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2014 Youth Poet Laureate

Ramya Ramana

It Is Not Your Problem

Gum wrapper sticking to pavement.
You only eat mints.
lt is not your problem.
Door shut.
Little boy taps knock-knock. Keep ears deaf.
It is not your problem.
Food sprawled like unwarned vomit.
You already ate.
It is not your problem.
Desert stomach.
You live in tundra.
It is not your problem.
Stomach of empty cactus.
Again, you live in tundra.
It is not your problem.
Boy crying.
Childhood taught you that males don't water from face.
It is not your problem.
Boy curled like locks on scalp.
You straighten your hair.
It is not your problem.
Cigarette silhouettes gathered as shadow at funeral.
You don’t smoke.
It is not your problem.
Lungs at graveyard marry structure of prune.
You only eat dates.
It is not your problem.
Hymens crushing and falling like raindrops.
You’re not really a feminist.
It is not your problem.
Porn wearing child like, “I own you.”
That’s gross.
It is not your problem.
Dead people.
You’re alive.
It is not your problem.
Politicians baking laws like crack.
You don't do drugs.
It is not your problem.
Bullets flying like Esperanza in chest of teenage boy.
You only have sisters.
It is not your problem.
Gentrification dancing in skinhead uniform.
You live in East Village.
It is not your problem.
White supremacy uses power control as man-made alter for Satan. You’re Agnostic.
It is not your problem.
Authorities taking over and New World Order happens.
Do not vote against it.
It is not your problem.

Ramya Ramana, 19, is a youth activist, writer, poet and the current Youth Poet Laureate of New York City. She won the New York Knicks Poetry Slam that awarded her a full scholarship to St. John’s University where she is currently studying Philosophy. Ramana has graced many notable stages including: Apollo Theatre, Lincoln Center, Tribeca Film Festival, City Hall and many more. She has also shared stages with: Harry Belafonte, Rosario Dawson, K. Michelle, Nina Davuluri and even President Bill Clinton.

The New York City Youth Poet Laureate program is sponsored by NYC Votes and the award-winning youth development organization Urban Word NYC, where she is a member of their Youth Leadership Board.

Ramya gives back to her community through various service projects and plans to pursue a career as a community organizer and activist advocating for human rights and social justice.