Tag Archives: poetry

Free Write!

Scene loves creativity.
We’re showcasing creative writing done by students…
this week a short story by
Paolo Arellano.

Want your work featured ? Send submissions to to scene@sffoghorn.info

Gregory walked across the dark street of Haight. He was lost, simply couldn’t find his way home. No. He couldn’t find his dorm. Home is thousands of miles away from San Francisco. Never mind the beautiful wharf, the infamous Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate bridge. It was nothing compared to his mother’s cooking, his friends that made him laugh whenever he was having an awful day, or even his girlfriend Jessica. He had to leave all that behind after he realized that USF was the perfect school for him. Or was it? He was excited to come to San Francisco after he came to visit day in April. But now he regrets his decision.
As he walked down Haight street he came across a homeless man. Greg walked with his head down, kicking invisible objects and sighing, still trying to find his way back to the dorms. The homeless man played a guitar when he noticed Greg. “Hey kid,” the homeless man said. Greg kept walking. Back home no homeless men ever approached him. “Don’t worry kid, I’m not begging you for change or nothin’” Greg stopped. He had nowhere else to be. “Here kid, let me play you a song,” the homeless man played a familiar tune. “I like this song, how did you know?” Greg questioned the man.
“Your shirt kid,” he responded.
Of course. Greg forgot that he had on his favorite shit. Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven”. Except the man was playing “Going to California.” The homeless man sang aloud for all to hear. Pretty soon, it wasn’t just Greg standing around the man jamming out to this song. There were now at least 15 people. Even a few of them with iPhones recording this homeless nobody play this well-known song. Some even sang along. The homeless man finally finished playing. Everyone clapped for him as he bowed to the crowd. As Greg was leaving, the homeless man stopped and said, “see kid, I’ve never had a home. I may or may not had had one at some point but as far back as I can I remember, I don’t have one. So if a man like me can be happy, you should be as well.” Greg smiled and asked the man for directions. “You turn left here on Masonic and go straight,” the homeless man added.
Greg walked along Haight street. He thought about the man’s words. “We all need something from everyone,” he thought to himself, “everyone deserves a chance to be heard.” He walked along Masonic back to his new home, smiling, knowing that these next four years would be a journey.

Hilltop Happenings

Thursday, Feb. 3
The Career of Charlie Chan
Fromm Hall
5:45-7 p.m.

Greek Week: Meet the Greeks
& Open House SRP
UC 4th Floor
7 p.m.

Chinese New Year
McLaren Complex
7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 5
School of Education Spring Information Meeting
(415) 422-5467 or email schoolofeducation@usfca.edu. Free.
School of Education
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 7
Sport Management Master’s Program Information Meeting
(415) 422-2678 or email sportmgt@usfca.edu.
Kalmanovitz 499
6 p.m.

Delta Zeta Recruitment in MC 252
7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 8
Lone Mountain Reading: Ada Limón
Xavier Room, Fromm Hall
7:45 p.m.

Sponsored by BSU
Fromm Hall
7 p.m.

Delta Zeta Recruitment in Location TBA
7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 9
Orientation Leader
Info Meeting
Hayes Healy Informal Lounge
5 p.m.

HMA/CMAA Fashion Show: Suit Yourself
McLaren 252
5:30 p.m.

American Idol Viewing
UC 4th Floor Lounge
8 p.m.

Delta Zeta Recruitment in UC 222
7:30 p.m.

Students, Supporters “Get Down for Gaza”


Tarik Kazaleh, aka Excentrik, plays the oud, a popular Middle Eastern string instrument, at the Get Down for Gaza event last Wednesday night. (Nicholas Mukhar|Foghorn)

“We celebrate our resistance, stomping, kicking and dancing in perfect chaos.” Her words echoed through the silent lounge that had been filled with music and dance just seconds before, as Dina Omar, a Palestinian-American and a UC Berkeley undergraduate student, recited a poem she had written about Palestinian resistance in Gaza. Her words were mostly in English and partly in Arabic. She continued reading her poem as the roughly 300 in the diverse crowd applauded, whistled and yelled words of encouragement. “Tell them, we will return to our homeland,” she said. “Tell them, we will paint these walls with our sweat and our blood.” Each word seemed to resonate with the crowd as they continued to nod their heads in agreement, and she continued to bare her strong feelings about her Palestinian heritage.

“We are always way too…overwhelmed with tears and checkpoints, and guns pointed at our heads, and the sound of quietness and the white phosphorus that thickens the sky. We celebrate ourselves and our resistance,” Dina said.

330 Ritch, a nightclub in SOMA, hosted Dina and other poets on the night of Feb. 25. People from all over California came together for a charity event, united in the common goal to raise money to buy medical supplies for Palestinians in Gaza who are lacking proper medical care following last month’s Israeli offensive along the Gaza Strip.

The concert, entitled “Get Down For Gaza,” featured music and poetry from DJ Leydis, DJ Sake One, Excentrik, Davey D, Omar Offendum and Mark Gonzales.

The poetry, lyrics and music centered around the Palestinian cause in Gaza, though criticism of current politics throughout the Middle East and Southeast Asia was a common thread throughout each performance.
“Most Americans don’t know this, but Afghanis, they don’t hate Americans, they hate the arrogance that can’t differentiate between violence and self-defense and labels everything as ‘terrorist,’” said Mark Gonzales in one of his three poems throughout the event that began at 9 p.m. on Wednesday night and ended at 2 a.m. on Thursday morning. In Lebanon bombs drop like beats,” he said. “Children fall asleep…only wondering if they’ll live long enough to dream tonight.” In the background, Excentric played a low, slow tune on the Oud, a string instrument similar looking to the guitar that is commonly used in Middle Eastern music. Gonzales is an L.A.-based poet and is part of a series of social justice events spearheaded by thirdSPACE Productions, a graphic design firm formed in 2002 by a group of multimedia artists.

Gonzales and the other artists who performed have worked with thirdSPACE productions in the past, and Gonzales said he will be part of similar events in New Orleans on Mar. 20 and in Seattle during the month of May.

“They say that evil is a necessary, but when is it really,” said Omar Offendum, as he discussed gun violence not only in the Middle East, but at home and in our neighborhoods.

“We didn’t meet our goal, but the club owners and the DJs said they were happy with how much we raised, considering the time and day of the event,” said Yara Badday, a graphic designer for thirdSPACE Productions. Badday, an Iraqi-American, was at the event and said that other events like Get Down for Gaza are being planned, though nothing has been finalized. Badday said that thousands of dollars were raised on Wednesday night.

The cover charge ranged from $10-20, based on how much people were willing to donate, and T-shirts were sold inside. All the money raised went to KinderUSA, a non-profit organization that was founded in 2002 by a group of American physicians and humanitarian relief workers. ThirdSPACE Productions collaborated with 330 Ritch and KinderUSA to put on the event. KinderUSA is one of two humanitarian groups currently on the ground in Gaza. “I’m hoping six years from now, our atrocity deficit disorder will not be on the next [atrocity], and then six years later the same thing.  ’Cuz Gaza isn’t about Gaza. Gaza for me is about the right for indigenous people to have the right to exist and the right to return wherever we exist on this planet,” Gonzales said to the crowd.

To learn more about KinderUSA, visit kinderusa.org. To learn more about thirdSPACE productions and their upcoming events, visit thirdSPACE Productions.com. You can also find thirdSPACE Productions on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, along with many of the artists performing at their events.

Black Student Union Hosts “Expressions”


Art can be a somber affair. Dramatic romances may writhe onstage with emotion, while a poem might wrench the heartstrings at a critical verse. Expressions, a spoken word night hosted by the Black Student Union, reminds that art can both stir the soul and make us laugh at the same time.

Rather than a serious exercise in soul-shattering artistry, the BSU’s Expressions was closer to an open mic coffee house. Expressions has been around for at least seven years, often appearing at Crossroads Café, though this year it was held in the more spacially accomodating McClaren Complex. 

Junior Tiffany Gresham said, “It’s probably my third or fourth time coming to Expressions, but every time it’s different. More people perform. I performed last semester with all my sorority sisters. It’s really fun.” 

The first performance was a poem about black pride, while the second was a cheery, clap-along love song. The singer, songwriter and guitarist was Sebastian Hughes, a freshman from Honolulu. “Songwriting is my passion,” he said. “I’ve been playing guitar for four years and writing music for three years.” And what made him bring his skills to the masses? “My RA actually told me to come down. I’m next to his room so he hears me playing all the time.” 

Novels in progress and even rap music jived onstage, but the expression of choice was poetry. Subjects ranged from humorous Facebook stalkers to shooting a pig for Christmas dinner, but most often, the subject was love in all of its many forms. “I like that I can express myself and hear my words and thoughts come out,” said Chioke Walker, a freshman poet. “I like to see other people’s reactions, too.” 

This is what Expressions is all about, especially for Courtney Ball, president of BSU. “I hope that students will have the chance to express themselves in any way possible.

 Expressing yourself does not have to be a poem; it could be expressing the frustration you have with moldy grapes in the cafe or the joy you have when you go to Ocean Beach in 80 degree weather.”
Expressions will return next February for Black History Month. In the meantime, BSU will also be organizing the Breast Cancer Tea and Gospel Extravaganza Fundraiser, in October in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.