I loved him with the immediacy of a summer storm. Our spheres of being merged in an exchange of feeling. In this moment of enigmatic experience, I was forced to reckon with a border of philosophy — or more like the hearth of it. Life unconsciously enables us with a…


Wrapped in your star-lit remnants,

I feel the dream is reality.

Beams burst through the room.

Oxytocin seizes the ruins of my mind.

My skin is touched;

The wooden headboard is warm.

Both of us feel the morning star —

Oh so lucky to be enlightened.

I kiss his hill-rounded shoulder.

I tell him the other side is lovely.

“yeah” spoken with a delayed “yeah.”

Waking up isn’t always easy.

I ride on his motorcycle.

Sunburst sheets elapse in the sky.

We ride this summer momentum.

Thankfully, only the now is tangible.


As two slate gray clouds glided across the sunset sky, waves of golden rays protruded from behind the closest cloud; the lower clouds and ground were then wrapped in warm crème hues — bringing sweet splendor to the realm. The creatures of the area escaped their darkening homes to rejoice…


Blood Moon — 5/26/21

The blood moon arose from the water.

We smiled,

As if watching a flower bloom.

We entered a time of awakened fullness.

Sincere was the glee,

In the soft crash of waves,

In entering the sea unclothed,

In the way he watched you revel in the moment.

Radiant is our affection.

Our brotherly friendship

Is higher than the moon and sun.

Celestial bodies reflect our lights of Life.

Ears and hearts pierced.

Joy runs hot on our chests.

Spontaneity and fragility,

Each embrace reveals more of our kindred flames.


The Walking Dead follows the narratives of people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world after a ruinous pandemic outbreak. The Walking Dead erodes the stereotypical notion of human nature and points viewers in the direction of seeing human nature as composed of a vast range of human variations in…


As Camus once stated, the rebel is the one who values one’s integrity and places themselves before death to signal the need of better standards for other people (The Rebel, 16). Taking Roman torture, Christ’s masochistic smile was bright. He stood against his society’s “objective” morality. Jupiter and the Jewish…


Photo by my mom, Shannon McDaniel

Like cherry blossoms in the gray of late winter,

She blooms free and bright.

By the cherry blossom tree, she rests.

As if seized by the wind, she arises.

The day is overcast and washed out in gray hues.

Her spirit contrasts so dazzling

In color against the gloom present.

Such a relief is her life.

In her face, the current landscape is reflected.

A strain of pain runs across her face

As a soft smile chases close behind.

In distraught motion, she still finds humor, peace.

Her silk wrap wafts around during her dance.

The rain starts to fall near the stream.

Her dress becomes drenched and heavier,

But this does not deter her dance.


We were listening to the song, Please Don’t Go. My best friend jokingly remixed lyrics of the song to say, “when I wake up tomorrow, will you still be queer?” Our other friends were confused at the joke, but it struck me early on. I chuckled and looked at the…


*Cheat-Sheet Arguments at the end*

It has come to my attention as a queer follower of Jesus that many Christians do not agree with homosexuality as a valid phenomenon. As a person raised in a Southern Baptist church, I know how strongly people feel about this topic of discussion. Don’t…

J. Austin McDaniel

My writing interests are wide. Throughout each piece, I aim at pointing each reader in a direction that critically engages them and aesthetically pleases them.

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