The Poets’ Punch Behind the Slam

Lily Nguyen, Illustrator

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  • Junior Lizzeth Aguilar performed her Untitled original poem during the Poetry Slam on Feb. 28 in the DHS Theater. “At first I was nervous but I kept reading and kept going,” Aguilar said. “As I kept reading, I actually felt that performing was a peaceful way to express what I feel.”

  • On Feb. 28, Julian Martinez, 12, performed an original song during the third annual Poetry Slam in the DHS Theater. “I felt very comfortable when performing,” Martinez stated. “I focused on my guitar and pretending to practice by myself, so it was really easy to be in front of so many people.”

  • Reciting two poems, Edward Haro, 12, performed at the Writing Center’s Poetry Slam on Feb. 28 in the Downey High Theater. “I tried making any dialogue within it (the poem) different, I did this by changing the accents and stuttering similar to how the boy in the poem did,” Haro said. “I chose these poem because I just wanted people to know how great they were.”

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On Feb. 27, 23 poets from Downey High performed at the 2019 Poetry Slam, a fundraiser hosted by the campus’ Writing Center, in the Downey High Theatre. The poets vary in almost every way. Each poet has a meaning. Each poet has a message. Each poet has a story.


Mel Mencos

Freshman Mel Mencos performs because of she felt connected to Instagram blogger, R.H. Sins. “I [recited] ‘Why I Kept You’ by R.H. Sins because it touches me, my emotions, and my story,” Mencos said. “This is a message to society and to my past relationship.”


Jahzelle Ford

Junior Jahzelle Ford writes about the unfortunate things in life and how one copes with it. “People forget about the good things that happen,” Ford stated. “This poem is about how bad things happen, how it sticks to our brain, [and] how when we look back we remember only the bad things.”


Ivan Guzman

Senior Ivan Guzman, 12, explains his inspirations and how nostalgia brings him to the drawing boards. “I listened to ‘Auditorium’ by Most Deaf when I was little, and now everytime I listen to a similar song I get inspired to write,” Guzman said. “I just write my thoughts down and when I focus on an idea, I get a fever and keep going.”


Julian Martinez

Member Julian Martinez, 12, of local band, Rosewood, sees poetry and music as part of a bigger concept: language. “Language [is] a way to communicate your innermost feelings and truths, and it’s the same for music and poetry,” Martinez stated. “For me, it’s hard to write a song in one sitting, but I like the chase and the challenge [of writing a song].”


Overall, the 2019 Poetry Slam had a large turnout. Students, teachers, and faculty members of all kinds went to the show.