Issuu on Google+


canTeen


Writing and photographs by seventh graders in Canteen Arts’ creative writing program, in partnership with StreetSquash, in Harlem, New York. To learn more about us, visit www.canteenmag.com and www.streetsquash.org. TEACHERS Lee Bob Black Garth Risk Hallberg Todd Zuniga Stephen Pierson Porochista Khakpour Mia Lipman J.J. Sulin James J. Williams III DESIGN Daniel Christensen J.J. Sulin Betsy Bell Sai Sriskandarajah With special thanks to StreetSquash’s Laura Lindstrom and Nereida Colon REACTIONS We’d be glad to hear from you at info@canteenmag.com. Canteen Arts Inc. 70 Washington St., Ste. 12H Brooklyn, NY 11201

cover by Divine Wing

© 2009 Canteen Arts, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Canteen Arts.

Printed by Finlay


canTeen WINTER 2008-2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS

6

PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES ARMANDO, ELHADJI, LAMONT, DARQUELL, OUMAR & MAWA

16

A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

24

POEMS

36

ANALOGIES

OUMAR, MARCUS & ANGEL

DIVINE, ELHADJI, LAMONT, TOSIN & OUMAR

NASEAN, MARCUS, WANDY, LAMONT, TOSIN & ARMANDO

48

STUDENTS

PHOTOGRAPHY ARMANDO (31, 35, 44) DARQUELL (19, 39) DIVINE (cover, 5, 6-7) ELHADJI (16-17) LAMONT (46-47) MARCUS (4, 12, 23, 24-25) MAWA (27) NASEAN (9) OUMAR (20, 28, 48) WANDY (34, 36-37, 52)


canTeen is produced by Canteen Arts, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are fully tax-deductible. To support education and the arts, please visit canteenmag.com/donate or email info@canteenmag.com. Canteen Arts wishes to thank the following organizations and individuals for their generous support: $20,000 The Porphyry Road Foundation $1,500 Nancy Stephens & Rick Rosenthal, in conjunction with the Rosenthal Family Foundation $750 and above Martha & Ilan Rzadkowolsky-Raoli $500 and above Kathy Hardman Nick Howard Jemma & Jim Walden $200 and above Gina Gionfriddo Elaine Lawrason Victoria Westhead $100 and above Michael Eisner Ruth Friendly Ruth Hayward Susan Morris Steve & Ilisa Rissman $50 and above Ruth Silverman Rachel Webber

MARCUS


5

DIVINE


DIVINE


PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES


PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES ARMANDO

8

ARMANDO

Thank you for selecting me as your Vice President. With me and President Darquell Covington in charge, we’ll make change. My fellow supportive and unsupportive Americans, we need change among this great country. The country is in danger so provocative it might chase us off the edge. Problems with the economy, problems with racism. But, most importantly, problems

with cranky schoolteachers. We need change among our schools, which means we need to work harder, do more homework, and behave better. Because we need to pay better attention in order to get more attention. But I promise you this is just the beginning. Thanks to Porochista Khakpour, all my friends, and the creator of PlayStation 3.


NASEAN


PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES ELHADJI

10

ELHADJI

My favorite Americans, I am glad to be your President. As President, I promise to make bathrooms cleaner. Have you seen the bathrooms in our schools? They are disgusting. Next, I will make asparagus illegal. It is bitter tasting and has a rank smell. One more thing I will do is to make it legal to download free music. So thanks again for electing me, Elhadji Mare, for President!


I want to thank my family for driving me here, and my cousin for supporting me. I’d like to thank Lee Bob Black and Garth Hallberg for being here and inspiring me to read and write. And I’d like to thank my Vice-President, Wandy Vantura. God bless America!

PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES

All the people who voted for me, I love ya very much. There are a lot of problems in the world. I will start by ending the war in Iraq. Then I will take away long school days.

11 LAMONT

LAMONT


MARCUS


First, I want to thank my running mate, Lamont Pitt, who was the 45th President of the United States. I also want to thank my agent, my beautiful wife Crystal, and my three kids, Alexis, Kyanna, and Daquan. And I want to thank America. Barack Obama did great as President, Lamont Pitt did greater, and Marcus Colon was magnificent. And I’ll do the best. As your 48th President, I’ll lower taxes and get our troops out of Iraq again. Because, as you all

know, Armando Adonis, during his time as President, put our troops back in Iraq after Obama got them out. Even better, I’ll take the word “war” out of the U.S.’s dictionary. For global warming, I’ll make it a law to have energy-efficient lightbulbs and to not use too much hot water. I’ll also knock down every nuclear power plant in the U.S. And I’ll visit schools every week and have fundraisers for the homeless, poor, sick, and injured. Thank you for voting, and God bless America. Good night.

PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES

Good people of America, thank you for electing me your 48th President.

13 DARQUELL

DARQUELL


PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES OUMAR

14

OUMAR

Hello seniors, young, and toddlers. My name is Oumar Traore, and as you may know, I am your elected President. One point that has to be ceased is the drama back and forth between Iraq and America. Killing our own kind is killing ourselves. We celebrate Veterans Day in honor of our soldiers that died in order to get us what we wanted. You people elected me as President because you know what you wanted and why. First and foremost, you will get a change.

able to make school easy for them by giving them a good school lunch, and I will discuss this with my Vice President, Elhadji Mare. I want to thank my family and the voters— nothing comes first before you. I also want to thank my security guard, Divine Wing, and my two butlers, Lee Bob Black and Garth Hallberg. Together we will see change. May goodness be in you. May God bless America!

As for our youths, lunch is what gets them down because it’s disgusting. We should be


I’m going to talk about violence and games that deal with violence. Children should not be playing violent games because there are some children who use these types of things on the street and get themselves killed. I promise to put a stop to this as your President. Thank you!

PRESIDENTIAL ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES

Wat up my fellow people! I want to say thanks to my Mother, Father, sisters, brothers, and all my supporters for electing me as your President.

15    MAWA

MAWA


ELHADJI


A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: FICTION INSPIRED BY IMAGES


A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS OUMAR

18

OUMAR THE MARCH TO A BETTER PLACE My family and I spent years in a country named Saratoga, located in the West Pacific. The country was brutally hit by tornadoes and other natural disasters. We were living on the streets that were most affected. We wrote a letter to our governor, Steve H. Johnson, informing him of what we were going through. He never responded. Since our needs were being ignored, we thought that we should gather our belongings and get on the road. We left with a couple of family members, and friends that were in the same predicament. We didn’t have transportation, so we walked for days and maybe even weeks. What an exhausting trip! Fortunately, we brought enough food and water. At last we ended our trip on the East Pacific coast, which I heard was a better place. We looked around and clapped for ourselves—a job well done.


OUMAR

19

DARQUELL A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS


MARCUS

20

OUMAR

A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS


A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

Explosion, Explosion Danger, Danger Fire, Fire Burn, Burn Pain, Pain Like when I got smacked once. All of a sudden I feel cold and everything goes black. I see my dad, I see my former pets, and I cry tears of sorrow. My heart is heavy with sadness.

21 MARCUS

MARCUS


A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS ANGEL

22

ANGEL This is my palace. I built it with some plastics, some rope, and sticks. This is my empire from the middle of nowhere in Japan. But I have a problem with terrorists who hide in my empire. I am troubled by the fact that there are killers in my palace. I am going to kill the terrorists who are hiding. They are going to die by my summoning.


ANGEL

23

MARCUS A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS


MARCUS


POEMS


DIVINE POEM FOR

POEMS

MY MOTHER

DIVINE

26

Here you are, standing right in front of me. I can see your deep brown eyes As they brighten with joy. I can smile with joy knowing that I came from you. That’s why I respect you and care that you love me. I will always be your child.


MAWA


OUMAR


ELHADJI A POEM ABOUT MECCA

Mecca is a place where You pray and worship Allah.

A husband can go, Or a wife.

29

If you’re a man, Your name becomes Elhadji.

ELHADJI

It’s a part of every Muslim’s life.

POEMS

As a Muslim, you Have to go to Mecca.

My mom calls Me Paji.


LAMONT POEM FOR

POEMS

MY MOTHER

LAMONT

30

Mom, your eyes are as beautiful as the sky. Every time you go out with your friends and you dress beautifully, it brings out your smile. I like the way you cook. The way you cook makes me want to be a chef and travel around the world.


LAMONT

31

ARMANDO POEMS


TOSIN POEM FOR

POEMS

MY FRIEND HAWA

   TOSIN

32

I like the way you make me laugh, I like the way your imitate people, I like your braids and how they curl, I like the way you think.


OUMAR POEM FOR MY MOTHER

33   MARCUS

Mom you have a touch, a touch so soft it reminds me of a teddy bear when I hug you.

POEMS

Mom you have a sound, a sound that lights up my morning.


34

WANDY


35

ARMANDO


WANDY


ANALOGIES


NASEAN My hands are as quick as a cheetah.

ANALOGIES

My heart is as pure as water.

NASEAN

38

My eyes are imperfect like the night of a volcano’s eruption. I’m as strong as a tsunami.


DARQUELL


MARCUS

My heart is yours to keep. If you were gone, I would weep. The price of your love is too large to pay money. Your voice is as sweet as a honey.

40

My mom is a marvelous swan in the sky of my heart. Your care makes my heart so tender, it makes a mark.

MARCUS

ANALOGIES

Her hair is soft black silk in the river of my love. She sparkles like the stars above.

Your face is like a placid lake. It reflects everything I care about.


WANDY My eyes are as blue as the ocean.

My mom is as cute as a flower.

41 WANDY

My brain is as fat as a pig.

ANALOGIES

My heart is as big as a turkey.


LAMONT

My brain is as big as God.

ANALOGIES

My heart is as fast as a hungry tiger.

  LAMONT

42

My hair is as soft as a cotton ball.


TOSIN

My heart is loud like my music.

ANALOGIES

My brain works harder than a computer.

   TOSIN

43


ARMANDO


ARMANDO I am as complicated as the swan in the center of Mr. Beard’s colorful painting.

My hair gets as puffy as the bottom half of Abraham Lincoln’s beard.

45 ARMANDO

The class is as crowded as dollar bills in the bank.

ANALOGIES

As patient as a penny on a Times Square subway platform.


LAMONT


OUMAR

STUDENTS


STUDENTS

Angel Fernandez likes very loud music.

49

Armando Adonis wishes he were an ant so he could walk around naked.

Darquell Covington is afraid of love, listens to country music, wants to be a professional football player, a real estate agent, and later will become President of the USA.


Lamont Pitt loves the earth when spring has just begun.

STUDENTS

Divine Wing as a little person did not accept any disrespect towards his Teletubbie doll friends.

Elhadji Mare wakes up early in the morning watching SpongeBob SquarePants in his pajamas. He knows he is too old to be doing this.

50

Marcus Colon danced like Elvis when he was little.

Mawa Ballo is from Côte d’Ivoire, and everything makes her laugh.


Oumar Traore was born with neat penmanship. He doesn’t know how, and he doesn’t know why.

STUDENTS

Nasean Catron has a fear of clowns, and also fears that one day he will get jumped by raccoons.

51

Ronnie Green one time put Vix in his hair.

Tosin Elegba loves to play the WWE video game, and has a tooth that came out of nowhere.

Wandy Vantura loves plantains from the Dominican Republic.


WANDY



canTeen: Youth on the Page: Writing and Art by Seventh Graders (issue 1).