Kelly Tsai “making guacomole”
for liberation of self.
open mics. writing circle. poetry slams. Y.s.s. is a space for young people to think critically, write honestly, and reclaim their creativity so the next generation of revolutionaries can emerge. YOUTH! RIGHT! NOW! IS! THE! TRUTH! RIGHT! NOW!
[image of Black female assigned at birth person with short natural hair, wearing red lipstick and a blue sweater that reads “Hella!” they are standing next to a white door and the blinds behind them are white.]
Welcome to my second Featured Poet. I will be featuring a new poet every few months or so, folks who I know personally through community and who I admire. I want to highlight youth, queer, people of color, trans and genderqueer poets. Please give a lot of love to Raven Taylor. I first saw Raven perform sometime last year and was moved deeply by their sincere and vulnerable power. Their power shines through the following piece.
——Atelophobia (An open letter to every boy I fell for)I’m sorry that you got your heart broken by girls who are prettier than me.Girls who are built exactly like the sunrise with all the planets aligned down their spine.Girls prettier than me have broken my heart.I’m sorry that I wasn’t pretty enough to break you.Pretty enough to compensate for the war torn battlefield that is my body.Atelophobia is the fear of not being good enough.I am not good enough to be pretty for you..but if it is any consolation…I do not not think of you when I look in the mirror wondering who will
deem me fuckable.I think of you when I am trying my hardest to be graceful and delicate.
when I am doing too much and switching my hips just a little too hard.I am so obsessed with “pretty” that it’s almost insulting.It is the deconstruction of my body and my face.It is the desecration of my dignity and self-worth.The hatred of good looking men with warm smiles and even better looking women with eyelids that could baffle the stars.Atelophobia is the fear of not being good enough.I am not good enough for you to find me hypnotizing,but if it is any consolation…I have been teaching myself to morph into another graceful animal everyday.I’m sorry that I couldn’t be the swan song you wanted or sing my hymns loud enough to blind you.I cannot give you butterfly but I can show you caterpillar and hope that I am just lovable enough for you to accept me.I keep trying to be the solar system,but I am not a sunday morning.I cannot imitate the warmth of a friday night.I am monday at 5:00 a.m.
I am the cracks in the pavement.The ceiling moss.
The wall flower.My “pretty” is more blurry than stunning.
Is more like hushed tones.
Is broken bells and siren sounds.
Is underdog. Pluto. Echo.
Is not noticed.Atelophobia is the fear of not being good enough.I am not good enough to be as interesting as the solar system is to you,but if it is any consolation…I think that Pluto is just as Regal as saturn.I am so obsessed with “pretty” thats it’s almost shocking.It is the details of a crime scene.
It is the secret topic of every conversation.
I want you to think I’m pretty.I am saying with my eyes.
I am saying it with my swag.
With my broken heart and shattered intentions…So why don’t you see it?I keep trying to be soil,but I am not a landscape.I may never be as fluid as nature.My “pretty” is more storm than sunset.
Is more rollling rocks than sparkling gems.
Is chard limbs. Muffled flames. Tree stump.My “pretty” is more awkward than breathtaking.
Is more backlash than acceptance.
Is scar tissue and broken promises.
Is half. painted. picture.Is not enough for you.I am so obsessed with “pretty” that it’s almost a trap.
Even when I don’t want you,I still want you to be looking at me.I am begging to be noticed.To be good enough.
“Pretty ” enough.
Fuckable enough to have you. To keep you.Enough is never enough.I will never be the sunrise and I am too fragile to lift planets or cradle star dust.I will always be cracked glass.
I will never be able to break you.Atelophobia is the fear of not being good enough.I am not good enough to be pretty for you,but if it is any consolation…I will stop trying to apologize for it.——Bio: Raven Taylor is a queer woman and poet of color. She writes poems about grief, survival, growing pains and the strong women who raised her. Raven uses poetry to tell stories, heal, and make sense of all the changes that happen in her life. She is currently a senior at Nova high school and working as the Wing 1 Coordinator of Cultural Activism at Queer Youth Space. She is also a Bent board member and is heavily involved with Youth Speaks Seattle, She was a member of the 2011 and 2012 Youth Speaks slam team.
writing prompt: what can you hide inside a person?
artist Nacho Ormaechea
three little black boys
lying in a grave yard
i couldn’t tell
if they were playing
baba lukata, rehearsal. (via yoforbes)
this just broke my heart. twice.
writing prompt: what have you seen?
Team Stockton, Brave New Voices 2011
Stockton’s got jokes!
writing prompt: write an open letter to someone or something (ex: an open letter to coffee, an open letter to the NYPD, an open letter to my father)
consider: what do they need to hear? what needs to be said? what words do they pull out of you?
we all know…
Gabriel Teodros “Third World Wide”
Gabriel will feature at the Youthspeaks Grand Slam in 1 WEEK! March 1st yall, 3/1:
Khingz will feature at the Youth Speaks Seattle Grand SLAM, coming up in ONE WEEK sun. 3/1..
click the link and vote for Youth Speaks Seattle and help us win some $$$ to fund our trip to Nationals in Chicago!
(the picture is Youthspeaks poets at our feature at EMP in November)
1. what is _______ without _______ ?
2. under my shirt is my skin, under my skin is my heart, under my heart is… (keep going deeper and deeper)