Two Poems by Erika Bell

Waking Life Muted

Releasing insecurities between dark patches on dim streets.
Opening up broken machines.
Exposing galaxies below the dinner table, a convergence of unions,
Forests stained blue, walnuts untouched.
A static sound swims in circles awaiting an observer.
Existing as a sense of urgency.
Idea a dividend of influence.
Beauty’s resiliency challenged.

Following crosswalks to crowded caves, beige settings,
warm days in cold houses,
daily monologues,
assuming roles in unwritten novels.
Inhaling an understanding of cowardice, as resistance oxygenates blood.
Warm not boiling ; pinched.
Green, yet purple in the  right light.
Blind eyes drawing red in yellow rooms.
Observing only for memories, conversations at the next potluck.
Truth muted.

Immersed within your influence, as you are everyday.




I'm Tired

Preserve this.
Tight air in a collapsible chest,
Webbed mountains breathing in the same fiber of me (we).
Electric current cabinets, alive in a nightmare echoing down the street.
The worst aspects of American culture put on display for all to proclaim.
As seedlings grow tired of pushing through rocks.

Chest pains deflecting UV rays,
Anatomical questions cycling to work,
An image of your own dismay burning into your eyelids.
An ash tray that’s overflowing, and screaming for your attention.

Daily to do lists mock any idea of freedom,
A “Congratulations!” for your inability to relax.
Productivity! Productivity! (Machine! Machine!)
Grow weary and frail in the wreckage of patience, as it dances out of reach.

Chaos a stipulation of consciousness.
Knowing not why, nor when, yet sometimes how.
A mouse with a lurking predator.
Soul torn sheep who have begun to shed their own skins.


This existence is beyond me.






Erika Bell is a brown woman who feels, thinks, fights, and creates. She currently resides in Oakland, California, and has been drawing inspirations from that. She is an artist of different mediums, and she looks forward to growing and sharing her work with others.