I went to this place called California State Summer School for the Arts, otherwise known as CSSSA (pronounced SEE-suh) and I took two two-hour classes of writing 5 days a week, on Saturday I went to Writer's forum and listened to other writers that had been chosen to read or I read. I made a lot of really good friends - my best friends - in a span of 28 days. But then I had to leave and some of my friends went to Southern California, some to Sacramento, some to the east coast, some even went to Canada know when, or if, we'll ever be together again.

On the fifth day at CSSSA, I wrote this poem in the grafitti-halls in the basement. The basement was covered in bright grafitti and drawings and poems and song lyrics from anyone that felt like they had something to say. I wrote this as some friends and I sat on the ground listening to Radiohead and writing or drawing or talking.

Give me any suggestions you may have. Nothing is too big or too small. I was one of the worse writers there and I want to get better.

CSSSA in the basement

Diana writes prose
lying on her belly on linoleum
deaf to two CD players
Lena's yelling,
Hollis's dancing,
Julie's laughing,
Jordaan's singing
along to Radiohead
portable radio
in beanie he stole from
calms down, ready to watch, sing
with Jordaan
next to
broods, grins on ground
moves to loom over
draws by herself in goth
silent, sullen, serious,
cuddling next to
Max beside
clicks away pictures of grafitti-soaked walls
watches Jordaan sing
Hollis dance
because she can
stretching against wall as eyes lock on Julie
sketches like Laura
with charcoal
on a real drawing pad beside
stops yelling for people to play with her
starts yelling for Max to let her jump over him
again asks for different music
as Max says "Overruled", reads from his notebook that
no one wants love
but it's sold at K-Mart for $5.99
he ignores Hollis's bad raps
as Lena complains
Roger asks why she can't get her own music
silent again
as Nina writes
as Charlie drinks Coke
as Lena complains
as Duck appears like magic
Morgan returns with homework unfinished
as Diana still writes
Max broods, grins
Laura sketches in pen on her notebook
and on her Max
Meghan in charcoal
Jordaan sings
Hollis dances
Julie giggles, laughs again
Gillian watches
Lena searches for music
Roger's disappeared again
Charlie drinks Coke
Nina draws on writing
Duck floats the halls, lip-synching

I watch them all
and none of them will ever be so perfect
so beautiful
as the are today,
as they are now.
- Janie Jones
Wednesday, July 16th, 2003