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Shy Angel

a poem by Christine Ottery

Mufti wearing girl
was standing at the
bus stop
staring at the red double
deckers contemplating the
decisions that led up to
this point
The point where the beautiful
boy with Leonardo di Caprio
floppy hair deemed himself too
His morals too
pristine to be
corrupted by me.

a piece from GUA No2

for more from this issue head to the GUA Shop


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TeJean Thomas James Z Neal

Also know as Surreal_frames, a talented photographer from Milwaukee. 

His work is so beautiful. My favorite element is the cinematic quality. He captures people in  a way that still holds movement. A fluid mood.  His photos harbor sound and temperature unfounded in most photography. I found myself waiting for the “video” to load, only to realize it was a photo. 

” I am dripping melanin and honey. I am BLACK WITHOUT APOLOGY” – Surreal_frames
Continue reading TeJean Thomas James Z Neal
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Slyce of Lyfe Open Mic

If you’re anything like me attending a safe space for creatives to read, sing, or rap feeds the soul. If you’re in the area [524 Nostrand ave Brooklyn, NY] stop by and be nourished creatively. 

Doors open at 5pm 

open mic begins at 5:30

  Stop by enjoy some ta, and let the  creatives spill some tea before you! 

don’t forget to stop by the GUA Shop

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An Interview with Abraham Onkst

The work of Abraham Onkst is an colouful  story told with acrylic paint. His work is informed by experience and feeling. Reactionary to canvas. I think this sets his work apart. Often, artists sketch or draw guidelines to but, he does not. His sits before paint, surface, feels then paints. No reigns, or lines to bind him. That takes bravery that a lot of artist lack. What a fearless way to tell the story of life and soul. 

Abraham looking dapper
Continue reading An Interview with Abraham Onkst
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The Dedication

a poem by  Audreyanna Garrett

I constantly overlooked you, I found time for others and neglected you.  I made mistakes and kept you hidden, when there was no need to.  So, in my efforts to apologize formally, I dedicate this to you.

And I know words on paper could be meaningless to you, but I hope you find solace in my willingness to celebrate you.

I wish that my poetry kisses and bandages your soul.  I long for us to start a new with opportunities to dance under stars, in a world of endless tomorrows.  

Continue reading The Dedication
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The Broken Girl

a poem by Audreyanna Garrett

I was the broken girl.  The one who found her soul in the bottom of the bottle.  The one who found solace in a joint and toxic energy.  The one who aided depression with substance consumed minutes of melancholy.  

I was the broken girl.  The one who blamed life for all peril.  The one who blamed everyone else for all my troubles.  The one who consumed herself with excuses for abuse…

I was broken and exiled to the shadows.  

Continue reading The Broken Girl
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a short story by Nakeysha Roberts Washington

Blood, bones and it’s encasement. Strangely,  when I was a toddler, I was as dark as I am now with blond hair and hazel eyes. I have no recollection of this of course, but there is evidence in the many photos that exist in the meticulously kept albums organized by my grandmother.

Here are several observations that I have concerning my encasement, my skin, from my childhood:


I was raised in a virtual utopia. Race was never a problem, but, then, is it ever for children?

It is a summer day. We are in the backyard shaded by the apple trees of which we have two. One in my yard and one in Erin’s. Erin, I have known since she was born. Anita, Erin’s momma says she saw me peeking out at her carrying Erin home after she was born and she knew we’d be friends.

Anyways, it is Summer, Erin, Chris, Anita, Barbara and I are in the backyard. I am not yet in school. The kids, three of us, are about to hop into the pool. Everyone is lined up. Barbara is putting cream on everyone. I follow suit. Barbara and Anita are reclining in lawn chairs. The kind that have plastic strips woven on a metal frame. One is yellow and white. The other is yellow and brown. It is my turn to get the lotion. Anita and Barbara look at one another. I see they are thinking. Barbara says, “Keysh, you don’t need the sun tanning lotion.” Anita assures me, “You won’t burn like Erin and Chris. You have natural sunscreen in your skin that makes your skin that pretty brown. I trust Anita and the kindness in her smile that has always been consistent. I run to the pool and play.

Continue reading Skin
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A Letter to My Words

a poem by Lanaya

Sometimes you avoid me, remain silent and unseen.
You’re not like a deep sea volcano.
Instead, you cling to me in all the wrong places.
But I am relentless,
the unshakeable stalker,
Knowing just how to manipulate,
In order to catch a glimpse.
Perhaps I’m too intense?
Eventually you give in and reveal pieces of you, hesitating, unsure.
Neck, collarbone, a flash of the abdomen.
Until you bare all, shivering and vulnerable.

If you’d like to read more head on over to the GUA Shop for a publicaion

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“Wine Not?” – An interview with artist Mary Syring

[Wine Not – a term coined by Mary and I a few sips in of our chosen poison]

“Alright, do you have your wine, Dwaling?”

I ask Mary Syring as she tries to find good lighting in front of her window in San Francisco.

Once the proper lighting is found Mary reveal a beautiful vintage glass half full of whisky . . . I like this woman.

She is surrounded by her art, works in gouache & ink. There are also (and I’ll say  you may not realize what you’re looking at right away) post mortem photos of before before, vintage chachkies carrying faux flowers and potpourri. I find myself thinking This is a mood.

Continue reading “Wine Not?” – An interview with artist Mary Syring
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To Boys with Green Hair

a poem by Arthur Jackson V

I stole morning

For a glass of wine

;I wanted to drown out the sound

I pictured myself a green haired boy

My reflection chimed “you aren’t held in

Passion, fever, or want”

Hiding my insecurities

In a cage fashioned from my ribs

I said “one day you will be worthy”

I still remember the sun

Setting horizon beneath my wrist

That night I huffed

A volcano bottlenecking my throat

When we lei together grapes&weeds

And called them crowns

We adorned our heads

I clasped to clench palms kneading

Their heels to wet eyes

Thinking of He and I

The sky and trees all

Beautiful like the day

We first learned to see

It was The Summer of Love

you told me not to speak

This shows me whether

in lustwords we

Would always be at war

Must a kiss be sent over soot

aimed between us?

A piece of me is lost

It is loaded

And bottled by the wine

Left to puffing cumulus whales along sky

I bend  my neck back

Smoke howls at the moon

I passionned  for your want

You called it starving

We weren’t loving over wargrounds

For sooted kisses

Signals smoked from a volcano

Bottlenecking my throat

I tried to forget you

In sips

You forgot me in hales

We both lost our crowns

wailing under sunset on our backs

In grass that stained our hair

And I became a Banshee

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A Witch, Trying. after Jennifer Givhan

a poem by Angelina Valdez

And what were the bruises
purpling my arms?
Memories, from the last time or
stories from the first?
Is it okay,
being okay
again, after you?
I was never a murdered
woman but a witch, trying to
make myself whole
after you. Left is
nothing but I,
no wedding,
ever, no demon
father to link elbows, to
stroll between pews
anyways. Just I
now, holding my own.

from the Genre: Urban Arts No 3

if you’d like to read more from this publication check out the GUA Shop

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In the Juniper Trees

a short story by Jessi Harrison

You’re the front row of a blues club at seventeen.
No door guy, no ID.
(No idea).
You’re the inertia from the spark of the match
that catalytically burned your lover’s mind
from the inside. The catastrophe of silence.
The wallowed brilliance of frozen speech.
You’re the initial let down, the final farewell.
The end scene with no credit roll. A one way ticket
bought with a stolen card. Shallow hands, heavy
shoulders, stitched heart.

A sympathy letter addressed to the symphony of de-

The dirt pile under fingernails from the shovel of a
sister’s grave.
The solemn laugh echoed through hospital halls.
The blue peeling paint – the fake promise of “okay.”
The fallacy of normality under fluorescent lights.
I see you in open doorways, speaking metaphors of
passage. You walk, pale & white & out of focus –
still beautiful,
through the gray of winter. You talk of spring.
You tell me how fresh the flowers smell – how there
are so many dandelion fields begging
for a wish. How you’ve waited so long just to feel the
grass under your bare
feet – to feel your skirt dancing with the wind. & you
explain, slowly & labored & surprised, just
how grateful you are, to have finally found some sun.

If you like this piece and want to see more head to the GUA Shop 

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People of the Ocean

a poem by  Vaishali Paliwal

I built this house with bare hands
Now in flames I leave it behind
I carry the keys
I was named by my grandmother
Her last prayer was in these beads
I carry her rosary
I never signed up for a God
My fate when sealed with forbidden voyage

I picked the holy books
My lover was lost in black dawns
There was never a vow
I carry the ring
Human life I am being told
Is same everywhere
But world’s prayers are selective
No child left behind
But mine sleeps on fences
Time now asks me
To get on this boat
It is heavy

if you like this piece from no2 check out our other publications in the GUA Shop

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I Stand

A poem by Cynthia Anne Cashman

in rebellion
I stand

in the land of mortal man
the ones with
the power of Zeus
that slay me on their
moral grounds
for being so obtuse
they the pedestals
do claim
thrones for kings
and depraved beasts
the working slaves
do scream
with unheard voices
clamoring in the din
Queens still chained to beds
to keep their heads
children orphans
to kingdoms lost
living in the current mess
affairs of men
not of gods
Olympus save us all

Cynthia Anne Cashman

published in Genre: Urban Arts Second Edition

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Lala Milan gives words of wisdom and love

“When we can all come together there’s magic” – Lala Milan

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Genre: Tweets

Looking for some food for the soul

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