Featured Poetry Brothel Poets
Stand up. Sit in. Speak up. Listen in. Join up.
The Poetry Brothel features different poets with each series. Some performers are new to the brothel and others are veterans. In this way, the community continues to thrive by providing both beginning and experienced poets a consistent platform to sharpen their skills and express themselves to a supportive live audiences.
Trina Ortega is the managing editor of Mountain Flyer magazine and the founding editor of Carbondale’s The Sopris Sun. Whether in prose or verse, Trina loves to tell the stories that connect us as humans. And poetry, specifically, has given meaning to the question: What is life all about anyway?
What else is there but to lie
on the golden brown pine
into the lush
fluorescent moss. Run
through the loose, forgiving
Trace the grooves
of the chiseled juniper. Feel
sorrow and survival
in its feathered gray
bark. Interlace your fingers
with its woody knuckles.
Touch your lips
to its bones.
as if it is both
a first and familiar
I write poetry to understand myself. I write because in this life there can be immense pain, and through that pain and out of that pain, if you allow yourself to feel it, arises flawless beauty–the rain and the rainbows. Every time I write a poem I feel a little freer.
The Moon is Broken
Under the covers I hide from my son
until he finds me, says it’s his turn
disappears under the flannel sheets that are borrowed.
When I tell him I have something important
to say, he says, “ting” and “love you” because we
have played this game over and over, my way
of getting his heart to confess.
When he was born his eyes were furrowed
neck scrunched, I wasn’t sure
he was really mine.
9 days overdue and 9 pounds small, burrowed
into my breast moments after my hands brought
him from the water. Moments before the midwife
When he looks at the moon half full
He says, “the moon is broken”
And I believe him.
Mothers carry the weight of their children
on their backs, in the crook of arms, nestled
deep in the back of their necks.
Mothers alone carry more. Mother and Father.
Soft as the light that touches the skin at the bottom
of the bath, hard as cobblestone on the streets
of Maine. Sometimes my children break
my heart. Crack it open, an egg
on iron, see what I am made of, see if I can expand,
hold more. Be more.
Every morning they make me coffee,
the good kind, pour over, with cream and sugar.
We are not alone. I am never alone. But I feel
lonely anyway. I feel tired with the hope in their eyes
the wishes on their cheeks, their want. They fill and
empty my glass.
Sometimes the moon looks broken, and sometimes
we just can’t see it all, the dark and the light.
Natalie Rae Fuller
I write poetry to release internal voices. I give a voice to frustration, joy, liberation, anger, denial, renewal… emotions I find in myself and assist them in moving through.
On The Bus
Molten coals sifted
The horizon’s seam tween
golden threads through silk
The fear to see the self reflected
in black oil, mixed with blood.
An ugly scene if I ever did see one
Never wanted to be one,
Detergent fills my nostrils and mouth
standing on aisle 7
Burnt in my mouth, washed out
with a cacophony
of foul words
Poetry (to me), more than the eyes, is a window to the soul. It allows a greater introspection than would normally be possible, and aids in the pursuit of finding what’s true.
As a young girl, I wrote poetry because it was the only thing that provided me with a sense of direction. As I grew older, poetry not only became my direction, but my future, my healer, and my chance at rebirth. The catharsis of pouring my heart out from the page to the stage lifted me to a level of empowerment and honesty that I never thought I could possibly experience. That was when I knew that poetry had become my life and my identity. I write poetry so I can bask in the beauty of vulnerability. I write poetry because the rawness cuts away the superficial facade that life is draped with, even if for just a second. I write poetry to show others that truth can destroy, but it is also the best teacher and healer. I don’t just write poetry for me anymore, I write poetry for all the bright-eyed youth, the exhausted souls, for those who don’t know who they are anymore. I spill my truth, so that others may find theirs too.
I know how it feels.
To feel so numb inside that you cannot tell if your own heart is still beating.
To be sick of this everyday hollow-chested breathing.
You cannot rip out of your own skin fast enough.
The only escape from your thoughts is to crack open your skull, tilt your head downwards, and hope for the best.
Believe me, I know.
When your very own left brain is driving you insane,
Of course you will stop at nothing for a cure.
Some sweet release.
Something to transform “Hardly able to breathe” into “Comfortably sedated”.
Believe me, I know.
But in between my heaving chest and the cracks in my psyche,
Someone showed me,
That the sun still shines there.
The light can still touch me.
I can be illuminated even if it still hurts to breathe.
And there is not much of a difference between you and me.
So that means that even in darkness, we can still be freed.
You just have to understand that you are the sky, and everything else is just the weather.
And you could bleed sunlight if you wanted to.
Your life will not remain still.
You will find redemption.
You are the sun.
You are the sky.
It’s time to take back control of your clouds.
You could bleed sunlight if you wanted to.
But how many metaphors will it take to prove it to you?
Stay alive because you want to, not because people keep repeating that they need you.
You need to need yourself.
And you cannot let your power just rot on a shelf.
Crack open the sun and let it spill out your soul.
You could change the weather if you wanted to,
Kick out the rain clouds and replace them with rays of blinding light.
YOU COULD WIN THIS FIGHT
If you wanted to…
But that’s not something you need me to prove.
Stay alive my friends,
Because without you, there is no open sky.
Without you, there would be no more sunlight.