The Revolution

By Jazmane Tyson

(AFTER GIL SCOTT HERON)

Photo by Jazmane

Photo by Jazmane

The revolution against being played,
The revolution for all the lost girls
Will be against young men degrading them.
The revolution for all the lost girls and their lost souls
Will not  give into the foolishness of  them degrading themselves for these lost boys that claim to be men.
The revolution against broken spirits,
In revolution all the lost girls with no fathers in their world
Will resist the urge to purge their bodies to these pedophiles, for these young men with no morals or tax returns in their files.
The revolution will be against these young men with their vile street ways
and their audacity to disrespect these same women that helped create them.
The revolution will be for the lost girls, the victims of pimping and pandering.
We will resist!

The Man Without a Childhood

Anonymous

The man without a childhood didn’t receive his name from a parent like other people. He created the name, created himself. He had no father figure, no idol, yet something within him loved men enough to foster his existence.

The man without a childhood is aware others like him exist. Some he’s passed by on the street, some he’s congregated with in groups of a few dozen, one he’s loved. He isn’t the least bit like them and yet they’re kindred in their absent recorded youth.

The man without a childhood seldom understands social norms. He makes bits and pieces of what to expect and goes by on that. He bars these ever evolving theories from all but those he trusts with his psyche, lest he encounters someone who intends to shatter him into non-existence.

Homelessness

A poem by Anthony

Homelessness is a dark shadow trying to follow you,
trying to creep up on you at any given moment.
It is like a demon trying to get in your soul
and if you let it get into your soul completely—
you might not ever get that life back.
It is like quicksand— it’s not afraid to take you under.
You’re like lunch prey.
Homelessness is like a game of survival— you have to battle every day to survive.
You may never know what will pull you under
and you may not pull out of it
and who knows—
someone might not ever know.

To read more from Anthony, check out his zine, Homelessness On the Ave, by clicking here.

Zine Alum Graduates from Washington Youth Academy with Diploma

by Shaun McMichael

After graduating from the Zine Project, Michelle had a goal: to graduate.

Craving a challenge and wanting some structure, Michelle chose to attend Washington Youth Academy (W.Y.A.)—an academic boot camp run by the National Guard out in Bremerton.

W.Y.A. is no joke. Youth who enroll have to wake up at 6am, say “yes sir”, drop and give 25 push ups frequently, and run P.T. when they’re not doing school work.

Before

Before

Michelle—a mural-painting, poetry-spitting skater grrrrl— had to turn in her trusty trucks and paint brushes for a 6 month supply of black unmarked shirts, army boots and fatigues.

She headed out to Bremerton determined, excited, but not knowing what to expect and not knowing how she would keep up her poetry. Zine Instructor Shaun sent her off with a bunch of prompts, hoping the rigor of W.Y.A. would give her some inspiration.

After

After

Six months and many many push-ups later, Michelle is graduating with her high school diploma and is still writing.

Through Michelle’s own drive and the support of case management at W.Y.A. and UDYC, Michelle persevered and stuck with it to the finish line, using writing to cope along the way.

“I still use the writing concepts you taught me,” Michelle mentioned to Shaun not long ago.

But it wasn’t just the writing concepts from Zine that helped Michelle be successful at W.Y.A. The interview skills taught at Zine helped prepare Michelle for other interviews she had to do at W.Y.A.

“Also the reading-poetry-out-loud part,” Michelle shared. “It really helped me learn to communicate better. Especially to a crowd.”

Zine prompts its interns to read out loud—in front of each other and upon graduating. At Zine Graduation, in front of a group of twenty or so, Michelle rose to the challenge and knocked it out of the park (click here to hear her read her piece “A Dedication to My Life”). At W.Y.A., Michelle went on to read her poems in front of even larger audiences of peers and staff.

She came by UDYC the other day to present her Senior Project to Teacher Mike and Zine Instructor Shaun.

Michelle shaking hands with her teacher, Mike

Michelle shaking hands with her teacher, Mike

Not surprisingly, Michelle presented on Spoken Word Poetry.

In her presentation, Michelle showed a picture of her in her fatigues and military cap before a line of sober cadets, as Michelle threw down some of her verses. The picture proved, for doubters of all ages, that poetry can thrive anywhere. If you’ve got heart. If you’ve got a voice.

Michelle’s love for writing carried the presentation that day.

“When people like my poetry and relate to it, I like that,” Michelle shared. “It gives me the strength to write what they can’t and to speak it for them.”

Because of poetry, Michelle interacts with people differently and has a different relationship with words in general. “When I talk to people now, I think about what words I’m going to say before I speak them. Sometimes I even make rhymes when I don’t mean to.”

MP Congrats M readingMichelle closed her presentation with a reading of Andrea Gibson’s “Say Yes” and gave special emphasis to the following stanza:

“Never go a second hushing the percussion of your heart
play loud
play like you know the clouds have left too many people cold and broken and you’re their last chance for sun
Play like there’s no time for hoping brighter days will come
play like the apocalypse is only 4…3…2
but you have a drum in your chest that could save us.”

(Click here to watch Andrea Gibson perform the full version).

Just like Andrea Gibson, Michelle’s drum is steady, percussive and resonant. And while she may not always be marching in line like she’s done for the last six months at Washington Youth Academy, we at Zine know she’ll always be beating.

Thanks Michelle! And congratulations.

MP Congrats Blog pic 2 web

Readers, thanks for reading. Be sure to check out Michelle’s zine A Day in the Shoes…

To Be a Relentless One Man Army

Anonymous

Life is short, tremendously so.
 
People will tell you what to do.
 
They will define who you and what you must be depending on their culture,
Beliefs,
Upbringing,
Pathetic excuses,
Personal and communal values.
I
f anything they expect clashes with what you want, don’t bend to them.
 
Tell them to f off.
 
Remember how colossally diverse the planet is.
 
Remember that in the big scheme of things, the only code with any real value is the golden rule.
 
All else except this rule and the pursuit of happiness is meaningless.
 
And accept only what is necessary to attain the goal.
 
All else is bullsh*t meant to distract from living a full and beautiful and meaningful and desirable life.
If anyone tries to rend you from this path, rend them
Rend them
REND THEM
 
back into their hideous little hellhole of despair, and continue on your way.
 
If they keep trying, double your efforts to rend them away.
 
If they grow fangs and claws, grow your own in turn.

LIFE

PHOTOS BY JORDAN B

PHOTOS BY JORDAN B

BY JORDAN B

What  is life? Life is an on going battle with your self. There are so many things you can do with your life whether it’s just hanging out on the grass with friends or looking at the sky, or admiring beautiful artwork around the city. The most important  focus in life is you and only yourself, and sometimes you can’t worry about others. I found in life you have friends and you have fake friends. Friends are there for you no matter what , and will be there when you’re down to talk to you. Fake friends are the ones that are only there around you for what you have. You have to watch out sometimes because if you don’t catch it in time they will bring you down with them. Life is like a road, and in that road there are cracks, and bumps  and those are your hard struggles in life. Sometimes you just  have to drive over those cracks and bumps to move on down the road. If life was a road I would love to go on a road trip and see where else it takes me.

Inside

By: Edward aka Trae Beats

I see.
I hate,
I love,
I don’t want to wow you with materialism partly because I don’t have,
But I want to drench you in a chemical dependency,
Dopamine produced naturally in us.
If you are fearless, know that it is fearlessness and not bravery.
You were never in any trouble
the thought of you being alone is unfathomable
And if you were alone behind a fence with barbed wire
I would line the fence with my footprints
If there is this melodic, and harmonious day
where the most raw and delicate manifestations be come reality
The day my traveling to this land is greeted by its borders.
And I smell this new air.
Passionately caressing the dirt in my hand for it is the beginning of it all.
I have the urge to run to the warm welcome that was silently screamed until I arrived.
But there so much to admire to loose sight to desire.

Insecurity Spiral

A poem by Ashley

Insecurities invade both my private and flippant thoughts
They are the underbelly of ignored pain
climbing up my chakra chain
to swing from it, yanking
digging skid marks across soggy wooden depths
stirring the empty womb loneliness side to side
The rotting existence
Knotting my tangles in my sleep
Jangling the chain running through my core
Startling walls awake
Nails alert in an upward grip slipping more often than I climb
digging into my posture—down, down
Vacuuming my gaze into burnt holes in
the paper world of light
My coveted look out from pitch darkness
Scrutinizing the farthest point perceivable
Weary of waves shaped like slicing scissors
feeding the insecurity spiral
to spin it on.

Fishing

Anonymous

Camping in eastern Washington
Smoky wood smell
Mist in the morning. And crows cawing.
When you’re out in the air it’s got this biting sort of cold to it
That feels like life.
 
You’re enjoying the sight of the earth before the mist lifts,
The anticipation of the clouds ascent
And the wetted grass, pine cones on the ground.
We then go to the lake.
 
A half mile walk through a field.
 
The lake is clear and it’s cold.
We get out the tackle box
The bait and the lures— some are just hooks
Some look like tiny fish. The bait is a neon paste
Placed on the hook.
 
The lines are cast.
We wait. Maybe just minutes
Maybe an hour.
We get a trout.
 
First one I caught by myself, I was six. It was a foot long.
It was a lovely specimen—a rainbow trout and we ate it.
 
My older brother and I would take the fish
To the gutting place with Mike and he taught us how to gut it,
cutting from the cloaca to the neck, hacking at the head,
then pulling it out and the organs with it.
Then scraping the fecal matter and blood still within the fish.
 
The intestines were always so strange looking like worms
with odd little valves at the end.
It was a strange moment where taking something apart
Was actually interesting.
Machinery was just bits and pieces.
Taking apart a fish was messy and fun.
 
At the time, it was just a perverted joy.
If it was any other living thing, I might have hesitated.
But the trout was caught specifically for killing and eating.
It was an acceptable time to be primal.