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The Trauma of Spiritual Flesh by Adam Levon Brown

Red River Review

I spoke to my trauma;
It cried for a mother who once
sheltered him, now caught in dementia

I spoke to my trauma;
It reeked of needles jabbed into
my waist by disorderly orderlies
of a behavioral health unit

I spoke to my trauma;
it spoke of being arrested
while manic, helpless, and
then being knocked out
like a home run trophy
by police

I spoke to my trauma;
It spoke of my first relationship,
crushed to pieces by fate

I spoke to my trauma;
It doused itself in marijuana high school,
where welts to the head and arms
among big sluggers and feeling
completely alone in a world I could not escape

I spoke to my trauma;
It wept tears of grief for the anger

I turned on myself daily, the broken
stare into a mirror which never saw
my smile

I spoke to my trauma;
It spoke of…

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15 NO FEE Poetry Contests – DEADLINES: Dec. 2 – 31, 2018

Trish Hopkinson

Below are the details for fifteen free poetry contests in the order of the upcoming deadlines in December 2018. The contests are listed in order of deadline and in two sections: 1) open to most, 2) open to specific region, identity, etc.

Also listed are links to other sites who list creative writing contests on a regular basis.

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NO FEE Contests open to most

New York Encounter Poetry Contest

DEADLINE: December 2, 2018

ENTRY FEE: None

THEME: Something to Start From

PRIZE: Cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to first, second and third place poems.

Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card Contest

DEADLINE: December 31, 2018

ENTRY FEE: None

PRIZE: $300

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

DEADLINE: December 31, 2018

ENTRY FEE: None

NOTES: Books must be written in English and published and copyrighted in 2018 to be eligible for the 2019 prize. Awards are…

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Interview with Gabriel Ricard

Trauma is a Shallow Grave

Rampant & Golden

I saw him again, once,
briefly, years later,
the man who raped me.

I was looking at scarves
at the women’s section
of the department store,
making stream-of-consciousness
associations:
fabrics with light,
colors with moods,
prints with voices,
trying on new layers
with which to define myself,
not thinking about unmade beds
or untended corners
of the past,

when he found me.
He was cocky as he’d always been,
coming up within a yard of me
and calling my name out loud,
flashing a smug, macho smile
like maybe he expected me to
salivate like one of Pavlov’s dogs.
I froze
and stared at him for a while,
not remembering who he was.
It came back to me all jagged
and contaminated,
like fistfuls of dirt, suffocated
by a slow-moving anger
and a helplessness that
for a while used to
give a monstrous form
to my inner darkness,
and that…

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