In these days of the NYPD’s near insurrection against Mayor de Blasio, of idiots chanting “What do we want? Dead cops!”, of cops killing unarmed black people across the country, of the murder of two officers in Brooklyn, and of Rudy Giuliani barking that when he was mayor, “Nobody took my streets,” hearing Crystal Valentine read her poetry can strike like lightning, maybe even open up space in closing minds.

Valentine, 19, is the NYC Youth Poet Laureate, and this morning she read two of her poems on WNYC radio’s Brian Lehrer Show, where she explained how she’s using poetry to try to get people to vote. From “A Voter’s Problem”:

Maybe politics aren’t Armageddon enough for us
Aren’t spark enough for us
Aren’t call to action enough for us

Hear the whole segment:

You can read “On Evaluating Black Privilege” here and “A Voter’s Problem” here.

Here’s Valentine reading in late October: