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Degenerates Voices for Peace

Bullying Edition


Degenerates: Voices for Peace Bullying Edition EDITOR-IN-Chief: Weasel Degenerates: Voices for Peace Š 2017 Weasel Press Front Cover Š 2017 Bob McNeil All written and visual works remain the sole property of their creators. They are free to use their works however they see fit. Degenerates: Voices for Peace is an independent anthology. It is published by Weasel Press. If you are interested in submitting to future issues, please visit our website. http://www.weaselpress.com/degenerates http://www.facebook.com/weaselpress http://www.twitter.com/weaselpress


Featured Degenerates Ruth Aylett Danny P. Barbare Paul Brookes Fern G.Z. Carr Shawn Chang William Conelly Linda M. Crate Charles Halsted Jill Hawkins Monique Hayes Kiana Y. Ka Anna Kander Catherine B. Krause Catherine McGuire Bob McNeil Robbi Nester Sankara “Le Prince Héritier” Olama-Ya Sergio Ortiz Maverick Smith Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas Lynn Tait Tyrone Townsend Andy White Cal Umbyne Mantz Yorke


5 For the Girl Who Sang Silently in the Front Row Darling, let’s put you in the front row just don’t sing, ok? Look pretty and mouth the words, let the other children carry your part. You will have the difficult task of pretending to be doing something you’d love to do but unfortunately are not able. At least by our standards. If one day you decide that perhaps we were wrong in making you feel lesser than, put something in writing a verbal photo of this moment captured in time and though we won’t be able to amend the problem, we will be sorry to hear you went a lifetime with this unfortunate memory and perhaps began to stutter for fear of embarrassment each time you had to hear your voice in public. And who would’ve imagined we might actually owe you an apology? But we’ll be long dead by then and you probably won’t have enough courage to speak up about it anyway. Isn’t it something that you could actually sing but every time you opened your mouth your tongue felt broken in all your loveliness, chockfull of butterflies. —Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas


6 Reasons why You want to know why I’ve disappeared from your sight Let my soul slip from the surly bonds of this world onto the next. You want to know why There's fresh dirt on my unmarked grave When just days ago you saw my smile It’s quite simple actually: chaos theory One small thing leads to another A butterfly flaps it’s wings and next thing you know There's an avalanche on the other side of the world. You let those simple words flutter from your lips Without a seconds thought, not imagining The cold avalanche you set off in my frail life It was every single one of you, every little action you took that scarred me slight They piled up, fit together like the puzzle pieces To my inevitable destruction You’ll hear my sad song and join in the grieving Denying to your blind eyes the shadows of your Guilty conscience. You played your part and I hope The weight of my grave makes you shudder at night I hope you see my black, lifeless eyes in your dreams Whether you hurt me, carving your mark into my frozen heart Or stood by and watched as they crucified my withered soul, Maybe even joining in the harrowing laughter, whatever it may be You, are one the reasons why i’m no longer alive And to you reading this now, think back over every little thing You’ve said or done, life is a precious thing and you wouldn't want to be A reason why someone says goodbye to this cruel yet beautiful world —Sankara “Le Prince Héritier” Olama-Yai


7 Invasive Species Beware the dark flower, willing to choke out BOLD colours DISproportionate petals – any greenery growing in different directions within the same garden; any flora food

dispersing

seeds –

for a DiSSimilar animal,

blissful in its single-minded resolve to destroy, for all the wrong reasons. —Lynn Tait


8 Mulatta Apology Children will tell your secrets. They hush but not hide them in pigment freckles. Never feeling white or black, just “other” when checking boxes. Nobody knows if you’re native, or foreign, leaving you homeless. That unpinched nose flares to identify what can’t be asked out loud. Your father not here to reach you. Your mother not black to teach you. No prom date in the dust bowl. Where even green eyes on browns skin, is still black. —Jill Hawkins


9 Autumn term The smell of leaves brown-edging, detaching themselves, stalk by stalk, once announced the time for her resolutions. The next school year’s navigation plan: what faults to flatten, what to achieve, how to cultivate understanding and clarity. Dry leaves rattling across the gutters would accuse her of too little thought, wasting the months by merely living. This year she really would make friends learn the top twenty and eye make-up tricks, be able to fake an interest in boys. These days the first frost and the blue sky, hard as titanium on her neck, no longer require a notebook filled with structured points. Knows now there was no mathematical formula to predict how those girls would behave, and to give her the perfect response. —Ruth Aylett


10 Likeness I do not expect To be your god But you do not think highly of me At all The words you speak With the tone you serve Burn with disrespect To a brave little girl It is clear now That in your eyes I cannot ever be I I am only, As I face you, The worst version You could have ever cursed of you —Kiana Ka


11 what they don’t know now Like the last Barbie on the shelf in an Oklahoma Walmart Black and Beautiful She sits, the last possible choice for a prom date Goes with girlfriends that are glad they are not her, although her beauty will last past 12th grade She will leave their confidence in May to finally find her own —Jill Hawkins


12 Dare to Be Different: Rip Your Face Off Light your face on fire with the end of a cigarette. Cut the edges, rip it off; are you a bad enough dude? They say you’re harming yourself, but if that were true, why would it be the hot new trend that everyone was doing? Nietzsche says that anyone who won’t is a weak inferior born servant, at least I think that’s what he says, but the only thing I ever read was 4chan’s /pol/ ‘cause it’s the edgiest thing when a cat jumps off a cliff to catch an invisible mouse he read about on Breitbart, falling into a hole and blaming those feminists and immigrants (I knew it was them, even when it was the queers, and the smoke alarm went off because Jews were trying to cuck me and give my toothbrush to trannies who didn’t even deserve it.) —Catherine B. Krause


13 Feedback to the Author from Ophelia in Hamlet Their verbal thrusts seem true enough —my father’s, brother’s, the king and queen’s— yet Hamlet’s reach the furthest in, —directed slant, with tender scorn— and wound at depths that go unseen. Who reasons through love’s sharp first touch? Young women in a mentor’s trust? There’s no such guiding soul for me. I’m left a pretty shuttlecock who’s played or netted at a thrust. I must be apt therefore, infer and choose between the arguments of forceful men—each of them staked to punish murder with revenge, Lord over haunted battlements— and turn mad trying. Father stabbed, my naiveté bled down to dregs, I’ll drown. A groaning Hamlet then may vault the grave to right himself, and lie between my maiden legs. —William Conelly


14 Strange Fruit Because a ballad uncovered her pain exposing racism, evil and sin because she crooned without fancy refrain a song of murder while dying within they squirmed in their chairs as if nobody dare acknowledge the truth, confronted by wrong she stood in the dark and sang them a prayer then one by one they applauded her song. —Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas


15 What I Remember “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, They have to take you in.” Robert Frost, “Death of the Hired Man” It should have been my sanctuary, But for me “home” meant The place I fled--repeatedly. It wasn’t just my narrow house But all the others too, attached like sisters at the sash, the patch of lawn and double flights of stairs fronting a one-way street. Every window had its pair of eyes, every stoop its seated guardian, high up on patios, like jurors. One day I passed before them a sticky Popsicle clenched hard between my fingers. The smallest child, younger than I, lisped my name, then threw a buzzing jar of bees into my face, Proclaiming “Bug Lady,” to general hilarity--glass everywhere. At first I cried, like anyone wanting to be liked, but soon their calls lost meaning, more like cicadas’ shrill vibrations or a dog’s territorial bluster than human words. Alone, I’d watch snow blanketing the brown uneven stubble,


16 rendering it almost beautiful, as the garden’s last leavings (hard green tomatoes, rose hips swollen as a chilblained thumb) dissolved to dust beneath a dimpled drift. New neighbors took the place of old. Their eyes were just as hard. Shades pulled tight, even in summer, keeping the heat inside. Years later, when my father had a stroke and mother’s mind had slipped away, no one stopped me on the street to say hello or ask where I had been. Against my inclination, I still haunt those streets, but only in dreams. —Robbi Nester


17 Fox Hunt She is a tide following no moon a dance no step forced to accommodate voices that set loose dogs of reason trained to sniff out those who disobey. She senses they are closing in. Doubts she left behind like spoors the hunters find confirm the when and where, but leave no one the wiser. Drawing on the experience of an old soul paying the price of freedom with a handful of mistakes – she doubles back, an animal hunted by hounds, in the hands of those who hope to make her unrecognizable. —Lynn Tait


18 Bullies Springing like mushrooms from sodden soil, those sneak-sly monster wannabes, picking only on the weak, seizing power when backs are turned. Gary stalked me since kindergarten – knocking me down, then racing home. In fourth grade, something snapped – I beat him bloody and his bully friends ran. Kevin and crew were 7th through 9th grade – a ring of boys encircling, grabbing my purse, taunting and pushing, refusing my challenge of one on one. My street’s own “militia”. Once Kev grabbed a toddler I was watching and I had to call Dad, who raced like a vengeful deity down the street. Vanishing when authority pays heed, still they find too many chances wherever children aren’t taught to stand up for everybody not just their friends. —Catherine McGuire


19 IM to a Cyberbully When buttons bruise and digits denounce, we don’t share when a diaphragm shudders above school books covered by brittle paper a tired mother found at a marked down price. —Monique Hayes


20 Paper Cheerleaders frenemies— cut-out paper dolls unfolding from white paper cheering triumphs atop pyramids successes, not struggles overlooking sturdy shoulders and bruising practice falls you start to look the same row after row flat and colorless strung between triangles of air— pieces of you, missing that harsh hands snipped away crinkling and wavering i see through you i want to crumple you pile you in the corner, without care as missed shots at the wire basket beneath my desk because i have other shots to take with more weight than paper —Anna Kander


21 The Best Years of My Life The building seemed more factory than school--square and black, windows covered with dark paper that willfully shut out what light there was. I’d walk those endless corridors past adolescent boys who prodded breasts with pins, girls peering sideways through a screen of long straight hair. Lunchtimes were worse. Every day she’d wait for me next to the dining room. A good 100 pounds heavier than I, she’d toss me down the stairs into the trash, among the milk cartons. I’d wish that I could fight her, but all I had was wits, and words just made her punch me harder when bystanders laughed at her expense. Those bystanders were worse than she, the security guard, amused, smoking his illicit cigarette as he leaned against the wall, the students eager for the regularly scheduled wrestling match, featuring oddball contenders: me, standing 4’8,” Her, looming like a helium


22 balloon in a parade, her eyebrows bat-black arches on a painted face, pale mask against the darker complexion of her neck. I told the principal, who shrugged and said it was my problem. My parents only shook their heads, saying that tattletales would get no sympathy from them. And so I spent each lunchtime for a year in the girl’s bathroom, afraid to venture out beyond the door until the bell rang. I fought to transfer to another school, but couldn’t, not fitting anywhere. I stayed there, miserable and angry, wishing I could beat back hostility, or worse, indifference with my guts or grace. As always, I just had to wait. Long past leaving, I held on to rage, although it burned me like a rope wound tight around my chest. Yet thinking of it now, I feel the odd sensation of compassion for my batterer, suffering her private hell as I did mine. —Robbi Nester


23 letting my light shine all my life i’ve been ridiculed for something all the way from elementary school to college and beyond i’ve been called “fat”, “ugly”, “stupid”, “lazy,” a “manly looking woman”, “bitch”, “brat”, “bastard”, “weird”, “different”, “strange”, “prude”, “slut”, “whore”, and who knows what else behind my back? it used to hurt me these cruel things they said because i didn’t recognize my power or my worth now it’s different because i know and embrace my power and my gift i am the only me in existence and i won’t let the world fold me into their image, and i will transform this world with my light and my love my magic is something they will never break; i am musical and bright beautiful in my own way and i will never stop letting my light shine —linda m. crate


24 The Monster Always at the end of our road, waiting, his silhouette – a figure or a figment – whether I’d headed straight home from school or zigzagged through the backstreets. I used to watch to see which route he’d take and take another, hang around shops – anything not to be caught alone. As big for his age as I was small, he never needed to hit: threats were enough to make me blub and give him grounds to strut. Decades on, another from his tribe is demolishing my self-belief. All I know, all the skills I’ve learned, can’t stop his weaselly eyes inducing in me a rabbit’s freeze. Summoned, I have to face this beast. Again I remind myself of that monster on a hill, the dread of villagers below, and a boy climbing up to find merely a purring mite he could shoulder home. Steeled, apprehensive, I force foot past foot up the stairs towards his door. —Mantz Yorke


25 The Last Threshold The promise to return to the place where life began Failure, to be banished from an endless happiness Shadows that wandered the desert carrying their own past A leaf-storm-fear thrown to the felines of night A beggar’s desire going door to door and sitting on the steps of the last threshold to discuss his ragged loneliness his bones, a premonition of the mirror where death calls The indelible imprint of pain and undaunted scars A history of humiliating executioners and false fabulists The unsatisfied thirst of gods who bully us with their vengeance and a tree who in its old age only nests birds of prey —Sergio Ortiz


26 Space Bullies ". . . to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Star Trek In

the void that is space stars suckle alien planets

stars – sustainers of solar systems undoubtedly replete with intelligent life I

wonder whether bullying always existed in outer space, too. . . .

— Fern G. Z. Carr


27 Let It Go You thought me out-of-place and weak. That my silence made me meek. That I wore a yellow coward’s streak. Cliquish crowds my pride to take. Cracked each dream I tried to make. Used words and fists my walls to break. So, where are you now? Where’s my change? Change my oil. Go and find that in my size. Minimum wage. Sweat and toil. Glory fades and now you find that you have no peace of mind. No, you never reached the prize. From the field to the bleacher. Life’s a bitter bitch of a teacher. Do you finally realize? Does the cheering that you hear, chugging plastic cups of beer, still make you proud… Or does memory mist your eyes? I see your shattered lives, kids in prison, abandoned wives, come together, it’s arrived. Time to tell you ‘I survived!’ That the shadow in which you stumble *I* cast there to make you humble. Another demeaning cutting quip Give the faggot a busted lip Unsafe class that I must skip Royalty pouncing in a rush Every hope is there to crush Blade on wrists cried “Too much!”


28 So, where are you now? An empty plate without a clue. Rent is late and so are you. All the bills are coming due… and now they write them all in red. Third husband’s a drunken jerk, On the couch and out of work. Sagging tits, you’ve got six kids. In your trailer park you pray for SIDS. The Karmic road has a toll that must be fed. Is your mixed-up world as it swirled, jerked and dashed and whirled, careless and heedless till you hurled, what you saw way back then… in your pretty little head? I see your shattered lives, kids in prison, abandoned wives, come together, it’s arrived. Time to tell you ‘I survived!’ That the shadow in which you stumble *I* cast there to make you humble. In fine leather I recline Sipping a lovely glass of wine Waiting for the perfect line There upon the shelf, all is mine With my name upon each spine Of every book in perfect line My art hangs on gallery walls I’m slamming in concert halls Go to tuxedo charity balls Watch me stepping off the plane I’ve been asked to speak again Maybe a bit arrogant and vain…


29 I see your shattered lives, kids in prison, abandoned wives, come together, it’s arrived. Time to tell you ‘I survived!’ That the shadow in which you stumble *I* cast there to make you humble. I look around and I can see, It’s going really great for me But it doesn’t make the past undone. If I push you down…then it’s you —not me— that I’ve become. You’re not in my way. Today’s not yesterday. It’s time for me to turn and walk away. No need to see you laying broken on the floor. There’s no debt you owe from before, No more reason for me to stay. My tears are gone. The sun is bright today and… I don’t need to give a fuck about you anymore. —Cal Umbyne


30 Poor Alan Dyer Poor Alan Dyer, he got it quite hard, Sound of his head on the concrete school yard. Poor Alan Dyer, face pushed in the dirt, Try not to cry but we all see the hurt. Poor Alan Dyer, “pouf ” rings in his ears, Without much success, he blinks back the tears. Bugger, bender and faggot, homo and queer Age 11 to 16; year after year. Now much time has passed; you’re often in mind, It’s hard to fathom I could be so unkind. Self loathing I feel now, it lives in my pores. But whatever my pain it’s nowhere near yours. Do you think of me now, the anger still burn? The pain and the fear, does it sometimes return? If we met face to face now, how would that be? You burning with hatred, directed at me? Or would you just look and not know who I am, And then when I tell you, just not give a damn. Tell me you’re happy and your life is on course And if it’s all shit, tell me I’m not the source I need to explain, I should let you know why I pointed the finger and forced you to cry. The spiteful abuse can be traced to fear So pointing at you meant that I’m in the clear Now I have freedom, not back in the day, When I couldn’t face up and tell I was gay My secret shame, but it was you bore the cost For if I was found out, I knew all was lost, So I was the queer boy, internal my shame


31 I used smoke and mirrors so you’d take the blame. Sorry Alan Dyer, who’s schooldays were shit, With torture delivered by this hypocrite I’ve made a good life now and things are okay But you’re one of those things that won’t go away So you wander my mind, and you play hide and seek Uninvited reminder that I was so weak I’ve no right to ask you, my actions were low Help me Alan Dyer please, please let me go, —Andy White


32 The Filth That Occurred on the Streets A riot broke out today Spontaneous violence; Bloodied faces Chaotic, Animalistic, Barbaric, Savagery I witness a man get his face stomped in He’s beaten into submission One of the offenders gropes his erection out of excitement A woman is stabbed She curls up on the concrete Her intestines stick out from her wound I see a child lie limp on the sidewalk Police arrive on the scene: righteous berserkers decorated in riot gear Tear gas filters into the crowd Bloodcurdling screams echo from every direction Reporters try to flee, but, they’re caught in the onslaught Innocent bodies pile on the streets while deranged sociopaths battle police for supremacy My heart thrashes against my chest


33 This riot, this shit-storm of brutality upon one another, is bullying in its primal form Taking down a Confederate Flag will prove we’re “progressive.” Legalizing gay marriage will prove we’re “united.” Toss in a couple of transgenders Throw in a few religious beliefs Voice opinions Vote for political swine Feed the poor We’ll trust anything that justifies our worth We’ll claim we’re better than animals; we’re too “intelligent” to act primitive We don’t mind differences under “certain circumstances.” We slightly tolerate each other No matter the pain things will get better Press forward in life If you acknowledge suffering, you’ll get left behind Blind steadfast confidence in our consciousness; erratic puppets yanked by strings


34 Sheep led to the slaughter‌ I ease on my cigarette I continue to observe from my apartment balcony Nihilistic thoughts of a godforsaken predicament--a can of worms that we opened. Together we stand, divided we fall —Tyrone Townsend


35 Vain Vendettas We may be trod beneath and left to die, But like the shards of crack’d kaleidoscopes, We may be shatter’d but won’t idly lie, We’ll reflect love and courage upon hopes. You call those diff ’rent from you worthless scum, But Nature’s children all have equal worth, Created by the wisdom that has come From the sky, from the ocean, from the earth. These crests and troughs, these tides are but akin To how our vain vendettas ebb and flow, But you’re no foe of ours, for deep within, We all own the same spirit, the same soul. Although a river these two banks divides, We can cross if we share love from both sides. —Shawn Chang


36 To a Bullied Teacher Your so brave says the janitor to take the broom by its handle and sweep your troubles away like the dustpan of things. —Danny P. Barbare


37 Torn Fabric I. The homeless of our town trudge through the gate of our intake center, jostle in line to avoid a night in freezing rain. Tomorrow, they’ll shuffle the streets until dark, wait for spring to reclaim dry ground near the ditch by the railroad tracks. II. I’ve heard it told the half-man, half beast is loose upon the land. He brooks no dissent, cares little or nothing for homeless poor, banishes strangers from our midst, tears through the fabrics of our lives. III. At misty dawn at the pond, I watch an orange-billed cormorant fatefully flapping black wings, ascending to a pinpoint in the sky. Mid-morn at the market, I learn the falafel and baba ganoush stall are gone. Last night, glass windows and doors of our town’s Islamic Center were smashed, bacon strips wrapped around doorknobs. IV. The rough beast whose time is come has slouched his way to Washington. Its presidential tweets inform @realPOTUS: THE AMERICAN DREAM IS BACK! —Charles Halsted


38 The Sound of Metal love your brothers and sisters, momma said carry us like a song in your heart in high school, i whispered gossip to mean girls and, on alternate Tuesdays, tried to not to drown in labels and expectations and a labyrinth of dented lockers that made hollow sounds when bodies and metal collided for the thousandth occasion at the same high school at the same time my brother was molested we didn’t learn what happened ’til years later after he stopped coming home on a field trip with an overnight bus ride two rich boys—also brothers pinned him in the corner of the high, stiff seat used some sort of hard implement one of them held a knife it scraped the metal frame around the window screeching metal around a black night swallowing all those stars anyway, that’s what I heard


39 third-hand, from our mother or fourth- or fifth-hand, if i am counting the rich brothers in English, there are at least nineteen words to describe the sounds of metal clang, ding, clatter, clunk, clash drum, echo, jangle, rattle, rasp jingle, gong, plink, tinkle crash wood blocks make dull thumps strike metal and it sings releasing sounds sharp like weapons for avenging the energy of struck metal dissipates slowly scientists say that’s because metal is “elastic” i’d say metal remembers the oscillations of metal linger as they decay my brother went silent the metal still screams every autumn, as purple and gold leaves fall from the copper beech and sugar maples my brothers and sisters, those who can travel, return to our small hometown migrating back to the place of our birth, like salmon until we are made someone’s meal


40 we will clink forks and knives on the good china and enjoy a ritual dinner we had all our friends in common and I’ll see them around town when I run to the drugstore for shampoo and chocolates—   pieces of home that I forgot to bring tokens of appreciation that somehow slip my mind every single goddamn year your friends from high school will ask me about you again and I’ll say no, he won’t be coming home no, he won’t be here for thanksgiving —Anna Kander


41 Behind the Statistics tell me of teachers and tell me of books I’ll tell you of stares and dirty looks tell me of whispers and tell me of hate I’ll tell you of anger say ‘it’s my fate’ tell me of darkness and tell me of despair I’ll tell you it’s a way out say ‘peace lurks there’ tell me of an ‘after’ and tell me ‘look past now’ I’ll tell you of curtains closing say ‘I’ll take my last bow’ —Maverick Smith


42 A Wept Breath At eight top of Forest Lane playground, climbing frame bigger boy pushes me “You’d better run else I’ll smash your face in. RUN!” So I run down, down to catch always ahead of me, faster than me breath in mam’s cul de sac arms. A wept breath. Lucky thirteen, lucky not to be goaded down steps to spit drenched cellar, goff oyle, spithole. In playground, lads hawk up and goff on you. Comp.black blazer, tie pristine, unlucky to have same name as Cock of school so gangs with face on, one lad “Your him aint you!” finger stabs my chest, “Cock of School!” stab, “Cock of School!” I step backwards, fall backwards over other lad in gang crouched down. Both crack out laughter. Sixteen, Led Zep, Rush at their houses now sat at front of class, teacher out they throw and goad others to lob screwed up paper, pens, rubbers, board rubbers at me. —Paul Brookes


44

Biographies Ruth Aylett lives in Edinburgh where she teaches and researches university-level computing. She was joint author with Beth McDonough of the pamphlet Handfast, published in 2016 by Mother’s Milk. One of four authors of the online epic Granite University, she performed with Sarah the Poetic Robot at the 2012 Edinburgh Free Fringe. She has been published by Prole, Antiphon, Interpreter’s House, New Writing Scotland, South Bank Poetry, Envoi, Bloodaxe Books, Poetry Scotland, Red Squirrel Press, Doire Press and others. See www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/writing.html for more. Danny P. Barbare has been published in numerous online and print journals over the past 36 years. Including: Santa Clara Review, Assisi Online Journal, Willard and Maple, and many more. He has been published locally and abroad. Paul Brookes was, and is a shop assistant, after employment as a security guard, postman, admin. assistant, lecturer, poetry performer, with “Rats for Love”, his work included in “Rats for Love: The Book”, (Bristol Broadsides, 1990). First chapbook “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley”, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). Recently published in Blazevox, Nixes Mate, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, The Bees Are Dead and others. “The Headpoke and Firewedding” (Alien Buddha Press, 2017) illustrated chapbook, “A World Where” (Nixes Mate Press, 2017) “The Spermbot Blues” (OpPRESS, 2017). Forthcoming chapbooks “She Needs That Edge” (Nixes Mate Press), “Ghost Holiday” (Alien Buddha Press). Web sites: https://thewombwellrainbow.wordpress.com/ medium.com/@PaulDragonwolf1 Twitter: @PaulDragonwolf1 FERN G. Z. CARR is the President of Project Literacy Kelowna Society, a lawyer, teacher and past President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A Full Member of and former Poet-in-Residence for the League of Canadian Poets, this Pushcart Prize nominee composes and translates poetry in six languages including Mandarin Chinese. Carr has been published extensively worldwide from Finland to


45 Mauritius. Honours include having been cited as a contributor to the Prakalpana Literary Movement in India as well as having had her work taught at West Virginia University, set to music by a Juno-nominated musician, and featured online in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. Her poem, “I Am”, was chosen by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate as Poem of the Month for Canada. Carr is thrilled to have another one of her poems currently orbiting the planet Mars aboard NASA’S MAVEN spacecraft. www.ferngzcarr.com Shawn Chang is a 17-year-old based in Canada. William Conelly resigned from the Air Force to take both BA and MA Degrees at UC Santa Barbara under the distinguished American poet Edgar Bowers. A post grad meander through transport and financial services, sales and commercial writing, and Conelly returned to academia, serving in both America and the UK as an associate professor, tutor and seminar leader in English studies. With three sons grown, and dual citizenship, he and his wife now reside primarily in the West Midlands town of Warwick. Uncontested Grounds—an assortment of his prosody dating back four decades—remains available from the Able Muse Press. Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications - August 2016). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of this series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novels Corvids & Magic and Phoenix Tears are forthcoming. Charles Halsted in a retired professor of academic medicine and U.C. Davis. His poetry has been/will be published in Blood and Thunder, Blood and Bourbon, The Gambler, The Ghazal Page, Hektoen International, Poetry Now, Tule Review, Snapdragon, and Words apart. I am a


46 winner of the 2017 Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. Jill Hawkins is a recent graduate of The Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University. She was born and raised in Oklahoma. Jill has publications in: (JAMA) The Journal the American Medical Association, Blacktop Passages, Southwestern American Literature, Pink. Girl.Ink., Poeming Pigeon, Mizna,, The Endeavor,. Dragon Poet Review, Oklahoma Today, Red Earth Review, Lowestoft Chronicle and The Whiskey of our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience and Change Agent Monique Hayes received her MFA from the University of Maryland College Park. Her work appears in Indiana Voice Journal, Heart: Human Equity Through Art, Prick of the Spindle, Revise the Psalm: Works Celebrating the Writings of Gwendolyn Brooks, District Lines, among others. An instinctual poetess and writer since childhood, Kiana started her path in the world of writing as a contributing author for an independent music culture blog. Only recently has she began shifting her focus towards sharing her poetry with others. Anna Kander is a writer in the Midwest. She writes with her sidekick, a fearless blue fish who doesn’t realize he’s one inch tall. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in a number of journals, including Star*Line, Leveler, and Train. Find her at http://annakander.com. Catherine B. Krause is a queer, disabled, and neurodivergent transgender woman living in Niagara Falls, NY with her girlfriend, her landlord, three cats, and PTSD. Her poetry has been published in Rabbit Ears: TV Poems (NYQ Books 2015), The Opiate, Gargoyle (as Valeria Numinosa), Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and various other places. Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with a deep concern for our planet’s future. She has three decades of published poetry, four poetry chapbooks and a full-length poetry book, Elegy for the 21st Century (FutureCycle Press). A deindustrial science fiction novel Lifeline was just released by Founders House Publishing. Find her at


47 www.cathymcguire.com. Tenaciously, Bob McNeil tries to compose literary stun guns and Tasers, weapons for the downtrodden in their effort to trounce oppression. His poems and stories want to be fortresses against despotic politics. After years of being a professional illustrator, spoken word artist and writer, Bob still wants his work to express one cause—justice. For further information about Bob’s work, kindly refer to the following links: http://frankandpoe.blogspot.com/2014/04/first-place-poem.html http://crabfatmagazine.com/2015/11/pushcart-prize-nominations-2015/ http://voxpoetica.com/editions/ Robbi Nester - I am the author of three books of poetry: a chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012), and two collections of poetry, A Likely Story (Moon Tide, 2014) and Other-Wise. I have also edited two anthologies of poetry: The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! (Nine Toes, 2014) and Over the Moon: Birds, Beasts, and Trees--celebrating the photography of Beth Moon. The latter is available at http://www.poemeleon.org/over-the-moon-birds-beasts-and . My poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been published in many journals, anthologies, and web sites. You may learn more about me and my work at my web site: http://www.robbinester-poet-and-writer.com and may reach me at rknester@gmail.com. Poems by Sankara”Le Prince Heritier” Olama-Yai. Sankara is a young, 18 yrs old, aspiring writer and poet. He is an LGBTQ+, African American student who currently lives in Maryland. Previously published twice by Weasel press, has had work accepted by 805 lit and is in the process of publishing his first two poetry books with Vital Narrative Press. He has also won three Scholastic Art&Writing awards for his poetry. He seeks further recognition for his writings. Writings and poetry explore many controversial topics while giving an introspective look into the author’s mind and a critical view of society and human nature. Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. 2nd place in the 2016


48 Ramón Ataz Annual Poetry Competition sponsored by Alaire publishing house. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in FRIGG, Tipton Poetry Journal, Drunk Monkeys, and Bitterzeot Magazine Maverick Smith is a disabled LGBTQ+ Canadian who tackles themes of equity and social justice in their writing. Previously, their poetry and prose has been published in QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology and Brave Boy World: A Trans Man Anthology. In 2016, Maverick was a featured author at Naked Heart: An LGBTQ Festival of Words which was presented by Glad Day Bookshop. Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is an eight-time Pushcart nominee and four-time Best of the Net nominee. She has authored several collections of poetry along with her latest chapbook, Things I Can’t Remember to Forget, newly released from Prolific Press. Her work has appeared in dozens of online and print magazines and fifteen anthologies and in 2012 she won the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition with her manuscript, Before I Go to Sleep. She is the Associate Editor at The Orchards Poetry Journal and according to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson. Lynn Tait is an award-winning Poet/Photographer residing in Sarnia, Ontario Canada. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and journals in U.S and Canada including Vallum, Contemporary Verse 2, RE:AL, and in over 90 North American anthologies. Her chapbook “Breaking Away” was published in 2002. She has just completed two full-length manuscripts. She is member of the League of Canadian Poets and The Ontario Poetry Society. Her photos and digital art has been the cover art for 7 poetry books. Tyrone Townsend is a freelance writer with articles scattered across the internet on different websites. He has written for Superbious, Quiet Mike, Healaway, and the Underemployed Life. He has poetry published in Maudlin House and artwork in Bitterzoet Magazine. When he is not typing away madly on his laptop, he is out getting his boots dirty uncovering another story from the streets. Andy White found his writing voice when he started his degree in Film


49 Studies in 2009 at the age of 54. Since then he has collaborated with International artist Jordan McKenzie on two sound/spoken projects, ‘Shame Chorus’ and ‘ChemSex’. ChemSex was performed at Ambeka P3 in London in 2015 and is now proposed to be re-worked as a sound instillation recorded in binaural sound. Shame Chorus, after live performances in London and The b-Side festival in Portland, Dorset, is now playing as a sound installation at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park as part of a collective show ‘Tread Softly’ see shamechorus.com When not writing Andy can be found “Queering the Craft”; when creating pieces using embroidery, wall-hangings, rugs and other traditionally pretty things Andy politicises and challenges perceptions of taste and heteronormativity. Cal is a poet who was abused through childhood, HS, and the military. He began creative writing to cope with the depression and several suicide attempts had had during this period, then began publishing to try to prove a point. He has since stopped allowing those days to guide these and writes for himself and is much happier for having let go of his past. Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England. He is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in a number of print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, Israel, Canada, the US and Hong Kong.


Profile for Weasel Press

Degenerates Bullying Edition  

Degenerates: Voices for Peace is a social justice poetry magazine. We focus on various issues such as LGBTQ rights, Bullying, Police Brutali...

Degenerates Bullying Edition  

Degenerates: Voices for Peace is a social justice poetry magazine. We focus on various issues such as LGBTQ rights, Bullying, Police Brutali...

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