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Attention, CICADA community!

It’s time to say goodbye—the community at cicadamag.com is closing.
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Attention, CICADA community!
  • It’s time to say goodbye—the community at cicadamag.com is now closed. Learn more...
  • Hello, CICADA Readers!

    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 am walking through the carcass of a whale

      there are great bones around me, massive ribcage—

      they are towers, or bars, or the walls of a home.

      is there marrow within them? or poetry?

      i thought the whale would fade after beaching but it did not—

      when it did i thought it would wither.

      perhaps it did, but the carcass remains;

      i am walking through the carcass of a whale and wondering how long before the wind carves the bones to dust.


      farewell to the orange sky. farewell to the cicada call in the summer evenings.

      food is still good past its expiration date and

      sometimes daylight clings beyond the setting sun

      but when the midnight comes,

      will it bring waves to cleanse the beach?

      when i return come morning, will the whale be gone?


      i whisper poetry to the inside of a whale carcass and wonder how long i have left.




      ((AN: there's a weird, half-life atmosphere to the slam now. it's like all the rats abandoned ship but the ship hasn't sunk yet. the slam was supposed to go down but it's still here and it's like walking through purgatory. it's like it's here but it isn't and i'm hurting to see how long it will last.))

      • Love! 1
    • you leave suddenly

      like a brick pulling out from beneath me

      didn't realize how this would feel

      i followed my life like i follow stories

      until i snapped back to reality

      at the very end of it

      and it's harder when pain hits

      all at once.


      i have grown used to you

      building me up,

      making me laugh

      when i couldn't breathe,

      you made that feeling better

      texts coming in a couple times a day

      even if i don't have the time to make my responses do

      much more than suck,


      didn't know how to fathom the way you would


      i wobble as my world


      like a jenga tower with

      one brick pulled out

      i did not realize how it would feel to be left

      reaching for something beyond your emptiness

      you made me feel tall

      beautiful, happy, loved

      and seen.

      did you intend to do that?


      should not have called this happiness mine because you gave it to


      all of this never could have happened if you hadn't

      built me up

      i wish i could have thanked you

      said something

      found true, constant words for what you mean


      i felt the void of your shape

      stable and aching

      unfillable by anything but what is past out the window

      wish something could take me back to memories

      that some days

      i just want to bury myself in

      rather than

      face a shaky present


      before we the part was final

      barely holding

      i became highly acquainted with memory


      i think love is not just noticing when something is there

      but feeling all the moments when

      it is gone

      because you meant something

      something i stood upon.


      This is for a lot of people, but part of this is about Cicada closing down.

      I know I haven't been posting long, but thank you Cicada for giving me a place to post my writing where people I don't even know can see it. I've sort of grown used to how wacky and creative this place is, and normal, physical life is orderly and rule-following and nothing like that.

      Before now, the only people who read my work was basically my mum. And the occasional interested relative or teacher. I know I'm not that important here, but it still feels good to read through the view numbers on my poems, and feel like someone has read my work. I was afraid to start posting when I signed up in February, but I wish I could have started posting sooner.

      @bluebird , @The Invincible Troodon, @WanderingMonster, thank you for liking my work (and if there's anyone I'm forgetting, thank you too). All the people who showed up as views and didn't like: thank you for reading it. Even if you didn't like it--even in spirit, rather than in digital reaction, the fact that you took the time to read it means something to me.

      I don't know if any of you care, but in case you do, I'm going to keep posting on the Cicada 3.0 website after I can't post here any longer (cicadamagarchive.home.blog) by the same username.

      • Like 3
      • Love! 1
    • This is really good! :)

    • 22 hours ago, thepensword said:

      @bluebird okay so just accept my discord friend request and i can add you. i'm thepensword there too


      thank you much

    • today is brought to you by the physical act of remembering.

      & remembering is a swandive from a cliff: you choose when to jump, or youre shoved, or the ground decides it's time & crumbles. but freefall is the shortest purgatory a living thing can experience & you might tell yourself this was a mistake, that hurtling into the expansive, apathetic blue of the sea would render you something ended. something breathless & floating. the headfirst weightlessness & regret & solid hope & wishing hard for what was always leaves a hole in your chest when nostalgia bites.

      then comes the water.

      the cold crashes into you like a freight train & you are something mournful. something wanting. grieve the past & things that were. honor them. important things will stick.

      you can make homes like you can make apples: from seed to sapling & maybe in a few years youve earned fruit, or a kind of belonging. a home is never more than a house plus memories. & this home may succumb to worms, or wood rot, or real estate, & you might package up remembering & leave it in your attic, but attics are made to be forgotten & rediscovered. this is its magic.

      learning how to remember is a little spellbinding thing & the first time you spiral: you loop & spin & widen & suddenly that attic is the most important thing you have ever tasted. remembering is roses, or at least tinted pink. never mind the worms. never mind the rot.

      this home lives in recollection, & souls, & the attics of new homes. 

      important things will stick.

      • Like 7
    • @bluebird okay so just accept my discord friend request and i can add you. i'm thepensword there too


    • @bluebird i'm gonna try and add you directly


    • they

      taught me how to snuff out

      the aching, glowing life i found in the way sun looks on clear water

      with laughing comments and rolls of eyes

      i have been embittered in realism forced upon me

      (as though reality was their to shape)

      a certain, soulless reality defined by false science

      limited to what we know in this moment

      (which is the idea of science, really)

      i was taught to be afraid to voice

      the magical way light dances on water

      clouds swoop across clear sky

      an infinite sample of the universe within meters

      of my feet

      in scattered rocks we take for granted

      but right now i am glowing inside, i swear

      and it makes me feel like that flat reality holds no limit on my words.


      • Like 2
    • Typo: title was meant to be "voices" and I went onto autopilot. Embittered was actually the title of something else I'm in the middle of writing.

      I can't figure out how to edit posts I've already written, so I'm stuck writing this in the comments section. Could someone help me on that?

    • sometimes when i read i can feel

      the voices riding

      over my own

      that's why, honestly

      i only read at night because even though i love reading

      my identity is fragile enough that someone else can

      overrun it.



      when you give me advice it's like an asteroid

      slamming into the fiery surface of my

      forming planet

      splashing another hole of lava


      where before there was cooling crust

      you embed

      a part of my new geology


      sometimes when you give me your opinion

      on my not-enoughness i collapse

      and everything i thought was true is

      no longer there anymore

      a tunnel of doubt

      maybe it's good for me but i just want to cool

      be stable always knowing and solid

      maybe that's wrong

      i don't know


      sometimes, on bad days

      one little comment changes everything

      but i don't blame you for using your voice

      if i get that right too

      i guess i'm willing to suffer for it


      sometimes, i know

      i'm mimicking, and i do it anyhow

      somewhat convinced that there are studies in psychology holding validation

      but this is conscious

      an easy way to earn your love

      a shameful habit i cannot squash

      people are willing to accept me better,

      if i echo their voice; feeling sick inside as i watch myself

      than if i close my eyes

      wipe them away

      and stare at nothingness, trying to locate the lonely planet known as myself



      some other days i don't care

      a growing wall of solidity

      the positive comments excite me

      i love the way words rush out of me and maybe i'll collapse when another asteroid comes through,

      but i feel now

      as though i am

      watching the comets from down below on soft grass sprinkled with dew

      and the water

      it's just water

      those stars in the sky are just other stars

      doesn't have to mean anything about me

      but i can behold their sparkles in the night, this night

      i think

      and reach forth hopefully into oblivion



      • Like 1