As we know Summer is almost over, but for the Writer's Club@Columbus things just seem to be warming up. Topical and tropical but cooled by the air conditioning, we restarted on August 18th with the idea of not shying away from the good, controversial or the truth and we hope to keep things going for the rest of the year.
This summer with vacations, renovations and other issues, we started haltingly and late, but thankfully got a few hearty adults involved. I hope as the school year evolves that some high schoolers and middle schoolers will step up to the plate as well. So calling all Writers to Columbus Library at 742 10th Ave between 50th & 51st Streets—Mondays at 4 p.m. , for some rap, verse, prose, creativity and maybe even some snacks—and now without further ado—Check out some of our summer work and writings!
We started each session with freewrites and warmed them up into Haikus—Harvey Wiesenberg wrote about an event he went to recently in Staten Island where an inventor displayed and demonstrated Drones that he creates and sells.
The drone senses
my arrival - on this urban Island
technology on hold
by Harvey Wiesenberg
James B. Nicola and Rodger Taylor both had strange experiences with dogs—well really their owners. James wrote about an unattentive dog walker who was so blase while walking down street he ended up wrapping his dog's leash around James' leg.
stroll. dog approaches:
person leashed oblivious!
I scrouch, pet the dog.
by James B. Nicola
Rodger wote about pushing on to a crowded morning F train and getting yelled at by a commuter who wouldn't move herself or her leashed dog. Afraid of unleashing a torrent of anger that might end up on the news, Rodger reacted silently making the craziest, mug face he could. Unbelievably, it worked. The woman turned around and didnt say another word.
Dorothy it ain't Kansas or oh no she didn't
me say excuse me?
what about get out of my way?
you and your dog too
by Rodger Taylor
We'd like to offer a few longer poems that were created or read during our sessions, except in one case, a poem a member wrote that I read and wanted to present. Harvey wrote this one to this picture at our last session.
is that the real
I'm not your father
in the scribbled
by Harvey Wiesenberg
What was worse, another completely unnecessary murder of an African American youth or the authorities belief that they could stifle peoples' rights to assemble and free speech with guns, tanks and military equipment. Rodger is writing a series of poems on the incident. This is the first.
Ole St. Louie Tear Gas Style (hands up - don’t shoot)
It just happens to be here,
your town – any town U.S.A. –
just outside St. Louie south,
Too much tv? or blame it on hip hop, video games
Or a sharpshooter
with Hatred and blue
in those eyes
James Brown’s “I feel good” screams in the background
While from the top of an army tank the shooter
scopes suspected negro demonstrators
on sidewalks, stoops and front lawns
This didn’t happen in the sixties
Hands up – Don’t shoot
Hands up – Don’t shoot
Call it a push in, in a convenience store
Call the National Guard
A dead kid
reduced to a trickle
in the street for five hours
bullet holes scream
for a white sheet
a young man’s brains lay
outside his former head
It just happens to be here, this time,
your town, U.S.A.,
from choke in Staten Island to
stand your ground Detroit, Sanford
to now just outside St. Louie south
To a background of New Slaves
blood on the leaves
ghosts, nightmares, monsters lurk
James Brown’s “I feel good” blasts
They called him Brown also,
they saw him
eating a policeman's bullets
with both hands raised
It's a thrill to have James Nicola in the club. James is a published poet and he has a new book of poetry called Manhattan Plaza—check him out and the attached flier for info about the September 18th book party.
That isn’t Me
Ends at Me
On the Other Side of Me
But as I give this little twirl
Notice the Swirl.
That isn’t You
Does the same.
Of a breeze, a
Oh what a positively
We are going to close out our summer edition with a short story called
by Mercedes Arroyo
The most popular girl in school bullies me every chance she gets. Her name is Esperanza (which means Hope).
"Mira gorda," she yells at me.
She always calls me fat and everyone laughs.
I look the other way and pretend she is not talking to me. My eyes feel heavy, my cheeks are red, my heart beats faster, and my stomach hurts.
Lucky for me the bell rings; and it is time to go home.
As I lay awake on my bed, I see a bug fluttering around the lights in the ceilng.
"I wish I could be that bug," I said, as I drifted off to sleep.
I find myself flyng around a dark and strange room. I look around; in the distance I hear a snore.
"Esperanza?" I murmured.
"This is my chance!" I exclaimed, as I zoomed into her ear.
"Look in the mirror," I whispered.
Esperanza gasps as she looks in the mirror and sees my reflection.
"This could be you," I echoed in her ear.
Esperanza's eyes swelled with tears.
"I wish I could take all my words back," she said.
The next day in school Esperanza stopped me in the hallway.
"I am sorry for being so mean. Can we be friends?" she asked.
"Yes," I replied.
"What is your name?" Esperanza asked.
My name is Anjelica," I replied.
As we walked to class, Esperanza said,"Can we stop at the nurse's office, my ears are really buzzing today."
"Of course we can," I responded with a chuckle.
So writers all come join us for our next meeting on September 8, 4 p.m. second floor at the Columbus Library.