age of 11, Josephine Baker saw racial violence and mayhem at the St Louis Riots of 1917 that she remembered throughout her life: “Men, women, and children were beaten and shot to death… White mobs began to set fire to the homes of black residents. Residents had to choose between burning alive in their homes, or run out of the burning houses, only to be met by gunfire. In other parts of the city, white mobs began to lynch African Americans against the backdrop of burning buildings.” (Blackpast.org) In order to help her mother care for the family, she worked as a live-in domestic at the age of 8 for a white family who burned her hands because she had used too much soap when doing the laundry. At 13, she became a dancer – as a street performer, as a club dancer, and as a vaudeville performer in black-face. She moved to New York and was a star at the Plantation Club during the Harlem Renaissance and her wild exotic,
erotic, and frenetic dancing became an iconic image of the Jazz Age. At 19, she moved to Paris where she could dance as she pleased. She became famous and known as the “Black Pearl”, and the “Black Venus” by dancing in nothing but a feather skirt or a row of bananas. At 20, she was the star of the Follies Bergere and was the highest paid entertainer in Europe. Because the fame of a dancer is short-lived, she began singing at age 25 and became Europe’s top entertainer. At 30, she returned to the US as the “wealthiest black woman in the world” to be featured in the Ziegfield Follies. However, she met US racism and was not allowed to eat in certain restaurants and had to go up to her room in a swanky hotel through the kitchen. She returned to Paris, renounced her American citizenship and became a French 18
citizen. She was an amazing success on a German tour but as the Nazis came to power, she was forced to return to Paris. When Germany occupied France, she joined the French Resistance and passed secret messages by hiding them in her sheet music or her underwear. While entertaining the Allied troops, she insisted that the American troops be integrated. For her war efforts, she was awarded the Croix de Guerre and Legion of Honour – two of France’s highest military honors. At 40, she continued performing Continued on page 26
LOOKiNG 4 a 45 MaG Girl
She’s Here Now (poetry) by Ava Bird
edited by Maggie Dinzler-Shaw Wanda wishes she would quit wanting brownies with psychoactive substances. Fun with breakfast. By lunch, she’s spiking her punch with drops of psychedelic pops! Happily skipping supper, she chooses to bike to sunsets. Miles of dreaming sweet, sparkling smiles... ahh! Mom calls, “Your brother is doing so well!” Then questions, “Where are you?” Marriage, family, benefits, insurance, career? Hhmm. Maybe one day, she’ll have a baby but hey, right now, she’s having too much fun!
Find 45 Mag on Facebook to post your photo for a chance to be a 45 MaG Girl.
I am Not Proper (poetry) by GiGi
edited by Zorina Frey I am not lady-like I am not like you or anybody But I have dignity and integrity I don’t care for tangible things like trophies I am everything that everybody is supposed to be I can look at myself proudly and shamelessly And that’s more than good enough for me Can you honestly say you’d do the same?
Roberta D. Lawson & Quiana Njoku
Life in Black and White, Part Two The Necessity of Remembering by Jan Krause Greene jankrausegreene@gmail..com
The hate stare Segregation Sit-ins Marches Church bombings. And it goes back even further to the collective memory of our damaged past, and I remember
I remember a prayer written by a man I loved. “God, please hear my plea Because when this man prays, The world is filled with love.”
Slavery, Lynchings, A capitol city dedicated to liberty and justice for all, Built by those who were not free.
I remember a diner where we sat and waited. A trembling waitress who whispered we should go. Men leaving coffee on the counter to follow us out the door.
And I feel the brokeness of a world divided into two parts: Separate And Not equal.
A truck adorned with a gun rack, revving its motor. So close beside us that their hands and his could shake in friendship, if that had been the goal. I remember smiling faces attached to rifle-gripping hands, leaning out the window just long enough to make us duck for cover as they drove by. Their laughter piercing the night air like shards of broken glass. Broken glass reflecting our faces and theirs, mirroring back our collective troubled, painful past. Broken glass that cuts through the pulsing, striving heart of our “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.” Broken glass that sends its sharp fragments of fear and hatred, traveling through space and time out into the world around us, leaving more jagged edges of fear and hatred.
And I remember the prayer again The prayer for a world filled with love. Written by a black man living in a broken world where Hope is what we dream on and Remembering is how we stay alive. And I understand the necessity of remembering. I remember holding my newborn babe and believing the world would change for him. Knowing in my heart that no one could meet his steady gaze with anything but love. Having to believe that the world would be a better place for each child who came into it. After all, that was in the prayer. And it is better, so much better, in so many ways. Yet, I feel the jagged edges of the world reminding me
My memory goes back further to images of my childhood - and I remember “Whites only” signs.
That the prayer has not been answered yet. In 2017, we are still waiting. Waiting for a time when we don’t need to remember. 20
“Red Beans and Rice”Continued from page 8
Bernadette stared at the professor. Suddenly, she had become someone different, someone she needed to know better. Professor Bell took her last sip from her cola and moved quietly toward the classroom. Bernadette noticed that she was the sole remaining person in the cafeteria. Slowly, she walked to the bus stop. It was raining the second night of the class. Professor Bell knew that she had only minutes to get to the class before the students would decide to leave. She bolted from her car into the school and stepped quickly down the corridor. She rounded the corner and saw a figure standing outside her classroom door. It was Bernadette, still wet from the rain. She held a sheet of paper in her hand. The professor assumed it was a drop slip. “I have something for you,” Bernadette said, handing her the paper. “... but before you look at it, I want you to know that I was wrong the other night. I misjudged you. I’ve been carrying baggage around for so long that I’ve made everyone my enemy.” “Look, you don’t have to apologize.” “No, I do. I just want you to know that I thought about what you said. You were right. I probably have some of the same dreams you had. Now I have to wake up and make them come true...and just maybe your class is a good place to start.” Professor Bell took the paper, and read slowly: The power of life that moves and pushes
Didn’t see your stuff?
a person forward into the beginning of a better life...this is you! My inspiration, my shelter
Visit the official 45 Magazine website at
from the stormy, cloudy confusions of my everyday! My motivation that keeps me going
through life’s deep troubles!
You are my inspiration! Professor Bell quietly looked up and smiled. “Perhaps we can discuss it further at the break. I hear they are serving red beans and rice again tonight. It looked good last time.”
Wait until the 3rd Edition.
Bernadette nodded and followed the professor into the classroom. 21
You never know... You could be the next published writer!
Look Where 45 Mag Has Been! 45magazine.com
L-R, Cheryl Melody, Jan Krause Greene, Thea Iberall Photo by L Najimy, Beansprout Productions
Miami Book Fair South Florida Writerâ€™s Association Booth
L-R, Emanuel Camacho, Don Daniels, Zorina Frey
Photo by Matthew Caswell, Worcester State University
Top 10 Must-Have Travel Items by Jynell Kingsberry
Jynell Kingsberry is the mother of two daughters and is passionate about traveling. Having first earned a diploma in Travel & Tourism, Jynell later achieved a General Studies degree from Indiana University. Now, as an empty-nester, Jynell has rekindled her love for tourism by informing others how to travel on a budget. Her Facebook page, “Black Budget Travelers” offers helpful tips on all things related to traveling.
1. Good-sized sturdy backpack with lots of room and pockets.
Headphones to listen to music, movies, or audio books to block out noise on long flights.
3. A light-weight jacket, shawl,
or sweater. Even in tropical destinations, you can have a chilly evening.
4. Back-up phone charger! 5. A camera—preferably on your phone. Less items to carry!
6. A good book or magazine to read on long layovers or relaxing on the beach.
Snacks and small bottles of water. They can be very costly when staying at a hotel. If I check luggage, water is allowed. If I only have a carry-on, then just the snacks.
Good walking shoes for hiking and sight-seeing.
A credit card for incidentals and emergencies.
10. Sunblock. The worse thing is being miserable on your vacation because of sunburn!
The Dream Lover (poetry)
His free hand floats over my breast, My nipple responds as to the coolness
by Thom. S
of the autumn night.
edited by Maggie Dinzler-Shaw
His whole being covers me,
His hand alights upon my shoulder,
more gently than a soft linen sheet.
softer than a kittenâ€™s paw.
His maleness, like a butterflyâ€™s proboscis,
To himself, he pulls me,
seeks every pore, of my inner self.
gently, but urgently
The sound of his release softly passes by my ear,
as freshly baked bread to the hungry mouth.
so sweetly, is for only me to hear.
His kisses on my forehead, cheek and lips,
His being present, the feeling of his touch
are as the caresses of a bee
is not what I long for, but what I fear.
drawing nectar from a flower. 24
50 Shades of Critics
(anonymous true story)
edited by David Kimball
What I love about this country is the First Amendment, Freedom of Speech. Whether we agree or disagree, we all have the liberty to express our thoughts onto the general public hoping that someone somewhere concurs. Having said that, 50 Shades critics really need to get their panties out of a bunch—pun intended! E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey is just a fictional story about a sexual fantasy. Period. Now I’ve read and heard critics complain about everything from the style of writing to the character’s personality paired with accusations that the entire story promotes domestic abuse against women. Although most of these arguments are sound and logical, I really think we should give women more credit. I read the book—all three of them, and even though it’s not the great American novel, overall, it’s harmless. The sexual relationship between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele that James created was mutual. Christian didn’t do anything to Anastasia she didn’t want him to do. For crying out loud, he asked her to sign a contract! He didn’t force her! There was even a safe word! I mean yes, it’s odd, nasty, and freaky but that’s what makes the books so popular! I mean there are at least a million readers who like it. Likewise, there’s probably a million more who hate it. But hey, that’s freedom of speech, baby! I guess I’m just in awe at how pissed off people are about one writer’s fantasy. Geesh. Maybe people are just outraged that 50 Shades of Grey is more popular than any other adult content, because if that’s the case, I’m sure there are several pieces of literature that’s far more offensive than someone’s sexual fetish. It’s just a movie. It’s just sex. We all Continued on page 29
“Who am I?”tinued from page 18
while adopting 12 babies of different nationalities creating her “Rainbow Tribe”. She often had people come to her chateau to see how children from different countries, and different races could live together in harmony. However, her insistence on adopting more children led to her divorce, her inability to support them, and the State taking them away. In her late 40’s and early 50’s, she would frequently return to the US to give assistance to the Civil Rights Movement by participating in demonstrations and boycotting segregated clubs and concert venues. In 1963, she participated with Dr. Martin Luther King in the march on Washington and was one of the notable speakers. In honor of her efforts, the NAACP named May 20th “Josephine Baker Day”. Finally, in 1973, at the age of 67, she performed at Carnegie Hall where she received a standing ovation upon her introduction. She was so moved by the response, that she openly wept on stage. Two years later, back in France, she produced a revue of her 50 years as an entertainer. Just a few days after this debut, she died of a hemorrhage at the age of 69. At her funeral, more than 20,000 people lined the streets in Paris, and the French government honored her with a 21-gun salute, making her the first American woman in history to be buried in France with military honors. Her life story can be summed up with her hope: “Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one’s soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice; when all men are born free; and when understanding breeds love and brotherhood.”
The Fated Melding (poetry) by Rowena Ilagan
edited by Maggie Dinzler-Shaw
Your body, drenched by the unforgiving sun And masculine flesh, softened by angular grains of sand Warm me now, completely... Indefinitely. A product of old Morocco, from Tangier. Persian royalty in my midst. My mind’s eye Sees your dazzling, jeweled crown With rubies and emeralds circling your cap of hair. The deep-dark stubble on your chin Stands at feigned attention, Like those dusty, terracotta soldiers of a forgotten time. Mesmerized, you take lingering sips of me Graze my pink, petal-flesh While I watch tiny rivulets of sweat roll down your back. You hold your breath a beat, waiting. I hear the soft, sad melody, reminiscent of Lady Saigon Played on that infamous “solo saxophone” That is sweet and bittersweet like a wine that is past its prime. You ride this brand-new journey with me An ethereal, unexpected, but fated melding Of my broken world, and your privileged one.
Photo by Laura Leigh Schroeder Muscatine, IOWA
Oh, it gets better. My other so-called childhood friend confessed to my newly exboyfriend that she secretly had a crush on him. Yeah, he told me.
Too Many Mean Girls (anonymous true story)
edited by Maggie Dinzler-Shaw Then, whenever I reunited with my “real” high school friends, they whispered and giggled right in front of me. Eventually, I said. “Fuck this shit, no new friends and fuck most of my old ones!”
During my freshman year, my older sister used to baby-sit a girl. She and her mother lived just around the corner from us, so when her mother worked late as a waitress, we played together often, even on the weekends. We became best friends, just like sisters. But then, something changed. I didn’t know what or why. She turned on me and almost got me beat up and made me the victim of an entire year of bullying. She broke my heart because I couldn’t understand why she’d turn other people against me in such a cruel way. To my knowledge I never did anything too cruel towards her. When I told my sister about it, she confronted her in a sisterly way. But that didn’t make her stop. Instead, she told everybody at school that I tried to get my sister to beat her up. That was not what happened. Meanwhile, I witnessed my other sister getting made fun of. Those same girls were her friends, or pretended to be. She’d even buy them new clothes with money she earned from her part-time job. She was very kind and maybe, too trusting. I also have another sister. She was the middle child. I was the youngest. It didn’t get any better for her either! As we grew older, my middle sister’s best friend threw so much shade on her, that one of her minions bullied her well past her high school years. She stalked her and broke her front living room window, and in a separate incident, pulled a knife on her when she came out of the grocery store. 28
I just never understood how people could have lifelong friends when the ones I had were just a bunch of evil, manipulative liars or just mean! I gave it a couple of years. Figured we all just needed to grow up. But that wasn’t the end of it. I decided to give one of my co-workers a chance. When I shared with her my past friendships, she said to me, “I’m not that girl!” I found that refreshing, thinking she too had been scorned and betrayed by a trusted friend. Well, it turned out that she was exactly “that girl” and then some. When things didn’t go her way, she managed to influence her work friends to resent me. She even influenced their children to look at me differently! I do have a couple, and I mean a couple, of friends who are true. But at the end of the day, while I try my best to respect the girl power thing, I always find out the hard way that it is extremely challenging to trust women. I keep hoping to find ones who will genuinely support one another without some messed up, selfish hidden agenda, but I’m still untrusting and always on guard.
“50 Shades of Critics” Continued from page 25
have the freedom to choose whether or not we want to indulge.
Times Best Seller and is most likely a millionaire thanks to her movie deal while these critics may have spent thousands of dollars to a university And for those who might think that I’m being and are paying back student loans to learn insensitive toward women who have been abused, the proper structure, grammar and syntax and I’ve been there. I grew blah, blah, blah. And they may up in an abusive have written well thought-out household and and extensively researched have been sexually publications that have been abused. I am stamped with approval by their We have the freedome to choose now a successful colleagues! Yes, life isn’t fair! professional in a But hey, here’s something you healthy relationship can do: Ride the coattails of that who happens to like trilogy you hate so much. Post sex. A lot! Psychowhether or not we want to indulge. your disgust on Facebook and analyze that all Twitter. Write articles and essays you want and there about this literary phenomenon might even be and be sure to hashtag some truth to it, but it “50Shadesof Grey”. And maybe, just maybe, doesn’t really matter does it? someone will notice you too. The bottom line is this: Most of these critics are mad because E.L. James is now a New York
Photography by Laura Leigh Schroeder Muscatine, IOWA 29
From Junk to Jazz & Wearable Art Dorothy Jean-Carter firstname.lastname@example.org
edited by Zorina Frey
Dorothy Jean Carter hails from Indiana as an abstract artist and poet. She is an influential member of the cultural arts scene in the South Bend and Elkhart region. When sheâ€™s not creating art, she loves spending time with her grandchildren.
Photography by Maya Wimberly Elkhart, Indiana
Lina Yunue Esquibel
My slogan as a “Junk to Jazz” artist is quite common: One man’s junk becomes another one’s treasure. As a repurpose artist, I appreciate every form of mixed media and textile art. While working on or with a subject, I like to enjoy the flow and the rhythm of the process as the abstract shapes takes form. At this point in my art journey, I paint anything and everything that moves and does not move! People, concrete, paper, fabric, shoes, you name it! I’m open to any medium that will accept paint at this point in my artistic journey. 31
unusual for him, and I slowed down on my drinking, which was unusual for me.
The Purple Crackle (Fiction)
When you’re drunk off your ass, you are damn sure that the piece of ass you picked up looks just like Shania Twain when you are pounding her pee hole. But those drunken memories of Shania fade pretty damn fast when you wake up with a skank that looks a whole lot more like Mark Twain than she ever did Shania.
by William Matthew McCarter edited by David Kimball While The Purple Crackle was not the rustic utopia of Jackson’s Island, it did have some qualities that Mark Twain’s Tom and Huck could never have imagined – Free flowing liquor twenty three and a half hours per day and eighteen-yearold college girls trying to get someone to buy it for them.
I could see that these two Piankashaw girls were both way out of my league. Rich girls from Piankashaw’s elite families have always married rich boys from other elite families - but they have been known to go slummin’ every once in a while. I was wondering if they were slummin’ or if I were bummin’.
After I and a couple friends got past the bar near the entrance, I began a kabuki dance on the razor’s edge of fact and fiction, flirting with two Piankashaw girls sitting at an adjoining table.
After returning from the bar with more drinks, Helen told me that Roscoe had gone to the bathroom and after some punk assed preppy fucker made a disparaging remark to him, Roscoe turned around and pissed all over the poor kid’s Levi’s. Since Roscoe was too scary to
Helen, the cute one, was doing her best to ensure that Roscoe had a happy birthday by feeding him drinks and dancing with him whenever the band played a song that he liked. John was getting pretty loaded, which was very
Continued on page 39
Artwork by Saqueena Jones South Bend, Indiana Trouble and Pain (Poetry)
Pools of bitterness cuts through his throat
by Rowena Ilagan
As if there’s no time to waste.
edited by David Kimball
He closes his eyes tightly Trying hard not to cry.
He walked right in to that corner liquor store Lamp lights flickering, fading Fighting an inner war. Liquid courage in a bottle A silver label, slightly torn. There’s the lure, a promise, A spotless mind, once more.
But the floodgate’s been opened now With every second that he hides. He pulls more inward, as sadness settles in And looms over him like a dark gray cloud That portends a vicious rain. He wishes there was another way To escape both Trouble and Pain
He takes a big swig--Grimaces at the taste.
“Chronic Illness” Continued from page 14
garlic, onions, broccoli, and asparagus are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. In fact, for over a thousand years now, garlic and onions have been known to ameliorate inflammation, boost immunity, and fight infections. All types of nuts and seeds like walnuts, cashews, almonds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, grape seeds are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, too. They contain extras like Omega 3 ALA, extra amino acids or L-tryptophan, and more. The best part about getting the intake of these nuts and seeds is that it’s not necessary to eat cupfuls of them; just eating some regularly will do the trick.
They Stare (Poetry) by Z. Exie
They stare. But it doesn’t bother me. I’m used to it. Since I was a kid, I always found myself as a black-eyed pea in a bowl of rice—socially. But it never bothered me. Sure I was faced with instances which reminded me that I was black
Take Care of Your Gut
but, I’m over that.
Adding these real whole foods will provide an excellent source of prebiotics (aka fiber). Fiber not only helps normalize bowel function, but it helps boost the immune system, reduces risk of infection and helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides. It works with probiotics to strengthen and balance the gut. Because your gut is where most of your immune system and neurotransmitters reside, it is greatly beneficial to keep your gut as healthy as possible.
The stares. The unwanted attention. There’s no telling what it is. Without a second thought, my eyes lock with theirs. The nanosecond stare, not long enough to read them. They quickly look away as if
All of the foods mentioned above are power foods that can help your body heal by reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and even boosting energy. The sooner you get started on including such foods and certain cooking habits in your diet, the sooner you’ll start noticing a drop in inflammation and an overall enhancement in your health. Your immune system and all of your vital body functions will appreciate the change. Go on and get started today!
someone called their name and I shrug it off as if it were all the same. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that I was coerced into reasoning why they stare. Yes they. Them. My partner would take it as an offense when…I never did. I persuaded him to take it as a compliment. Who knows why people stare?
These are just some of the ways you can start reducing all that inflammation going on in your body. For more information about what kinds of foods to eat to reduce inflammation, read Pati Chandler’s book “Is There a Diet for Chronic Illness? (IWA Publishing Services)
As for me, maybe it is because of my hair. Maybe because there aren’t many black people in the neighborhood so when one shows up… it’s interesting. Maybe they’re wondering what is 34
that black girl doing with that white family?
Maybe I’m looking extra pretty that day. Maybe
You my friend are the shit!
it’s the other way around—on all last three counts!
And it’s time that you recognize it.
Perhaps the sight of an interracial couple draws
Because they do!
much intrigue leaving them to figure out the
common ground—since it’s clearly not color.
So hold your head up.
Stick out that chest and strut that swag!
I like to think of it as a parade!
Walk that runway!
If they stare long enough, I might even give a
Let them stare!
Who really cares?
Perhaps your very presence is enough to intrigue. The fact that you have the ability to
Just continue to mind your business by just being you.
effortlessly make people instantly stop what they’re doing, stop in mid-sentence to behold the beautiful, handsome, captivating sight that is you is something to applaud.
Photography by Masson Liang Palmetto Bay, Florida
Mr. and Mrs. Derek and Allison Torsani
How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Benefit Womenâ€™s Health by Diana Fernandes email@example.com
PMS symptoms of emotional instability, breast distention, cramping, cravings and headaches are treated successfully. Infertility and birthing is another area that has received significant attention recently in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Diana Fernandes Lic. Ac., M.A.O.M., owner of Fernandes Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, received her Masterâ€™s in Oriental Medicine from the New England School of Acupuncture in Newton, MA. Diana has been licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine since 2007 and currently practices Traditional Chinese Medicine in Marlborough and Framingham, MA. Diana dedicates her practice and life to those in need of medical care and works diligently to provide the highest level of care by incorporating the strengths of Traditional Chinese Medicine with modern western medical findings.
Much supporting research and success from families to be, have also accelerated infertility treatments to new levels. Not only is infertility addressed, but once pregnant, acupuncture is able to assist with turning a breeched baby and induction of labor. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine has a strong hold on helping women through these various conditions and will be able to do so increasingly in the future as education and understanding continues to spread.
Being a woman certainly has its own rewards, but unfortunately comes with a series of health conditions or situations specific to our gender. Thankfully Traditional Chinese medicine is well equipped to handle many of them. Menopause, for example, is effectively treated using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. This heat condition and its accompanying hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia is quickly calmed without the use of potentially harmful hormones. Various gynecological conditions including painful periods, irregular periods, no periods or very heavy periods are all commonly treated in a Chinese medical setting. In addition, the 36
Life in Black and White, Part ThreeBad Dudes by Jan Krause Greene
My sons are not “bad dudes”. Their father is not a “bad dude”. Their grandfather was not a “bad dude”.
This is a mother’s prayer. Please listen and hear. Learn more about those you fear.
We need to choose
Please, be aware of how stereotypes and
to be the country we say we are.
media have shaped your perception.
We have a long way to go and blame that we
Hold your fire.
Yet our country’s greatness is in our constant
Use a taser, not a gun
striving to do better;
Because each and every life is precious.
To come closer to achieving our goal of liberty
We can solve any problem if we work together
and justice for all,
with love and compassion.
And when we succeed and reach this long-
Retaliation solves nothing.
sought goal, it will be the innocent lives lost,
And we solve nothing with hate.
both black and blue, that will be remembered
But protesting for justice is not hate.
It is a way of saying, “Listen to us. We have
We owe them this much.
not been heard.”
We owe each other this much.
It is a way of saying, “Walk a mile in my shoes
Because what happens next is up to all of us!
and then open your heart to imagine walking a lifetime in my shoes.” So, please, no matter who you are and no matter what you think and hear, please try to walk a mile in the shoes of those you fear. If we take enough steps in each other’s shoes, maybe we will be a few steps closer to the society we all want.
and find a legal way to cash
Historical Alarm (Poetry)
out. You have to be smart in
by Z. Exie
these last days when racial justice is played like Roe v Wade.
I’ve suddenly become a fan of the right to bear arms because what I’m seeing and hearing is ringing some type of historical alarm.
You’re equipped with tools I don’t give a fuck if I was talking back!
with these dudes.
The Constitution is supposed to have my back.
Black men dying
I can’t act
and the murderer is barely
Like this doesn’t affect me.
getting tried. Depending on where you’re from, it’s outrage or justified. Honesty, the police brutality does not surprise me. The issue is that this was televised and the murderers still went free. How many more are going
Because I have people who share the same DNA as me. All I can do is pray and tell them to stay off the streets. Find a God-given purpose And get a gun permit. Educate yourself with the law and mind your business Because there are a bunch more ignorant trigger-happy
break out into a domestic race
Mr. President, this can go on no more! Scaredy-cats with straps just can’t be shooting at us
Tearing up your community isn’t the way to do it, dude! It’s what they expect you to
to follow that score before we
to educate you on how to deal
do! Our culture has the spirit strong enough to overcome this indecency. Check our history. Not on the Internet or TV I’m talking about Alabama. Montgomery. The solution: It’s time for us to come together economically. Support each other’s
Who cower at the face of a black man.
businesses and get some business sense.
Really, your best weapon is to use wit. Don’t be stupid, reject hand-outs
just because we’re black. 38
Because a house divided against itself cannot stand. Hispanics, Asians, Indians and Italians know that.
That’s why they’ve got banks. Yes, we have a history of getting our families torn apart and sold. Black fathers never coming home against their will. And many families are still recovering from it—even after all these years, it’s said that we should get over it. Yet, There are multi-million dollar facilities to treat the generational curse of the drug addict and alcoholic. I’m saying Things aren’t right and things aren’t fair. But every knee will bow and tongue confess when it’s time to meet The Maker. And you won’t be able to blame anyone because you have to account for you. Kind of like that in a court of law, so use caution on whatever you’re about to do. I’ve suddenly become a fan of the right to bear arms because what I’m seeing and hearing is ringing some type of spiritual alarm. I’ve suddenly become a fan of the right to bear arms because what I’m seeing and hearing is ringing some type of historical alarm.
“The Purple Crackle”Continued from page 32
confront, the little chicken shit told the bouncer and they threw Roscoe out. We rescued Roscoe and the two girls came with us. While driving, Helen asked, “Want this for your hair,” holding a blue rubber band? “I’d love one but I’m driving,” I said. “Let me help you.” I felt electrified as she ran her fingers through my hair and pulled a rubber band around a makeshift pony tail. I started to hope. Helen asked me how I seemed to be smarter than the average Purple Crackle patron and I told her, “Well, a few of us po’ white folk around here actually is educated and right open-minded at times,” I said in my best imitation of what I would consider to be a bad imitation of what I would call an exaggeration of the Chigger American that we spoke in Piankashaw. “So,” she asked me, “Why didn’t you go to college for a degree?” I replied “College education doesn’t get you very far in the rock and roll world. There are no degrees in sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” I told her that when I came back from the service, looking for a job, I went down to the IGA and asked for a job bagging groceries. The manager told me that I was too smart to be bagging groceries and knew that I wouldn’t be happy with the job. I looked at him and said, “Show me the guy you got bagging groceries whose life’s ambition it is to sack groceries.” He just looked at me and said, “I don’t think we can use you here.” “But you know what they say: It’s no disgrace to come from Piankashaw, it’s just a disgrace to come back here. And I feel like a disgrace. Sometimes I think that I might be ruining my life at the same time that I think I am enjoying it.” “Besides”, I told Helen, “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that although each and every one of us Americans is somehow entitled to the pursuit of happiness, in all those pursuits, we never really catch up with it.” 39
Painting by Apyrl Davis Coral Springs, Florida “The Secret” Continued from page 9
I considered the fact that my mother was not totally lucid when she told me this, but I believed her. She was a white woman. They didn’t do that to white women. But then a memory popped up in my mind. I was doing homework for my college class and reading about female circumcision in Africa. When I shared it with my mother and told her I didn’t know that it was even possible, she had responded, “I know about that. I know about that.” I never told anyone this story until recently. The shock of hearing what had been done to my mother gave me a new understanding of why she moved in and out of depression her whole adult life. It explained why she said marriage was for men, but did nothing for women. I understood that it wasn’t just the physical violation, but also, the powerlessness that accompanied it and existed as long as my father lived. My mother developed an infection in the hospital and died soon after, but I now knew that a part of her had died many years earlier. 40
Cut it in half and half again. Eat it all now or save some for later. Use your hands.
His Pespective Eat Red Grapefruit with Your Hands by Steve Liebowitz edited by Zorina Frey
Let the succulent juice run sticky on your fingers, cheeks, lips and nose. Feel the flavorful pulp touch your tongue, fill your mouth, and slide down your throat. Peel back the thin layer separating the segments. Bite in and fill yourself to overflowing. Heavenly bliss.
A Road Less Traveled, And Not For Just US Available through fine bookstores or by ordering from LifeRich Publishing 1663 Liberty Drive Bloomington, IN 47403 *** eBook versions available upon request from
ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-4897-0946-2
Publication Date: October 14, 2016 162 pages 41
entire campus community was invited. It felt good to be making progress and Why Black Lives Matter to look forward to a time when incidents by Maggie Dinzler-Shaw of racism were few and far between. We had been lulled into a false security firstname.lastname@example.org that lasted decades. Out of sight, out of mind. Solidifying our confidence that racism was on the decline, our first black president was elected. Progress! Yes we can, and yes we did. In 1968, the country was in turmoil and I was in college. While some students on our campus But the lives of black people, for some, never chose not to get involved in politics or protest, others became involved in the Adelphi Community mattered all that much. New technology, social media and the proliferation of recordings of for Social Action, the center of activities against everyday activities has brought new evidence of the war in Vietnam and for civil rights. The brutality against unarmed black people. We still members of the action group were white. The remembered the rape of Abner Louima by a cop black activists joined the Black Student Union. with a broom handle and Amadou Daillo’s death Although we were separate, we came together from a barrage of bullets while trying to produce as necessary, but even when we did, we stood his ID. It was an honest mistake, sorry. When apart. The Social Action Community had white you are black, it is assumed you are going for a privilege and the Black Student Union did not weapon. When you are white, it is assumed you have anything comparable. Our goals were are going for your ID. But for the most recent the same, our experiences different. The black and numerous incidents, we got to see more and students made sure their message was heard. more. We saw it and too many still interpreted BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. BLACK POWER. These what we saw based on that old mindset. If black were the words that made black students strong lives matter, then the lives of the police don’t. We in solidarity, and that intimidated many white students. Some of us got it, but what we didn’t get can only wonder how such brainwashing worked its way into the DNA of so many. A retired police was the strange and defensive reactions of those officer told me that black males are, by nature, who looked like us but obviously didn’t think like violent. On a video of a cop shooting with an us. unarmed black man shown on TV, we hear the only comment from the officer, “Guess I will be When I asked other white students what they on desk duty now.” Not one word of regret that found disturbing about those two phrases, they responded that “Black Power” meant that THOSE a life had been snuffed out, or that a family will grieve—nothing about that black life that mattered. PEOPLE wanted to overthrow white people. “Black is Beautiful” meant that white was ugly. You When they showed pictures of Michael Brown and others, some saw a threatening black male while can call people racists or demonstrate against I saw someone that could have been one of my discrimination, but this mindset that if one thing is students who I never found to be threatening. good then the other must be bad was resistant to change. To some of us, black lives do matter. We know that racism and discrimination in its most extreme Years later, a college professor commented to forms have not gone away. Some of us know that her class that the difference between black kids we don’t live in an ideal post racial society. We and Jewish kids were that Jewish kids got books for their birthdays while black kids got basketballs. know because we see and we hear what is real and not what is sugarcoated. Some of us know Someone had the tape recorder running. It was a big deal in the media. The administration met with what needs to be done. We have done it and we can do it again. All you have to do is ask us. faculty and students and the college launched an initiative that included sensitivity classes, lectures and even picnics and concerts to which the 42
You’re supposed to replace your mattress after 8 years because it gets weighed down with dust mites and skin cells.
In My Bed, In My Skin
This fact, however, is subject to change if you get sexually assaulted on it. Because when someone rapes you on a mattress you sleep on, it gets weighed down from the spot where he pressed on it, his skin cells are the heaviest on your pillow. The imprint of his knees remained where he held you down. Those are the ones that stay there even when you can’t see them. I asked one of my friends if he would buy me new sheets. Then I realized that spraying perfume on a dead body, or covering this crime scene with a different blanket wouldn’t make a difference. I slept on a new mattress and then I realized it was beds themselves I had problems with. In those moments I wished my rapist had sexually assaulted me on a street I never had to walk by, or in a club I would never go to, or even in a fucking dumpster where I’d never throw my trash away in. Anywhere except my bed.
(anonymous true story) edited by Zorina Frey
I tried to find the switch in my heart. In God I trusted, and everyone else was suspect. I loved loathing love, and letting my organs fester in darkness and grow shells they didn’t have before. I hardened my heart. I broke it all on my own and I put the pieces down the shower drain, in lonely books, in goldfish crackers, in wrinkled t-shirts, and in things that couldn’t hurt me. But it wasn’t my heart either. I slept on the fucking floor. I ruined my body and my mind. I shut off my heart and let it turn cold. But it wasn’t me I was supposed to hate in the first place.
I started sleeping on the floor and then realized it wasn’t beds I hated, it was myself. It was my own skin because of how he claimed it, how he marked it like a fucking animal. He only clutched so hard because he wanted me to know his strength. He only kissed me so long so that my mouth would reek of his breath. He didn’t have to hold me down, because it only took his fucking words to do that. Then I realized it wasn’t my skin I hated. I stretched it, I shrank it, I washed it, I cut it, I scratched his name off of me, I covered it up in layers in the summer, I sliced it open with pocket knives and razors that were supposed to make me look desirable and clean. No, it wasn’t my skin. It was my brain I hated! So I dreamt of suicide. I went to a mental hospital, had two therapists, one prescription, no rest, and countless ideations. So I lost my mind, because without it, there wasn’t supposed to be anything left.
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In this issue April 2017
They Stare 34
The Secret 9
Life in Black & White, P3 37
The New Talk 11
Historical Alarm 38
50 Shades of Critics 25
His Perspective 41
Too Many Mean Girls 28
In My Bed, In My Skin 43
Good Food Will Travel 6
Lashes 101 12
Life in Black & White, P1 4
Chronic Illness 14
Red Beans & Rice 7
45 Mag Cover Girl 15
I am Not Proper 19
Trumpâ€™s Campaign 16
Life in Black & White, P2 20
Who am I? 18
The Dream Lover 24
Top 10 Must Have Travel Items 23
Fated Melding 27
From Junk to Jazz & Wearable Art 30
The Purple Crackle 32 Trouble and Pain 33
Why Black Lives Matter 42
A story for every woman everywhere. Women's literary magazine publishing anonymous personal stories and creative literary and visual artwork...
Published on Mar 21, 2017
A story for every woman everywhere. Women's literary magazine publishing anonymous personal stories and creative literary and visual artwork...