TEEN SEQUINS, FEATURING ODELIA FRIED, AGE 15

Welcome to day two of Teen Sequins! Today we’re featuring “You You You” by Odelia Fried. 

The form of Fried’s poem is both beautiful and reflective, “like the light off a broken mirror.” Fried depicts the chaos of lust with a startling eloquence, not only in language but in structure, the poem exploring both light and dark, sun and moon, “hhhhallelujah” and Lucifer with lucidity amongst its disorder. Fried’s diction is multifaceted; the poem addresses its audience. “undress me…decorate my floor…talk to me,” Fried writes to a lover, to a reader, with a desire, a knowing, and a subtle wit that is astounding. – Robby Auld

“i am the coming of spring,hard and sweet” writes Odelia Fried in “You You You,” a poem that pushes against convention. That first person assertion seems not only to be the speaker’s, but the spirit of Fried herself, the arrival of the new. We have the pleasure here of watching Fried play inside convention — celestial images, angels and skeletons, the sometime violence of desire– while moving with self-consciousness inside the language of a relationship with a lover (real or imagined) as she writes “talk to me with…/ whatever english used to / be,whatever i used to be.”  All creativity begins with the spirit of experiment, that necessary spark a requirement for growth. Fried’s poem allows us a glimpse of a poet mid-spark, mid-bloom. – Sophie Klahr

You You You

featherlight touches(new,young,broken)
you are the sun(and i the moon)you slowly
undress me,rays of dawn peeling back my eyelids,
hhhhallelujah. your armor is splayed across the floor
heaps of limbs,metal plates,underwear,fortress walls
decorate my floor,skeletons in the closet reach out,grab
and retreat shyly. i am the coming of spring,hard and sweet and
blooming,reaching at sheets.your shoulderbones flex,lithe and
sharp as lucifer’s wings.(everyone forgets he was god’s favorite
once)your halo glitters like the light off a broken mirror,
talk to me,talk to me with languages so mangled
beautiful,they spill off your tongue.ancient greek bastardized
with arabic,persian,whatever english used to
be,whatever i used to be. your love feels
like a punch in the face,and somehow i don’t
mind the bruises at all,they sprout like violets under
my eyes.

Odelia Fried is a fifteen year old student at SAR High School in Riverdale, NY. Her interests include theater, slam poetry, and watching dozens of Buzzfeed videos one after the other. She performs in her school slam poetry league as well as at UrbanWord NYC.

Honorable mentions: Micheal Acevedo (Middlesex School, Brooklyn, NY); Margot Armbruster (Brookfield Academy, Elm Grove, WI); Lily Ruth Bryant (Red Hook High School, Red Hook, NY); Tiegan Dakin (Dapto High School, Dapto, NSW); Emma Foley (Natick High School, Natick, MA); Ethan Liu (Thomas S. Wootton High School, Rockville, Maryland); Jacob Wang (University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

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