Jonathan Messinger, "One Valve Opens"

A high school slam poet grows up.

(from Hiding Out) He grabs a pen from a drawer below the kitchen counter and draws an “X” on the back of his hand. It is to remind him to beat Willie for this dance tomorrow.

That’s sort of what happens, I mean, growing up is a process of course, but this is the story of a talented writer coming into his own. It’s about as sharp a portrayal of such a thing as I’ve ever read. Just so astute and understanding of disenfranchisement and young politics.

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