The Island Alien

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Hey Non-Black POC, do you want to be a better ally?

It’s nice to see you sharing posts in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, but is that all you’re doing? I’m not erasing the value of speaking out on social media, it is an important step, but it is also the easiest and smallest thing you can do.

Are you actively having discussions about race and racism in your real life? I know these can be difficult. I am an Indo-Caribbean person and within my own family, anti-blackness and racism toward Afro-Caribbean people is a real problem. And while I try to have these discussions often, the intense racism expressed by my family members doesn’t seem to be ready to start healing soon.

I’m sure you all can say you’ve witnessed anti-blackness from your family and your friends, even if you’re in a multicultural, multiracial country like I am. (Colonization really did a number on us here)
Can you pick out these instances when they happen, or do you only notice days later?
How do you deal with these situations? Do you call them out? Do you go along with them?
How do you react? How do you address the racism displayed by your friends and family?

Do you consider it too tough to talk about?

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Say No To Spec Work

On Monday 18th May, several people received this email from a marketing company:

Some of those people, like me, had applied for this job two years (or more) ago, and had never heard back until this. Even more unusual than that was the sudden demand for a full marketing campaign, including a script for an animation, for totally free, and to be done within the period of 3 days time during a pandemic. Immediately I felt like they were fishing for free ideas. This certainly couldn’t be real. But as I shared the email with my friends, more and more people started coming out and saying that they, too had received the email. How many people did they contact? A mass email trying to test ‘potential candidates’? Some of whom hadn’t even been interested in the position for years. Sketchy, right? You might think so at first, but this is all leading to an even deeper issue.

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NaPoWriMo 2020: Day 1



I am myself in short bursts of peace,
Between loud anxiety
The momentary glimmers of calm,
Separating rage
A stillness,
In the midst of a storm,
Of depression.

I am the petting between the snarl,
Before attack
The temporary loss of trust,
Of a wild animal
An instinct,
Of fight or flight,
For survival.

Or am I the anxiety,
The rage,
The storm of depression?
Am I the snarl,
The attack,
The fight, or the flight?

Am I all,
The whole,
Greater than the sum of my parts?


Happy April! I am attempting NaPoWriMo this year. I don’t know if I will finish all, but I will try my best. P.s.  This poem speaks about my struggle with identity throughout my mental illnesses.

Today, we bring you what might seem like a rather silly resource, but one thing that poetry has taught me is that silly tricks are sometimes the best, at least for getting one’s creativity going. It’s an online metaphor generator! Plug in some parameters, and get a phrase that may strike you as interesting, arresting, or . . . just ridiculous. At any rate, I hope this generator is something you can return to when you find yourself staring at the page and thinking “ummmmmmmmm.”

And now for our (optional) prompt, which also deals with metaphors! Forrest Gump famously said that “life is like a box of chocolates.” And there are any number of poems out there that compare or equate the speaker’s life with a specific object. (For example, this poem of Emily Dickinson’s). Today, however, I’d like to challenge you to write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes.

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On Finding Myself

In 2007, I kept a Garfield backpack filled with two sets of clothing essentials, a couple bottles of water, a wallet with cash, and some basic medicine, in a dark corner of my bedroom wardrobe. I’d change out the water and medicine ever so often, and add to the wallet whenever I could. It was my first Emergency Running Away From Home bag. I kept it hidden in a plastic container, under old clothes and school books. It was a just in case sort of thing. You know, like the three hundred dollar bills I kept in a Ziploc bag under the loose tile on the opposite side of the bedroom. Just in case.

Just in case I had to get out quickly. Just in case.

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