We wrote a letter after he died
We made t-shirts as memorial
We began a social media campaign
We asked the murders to take an eye exam
We called our neighbors and formed a cop watch
No one heard us
Our efforts muted
We grew restless
We saw red
We had a sit-in
They heard us then
We were meet with the same force that took his life
“We are here to keep the peace”
Is what they said
As they pointed their pieces in our face & yelled
Henri Jacob is from Placerville, CA. Poetry found him at an early age but his work did not begin to truly flourish until he moved to San Francisco. Most of his poems are written in Alioto Park of the Mission District. He has published two chapbooks of poetry, Poesia Libre & Poetic Tremors.
Chiara Di Martino
Chiara Di Martino was born on January 17 1987 in Rome, Italy, where she spent also most of her life. Her passions have always been Poetry, Literature, and Art. Growing up, she put her dream to be an artist or writer on hold, choosing instead to become a Psychologist. In 2015, she moved to San Francisco to study English. Along the way, she decided to open herself-up following her old dream, joining City College’s Design Department.
My left foot is a perfectly fine 72-year-old foot, with slender toes, a slender ankle and a proportionately shaped calf. It has a low arch, but an arch nonetheless, so it can enjoy any shoe style. It is the best foot that I put forward.
Its counterpart has a completely fallen arch. So much so that it actually has developed a callus where the arch would be, if there was one. The arch fell down in 1980, when I picked up my sleeping infant from a playpen and saw stars. I had slipped a disc and pinched a nerve. I was in pain for a year. It was further injured a few years later during an unrelated surgical procedure when the lymph system was accidentally cut.
Because of the cut lymph system, the same poor right foot also became swollen ever after. The foot is flat, the toes are fat, the ankle is thick, and even the calf is out of shape. It cannot stand on tip-toes, run or jog. My daughter has always lovingly called it “Mommy pig foot.”
For several years, high heels worked better than flat shoes, because they actually held the arch up into position. Even though the feet would have liked to take a long walk once in a while wearing athletic shoes, they were both happy enough. Over the years, as the right foot falls more and more, balance becomes an issue, and they now need low, block-style heels. The left foot resents this restriction, as it has always enjoyed styling in high heels. If I had two left feet, perhaps I’d be a better dancer.
These feet of mine are a constant reminder of the dichotomy of life; mine anyway. I think I’m a prominently left-brained person; fairly organized and methodical. I wish I were right-brained though; more creative and freer.
Choice or decision? Choice is no reason, just choose. Decision is with reason. Left brain is decision, right brain is choice. Putting my left best foot forward makes me think that I’m holding something back besides my right foot. I fear that I’m blocking my creativity with my stubborn left brain, and ugly right foot.
I practice a daily writing exercise because I don’t trust myself to let my creativity flow however it will, without a metronome in 4/4 time.
This is my first submission to any publication. Audrey Ferber’s class in the OLAD program has changed my life from a political junkie to a creative writer. I am endlessly surprised at what comes out on the page as I discover my own voice.
As a Philippine-born visual artist, I continue to explore concepts of identity and of home through the lens of the Filipino diaspora. My work draws from Western art history, Filipino and American cultures, post-colonial life, and pop culture.
Forum celebrated National Poetry Month with a reading at the San Francisco Public Library on April 24. Our featured poets were Kim Shuck and Aaron Shurin, and other Forum contributors joined in to make it an evening full of wonderful poetry (and some music). Thank you to the library for hosting us!
Kim Shuck is the author of two solo collections of poetry, one prose book, and one chapbook. She is also the seventh poet laureate of San Francisco.
Aaron Shurin is the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose, most recently Flowers & Sky: Two Talks (Entre Rios Books, 2017), The Skin of Meaning: Collected Literary Essays and Talks (University of Michigan Press, 2015), and two books from City Lights: Citizen (poems, 2012) and King of Shadows (essays, 20008). His work has appeared in over forty national and international anthologies, and has been supported by grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, The San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Gerbode Foundation. A longtime educator, he’s Professor Emeritus and former Director of the MFA Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.
Come celebrate National Poetry Month at the San Francisco Public Library! Whether it’s spoken word, music, comedy, or something else entirely, all are welcome to the stage! Artist sign-ups will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each artist receives 5 minutes on stage.
Come join us as we celebrate the colorful urban voices of San Francisco! Whether it’s spoken word, music, comedy, or something else entirely, all are welcome to the stage! Artist sign-ups will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each artist receives 5 minutes on stage.
Featuring San Francisco City College’s own Cullen Bailey Burns, author of Slip, and Chante Mccormick.
My name is Sam Ward; I’m a 23 year old self-taught photographer from Antioch California. The catalyst that first sparked my interest in photography was skateboarding and the desire to capture those authentic moments between my friends and I. My style of photography is mainly lifestyle and documentary style work.
I am young, aspiring creator working in both film and digital photography and other various mediums of art. I’m inspired by the complex dualities in mundane life and exploring those relationships through my work. This print is a double exposure 35mm photo made with paper cutouts in the darkroom.
Joyce is a graphic designer with roots in Chicago but based in the Bay. When she’s not obsessing over ampersands you can find her galavanting around the world with her camera to capture the perfect shot.
Benjamin Fedosky lives and works in Oakland, CA. He studied at the University of Milwaukee – WI from 1997-99, and has since taken a self-directed approach to his art and studio practice. Benjamin has exhibited in solo and group shows in the U.S, Canada, and the U.K. benjaminfedosky.com