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CICADA is many things—a YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with the lyric and strange, a safe and inclusive community for creative teens, a lighthouse in the weird stormy seas of the internet.
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    CICADA can be smart, funny, weird, hopeful, dark, defiant—it’s a space where teens can see their truths explored and celebrated. We frequently publish teens’ work, as well as fiction, poetry, comics, zines, and interviews by a variety of established writers and artists. CICADA is an intersectional, LGBTQAI+ friendly publication that strives to ensure that teens see their authentic experience reflected on its pages.

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    • I love this poem and its imagery. (Also I've lived in the southeast countryside all my life and I still feel terrified by it.)  

      • i put a notice out onto thesproutclub tumblr + twitter that i wanted to write poems and letters for people, if they needed it, so i thought i'd post them here as well.
      • anon: "a poem about loving something other than... love haha. if that makes any sense. how there is so much to this world besides romance. this is for the writing/poem thing you posted"

      tonight i get out of the dark by sinking into it,
      by becoming what i drink in, rolling my neck and
      listening to the joints crack, snap,
      and i swirl this body through
      this cold air, arms wide like wings spread and
      let the music carry me home.

      we wear our jeans with the cuffs rolled up,
      and tonight i slip off my combat boots
      and hang them by their laces on the coat rack.
      i let —- write a note in sharpie to the inside of my jacket-
      the inside of the empty pocket that rests over my heart-
      so i can keep this close by. just for me. we mix warmth
      into mugs and this song
      reaches between my bones dissolved into the liquid:

      my arms, uncrossed.
      this morning i cried until i laughed so hard that i cried again.
      —- hugs me so hard that it stamps an ache into my arms, but
      i don’t care. the dog trots in from another room and slips and skips
      between our legs and we sing and forget age and breathe hard
      in and out.
      alongside each other.

      this is our golden hour.
      wrapped up in air gone black and lamp lights lit.
      the softening coming from the tone of my smile, not the setting
      of the sunken sun.
      this is my golden hour, the slant to which i like my body best:
      upright. warmth spilled from my cup onto my wrists,
      and just now, i kiss them dry.

    • holy shit queenie this is amazing and the perfect mirror to mine

    • for some a purgatory

      filled past eternity with

      infinite shades

      in the sea of greens

      that surrounds

      the thread of sun-bleached rain-washed asphalt

      that twists and swoops

      around hills speckled

      with salt-and-pepper cattle

      and yellow-gold flecks of tied-up hay

      pulled and braided like shorn hair


      and the single store

      across a red-clay-streaked street

      yellow lines so faded that we run on assumption

      the dog barks

      and chases every car

      that pulls in across from her

      once-white house

      wooden siding gray as the pavement

      where the paint has chipped and peeled

      her name is lily


      she defends the singular store

      with cigarettes behind the counter

      and pencils beside

      a child’s paradise in the form of a wall

      covered in crayola-colored candies


      the woman inside

      is older than anyone can remember

      and her hair is whiter

      than the house across the street

      her son is there too

      his name is mike

      when i was smaller

      he’d pick me up

      so i could reach the dollar ice cream

      inside the icebox

      and once he tolerated me

      when i climbed on the counter

      to braid his hair


      and two men sit in chairs by the door

      they have always been there too

      in the half-light

      through the paper-plastered front window

      and they drink coffee

      careful not to spill on camouflage jackets

      and well-worn leather boots

      red from the clay they’ve stood in

      they talk about the before

      and compare it to the now


      and they talk about

      how the now can be better

      how nice it is that their daughter

      can be in the military now

      and how the solar panels

      on their hot tin roof

      help so much

      and they talk about stamps

      and their guns in the back of their trucks

      and hunting the bear that’s been killing their

      salt-and-pepper cows


      they say that the past is nice too

      before cookie-cutter houses sprung up

      and chain restaurants forged their way in

      before a night-black road came in beside

      and the days when a president’s skin

      was not orange or black

      before when anyone could come in

      regardless of their skin

      and then we could hate them

      for whatever else they’d got

      and patriotism didn’t mean



      so we sit in the shadows

      of purple-blue mountains

      and watch

      as the wind blows through the trees

      that line the roads

      that may turn to gravel


      and we watch

      picket-fence perspective lines

      fade into the humidity

      the cardinals and sparrows fly

      and sit on the graves of

      names faded with indifference

      some kept in the best shape

      are of a different shape than the rest


      and the next church

      offers hope too,

      regardless of who you voted for

      when you last stood inside


      but eternity isn’t so bad

      and purgatory is my backyard




      Author's Note:

      okay so @thepensword directly inspired me with "American Purgatory" (go read it, it's gorgeous) to actually follow through on the effort I've been making to describe the small town in the American Southeast that I live in. I want to make clear that I am NOT mad at you/offended, Jess, I just wanted to show my corner of where she's seeing from someone who's lived here for a while. 

      Second note: the lines in this poem "some kept in the best shape/ are a different shape than the rest" refers to how the graves of confederate soldiers are a specific shape. And we've got some of those around here. Most people can recognize the shape. That said, not a single person nearby me has a confederate flag displayed at their house. 

      Edited by queenie_flower
      • Like 1
      • Love! 1
    • okay I have some respect for the southeast countryside seeing as I live there but I love how you wrote this?

      • Like 1
    • On 3/13/2018 at 9:07 PM, Apollo's Lover said:

      I have a Meadowbrook near me too, but it's in the suburbs.

      i also have a meadowbrook close to where i live! 

    • concrete rivers

      bridges traversing open, rolling seas;

      brown-green grass and hay-bale yellow,

      scraggy trees and pickup trucks.

      each gas station is alike to the rest, each

      red pump and

      beer for sale


      rusting faucet and

      shelves of cigarettes.

      here is a grove of old farmhouses and mobile homes. 

      the fenceposts lead into eternity;

      this is a special kind of purgatory.


      i am nose-to-the-glass, or

      unsettled indifference.

      cow, i point—

      that's our game, our

      roadtrip pastime, though here:

      points are far too easy to come by.

      (maybe we should switch to counting tractors.)

      timeless expanses and 

      rolling, similar fields.

      there's cotton, there, 

      clouds cast in miniature among the brown stalks,

      and, squinting, can i see the ghosts of the people wronged?

      (how many points for that sheep?

      how many for a race's dignity?)


      this is a special kind of purgatory

      one in which i am a stranger

      passerby, migratory bird:

      bright feathers, exotic, flying

      past sparrows on fences,

      home to my concrete trees and

      shopping malls.

      this is a haunted universe,

      but who am i to judge it?

      who am i to judge the people who sleep

      beneath those graves,

      in yonder church after

      church after


      nestled among the cornfields?


      (i am but a stranger, and cannot know their lives.

      yet, with feather-eyed opinions,

      i will be glad to return home.)





      aka the southeast countryside terrifies me in a guttural way and i cannot help it please forgive me it's all cowfields and republicans hhhhh


      • Like 1
      • Love! 1
    • Oh this is great! I have so many weird dreams.

      I dreamed once that I was scuba diving with this group of people; we were exploring and we found this underwater sunken ship, but there was air inside and it was really well lit, and there were pink, flowered plants growing in the sunlight inside it. We were for some reason really excited that it was an old launching point for submarines. There were some ancient, rusty subs docked in the bottom. 
      We had taken off all our gear in the air pocket, but for some reason we had to put it on again AFTER we went back out into the water... so we had to hold our breath while swimming and trying to put our gear on. And then we had to go back into the ship because there were still some people in it (they left their air tanks there or something). Then it mysteriously started sinking farther into the sea and taking on water, so we all ran out of the ship.
      Also I think I dreamed this all from the point of view of my mother.

    • travertine membrane 
      over protruding wrist bones, 
      red knuckled 
      dried ivory 
      foundation and 
      eczematic winter tendencies
      this skin is
      parchment paper but 
      cold porcelain a 
      darker hue

      runs through my 
      veins but
      only shows up in my

      • Like 1
    • I was in my house and we have a glass sliding door and I heard dogs barking and I thought it was my dog but he was under the bed and then I heard more and looked outside the sliding door into my backyard and saw about 2 dozen dogs just running across my backyard. Quick note about my house: it has two paths on each side of it so that you can just keep running around my house.

      So after I saw that I was really confused and then this guy in a gas mask and jumpsuit with a huge vacuum attached to his back and he had the hose-thingie in his hand and he was just like waddling towards the dogs. We have curtains at the sliding door and so I hide behind them and I heard paws scratching concrete as they ran on the right side of my house. So I drew the curtains back and then I didn't see anything in my backyard. So I tried to forget what I just saw but then I heard barking again and looked back outside and saw dogs getting sucked into this dude's vacuum. I yell and he hears me and he turns towards me and I hide. But then he knocks on the glass and now I'm scared as hell.

      For some reason I decide to go outside, and I pick up this really fat dog and toss it at him (apparently I'm just Superman now) and then the dog gets stuck in the hose and the thing implodes in his face and IT'S LITERALLY RAINING DOGS.

      Anyway, that's a dream I had a while back, but I somehow remember it 'till now.