Abbas Mohamed “Know Your Privilege”

  1. Know your privilege: I am privileged to hear ice clinking in my lemonade while a palestinian boy dies asking his mother why they won’t let water in through the apartheid wall. His story: not important enough for a press release, his name: irrelevant, his life: collateral damage in a war that profits the occupier’s pocket because you voted against divestment.
  2. Know your privilege: I am privileged to have enough literacy to read between the lines. History repeats itself, and I see his story repeating itself, first in the arms of his father against a wall who cowered over him and took his bullets, then again as one of four boys who played soccer on the beach looking for the goalpost but finding a rocket instead, then again as Mohammed Abu Khdeir, I watched his story as he was snatched from the street and burned alive, I watched their stories from my privileged middle class suburban home on my flat screen TV. I keep hearing of further tyranny every time I turn on the news, can’t you tell me something that won’t bring me the blues? I try to piece the truth together from broken clues because the media with lies is saturated and infused, It just leaves me confused when the truth is refused, from investigative reports and “independent” reviews from an agenda that they choose, and yet they still call it fair and balanced news!
  3. Know your privilege: You won’t have to tell that to Tariq Abu Khdeir twice, Tariq: from Florida to Filisteen, from gamestop shops to racist cops stopping you in your own homeland for a proper welcome, because the official handshake of an Israeli Defence Officer is from the bottom of his boots, Tariq you got a taste of Palestine, but managed to retreat to your safe haven in Florida, but your cousin Mohammed did not, he was burned alive. no justice no peace, No Justice No Peace! Know Justice, Know Peace!
  4. Know privilege, Know that for YOU, the biggest obstacle in going to school might be shoveling your car out of the snow, while for Palestinians, there are four checkpoints standing in the way of education. four checkpoints, four chances for you to watch your friend get shoved to the ground and beaten, four chances for the guards to revoke your papers, four chances for the person in front of you to disappear and never see his family again, four chances…and thats just on the WAY to school.
  5. I know my privilege now. It is a privilege to be relaying stories to open ears, stories from deaf mouths, stories drowned in lullabies of screaming rockets and exploding streets that lay Palestinian children to eternal sleep. It is my privilege to carry their brave banner in this manner and lay out their rage on this page so that when the day comes for you to make a decision about Palestine you cannot use your blissful privilege to claim ignorance.

 

Know your privilege       

 

 –Abbas Mohamed ( IG: @babyshamss @thegamacollective)

 

Julianna Rossano “Operatics”

As a little girl, music swelled within me.

I never escaped the beat pounding through my heart,

or the lyrics weaving themselves around my head,

pulling tight like a boa constrictor.

I would tap my fingers to the silent beat –

on a desk, window, any flat surface.

And singing was the only reprise I found.

God, I love to sing.

Or, uhm, I used to.

 

I played the guitar before my fingers could even

wrap their way around it’s slender neck.

Those days ended when my mother asked me to perform on her birthday

and my heartbeat pounded faster than the heavy metal tempo,

and when my brother suggested we do a duet

and my mind flatlined as my muscles forgot the formation of every note.

 

Eventually, my only audience shrank down

to my bedroom mirror and a showerhead.

 

Until I met her.

And all the words I had so carefully studied,

that I had tattooed along the inside of eyelids

flew out of my head.

She sounded of her own music,

loud enough to shake the ground with vibrations.

She sang in languages I couldn’t understand,

but her performance left its meaning unequivocal.

 

She threw me over her shoulder and carried me up on stage,

setting up a spotlight right next to her own,

and shattered my routine of occult performances.

But I didn’t care – If my words could only pass upon a single pair of ears,

I wanted them be hers.

She was the only audience I ever needed, will ever need.

 

She roused my voice,

so I sang her all the love songs I knew.

 

-Julianna Rossano

Anthony Pizzo “No Title”

all I see is kids dying in the streets

all I see is kids caught in the industry

all I see is social skills dwindling

all I see is kids not listening

all I see is people who think they’re free

when actually their minds been tamed ever since the age of three

do you even know to whom you’re pledging allegiance

all I see is people up the street

without a place to sleep

nowhere to call home

less than living wage

we all need a raise

I don’t even need this phone

all I need is hope

many think all the homeless want is dope

but all they want is a home, wouldn’t that be dope

have you ever felt so alone, felt like you got left to rot

I don’t rep RU cause this school came into their spot

seeking, scheming, plotting

to make a profit

building a yard with a big screen to keep our eyes from peeping up the block. yo we don’t even have a shelter

then you wonder why

people outside the train stations can’t get a job

how they gonna get hired, when you think they’re all just slobs

but every snob on the block with letters

got a car

and every bob and rob can afford to hit the bar

but homies at Barnes and noble ain’t even making par

they not even coming close

they don’t even got the clubs

to get on the fucking course

But every crime alert blame on

New Brunswick residents

no way it could be Jim, cause Jim loves to swim

and Timmy loves the gym

no way would Tim and Jim hit women when they hit the gin

Tim and Jim were just tryna get back to their crib

but homies at the station don’t even got a bib

let alone a place to thrive

they just tryna survive

they just tryna survive

frats do service

but only cause they’re required

and they wanna be admired

this my last semester and I’m really fucking tired

of all these frat boys

thinking they the shit

when they don’t do shit

for the community in which they live

when they made the library ID policy

targeting the homeless

where the fuck were you at

maybe getting more ice cubes for your jack and coke

while they were freezing like ice cubes,

fiending for jackets and coats

or maybe you were fiending

on a line of blow

or tryna get blown

while they were getting blown

by the wind of the storm

so when you see me carrying pizza after work

to the station to feed the people

and you ask me for a slice

Ima say get your fucking own

cause you already got every piece of the motherfucking pie anyway

it’s all love though, cause actually

I’d like to see all the kids like stars twinkling

I’d like to see all the kids do what they’re interest is

I’d like all the poor kids to get what the richest get

in regards to stimulus and privileges

I’d like to see all the kids be able to breathe

and not buy into what they see on tv

and to know happiness is actually free

I’d like the kids to know that they actually can save the bees

I’d like the kids to know they’re blessed like a sneeze

I’d like all the kids to know they’re syllabus is full of shit

I’d like all the kids to know that all there is oneness

I’d like all the kids to know that being different isn’t ridiculous

I’d like all the kids to know that they’re actually limitless

actually I’d like to see all the kids mingling

actually I’d like to see all the kids giggling

actually I’d like to see all the kids just be

actually I’d like to see all the kids at peace

Anthony Pizzo (IG: @fdotpeeez FB: Anthony Peez)

Marrin Fauerbach “Polish boys, Polish girls”

I don’t think I’ve gotten out of bed today
Not really gotten out of bed.
I had such big plans for today,
Do my laundry
Go to the library to get work done
Clean my room.
These are big plans for me.
And I couldn’t even do that.
I walked to the dining hall
To the post office
And to the student center.I showered earlier in the day
Tried to do some homework
But I didn’t actually let go of my bed.I know the pattern of the carpet of our dorm
Better than the walls
I can recognize my classmates by their shoes
Before I can recognize them by their faces
I only sit in the back of the lecture halls
Even though I can’t see the board from that far away.

My mother says its seasonal affective disorder
My psychiatrist doesn’t actually know about all of this
My psych professor believes that anti-depressants are bullshit
And now I’m afraid they don’t actually work.And I can’t tell if I’m miserable because I like this girl
Or if I’m miserable because I like this girl and she doesn’t like me back.

She is so beautiful, so incredibly perfect
That when I see her, I half hope she notices me
And half hope she doesn’t even see me.But I can recognize her by her shoes
Because the second I see her in the dining hall
My eyes cast down,
My cheeks burn bright red
And I sit as far away from her as possible
Imagine a life of us together
When I’m done eating
I leave as fast as I can
Go back to the bed I am tethered to
And take the pills that might not even work.

  Marrin Fauerbach (IG:@mappin_f)