CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF OUTSIDE MEN

Amilcar Sanatan

We, the People of the Republic of Outside Men, observers of Nine Commandments, in Order to form a more perfect Union with another man’s wife, establish Just-us, insure domestic Bacchanal, provide for the common sense, promote the general Happiness and secure the Blessings of No One But Ourselves and our Prosperity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Republic of Outside Men.
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Gangster Paradise

Lisa-Anne Julien

I sure if I tell Mr and Mrs Honeyblossom ‘bout the time I find my mother hangin, them go think she swayin nice and easy from a hog mango tree in we front yard. In they mind, they seeing the cool Caribbean breeze causin the leaves — or as Mr Bethelmy, my English teacher at St Antony’s Junior Secondary used to say — the foliage, to brush she dark skin and get tangle up in she afro. 

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Two Poems

Summer Edward

Gossip, from Albion Street 

‘Gossip’ from the Old English godsibb, from God and sibb, meaning ‘relative.’ A godsibb was a godmother, godfather or sponsor; literally someone ‘related to one in God.’ In Middle English the term godsibb came to mean ‘any familiar acquaintance’, especially women invited to attend a birth. Later, during the sixteenth century the term changed to ‘gossip’ and took on the meaning of a person, mostly a woman, attending a birth, but also delighting in idle talk.
—Monica-Maria Stapelberg

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Concerning Bucks and Bacchanal

Kei Miller

It was two weeks after Carnival was done and dusted away that the buck appeared. And I think that was bad manners. Or at least bad timing. But maybe good timing and manners is not something to be expected of ghoulish beings. The point is, Carnival was done and people say life had already come back to normal. Everything had come back, including the Christians who had gone to Tobago to hide out, and including Trinidad itself that had gone wherever it is that entire countries go – cause sometimes it could feel like that, like the island itself had just packed up and gone along with the Christians, and along with good behaviour, gone off somewhere to hunker down and keep safe during the Carnival week.

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Three Strikes

Maelynn Seymour-Major

I am sitting
having coffee
across from a man
who says

You’re lucky
to be from Barbados:                                                           strike one

The Bahamas
I gently correct                                                          

To swim in the sea 
whenever you want 
to eat fresh seafood
to live in such a tropical paradise
it must be like vacation every day:                                    strike two

He says this with excitement
as he imagines that if this coffee-date goes well
he will spend summers with me
running along the shore 
holding hands
heads thrown back as we laugh 
at some unknown joke

I think if this date goes well
and he makes it to home
meets my mother
who will have him hang curtains 
in her family room because of his height

He will watch the news
with my father 
hear the litany of jooking
shooting raping 
and wonder where is that story sold

He will come eat conch salad 
and truth be told
he has already said he is not culinarily adventurous
so he won’t like it
and I won’t like that:                             strike three, imagined but no less real. 

Maelynn began writing poetry about the flowers in her grammy’s garden. Her poetry is still heavily influenced by nature, but she also writes about Caribbean and/or Black experiences of love. Maelynn has an MA in Poetic Practice from Royal Holloway, University of London. She has taught Creative Writing at the University of The Bahamas as an Adjunct Lecturer. She experiments with book-arts, is an avid reader, and loves her dog Violet. 

Nausea & Nostalgia

Jessica Knight

Mek me tell unu a ting or dozen bout naming. Plenty Jamaican people dem know di first time dem get name it be one Christen-time name, when dem done born, so dat di official birth certificate get to certify di good intention ah di baby mada (and fada if di baby be blessed). Next, baby grow up and get one living-time name dat stick wid dem until dem done dead-off. Come funeral-time and is customary to return to dem dere Christening-time name fi di funeral pamphlet, and fi di death certificate.

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