I see reality TV every time I look outside.

First they desensitized our eyes now we crave what we once despised.

What's real has become fake, so even though I close my eyes, I make sure I stay awake.

your new york street cat-calls
will never touch me

because i am woman,
and you will fucking hear me

roar, loud enough
to shake the earth

and sky

people always said to me
"you're too young to be a feminist"

but what does that even mean?
are you ever to young to fight?

i swear on the bible

girls with dreams and big ideas
are scarier than monsters

and her eyes are not oceans,
she is not a tsunami

she is beautiful
she is god
she is woke
she is queen

the black girl, the white girl
the brown girl all make

a rainbow
and I want

to savor every goddamn moment

I grew up in a Muslim country
Where the culture is different;
Dress codes, cuisines, sceneries, and peaceful people,
Different from your local news' bombing news content.

I met different people at my old school, all of which are my friends;
Of different ethnicities, culture, and religion.
Despite our major differences, we treated each other as one;
We built a bond that is not made for oblivion.

I am lucky to grow up experiencing having a Muslim and a Christian for a friend,
I get invited to holidays like Christmas and Ramadan.
I get to see and feel the best of both worlds,
And respect for each religion is the key to living as one.

I wrote this to serve as an eye-opener
That the terrorists that you see on the news are not my Muslim brothers;
For when terror is claimed in Islam's name,
They disrespect the Islamic belief and teachings when they make that claim.

We need to live in a world where people thinks critically—
A world with no woman with a hijab is stared at disrespectfully;
A world where nobody uses Islam as a sign of terror;
A world with no discriminations, just peace and tranquility.

I hope we also learn cultural sensitivity,
For religion differences aren't something to joke about and be tagged with petty comedy.
Respect is what we need to have a peaceful community,
And if we really want to live in a world free from disquieting thoughts and emotions,
Let this all start with you and me.

(c) Mary Joyce A. Tibajia | 2017

Let's build bridges instead of walls
More knowledge to beat the odds
Start teaching them how to crawl
Teach'em not to out run the law
If you need god give him a call
There's no first class to heaven
No coach seats to hell
No such thing as freedom
Don't ask and don't tell
A life that's uncertain
With dreams that turn stale
Sometimes you need to jump
Before they set you up to fail
Find out if you can fly
See what life has to unveil
Pull the curtain down from sky
You and I will soon prevail
If you fall then try again
Life's a ladder we all scale
Cause gold flows in our veins
While tears wash sins in jail
The reward is worth the pain
At the Heart brake hotel

requiEM Jan 30

I'm awake, no sleep in sight
5:45am. The cogs keep turning and the fog keeps burning and I find myself
Wide eyed. In love.
I inhale the darkness with every breath, breathing deeper than usual
I inhale this smoke with a vengeance
Fresh air. For once in my goddamned life I feel whole
Is it you?
Is it the shade?
Is it the love we made?

Don't make me go to sleep because I know when I wake it will be gone. Let me stay. Let me soak. Keep me woke.

Ines Rose Jan 20

I knew how to write in Korean
Then, before I knew it,
I almost forgot

I knew how to laugh at your jokes
Then, before I knew it,
The joke was on me

I knew how to give you my love
Then, before I knew it,
That knowledge was lost

(Spur of the moment)

I woke up
Feeling braver
I woke up
Seeing clearer
For all I know
I could be possessed
By a beautiful devil
Somehow, I'm fine with that
A friend said
"Things are never really over..."
Those words
Sparked something
In me

Analise Quinn Jul 2016

My Country Tis of Thee,
Sweet land of liberty-
Or so we sing.

Land where my fathers died-
But my forefathers died in a battle
Trying to keep their slaves;
My fathers killed your fathers
For trying to run away;
My fathers kill your fathers
Cause it's late at  night, and
He's reaching for his gun-no, wait,
His ID?

Land of the pilgrim's pride-
But so often we leave out of history
How if it weren't for a Native American,
The pilgrims would've died.

From every mountainside-
Like Stone Mountain in Georgia,
Where Rebel Generals are memorialized,
Where the Klan was revived-
God, help me, I can't hear freedom's ring;
I can only hear white-washed history.

From every mountainside-
But these days, the mountain is in my chest,
And liberty's ring sounds a lot different,
And a lot of folks don't like it.

Let freedom ring-
And I want to fight for freedom for all-
I want to help-

Let freedom ring!-
But peaceful protests turn into
Bloodbaths as those who have sworn
To serve and protect are sniped down.

Let freedom ring!-
I try to educate myself
On the side of history not taught-
I've always felt that Nat Turner was the bad guy,
But these days I'm questioning it.
I read "The Meaning of Fourth of July for the Negro"
by Frederick Douglass
And I read "Bury Me in a Free Land"
by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
and I read "Sympathy"
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
and I read "Letters from Birmingham Jail",
"The Mountaintop Speech", and
"I Have a Dream"  
by Dr. King.

When I was younger,
I'd research Dr. King & his colleagues
For fun.
I'd  wonder, "If I lived in the Civil Rights era,
What would I have done?"

But when I turned seventeen,
I realized, "I live in a Civil Rights era;
What am I going to do?

Brooke Ayana Jun 2016

Look at me,
18 years old and already I am the epitome of a black woman, strong,sensual, beautiful, smart, magic and I love all of these things about myself but in today's fiction being a black woman means being unintelligent , loud , angry, and for some reason we all have daddy issues right?
     To some being black and being a writer is an astonishing dilemma I haven't quite conquered yet . and I guess that reflects on who we've been introduced to or who has taught us that being black , woman, and a writer is odd. bizarre to some even.
   They don't paint these pictures on other races. If you let me be honest for a minute, the most neglected , disrespected , over looked woman in America is the black woman but I'm suppose to keep quite and pretend to be less awake to these unrealistic realities than I really am..
   Because no body likes a loud mouth, sassy black woman, we can never upstage "the man"
but I always wondered if that was the case, then why did God bless me with this mind, full of rhymes and stories to tell?
    Time and time again I find myself on the unpopular side of opinions with stares from others who aren't quite as comfortable in their skin as I am therefore blocking themselves from believing in me because that means exposing their truth.
      But my "unpopular opinions" and "unrealistic ideas" comes from the constant emotional roller coaster of being a love sick black poet. when the only real love i crave is for other people to love themselves because the realization of self love is powerful. I soon realized that everyday I kept my mouth closed was another day I sold my soul to the man and if I continued the minds I want to liberate won't get to feel that nostalgic high of freedom they try so hard to take away.
      In retrospect I always felt like to some extent that because i am black and a writer that when my poetry is heard its held to some higher degree of amazement and it has nothing to do with how my mind can string together words and make poetic symphonies but it's the fact that I was even able to do it , like the color of my skin in some way was supposed to hinder me from being creative.
   I often wonder why all this melanin in my skin stirs up so much controversy and I'm not sure why god blessed black women with so much internal and external beauty or why I was chosen to be one, but because I am one I am blessed and fein for the day the world recognizes how beautiful we are because God took his time making us, black girls. We coated in honey, sprinkled in magic & the reflect the strength of a thousand moons & it just doesn't get any better.

quotes from Malcolm x & thandie Newton
VC May 2016



Not given a choice

Sold a lie

Sucked in

Constant upward climb

Falling back down

No escape; in too deep

Yearning for freedom

To roam, to express, to create

Suppressing what feels natural

Such a pity

when child-like free-bird souls are caged

This is the real depression

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