By Juan

Anger Collage by Juan

Anger Collage by Juan


Anger looks like a tall dark humanoid figure

 with no face or features.

 This anger is not man or women,

 cat or dog;

Nor is it a figment of my imagination,

It follows me like a bad habit.

Like a shadow trailing me

as I walk down the vacant road of redemption

  as it attempts to over come me.

Anger taste like warm blood at the bottom of your lip

as I try to be the victor of this


Tread softly….

Know who’s behind you.

Know how to laugh

 because all this is nothing more

 than an emotion.




Everyone says family over everything! Family first.

Yeah first to

 Lie to you

 Steal from you

Hurt you

Bash you

Abandon you

Beat you

Leave you

 So why family first?

“Keep your family close and your enemies close”

Family is just some people you share some blood with.

The say “blood is thicker than water”

But water is genuine opposed to them.

Water can cleanse you, it can wash

Off the dirt and the hurt

from a days work.

Water can hydrate and lift you

Like you walked up a big hill

And you can’t breath

Until you’ve taken a gulp.

My Dad and step-mom are like water to me.

 I’m so used to negative people,

When I get around anyone positive again,

I feel good.

When I’m driving around in their car

I feel safe, knowing I don’t have to worry about anything.

My Wrap-around team are like water to me.

Because I am so used to being stuck on the negative things

 about my life, they help me come to terms

that I am a working person-in-progress

trying to do all things right.

They help me with that ,

not by telling me that but showing me.

Blood or not blood

These people are water to me,

they’re what I need to survive.

Tie-Dye and Messiness

By Natalie

Tie-Dye and Messiness painting by Natalie

Tie-Dye and Messiness painting by Natalie

My hands are stained with color,

Dry because I’ve had to wash them repeatedly like a chore.

The colors distract me.

Purple drips from my hands and bleeds

on everything if I’m not cautious.

Blue floats like a thick mist of emotion

for you.

Blue for me is dark and light depending on time of day.

In the morning blue is shut out by closed curtains,

At night blue is drained from the sky by a hungry sun.


My arms are stained with colors,

The colors of beads—green, blue and yellow

And black and red and orange,

All saying joy.

I express myself through bright colors

Instead of yesterday’s darkness.


My heart is stained with colors.

The colors of the rainbow.

Orange standing for sexuality.

I dream of coy fish swimming

In a bayou of giant trailers on stilts

And people racing by

On makeshift lawnmowers and jet skies

While the fish swam through, not caring.


My brain is stained with colors.

It’s like a stained glass window.

of bright, resilient colors

Outlined by a thick, black confusion.

A jumbled mesh trying to make an image.


My soul is stained with colors.

Yellow and white like a small candle

Trying to shine bright

In too much wind

I keep shining though, getting bigger,

Making new colors,

waxes of unimaginable colors

a tie-dye mess drips from my soul spreading



By Juan

 Music to me is my serene place,

My own get away in my mind

and unearths me into a state of thought.

Everything racing and going around rotating

 like a food processor shearing it all up

 and assembling for the consumption


trying to make sense of the real world.

Bass is levitated and I can feel the vibe

 throughout my veins journeying

 from cranium to metacarpals

like a quick jolt of static.

It’s what makes the hairs on my neck raise

it’s what makes me get up in the morning

and sleep at night. I thirst for it

like a new born infant’s hunger for its mother’s milk.


I desire it like the Sun and Moon

 and the stars along with the clouds;

The whole fucking sky is gone and disappeared

 and all you have left

 his a half working pair of headphones and the impervious melody’s echoing in my ears.

And now it’s all black.

I Am

By Chevonna 

I am like a fly in the world

Just wondering, floating, and flying around.

Looking for food, shelter, and comfort.

Throughout it all, I might get

 Smashed, stuck or simply keep going.


I am like the girl at the bar

That’s been there a little too long

 But I just can’t get enough.

Can I get a refill?

I am like a river

Polluted with all the things

People are putting in my head—this and that

The chemicals of lies, the toxins of negativity.


I am like the world

Some people want to build me up

To make it better,

Some people want to tear me down.


I am like Helen Keller,

In reality I’m blind

But on the inside,

I can see.


I’m like

The girl that has been through some

And has some more to go

But I see the light

And I will go on.

June-August Zine Group Graduation

Zine Graduation June-Aug 2012

Zine Graduation June-Aug 2012

The Zine Project has graduated yet another group of interns!

On August 3rd, four interns completed the project by reading their poetry to a small audience of family members, friends and service providers here at UDYC.

Zine Graduates, Jun-Aug. 2012

Zine Graduates, Jun-Aug. 2012

The interns read original, heart-felt pieces documenting their successes, struggles and hopes. As always there was laughter and tears, but also delight.

“I noticed their poetry was full of images,” says Audrey, a Wrap Around Facilitator for CCS.

Zine Graduates June-Aug, 2012

Zine Graduates June-Aug, 2012

After reading, interns answered thoughtful questions by the audience about their process and experience. Several of the youth shared what a great coping skill writing had become for them and that in Zine they’d gone deeper with their writing than they had before.

If you’d like to attend a Zine Graduation and get the powerful experience of hearing our youth read, sign up to be on The Zine Project’s Grad Evite list. Click Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates every 8-10 weeks on Graduation dates.

You can also check out our intern’s zines on our Zine Store page. Click each zine cover image to check out sample pages of youth writing and art work.

UDYC Program Manager, Erin checks out some writing by Natalie

UDYC Program Manager, Erin checks out some writing by Natalie

A Fond Farewell to Zine Case Manager Kevin

Kevin Daverman, Zine Case Manager Signing Off

Kevin Daverman, Zine Case Manager Signing Off

After five years working at UDYC and three years at the Zine Project, Zine Case Manager Kevin Daverman is moving on! And we’d like to take a moment to wish him well.

While Zine Instructor Shaun taught the writing workshops, Kevin did the recruiting and hiring of our interns–a process that involves lots of patience, skill and smarts. Once in the program, Kevin becomes the interns’ case manager and assists the youth in getting housing and benefits. Kevin’s also led Zine’s Job Readiness Workshops–helping youth create resumes and cover letters and being their job search for what happens after Zine.

It’s a big job, but Kevin did it wonderfully.

Kevin is going on to get a degree in Occupational Therapy where he’ll continue working one on one with clients the way he’s done in the Zine Project.

Kevin, on behalf of the hundreds of youth you’ve served since you’ve been here, good luck and thanks for your work!


UDYC and the Zine Project

You Are Worth More

By Ester

Sparrow by Ester

Sparrow by Ester

People used to tell me money can’t buy everything,

Like for example


I’m priceless.

So are all the girls out there doing what I used to do.

Your body is worth more than a few racks,

A sophisticated car,

Or some Gucci purses.

That’s all materialistic shit.

You can lose all that and get it back,

But its hard getting your dignity and self esteem back.


When those men see you out there selling yourself,

They don’t give two fucks about you.

They just see you as a cash dispenser,

 You’re not that.

You’re worth more than a fuck

and all the money in the world.


Nobody cares about a ho,

But people do care about you when you have self respect.

If you have self respect, you wouldn’t let yourself

get taken advantage of.

If you don’t have self respect,

 This world does have places that WILL help you

get all your shit together.

You aren’t alone in this world,

People are willing to help women get away from prostitution,

Because you are worth way more

than a whole bunch of Benjamin’s.


Don’t forget you aren’t alone in this world,

I been there before,

And I overcame it.

You can too.