Art Project

Art Project

For my art project, I decided to write poetry, since I’m not as artsy fartsy with physical objects as most everyone else. “One”, “Imagine” and “‘He’ (for me) and ‘he’ (for him)” are a collection of short poems that reveal my innermost thoughts about both my interview with Agazit and my times at the South Sudanese Center tutoring young immigrant students from local elementary and middle schools. 

“One” speaks to the power of one person, both myself and the young boy I tutored. I was afraid of making a mistake, confusing him instead of helping him. Behind that fear is the realization that I could be the one to help him understand his classwork.

“Imagine” is about my fear, that the power of the mind is strong, overwhelming even, especially when the mind is wired to spend every waking moment drowning in anxiety 

“‘He’ (for me) and ‘he’ (for him)” is about how I see myself, as a man and as someone who, given different circumstances, could be a more recent member of the diaspora. This poem divides itself between “He” as a symbol of masculinity and the male gender, He as a placeholder for me, and lowercase “he” as a placeholder for the young boys who go to UWEAST to speak about what I fear, not just as myself, but as a member of this diaspora who sees how others are saved and endangered in this country at this time

(Author’s Note: If you want to see me sweating like a Southern Baptist Pastor half an hour into a church service performing these poems, I’m sure the video of our art showcase is knocking around this site somewhere)



One

Such a simple number

Singular 

solitary 

alone, like me in more ways than one 

I want to see someone like me

——————————

But One is Powerful

One is the difference between absent and willing

One is the difference between fear and excitement 

One visit

One child

One epiphany

One 


Imagine

Imagine | City Heights

Coffee, bus stops, thrift stores and roach coaches

a hot yellow room 

Made for children

Made for me

Hoping: Can I make a difference ?

Sitting in a plastic chair 

Hoping that I don’t 

Fuck it up

I’m sweating

Imagine | Fear

Fear of being wrong 

Fear of saying the wrong thing

Gearing up for the inevitable moment

Trying not to break down

Knowing 

“She’s genuine, she’s nice, she cares”

Her name escapes you 

But you will never escape your fear

That she hates you

Imagine 


“He” (for me) and “he” (for him)

He’s controversial

He is both small

And also large

He’s here

“He” 

vs.

“he”

“He” is a pronoun

“He” is the promise of an identity

He is Black, queer, loves food, his friends and hopes

Hopes (he) won’t be trapped by himself, you see

Being a man is living a life on a high-wire

Uppercase “He” means health, vigor, manliness

Uppercase “He” is not alone, lowercase “he” is not done 

“He” and “he” are both in danger, they’re at risk

They have so much to live for, can lose it

At their own hands or at the end of a

Baretta’s barrel

He and he 

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