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Old School (By Mario Vitale)

Remember the old boom box boogey down to the socks
Reggie Jackson chewy bars & Tommy's pop rocks
Parachutte pants with the hair high fade
Wake up late in a purple haze saying it's going to be one of those days
Back it up even further playing cowboys and indians in the sand box
Waiting at the corner for the ice cream man to come with his stuff
Boy, hero's fade from the scene such an evil scheme
Wouldn't care in what I said or did throwing an M80 under a garbage lid
Back when it was fashionable to be late for your date
Baking grandmas cookies in the oven for sure
Sipping on your favorite beverage while the pops watch Dinah Shore 
Those good old days that have gone before yet soon will discover
The over weight lover from another mother type of brother
Fast cars and the midnight scene with the freaks coming out
Flip flops with your stretch blue jeans such a party scene
In quaint encounters with the local police running in the street
Falling mailboxes girls wearing their Sunday best putting their lovers in a test
A time well spent in thought while going to the fair with music everywhere
Back in school those days listening to teachers stopping later at the mall
The movies back then made you feel ten feet tall with Stallone time to roam
Party's at your neighbors having forts put up in the back
Mommy & Daddy working to hard enough to give them a heart attack
Learn to relax with my rubix cube later playing hacky sack
A soft kiss from a lover under cover as she spins the bottle
I will never forget those tender moments in the sun thank you I got to run. 

I'm Done (By Anonymous)

I'm done. I'm tired of being everyone's second choice. I'm tired of being the one that asks to do something with someone. Whether that be homework or just chilling or just catching up, im done. I'm tired of being the one who always has that pit in my stomach where I feel like I'm just gonna be bothersome to this person who I'm yet again texting to ask if they want to do homework with me. I'm tired of having the anxiety and the feeling that I'm pushing people even further away because I just want someone to do something with. I'm sick and tired of being everyone's advice giver or favor doer and then feeling guilty asking the same of those people in return. 

I'm tired of being the girl that guys just see as a piece of ass. She's pretty I wonder if I can get in her pants. I'm tired of guys getting to know me and learning that I'm not "easy" and then throwing me aside like slop. I'm really really tired of the feeling I get after being thrown aside like slop, feeling like I'm a prude for not putting out. I'm tired of feeling unwanted other than as a means of helping someone achieve an erection.

I'm tired of hating my body. I can't even look at myself naked in the mirror. I can barely stand to be without clothes on for more than three minutes or else I'll start grabbing at areas of my body and analyzing every inch. Finding every little imperfection I can possibly find. Don't even ask me about food. I'm tired of that too. Not food, my relationship with it. What are carbs?

I'm tired of feeling all of these things. Part of me wants to shut everything out and seclude myself for a while, but wait what if that one person texts me back about studying tonight? They won't

Red roses (By Cynthia)

The blood soaked sweater sleeves screamed "help" as the darkness of the night covered my thoughts and mind slowly seeping into my consciousness.

 1,2,3 I took a deep breath as the blade sinked deeper into my skin forming an external manifestation of the internal pain I felt inside.

 It became harder to breathe as my consciousness slowly drifted away leaving the bathroom tiles covered in red reminding me of roses as I took my final breath.

 The world became silent just for a moment. A few scribbled notes and a lifeless corps were the only things standing.

 An awful death lacking depth, and daddy's little girl who never seemed to learn just why she was this way.

No matter what the author of my life continues to type. You see Death is a fact of life.

And the wheel keeps spinning on and on not allowing me to say I was wrong!

 We move on

Father's Touch (Johnny Levy, Slam Poems Editor)

I was an asthmatic kid
And when I got sick
It was like breathing through
A wet afro in my windpipe.
The panic, the agony,
My own lungs
Strangling me.
Will the next breath
Happen? Can't think like that.
Just keep breathing,
Like heaving thousand pound rocks
With my chest.

When Are You Coming Home, Dad? (Levi)

Hey dad I was wondering what your last thoughts were? What were your final thoughts as you lived up your final day on that artificial respirator in the ICU of that shitty hospital that we would joke about as we drove by it? What was your final thought about us? Did you wonder if I would graduate on time? Did you wonder what we would do with your belongings? Did you wonder what it would be like for us to cope with this emotional turmoil you put us through?

Attention (Felicity)

in the cupboard, they sit, they settle
i slide them in, among the coffee cups
the cheap china rattles, they kick their legs
you watch me with beady eyes

Beloved Stranger (Johnny Levy, Slam Poems Editor)

Why are we here?
To drink the sea?
To swallow the sun whole?


God is light, and rain.
Our hearts are stone.
Waiting in the dark.
Longing to know.
What we only know
With big chunks
Missing.  

UNTITLED (Heather Tinted)

We were addicted to each other,
I was your Honey Suckle,
You were my Bee,
You loved how my nectar dripped off of my petals.
You loved it so much that you picked me.
Snatching me from my roots,
Not understanding that I was trying to morph into your Butterfly,
Impossible. Impulsive thinking,
You didn't know what to do when you saw me dying,
So you showered me with your love.

Hook-Up Culture (Rochelle Smith)

A hundred dating profiles.
A dozen dates a month.
A couple drinks in some nameless bar.
Nights spent wasted and drunk.

Tomorrow, You Will Be Free (Regether Pair)

Please don't stop me, my love, let me lie
down and kiss the ground, let me taste the
taste of freedom on my tongue and
remember my past no more. Let my tears
mingle with the sand and the sun comfort
my soul, for the earth has opened up her
mouth and swallowed my past, no more
pain, no more fear, only sweet music shall
ring in my ears.

Bike Ride (Kavya)

Burden lifts of off her shoulder
And rings
Yes rings they form
Those heavy
Heavenly miraculous winds!

EDITOR'S PICK: Knock Knock (Daniel Beaty)

You Didn't Explain the Rules (Bec)

Wait.
I write your name a thousand times above a vast net of memories.
None of this makes sense.
Breathe in. Silence.
I scream your name in the ocean.
It’s stuck in the back of my throat. 


EDITOR'S PICK: Human Persons (Propaganda and Micah Bournes)



EDITOR'S NOTE: I picked this poem as a powerful example of of excellence, passion, and conviction in presentation. Great poetry asks great questions. This is easily my favorite poetic collaboration of all time. I was moved, challenged, and as is the case with most good poetry, it just made me want to write. 

More from these poets: 

The Day You Found Yourself (Kerrie Nicole McCaffrey)

Tonight
there is a half moon horizon
and the murk and smudge of the yesterday
the charcoal darkness of the last hour
and the swath of pitch upon your life
is shattered
as if by switch blade...
Breathe
the car won't start--
Breathe--
your throat is sore--
Breathe