Bushwick Literary

Poems off the Dome

Some young people from ELM (Educated Little Monsters) were gathered today for their opening through the Arts in Bushwick Fellowship program, currently on view at Express Yourself Barista Bar on 82 Central Avenue. We told them we were about to launch the Bushwick Bridge and asked them to write some quick contributions on the spot.


Hold your head high

Forget them other guys

Even when you’re down,

Whip up a reverse frown

Life is like a circus

You’re always immersed in clowns

Sometimes you gotta put your mind on the line

Like a trapeze

If you never compromise yourself you’ll be more at ease

Lastly, take credit for what you did, even the bad,

“never throw the stone and hide your hand”


Joshua Rolon is 16. He’s into music and art. He lives in Bushwick and is a part of ELM.



Bushwick Bridge will never die

We’re infinite like the number pi.


Johnny Yurnet is 14. He lives in Bushwick. He participates in ELM and he loves basketball.



The don’t know what we keep in,

Believe in

They don’t know we’re the reason you’re breathing

We ladies go through the pain

That makes us go insane

But it’s only right if you know how to play the game


Christina Nuñez is 14 going on 15. She was born and raised in Bushwick and has been a part of ELM since day one. She is a dancer, singer, and femcee.


Shape Our Neighborhood Together

By Sarah Quinter


We dream of neighborhoods

like beautiful gardens

where roots of different cultures intertangle

strengthening each other against adversity

where the poor, the different, the outcasts

are welcome, raised up

where the benefit of all is considered,

the uniqueness of each celebrated

There are those who instead dream of

neighborhoods like plantations

monocultures designed to maximize the harvest of wealth

steel and glass and high rents and silence

peoples’ voices cast aside like weeds

so nothing gets in the way of the sterile cash crop

But we dream of neighborhoods

where we are both the gardens and the gardeners

shaping together our common home

neighbors, family, friends, compeñeras

we invite you to join us

share food and stories, hopes and worries

draw up plans, draw connections,

draw lines in the ground saying “Enough!”

one hand nurturing,

the other hand defending

the seeds of our dream

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