Dylan Garity Rigged Game NPS 2013

Every day when I was five, my older sister would play teacher. Her students were me, my stuffed rabbit and an American girl doll, She'd line us up at the end of the bed and teach us whatever she'd learned in school that day. Now, she teaches ESL at an elementary school in Boston and every week she tells me stories about her students. Ana does not know how to read in Spanish, much less English but she still wants to be a writer when she grows up. Juan chooses to stay inside and study at recess so that one day he'll be able to teach his.

Own brother. These kids are good organs in a sick body. In 2001, No Child Left Behind gutted bilingual education. Students who have been in the country for one year are now expected to perform at grade level on standardized English tests. My sister is not allowed to instruct them in Spanish. If the kids don't jump high enough, the school loses money Improving a school by picking its pockets is like tuning a guitar by ripping off the strings. Learning to read in a new language before you can even read in your own.

Is like learning to walk while a pit bull is chasing you. Like learning to sing with the conductor's fist down your throat This year, for my sister's birthday, I bought books for her students. A poem on one page in Spanish, the next in English. She is not allowed to help them read the first. Their heritage is a banned book Learning to read in a new language when you can't even read in your own is like trying to heal a burn victim by drowning them. We are telling these children who have spent their whole lives in the deep end.

That they'll learn how to swim if they just float out a little farther. In the 1980s, American slaughterhouses began building corrals in curves, so no animals could see the blood at the end of the track. This is how we kept them moving forward. In 2001, we began building the hallways of our schools in curves. This is how we keep them moving forward. You never learn, you fail the test You never learn you fail the test You never learn, you drop out. I know, I am lucky enough to be one of the winners of this game.

I was handed a head start and a rulebook in my own tongue but the winners of a rigged game should not get to write the rules. On the television, some senator preaches that throwing money at an urban school is like feeding caviar to your dog. They just won't know how to appreciate it After all, if these parents can't take care of their own children, why should we Well tell that to Ana who has my sister translate newsletters aloud to her father because he, too, was never taught how to read.

Tell that to Juan whose mother and baby sister are still in Guatemala whose father works three jobs My sister tells me school is the most stable place in these kids' lives. She has been a teacher since she was smaller than they are. but since when does being a teacher mean having to swear not to help Since when does being a teacher mean having your hands tied as the schoolhouse burns to the ground We are leading these children along a track built in circles as their lungs fill with smoke.

Dylan Garity Friend Zone Button Poetry First Readings

The first time I ever danced with a girl she leaned in close and asked me why are your arms so stiff Dancing with you is like dancing with a mannequin If they made mannequins super bony and with very sweaty palms. And to be fair, my palms were sweaty and simultaneously ice cold I was, and continue to be, a miracle of physics. Who knew that adult hands could be supported by wrists that a fiveyearold or baby duck could easily snap. This may be part of why I spent my teenage years.

Absolutely failing with women. In middle school, I would ask girls who I liked how much they weighed to see if I weighed more. Numbers made me excited! I loved math! I used to think this meant everyone else loved math, too! In high school, I became intimate with the friend zone. With one girl, I spent so many years in the friend zone I didn't even realize I was in it. She was from Sweden. so I guess it was literally Stockholm syndrome. I would come over to her house and help her.

With calculus and I would comfort her and tell her how she was beautiful or how her boyfriend was a dick or how integrals are related to derivatives Eventually, I spent so much time in the friend zone that I grew to think of it as some kind of magical home away from home some lush forest filled with unicorns and elves and puppies none of whom were getting laid. I was on an adventure! Constantly uncovering new questions about this mystical place Are you in the friend zone if they're sleeping with other people and NOT telling you about.

It Are you in the friend zone if they tell you they could totally see marrying you in fifteen years Why would you marry me in fifteen years if in fifteen years I'll still be a virgin because you never slept with me A few months after my first girlfriend and I broke up, I heard she lost her virginity to the next guy she dated. At the time, I thought of this as a betrayal, not her choice. As if she owed me something. A newspaper column once defined the friend zone as follows.

She discusses her love life with him and has the audacity to ask his advice on it. He performs favors for her. He does everything a boyfriend would do but without the benefits. as if the only reason to be a good friend or a decent fing human is if you get something in exchange. The problem is, when I started thinking of myself as a savior, I ended up thinking of myself as a savior with a salary You put in your hours as a nice guy and sex is just a living wage.

But sex is not a transaction. Sex is not a handshake to close some deal. That girl did not owe me anything. Last year, I heard that her home was broken into in a neighborhood known for sexual assaults. Nothing happened to her. We all know the statistics. Your rapist is more likely to be someone you know. The boogie man, the stranger in the alley, is real, but less real than we are. We all know the statistics. but we don't know how to accept that we can be part of the problem.

Sabrina Benaim Explaining My Depression to My Mother

Explaining my depression to my mother a conversation mom, my depression is a shape shifter. one day it is as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear, the next it's the bear. on those days i play dead until the bear leaves me alone. i call the bad days the dark days. mom says try lighting candles. when i see a candle i see the flesh of a church, the flicker of a flame sparks of a memory younger than noon i am standing beside her open casket,.

It is the moment i learn every person i ever come to know will someday die. besides, mom, i'm not afraid of the dark. perhaps that's part of the problem. mom says i thought the problem was that you can't get out of bed. i can't. anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house, inside of my head. mom says where did anxiety come from anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of town depression felt obligated to bring to the party. mom, i am the party. only i am a party I don't want to be at.

Mom says why don't you try going to actual parties. see your friends. sure, i make plans. i make plans, but I don't wanna go. i make plans because i know i should want to go. i know sometimes i would have wanted to go. it's just not that much fun having fun when you don't wanna have fun, mom. you see, mom, each night, insomnia sweeps me up in it's arms, dips me in the kitchen in the small glow of the stove light. insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feel like perfect company.

Mom says try counting sheep. but my mind can only count reasons to stay awake. so I go for walks but my stuttering kneecaps clank like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists, they ring in my ears like clumsy church bells, reminding me i am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness i cannot baptize myself in. mom says happy is a decision. my happy is a high fever that will break. my happy is as hollow as a pinpricked egg. mom says i am so good at making something out of nothing.

And then flat out asks me if I am afraid of dying. no, i am afraid of living. mom, i am lonely. i think i learnt it when dad left how to turn the anger into lonely, the lonely into busy. so when i tell you i've been super busy lately, i mean i've been falling asleep watching sportscentre on the couch to avoid confronting the empty side of my bed. but my depression always drags me back to my bed, until my bones are the forgotten fossils of a skeleton sunken city,.

Darius Simpson Scout Bostley Lost Voices CUPSI 2015

The first day I realized I was black, it was 2000, we had just learned about blacks for the first time in 2nd grade. At recess, all the white kids chased me into the woods chanting slave. My mother said I refused to come out for three hours, said she thinks I was lost in the trees, but I just needed to be closer to my roots. As a woman, having a boyfriend is a battle If 70 of us are abused in a lifetime what is the number of men doing it.

The answer is not 1 man running faster than light to complete a mission and that is what leaves me sick The second day I realized I was black, was in a gas station I only had 25 cents so I searched what to spend it on. The cashier floated from aisle to aisle eyes fixed on my hands. That was the first time I realized skin color was a crime, My body has become cause to write legislation cause for ass smacks in the back of a class my body has demanded everything except respect. I have been asked.

What makes you feel unsafe and I struggle not to yell EVERYTHING The third day I realized I was black was in an allwhite cafeteria. I gathered my legs under me, made rockets of my feet and approached a girl. She told me she wasn't into my type of guy. I felt the words shoot daggers into my melanin, I've never wanted to disappear so bad. As a woman I've learned to answer to everything except my name little lady is not said to mean equal but to make sure I remember my place.

I battle between wanting to own my body and accepting that there is a one in four chance a man will lay claim to my skin a plot of land for the taking The last day I realized I was black was in an elevator in California. To the white woman that told me she knows what it feels like to be black because she grew up poor, I would tell you to think before you speak but your mind has got to be bacteria infected and any filter through that labyrinth of nothingness might be worse than no thought at all.

There is a group of women going around the room sharing their personal definition of feminism He is the only man in the room and all of a sudden the tone switches to destroying the patriarchy by annihilating all men. Do you know what it means to be black, to pop lock your way in and out of hugs It is not a problem that you want to sympathize but to tell me you know my pain, is to stab yourself in the leg because you saw me get shot. We have two different wounds, and looking at yours does nothing to heal mine,.

Never will I turn away an ally but when a man speaks on my behalf that only proves my point Movements are driven by passion not by asserting yourself dominant by a world that already put you there You speak to know pain you only fathom because we told you it was there You know nothing of silence, until someone who cannot know your pain tells you how to fix it. Every day is a crucifixion when there is no regard for lines crossed. I fight so my voice can be heard I fight for the voices you silence all in.

Neil Hilborn OCD Rustbelt 2013

The first time I saw her, everything in my head went quiet. All the tics, all the constantly refreshing images, just disappeared. When you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you don't really get quiet moments. Even in bed I'm thinking did I lock the door yes did I wash my hands yes did I lock the door yes did I wash my hands yes. But when I saw her, the only thing I could think about was the hairpin curve of her lips or the eyelash on her cheek the eyelash on her cheek the eyelash on her cheek.

I knew I had to talk to her. I asked her out six times. In thirty seconds. She said yes after the third one, but none of them felt right so I had to keep going. On our first date, I spent more time organizing my meal by color than I did eating or talking to her, but she loved it. She loved that I had to kiss her goodbye sixteen times, or twentyfour times if it was Wednesday. She loved that it took me forever to walk home because there are a lot of cracks.

When we moved in together, She said she felt safe, like no one would ever rob us because I definitely locked the door eighteen times. I'd always watch her mouth when she talked when she talked when she talked when she talked when she talked. When she said she loved me, her mouth would curl up at the edges. At night, she'd lay in bed and watch me turn all the lights off and on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off and on and off.

She'd close her eyes and imagine that days and nights were just passing in front of her. Some mornings, I'd start kissing her goodbye but she'd just leave because I was making her late for work. When I stopped at a crack in the sidewalk, she just kept walking. When she said she loved me, her mouth was a straight line. She told me I was taking up too much of her time. Last week she started sleeping at her mother's place. She told me that she shouldn't have let me.

Get so attached to her, that this whole thing was a mistake, but how can it be a mistake that I don't have to wash my hands after I touch her Love is not a mistake. It's killing me that she can run away from this and I just can't. I can't go out and find someone new because I always think of her. Usually, when I obsess over things, I see germs sneaking into my skin. I see myself crushed by an endless succession of cars. She was the first.

Beautiful thing I ever got stuck on. I want to wake up every morning thinking about the way she holds her steering wheel. How she turns shower knobs like she's opening a safe. How she blows out candles blows out candles blows out candles blows out candles blows out candles blows out candles blows out now I just think about who else is kissing her. I can't breathe because he only kisses her once. He doesn't care if it's perfect. I want her back so bad, I leave the door unlocked.

Jesse Parent To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter

To the boys who may one day date my daughter I have been waiting for you. Since before her birth, since before my spark took hold and ignited the fire in her mother's belly, I have been training to kill you. When you took your first steps, I was preparing to make it so you never walked again. When you played at war I was perfecting my headshots. You can't catch up at this point. And when you first meet my daughter and fall in love with the look she sends over.

Her shoulder, her crescent moon eyes framing her laughing smile, you are going to want to talk to her. And when those hours pass by like sprinters during that first timeless conversation you will also know, with a deep and impending sense of dread, that you are going to have to talk to me. When you first come to my home and see the bone carving over my threshold, try not to imagine your own femurs so expertly carved. Pay no attention to my ample crawlspace, my room with the rubber mat and drain.

Be careful only to approach me with love for my daughter. See, I have been seeding her childhood with tap root hugs to weed out indifference and apathy. There will be no daddy issues for your teenaged talons to latch upon. If you break her heart, I will hear it snap with the ear I pressed against her mother's belly. The elbow I cradled her head in will send a message to my fist. My cheeks are attuned to her lips, I will know if they tremble. I have taught her that a man should never hit a woman.

Now, her mother would add that you really shouldn't ever hit anybody, but I have taught her that a man should NEVER HIT A WOMAN! Consider my genes a mark of Cain, you will suffer seven times whatever you do to her. And she will not keep your secret, you can't make fire feel afraid. I have been teaching her love all of her life, and all that I ask is that you continue the lesson. Love her, befriend her, protect her. Be there when I can't. And when my body gives up to the grave.

Neil Hilborn The Future NPS 2013

The worst thing about being nakedand then being hit by a caris that road rash is a problem for skin. Why was I naked in the middle of the road at noon I am glad you asked, imaginary other half of this conversation! I have no idea! Some characteristics of bipolar disorder include dissociation, hallucinations, and fugue states, so sometimes I wake up in places I didn't go to sleep! So. There I am. Nude. Splayed out on a car like a slutty chicken, and I'm screaming about the government conspiracy to take away my feet. Not my real feet.

Just my brain feet. I'm about six inches away from the concrete when I realize, in slow motion, like the exact opposite of a rhinoceros attack, This is not how I imagined my life would turn out. When I was young, I broke both my ankles jumping off a roof because I was sure a cape would enable me to fly. My parents attributed this to my strong imagination. Last year, my therapist called it a delusion. I fail to see the difference. Also, I really can fly and see the future and make stupid people.

Leave coffee shops with my mind. Fortythree percent of the time. Sometimes I see people as colors. For instance, this guy right here is purple, which means he just got a promotion. Or a blowjob. A blowmotion, if you will. The point is, here is a list of things my brain has told me to do join a cult start a cult become a cabinet maker kill myself, so, in essence, become a cabinet maker break into, and then paint, other people's houses have sex with literally everyone who reminds me of.

My mother fight people who are much fightier than me, like the cops, so, in essence, kill myself. I think a lot about killing myself, not like a point on a map but rather like a glowing exit sign at a show that's never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave. See, when I'm up I don't kill myself because, holy shit, there's so much left to do! When I'm down I don't kill myself because then the sadness would be over, and the sadness is my old paint under the new. The sadness is the house fire.

Or the broken shoulder I'd still be me without it but I'd be so boring. They keep telling me seeing things that aren't technically there is called disturbed cognitive functioning. I call it having a superpower. Once, I pulled over on the 110 freeway and jumped out of my old Jeep because I saw it burst into flames twenty seconds before it actually burst into flames. I knew my girlfriend and I would be together because she turned bright pink the first time she saw me. I know tomorrow is going to come.

Because I've seen it. Sunrise is going to come, all you have to do is wake up. The future has been at war, but it's coming home so soon. The future looks like a child in a cape. The future is the map and the treasure. The future looks just like gravity everyone is slowly drifting toward everyone else. We are all going to be part of each other one day. The future is a blue sky and a full tank of gas. I saw the future, I did, and in it I was alive.

Phil Kaye Repetition Poetry Observed

My mother taught me this trick If you repeat something over and over again it loses its meaning For example homework homework homework homework homework homework homework homework See Nothing Our lives she said are the same way you watch the sunset too often, it just becomes 6pm you make the same mistake over and over, you'll stop calling it a mistake If you just wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up one day you'll forget why I should have known Nothing is forever.

My parents left each other when I was seven years old Before their last argument they sent me off to the neighbor's house like some astronaut jettisoned from the shuttle When I came back there was no gravity in our home I imagined it as an accident That when I left they whispered to each other I love you so many times over that they forgot what it meant Family Family Family Family Family Family My mother taught me this trick If you repeat something over and over again It loses its meaning.

This became my favorite game It made the sting of words evaporate Separation Separation Separation See Nothing! Apart Apart Apart Apart See Nothing! I am an injured handyman now I work with words all day Shut up I know the irony When I was young, I was taught that the trick to dominating language was breaking it down convincing it that it was worthless I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you See Nothing. Soon after my parents divorce I developed.

A stutter Fate is a cruel and efficient tutor There is no escape in stutter you can feel the meaning of every word drag itself up your throat SSSSSSSeparation Stutter is a cage made of mirrors every what'd you say every just take your time every come on kid spit it out is a glaring reflection of an existence you cannot escape Every awful moment trips over its own announcement again and again and again until it just hangs there in the center of the room as if what you had to say.

Button Poetry First Readings Kait Rokowski A Good Day

Ok so this is short and I know you guys are gonna judge it, or short for a slam poem I guess. It's not really that short. But I don't really care about the scores on this poem. For once, I'm going to ask you guys to help me with a little bit of therapy, which I don't do a lot in slam anymore. So this is not going to be the best poem I have written, but I think it's the most important poem I've written for myself in the last year and a half, so thank you.

Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries, took the bus home, carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment and cooked myself dinner. You and I may have different definitions of a good day. This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill, worked 60 hours between my two jobs, only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks. I slept like a rock. Flossed in the morning, locked my door, remembered to buy eggs. My mother is proud of me. It is not the kind of pride.

She brags about at the golf course. She doesn't combat topics like, My daughter got into Yale with, Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs, but she is proud. See, she remembers what came before this. The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles, how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks. She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide. These were the bad days. My life was a gift I wanted to return. My head was a house of leaking faucets and burntout lightbulbs.

Depression, is a good lover. So attentive has this innate way of making everything about you. And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world, that the dark shadows your pain casts is not moodlighting. It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created. Today, I slept in until 10, cleaned every dish I own, fought with the bank, took care of paperwork. You and I might have different definitions of adulthood. I don't work for salary, I didn't graduate from college, but I don't speak for others anymore, and.

Always Cheat on Your Wife Or Your Girlfriend

My husband is cheating on me My ex had 2 cell phones The guy I was talking to before was a married man I found out I got cheated on cheating The time I met The side chick Oh so the title offends you huh Lord Destro I love my significant other. Lord Destro I will lose her trust Coward spare me with your moral mumbo jumbo Your allegiance is to lord Destro and no other Youve been brainwashed by the masses. You believe your tender poems Romantic gestures Or your cliche gestures will get her nanny wet.

You poor fool. You are no catch. And she knows this. she has settled for you You have not earn her attention But you my friend are a place holder Until another better prospect comes along One that challenges her. One that she fears One that she lust for. Now do I have your attention Excellent.Why should you not have a harem Why should you aimlessness thrust the same orifices for sexually satisfaction Time and Time again Your one job in life is to spread your genetic code to all takers.

And believe me she will respect you for it She will praise you for it She will masturbate to your idol because of it. but your execution must be flawless There should be a halo of adultery that glows around you like the saint you are There should be no concrete proof of your sexual advances You should activate worry in all of her natural senses. hearing, taste touch smell all but vision Never get caught Worry less about seduction and focus solely on confusion She is not your equal but like the helots of Greece she must be conquered and subjugated.

Dave Harris Black Boyfriend Rustbelt 2015

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A Letter To An Ex Poetry Slam

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