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Po' Poets Workshop on Luumi Nation Territory


From the old City By Bee From the old city called the “new flower” Addis Abeba False borders, false citizenships, false documentation Pleads for asylum to the countries that caused such instability, Cause a stress so real as I fill out government forms for my first-gen mama, Cause a disconnect in community I have continued to know And now it is something that is more familiar than the family I no longer know Where am I now? I see modernized displacement all around me Sweeps, incarceration, police surveillance against me and my loved ones destroyed communities we are rebuilding I sit on the court hearings of my loved ones as well as my own, And I see hundreds more poor folks brought in from the jails, Shamed by judges for “bad decisions,” Attacked by prosecutors Fines added Bail doubled Sentences lengthened Charges added Labeled an “inmate #” and “case #” They want you to feel dehumanized and ashamed “Beth vs. the State of Washington” They make it clear this is a war–one waged against the poor By a nation-state empowered by its false borders and protection of the elite And it’s even clearer to me That they are the public safety hazard.


I belong to Earth

By Dawson I belong to earth And earth belongs to me However I’ve been deprived my right to belong on earth By segregation And poverty And left me no choice besides being homeless


This is from every Borderline

alive and dead

By Kaiyah

This is from every borderline Both alive and dead I welcome you inside my borderline head The disease most stigmatized and most ignored by doctors “Come and look at the person who was created by monsters!” I’ve been called “crazy,” “toxic,” and “emotionally extreme” But that’s because, my dear, I have BPD I only think in black and white Only feel joy, rage, or horror Because I was so young when I got sick I’ve never really seen the world in color I only know how to shut myself down and think out of order Which gave me the diagnosis “borderline personality disorder” I go bad and when I’m full of rage Like an inferno in my soul and body Within its cage, I destroy everything around me And when everyone who fled wakes up and see the damage cause by my borderline head I want you to understand that the evil is not me I am full of love, kindness, joy, and empathy with people I am alive but when I am alone I escape to my bed To escape from pain in my borderline head So give me the strength to survive tonight because I am closer and closer to losing this fight I am tired of the crying and feelings of dread The chaos that’s happening in my borderline head


This piece is about an artist who discovered abstract art within bipolar treatment. I suffer from grandiose delusions so I’m very grand. By Kk How to Pollock a masterpiece? Jackson, question, ordinary positions changes– that’s a given– On a drawing, of course, Ordinary people is a given, Crayola helps show the true colors What’s a fake color? Pollock shamble? Question Painting the industry? Question Pollock would like electric cars painted like pennies In shambles I tell you! Jackson asked me “What’s a nonrenewable resource?” I tell him, “A tale of more than two cities” Trying to also swallow keys The industry I tell you! Extra, extra! Get your newspapers!


Forever Being Judged By Phonixx Some might ask about what it is like to be homeless. To be homeless and living on the streets is something most have never experienced and some have never seen. Forever being judged, humiliated, photographed, and recorded! For what the pleasure of having us exploited, made to look like animals in the jungle, wild and untamed. “No human decency or morals” so they say. We are humans too, we have feelings just like you. There is no reason to fear us. Maybe instead of being violent towards us, you should have some compassion and not judge for once. So the next time you see us walking down the street, on the corner at a red light, laying on the sidewalk, show a random act of kindness and say “hi”or just smile and wave. You never know, it just might make their day. Being homeless isn’t easy. It’s the hardest journey I've ever been on in my life. But I’m thankful for this learning experience and this life lesson. Because I now know what it is like to have nowhere to go, wonder where or when your next meal will be, how you’re gonna stay dry and warm, when the rain, wind, storms, snow, and freezing temperatures hit. Thankfully, I ended up meeting the most amazing group of volunteers and campers at a protest on the City Hall Lawn for housing for the homeless. They are the most caring, compassionate, dedicated, hard-working, give-you-the-shirt-off-their-back types. They continue to show up for us day in and day out. Rain or shine, even in the snow and through every bad storm we endured. Making sure we had all the necessities and then some, to continue surviving the winter together. -- PHONIXX

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