“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought
and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost

This page is dedicated to publishing poetry written by our community of friends, family, neighbors, artists, and students, who are both experienced, and who have never written a poem in their lives. Because poetry makes invisible the everyday stigmas and constructs that separate us, even if only temporarily, it has the lasting power to strengthens communities. Poetry reminds each of us, that at some point in our lives everyone loves, feels, carries burdens, is broken-hearted, or is filled with intoxicating joy. Poetry heals, lifts burdens and builds bridges of communication.

If you’d like to submit your poems, please send your poem and a little bit about yourself (a short bio) to EMAIL: avenue50studio.poetry@gmail.com. We will notify you when we have received your poem. If your poem is published on our website we will also invite you to read your poem at one of our monthly poetry readings.

And to find out about our latest call for poetry, please visit our CALL FOR POETRY!


one of the disappeared
by Don Newton

a simple story tells it all,
they took her off the plane in
shackles, she was trying to explain
what happened to her but they didn’t care,
the situation had already gone so far beyond the
point of no return they wouldn’t even look at her by then,
the forced landing interrupting all their important business,
her colorful gypsy-style of dress as well as her incomprehensible
story that there among the change in her little red coin-purse
was one of the smallest planets ever discovered, which
had floated down into her ear, she pulled it
out on her way to the airport to catch
the five o’clock jet to New York
on a Monday afternoon:
her tale kept on & on
as she lost hope.

the newspapers all made
sure to mention she peed in the
aisle, held down as she was by people
sitting on top of her, not letting her go to
the rest room, where she’d been headed after
expressing her doubts about the captain of the plane,
it’s a free country as she said, and the search of her belongings
had upset her, so she gestured dramatically, the way she always
did, particularly if excited or confused: if the authorities
had found anything in her bag it would have been
mentioned in the news reports, but they never
mentioned the planet, it was so small it
looked like a tiny ball-bearing
— greenish-blue & shimmering,
swirling there among
the coins.

she was on her way
to visit her family in the Bronx,
just a few weeks after her unfortunate
niece was drowned in a glass of water, which
would make anybody suspicious, maybe even paranoid,
considering the kinds of stories dominating the news, her head
was actually buzzing with new insight into the way this society
segregates those who are brave enough to speak out about what’s
exactly wrong with our authoritarian state, but a totally popular
motion struck her down to the ground, she was
forced to fight against her fellow passengers
at the door to the toilet: and she kept on
trying to speak about the planet she
was carrying but their fingers
clawed at her lips, garbling
her message.

now we’ll never know if her
amazing discovery was real, a floating
ball of what they said was feathers impregnated
Coatlicue somewhere in the Mexican fields when
Huitzilopochtli was conceived, his brave shout from
within the womb prompting all of the cuatrocientos huitznaya to
reach for their knives & clubs in shame and disgust at her predicament.
so he came out ready to make war, which explains our rush of emotion at
the spilling of blood, but how would anyone know how many times
the goddesses of earth had been seduced by these bright
apparitions, causing so many virgins to give birth
facing the wrath of the popular forces all riled
up by virtuous impulses grounded in total
respect for the goddess & afraid
of any deviation from the
same old story.



In The Tradition
         For Arlene/Ai
by Ron Baca

So, how does it feel?
After all the lifetimes lived,
All you’ve gone through, all you
Remember and the years still to come?
All the people you’ve met and worked with
In the struggle, in conflict, in la lucha…
Yeah, en la lucha continua.
How did it feel from then till now?

Paint a picture children.
Do it like the lottery winners do:
With your index fingers & your thumbs
Make two Ls to make a frame for where
The kitchen or dinning room,
Living room or balcony
Or bedroom windows
Will frame your million dollar view.
Now make a pretty picture

Not an ugly or sad one
Warped by time, contemplation,
Meditation, remorse, anger, reflection…No.
Not from your subsequent years of
Collective struggle, collective memory,
Collective experiences.
Make it just so, real nice, real pretty.

Frame your windows with hand-sewn curtains.
Avoid the ever present sentry gun towers,
stabbing cold, confinement. And no tears, please.
That would not be attractive.
Show happy faces of robust children
Learning   laughing   and
under the flag pole.

Oh, and show clean floors, and hobby gardens
Abundant with herbs, spices, vegetables

Show elderly folks
Gathered round well-lit, glowing fireplaces
Cheeks aglow
Playing board games, chess, checkers, cards,
knitting, sewing, quilting, dancing…
And perhaps include a framed copy of
The Executive Order on a wall in the background
Just to illustrate/highlight
With the war effort.
Paint your picture like a Norman Rockwell painting
All that’s good & wholesome
& wonderful
With our
Chicken in every pot
Apple pie-country.
And squeeze in every last drop
Of the red and the white & the blue.

*               *               *

In the tradition of Yuri Kochiyama
In the tradition of Malcom X
The Black Panther Party
Black & Brown unity
In the tradition of the struggle for land
And self-determination
In the tradition of
Redress and Reparations
In the tradition of
The anti-Vietnam War/anti-war/peace movements
In the tradition of Anti-imperialism…
Never again.