Jackson Williams: Jackson is a third-year student pursuing a BFA in writing. His dream is to become an educator and published author. Through poetry, he explores themes of contemporary art and his identity as an American.
Sonnet for Lost Souls
The old one struggles with his cigarette—
A cold night on the beach; the wind is strong—
Forgotten dreams steam from the silhouette
that can’t recall what it’s like to belong.
Sand hugs the working man’s boots: sad embrace.
The fire won’t ignite; it can’t seem to light
cupped hands, rugged, shield his dying disgrace.
“Answer me, man. Are you lonesome tonight?”
He looks at me with distaste, with a frown,
witness to his vulnerability.
Look at us, alone, far beyond the town—
Can he see my lack of stability?
Twin diamonds dulled by rust, long ago sold.
Men on the coast, watching the dark sky fold.
Aviv Tomé: For me, writing is the ultimate form of human expression, and it is found in everything around us. That´s why as a writer I’m fascinated with understanding the importance of language and using it in my storytelling.
You asked me if people ate hotdogs and burgers
in my country.
I told you I cooked gourmet.
But my grandson went to a village there last year on a mission trip.
You told me the purse wasn’t for sale as you snatched it from my hands.
Then, you realized it was mine.
We’re holding a private shopping party next week! We’d love to have you!
Go back to where you came from!
I asked if it was the same place you were planning to go for vacation?
The one with flavorful dishes and endless dancing?
Mixed people are so exotic.
I am not a cross-bred animal at the zoo.
I am not a bottled spice at the grocery store.
I am not your Latina fetish.
I am not your Arab fetish.
I am not a porn category.
I am a human being with
interwoven cultures and heritage.
Why does my olive skin scare you so much?
We’re not all maids and terrorists.
Why does it excite you so much?
We’re not all belly dancers and vixens.
Stop asking me where I’m really from.
I exist in between colorful coral reefs,
burning cardamom coffee, sweet dates.
Ny Frazier: Ny, also known as Imanidapoet, has been writing poetry for over 14 years. Every now and then she will get on stage and perform her art. Her love for poetry is everlasting, and she’s always excited to share that part of her with the world.
I wonder sometimes
if the wondering will get me lost.
I’ve been lost before,
so the feeling is familiar.
But I’ve never been lost in someone
I’m asking if I have permission
to be lost in you
maybe our souls aren’t true
I need something less blue,
more bright, less fright
Could you love me right.
-this go around?-
I don’t care about your past
because all I can be is your present
Hold on until I disappear. and after
still, never let me go.
I need you in my before and
Alejandro Bastidas: I don’t really know who I am but I will figure it out through my stories. Most of them are fictional, with elements of satire or dark fantasy, but regardless of the genre, I aim to introduce existential questions that explore the complexities of the human condition.
Yesterday my cousin disappeared
(Colombia, country of magical realism)
He worked the crops south of the capital,
emerged in a jungle dressed like a radical
combat boots one size too big
with bullet holes
a kill confirmed—
the army’s done its job.
No use in sugarcoating your mass graves
rivers and mangroves,
(country of forgetfulness)
Man in camouflage or bearing the silver badge,
radical guerilla fighter, paramilitary butcher:
I see no difference
they’ve merged and mutated into one
perfect parasite, propagating
dreams of greater violence
(Colombia, country of contradictions)
Faint laughter high in the sierra
where children chase footballs
through minefields aloof,
final footfalls booming
in the Earth’s wounded skin,
(Colombia, country of white coffins)
We grow coffee, the land is tender,
we grow beneath clouds of gunpowder,
we grow fanatics who justify murder
ourselves, breathing in anger.
I used to love you and now you frighten,
ever since my cousin disappeared
as if there hadn’t been others before him
in this colorful crypt.
Colombia, country of inherited sadness.