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  • Clay Literary

RAVEN- Issue 14 (November 20, 2020)


Image source: M S/Flickr




STEREOTYPE

Written by Darshini Poola

My dreams come dyed in colours,

Shades of mayhem I'd never seen before.

Where pink and blue didn't lie,

Poles apart on our delicate spectrum.

Where crimson flowed through my veins,

Wailing for the call of change.

I was a dusky shade of a vibrant tint,

Unnoticed on a planet unlit.

Where silver strands spelt not an age,

Where wounds were dressed not in demise.

Pieces of a puzzle fallen apart,

Pining to be locked together.

Living together in isolation,

Was a curse worse than any dire malison.

Prejudice pretending not to be perceived,

Like burying heads beneath the sand.

Why typecast tones in black and white,

And then watch their fragrance moulder?




Author Bio: Darshini Poola is a writer and artist. They love composing poems that carry a simple yet profound message, as well as create digital images to accompany the posts. Check out their work on Instagram.


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Names Names Names

Written by Rida Akhtar Ghumman

Names, names, names

Jostling in the head

scrupulously woven radical machinery of the heart

But I fail, every time, on this one name

A, O, A, S, O, your alphabet stick on my mind

One message he drops and

Running, running, mad running

Everywhere is his name,

I pray, Allah, Allah, Ram, Ram

Not disappearing anytime soon

How do you control the tides of love?

Damn, hiding, hiding every time on the L word

Ancestors call it mohabbat

Ishq

Devangi, madness, raw very pure tide

Aimless waters of my soul

And your boat forever in a limbo

We aren't connecting anytime soon

But hush, don't

Hanging in the limbo is my new home




Author bio: Rida Akhtar Ghumman is a post-grad student of English Literature. Rida can be reached on Twitter and Instagram at @RidaAkhtar_.


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the binding of isaac

Written by Caroline Murphy


i.

if you’ve got a way out keep it to yourself. I’m sick of entrances and exits that promise escape then slam shut at the last minute. I’d rather stay where it’s safe, meaning I’d rather know the enemy and know he can’t be defeated than lay you on the altar as sacrifice and hold the blade myself.


let’s learn how to spill blood first and worry about the cleanup later. let’s turn the world red until we drown in each other. everything stains except your smile and we’re all blistering whiteness just waiting to be tainted.


ii.

there was a god here once. we drove him away because he wanted too much. like a wound that bled out after we stitched it up, we just can’t stop finding ways to come apart at the seams.


iii.

maybe Abraham never puts down the knife. I think he just wanted someone to see what a good shepherd he was. maybe he binds himself to the altar instead and laughing in god’s face says everything burns eventually so we might as well light it up in style.




Author Bio: Caroline Murphy graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2015 and spent the last four years teaching English in western Bulgaria. She currently lives and writes in Saint Paul, Minnesota. You can find her on social media @tameorchids.


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Not So Long Ago

Written by Stephen J. Golds

My soul might’ve been beautiful but

I sold it cheap to a woman

pretending to be everything

I thought I wanted.


She later discarded it

with a used condom

in a bathroom stall

on a beach in Guam.


She never wrote that

in the postcard and

I doubt she

even used a rubber.




In Rush Hour

Written by Stephen J. Golds


She smells like Friday night

I’d like to take her home with me

maybe she could save me

from myself.

Help me

forget about the last one.

But it’s Monday morning

And she is just a passing day dream

While I burn.




Author Bio: Stephen J. Golds was born in London, U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling, boxing, and listening to old Soul LPs. His novel, Say Goodbye When I’m Gone, will be released by Red Dog Press in October 2020 and another novel, Always the Dead, will be released by Close to The Bone Press in January 2021.


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