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1. Tommy W. Age 34 Regent Square.......2b Geez Oh Man, Stillers For Life!

and where you and I first changed a city from mine to ours.

8. Molly O. Age 20 Oakland.......................3b

106. Billy E. Age 25 Bloomfield..................2a

Pittsburgh is where I came to grow and on that journey it became my home.

Topographical Fractured by rivers, ravines United by love

101. Leah P. Age 24 Jersey......................3a Pittsburgh: A Haiku Riding the Incline Pierogies on Every Street City of Bridges 128. Gina R................................................2b Where do Streetlamps Cry! I can barely taste the place in which I left my heart. The lingering smell of walking down your street and inhaling as I pass all the laundry vents, mixing with the sweat of the summer nights air. I would get a rush of that distant feeling and break the cement skyscrapers as I bounded, for places that felt like home to my body. I sat on the distant ledge, staring at the mix of city and rolling hills, and fantasized fondly of where they met and how they must dream of each other. As I dream of you.

316. Taylor G. Age 23 North Side................2b Pittsburgh looks like a thousand gems at night through the Fort Pitt tunnel smells like home sounds like music tastes like korean pancakes form the strip feels like warm blankets

I still meet people there. Some blind dates stood there waiting to find out what the person would look like. They did fall in love and marry. So, if the Kaufmann’s clock could talk it would have thousands of words to tell us, to have a picture. 7. Dave S. Age 57 Wexford.......................2a

37. Elliot S. Age 24 Troy Hill.......................2a 21. Michelle B. Age 27 Brookline...............2b Pittsburgh is a hidden city gem 25. Katie S. Age 27 Mt. Oliver....................2b Pittsburgh The grey gritty heaviness becomes you Drags you as you navigate its streets You twist, and turn, and climb your way through an ever-changing landscape ever-changing faces, races that greet you on your way 26. Ciarán, O’C. Age 32 Forest Hills..........3b Peter Piper, pickled peppers Pirates, Penguins, PNC Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania People, Pride, Poetry Go Steelers! 29. Briar S. Age 21 Wilkinsburg.................2b Pittsburgh never had an ego-Alright, that’s a lie. We don’t anymore, though-we have selves, communities, pride, way too much football, and those gawd-awful UPMC letters on our Steel Building. Sometimes we can be insular, holed up together in the valleys of the plateau --But hey, we’re re-localizing. If you’re not sure why that’s cool, yinz is ignrt.

I’ve left Pittsburgh more times than I can count, and each time, I think, that’s it. I’m never frickin’ coming back to this sprawling mess. And each time, I do. 22. Stephanie D. Age 22 Bethel Park..........4b Pittsburgh sounds like the laughter of students on a playground, the honking of car horns on the Ft. Pitt bridge, the slow sad notes of a street musician late at night, and the quiet, calm breeze of the wind in the trees at Schenley.

From steel mills and train yards to health care and computers, Pittsburgh is evolving. 322. Hannah S. Age 10 North Lima, OH...2b Pittsburgh looks like flowers smells like candy sounds like a city tastes like air feels like fluff. 102. Jen M. Age 27 East Liberty...............3a Chicken telephone wire pot hole streets, sunset hilltops sludge of melted snow 107. Michelle A. Age 25 Bloomfield..........3a

41. Erin M. Age 23 Greenfield....................4b Pittsburgh is home because I didn’t have to grow up here. I imagine growing up here wouldn’t be so bad but the word home is kinda sour, like the crust of curdled milk hugging the bottom of a jug after weeks of being unable or unwilling to take out the trash. Pittsburgh is home because it isn’t.

Pittsburgh Grit grime home go away come back. home always. 108. Matt S. Age 30 Troy Hill.....................2b Pittsburgh’s Streets Where the ghosts of my ancestors mingle with Carnegie and Frick

310. Sullivan B. Age 8 Mt. Lebanon..........2b

152. Joseph M. Age 63 Squirrel Hill..........3b

42. Lizzee S. Age 24 Bloomfield.................3a

317. Molly D. Age 9 Mt. Lebanon..............1b

Pittsburgh looks like a rectangle smells like hot dogs sounds like awesome tastes like pizza feels like cement

Trees & hills, rivers & squirrels, home

Blossoming baby gurls in Bloomfield Girls with legs like trees in Oakland, orange & strong Unleashing their dark side on the South Side Shady girls bouge-in’ it up in Shadyside, J Crew, Rolex Girls look like guys in Lawrenceville And in the S’Lib, they slubbin’ & rubbin’ But where is the 6119? No longer a place to be-but a place to be paid.

Pittsburgh looks like buildings smells like gas sounds like locusts tastes like moe’s feels like home

9. Chelsea S. Age 23 Mt. Washington.......2b Incline Ride! See all the buildings. 11. Lilyiin Age 23 Squirrel Hill....................3a French fries on salads 123. Carolyn H-S. Age 23 Savannah, GA.2b So I don’t live here. The less I come back, the more I like it. 16. Chris W. Age 32 Oakland...................2b

308. Franklin B. Age 3 Mt. Lebanon..........2b Pittsburgh looks like the Children’s Museum smells like nothing sounds like ducks tastes like pizza feels like the air 30. Daniel W. Age 23 Wilkinsburg..............4a

43. Mary H. Age 55 Edgewood....................4a Pittsburgh in the twilight in the dust in the grit, in the steel, in the sweat the pumping of steel fingers, iron legs Pittsburgh in the twilight, in the dust 31. Alex K. Age 25 Lawrenceville...............2a

Old Buildings Steel Shadow Three Rivers 304. Peter Age 7 Sewickley......................1b

33. Pete S. Age 30-something Bloomfield.3b

Pittsburgh looks like big smells like hamburgers sounds like busy tastes like pizza feels like water

Trashy in the most beautiful ways n@ Pittsburgh you are growing

On the North Shore behind the Science Center just past the watersteps there is a quiet little spot where the river crashes and the boats speed by and the skyline sparkles and the red of the inclines cuts through the green of Mt. Washington across the water on a bright summer day

broken steps, full hearts bloom into vacant lot weeds finches teach their young to swoop from cluttered rowhouse gutters 142. Cheri G. Age 53 McMurray, PA..........1b Pittsburgh is stealing my children. 114. Maeve H. Age 18 Bloomfield..............3a

309. Matthew S. Age 14 Mt. Lebanon........2b Pittsburgh smells like a jungle surprise. Fried potatoes and wet bicycles. Pittsburgh is my birthday party with fire and streamers and cider Pittsburgh wakes me up in the morning.

17. Stephanie B. Age 29 Point Breeze......1b

When I moved here, I would watch the train go by On Pennwood Avenue and imagine that I was on the train Looking out and saying, I used to live here But I’m still here.

109. Carrie G. Age 31 Troy Hill..................2b

34. Sarah L. Age 24 Northside..................2b Pittsburgh Is Pittsburgh is like an arm around your waist, a lukewarm beer on a tarpaper roof and a postcard to your grandma. 35. Evan B. Polish Hill...............................2b At the exact second my chest ached as I tried to remember her… and what she felt like… the unexpected 4am train blew its whistle [and it was alright.]

Pittsburgh looks like bridges smells like food sounds like cars tastes like pizza feels like winter 45. Mark Mt. Oliver......................................3b Friendship 54C Trying to get to Penn Ave, 45 minutes later-we’re in Mt. Oliver. 50. Lois C. 87 Springdale............................2b Meet Me Under The Kaufmann’s Clock If Kaufmann’s clock could talk, it would tell thousands of stories of people who met under it. Many people loved to arrange lunch with former classmates and we met under the clock on the corner of the department store in Pittsburgh. I met people there for years. I am glad to say

Hot in the summer Just freezing in the winter But it’s always home. 300. Nathan R. Age 4 New Kensington.....3a Pittsburgh looks like big buildings smells like roses sounds like dad tastes like pizza feels like hot 116. Les G. Age 28 East Liberty................3a Where three rivers meet Where a stairway can pass as a street Behind on trends, but on the beat A connected community Where you feel complete. 20. Ryan R. Age 31 Bloomfield.................3b Smells like a pizza Tastes like a Dog.


Copyright c 2013 by Literary Arts Boom Published by Laboratory Publishing Company 126. Anonymous........................................2a Kids on the bridge Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, man PBR in both hands man Beautiful rivers

you want to feel like the darkness is your blanket And then there’s the tears you shed As you take steps away from this Atlantis of the MidWest Moving to a world that’s a little drier and a little sadder.

120. A.P. Age 51 Highland Park.................3a 301. Anonymous..........................................2b Provincial Provincial-ivi Provincial-eski Provincial-owitz O’Provincial Yellow Orange Blue and now green On the cusp of Being cosmopolitan 321. Faith S. Mt. Lebanon........................2b Pittsburgh looks like the most beautiful city in the world smells like flowers, greens, and incense sounds like birds and bells tastes like my favorite casserole feels like home. 15. Colleen Y. Age 33 Rochester, Beaver County........................................................2b I see the road we want up there, over there, down there. Cross another bridge, through another tunnel the road is--oh! missed the exit. Across the bridge again, circles larger, There! Now! No! Crossing that damn bridge, into the circle. Calm down, Mom, it’s not that bad! Once, twice, three times around. Finally! The right road! Shimmering and shining, Downtown beckons.

Pittsburgh looks like black and yellow smells like food sounds like cars tastes like roses feels like a city. 155. Renee R. Age 49 Manchester..............1b Red tailed hawk stares me down from miss jackies fence. diabetes took her legs (miss jackie that is) but it didn’t take her garden that’s the north side we persevere there is magic there if you just have the guts to stare down the hawk

Pittsburgh-Mystery Adventure-Diversity Arts-Innovation

Every writer has a city and you are my place, my land my siren song, my temple you are the door that opened my undiscovered self you are my mecca, my shangri la you are the Bodhisatwa, the pathway to Nirvana. You showed me how to take no prisoners, how to set myself aright. You taught me a new song and how to sing it. Every writer has a city and you are my place, my land.

In spring, hear the rain on the pane, In summer, take early-morning walks. In winter, watch from my window. In autumn, enjoy the cool breeze. 111. Nikki L. Age 21 Oakland.....................3b Pittsburgh is endless staircases, hiding adventures, overgrown secrets 144. Timothy D. Age 32 Drifter...................2b you can love the bridges of Pittsburgh riding as fast as you can down hill to sit in silent mood by the rivers, but dear god stay away from the locals 149. Rachel H. Age 41 Highland Park.......3a Pittsburgh began as a temporary stop it became where we live and becomes where I’m from 151. Kip P. Squirrel Hill...............................3a There is so much water in Pittsburgh There’s the rivers, the Ohio and the ones with the long names that are impossible to spell Each complete with a beach Like a seaside resort, with more two-headed fish and pollution And then there’s the rain Thunderstorms year round as you watch your dog chase lightning And curl up with a book and candles Because even though the powers on you,

This crowd-sourced collection of black and gold poems was gathered by Literary Arts Boom throughout the summer of 2013 at various events, including the WYEP Summer Music Festival, July’s Unblurred gallery crawl, and the Mini Maker Faire. Pittsburgh Poems showcases improvised and unrevised poetry by kids and adults from in and around the city -- including born-and-raised Pittsburghers as well as transplants and visitors. It’s a reflection on place and a celebration of the words that arise when we spontaneously put pen to paper. Special thanks to Stephanie Brea for inspiring the project, prompting people to participate, and convening our teen editorial board. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Kamyah Barry, Carrie Mannino, and Maia Rosenfeld for taking the time to read and reflect on the 100+ poems we amassed in order to select a great mix for this anthology. This project was supported by a grant from the Grable Foundation www.literaryartsboom.org

Seventy-three wins Pirates standing in league .507

Saturday mornings Tallis and kaputa Everyone says good shabbos Everyone

161. Amolya G. Age 10 Fox Chapel...........3a

Design and layout by Chase McBryde Editorial and design assistance by Paula Levin

47. Illa B. 73 Oakland..................................2b

117. Janette S. Age 40 Mckees Rocks........1b

Pittsburgh is noisy, crowded, and grimy.

Manufactured in the United States by Laboratory Publishing Company, a division of Literary Arts Boom.

158. Rozanne M. Age 58 North Versailles...4b

131. Dov Ber N. Age 30 Squirrel Hill........4b

133. Tatum B. Age 8 Bethel Park...............2b

5125 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15224

140. Anonymous..........................................4a When I die, I do not care what happens to my body. I would just like to have somebody think of me, once in a while, as they walk through Frick Park in late October. 200. Brandon McC. Age 29 Polish Hill.........2b The city shines out across the water like promise itself, a flaming white love letter to work-worn hands, a cannon-fired kiss aimed at young dreamers, and I say to it, “I love you too, Pittsburgh.” 318. Emily D. Age 12 Mt. Lebanon..............2b Pittsburgh looks like endless winding streets cramped with cars smells like french fries wafting out of the tailgater’s cars. sounds like cars vrooming, people talking, stadiums cheering tastes like coleslaw and french fry hamburgers feels like home

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Pittsburgh Poems - Summer 2013