“NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE” By Tanya Azari

“NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE”

11.25.14

anti-tuition student activists in
Olson hall wondering,
where are all the POC –
they’re in the SCC awaiting the
verdict for Ferguson; meanwhile
Mexico is burning just like
the bodies of the Ayotzinapa 43,
AB540 UC students are
screaming for Napolitano to leave,
and 1 out of 3 university students like me
are just struggling to drag ourselves out of
depression with our teeth.

Chancellor Linda PB Katehi
writes us a letter telling us to
blame the government, but in
the time it takes her to write the letter,
she benefits from her recent
salary increase — Linda, please,
we are not a bargaining chip
in this sick poker game.

our parents, the media, this society
say we are lazy, paint us as
lackluster, stuck in
dorm rooms and computer screens,
but our computers scream
JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN and
BRING OUR TUITION DOWN —
crowned in protest slogans,
we have woven woe into wall hangings
and in exchange, change
is what we’re asking for.

listen:
we know struggle like our last
test score. fight clenched in our fists like
a fresh scantron sheet. read what we’ve written
all over these streets.

the students will not be silenced.
no justice, no peace.

By Tanya Azari

Biography:

Tanya Azari is a 21 year old genderqueer poet in California’s Bay Area working towards becoming a high school English teacher. They have self-published three chapbooks and are currently working on a fourth. More work can be found at http://heretherebesomething.tumblr.com/

BORN TO By Emma Bleker

BORN TO

Watching her,
like spark- plug, undone carousel,
a mountain trapped, screaming,
within an invisible moment,
was unlike

being ten years old,
watching the ballerina
break her ankle in the final
number of the first show.

It’s hard to say if our feet were still
on the ground,
but they ached
for the snapped bone
and for the change,
no longer grace, but something fallen.

Her anger was spectacle, was awe:
a snapped finger
caught aflame,
an ambulance gone off the road,
crashed into the side of your childhood home.

When she called,
she was either singing
or wailing,
and most days,
no one could tell the difference.

It was like
the body of a very small thing
had swallowed the sun
and, imagine, how the sun
would rage to be let out.

Imagine,
how the hands would reach
out, all seared up
from the inside,
to ask something which
could not be asked.

When you are born to your mother,
you are born to the storm;
you are given every mile of this vast thing,
you are given a sister in the top
of high things.
They, too understand
the danger of getting too close
to themselves.

You will watch a day pass
in her eyes, as the sun rises.
And she will be the one who calls you
by the name she has given you.

You will be reminded every day
that it is the name she has given you.

I was taught, young,
that holding must be gentle.
I was taught, young,
that watching fragile things
break
is something
we all must get used to.

Watching her,
was like watching
the last ember carry itself
to the place
where the fire
still bloomed.

By Emma Bleker

Biography:

Emma Bleker is a 20 year old writer working for her English degree while attempting to live a true and convincing life. She has been published, or is forthcoming, in Electric Cereal, Cahoodaloodaling, Persephone’s Daughters, Skylark Review, and Yellow Chair Review. Additionally, she released her first collection of poetry, Here’s Hoping You Never See This, in November of 2015.

Phoenix By sarah kate osborn

Phoenix 

i tried to write a poem
about a phoenix but
i didn’t know how to get past
the part where he burns.
i write more poems about
healing than i am
familiar with.
i wish i had more poems about
healing that i
learned from experience.
this is me,
trying to write a poem brighter than
the mouth it comes from.
this is me,
swallowing my self-destruction
to make words that
make sense and
make life.
i tried to write a poem
about a phoenix.
i got to the part about
ashes and did not write
the end.

By sarah kate osborn

Biography:

sarah kate osborn is an amateur poet from north carolina who hates describing herself and rebels against capital letters. she is trying to toss her voice into a world already filled with noise and may have nothing meaningful to say. she has been published or is soon to be published in the rising phoenix review, words dance magazine, and persephone’s daughters. she can be found at allthesinkingships.tumblr.com

AN ACT OF LOVE, HOWEVER SMALL By Maya Owen

AN ACT OF LOVE, HOWEVER SMALL

I turned on the TV & saw
a woman
speaking through
a mouthful
of blood. Except

there was no blood, it had been wiped clean. & she had
no mouth, but a gutted violin. & no god-soaked rhetoric
could convince us of a
       “sanctified violence.” An eye for an eye means
who’s watching the kids? Well, the kids are alright,

except for the bullet-holes.

Except for the suicides.

Except for what they’ll do to one another.

*

More than mines, every war zone is littered with little tendernesses.
Glances,
touches,
kind words
live on long after the body. Long after the blast.

An act of love

blesses the space that held it;
rings on
like a retina after light.

By Maya Owen

Biography:

Maya Owen will never get over the Library of Alexandria. Her poems have appeared most recently (or are forthcoming) in voicemailpoems, Electric Cereal, and Alexandria Quarterly. She is a proud staff member at Winter Tangerine Review, and writes regularly at mementonasci.tumblr.com.

 

apocalypse By Katherine Fletcher

apocalypse

‘i like muffins and coffee — and cigarettes’ you tell me
the morning after the end of the world;
the day the dawn broke three times
just like my voice saying hello-goodbye-i-love-you
from six minutes or sixty miles away.
who did you watch the sunrise with,
besides your full heart
and your empty bottle of gin?
you falling-apart-time-traveler, you
once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity,
gone-and-back-again
fucking anomaly.
the morning after the end of the world
you looked so goddamn lost and it
startled me, so maybe i startle easily
or maybe
not. maybe not.
you tell me to be gentle with myself
and you talk like you know how to do that
but you don’t say anything about
the ways you punish yourself
and i would but
the words get caught
in the ashes
in my throat.
i tell you to let yourself be soft
even though
i will always be walking backwards
away from you
to keep you from getting
under my skin.
i take ten pills from a bottle and stand underneath
the shelter of a bus stop, and the bus stop
is also a bottle, but instead of love notes it’s full of
bus schedules, and maybe that’s all i get right now,
so maybe life is cruel or maybe
lovers are just really good at telling each other
what they should be.

By Katherine Fletcher

Biography:

Katherine Fletcher is a sophomore at Syracuse University. Her work has appeared in the campus magazines Jerk and Perception as well as the online magazines Persephone’s Daughters and Rising Phoenix Review. She is in love with the stars and filled with longing.

 

AN ODE TO STAR SOUP AND PAW PATROL By Bela Sánchez

AN ODE TO STAR SOUP AND PAW PATROL

tonight my boys are building themselves their own sky,
in the shape of rescue dogs and crime-fighting kindergartners.
or so they tell me.
“no more chicken nuggets!
only star soup!”
and we have to open a new can every time.

“if we eat enough stars, a new sky will grow in our bellies,”
and they say it so matter-of-factly,
i almost believe them.
not almost. i believe them.

they don’t know orion from draco,
but they also can’t read,
and they still need my help to blow their noses,
so we can’t hold it against them.
and who cares if their constellations aren’t hydrogen & helium?
star-shaped noodles floating about in lukewarm tomato soup,
might just be twice as good.
definitely twice as tasty.

my boys never give me enough time to heat their soup properly,
because they get too excited about opening & closing the microwave door,
or they get too excited about making shapes with their stars,
or they get too excited about a brand new episode of paw patrol.

evan likes to suck his thumb,
and shove his nose into my shirt,
so he usually slobbers all over me while he sleeps.

“if you try to kiss me after i go asleep,
the sharks will eat you.
and i’ll be sad when they eat you.”

nate always ends up across my entire lap,
holding my hand,
trying to tell me stories and falling asleep halfway through.

“last night i dreamed a brand new planet!”
and i didn’t know that they knew what planets were.
“oh yeah?” i ask. “what was there?”
“star soup. and a lots of dogs. and mommy & daddy.
and you.
we looked for monsters all day
and you never wanted to go home.
we were home together!”

By Bela Sánchez

Biography:

bela is a sixteen-year-old girl who feels passionately about tenderness and softening her edges. she attends a high school where talented and gifted students cheat on their homework and set things on fire, and has recently taught herself how to be a sunflower. she lives in dallas, texas with two dogs, a large family, and as many friends as she can dream up. she is always eating too much arroz con leche.

Love Poem, Archived By Emma Bleker

Love Poem, Archived

I write my best poems
about your hands.

I cannot find many other ways
to say “gentle.” There are
no better ways to say “gentle.”
Every time, it looks like the way
honey does in the sun,
or like Amber does in the hands
of someone who loves history books
like bedrooms love company.
It all looks like cold toes in bed
and leaving myself open
without the worry that I will
wake to find myself taken.

I write my best poems
about the kind of softness
I still do not understand,
but yearn to embody.

The kind that is like “good morning”
or being under water
just long enough to fall in love
with the air all over again.

I could write your goodness
until all earth turned parchment
and all words wanted nothing more
than to promise themselves to you.

I write my best poems
about the way good things
treat the storm, when it comes in
through the windows
and asks to be held open;

The way good things make
storms feel
like the palms of
kind hands.

By Emma Bleker

Biography:

Emma Bleker is a 20 year old writer working for her English degree while attempting to live a true and convincing life. She has been published, or is forthcoming, in Electric Cereal, Cahoodaloodaling, Persephone’s Daughters, Skylark Review, and Yellow Chair Review. Additionally, she released her first collection of poetry, Here’s Hoping You Never See This, in November of 2015.