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Lawrence Hall Oct 2018
“Thy people shall be my people”

                                          -Ruth 1:16

Smoke rises here from foul Gehenna’s fires
Fires set by souls twisted like cold barbed wire
Sole argument of ideologies
Strung geometrically from hate to hate

Smoke rises here; soft ashes fall as death
Torah, Mishnah, and Gemera – and us
For without the Word and the People Israel
We are but wraiths, and darkly blown about

O Israel!

You are the broom tree in the wilderness
The Tree of Life who shelters all with love
You are the tent of Sarah and Abraham
And we are blessed who find refuge in you
flynn Sep 2018
person feels a wave of heat through their neck and face when struck with a thought of their ex boyfriend. a ninth grader gives them a ***** look. person leans against a cold cinderblock wall and relaxes their face. focus on the empty space between the eyeballs and the brain. feel the limp arms and identify the beat of a pulse running through them. repeat after me: self care is boring.

paul laurence dunbar knows why the caged bird sings. he never wanted to be an elevator operator. it's a point of privilege. person asks a ninth grader if a bird could see the wind, the river, the sun. "oh... no..."

one thing person notices time and again is that when these students drop something they do not pick it up. they let someone else do it. where person is from it is not like that. students would not help person like that, they think.

person remembers one time, when they themselves were in the ninth grade, dropping their lunchbox in a crowded hallway and picking it up swiftly in the next step without slowing down. a tall boy behind them said "smooth". person felt proud at the time. person feels good remembering this.
lots of things have changed recently.
Jay Kay Jun 2017
Big fat raindrops feed the flower design on my jacket.
And while I love these summer rains
(With their temperature shifts and chances for quiet contemplation)
I really wish I brought an umbrella with me
When I decided to walk out the door this morning.
Because now I look like a cat
Who wants to **** the owner
Who tried to give that cat a bath.
Brianna May 2017
It was warm when I arrived in that big city- a suitcase and my purse are the only legacies I had left to my name.
I could start over here.
I could be someone new here.

My driver was a nice man from Delaware- he told me that the city was old and that I was brave for traveling so far alone.
He was a kind man.
He told me the weather was going to change soon.
He knew nothing about me... I don't think I knew anything about me.

We got to this broke down apartment over in West Philadelphia.
I remember thinking... this can't be the right address.
But it was and that was just the beginning to my endless self struggle.
I thought I could start over here.

The weather changed fast- overnight it was freezing and I was struggling to find warm enough clothes.
I remember thinking... how the **** can anyone live here?
I remember thinking ... how the **** am I going to make it here?

I learned a lot about myself that month I spent in the city.
I learned how to take a subway, how to take a bus, who to talk too and who to avoid.
I learned I can survive being alone.
I also learned.... you can't run from yourself.

You can't change as quickly as the weather.
Andrew Kelly Apr 2017
I ponder what my parents told me,
“The light in your eyes is back.”
Not because I am happy,
(or sober…)

Its because I stare at the dimly lit skyline
In the City of Brotherly Love,
In a melancholy manner.

While I could make some cliché allegory
Of a cigarette being another source of faint luminescence.

But I am a college student,
A speck of a presence drowning in dimwits,
With such bright futures ahead!
(Along with a large sum of debt.)

So while I sit and stare
At the city lights,
Soaking in suicidal thoughts at the SEPTA station.

Remember the light in my eyes
Is a reflection of those city lights.
Dimly lit,
Not aflame.
I have no one but myself to blame.
Telling the tale of what it was like to experience my depression at its worst alone in the city of Philadelphia. I never thought I was able to beat it until I did.
Jay Kay Dec 2016
There is a building
with two people's chalk silhouettes painted
High up
Super high up
on the front.
Did they jump?
Or were they traced on the ground and the house was flipped right side up?
Jay Kay Dec 2016
A Woman brought her Baby to a Kink Store Yesterday.
She filled her Stroller to the Brim,
And then She Rolled Away.
Spotted on 13th Street.
And once his friends
could walk to work with them
in neighborhoods to and fro there,

they came more moderate from near and far
as Gulielma wasn't there anymore and through their own
when week-ends could meander upstream with them both or alone
they would keep these dreams alive here,

a triumph in Penn Manor now Collegeville nigh
where she stay in times that heat up in spite of theirs
and might of luck be there till sunset still host wares of Philadelphia round today.
Hannah  was second wife of William Penn
L B Oct 2016
I let you go
to Philadelphia
I let you go
thirteen goin' on “life”
to your momma-- (God rest her-- and keep you
--from wherever she is)
to your father in Philly
outa the picture

Sheepish in the doorway of my classroom
back again
one last time--

Say good-bye, kid, to your short stay in Scranton
a town that can't rhyme
whose name falls over its own misery
No use for outsiders

“Where's your book?
Found your binder in the rain
Soggy protest to school's demands?
Of course it's yours
I checked, ya know”

"No way!"

Desk's been empty, three weeks now
Still, gotta ask
“Whacha doin?
Where ya been?”

I'm sorry for your loss....”
Thirty seconds shares our grief
Thirty seconds for your future's-- all I got

“Listen to your teachers!
Do your work!
Please-- be okay?”

in your wooly black coat-- like a bear
like a dare
shruggin and dancin in the doorway
of the “show”

Homework? Aint happenin'
But one paper, though
on why--
YOU-- should be president

and I almost vote for you
"Life" refers to a long prison sentence.

This poem is meant to be an indictment of the American
"prisons for profit" system that disproportionately targets African-American males.
Jay Kay Jun 2016
There is a woman,
Covered entirely in fur,
Staring at me as I skip on by.
She's been there for, 10, 20, 40 years,
Watching her corner parks turn into gas stations
And watching me walk.
And sometimes I stop.
And I stare.
And it takes everything in my body not to throw a brick through the window and take her for my wall.
And I wonder
How on earth is she still there
With nothing but dust covering her smile.
Because I can't be the first person to have wanted her like that.
I look.
Like a lost museum patron.
And then I keep walking.
Because most things
And all people
Are meant to stay beautiful.
And untouched.
Unless they ask you.
Or you own it.
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