Be Individualistic

Day Terrors: Written by Hannah Berman-Schneider
I walk alone beneath a sun-streaked sky
and I cringe as cars pass by
because each whiff of black smoke,
reminds me of the way I choke
and stutter when someone asks my name.

But I’m the only one to blame

You may think I’m insecure,
but I know I’m crazy,
because every engine’s crescendo held far too long,
is a person I whisper hi to

They don’t hear me because they're already gone
honking just loud enough to let me know I don’t belong.

They don’t see me because they see right through me.

Every morning I fight a crusade against my sheets,
and every morning they win,
as I raise a white flag to the snooze button.

I tell myself my pillow may have won the battle but I will win the war
when I’ve already surrendered.

I’m the villain in my own life’s game,
And I can’t shake the feeling that I’m losing to the enemy
as I’m crushed beneath the weight of the universe

Atlas sends his sympathy.

I walk alone and as the light fades away,
I feel more at home in the dark than the day.
More comfortable speaking to the stars above,
than people my age
because they can’t turn their back,
they can’t walk away like the day and betray me.

For I see them when I close my eyes
an escape from the person I despise,
staring back at me with my eyes

And I see nothing.

Nothing but lifeless orbs,
so dark and cold they make the night seem warm

I walk alone but I’m not alone.
Because I know when the sun sleeps,
courage creeps back into our hearts,
and we aren’t apart from the people we miss
and the stories that kiss our spirits

If we’re willing to let them in.

You may think I’m crazy,
but I’m just insecure.
Because one person’s demons in the light of day,
are another’s fond memory of the night that stayed.

I Wonder: Written by Chloe Laverson
i wonder.
what did you see when you looked at me?
did you see the eyes of the man who left you?
did you see a child that belonged to somebody else with your smile?

i've spent my whole life wondering what you looked like.
all i remember is you laugh.
what you would say?
would you be proud?
would you introduce me as your daughter?

i wonder.
what if the tall man with blonde hair stayed?
what if he told me i was his little girl?
tearing up and saying i was all grown up on prom night?
what if he looked up into my green eyes and saw a reflection of his own?
what if he sang me to sleep every night?
i'll never know.

i've spent my whole life wondering what you looked like?
what you would say?
would you be proud?
would you introduce me as your daughter?

no one would ask why i didn't have brown hair and brown eyes.
my mother has brown hair and brown eyes.
my dad has dimples that i lack when he smiles.

when i was younger a kind in my kindergarten class told me.
she was the kind of cruel only kids are.
she told me the truth.
she let me discover you.

i wonder.
what did u see when u looked at me?
was i hard to let go of?
was it too hard to see how similar i was to him?
did my mother's french accent charm you?
did you see a child that belonged to someone else with your smile?

Inn Americano: Written by JC Birkfeld
Heading up to the fork of a long winding road,
Burnt by the sun with our back breaking load,
Coming down the bend we all see the site,
A tunnel that swallows the days dying light,

Desperately approaching the border up ahead
Leading to the place where the fuel gets fired,
Knew I'd be better off alive than dead,
A new home to seek my yearning and desire

And knowing that the turning points here,
I wished my old land goodbye
For everything I had so near and dear
Could not be brought that high

That's when I entered the inn Americano,
With its palette of red, white and blue
Where everyone is happy to serve you
Hopes and aspirations at the Inn Americano
With its stars, stripes and civil liberties
A destination for freedom and inequality

An Elysium atmosphere, a playground in heaven,
Can't tell if I'm on cloud nine or cloud eleven
Grilling out ribs in the inns atrium,
With a pool of drowned sorrows designed for a swim

If only my coyote delivered my green card
The boss says stop daydreaming and go mow the yard
Starting to think that this whole life was a lie,
For I couldn't build myself that high

15 hours shifts at the inn Americano,
The broken down can't keep up with the eager
And all of our wages are less than meager.
Hopes and aspirations adrift at the inn Americano
A place that constitutes your rules,
A congress of masters who fix you with tools

An exodus of the hopeless, a brown Ellis Island,
With shimmering hotel silverware polished like diamonds
They've been in business since 1776
Teaching old Mexican dogs new tricks
Millions obese from the junk food of freedom
A nation under God yet no one heeds him

So I storm to the checkpoint, the bellboy named Charlie,
He tells me not to get deported with the broke and starving,
I tell him, I'm not one of the rapists, I'm not one of the thugs,
I'm not one of the mules with a rectum full of drugs,
He replies, I should hang on before the executive decision,
Before the Great Wall of Trump marks our final division.

Everything Looks The Same: Written by Amy Guise
Everything looks the same
People in the hallway talking, laughing, rushing to their next class
Next day the conversation shifts
Everyone is begins to study
Their mind’s start to spin
The stress and the pressure begin to be too much
there are only a few days left to cram
Everyone wants that good grade
The stress will soon dissipate after you take your final
But wait there still is anxiety
Waiting for your grade
Once the grade is entered
You will either be happy
or disappointed with your grade
Once everything is said and done second semester starts
And there is another chance for you to rise up
And try again to do your best

American Boy: Native Boy vs. Foreign Boy: Written by JC Birkfeld
American boy begins his first day of school
He is asked where he was born, in America or in a foreign land
Native boy wants to fit in and proudly states that he is an American
Foreign boy wants to be unique and maintain his national identity
American boy is unaware of his current identity and wishes people could read his cultural background like a book
Native boy yearns for people to include him in their inner circle and treat him like their brethren Foreign boy hopes for people to include him in their clique despite the cultural and linguistic boundaries
American boy is seen in everyone’s eyes as a person whose family has immigrated to this foreign land of red, white and blue
Native boy is given the easy choice of merging in while abandoning his former self
Foreign boy is presented with the difficult choice of retaining the traditions and honor of his ancestors
American boy sees this as unlike any Star Spangled Awesomeness America is said to present
Native boy feels he is able to achieve the American Dream and live up to his name
Foreign boy is lost in translation, his language unable to be comprehended by others, leaving him to experience restriction in the land of the free
American boy is left with a choice of either cowering or fighting in the land of the brave
Native boy shoots for the 50 stars in the sunrise of blue and the sunset of red
Foreign boy’s compass aims South where the outcasts of society perform the backbreaking menial work for the upper class.
American boy is stuck at a fork in the road, unable to decide whether he should take the high path or the low
Native boy speaks of his country tis of thee and the sweet land of liberty
Foreign boy illuminates his former country tis of his and this bittersweet land of inequality
American boy seeks to add himself in the room below the spacious skies and contribute to the the crowning of thy brotherhood with thy others
Native boy chooses the company of the well placed who make a living in this land like him
Foreign boy reminisces on the exodus of pilgrims past and takes footsteps marking a new territory of his own new World
American boy decides that in this Dixie Land, he’ll take his stand
Native boy views his home as the land of cotton, in which old times are not forgotten
Foreign boy yearns for the day where he is no longer way down South in Dixie.

Transparent: Written by Jacqueline Fisher
Condemn and defy the words you falsely define,
Preaching the unforsaken veracity of a jester,
Wherein a world eluding to possibilities unknown,
There are those who exist,
And then those that merely abide.
People committed to reluctant agreements,
Who once spoke earnest declarations,
Are now wrought with judgement and discontent.
Distraught by confined pretenses,
Alone and forbidden,
No longer wandering and seeking,
But flying thoughtfully into a land amiss.
Whispers garnering purpose,
Wielded murmurs sanctified,
Harboring deception,
Exposed in the harshness of the night.
Though dark and beguiling,
Lies the bleak and wretched,
Thinking the disingenuous and unfathomable,
Manifest their very lives and souls.
The filtered perception of livelihood,
Incarnates the obscurity of withheld disdain.
Revealing the apparent transparency,
Of no longer a person,
But a body,
And trained.

The Liberation of Livelihood: Written by Jacqueline Fisher
Under the cool and magnetic breeze,
Of the tree’s glossy leaves,
And incessant branches,
As they cater the body below.
Gleaming in the face of the sun,
Feeling the slight warmth perpetuating from above,
The tree consorts with the soul of nature,
As they cater the body below.
All interminable and infinite chatter heard from above,
Slowly seeps through the ruggedness of the body below,
And the body cries in triumph and everlasting joy,
Rising and unleashing,
As the body caters the branches above.

Controlled Existence: Written by Jacqueline Fisher
The raw sensation of longing,
For that tangible presence without reluctance,
The unwavering and no longer neglected recognition,
Is controlled in the palms of a man’s hands.
The perpetuating sound of eerie silence,
Is all she hears.
The resonance of complete nothingness,
Clouds the formidable hope she used to once gravitate towards.
For the unknown,
Is controlled in the palms of a man’s hands.
The locked domain,
Her once actively voiced mind,
Is controlled in the palms of a man’s hands.
The elusive becomes more definite,
The promise becomes more of a misconception,
And the truth,
Is controlled in the palms of a man’s hands.

Waiting; Written by Jacqueline Fisher
The sun is amiss in the grey sky,
While leaves and the trees seldomly stand idly by,
To see what happens next.
The moon waits imminently to transcend into the already darkened horizon,
Seeking some forbidden signal or sign,
To see what happens next.
The wish that should be seemingly granted,
For all to know that they are definitively perceptible to life,
To do as they would do,
To be free as they should be free,
Remains unanswered and they wait,
To see what happens next.

Paint Stained Hand: Written by Margaux Paul
My pen stained my skin,
With words I'd never write,
And the bruises forming on my fingers,
Matched the ones on my heart.

Destiny: Written by Andrea Campuzzano
Who tells us what our "destiny" is? What becomes of this?

Do we truly follow our own path or is it already laid out for us?

My doubts become in between.

My fears are what are lying beneath.

Up, down, side to side

Stop reading in between the lines.

People say it's never too late to try,

but when is it too late to give up?

I never wanted to stop.

When can you really stop?

A Ballad for Anthony & Viola (Idaho Song): Written by Jules Appleton
Someone please same this poor lonely young soul
He looks so bored and it’s depressing
His name tag reads “Anthony” as he gives me my drink
And he stares at both of the exit signs
No one walks into old Mr. Ridgy’s shop
He’s the rudest old man with an easy temper
Anthony just inches his hair out of the way
This kid must have to do anything to get paid
But, oh, this kid is an artist
I’ve seen his chalk on the sidewalk
And I’m still as appalled why this boy’s still in town, his parents must be wondering too
For he graduated a year ago from high school
Man, I really hope he becomes an artist, because at least someone’s got to get out of this town
Well this town that I live in is somewhere in Idaho, lost during winter in the cold white snow
Last week I went to the record shop, and I picked up a 1967 inch single
There I met sweet rebel rousing Viola
She is almost a senior
She checked me out at the cash register, and she gave me my change in all pennies
She has cool green hair, and I think she plays bass
Her band is called Where Are The Speakers?
I hope she goes far with her bass
I’m pretty sure she’s got what it takes
But, oh, this kid is a musician
I’ve seen her perform, and it reminds me of a soft April storm
She hasn’t graduated yet, but when she does, I want her to leave with Anthony
Man, I hope they do as they please
I’m begging on my knees
Because they’re both too big for this small town, and they better leave
Before they get lost in the darned snow again

Love is Pain: Written by Kaya Daniels
It’s hard to begin again

Just trust me

I can’t trust someone when all I know is disappointment

Believe me when I say I love you

I believe you, I do, I just can't handle it all

Don’t handle just feel and believe

Feeling is my weakness and it leads to pain

Pain is something we need sometimes

I don’t want to love and feel pain

Love is pain

The Theatre Kid's Burden: Written by Chloe Laverson
Pile on the theatre kid’s burden.
She had blonde hair so she got your part.
The only reason is because you can’t hit F sharp.

Pile on the theatre kid’s burden, when you get the understudy.
You have to work twice as hard and memorizing,
Hoping the lead will trip.
So that when your performance is spectacular,
They’ll give her the pink slip.

Pile on the theatre kid’s burden on tech week.
The hours of rehearsal,
And the homework afterwards makes you shriek!

Pile on the theatre kid’s burden when you hate your new and improved costume.
Wishing you could tear it off,
Leaving it on the floor of the dressing room!

Pile on the theatre kid’s burden when that one actor has an ego.
You try to give him a reality check, “you’re not that good, amigo!”

Pile on the theatre kid’s burden when you fall in love with a cast.
You have post show depression,
Even though you knew it wouldn’t last.

Pile on the theatre kid’s burden, the bond we forever have made.
Wishing the closing night show could forever be delayed.

Is it Just Me?: Written by Nicole Martindale
Am I the only one who hears the buzzing of the bees? The silence of the trees? The swish of lost leaves? Does everyone else just hear their iPhones ringing, the bus braking, the babble of friends? Are there others out there? The ones who hear the lonely hoot of an owl, the chatter of birds, the wind weaving through the grass. Are people trapped in the world of overhead airplanes, clicking high heels, smooth ride of a skateboard? Entranced by the city life, would nature overwhelm them? Would the glare of the burning sun be too much for someone hidden behind the TV? The depths of the mossy forests too much for the high-life subway hoppers? Would the everyday soccer mom survive in the sandy terrain of the dry, drab desert? Questions, questions of these sorts always wander through my head. I can’t be the only one who wonders… Is it just me?

Cheers to Life: Written by Sameeha Duck
I step into the mist of a new beginning so many years past wistful thinking.
Behold, the transition of roommate living.
I hope to achieve what many say they have college, aye is the time of one's life.
I seek for love a new found desire one to connect with a lover to rejoice with cheers to one and all for new relations and historic pasts love!
To one and all.

Scarred Forever: Written by Sameeha Duck
Do you see the scars
always held beneath
like a pressed release
Hurricanes forced into the body
Surgery crimson to life
Do you know the pain
that I have fought for endlessly?
The countless pills
and dripping needles
never ending,
in a hospital tragedy.
But it’s never enough
even when you say
& "I am okay"
I have tried the alters
Desperate attention
never gets you anywhere.
Have you felt the starvation
I have tried to kill?
I reach into myself
and all I find is laughter.
A jeer to myself,
A lullaby of tears.
Messed up into a broken spiral
Gone crooked,
Fallen to deceit.
If only it was a lie,
Oh what a life,
I would have lived.

Disappointment: Written by Sameeha Duck
Longing to talk to her, but knowing the same answer. Always busy, never enough time; Together, we can talk for hours. Listening to her chat is music in my ears, about anything and everything. If only I could hear her voice, It's been ages, since we last got a choice. Thousands of miles away what's the worth? If it ain't ever gonna work? As if I don't know any better Truly wishing, that someday she would understand But alas that day has never yet come Time passes and we just get older, but truth be bought, maybe I still do love her.

Regardless Of: Written by Sameeha Duck
Fat, Ugly, ****, Stupid
Who are we,
Who is this society?
We come from the ruins
Or from the riches
Why don't we,
ever understand the other?

Pain lies
in every tearful eye
Have you ever wondered;
Just why?

We stare into the doubt-less
But what do our elders know?
Have they come across issues,
That we now behold?

Rape, Suicide, Addict, Overdose
raging all around us;
we see that no one is perfect.
Can we ever be the same ?
Of course,
you know the answer is NO.

So why then,
do we even hurt,
Those who have already,
been through so much?

Can we ever give a compliment,
without a hint of sarcasm?
Can you ever smile?
Just for others to see your happiness.
Will you ever dance,
Without giving a damn, of who might be watching?
Set free your soul,
And just try to be yourself instead.

Contemplating Death: Written by Sameeha Duck
Let the tears fall,
but don't let them take you away,
Money can be harsh
but love's on the other end
Come high rivers or low floods
life is a turntable, waiting to be held.

Hold on to the stems,
towards the grip of slaps
Hidden across your face.
Don't let that mind trick you,
It is not the end.

Rejuvenate the soul
bring forward a living
Out of your hole,
into a new beginning.

Adrift: Written by Sameeha Duck
Silken horizons,
raise into the unknown.
breathing, Into the Pacific blue.
She wanders,
life has become so stale.
Where the moon cried tears; into the world
ripping apart,
its home of the sun.
Does she know where she is going? Is she lost, or just breaking?
dampened into the rides of foam Floating on a raft sinking deeply through.
Her, lost writhing hope.
as failure has encompassed, A life that once was brave
Now sullen and hopeless.
On and on,
up and down,
she is dying,
she is flying.
Into the air,
and to her lair.
No longer feeling,
the hatred felt toward her.

Bring Me Magic: Written by Sameeha Duck
Sleep carefully,
Sleep carefully,
Listen to the heart
listen to the heart.

I am tired of the pain
of the healing bones.
washed away with acid
like a tidal wave.

Death of the world
of the aching lives
a prayer to the soul
that I am not insane

Bring me some magic
make me alive
I don't want to give up
I just want to die.

Attempt to the salvation
of the lonely blues
killing my static
dying of you.
dying of you.

Bring me some magic
make me alive
I don't want to give up
I just want to die

Apart and Wanted: Written by Sameeha Duck

do we hold on
to the barriers that tear us apart?
yelling to each other
or praying for a miracle
Life will just pass



Bright eyes
whisper back
on the verge of tears
of how she may hold on
to these barriers
of the unknown .
of the one and only
prince charming
she is always alone.