Hi, my name is Krystal Guillen. I am a journalism major at Depaul University in Chicago. I have always had a passion for writing and poetry. Having participated in poetry slams and open mics, here are a few pieces I’ve written over the years.
This first poem got my slam team to the Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam finals and is one of my favorites... its really a performance piece (so its best to be listened to- not read) but still, people seem to like it..
He is gone
Never to be brought back
I tried my best to save him but so suddenly it happened
Like a tragic heart attack
Was pure suspense
I first saw him
Immediately I inched closer
And I have been there ever since
Looking back I see
It is not just a mere coincidence
But a fate-like incidence
Ben was special
Even his silence
COULD SPEAK VOLUMES
And he was real
No masks, no costumes
It was almost a year together
Almost to graduation
We had almost
Made it, made it, made it
But he was overworked..
It was all the
Words, the stories, phrases
All the pages, pages, pages
Oh ben!.. my pen.
He had been there when I released my tears
Made things clear
Helped me to meet my fears
I used him so much
I KNEW his death was near
I had tried my best to save him
But he still did
A slow.. painful.. fading death
I scribbled! and scribbled!
Checking for a pulse
Those scribbles were his scratches
Scratches like a knife!
SCRATCHES SCRATCHES SCRATCHES FOR DEAR LIFE!
Woe to you!
Who take your pens for granted
You who choose to pick up your pencils
Your dull, dull pencils
You, who let your pens DROP ON THE DIRTY FLOOR
As if reaching to rescue him is such a chore
Leaving him there to be ignored
And a pen too can die in its sleep...
Dry, dry , dry
Runs unused ink.
That poem was written one morning in high school during my senior year in math class. My favorite pen had died ealier in home room, and when I realized how tragic it was- and how ineteresting it is that we assign such human attributes to an object, I wrote this poem and it was one of few that was never re-written or edited because it was perfect and real the first time around.
Here are a few haikus...( poems of just seventeen syllables)
Nervous. Anxious. Nibble. Rip
Chewing. So i. Truly.
Can't get a grip.
( I like this one because of the double meanings: half of it means when you are nervous you cant get a grip/ get a hold of yourself, and the other part means how those avid nailbitters bite their nails so much that eventually they are nervously biting at their skin- so much so that its all raw on the tips= cant get a grip- gross i know)
you have to leave now
the moons a'comin
"The man of intuition"
But however colorful his pain
Its what brings him satisfaction
"Why my Harmonica Hums"
when Harmonica meets Hands
Harm meets Harmony
and Hatred, One love
( Here i just played with making use of the letter "H" and describing the tranquility playing my own harmonia brings me)
He was crazy but he wasnt crazy in the normal way.
He called over his imaginary friend but even he didn't dare to stay.
He then made a doll, out of some rags and some glue.
He gave her a half smile -thats the best he could do.
She was as happy as he could ever make her, it was this much that he knew.
He stared and waited for her to get up and leave him.. just as he expected her to.
Oh hello Monday!
Yeah.. I know..
I know, usually we get off to a ...bad start
Yes, exactly! Just wrong foot, on a ..very wrong day..
And its just all so... Wrong
But.. yes, yes .. I know its not your fault
I know you can't control the order you are in
And im not saying you are to blame, really
Really, Im not
Listen, how about we just put all those negative feelings aside? okay?
Because I'm feelings rather good this morning.
So i'll say this again
Its monday, and I'm saying. Good morning.
( ^Written on the train when I heard someone say good morning to another, and that person responded saying ' those dont exist on mondays')
"Telephone- the phone ringing is how you perceive it"
( another performance piece so should be read dramatically)
I put myself in danger today
I plugged in my telephone
Who knows what will happen next!
There is no "ON" button but oh
There is power
Do not underestimate this power
I opened up today
My hand to phone
I grasped it and placed it
To my ear
I checked for a tone
Oh this was a serious, steady,
All lines are ready
I put that damned thing down
I looked down.
Little butty buttons
Nitty gritty wires
Someone, seconds away
So close, so close
Yet.. so far, far
I will in an hour
In an hour, I'll take those seconds
to reach you from hours
To give you those minutes
Of my day
I want to hear you
I want to hear you!
Hear yo speak,
Hear you silence
Hear your ..pause
Laugh, sigh, even cough
The tone is working
Now I wait
I made myself vulnerable today
Wide, wide open
No one call?
I let my phone worry me today
Oh the fright!
But a still, still sight
Did not jump,
BUT THE SCARE
FROM THE STARE
AND THE JUMP OF THE RING
FROM THIS THING
oh this thing..
Some days of hope..
Sometimes the sound of fear, of enjoyment
Who could it be?
Is it he?
Is it she?
Who could it be?
Will they give me an hour?
Only a minute?
Better pick up...
it will stop ringing..
In just... a second.
" Anyone can read the script"
Hey, how you doin'
Says lady at starbucks with nice looking bangs. I like to call her.. " The lady who works at starbucks with the nice looking bangs" because I do not even know her name. I can read her nametag..but.. to tell you the truth, that would take caring.
I'm good. How are you?
Says my neighbor two doors down who cuts his grass in a religious fashion, and whose smile is always the same.. but.. I do not even know his last name.. but.. his first, i think, is Dave.
Pretty good, thanks.
Says man outside blue line with CTA cap near the " Red Eye here!" section, who doesn't ever really seem to change up his expression.. unless.. I smile extra big so he is forced to mirrot it.. which, again, would take some effort.
That was last month, now, lady with bangs must have gotten her schedule changed... and neighbor dave.. whose name might even be Phil..stays inside becayse it is autumn now..and CTA man doesn't say 'Hi' first, so I stay quiet.
It doesn't matter though, because.. well, a n y o n e c a n r e a d t h e s c r i p t.
( This piece was written after I noticed how many people I have this scripted conversation with throught my day.. and i think everyone can relate- because we say hi to these people we say regularly but we never really talk with them, or genuinely care to hear how they truly are doing..and the end line pretty much means that, these people can be replaced and we will be okay with it becase everyone is familiar with/ knows this scipt too)
This final poem is my most recent one I wrote/performed.. A friend of mine was doing a charity event for haiti and poems about/ relating to humanity, love and peace were needed.
" The Human Heart"
Heed unto me humans
I said listen here!
As I speak to you
.. from the heart
No need for any denotation you all have simliar connotations of understading
when i say
.. the heart
The human heart
Oh humanity! I speak to you from the first person in the highest degree,
as i relay to you one specific decree
- meanwhile gaining some street cred as a medolic emcee
for in symbolics and metaphors galore I bleed
Collabortively coordinating 'ahs' and 'uhms'
into words, into phrases, into stanzas
So as i stand up admist this debree I speak quite clearly unto thee
from the heart...
In grade school I "learned" about the human heart
What I was taught, and what I once thought
Was that this complex internal object pumped my blood with a 'lub' and a 'dub'
And even though Bill Nye seemed so, so convincing
And i thought I knew all i needed to know
He failed to mention other things
He failed to warn me about feeling
I studied contractions and expansions
And i stared at the size of my fist in an attempt to understand its dimensions
Can you believe I thought i understood its incrediblity
I read about these chambers
But no one ever told me I would have to beg and plead people to stay in them
That i would have to attempt to lock them in these walls
With some key
Because supposedly there is this keyhole, however that has yet to be discovered
But.. apparently, some one has that key
Furthermore, I do not recall being tested on what else this muscular pump is home to
the textbook did not tell me that emotion lives right here
That right in this area, a fragile sign should be posted for it is often, not easily broken
Often times stomped on and turn up, brusied and abused
the heart never rests i was told
this is true for the love me nots, love me nots,
never seem to rest
Seat of my innermost character and thoughts i establish that the heart
It is lame, crippled for it is blind
blind to? blind to love
as yes, when I was young and in one particular month
I colored these heart shapes pink and red
And we were told to associate the heart with good feelings
-with chocolate and cupids.. and to this day
I still do not understand why we were taught something.. so so
Because I handed them out and I was never told that at any given time
my heart could be denied, pushed to the side
And that it would take an unknown amount of time
For that feeling to susibe- when I called on a handyman instead of experiencing that candyland like I did back in that day
100,000 beats a day
3.5 million a year
I've thrown most everything I have learned about the human heart away
To me, that thing may pound but only rarely does it receive lovely knows
To me, that boom. boom.boom is merely its way of telling me it needs to be listened to
its constant tune is entitled love
But just the same, the things people tell me to expect from love fall so short of the truth its astounding
Because love is just a state of mind, and we are all, in different
You see, a synonym for love is humanity
And with that too, i can share with you
So those are some of my completed works. I hope they are what you are looking for because it would be an honor to be published. I love writing, I wake up everday and its all i think about doing- nothing could make me happier. I have journals filled with short poems, long poems, thoughts and inspirations of things i would like to write about. -My perfect day consists of putting on a record, laying on my bed working on pieces, and then typing the completed ones on my typewriter. The cherry on top though, I must say, would be when i share my work with others - whether it be at open mics or competitions, getting recognized it always a high i can never grow tired of.
Put simply, writing is my salvation. Being a middle child in a family of seven, I always needed something to occupy my time and to be myself with - and paper and pen have never been far from me. As a freshman in college, there is a lot of pressure to go into this or that career and make such and such amount of money.. but being a writer has always been a passion of mine. So, I am just going to go with that and hope to god i do not fail. With that said, being chosen to promote this magazine would not only be sublime - it would also be that sign ive been looking for.. that i really am doing the right thing in my life.. that i really do have it in me to be a writer.
Thanks for your time.