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faces of the night

Laila has lived,
myriad lives.

She has knelt like the monk and opened her heart to God.
She has been the laborer and the lost child.
She has been the servant and the served.
She has been blessed and she has been saved.
She looks into the heart of everyone.

Now, she holds an absent hand in her mind.

Now, she watches, the woman by the riverbank.
It rolls past.
Eternal stranger, she is granted freedom
to observe the faces of the night.

She gazes longingly into the sparkling eye of humanity.

            A boisterous stranger whoops and pounds a pint.
            A muscular, polished boy in tight yacht shorts zips a fancy satchel.
            A curvy blonde in a strapless maxi shouts,
            HE HAS A HUGE. HEAD!
            Her bun wiggles, and her earrings shimmy.

Packaged nicely, like an orchid in a ribbon,
Laila now weeps on tuscan leather couches at the drag club.

Neon light washes over her,
and a Celtic beat rollicks
through the raw brick and musty wood-clad interior.

Empty, her heart caves in on itself,
and, achieving new depths of sadness, collapses again.

Thus alleviated from the burdens of feeling,
she ignores the blackhole as one may gloss over,
among the infinite multiplicity of stars,
a single absentee.

    She is delicate and wild,
    and she shirks at the slightest touch.
    These blunt hands would crush her,
    as a careless child,
    trying to apprehend a butterfly,
    destroys its wings.

Thus alleviated from the burdens of self-pity,
she reawakens to a club unchanged.
Pop music, relegated by her consciousness to the status of vapid sonic haze,
reattains its clarity and resolution to become profound:

don’t let go / feel the music in you…

Her appetite for the quirk and character of life,
for the vivacity and ultrasaturated spectrum of humanity thus satiated,
she exits as quietly as she came in,
to be equally refreshed by the consonance and clarity of the deep blue air
as she was by the dissonance and clatter inside.

A+HRRA award summer 2023

The Summer 2023 Arts + Human Rights Research Award will be open to submissions this summer (approx. 14:51 UTC June 21 2023 - 06:50 UTC September 23rd 2023). The topic of the Summer 2023 A+HRRA is AI, Computer Logic, and Human Rights. 


th_Eroses, an arts publication, is awarding $100 for a work of artistic / literary research that addresses or concerns human rights in conjunction with this season's topic, AI, Computer Logic, and Human Rights. The term 'research' here is intended to indicate the process of creation, exploration, and discovery, rather than the compiling of archival facts and/or materials, although the compiling of archival facts and/or materials may be a part of the process of exploration and discovery, or a part of the process of shaping the path or direction of discovery. This is intended to be an open-ended premise, to support the range of work that may occur in artists' and writers' unique processes. 


From the UN: 


"What Are Human Rights? Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination."


Successful submissions may, but are not required to, focus on investigative, process-based exploration and material discovery. Successful submissions may couple rigorous (or subjective) analysis with documentation of investigative, process-based exploration and discovery. Submissions do not need to be factual; forms of literary fiction, subjective expression, abstraction, choreography, and/or non-narrative presentations will be considered as well. Submissions in all languages and media are welcomed. 


The goal of this award is to amplify artistic voices that inquisitively and critically approach the pressing issues of our time, to create a habitat where a unique form of creative journalism can thrive, and to provide th_Eroses readers with artistic / literary insights into key issues.


Please note: If your work is submitted and selected for the award, you consent to the publication of your submitted work by th_Eroses now and in the future. Not all submissions will win the award; there may be one submission chosen, or multiple submissions, or none of the submissions. Selected submissions will receive an email of acceptance and next steps. 


Please submit work to with "Entry: Arts + Human Rights Research Award" in the subject line.

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