LAUREN
HOLGUIN

Lauren Holguin is a Mexican-American educator and multi-genre writer of stories from Los Angeles, CA. She writes English Language Arts curriculum for New Jersey and Miami schools, and is an assistant poetry editor for Barrelhouse magazine. Lauren has a Masters in Special Education and has taught fourth grade in Camden, NJ for over six years. Her work has been featured recently in zines via Philadelphia collective Blue Stoop at the Philadelphia Contemporary and recorded through Live! At Kelly Writers’ House with WXPN. She is currently working on a novel and full length multimedia poetry collection. Find her on Instagram: l_e_holguin and Twitter : @lholguin8

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BREAKING GROUND AT 7th AND CLINTON

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TRAUMA

A deeply distressing or disturbing experience 

is a pillow in your face. 

Trauma is grazing your face

Trauma is silent

Trauma can’t stay silent

Trauma is saying ignore the distraction

ignore the distraction 

ignore the distraction 

Trauma contradicts itself therefore it contradicts itself

Trauma is also screaming and banging something

metal and hard in the next room

Trauma is screaming and saying

Nobody in the world loves me in the next room 

slipping notes under a locked door that say Help Me

asking if you think about killing yourself

Trauma is saying ignore the distraction

It’s all a distraction

We don’t need this distraction

Trauma is saying don’t see it, don’t look at it, don’t hear it

Trauma is calling a human an IT

advising Turn off all of your senses and betray them—focus on

learning, follow directions, do what you are told 

pretend Trauma doesn’t exist so it won’t see you and talk to you and reach for you.

Maybe, it’ll never put a finger on you.

SLIDE

There are no places in the neighborhood where little ones

effectively safely learn how to slide

 

No snow last year means no sledding

to practice sitting and falling

on cold matter 

 

No parks without drugs and guns

so they don’t slide

 

At school, the little ones line up and take turns sitting at the top

and looking down—grasping the edge

 

A teacher yells

Just let go!

 

The kids watching are scared, the brave kid at the top, sweaty palms

does not know what it’s like to see someone fall safely

 

does not know the rush of fun, letting go

knowing you will fall

get back up

and have chance after chance after chance to do it again

HERE ING

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MZ. HOAGIE WALKS TO WORK IN CAMDEN, NJ

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FEMALE (\ fə-ˈmä-lē ) LOVES ESPO (Exterior Surface Painting Outreach)

If you were here I'd be home by now.   — mural by Stephen Powers, AKA "ESPO"

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