Hanging Fires

TEAM Englewood – Week 10

This week we looked at our insecurities through “Hanging Fires” by Audre Lorde (it was very successful with my younger poets at Moos).  Sometimes the youths insecurities were external and sometimes they were doubts within.  Either way, it seemed to be good for them to be able to talk about those doubts rather than just keep them to themselves.

Ms. Dube – 9th grade
5th Period
Amber S.

Do I like school?
Hell Naw.
School is something I hate
I wish they could juss upgrade
school has too many rules
I wish school could just be
easy on us. School makes me feel
tired and I wish school could just
entertain me.
When it’s time to leave
I run to the L or R door
some schools just be so poor. School
have what you called “detention,” man,
a lot of m’f***ers don‘t pay attention. It be a big
ass crowds
like a bag of skittles
we have to solve math problems and s*** like riddles. Man,
I hate reading, too. That’s my worst to last subject. I wish I can
just throw reading out the window
like a wood chuck. That my point of school.

“Am I Gone Make It”
Navaa(?) S.

Tt: Am I gone make it?
Me: Ion kno
Tt: But if I do I know I’m going straight to the pros
Me: What if you don’t?
Tt: Then I don’t know
‘Cause my talents have to match all the pros
Me: Is we gone fail?
Tt: Hell no
Me: But S*** iono know if we can go
Tt: But looking at the money, flashy cars – Imma go.
Me: So is we gon make it?
Tt: Ion kno
Me: My skills ain’t good enough for the pros – so is we gon make it?
Tt: I don’t know.

“My Knee Caps”
Robert Green

My knee caps
get ashy a lot and
they stick out when I
slightly bend my leg. They
look funny when I
wear shorts and they
stick out when I slightly bend my leg. But
It’s me
and I have to deal with it anyway
but they stick out
when I slightly bend my leg.

Ms. Dube – 9th grade
7th Period

Jawaun M.

my mind is one big blur
she was digging in her nose like a doctor
can’t find a cure
she was knocking it back like a cold, icy beer
she was thinking I just got caught
but I don’t care, because my boogers are pure
she went back to digging for treasure or a pirate
looking for bones she was all the way
in the back of her head touching her

“Why Are You Angry?”
Corinthia D.

you wake up with a
like someone did some to you
you walk around frowning
with your lips poked out
why are you angry?
you talk to people rudely
and very loudly
why are you angry?

“I’m 15”
Brandon L.

I’m 15
and I go to TEAM Englewood
something I’m worried about
is going to summer school. That
not good and a total
waste of time. I just wish
you can past and get a job
automatically, so I can just

Ms. Dube – 9th grade
8th Period

“Saying things that Hurt People”
Kyjah R.

Last year in the summer time
my friend didn’t have
a pleasant scent on her body

I pulled her to the side
and told her
as nice as I can

When I told her, she took it good
but after a while
she was looking sad

I asked myself
Did I hurt her feelings?
and I did

Oh why do I have
to hurt people’s feelings?
oh why? oh why?

“Skin Color”
Sequoyah S.

Caramel, I don’t like it
it tastes good, but I don’t like it
They’re pretty…in jars, but
not too many people want it.
Doritoz, I like it.
It tastes good, that’s why I like it
everyone likes it & wants it
they don’t go to the caramel, they
bypass it & goes to doritoz.
Caramel…cute, it goes with
almost everything, but not Doritoz,
doritoz, everything, it goes with everything.
Caramel very seldomnly used, but Doritoz
always found.

Caramel skinned, I am.
I get eyes to look at me
because of what I’m told.
I’m cute, but Doritoz light
skinned, I want to be.
It always seems the person
comes out prettier when light
skinned. I probably would be
pretty, light skinned, a Cool Ranch Dorito.


Started in fifth grade
pop pop pop
right on my face. Everywhere
you look you see a hill
growing on my face. If my face
was the ground
and you was running from the police
in jail you go.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.