Or not

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Breakups in the movies are always a long time coming. They are loud and violent. Smashing and yelling and anger and tears like waterfalls.

They don’t show you the breakups like mine in movies. My breakup wasn’t planned. It wasn’t something I was dreading and it wasn’t some deep dark suspicion that was eating at my insides. There wasn’t some earth-shattering revelation. I didn’t find out she cheated or walk in and find her in bed with another who was not me. She is too good for that. There was no lie that grew from nothing and wove…

Why can’t you be a poet and a writer in the same moment?

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I am not trying to master English. The nuances of passive voice or where those commas actually go. I know that capitols start the sentence and periods cut everything off. Or so they drill into you at school. Don’t make the thought too long and don’t make it too real and don’t make it too drawn out. I am not writing to master English or make teachers proud or meet the strict rules of the dictionary.

I am here to break rules. To throw thoughts together like baking soda and vinegar and see what comes together. Ignore your punctuation, your…

A New Writer’s Take on which is Mightier and Why

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I have often heard that old adage “The pen is mightier than the sword” . I think most of us have probably heard that quote. However, if ya’ll are like me, I’m not sure how many of us bought into what seemed like an oversimplified saying from a time long passed.

The Pen

I always associated the pen with those old white guys in stuffy suits sitting in a building steeped in history. Pushing papers that contain thousands and thousands of mindless scribbles while getting the point lost in the typing. Throwing insults without ideas and deliberately hiding points in endless stacks…

Mini Letters to the Kids I See at School and The Explanations I Can’t Always Give In Person

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Dear Kid…

Dear Kid in the back corner,

I see your phone out during free time. I’m not blind. But I pretend to be because I know that the other kids don’t talk to you and you always say yes ma’am to me, giving me respect that is hard to find in these classroom cages.

Dear Kid asleep at the 2nd desk,

I don’t appreciate the snoring. But there are whispers in the hallway that you work some long shifts after school, and I know you are the only man in your house right now. You slept through class because I kept the kids from waking you. …

A need to allow ourselves to be loud in ways that are innately human

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Silent Places

Silence is often frightening. In nature, silence rings before a break in the normal ordered chaos. You notice the quiet before the storm when all the world hangs still in air that is too heavy for the sound waves. The eerie absence of the happy chatter as even the wind stands still before something breaks the moment by existing too loud. Buildings and cement do not change its hair-raising ability. Walk the streets of a city that never sleeps and find them void of all life, the plants were evicted long ago but now the humans have faded into the…

Your Past Doesn’t Diminish Your Future

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There are scars

Everyone has them. The pinprick from the time your friend jabbed you with a pencil and you can still see it twenty years later. The line down your knee from wearing out the bone before its time and medicine that is a modern marvel. The indention in your shin where that big red-headed jerk from your rival high school caught you in an illegal move and you became aware that shin-guards are only so protective. …

People will remember

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I didn’t ask for this.

Most of us didn’t. No one wanted to be living through the time of a world pandemic, global warming, and so many oddly strong natural disasters it seems unnerving even to those of us who aren’t the doomsday type. Millennials didn’t look forward to being the generation to move back in with our parents, never buy houses, or have to undo all the damage that finally caught up with the world from the previous carelessness. Boomers weren’t so thrilled about the 2008 depression. Never before has it been so obvious that we are living in…

And not only the kind in a museum

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Teachers are always going on about how the things they teach can change people’s lives. I believe that is very seldom true. Often it is a required step on a staircase that has been carved into stone millennium old and that is now forced upon students without thought or question why. But now and again, things are magic. Something clicks shifts into place and opens a door no one even saw let alone tried to walk through. …

But sometimes the name isn’t enough

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Sometimes it’s quiet. Almost not there. A shadow of a whisper wrapped in a mist that settles slowly to the bottom. It evens out sinking softly into a low murmur somewhere behind your eyes deep in the rooms of your mind. Sometimes it’s quiet.

Sometimes it’s jagged. Ripping and swirling in evil circles carving new lines that bleed black under your eyelids. Festering and picking at half-healed cuts deep in your brain. Till it fills your mind with sour that clings to everything and makes you gag. Sometimes it’s jagged.

Sometimes it’s darkness. Deep and dark and so slippery, it’s…

Mallory Elizabeth Baskin

A Southern Girl trying to get good at this writing thing. Talking about being gay, getting better, and making life worth living.

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