My Dulce Beginnings

By Diana Campos

Many people in life
had made fresh starts
to their life, careers,
art, music, recipes,
you name it.

I have made several
sweet and new beginnings
that opened my eyes
to my culture,
my roots,
and me to begin with.

I have seen the way I have changed
in constructive ways.
I have seen the way I look at
my thoughts, style, and impressions.
I have seen the way I am more open
towards new experiences.

My beginnings are a never-ending
learning experience.
My beginnings are purely mine.
They are my experiences,
my eyes to the world.

My dulce beginnings.

Caring Too Much

By Paola Martell

the papers i need to write
won’t care if i don’t compose them
the equations i need to work out
won’t care if i solve them
the clothes i need to wash
won’t care if they stay in the bin forever
the boy i love
won’t care if i acknowledge him

my number saved in his phone
won’t care if it’s ever used for a text
my outfit i’m wearing tonight
won’t care if it is properly ironed
my nicely applied eyeliner
won’t care if it’s being complimented
my late night texts to him
won’t care if they’re read or ignored

his smile that formed my smile
doesn’t really care that my cheeks are blossoming red
his eyes locked on my eyes
don’t really care about my longing gaze for him
his hand snugged onto my shoulder
doesn’t really care about my sweaty and nervous palms
his lips on mine
don’t really care that this is where i want to be

so why do i care so much, too much?

Austin’s Gentrification

By Savannah Garza

“What’s wrong with gentrification if it means you’ll get cupcake stores in your neighborhood?” is literally what somebody once asked me on the internet.

Growing up in Austin means topics like gentrification, congestion, and the annoyance of Californians moving to our city are things you hear about or talk about pretty often. Every time I log on to Facebook there is always some family member on my news feed posting a status about the traffic, the Californians, or sharing an article about recent developments in the city.

All of these things may seem like they’re just the typical “hustle and bustle” of any city, and without a doubt they are, but it wasn’t always this way in my city. There wasn’t always trendy cafes filled with yuppies and college students right beside impoverished neighborhoods, there wasn’t always a welcoming setting for cyclists, mopeds, and runners, and there definitely wasn’t always masses of rich people fleeing to these areas back then.

When I was younger the east side was considered dangerous and ghetto, I never grew up in the east side but I had a great majority of my relatives live there. As I got older I noticed more and more renovated houses and buildings on the drives to their houses and there is always developments and construction in the area. A couple weeks ago I went to church with my grandmother and on the drive back to her house she told me what it was like growing up in the central-east Austin area in the 50’s and 60’s.

Ironically enough, we were driving in the east Austin area at the time because that’s where her church was. So there we were, sitting in my grandparents car passing by all of the houses, new and old, run-down houses beside renovated ones all with chain link fences. We were on our way to my grandparents house on the outskirts of Austin, where they moved as the city started to get more expensive and too noisy for them.

“I wish that they had fixed up the east side when the Hispanic people were living there, instead of moving in rich people, then we could’ve stayed there. But we were not in good neighborhoods. It was better to just move out to a better environment,” she told me. “I used to live on East 9th street, close to Guadalupe Church. Before I was born my dad had a corner store next to our house where he sold homemade corn tortillas to the neighborhood with my mom. Where I used to live there are bike routes now, I am amazed at how there’s so many people riding bikes. Back in the day when we had bikes when we had bikes we didn’t have anything like that,” she said. “We had to stay off the streets as much as possible,” my grandpa jokingly added.

“It’s not fair that the people who lived there and want to keep their houses have to pay more taxes because these rich people are buying and renting and investing in houses and the area improves for them,” my grandma told me. “I think it’s sad that we couldn’t stay there for as long as we wanted. Being in a free country we are forced to move out of our neighborhoods to make room for the rich people that want to move in because of the location. The people who originally lived there could have made a better living for themselves if they had the money and the support from the city to help them out, and we could’ve been a better community if we had the sources for it. We are just as talented, if not more. They’re taking our identity away from us, they’re trying to be our culture, and we still have lots to give of our own culture that we could’ve expanded on in our own community if we had the resources.”

“In a way it’s good and in a way it’s bad,” my grandpa added as we pulled in to their driveway.

Nineteen

By Siena Edwards

i think i found you under ultra violets
only the whites of your eyes and
your teeth glittered
toxic waste
you asked me my name and now
i’m draped in shards of glass and velvet

dream room i

can’t feel my feet they
danced off my body
i can’t stand up because i’m
sitting already

and burned into unfamiliar eyes is my
lightning-struck face and i
don’t want to be remembered as that

TALLCAT

who held two worlds in her paws

and i think i
smelled your hands in a dream once
you carried me in an empty parking lot drenched in
twilight starlight

i think you found me when
i still thought eyes were something i could hold

and explain

i’ve taken a trip and i haven’t come back

not until i find another wasteland

maybe then it’ll set me straight

A Different Kind of Family

By Araceli Hernandez
LA, California

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You know those friends that you can just run to and vent with when your day has been shitty? So you can have a shoulder to cry on, and a good laugh?

You know those friends that know pretty much everything about you? From your favorite bands to your stupid fantasies.

You know those friends that you sit down with and have long talks with about life? About their life…about your life.. your goals. your dreams….

You know those kind of friends! We all have atleast one. (I hope)

Well… these are not those kinds of friends.

These are the friends that you call, not so you can lean on their shoulder, but to pound a few 40’s with. We drown our sorrows in alcohol.

These are the friends that not only know what bands you like, but they’re telling you when the show is and how we’re getting there.

These friends are the ones that meet you one time, and you’re new name becomes homegirl/homie.

The friends that don’t even need to text each other “Let’s kick it” cause most likely they are already at the skatepark waiting for you and everyone else….

The kind of friends that you don’t need to have known for that long. About the second time you meet them, you’ll feel like you’ve known them since pfffftt… way back! I can’t even explain the comfort and acceptability you feel when you meet these awesome people……

These are the kind of friends, you make memories with. Memories you won’t or can’t or probably shouldn’t, tell your kids about.

Man.
These are my kind of friends. Small valley-full of punks.
These pictures do them no justice Because there are so many homies missing. Too many memories, and not enough film. To many moments, but not enough time. (You can only go forward).

This is a different kind of family.

El Amado

By Mercedes Sanchez
Houston, TX
No matter how I see it,  I lost a part of myself.
He was my uncle
He was only 24
He was a big influence in my life
I hate saying “was”
He is not going to call
He is not going to pick me up to go downtown
He is not going to smile
He is not going to laughHe is my best friend
He is the only one that truly understood
He is the only one that never got angryHe is always going to send me ideas
I hope that he sends me wonderful ideas
I hope they dazzle and glow
I hope they are simple and beautiful

I hope he holds the family together
I hope that the family will still grill brisket and fajitas and drink beer
I hope that we will still sit together for fun

I hope he helps me to achieve that “butterflies” feeling again
Not because a boy, but because of me.
I hope he helps me to love myself more.

Chicana en Chicago

By Paola Martell
away from the heat
away from the blindness
away from dirt and dry grass surroundings
away from the nothing
into the nicely crafted buildings
into the city lights
into the unfamiliar faces
in to and out of train stations
away from “my kind”
away from the people who understood me
away from the people who misunderstood me
away from being out of place
into the same out of place feeling
into the same loneliness
into parties with names i’ll forget tomorrow
into the new bed sheets every night
i keep having to remind myself this is all beneficial
the future is a dream and you have to keep sleeping to cling on
into the nostalgia of my small texas town
away from completion in this midwest city

This was a bad choice and you’re a worse friend

By Paola Martell

i’ve been making bad decisions this summer

i know it’ll all end in a total bummer
i miss being at home, i miss being friendless
because nights like these make me too careless
i kissed him and i wish i hadn’t
i did it again and he was bad at it
i should start thinking
because then it just won’t sink in
my friend keeps judging me behind my back
i do this to forget the love i lack
she called me a kissing slut
and i brushed it off but felt like someone shot me in the gut
i don’t wish i was friendless or alone
i wish you weren’t such a condescending tone
this summer will end
and i realize my choices were bad but you were an invalid friend

To My Chubby Funny Girls

By Vanessa Quintero

you make jokes
and people think you are one

people say things to you and assume you don’t feel them
they assume your reaction to their words is just part of your act,
how can you take things seriously if you’re funny?
you make jokes
you are a joke

you’re not allowed to have feelings if you decide to be funny
you’re not allowed to have serious opinions if you make people laugh
you make jokes
you are a joke

you don’t need love
you never wanted it
the reason people don’t try to hit on you
or set you up with their friends is because
“you don’t seem like you’d want love”
or “you’re too funny for a boyfriend”
you make jokes
you are a joke

people don’t take you seriously
because you’re never serious
you’re always joking
and everyone knows it, don’t they?
no, you don’t have emotions,
you make jokes
you are a joke

yet no one considers why you’re funny in the first place
to add value to your otherwise revolting existence
to distract people from your lonjas and double chin
to beat them to the fat joke that was inevitable anyway
if you’re not beautiful, then you’d better be funny

ain’t that a joke?