“I dunno what was so funny or why i was smiling so hard that night but i never smile like that. Im tryna feel this good all the time” -Darrwel Torres, former student, on Facebook
If being boy is being broken and being broken needs fixing, then let this joystick help us move towards something better, and let better mean the next level, and let the next level mean victory—when we’ve outplayed the frames- per-second speed we’ve been allotted on our screens, because we’ve reached our goal and finished this game, when we can look around our empty living rooms at 2AM and say here it is, world, something we’ve accomplished today, and even though no one is looking, we will know that this is the opposite of hurt, that a Nintendo 64 is more than wires crammed inside black and gray plastic, that boys who have conquered galaxies in Star Fox have prolonged their own defeats if only for another day of holding something sacred, like a controller in our callous-thumbed hands, and what is this if not a cosmic form of joy?
Link, Hero of Kingdom Hyrule, Speaks Out on His Depression
There is a German word that means The feeling in your fingertips. I don’t know how to say this properly or how to spell it but I know the feeling
in my fingertips is glacial, is bladed, that my shield cannot deflect self-doubt, that red clouds suspend opulence. I sometimes hear the stars
calling out to me. I imagine they are searching for a martyr to spitshine glory into them. Before breathing, I learned about sandstorms, how they refused
to be held. I learned that storm is code language for forward, that you mustn’t get swept away. Away, such a slippery word. A way
or away, circle the better choice. Circle what you’ve found to be false within you and recite the ten definitions of hope. Follow
whichever rhapsody you must. Last week I overheard someone say I once believed I was the one starting my days. I know this
is not my truth. I no longer understand the difference between slow-bleeding and the moon overturning.
-- Alan Chazaro is a high school teacher at the Oakland School for the Arts, a Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow at the University of San Francisco, and a June Jordan Poetry for the People alum at UC Berkeley. His poems have appeared in various journals such as BOAAT, Frontier, Huizache, Borderlands, Juked, and Iron Horse Review. He is most proud about his sneaker collection, his recent Pushcart Prize nominations, and being selected by 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner, Tyehimba Jess, for an AWP Intro Journals Award.