Author of the month
June’s Author of the Month is Poppy S.! Poppy has been writing with 826NYC since 2021. Poppy’s advice to writers: “Take your time, and be creative. You can take a 3-minute break if you’re feeling stuck.”Read More
The Five Branches of Greatness
Sometimes when my eyes are red, I gaze off my roof. My own little world. Streets I’ve ran, blocks I’ve explored. Lying in the dark My thoughts lift up like the city. New York, the city of dreams and dreamers. Walking down Broadway, taxi horns screaming. See the rats in the subway, not the sandwich spot. New York, best city in the world. Grab the mic, Eat the bite like Iron Mike. New York home of the greatest, New York.
Weird is in the Same Ballpark…
Once, there was a group of friends, two girls and one boy. And it was June 28, the first day of summer vacation! The name of the boy was John, and the names of the two girls were Maria and Mia. John had red hair and brown eyes with the red hair faded into brown. Maria was half white and half black with hair that she dyed black but faded into purple. Mia had short brown hair. She also had green eyes and puffy hair. The friends were all in grade 3 and planning a play-date. Their parents decided that Thursday, the 30th, would be fine. Mia was the most excited because it was at her house. Maria and John had never been to Mia’s house. And Mia’s house was huge: three bathrooms, five bedrooms, a backyard at least eighteen feet long, and more! Once it was Wednesday night, she could barely sleep. The second before she fell asleep, she heard someone whisper, “Mia . . . ” Mia was too tired to think anything of it. She barely even noticed it. She just heard it like Pringles dropping on the floor. She heard someone again saying “Mia . . . Mia!” She got scared for a second, but realized that it was just her mother calling her for breakfast. “Your friends are coming in thirty minutes!” she yelled. Mia scrambled out of bed and ran to her closet to get dressed. When she was done getting dressed, she ran up the twenty-three stairs for breakfast. When she was done with her breakfast, she cleaned her room, and when she went to the front door, her friend John and his mom were already there. “Hello,” he said. “Hi,” Mia said, panting a little. Mia’s mom and John’s mom chatted with her while John waited for Maria. They were about to play hide and seek when they heard a knock. Mia’s mom went to open the door, but no one was there. She closed the door, but they heard another knock, so her mom opened it. This time it was Maria! “Elou,” they said. “Let’s go downstairs,” Mia said excitedly. They all ran down the stairs to her room, but midway, she tried to move, then stopped trying, because she couldn’t control herself. “C-o-m-e . . .” a voice said that wasn’t any of the three kids. Then, what looked like Mia but didn’t sound like Mia, went into a door that was never there. Once they all walked in the door, they disappeared, and the kids were never seen again until ten years later. That house is now considered haunted. The End.
Inspired by the painting Untitled (Head) by Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1981
To be me
To be me is To be *Gay* To fall for girls way too fast and way too hard To speak two languages To speak Hebrew at home To have all my family in Israel To have a great-grandma who escaped from a concentration camp To be a reader I want to read all the books I want to take all the feelings and feel them I want the book to hug me tight and not let go I want to understand To have school friends Neighborhood friends Israel friends And family friends To be impatient To hate too many people But to truly love the people I love To wish on 11:11 To say if I make this shot she’ll like me back To wish on a dandelion’s puff in the wind To have a cat that died To have a cat who meant more than anything else And she’s gone And she won’t come back And you want to cry To doodle everything on anything People, eyes, cats, abstract To draw hearts with my eraser To be creative To love myself To be able to be Me
Chocolate Cake is Brown
Chocolate cake is the best invention ever created by mankind (after autocorrect). Chocolate cake is made of chocolate, and chocolate makes all of earth’s wonders like brownies, chocolate ice cream, chocolate frosting, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate wafers, chocolate donuts, and most importantly, the dirt from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Chocolate cake is layers and layers upon smooth, moist chocolate. If you don’t believe me, ask that kid who was forced to eat chocolate cake by Miss Trunchbull from Matilda (trust me, she enjoyed it). Chocolate cake is amazing. Chocolate cake is definitely amazing because we’ve had it for over 150 years and no one decided that it shouldn’t exist. I have to thank Eliza Leslie for publishing that chocolate cake recipe, otherwise I would still be having plain cake. Another thing, if you’re able to resist the deliciousness of chocolate cake, you must be crazy because chocolate has a special chemical that makes your brain want more. According to redstonefoods.com, “Chocolate contains chemicals like tryptophan which the brain uses to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter and hormone responsible for feelings of happiness and joy.” Because chocolate cake has chocolate, there’s no wonder I go “mm” and dig in for more. I first laid eyes on the love of my life at a birthday party when I was very young. At the time, I enjoyed eating mango and chocolate pudding. So when I went to this party, they had only two cakes: a vanilla cake with pineapple filling and a chocolate cake. I had never eaten either, so I avoided what seemed to me as a big, brown mud cake, and decided to try the pineapple filling cake, assuming it was mango. Might I tell you, that was the worst thing I’ve ever had (yes, offense to you pineapple-filling lovers*). I told my mom and she told me to try the chocolate cake instead. I told her it looked like poop. But when she went to the bathroom, I took a sliver of it and let me tell you, it was delicioso. I think you should try chocolate cake because it’s better than any food in the world (don’t look that up). I hope that you disown all of the food you eat and eat chocolate cake for the rest of your life. (Please don’t. It’s unhealthy to eat too much chocolate cake.) *This is a joke.
Love Shown Through Food
I was never one for love and affection, in fact I never understood it. While growing up, my parents never really showed love and affection, even to this day. I never grew up hearing “I love you” and “sleep tight” or “have a good day,” instead it was always “don’t do anything foolish because you’re gonna get in trouble” or some type of scolding before I even did anything. I always tried to say “I love you” or “be safe” to them before they left for work or before I went to school to show some type of gratitude and love, but this morning while getting ready to leave I decided not to say it. It wasn’t that I was mad at them for not saying it back or ungrateful for anything they did, but I just felt like it, especially since I wasn’t gonna get a response other than “mhm” or “okay.” “Anna, are you ready?” my aunt asked. “Yes,” I replied as we walked out the front door. When we arrived at school I just said “bye” instead of, “Bye, I love you.” I had started to feel so bad, since this was the second time I didn’t say it. It had felt so weird for me not to say but I quickly forgot about it. Days went by with me not saying it and it kinda became normal. It had bothered me for days, the part of me that still felt sad, as if my parents had never loved me. But they do love me. In fact they had been showing me the whole time, like on this Sunday afternoon when I had been doing homework while my aunt was cooking in the kitchen. She called me into the kitchen to get her something. “Anna,” my aunt called me. “Yes,” I replied. “Come here,” she said. As I left the living room table and made my way to her, she asked me to get something out the fridge for her. I forgot what it was. As I handed her what she asked for, I don’t remember her saying anything in return, but I was curious as to what she was making so I asked. She told me it was brown stew chicken with white rice and peas (I don’t like white rice and peas). I asked how she learned and she said it was from my grandmother. I carefully asked her more questions knowing she would get tired of my curiosity. But she continued to answer my questions, telling me about our mixed culture and my grandmother. It wasn’t until I paused to muster up the courage to ask her why she never responded when I said “I love you” to her. She stopped for a moment then asked me what I meant. “You know when I say I love you to you and everyone else but you never say it back, you always say okay instead,” I clarified. “Anna, growing up we never used to have that, my parents never really said that to us but we knew they did when they cooked or asked for assistance outside,” my aunt replied, eyes still focused on the pot in front of her. “Enough questions now go back and finish your homework” she quickly said after. “Okay,” I replied, heading back to the living room table. As I sat back down at the living room table, I thought about what she said, trying to understand what she meant. I later did when she called me back for dinner, picking up a plate and big spoon ready to serve me my food. You could smell how good the food was, you already knew what it tasted like before eating it. Steam rose out of the pot as she lifted the lid to plate it. She asked how much rice I wanted and gave me the parts with the least amount of peas, then gave me two brown stew chicken legs. When she was done, she handed me the plate and told me to sit at the table. While I did I studied the food carefully, thinking about what she had said earlier. As soon as I took the first bite I understood exactly what she meant. My aunt indeed loves me. From the time she asked me to get an ingredient, to the time she plated my food and handed it to me, to the first bite I took I felt all the love my aunt had for me in that moment and realized every conversation I had with her while cooking to every bite of food I ate that my aunt did love me. And that she was expressing this to me through her cooking and so was everyone else in my household, just as my grandmother did with them when they were growing up.
An orca so smart like me Orcas sing softly. So beautiful like a star in the sky. Black and white like the palm of my hand. They like to play like me. So beautiful, They like to swim and practice They are my spirit animal.
I am me
I am like a giraffe I stand tall and proud even when people knock me down. I am like an elephant Strong, majestic and wise. I am like a lioness Powerful and brave. I am like a dolphin Playful and kind. I am like a cheetah Quick and patient. I am all these things and more. I am me.
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