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YouLit

Poetry

Photography

Fiction

Graphics

Volume 1 :: 2

staff Editors Armani Harris Jasmine Kirby Readers Taylor Alcantar Shaondell Black Managing Editor Jennifer Steele

YouLit Magazine

YOUmedia Chicago始s Official Teen Arts & Literature Magazine For You. By You.

CONTENTS Poetry "" "

"

Sarah Bruno" "

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Noticing Road Signs "

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9

"

"

Samuel Carroll"

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Forgotten"

:: "

29

"

"

Domonique James"

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My Homage To My Hips"

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63

" "

" "

Jack Johnston"" " " "

::" :: "

1/365" " " A Silent Scream"

" "

::" ::"

26 49

"

"

Zoe Kasper"

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Divided"

"

:: "

50

" "

" "

Malcolm London" " " "

::" "

High School Training Ground"::" Everyone" " " ::"

69 73

" "

" "

Nico Segal" " "

::" "

Ode to Socks " Revolution" "

21 23

"

" "

"

"

"

" "

::" ::"

" "

" "

L Vaughn Taylor" " " "

::" "

Fairytales" " Weaknesses "

" "

::" ::"

5 7

"

Fiction

"

"""""" ""

"

"

Armani Harris""

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Clockwork Dance"

"

::"

13

" " "

" " "

Jack Johnston, Kevan Polanski, & Katie Klema""

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The Marvelous Mirror""

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51

"

"

Zoe Kasper"

:: "

The Puppet Master

"

:: "

43"

"

::"

17

"

Graphics "

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Kaillif Ammen" "

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Eye of Chicago

"

" " "

" " "

Fiona Bradley ""

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A Door "

"

"

::"

41

Veronica Callozzo"

::"

Islington"

"

"

::"

41"

" "

" "

Edward Green"" " " "

::" "

Jump" " " Art & Design "

" "

::" ::"

65 66

" " " " "

" " " " "

Nathan Knize" " " " "

::" "

Theresa" " " Portrait of My Baby Sister"

::" ::"

19 20

Zoe Kasper" " "

::" "

Neverwhere " Vandemar & Coup"

" "

::" ::"

39 41"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

::"

68

" "

"

Photography "" Owen Burns" "

::"

Michigan"

"

" "

" "

" "

" "

" "

" "

Joe!" " Mirror "

" " " " " " " " " "

" " " " " " " " " "

Katie Klema" " " " " " " " " " "

" " " " " "

:: " " " " " "

Diana Macias" " " " "

::" "

"

"

" "

" "

" "

::" ::"

67 50

For A Dreamer, Night Is the Only Time of Day" Before I Fall " " I’ll Be Your Anchor" " Art of Losing Myself" " Untitled" " "

::" ::" ::" ::" ::"

34 35 36 37 38

Dream "

::"

18

::"

27

"

" "

"

features & commentary "" Taylor Alcantar" " " "

::" "

Morganville Vampire" " Series: A Review" "

"

" "

"

" "

Jasmine Kirby "

::"

On Borders Bookstore, Hyde Park " "

One Book One Chicago: Neverwhere" " by Neil Gaiman" " "

" "

" "

::"

61

::"

39

A Letter from the editors... Dear Readers, Welcome to the second issue of YouLit Magazine. Here, you may not find lions, tigers, and bears, but you will find doors, you will find port keys and windows into worlds both imagined and experienced. Combined with the inspiration from Neil Gaiman始s whimsical Neverwhere, urban cityscapes, and the realities of teen life in the city of Chicago, this body of work encompasses poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, graphic design, and photography that tells stories of the possible and impossible, the real and the fantastical. I would like to take the time to recognize that the teens featured this issue are artists in every sense of the word -- exploratory in the processes of their craft, passionate creators and visionaries with distinct and commanding voices, and eager to take risks for the sake of expression. They are advocates of the power of the collective voice of the youth. Therefore, it is our hope that you not only enjoy reading the works that follow, but that you will be so inspired by what you see on these pages that you will take up your pens, your paint brushes and sketch pads, and even your computer and mouse, and continue the procreation of art. On behalf of myself and the wonderful student editors, Armani Harris and Jasmine Kirby, we are happy to offer up this gift of a glimpse into the beauty and controversy of tomorrow始s art.

Sincerely, Jennifer Steele, Managing Editor

“I’m sorry,” she said. “It starts with doors.” “Doors?” She nodded. The rain fell harder, pattering on the roofs and on the asphalt of the road. “I’d watch out for doors if I were you.”

" !

" !

" !

" !

" !

" !

!

-- Neverwhere !

How Fairytales End L Vaughn Taylor

The rabbit, poked with needles of ruggedness, scavenged for the jewels that ripped the bridge of time. He scurried across a path that was halted by the footprints of metal booted doors. Doors with embowled lips and bolted tongues could not give answers. The rabbit was tired; he was wrinkled with weariness like his bow-tie. On ripe canvases he was sketched with pepper freckles that age drew like the guns of rabbit lovers. Age licked his fingernails with razors until his talons were sharper than the creases carved into his suits. With knives of precision, the rabbit aggravated the glues of the earth. Shortly thereafter, when the sun was blown away by the breaths of dandelions, Alice found that hole. She dragged her lanky body, thin with dehydration down the hole. She scraped her ribs against the lifeless soil. Her cheeks were kissed with twigs and the ridges of dirt

5

L Vaughn Taylor

tickled her pink with irritation. Gravity fondled her foot -- she began to fall. She raked at the mountains of dirt, creating crumbs to create avalanches. She was stripped of choices and her preferences. Bare with disgust, she was trapped until her bones were eaten by the thirst of death.

6

L Vaughn Taylor

weaknesses Yesterday my inspiration disappeared back into its cove leaving my eyes vacant, until it was filled with disappointments Wrapped in the warmth of ignorance, enriched with laziness Fear began to dampen my heart, as I looked in my mirror Stricken with disgust with what I have done and who I was Blood laced my skin, knife trembling in the canyons of my hands I had almost murdered my dreams My dreams were overshadowed by failures Numbers scavenge the surface of my inner most confidence GPA were no longer just letters They were boulders scratching, yanking at the rims of my neck, testing the flexibility Yesterday I dropped my eyes across the ink of my resume. It lacked all but my name.

7

L Vaughn Taylor

My experiences at my school, were almost worthless, my maturation was stinted. These were the ghosts that sharpened their fingers on my consciousness: I give up I am a waste of intelligence, shorthanded by the reluctance to put my heart into things I am held back by the monsters that I created Hatred slits my forehead and milks the crest of my mind until I am dry Stares from those who dislike me coat my skin I feel my skin burnt; Crisp from indulgence of pain My skin screams hymns of its houses collapsing under the hands of fires Biting at the pink hue of loose meat, licking the white of bones is this stare from the girl I cant unglue my lips for When the twigs in my arms start to shiver, and i am nothing but the charred wood of recycled anguish, I am strangled. Strangled by weakness. Only until the hands of arsonists, make the clock its next victim.

8

Noticing Road Signs Sarah Bruno We always wanted our drivers licenses to feel the frivolous freedoms that the world would reward us with when we came to that wondrous age but I became preoccupied paying attention to the percentage I held in my class and as I attended to my academics She began to drive without me. Mimicking the rules of the road releasing rage and resentment parallel lines were being painstakingly made to hold dominion determining how detrimental her demerits would be to her social status

9

Sarah Bruno

I became a social climber sucking out the specific sensitivity that made me special. As I became a jaywalker not caring which lines I crossed She consistently crossed lines climbing her arm crying for condolence, compassion, consolation as she cut she became Moses parting red from red yielding pathways of long neglect and ignorance from which she could pour out. No one understood her, they just underestimated her. And to her she was, undiscovered, unloved, and unworthy. To become more acceptable and assimilate more easily She began to mark down her values simultaneously as She put marks down her arms.

10

Sarah Bruno

Then somewhere down the road of our own popularity my Boulevard and her Avenue intertwined. Noticing the intricate weaving of her pained tapestry, I saw my best friend drenched in red, drowned in expectations others placed on her, her cuts were like cries of her daring people to listen. She had stripped herself until all she could speak was truth. She strived to stand immobile against the pressures but that immobility did not make her immortal instead it made her immoral going against the grain going against the regulations put on her so I changed gears trying to make up for the years that I ignored her and began paying attention to the signals. She sent smoldering symbols of truth etched smoking on her arms

11

Sarah Bruno

I told her to etch them on to paper but instead she writes on her arms so I write for her hoping hope hurries back into her heart and she can release the pain in a different way

12

clockwork dance Armani Harris

"

We set up the theater for another show.  At promptly 9:00PM, I opened the doors and showed the guests to their seats.  An antique clock chimed.  It was time to begin.  I rushed to the ushersʼ private balcony, though in truth, I was the only one to ever use it.   " As with many times before, the curtain rose and he walked in, watching her. The strings slowly pulled her up from her bent over position and she looked at him, neither tense or worried, nor happy or arrogant, expressionless.   And as the room grew silent, she was ready.   With the final chime of the clock, she jumped, landing into his waiting arms. They were always waiting, knowing exactly when to open to receive her and when to close, to keep her to him. " And so their dance began,  as it had for days, weeks, months, and more. Every step was learned and practiced until both the mistakes and the emotion had been wiped away, leaving only the dance -- methodical, mechanical,

automatic. It was no longer the strings and gears that moved her, but the chiming of the clock. With every tick, every second passing, there was another move in play.  To others it was just a dance, just the dancer and the partner moving in perfect harmony,  but the trained eye showed the dance for what it truly was: a fight for power, and control.     It was the struggle between cause and effect, one making a move, and the other reacting to it.  And while it seemed that the man was the master, controlling her movements, it may have been the other way around. Does the puppet only dance when the puppeteer pulls the strings?  Is the puppet truly obedient enough not to show any of its own personality as the strings tell it what to do?  Not only that, but is it able to? " Questions unanswered, I watched them carefully. Sitting in the balcony above, I observed that as she went through the dance each action was dictated by the unseen string, 13

Armani Harris

or the way he moved, dictating what shall be done. " “Itʼs beautiful, isnʼt it?” " Without turning around, I replied.   “Yes, she is.” He sat in the seat next to me.  “Mesmerizing.” " “Even though she is human, her dancing is consistent, never changing. It is synchronized to the ring of the clock.   She never rebels, and meekly does what her partner directs her to do.  Her will is crushed beneath his.”   " Startled, I looked up at him. He was a tall elder gentleman with grey-white hair.  There was a gleam in his eyes as he watched the stage.  He held an air of experience, giving off the feeling that he had seen many plays in his lifetime.  He was a connoisseur of drama, where as I was just an usher who had seen this play only enough times to form an opinion. I looked at him, thinking on his statement. " “Iʼm sorry to tell you, but you are wrong, Sir.  His will may overshadow hers, but her will is still there.  Waiting for the right spark in which to come alive and burn bright.”  I looked back at the stage and watched her, admiring her.   “Sheʼs waiting for the moment when she can blaze on her own.” 14

      " He gave me a knowing smile, tipping his hat towards me as he tapped his cane against the seat.  “Right now, youʼve looked deeper into this performance than most of these so called “professors” and “drama enthusiasts” are ever likely to.” " I shook my head. “I just told you my opinion, Sir.  Those professors probably know a lot more than I do.  Iʼm just an usher.” " He looked at me, narrowing his eyes.  “How many times have you seen this show, my boy?” " “Iʼve watched it every night for the past two weeks.   After weʼve escorted the guests to their seats the ushers are free to watch the show or leave.  I watch her every chance I get.” " He nodded.  “I know.  Iʼve seen you here.  I love the theater, and will watch a performance five or six times before I am satisfied enough to form an opinion on the performers.   I watch for every detail.  Of course this is not the only one I have watched, but she is the only one, dancer, actor or otherwise, that stays incongruent. But truthfully, I must say this: the dance is perfect.  She is not.” " Closing my eyes, I bit back the sharp retort I wanted to responded with, and gave his statement a secondʼs thought while I watched

Armani Harris

the dancers on the stage.   Iʼd seen the performance from its beginning, from the first stage rehearsals to the actual public performances.   Each time the dance was the same, each move done at the same time, in the same place.   Take this piece for example:   the twirl, followed by her left leg lifted up, followed by the jum -- wait that move, it wasnʼt the jump! Instead she slowly moved her leg down, twirling.  Then she continued.  As I watched her dance, I saw more differences.  He was right!  How could I not have seen these changes before?   As I stared at him, eyes wide, he gave me another one of his nods. " “Yes, I can see it in your eyes. Youʼve noticed the change,  and these are not the only changes made; the slight spin here, a move done with a different hand, landing on one leg, not two. These are small things when placed in the dance as a whole,  but the changes are gigantic by themselves. Not enough to noticeably change the dance, but enough so that none of the pieces youʼve witnessed these past fourteen nights are the same.” " Now that he said it, I felt foolish for my naivety.   The dance that I was watching tonight was not the same as the one I saw the previous

night.   No. None of them were the same.   The mechanical movement, the timed precision, it was all there, but now there was something else there.  What had at first been a dance detached from emotion, was now a dance starting to fill with passion.   It was as if the dancer had memorized the moves to a dance and was now realizing that there was music to it, as well.   I looked at her amazed as this new understanding took a hold of me.  And as if she knew, as if she could tell that I figured out her secret, she faced me, her eyes looking into mine.   For a second there was the shadow of a smile upon her face.  Then it was gone, and she was a slave to the chime once more.       I turned to look at this man who had removed the fog from in front of my eyes.  What else could this man teach me, this master of observing?  As I faced him, ready to express my astonishment, my gratitude, my wonder, the balconyʼs curtain shook once more.   The seat next to me was empty, except for a beautiful red rose, and a card.  On the front of the card was the face of a clock, both of its hands pointing at the twelve. Inside, written in spindly golden letters, was a note: Just as the rivers of knowledge have flooded into you, the fires of passion must also be unlocked.  The 15

Armani Harris

16

clock is ticking. (Just as the rivers of knowledge have flooded into you, the fires of passion must also be unlocked.  The clock is ticking.)       " Worried, I looked around.   What clock? What passion?  I glanced down, surprised to see the curtains of the stage closing.  The show was over!   There was only one person who would need their passion unlocked.   Her. But even if I did unlock it, there was only one performance left.  Would anything change?   " Still filled with more questions than answers, I placed the card in my pocket and looked over the balcony.   The rest of the audience, those poor unknowing souls, were already filing out of the theater.   Soon, this opportunity would fade away.         " Rose in hand, I walked unsteadily through the hallways, drunk with knowledge as I pushed past the flood of the unawakened.  Pushing through the doors, onto the main floor, I walked into the theater. I found a slit in the moving curtain as it closed in around me. Pushing past, I walked through, nervous as the moment drew near.   What was I going to do?  What was I supposed to say?    Would my spark initiate a flame, or die down un-fueled? " Taking in a breath, I walked to her, the woman who had started all of this. Standing in

front of her, I gave her the rose, smiling.   I leaned in, whispering, “Donʼt wait until your partner gives you the OK to move.   You are a dancer filled with your own passion.  Listen to it. Let the passion flow from your own heart.   You donʼt need someone to lead you, you can do it yourself.   Let the flames of passion come forth, and let your own emotion dictate what should be done, no one elseʼs.”   " I hopefully watched as something clicked inside her eyes.  A single tear ran down her face and that shadow of a smile was back. With every second it was growing stronger, more visible.   I did not know what I had just done or what effect my actions would cause.  I guessed I would just have to wait until the next night when I was back on that balcony watching her, to see whether that tear let loose a tide of emotion or not.

eye of chicago Kailiff Ammen

“ I created this in a graphic design workshop at Yo u m e i d a . O n e o f t h e requirements for this project was to include an image of Chicago. This was my first time experimenting with layering and I wanted to make something that looked pretty damn awesome.�

17

DREAM Diana Macias

“In this piece I incorporated elements from both my past and fascination. The background is spray paint, to give the piece that overall fantasy quality and add on to the spinning dancer whose shape begins to resemble a flower. The other images are photos I have taken of objects that have caught my eye. As far as a specific meaning, I rather leave that up to the imagination of each individual. 18

Theresa Nathaniel Knize

“This was my first attempt at doing digitally what I normally do with paints and markers. I used a photo and then added colors with brushes using Aviary. This is the first in a series.�

19

Nathaniel Knize

Portrait of my baby sister

“This is another design I created using Aviary to add color and manipulate a photo.�

20

ode to socks Nico Segal

Whenever I need you, you are never around. We never seem to get through our late night fights, and when i need you in the morning you are nowhere to be found. You are never real enough for me. More holes than strainers, you let my love slip away. Why do you slip away? You are too easily stolen by anyone who slightly resembles my position and you are never replaced. You never seem to fit quite right. And when I need you to be light you are dark and when i need you to be dark you are light,

21

Nico Segal

washed out, dry, stinky love, but Baby, you keep me warm at night. Your designs throw me through loops spinning my heart into hoops engulfing my body. I始ll never hurt you. Even if other dudes rip you against concrete stoops, I始ll protect you with big boots. Your every stitch is my perfect niche and your soft fabric against my skin is perfect friction for my mind. You rub against my toes 驶til I tickle with happiness. You hug my limbs and let me know everything is alright. And i love you, sincerely.

22

Nico Segal

revolution

I AM A REVOLUTION Iʼve been a revolution all my life. I been a revolutionary since the 3rd grade when I refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance cause we live in a divided nation and I've never lived under any god other than music. Iʼve been a revolution since I marched with my friends and family all through Chicago fighting for rights for the homeless, expecting police to beat all of us peaceful protesters cause thatʼs what I've learned was the way it was. They are homeless not hopeless. Iʼve been a revolution since I was satiated with emotion and beauty by Miles, Bird, Lauryn, Sam Cooke, Sly Stone and James Brown. Iʼve been a revolution since I fell for a beautiful woman much darker than me. Iʼve been a revolutionary since I went to breakdance and do graffiti at Alternatives and we talked about more politics than a peace conference. I AM A REVOLUTION Iʼve been a revolution since I read the autobiography of Assata Shakur. Iʼve been a revolution confined in the image of a young white boy. There may be much more melanin in the skin of many other men, but I scream “REVOLUTION” just as loud as them. Iʼve been a revolution since I realized a revolutionary isn't about what color you are but how

23

Nico Segal

courageous you are, not how hard you can look but how dignified you carry yourself, not speaking out of ignorance but out of experience, not how angry you are but how motivated you are, how you can see past the cloudiness of oppression and hatred, and see the light of the dream that Martin Luther King permeates in our lives, illuminating the spectrum of revolution. Without him there could be no Malcolm. I AM A REVOLUTION I been a revolutionary since Juancho was my hero cause he fought for more inalienable rights than the bill. No human is an alien. I been a revolutionary since my grandfather snuck people out the back of his store, hiding them from La Migra. I been a revolutionary since Jose Marti, since Antonio Maceo. I been a revolutionary since the banner of Che hanging on my wall screaming Hasta La Victoria Siempre. I been a revolutionary since my father and grandfather argued about Cuba at the dinner table cause the name Fidel Castro has more controversy than Larry Hoover rockin his fitted cap to the left I AM A REVOLUTION I始ve been a revolution since I stopped listening to ignorance and began understanding Dead Prez and KRS-1. I始ve been a revolution since I hit it off more police than bacon donut conventions. I始ve been a revolution since I realized it could never be televised. I始ve been a revolution since Radio Raheem did the right thing and fought the power with

24

Nico Segal

Chuck D. Don始t get it twisted like Finn Huckleberry. I express my inner revolutionary through a metal tube with Che, Assata, and Huey inside me like the trumpet始s 3 valves. I AM A REVOLUTION I AM A REVOLUTION I AM A REVOLUTION

25

1/365 Jack Johnston

Loveless, lifeless, trying to fight this feeling of guilt that spilled out when we came to this, filled with the wrath of life from the past left buried, buried so well and now unearthed. Now out in the light where everybody knows I was never in the right, always clawing at my throat out of boredom. There始s no longer anything to hide and yet I cannot die so I hide in your arms. As everyone turns to us with hate and pride in their eyes we pretend to be alive and try not to cry.

26

The morganville Vampire series: A review Taylor Alcantar

" Well, I'll admit it: I'm beyond addicted to “urban fantasy.” " I like all kinds of urban fantasy novels. but there is an overwhelming trend that is practically unescapable: vampire novels. " Now, I think vampire novels are good, but recently they have come to contain some pretty strange stuff: vampires who wonʼt drink blood, vampires who fight japanese fox demons, vampire who commit (*whispers*) incest, vampire ninjas, vampire goddesses, vampires who love werewolves, vampires that hate werewolves, and the infamous vampires who can have human babies (even though that makes no sense!). " There are a lot of good vampire series out there, but my favorite of them all has to be the Morganville Vampire Series. " So, Claire Davers is a normal girl, except that she's super smart and is going to college at the age of 16. Her parents are worried about her

so they send her to a college close by in the town of Morganville instead of across the country. Big mistake. The town is probably the most dangerous place on earth. Despite all the dangers (the most obvious being the vampires that run the town), Claireʼs first bad experience happens when the most popular girl in school pushes her down a flight of stairs, nearly killing her. She has nowhere to go, but is taken in my the tenants of the glass house off campus, Eve, Shane, and Michael. Every day is a struggle for their lives. " This is just a very short summary of the first book and there are currently nine books already out. Usually when a series gets this long I get bored with them, but the author, Rachel Caine, is really good at introducing crazy plot twists and making them believable. " Oh, and I think all the cover art is terrible for this series, but don't let that deter your interest. The story itself is great, a lot of 27

Taylor Alcantar

adventure, has some romance, and very original.

28

forgotten Samuel Carroll I was here first, before your people were brought here on ships made to work for stolen freedom, before your people discovered untold riches in Columbus's "India." God birthed me form these lands. Tomahawks and teepees don't define me, nor my people, nor my poetry. As a matter of fact forget definitions because I couldn't begin to define the single, pointed, refined emotion that my people felt for being limited to reservations of their own land. It's a shame my people were worth less than dirt is. Questioning our God's purpose, Hell was sent upon us in the Louisiana Purchase. Europeans bought lands and fought clans, fighting for what they felt was theirs. And so, ignorant greed makes the world go round.

29

Samuel Carroll

Even when it was considered flat. Forget that. I am an artist that praises the corn and coyote. I howl at the moon with words in a vicious tongue, lacerating it with the songs of a forgotten people. I envy the raven and hawk, riding on the wind with colors that Pocahontas just couldn't animate with animated faces and ignorant ideals. I am a red man. Colored with the blood of millions, colored in the green-yellows of smallpox, Colored in Crayola casino dollars and peace pipe smoke, right? Covered in “aw aw aw aw� and dances around fire pits? Covered in the colors of savagery -- blasphemy. People see my mulatto melatonin and make me out to be descended from house slaves. People hear the confidence in my voice and the way I annunciate and at once create the idea that I have a little Caucasian in my blood. People see the way my hair slicks back a certain way on certain days

30

Samuel Carroll

and the fuzz on my face and believe me to be Hispanic. People don't know my people. We believed everything had a purpose from the tallest mountain to the most miniscule insect, in brotherhood that surpassed blood and bone. We owned this land with no leases or shareholders, but we are now few. To those that consider me light skinned, consider yourself corrected. To those that think colonialism and manifest destiny didn't manifest selfishly, consider my perspective. To those that believe they have "Indian" in their family because of their hair or the set of their eyes, or use that fallacy to seem exotic, you can pretend to be. But to those that the wind beckons with tales of freedom, to those that hear the rhythm in the crackles of flames, to those that hear the broken cadence in the heartbeat of the world, let this country's forgotten children raise their voices in anger,

31

Samuel Carroll

in anguish, scream to this pale-faced nation: We were here first.

32

5 photos FROM PROJECT 365 Katie Klema

artist statement “The following pictures are part of a 365 project that I am doing. I am capturing a picture a day for a year to try and push my creative limits. The quotes that go along with the photos are what has inspired me to create them. I chose them because I like the way they sound and like the way they make me think. Sometimes you have to retake a picture five, ten, or twenty times to get the result you want, but once you finally get it, the accomplishment outweighs the time you've lost.�

33

“For A Dreamer, Nightʼs the Only Time of Day”

34

“Before I Fall� "In my dream I know I am falling though there is no up or down, no walls or sides or ceilings, just the sensation of cold, and darkness everywhere. I am so scared I could scream, but when I open my mouth nothing happens, and I wonder if you fall forever and ever and never touch down, is it really still falling?" - Lauren Oliver

35

“Iʼll Be Your Anchor” 36

“The Art Of Losing Myself”

37

“Untitled�

"I'll take this ink from my arms and write your name in the sky." - Hawthorne Heights

38

by NEIL GAIMAN

ONE BOOK.ONE CHICAGO A Selection of Inspired Work from YOUmedia Teens

Our Projects In Photography & Writing we created a series of small tasks that lead to a digital story telling project. We wrote poems and short stories inspired by Neverwhere, we took walks around downtown Chicago and captured photos that reminded us of the book such as dark alleys and shadows of buildings. We used the pictures to create story boards and character bios using Comic Life. Our final projects included digital stories inspired by Neverwhere in the form of a graphic novel, a short film, and an audio book. In Graphic Design we started out by sketching characters and scenes from Neverwhere. We made collages of things that reminded us of the book, and used found materials to created textured representations of the book. Then we recreated “Kings Station” in shadow boxes and then created a graphic design of the same scene. In Gaming we used Minecraft, a virtual architectural building game, to create 3-D, explorable scenes from Neverwhere. *To view the short film “Forest Zombies” by Violet Staley, Saffron Lehrer, and Fiona Bradley click here, or visit http://vimeo.com/21805620 . *To see all of the work created visit www.neverwherechicago.tumblr.com .

40

Sketches & Graphics From “Neverhwere”

by Fiona Bradley

by Louise Upchurch

by Veronica Callozzo

41

by Zoe Kasper

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by Cheyenne Patino & Gregory Levinson

the puppet master Zoe Kasper

" He watched her with a pained gaze, his inner emotions already starting to take over the brain. She looked so pale against his skin, so fragile now. "Sara..." He shook her gently, his voice urgent as he forced back the tears. "Get up. You can't leave me now." His voice was heavy as he looked down at her stilled face. He was oblivious to everything. All he wanted now was to die himself. " A sudden chill ran down his spine as he straightened up. His muscles tensed underneath his shirt as he looked at the hooded figure. His fist clenched into tight balls, his knuckles turning white as they tightened even further. "Who are you!" He almost growled the words as he stared questioningly up at the figure. The figure said nothing but approached closer while he prepared himself for what was coming. " " "Be still mortal."

" The voice stopped him in his tracks as he began to shake. "Who are you?" His voice was less then a whisper. " “I have come to take her to the other world so that she may be judged," it said in its raspy voice. " He felt something snap in the back of his mind before he lunged at the figure. "Who are you?!" he yelled, anger sparking in his gray eyes. The figure drew back it's hood, to reveal a gray haired man with dark eyes that seemed to be a bottomless pit. " "I am known by many names," the stranger said, his voice no longer raspy, but obviously much older than he really looked. "I am Death." " Xanthos stared blankly into the man's eyes. "She's so young," he mumbled. " Death looked at him with blank eyes. "The cycle of life must continue, mortal. I can't just prolong a life because of some selfish, 43

Zoe Kasper

whim-seeking boy." Death hissed this time. He narrowed his eyes slightly as he glared over at Death. " "Then let me take her place!" He shouted. "I'll take her place!" Death stared at Xanthos quietly as he pondered on the thought. "It is not your time Mortal. But I shall let her live on one condition." " "What? What's the deal?" He asked urgently. " "You must leave your mundane life. You shall be bound to me and carry out my deeds." He looked at her silently and nodded. " "Fine. Deal. Just let her live the life she wanted." " "Then take on my eternal flames mortal and the deal shall be done.� " He did as he was told and took his hand, as he watched the never dying flames of death consume his inner soul. He knew that with this she would live, and that's when he realized that Death had cheated him like he had cheated many others. He watched him take his sister the next day. ***** 44

" He walked into an old apartment and up the stairs, hearing the old stairs creak in protest as he unlocked the apartment door. A pitch black crow was perched upon his shoulder as it gazed around the room. " "Is this the place?" he murmured. The crow nodded and flew to a room where a middle aged man was sleeping. " " Wa y n e S t e w a r t , a g e 5 5 , h e a l t h weakened by cancer..." He mumbled off the list. The crow sat on top of the man's chest. "Let's just get this other with." " He sighed as he called fourth a tiny white flame that came out of the man's chest, who heaved his last breath before becoming still. The tiny flame soon took shape as the body. The man stared blankly at Xanthos as he looked at his body. " "Am I dead?" he asked quietly. " Xanthos nodded, as the crow flew onto his shoulder. "You are. It's your time to be judged by death." " The man nodded quietly. "Fine. I have lived a long and good life. My only regret is my fight with my wife," he said. "If I could just see her face again." He sighed.

Zoe Kasper

" "You shall see her again one day," said Xanthos, "but for now follow my messenger. He shall guide you to your judgement." The crow seemed to change shape into a human like feather, keeping some of its crowish features. ***** " The deed had been done, Xanthos suddenly felt tired and overwhelmed from the whole process of collecting the man's soul. He closed his eyes and let himself fall into the deep abyss of his mind, and opened them to find Corbin's partner Swanhild, the white Swan. Like her counter part, she was also a servant of death. " "What's wrong child?" she asked softly. Her feather's ruffled as she began to preen herself. "You seem troubled." " Xanthos looked over at Swanhild with tired eyes. " It's nothing," he said gruffly. He had no one to talk to about his feelings, not even to his friends. Swanhild simply nodded. She could have pushed on with the subject, but decided to drop it. "You know I am always here to talk." He snorted slightly. " "Goodbye, Swanhild," he said bluntly before he closed his eyes again, only to end up

before his master, Death. He stared up quietly into Death's eyes and then back at the wall. " "What do you want?" " Death stayed silent for several more moments before he spoke. "I want you to take care of something.� " “What?" " Death usually sent Corbin or Swanhild when it came for asking favors. Death continued to stare down at him. "There is a girl who seems to have stumbled upon this realm." " "She has the sight? How could a mortal have gotten past the barrier?" Death merely shook his head. "She is my daughter." Xanthos looked surprised at his answer. Death had a daughter? How could this have happened? " "Don't Question me Puppet Master!" he growled. Small flames began to smolder in his old eyes. "I do not have to explain anything to you!" " Xanthos narrowed his eyes. "Yes master. I will do as you wish, and get rid of the girl." " Death glared daggers at him. "Be warned, Puppet Master. She doesn't know of..." he began to trail off. Xanthos merely turned his back. "I understand." Once he was out of 45

Zoe Kasper

earshot he muttered softly. "Of course he makes me do the dirty work." " Meanwhile in the dark depths of Death's realm, a dark haired girl with olive toned eyes walked quietly and gracefully through the realm. Her name was Victoria, her skin was pale against the the dark background, her dark brow hair seemed to blow through the empty wind. It all seemed familiar, but why? " Xanthos had Corbin perched on his broad shoulders as the small obsidian black creature scoped out the terrain. "Go, my friend. Find the girl." " Xanthos breathed the words as he let his mind search the territory. He closed his eyes, his hand touching a dead tree as it sent tiny images to his brain. Every tree in the dark realm was connected, and with one touch, you could see where everything was, who had passed by, and where they were. " He had soon found the pale figure of Victoria. He closed his eyes before he melted into the sweet darkness that clung to him like a cloak. Meanwhile, Victoria stopped short, seeing the large black bird which soon stopped in front of her. She looked at it curiously before she tried to 46

move on again. The large black bird hopped in front of her, stopping her in her path. "Now what are you doing? You want me to stay here?" she asked confused by the large crow's actions. Corbin extended his wings and flew to a nearby tree landing on Xantho's shoulder. Victoria narrowed her eyes on the figure and ran a hand over her hidden dagger. "Stay back!" she hissed. " Xanthos stepped forward, and glowered down at her. " Silence mortal! How did you get in here?" he asked, authority in his voice. Victoria looked at Xanthos with defiance, looking up at him. " Who are you?" She asked, answering his question with a question her own. He looked at her with a snort. "You really are your father's daughter." " " She flinched slightly at his words. "My father is dead?" she whispered. " "Yes," Xanthos growled. "Now answer the question mortal!" " He glared down at her with poison. If only looks could kill. Victoria glared back. "I came through the door."

Zoe Kasper

" "What door?" he asked, obviously not a big fan of the girl at the moment. After all, her father was enslaving his soul. "What's your name, girl?" " She rolled her eyes. " I asked first." His eyes flashed dangerously. "My name is Xanthos, The Puppet Master." "Puppet master?" She looked confused. " "I give dying souls a choice of moving on peacefully or living in the world as my puppet," he answered. Victoria's jaw almost dropped in shock. " "That's horrible!" she yelled, backing away. " "I help keep the balance of this world," he growled. Victoria slapped him before he could do anything. He narrowed his eyes and grabbed her wrists, trapping her against one of the dead trees. "Big mistake." " He pulled her into the darkness with him and Corbin, and let the darkness wrap around them. They ended up outside in the cool night air. "Now go home!" he growled. " She suddenly felt light-headed as she looked at him. "Wha-. How did you do that?!" she said shocked. "It's like we teleported or something.�

" Xanthos rolled her eyes. "The dark shadows of death's realm are doors to the shadows," he said. " Now, go H O M E!" " He began to fade into the night without a word. Victoria was fuming. She had questions and more questions she wanted answered. She tried to remember where the door was again, but sighed as she began to walk to her car. "Men," she huffed. She muttered all the way home, only to be left wondering about the mystery that was left in her heart.

"

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To be continued...

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Poetry broadsides inspired by “neverhwere”

Poem by Jack Johnston Photography by Katie Klema 49

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Poem by Zoe Kasper Photography by Owen Burns

the marvelous mirror Katie Klema, Jack Johnston, and Kevan Polanski View the Digital Flip Book Here, or http://issuu.com/youmediachicago/docs/story

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On Borders Bookstore, Hyde Park Jasmine Kirby

Borders, Hyde Park: " My least favorite Borders, but the closest and most convenient bookstore to my house. There were the good times like the Harry Potter release parties for books 6 & 7, but that store was terrible compared to every other bookstore in Hyde Park. Especially the last few years. " Want to read a book in the store? You gotta sit on the floor because there are no benches or chairs." Want a gift wrapped during a time that's not the holiday season? Well that's too bad. " Want to sit in the cafe? Good luck finding a table not used by the uprooted chess players or people playing internet poker. " Looking for a book? If you aren't white you might just be followed by the pesky "Can I help you?" employee or security. " Want to buy a book? With employees doing other important duties such as badgering

anyone who does not fit their criteria for a person interested in books, there can only be one person running the cash register at a time. " So when I heard they were going out of business my first reaction was, Huzzah! So today I went to the sale and a sale it was. Everything was 50% off, plus I had my mom's Borders Rewards card so for me everything was 60% off. I went on a shopping spree. " I bought: Interview with a Vampire, Manhunt: The 12 Day Search for Lincoln's Killer, Leviathan, It's Kind of a Funny Story, The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids, 50 Successful Ivy League Application Essays, Bradbury Stories, and last but not least, Matched. " I have used up all of my Borders gift cards from my birthday. But it was all worth it. And for once Borders actually had people working the cash registers and no "Can I help you" badgers.

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Jasmine Kirby

" It was like the good times when it opened. Despite everything I'm going to still kinda miss Borders Hyde Park. If only it had stayed awesome. Borders Hyde Park is like on 53rd and Lake Park if you're interested in going to the sale I think it's gonna be opened tomorrow. " Be forewarned. It looks like a tornado hit the store.

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My homage to my hips Domonique James These hips are big hips, they need space to move around in... !

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- Lucille Clifton

These hips are conflict, strong with bone, fragile with skin. During rough walks they easily bruise a blue amoeba. These germ hips make the men sick, mindless, confounded by the contradictions contained in these hips. These are black hole hips, swallow you whole. You are lost in my darkness. These light hips illuminate. Past a tantalizing twinkle this brightness is blinding. These hips see red, vindictive, raging on a mission hips to open for no one.

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Domonique James

Mouth wide cackling hips. The crunch of them grating against you bold bones, clamoring to get close is maniacal laughter, ecstatic to be colored crazy. These are blues hips, hued bitter. Determined hips never quiver. These are fist shaking, won始t be broken hips. These hips break you back to your mother始s hips -lonely, backwards, thrashing hips. The only touch they know is the bruising of refusing to let anyone of you get close. But you始d best believe these hips stand strong, smiling in solidarity, happy these hips don始t need nobody. Truth is: these hips need to not need nobody. Need to not need nobody, these hips have to stand alone. These hips have to be strong. Sturdy with bone, bruised, but never ever broken.

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JUMP Edward Green

“This design came out of surfing the internet and coming across a picture that was robotic, and I wanted to figure out how they created it. This is the product.�

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Edward Green

art & design

“I like using this color palette, and I wanted to experiment with text. I wanted to create a graffiti style design and that is what inspired the “drip” element.”

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Joe! Owen Burns

“I took this photo using a really long exposure to make a ghostlike affect.�

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Owen Burns

Michigan

“I take a lot of photos in sepia and this is one of my favorites.�

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HIGH SCHOOL TRAINING GROUND Malcolm London He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future. ! ! ! ! - Adolf Hitler

At 7:45 am, I open the doors to a building dedicated to building yet only breaks me down. I march down hallways cleaned up after me everyday by regular janitors, but I never have the decency to honor their names. Lockers are left open like teenage boys mouths when girls wear clothes that cover their insecurities, but exposes everything else. Camouflage is worn by bullies who are dangerously armed, but need hugs, masculinity mimicked by men who grew up with no fathers. Classrooms overpacked like book bags, teachers paid less than what it cost them to be here. Oceans of adolescents come here to receive lessons, but never learn to swim,

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Malcolm London

part like the red sea when the bell rings. This is a training ground. My high school is Chicago, diverse and segregated on purpose. Social lines are barbed wire, hierarchy burned into our separated classrooms, free to sit anywhere, but reduced to divided lunch tables. Labels like “Regular” and “Honors” resonate. This is a training ground. Education misinforms. We are uniformed, trained to capitalize letters at a young age, taught now that capitalism raises you, but you have to step on someone else to get there. This is a training ground, sought to sort out the “regulars” from the “honors,” a reoccurring cycle built to recycle the trash of this system.

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Malcolm London

I am in honors classes, but go home with “Regular” students who are soldiers in a war zone on their own forgotten territory. When did lives become expendable? CPS is a training ground. Concentration on professional suits. CPS is a training ground. Centered on personal success. CPS is a training ground. One generation is trained to lead, the other made to follow. No wonder so many of my people spit bars because the truth is hard to swallow. The need for degrees has left so many of us frozen. The “educated” arenʼt necessarily the educated. I have 1.9 GPA I got drunk before my ACT and still received a 25. Now tell me how I am suppose to act. Homework is stressful. But when you go home everyday and your home is work you donʼt want to pick up any assignments.

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Malcolm London

Reading novels is stressful. But reading doesn始t matter when you feel your story is already written, Either dead or getting booked. Taking tests is stressful. Bubbling a scantron doesn始t stop bullets from bursting. Our direction hasn始t changed when our board of education is driven by lawyers and businessmen, only one teacher sits on that board. Now what does that teach you? I hear that education systems are failing, but I believe they are succeeding at doing what they始re built to do, to train you to keep you on track to track down a failing American Dream that fails so many of us all.

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Malcolm London

everyone

Everyone won't understand So everyone sits and Everyone watches T.V. Everyone criticizes T.V. Everyone criticizes those who watch T.V. Everyone wants to be on T.V God wants to be on T.V. Yet no one watches God No one can watch God God watches everyone Everyone Everyone Everyone thinks about what everyone thinks about them Everyone doesn't know but wants to know everyone Everyone will not know themselves

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contributors Taylor Alcantar is a Magnet High School. member of YOUmedia participated in book Magazine.

senior at Whitney Young She has been an active since its inception and has discussions and YouLit

Kailiff Ammen is an anime fan boy and has been playing video games as early as he can remember. Most of which he does revolves around the art of gaming, including YouTubing videos of Rock Band riffs to study and memorize. He is a sophomore at Jones College Prep, a Junior Mentor at YOUmedia, and has somehow made his way into this magazine by dabbling in graphic design. Fiona Bradley plays the bass, guitar, drums and sometimes attempts to the ukulele, piano, and violin. She is also a member of the junior roller derby team, the Chicago Riots and a vegetarian. Sarah Bruno is a senior at Walter Payton High School and member of the YOUmedia Chicago Louder Than A Bomb team which won the city-

wide 2011 teen slam competition. She is also one of the teens that helped to form Lyricist Loft, YOUmedia始s weekly teen open mic series, and performed as its first feature teen artist. She has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin Madison and will be a member of the First Wave Hip Spoken Word and Hip Hop Arts Learning Community...swagg. Owen Burns is 15 years old. He is home schooled and has been his whole life. He has played violin since he was 5 years old and is planning on being a professional musician when he grows up. He also likes taking pictures, although he doesn't like posed pictures or photoshopped pictures. It doesn't feel authentic. Veronica Callozzo is interested in cartooning and animation. She's been drawing since she was little. She LOVES purple and chocolate. Currently, she is learning guitar and enjoys hanging and messing around with friends.

Samuel Carrol is a sophomore at Lincoln Park High School and a member of the YOUmedia Chicago Louder Than A Bomb team which won the city-wide 2011 teen slam competition. He currently serves as host of Lyricist Loft, a weekly teen open mic held at YOUmedia Chicago.

Jack Johnstonʼs favorite colors are pink and cotton candy blue, and his eyes change colors depending on what day it is. He is currently working on a “365” poetry project in which he writes and blogs a poem a day. He is obsessed with Emily Dickinson, loves tea and the rain.

Edwawrd Green prefers to go about as a mystery, yet we were able to coerce the following information from him: He is a senior at Jones College Prep and is an awesome graphic designer. In his spare time, outside of school and Youmedia, he enjoys skateboarding, long walks on the beach, and filming random adventures with his friends around the city of Chicago.

Zoe Kasper is a “go with the flow” kind of girl. She is a photographer, horse back rider, and aspired to be a major hunter/jumper in the jumping world. She is a hard worker, easily amused, and gets along better with animals than she does people. She also enjoys biking riding along the lake front.

Armani Harris is a senior at Walter Payton High School and serves as Editor of YouLit Magazine, and a junior mentor at YOUmedia. He loves to read, write, and creates graphic design. Domonique James is a sophomore at Walter Payton High School and a member of the YOUmedia Chicago Louder Than A Bomb Team which won the 2011 city-wide teen slam competition.

Jasmine Kirby is a junior at Jones College Prep. She plays the oboe, blogs furiously, and serves as Editor on YouLit Magazine. Nathaniel Knize is a circus and visual artist. He is a freshman at Northside College Prep and partakes in fencing, hapkid and gymnastics. He is a vegetarian and likes to make Victorian tribal art, collage and paintings. The plethora of toys found on the desk at Youmedia can be attributed to his philanthropic nature.

Katie Klema is a teenager from outside of Chicago who became interested in photography about a year ago. She is a vegetarian and short because of it. Her camera is a boy, his name is Melchoir. Gregory Levinson is 14 years old and a musician. He plays violin and guitar, and is very interested in electronic art: graphic design and digital music. He is also a gamer, but anyways, he始s really enjoyed working with his group on Neverwhere and is having a great time! Malcolm London is a member of the YOUmedia Louder Than a Bomb Team which won the 2011 city-wide teen slam competition. He is also the 2011 Individual Poet Slam Winner of Louder Than A Bomb. He has served as host for Lyricist Loft, a weekly teen open mic held at YOUmedia. Diana Macias is a senior at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. She is very involved with the Arts and has been part of Yollocalli Arts Reach, the youth arts program of the National Museum of Mexican Art, as well as Gallery 37, an arts program sponsored by After School Matters, to use her

passion for art to express her identity and her community. Eamon Polanski is a home-schooled student working on the Neverwhere Project. He is a Boy Scout working on his Eagle Scout Award. He loves the color purple, but believes every color is beautiful. Violet Staley enjoys music, friends, photography, dyeing her hair, and roller derby. She is a member of the Chicago Riots, a junior roller derby team, and plays in a band called When Falling Feels Like Flying. L Vaughn Taylor is a senior at Jones College Prep. He pursues his talents in videography, poetry, and art. He goes on random adventures in Chicago and captures these events with his handy-dandy camera. He can be seen at Youmedia either playing Rockband and/or hanging out with friends. Andre Zbikowski loves most things technology, but most recently (and notably) has worked on a text based game (Here), created a few short films

(not up for viewing at this time), and done a bunch of other cool (meaning lame) stuff. 

mission statement Created, edited, and contributed by teens, 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始s writing, photography, graphic designs or anything else, is our identity. If you are a high school teen and would like to submit work to YouLit Magazine, please visit our Submission Guidelines at www.youlitmag.tumblr.com . We accept submissions year-round.

acknowledgements We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this issue of YouLit Magazine, the Chicago Public Library and YOUmedia, The News Literacy Project, and the MacAurthur Foundation. We would also like to thank Bridget Bolger of the South Halsted Gallery for volunteering her time to work with students at YOUmedia on the One Book One Chicago Project for Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

For more information about YOUmedia please visit www.youmediachicago.org .


YouLit Magazine, Volume 1::2