Here, You Will Find... Poetry
Armani Harris ! Practicality My Judge, Emotions My Jury
Kaillif Ammen ! Belmont Towers
Shaondell Black ! Blizzard Heat,
Taylor Alcantar ! Untitled
Karia James ! Two Photographs
Edward Green ! Polygonal
Diana Macias ! Graffiti
Armani Harris ! Words
Karlita Wililams ! Soldier Field !
Belmont Towers Twenty plus stories of old, degrading wall and floor, blocks away from where I used to go to school, and not that much farther from where I went later; the place where I spent more of my life in than anywhere else, the place where I met many of the people I still know today, where the volume on the streets stayed the same day and night, I never really truly enjoyed it until it was gone. I lived on the 5th floor of a high-rise apartment building that had obviously been through rough times. I lived in a pretty calm area where I was close enough to the ground to hear the CTA buses call out their final destinations.
If I stepped outside and turned left, I’d only be just a couple of blocks away from the beach. If I turned right, I would be mere yards away from a Walgreens. If I walked a couple of feet away I’d see my preschool. If I walked a couple more blocks I’d see my elementary school. If I walked a number of blocks further I’d see my middle school. I can still remember how freaked I was walking past many of the stores on this street. Dark places with open windows and exotic things displayed inside, ranging from weird novelty toys to much weirder lingerie. It was a place I never dared walk past alone at a young age.
Sparta Gyros. This place has long since closed, but it was the first time I was every introduced to the magnificence of a grilled cheese sandwich. I never was able to pronounce that name when I was small. Was it jai-ros? Was it gee ros? I still remember always begging my mother to eat there. Weirdly enough, I got a stomach ache the last time I ever went there, which made me question my standards of quality burger joints. But when I go back inside the building, this is where most of my childhood memories happen, whether alone, or with the many friends that I made who also lived in the apartment. My apartment was small, but it was a childâ€™s dream. Sure, every time you went to bed there was bound to be cop cars ringing to keep you up at night or a car swerving off somewhere.
During the day, I was in heaven. My room is where I spent hours over days over weeks over months over years playing as many video games as I possibly could. We had a huge TV and every single huge console at the time, and I would call up all my friends and we would basically be traveling through our own apartments, hanging around our own places for an equal amount of time. And when we were done, we would sit on the carpeted hallways of our building playing on our Nintendo DSs. My building was probably the one outstanding part of my neighborhood that I will always remember. Sadly, is gone now. I live elsewhere; a larger place with more space. I have to admit, my old home was really small and a bit uncomfortable, but now Iâ€™m here. I live without the old friends I always used to hang out with.
I live without the strange comfort of the loudness of the streets and small crowds. I live without the ability to be able to look farther than everyone else at street level. I live somewhere it just can?t be the same.
Practicality My Judge, Emotions My Jury
Let me read to you the writing hidden under the surface of my words Of the letters left unspoken at the back of my throat Like acid choking me with emotions I canâ€™t control Let me weave together story lines of events that never happened And thoughts that grew dust Questions that died from regret and inaction Pent up sighs of disappointment creating pictures on frosty windowpanes Watching silently as flames of passion untended die down into coals of wishes left unfulfilled And as the first cool wind of regret leaves shivers racing down my spine Through and into cracks of opportunities untried A labyrinth of thoughts is held inside my mind An ocean of emotion is held inside my heart Struggling to survive in a world Where practicality and reason are judge and jury On one hand lays a newborn dreamer
A small and innocent creature Dreaming with a capacity unimagined Protected from the meaning of strife Surrounded by simple joys And bright emotions On the other is a man hardened by life A damaged soul of a man who has only known steel Of bruises painted red, purple and black Lost in despair, never knowing hope Crushed by reality In a world the other side will never have to know I could spend hours conceiving a way for you to understand my meaning But I would lose emotion in the attempt It is not my way to tell you but show you What I feel in my heart All your words Iâ€™ve let in I donâ€™t have the skill to use a brush to make a painting But I was shown a way to weave these words And with my hands I write.Where practicality and reason are judge and jury
When I finally managed to slide my key into my front door and pushed it open I didn’t feel the usual familiar comfort and safe warm fuzzy feeling that the too-big, too pretty, too expensive house my father bought for us usually oozed. I was so sick with the gnawing confusion that seemed to be eating me inside out, I just threw my things on the ground with little thought at all, or at least tried not to think at all. Muttering obscenities to myself I walked to my sunny, shiny kitchen and pulled a box of cheerios down from a high wooden cabinet. My energy had seeped out of my body like air from a falling hot air balloon with every step I took home from school. By the time I managed the mile home I was so used up I almost didn't take the time to pour milk into my bowl which I lazily retrieved. I mustered a little bit of willpower from some reserve I didn't even know I had, to grab a spoon from the cutlery drawer only to notice as I sat down that it was a fork. I stared at the fork with disbelief. I stared at it like it had done something horrible to me and just now whispered about it in my ear for its own satisfaction. You have got to be kidding me, I thought furiously. I began using it to catch clumps of cheerios from my bowl, milk escaping through the metal gaps, and shovel (or I guess fork them) into my mouth. I grinned with complete triumph. “Go to hell Fork,” I actually said out loud.
Wait....What? Slowly my mind began to comprehend I was being completely weird and unjust. I sat the fork down on the table in front of me, so that it pointed down, and apologized. "Look, I didn't mean it. I'm just really stressed out right now okay? I didn’t mean to take it out on you" I twisted my head, stretching my tense neck muscles and tipped my chair dangerously backwards. Just thinking about my day, the past torturous 7 hours that my high school deems mandatory, made me want to dip into a mind numbing coma. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. "Mr. Fork -- may I call you that? Of course I can. You’re a fork and I’ve already lost my mind so might as well go all out with it, ya know?" I pushed away the cereal. My dad was always eating Cheerios, trying to get away with serving them for dinner, grinning away and saying that he’s just trying to keep my heart healthy, but I doubt they can do anything for a broken heart. I should have been pissed. The moment I saw Jake leaning against Lia Green’s locker and not mine I should have known. I had been warned but I guess I thought I was impervious to the misfortune that is Jake Fin. I had been warned that Jake Fin picked at his food and his girlfriends. It seemed every girl in school was just too willing to tell me to stay away from him, they knew from experience that he never gives girls warning before he moves on and forgets all about them. I guess I wasn’t dumped because we were never going out but
Jake had pulled out stops for me that the other girls at school watched like they were acts from God, proving that men have souls, and yes, they do care. I met his mother. I hated her, but that’s not the point. After one month, two months, three months, four, the girls stopped whispers and started glaring. I heard them and secretly I liked what they were saying. “I don’t see what’s so special about her,” they whispered. “Why did he change for her?” I was special. He picked me. We were happy. I thought so. Then Jake started walking Lia to class, ate lunch with Lia, whispered things in her ear that made her giggle and blush when they both walked right past me without a word or a glance. Why wasn’t I angry! I don’t know. I told myself it’s because I can’t be, because dad has drilled it in my head since I was eight: Don’t draw attention to yourself. Is that what Jake liked about me so much, that I was quiet? Was I boring? Did he know when he left I wouldn’t fight or cause a scene like some of his exgirlfriends, if he even has a reason for anything he did? Somewhere in the middle of that internal rant I found that my head really really wanted to rest against the top of the table, so I obliged it like I’ve obliged many of my whims. After Jake (AJ as I refer to it) was unlike anything I’ve ever had to deal with. No matter how many times my dad packed us up and out of a new home, town, school, life -- I always had a friend. I hurt when I left and
couldn’t give them more than an email and a vague idea of where I was moving to, but I mastered the art of never being alone. This time, I had forwent the usual friend seeking because Jake appeared out of nowhere, (well more like overwhelmed me with his bright cocky smile and warm loud laugh) swept me off my feet, and by then the damage was done. No girl would speak to me. I should have followed my plans. Same thing with every new town I’m in: scope out the coffee shop, movie theater, book store, and fun girl friend to show me around those places. If I had done that I wouldn’t have gone ballistic on an innocent fork. I’d probably be laughing with my friend about hotshot Jake Fin and his latest romantic mistakes. None of which would involve me. Then it hit me. My dad and I had already been in this house for a little over 4 months! We’re bound to be moving soon anyway! Hmm, maybe Dad will move us to nice sunny Cali or even Florida. I thought all this over with renewed vigor. You can’t feel heartache when you can’t see the person, right? My heart won’t feel like a stone when I walk into new coffee houses and book stores, ones without memories of a certain person. Right? Right? YES. Maybe. I hope.
Soldier Field, O Valencia
Edward Green Armani Harris
The Blizzard Heat Cold shallow winds of whispers sneaking through the cracks of my closed door, a slippery slope of sloppy water sat frozen on my window pane's floor. Your face I adore, for your soul I searched under the snowy shores of glass and under the mud, but it hurts to think, to heal, to contemplate whether or not what we had was real. The pain slowly fades but the memories wont, I dont care but I do, I've spent Christmas alone plenty of times, but...never....without you......
Our Mission Created, edited , and contributed by teens from the coolest library ever, we are a magazine where teen writers and artists come together to promote both their work and topics relevant to teens. Our talents our pushed to the limit; giving credit where credit is due. This is a magazine where our art, whether it's writing, photography, graphic designs or anything else, is our identity. We accept submissions from high school teens all year long. To learn how to submit to YouLit Magazine please visit our blog at Youlitmag.tumblr.com.
We are proud to present Youmedia's very first issue of its official online teen literary magazine, YouLit Magazine. Within this issue you wi...