Poetry

[One Year]

By Madeline Dean

November is national novel-writing month.
December is national novel-editing month.
January is national submitting-your-novel-to-publishers month.
February is national getting-rejection-emails month.
March is national I’ll-just-edit-this-more month.
April is national giving-up month.
May is national not-writing month.
June is national realizing-this-whole-“not-writing”-thing-is-not-working month.
July is national getting-back-into-writing-month.
August is national writing-shorter-smaller-pieces month.
September is national realizing-you-want-to-write-a-novel month.
October is national novel-planning month.
November is national novel-writing month.

[Time]

By Abigail Munson

Time got on the bus
Wearing brown snow pants
He stretched his arms out
Wide, fingers pointing and
Reaching and collecting the
Flowing end of his explanation
The bus driver–
A known time waster,
A money collecting
Paid by the hour
Time-keeping time-waster
Smacked on graying gum
With jagged canyon teeth
While bubbly spit
Situated itself on his chin
“You gotta pay”
He crowed
Squeaky and rhythmic

“You gotta pay”

Time curled his arms
In like two C’s and
Pointed to the chain
Around his neck
It was heavy and industrial
Even heavier holding
A Gold padlock
It seemed an anchor
Keeping his nikes on
The crumby ground
He licked his lips
And sing-songed
Shakespearean reason:

“The raging rocks
And shivering shocks
Shall break the locks
Of prison gates.”

The bus driver unperturbed
With midsummer sweat stains
And a fairy circle of white hair
Like a laurel wreath decorating
An angry pimply dome
Regurgitated his predestined line:

“You gotta pay”

Time laughed, big and sweet
“Oh we all gotta pay man, but time passes for free, no amount of coin will change that”

 

[Black Moon]

by Madison Hart

I once said I swallowed the sun. But as I sit on my porch I can clearly see it stands in the sky. However, at that time, I wouldn’t have bothered with reality and the fact that I really hadn’t swallowed the sun. Although I knew it in my brain, my heart was filled with its warm rays. You may notice I’m using past tense. You see, since that little girl was running around barefoot in her front yard, she grew up. Growing up is a terrible thing. Everyone argues it’s not. Just take a glance at me and observe my pale cheeks and lifeless eyes and you’ll start to understand. Who I once was, who I long to still be, has been robbed. My story thus ends in woe, but take note of this: Seal the cracks where lies can leak in, or before you know it, your whole life with be flooded. I once said I swallowed the sun. Now the moon is dark.

[YAC Responds: Thalia & Madison on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Thalia Medrano]

Is our world in crisis? I won’t lie, it seems to be, and if it isn’t now it will be soon. There’s no particular novelty to this crisis. We’re still dealing with the same old issues we’ve always dealt with, and finding more so called solutions the continue not to solve anything. And in 50 years I can’t help but imagine we’ll be right back here again.

img_5817I read somewhere that meaning comes from repetition; if something only happens once, it might as well have never happened at all. This is seen all the time in the context of religion. How many times have you heard someone say, “If there’s no life after death, what’s the point of living?”

But I say that meaning isn’t rooted in repetition or continuation, and is instead found in change and rarity. And in a time when we are facing the same old issues we always have, we have to seek out something new. Hope comes from possibility, from creation. There’s no value to a world that can’t change.

So remember that we aren’t stuck, there is possibility in everything. History isn’t doomed to repeat itself so long as we keep creating. And there’s no wealth of creation and possibility like art.  

[Madison Hart]

When walls are built and curtains drawn. When the human soul masks its pain. When all the world seems enraged. When the only hues are black and gray. It is then that hearts long for and even needs a splash of color breaking through the rain. The art of hurt is so easily displayed on canvas, paper and a window pane. It is here where mortal enemies bond together as they share one thing in common, despair. When we realize that we’re not all that different, we fall to our knees and humbly exclaim, “we are brothers, we are sisters, let us stand.” This revelation explodes. A country landscape, a colorful myriad of tiles, a poem for the soul, a bench to sit and observe. So, that when the walls crash down and the curtain is torn. When a soul is released from unthinkable pain. When all the world seems peacefully sane. It is then that we see the black hues turn to cherry blossoms and gray’s turn to rainbow sunsets. Then we sit on the bench, the bench with the placard that says, “to my brothers and sisters with whom I stood tall, we made the walls fall.”

[YAC Responds: Abigail & Lucy on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Abigail Munson]
Dip
The world
In
Honey
Everything slows
To a tangible
Stumble
The billboards
Stuck in the sky
Bleeding like
Crucified martyrs
Grabbing your attention
Proclaiming–
Emotional, economic, egotistical
DEVASTATION
This honeycombs inside
Your head
Growing like cluster crystals
On your skull
Manifesting a temple
In flashing renaissance gold
And dirty green
You learn to worship this
To create the divine
From signs, and shows
And endless streams of
Fluorescent words
Halo-ed and hollowed
Eternalized icons
Your HOME-MADE GOD
Lives in technicolor
And watches this EDEN-REALITY
On Repeat.

[Lucy Earl]
Oxford Commas
You know what art is?
The oxford comma.
Never have I seen such a beautiful symbol
Except perhaps the interrobang (look it up)
But that’s not the point.
Oxford commas are empowering.
Look at how long they’ve survived.
That oxford comma has endured hatred and debates,
And yet some loyal people have understood the importance of the good old oxford comma
So there it stands.
A beautiful disruption
Yet it manages to pull everything together as one.
Let’s all be oxford commas.
Let’s disrupt this crazy world as beautifully as we can.
And we’ll pull each other up along the way.
Because this is art
And it’s saving us all.

[YAC Responds: Aiyana & Christian on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Aiyana Spear]

I believe that art doesn’t need a purpose. To do art, all you need is the drive to do it. But in times of crisis, art is one of the most valuable tools out there that can help people.

When I’m scared, I turn to stories. When I’m feeling hopeless, I turn to words. My sister turns to music, my friends turn to comics, movies, shows, watercolors, calligraphy, and (of course) books. In class when we are discussing tough topics, we always take breaks and do drawing competitions or lip sync battles.

img_5816Happiness, love, hope are the most important things that can help a person through a crisis. Art creates these emotions. Stories help to ground, help make sense of seemingly incomprehensible things. Music can bring peace and stability. Movies, shows, provide escape, painting is peace. All forms of art are works of love, and that love, that power, can help people get through crises, get through hell.

[Christian Wilson]

If you’re stranded in the middle of the forest with a Rembrandt, don’t be afraid to use that priceless son of a gun as kindling in a fire. One of the most common deaths when stranded in the wilderness is hypothermia, and if you can’t get a fire going, you will get sick and you will die. Remember, Van Gogh used to use burn his paintings for warmth and if an artistic master has no qualms about setting artistic masterpieces aflame, then you shouldn’t either. Even if the only reason you’re holding the authentic oil on canvas painting is so you can auction it off to a shady group of Russian oligarchs, remember that despite its acclaim, The Night Watch is not worth your life. Although, given the fact that that painting is twelve by eleven feet, you could probably also the canvas as a tent. While you lay awake at night, wondering if you will die in the untameable Scandinavian wilderness, you can also study the intentional strokes made by one of the greatest painters that ever lived. Art students across the globe have studied every tiny intricacy of the famous tarp that could shield you from the harsh elements. To me, that’s real prestige.

[YAC Responds: Ellen & Sierra on What is the Purpose of Art in the Time of Crisis?]

[Ellen Huggins]

Art is the byproduct of everything that occurs us, so the result of more happenings in our lives; more chaos, more anger, is more art trying to find the meaning of it.

[Sierra Karas]

art is everything

Life is far too monotonous. We drive the same way to work every day. We come home to the same house, the same life, the same bed. We are caught in our habits because they are easy and because they are comfortable. But art is not supposed to make you feel comfortable. It is supposed to invoke feelings you haven’t felt before, it is supposed to be a call to action, a call to something, even if that somethings is small and simple. Maybe the message is just to be kind. Maybe it’s to change the world. And maybe, those are the same things.

Art is there to wake you up, to jolt you and bring you back to life, it is there to scream and to shout, to direct your attention to what truly needs your attention. When we’re in crisis, chaos, or social disruption, we need this wake up call. We need a platform from which we can voice our opinions and get messages for change out there.

We need to unite, and what better way to unite then to see similar or dissimilar opinions plastered down the boulevards until your eyes and ears and hearts have nowhere to hide from the problems at hand. (more…)

[MMXVI RESIDUE DISPOSAL]

by Abigail Munson

  1. Denver is crying, and tangled goodbyes stick to the street like dusty black gum.
  2. You still wear the same army boots your Dad bought you in ninth grade the day you said you wanted to be just like him. Then you decided that camouflage wasn’t for you. You would rather be seen. You would rather be heard. What happened to you toy soldier? You’re so hollow now, I hear the wind in your bones.
  3. My dog died and I didn’t cry until 3 weeks later.
  4. I met a God defined by disaster and I loved him. He lent me his favorite books and left poems and dirty jokes tucked in the saddest parts.
  5. BIG MAN WALKS ON TINY FEET
    HIS SHADOW BOMBS EVERY STREET
    NOWHERE TO GO
    NOWHERE TO HIDE
    BIG MAN’S SHADOW STRETCHES NATIONWIDE
  6. You grew mushrooms in your basement like you were some wacky moribund Ray Bradbury character. You spent weeks in the dark “finding yourself” you never left your house, you rotted away living through the veil of creation. You danced and licked at the heel of being erratic and played into it like sick puppy needing a fix. Maybe Bukowski will send you a gorge of red wine and some audacity. Keep drawing your spirals and huge eyes honey, keeping loving your bathroom floor and the way you mother just walks past your door knowing she can’t save you. On August 12th you called me from the hospital for the 14th time this year. (more…)