I feel like all people want to talk about is How much they hate ISIS
But I really feel that in light of this
People like me are the ones that pay the prices

Fear mongering politicians use this terror as an excuse
To trash on our people, our parents and our vulnerable youth

Mr Harper you made the people feel like they don’t belong
The people that put you in that office are the ones that you did wrong
Mr Harper why did you get this bill passed along?
Looks like you wont be sitting in that office for too long

Should a second class citizen have the right to complain?
Or should I refrain.
Could talking about how I dislike this
get me sent somewhere else?
A place where I can’t even fight this
And despite this

I still say I don’t mean any disrespect
But if being born here isn’t enough
What exactly is it that makes this country one of the best?

You want to talk to me about ISIS, the worlds biggest disgrace
I don’t even wanna call them that, to me, they’ll always just be Daesh

A Muslim is not someone who knows how to make a bomb
If that’s what you believe you need to know that you believe wrong
A Muslim is a person that worships one God
Minds their own business and doesn’t make people feel like they’re living wrong
A human being that just like everyone else, tries to fit in and wants to belong

ISIS are the ones whose words mean nothing
They would never be anywhere if they never had their weapons and funding
So stop complaining about Islam
You know you’ve got it all wrong
Whenever you see a Muslim don’t let yourself forget
That ISIS has killed many Muslims, and without any regret.

Bill c-24 is not going to help anyone or fix a thing
It’s going to encourage people to hate this country for one thing
People like you play into these terrorists hands
They demand for us to fear them
And you command us to follow their plans
And as for your dumb policy
As far as I can see
The threat of ISIS in this country is not something we need to preach
They’re oceans away, and that’s a fact, not just my belief

But now my friends and family feel like strangers in their own land
Living and breathing in the lies about who we are, and what we plan
As if we’re all just waiting to be kicked out and deported
From a country where we might always be seen as unimportant

My brown skin is not something people should be afraid of
And you should be ashamed of
Encouraging people to hate us
And remember that you’ll be in office for maybe another term
Maybe two
But me and my people will be here waiting longer then that
Because we’re stronger then that
Our resilience is going to keep us fighting for our rights
So Mr Harper it’s time you realized what you did was neither good nor right
Please undo this mess at once
So we don’t have to waste time and energy on this useless fight

The people in Syria are the ones that need protection
But you make fun of anyone that wants to offer them affection
A terror group like ISIS is built with hate and created upon impurity
I’m telling you Love is what will bring the real victims hope and security
There’s nothing that evil hates more than people caring
And evil isn’t so daring
When it’s finally seen for what it is,
Behind those American weapons those so called Muslims scream and argue just like little kids
All of their power is rooted in our fear
So why play into their bloodstained hands and answer their bloodstained prayers

—  The Unislamic state, a poem by me
WAYP Spotlight: Alex Dang!

When did you start writing? 

I started really taking language seriously around middle school. At this time, I was going through a lot of intense personal changes: I started seeing the world a little more critically, I was enjoying art, I was getting my heart stomped on, and the biggest thing was that I started listening to like, really good music. Stuff I still listen to now. And because of this, I wanted to become a rapper. I got really into Hip-Hop and kept pursuing it up through college (I still dabble and might make a comeback). Most of my creative writing processes were dedicated to song writing. Eventually it transformed into poetry after I had gone to my first poetry slam.

Did you always think you were going to be a writer? 

Never, never, never. I always saw myself on the stage in some form or another, but never as a poet. I’m in school right now to become an English teacher, and that’s what I’ve seen myself doing since I was younger.

Do you find you write better at a particular time of day or in a specific atmosphere?

For me, I don’t think there’s anything specific besides finding a space I can quietly work in. I like desks, I like quiet, and I need to be in the right mindset to focus in on writing. But it changes everyday! Some days I can be really in tuned to my writing and just start and finish a piece regardless of what’s going on around me. Other times, it takes a while to really focus in and do the work. I don’t like forcing the inspiration, but I do attempt to work on my writing every day in whatever fashion would be the best at the time, whether it’s editing, brainstorming, or reading other work to inform my own.

How do you combat “writer’s block?”

Lean with it. If the work isn’t coming naturally, then I won’t sweat it. I’ll continue my day and life and keep an open mind of what is happening. I’m a big believer of inspiration always being near, but like opportunity, you have to listen for it.

In order to stay sharp and not just be waiting for the inspiration to hit, I’ll go to my interests that have inspired me in the past. I’ll read that book I’ve been meaning to get to, listen to that album really closely, go to the restaurant I’ve heard so much about! I think we always bring ourselves to each poem and whatever that part of you is, you should embrace and indulge into because you never know when it’ll manifest itself into a poem.

What inspires you to write a poem?

I will obsess over things. Overthink, play out every scenario, I’m totally one of those “I’ve thought about the next five years of interactions in this one shower” type of person. And because of that, it’s calming to put those thoughts on the page. When I have an issue or a problem, something I can’t get off my mind, it helps to get it into a poem. It’s like once that issue is on the page, it can stay there. Plus, when I’m thinking about writing, I want to consider every angle, every outcome. When doing this, it also doubles finding a solution to the issue I had originally. I’m thinking about it more complexly and in a more critical manner that can get me to my solution easier.

In my work, I write mostly about my life, so I let my days do the inspiration. I always have to remember that my voice is important though. It’s easy to write yourself off and to say to yourself, “Everything has been written about!” But, it hasn’t been said in your words yet. I have to remind myself a lot that my voice and work is important.

Tell us about your latest book to be released through Where Are You Press!

My second chapbook, Are You Proud Of Me? will be coming out soon! I’m really excited about it. I’m very fond of my first chapbook, but obviously I want to take my work to the next level and really wow both myself and the audience. I feel like my first chapbook was a pretty solid mixtape and I want this next book to be a fully realized album.

What are you working on at the moment? 

Right now, I’m gearing up for the National Poetry Slam. I’m polishing my performance and honing in on getting my language concise for the stage. However, I’m challenging myself this summer to focus and develop my writing skills. I want every poem I have to be both stage worthy and page ready.


FROM THE VAULT: Patrick Roche - “Siri: A Coping Mechanism”

“He wants to tell his friends everything. He hopes they will always be there like family but not like family.”

Patrick Roche, performing for Princeton during semifinals at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

An ode to all the people I have loved:

i. Theres not much to say, you never loved me back and always made sure I knew it.

ii. My only real love, you took the already broken pieces of me and ground them into fine glass dust. I have journals full of only your name and it’s written in blood. What did I ever do to deserve this? I would move heaven and earth to see you smile, yet you seem to take pleasure in causing my pain. All I ever wanted was to make you happy. All I ever wanted was your love. Was that really too much to ask? I gave you everything I had without making sure you wanted it and I guess that was my biggest mistake. 

iii. I never really loved you and you never really loved me, despite what you say. But, when you said to me “baby, it’s just not working” I swear to god in that moment I heard every goodbye ever said to me all at once, every door that’s ever been slammed in my face, and every person who told me they’re sorry without meaning a goddamned word. I screamed to the heavens the night you left and no, we can’t still be friends.

—  Somehow I am always the one who ends up hurting more
She asked me, “What do you want from me?” As we stood there,
in the middle of an argument; she asked, “What, tell me what you want from me?” My response, was simple, “I just want you; I just want us.” But that was a lie, because there’s so much more behind that statement that she’ll never know. So much hurt and truth behind the theory of us that I have yet to tell her. I want her more than anything in this world but I don’t just want kisses, dates, sex, and corny memories. No, I want us. I want a trusting relationship, I want to be able to sleep at night and not have to reassure myself a thousand times, that she won’t walk away. I’m not afraid of lust or one night stands to get in the way. Cheating is not what I fear. I fear, the fact that she’ll wake up one day and just leave, just leave because it isn’t me she wants. I want us to grow together, none of these mindless dates and kisses on sunset beaches. I want to learn and build a future together. I want to be the person she trusts in. To tell me all her hopes, dreams, and ambitions. Not only will I support them, but I want to be a part of them. To be able to say that we helped each other, that we supported each other. I want hand holding, not as a sign of possession, but as a sign of commitment. I want a title not because it ties us down, I want a title because there’s nothing that would make me more proud than to know that I am hers for the taking. That I shout to the world that I want no one else but her. I want morning breakfasts with no clothes on, because in the morning fog is when we’re the most vulnerable.  I want these things not because of what movies portray for us to believe in. No, I want these things because they were what our fathers and mothers never had. I want midnight talks about the things she fears the most, and I won’t judge her for them. I want dancing in the middle of the living room not because of romance but because of unity and happiness. I want to live in happiness, to know that I have found someone who wants all the same things. I want kids, oh god, how I want kids with her, and I want them to never doubt how much of this home was built on love, alone. I want to build a career with her along my side, so that nights full of stress still somehow make me feel blessed that I have a woman like her by my side. I want her to feel safe in my arms, to know that I will never leave her. I want to be there when she needs someone to wipe away her tears and I will try my best to never be the reason for her aches and crying. I want her to want us just as much as I do. There’s so much more behind that statement, because it’s not just as simple as “I want us” no, I want something with her that I’ve had with no one else. I want to drown in love, go in head first, to never be afraid to commit to her. I want it all, and I want it only with her.
—  My answer

Rachel McKibbens - “Bruja’s Soliloquy”

“It wasn’t until the third time my body was taken from me that I learned how to love it.”

Performing during the Button Poetry/Organic Weapon Arts showcase at AWP 2015. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

To the next girl who has the privilege to love you:

1. He is very shy. Even though he looks tough, he would be too timid to talk to you.
2. He would hold you as though you are the most precious thing in the world.
3. When his lips land on your cheek, you would be free of all the worry of the world, but only temporarily.
4. He’s stellar at making you feel special, but please keep in kind that he treats every girl like this.
5. You’ll never love someone the way you love him.
6. He’s not very good at taking care of himself — so please take care of him for me. Make sure he drinks enough water and eats enough food.
7. He hardly sleeps. Encourage him to nap please.
8. He really likes sugar cookies. Bake some for him — but don’t end up like me and leave a scar on your wrist.
9. Borrow his sweaters. He smells like heaven and home and I swear to god, you would feel so loved when you wear them.
10. Send him pictures of yourself — lots of them. He loves seeing you happy so don’t forget to smile.
11. He doesn’t get angry often, but when he does, you’ll cry. Not because he’s hurting you, but because you simply cannot bear seeing him upset.
12. It’s always friends before you. Don’t force him.
13. He says “I love you” a lot. You’ll remember every time he says it.
14. He likes walking you home, even if it means he has to walk an extra half hour alone.
15. Don’t tell him you cried for him. He’ll take it upon himself.
16. Kiss him a lot — while you can.
17. You’ll fall way too hard for him.
18. Please treat him well. He deserves the best and he always offers the best.
19. Don’t get mad at him, please. I made that mistake one too many times and I still regret it.
20. Give him all the love he deserves, please. I beg you to treat him right.

—  Where you are, I once was. (May 31, 2:41am)
She’s trying to get over him.
But when she has to get out of the house, she can’t stop her eyes from looking behind the steering wheel of every red car that drives by.
He kissed her last on a Thursday, she didn’t hesitate to brush her teeth till her mouth bled just to get the taste of him off her tongue.
Last Wednesday she bought the same flavor gum he used to steal from her. She finished four pieces because it tasted more like his lips than berries. She didn’t bother brushing her teeth after that.
She’s been writing poems about him since the day he left and I guess that’s proof that she’s not doing too well with moving on and she went and reread all her old journal entries where his name was so neatly printed. She wished she never lost the pen he gave her. It was the only thing she had to remember him by.
And oh god does she still love him. She’s kissing boys to try to move on but they don’t give her the same butterflies like he did.
She’s told everyone how much she hates him and that she couldn’t careless about him, but she still smokes at night in hope that he will stop by in her dreams.
She really is trying to get over him
It’s just that he still exists somewhere out there where she can’t quite reach.
—  (via unknown-taylor)
10 Slam Poems Every Woman Should Listen To
In the world, young girls have accomplished so much without being noticed or applauded. Normally, their accomplishments are even hidden away or ignored, even ridiculed. Clementine von Radics wants young women to know that they are brilliant and much more capable than they’ve ever been told they can be.

My poem “For Teenage Girls” is on this list!


Victoria Morgan - “How to Succeed in Heartbreak” (CUPSI 2015)

“Do not pick yourself up, do not be okay, because heartbreak is not about being okay, it is about remembering you were okay before.”

Performing for Southern Oregon University at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!


It was the kind of night that starts off with a flirt; the shallow kind. Quick arm touches, you tease. Five minutes later your telling him every dream and secret you’ve ever had. Things you forget were still in your chest.

I decided.

It’s blurry at best, when you think about it now. You put me in a box buried 6 feet under where we used to have our hammock. You know, in the backyard. But the funny thing about memories, is your not actually remembering. In reality your remembering the last time you remembered. It’s a fluid snapshot and it’s changing forever.

But I remember, playing whisper around the room. It was the same thing. You start out with an honest truth, a few thoughts and whispers later it’s a different monster now. You keep him in your closet and he growls

It’s not until he starts whimpering that you realize you probably should have wrote it down. It would have been better to have the snapshot more authentically. Stronger and more grounded, more clearheaded and realistic. But I’ve been thinkin; thinkin those qualities might be lost on me.

And that’s when I decided I could be more holistic when I’m tearing everything apart in my head. Ever since I was little I’ve been rearranging facts to make stories make more sense. Because it’s just all stories, you can’t write fiction about ideas or rhetoric. You have to write about people and life is people. Billions of people and billions of stories to forget.

I can’t forget, but id like to. We’ve all been pulling the wings off butterflies to pass the time. Little pains aimed at each other.

So I smothered the last little bit of life left in my pen. When the ink like blood dried I had a better idea of what it was like to feel safe in my bed again.

That’s when I decided to stop breathing.

It was that simple, I was bored. I was talking to a soul that wanted my heart to keep pumping but didn’t want to look in my eyes again. So I downed the pill bottle and I yacked. I didn’t even see a light. It was…pathetic. The bathroom floor was more welcoming than my goddamn kitchen. And that’s sad.

The very last text I sent ended with a semi-colon. A half finished sentence, with words like sparks capable of starting fires. I almost robbed the world of that. The incomplete sentence would’ve ended with I love you. And I meant that.

It was probably the only thing I meant. Since I first heard that lyric. This is fact not fiction, for the first time in years and; it took me two years to realize what it meant. death cab always seemed to say it best.

When I couldn’t. And I can’t. I can’t put down my…pen. Since I heard the mark on my wrist is a god damn fad on the internet.
Whatever, I’ll be a cliche. At least it shortens the distance between everyone and me.
Unlike the distance from my sanity.
I decided It’s indifferent and mundane
I’m tracing lines and finding peace in the space between my knuckles and the wall.
As I negotiate with whoever the hell is running heaven these days.
Why didn’t you take me when I decided?

Written by alanscrying-whileimwriting 


For Teenage Girls by Clementine von Radics

she says i am not a feminist
i do not believe in feminism 
she spills out the words 
“i have the same rights and opportunities as the male counterpart in the united states" 
like it’s a sunday morning
and she just had breakfast in bed 
while in other parts of the world
women have organizations set up 
to fight for women to go to school
for women to take up industrial jobs
for women to take up jobs and protect their rights 
she says 
stop playing victim and seize opportunities 
but not every land is the land of freedom 
not every woman has opportunities knocking on their door
in so many parts of the world 
a 9 year old girl 
sits in her room 
and awaits her husband’s knock 
she then talks about 
how women want same rights as men 
when its convenient 
like as if 
women in the world 
want to cherry pick 
having equal job rights 
non discriminating pay laws 
and lesser women tax 
she says convenience and my blood boils a little 
she continues 
you can get a job 
no man is stopping you 
but society says 
marry a man 
not become a doctor 
society says 
you’re 35 
but no future partner
marrying is not only one stereotype 
but a man’s ego is so fragile 
women are accustomed to stay home after marriage
because leaving for a job means 
forsaking "home” values 
and you’re telling me nothing is stopping them 
but this is only one variable 
imagine the number of women 
unable to even get education 
because they’re females 
because that’s what society has imposed the gender to be 
but you then proceed to talk about slut shaming 
about how a woman who sleeps with 60 man 
is as much of a slut 
as is a man who sleeps with 60 women 
but girls out here get slut shamed 
even when their throats scream no 
even when they’re not sleeping around 
they become sexual objects 
like sex is not their right 
like a body is not of their owning 
the problem isn’t who you see as a slut 
the problem is women are being objectified as nothing but sexual object
that’s the problem 
i don’t understand why you would want to downplay both genders to get equality because if that what equality is to you 
i understand why you’re not a feminist 
she then goes again to say
america hires on job qualifications 
and i am happy 
you’re not one of many women 
who sit through degrading interview
get questioned cause they’re woman 
and still get asked whether they opt for the job
they still work 
cause food needs to be on the table 
despite their value being burnt in their office cubicles 
and you say 
okay but men can get falsely accused of rape as well,
that’s 5%
talk about the 95% you don’t see to care about
you don’t seem to care about your fellow sisters yet
so i see how you’re not a feminist 
when you overplay caring for one gender
and not both 
because feminism is about both genders
but if i have to talk about men 
to get your attention for feminism 
then it’s clearly not the point. 

you say all of this.
cause you’re american. 
you’re white. 
you walk the streets cause your privilege protects you. 
and this comes from an indian asian girl.
i have a roof over my head.
i have education.
and i am privileged as well.
but just because the sun shines where i live.
doesn’t mean it shines everywhere.

you have everything at your feet
so fellow women ancestors laugh
because you stand on their bones
and talk about rights
you don’t even know your other female friends have it hard 
so how are you gonna acknowledge
women of color struggles that continue 
and the bones that STILL pile up

you my friend
are gifted
in so many ways
ignorance is a bliss i guess 
in the saddest of ways

—  k, slam poetry in response to this tweet https://twitter.com/Lala_Sorrentino/status/615928978562531328

Lauren Zuniga - “Things That Happened to Me in High School…”

“Someone successfully killed themselves every year at my private, Catholic high school. Scott’s brother carved freedom into his chest before he blew his brains out.”

Performing during the Lit Slam at the 2015 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!


Egy nőnek mindig is meg kellet küzdenie a társadalom viszontagságaival.

A szavazati jog, a megerőszakolósdi, a nő nem tanul, csak mosogat.

Van egy olyan sztereotípia, hogy a nők nem tudnak cigit tekerni.

Hogy egy nő nem tud mosógépet szerelni, hogy egy nő nem tudja fölhúzni a fregolit,

Hogy egy nőnek mindig, minden körülmények között csinos a kis pofikája

És hogy nem eszik sokat.

Hát képzed! 9 hamburgert tudnék megenni egymás után – ha szeretném a hamburgert.

Patentebb cigit tekerek, mint a Müszüben lévő takarító néni

És perpillanat egy négynapos smink van rajtam.

Szerintem húzom még három napig, hogy elmondhassam magamról – egy hete nem fürödtem.

Persze van egy olyan sztereotípia is, hogy egy nő nem bírja az alkoholt.

Emlékszel arra a formára tegnap estéről, aki elkezdte verni a pultos csávót,

Mert nem adta ki neki a 14. sörét? Na az nem én voltam.

Én az a forma voltam, aki otthon itta a kannást, és mégis a kannás lett rosszul.

Én igen is bírom az alkoholt, csak ezt néha elfelejtem

És sajnos az Ábel is elfelejti, ezért nem adja ki azt a kurva 14. sört.

Mondom, hogy nem én voltam.

Attól még hogy 50 kiló vagyok, a véralkohol szintem ugyan úgy fölszökkenhet 1,5-re

És hidd el, ha a detoxba kerülök, nem én leszek az egyetlen nő

Hidd csak el.

Attól még hogy nő vagyok, és van fenekem, nem biztos hogy azért van ott, hogy megbámuld.

Attól még hogy nincs mellem, nem biztos, hogy nem vagyok nő.

Egy nő, nem attól lesz nő, hogy ez itt neki nő.

Egy nő attól lesz nő, hogy annak ellenére, hogy te a seggét nézed, miközben ő főz

Ő lerakja eléd azt a kibaszott rántottát, és még egy cigit is teker neked mellé, mert tudja, hogy te nem tudsz.

És miután megkajáltál, ő elmegy mosogatni, akkor is, ha tudja, hogy te a seggét fogod bámulni.

És annak ellenére, hogy te egy pöcs vagy, és nem köszönöd meg, azt a kurva rántottát

Ő másnap ugyan úgy hagyja, hogy a seggét bámuld, miközben a TE rántottádat csinálja!


Neil Hilborn - “A Series of Short Poems”

“You will never be more wrong than the first time you say ‘I love you.’ You’ll mean it, sure, but you’ll still be lying.”

Neil Hilborn, performing from his book at YouTube Space LA. Check out Neil’s book at the Button website, and subscribe to Button on YouTube!

1) I can’t remember the last time I picked the dirt
from your kiss of my teeth. Honestly, I don't think
I have ever washed my mouth out; grown accustomed
to the grime you layered across my tongue over the few
crucial months we spent together.
And since you left I can only taste blood from trying to
scrape the taste of you into other peoples' mouths.
2) There was never a moment where our relationship
was not a loaded gun. I was born as ammo for the
revolver you embodied. I should have anticipated the
possibility of you turning yourself on me.
3) Our second date was to a cemetery and I had never 
felt more alive with your hand in mine. Earlier today I
visited the cathedral we lost ourselves inside and I could
feel the memories of what once was attempting to break
through the concrete benches where we sat.
I’ve never felt as cold sitting alone.
4) I was never considered a priority to your prideful bones,
was never considered the bird whose wings you wanted
to mend. I hate to think I only tried to heal you of your
burdens and you didn’t even look at me long enough to
realize I, too, had been bleeding this whole time.
5) You were like a re-lit cigarette; quick to burn and bitter.
And you were every pit in each peach I spit out and choked 
down to distract my tongue from screaming for you to
come back to me. 
Because I know no matter how sweet my lips may taste,
the idea of distancing yourself from me is so much sweeter.
—  five things to update you on how i’ve been since you left // Haley Hendrick