“Welcome Signs” (Biennial of the Americas)

By Molina Speaks

(This poem was scribed to reflect a conversation about “International Arts Presenting”.  Molina was commissioned as the live poetic scribe of the Biennial of the Americas 2015.)

Welcome Signs

All themes are International
The times, International
The Now is changing ever constant out loud

Question: Are we more honest with ourselves
Now?

Who fits here?
Who belongs?

The “Welcome” insignia says “Open”.  So
how do we make our Cultural Arts and Events signs feel
Real?

(what is an “insignia”???)

She said on the panel she was the only gringa
working con los Chicanos en el Teatro
and she spoke of feelings

Speaking of a feeling
in times of cold data
In walks the dusty foot philosopher
appearing with few words   stuttering out   interrupting
He questions aloud his place in this space, His
right to be
Here,
his wooly hair,
his dark curious eyes,
white clothes smudged with street signs
Does he see a lack of Color?
Or the color of Class?

(We are all “going Green”)  

“This is a diverse space”
“We are All welcome”
Echoes
Affirmations
Reverberations

He is unconvinced, solemnly
he contemplates his existence here

He is not an internationally presenting Black Artist
not Black Violin
not an Award-Winning Vegan Eco-Hip-Hop Legend in the Making
nor rolling deep with a well-marketed Afro-Brazilian dance troupe

He is just a man, a young weathered African dream
wandering through American wilderness
searching for truth in cultural quotes on white walls,
searching for truth in a panel or a workshop or a Ted Talk
or a cultural cakewalk…
maybe a poet who can relate
to His Story?

History, you are eclipsing now
as Confederate flags are lowered
beneath the surface
as we surge ahead,
as times change and we become
more honest about our designs
and the colors
on our beautiful Welcome signs

We are all trying
We are all doing better
And yes we are sincere

We still must face our challenges
and our challengers
as we build the new
Now

America.

BIEN-Logo-Map_Color-ƒ

“Democracy In Motion” (Biennial of the Americas 2015)

by Molina Speaks

(This poem was scribed to reflect an international conversation about the intersections of Art and Democracy.  Molina was commissioned as the live poetic scribe of the Biennial of the Americas 2015.)

Democracy In Motion

We are born of legacies
Of genocide in the americas.

Is democracy our way out?
If art is democracy than Yes.

Here in the deserts of Justice
We conserve space for Interaction.

In these modern shapes we have fashioned
We do not function whole, fractured.

Questioned and driven to be relevant
We create allies out of the clays we mold.

Without support, it is merely our desire sold, so
We meet creative chaos with necessity.

In the land of plenty we are well supplied with fancy words
But sometimes short on laughter and tears.

Shedding our fear we seek return to raw emotion.
Our artistic energies, Democracy in Motion.

“Resilient Communities” (Biennial of the Americas 2015)

by Molina Speaks

(This poem was scribed to reflect a a conversation on Art, Culture and Community among “local” and international artists and non-profit leaders.  Molina was commissioned as the live poetic scribe of the Biennial of the Americas 2015.)

Resilient Communities

in panels and classes on race and class we talk about resilient communities
i reflect back that my original community does not use the word “resilient”

but we lift weights and do our pushups every day,
we script hustles to pay
the bills,
we specialize in mean mugs and tough talk as body armor,
spit rhymes with forked tongues,
sometimes scraping by like roaches
while convincing you we are butterflies
on street corners,
in trash dumps,
under bridges,
in prisons,
in homeless zones,
and in gentrifying apartment homes,
on tattoos on working bodies, holmes
turning our very lives into Art as though the body is truly the only thing you could take with you to the grave

and for this the hood is proud
cuz we survive
cuz blood is thick
cuz cops are shooting and jailing
and the schools are failing our youth
and the

Stop

all that noise is not what this conversation is about

we talk programs and markets for boardrooms,
strategic planning
and the challenge of attracting patrons without patronization,
accessibility and diversification of funds,
out of necessity

The Question:

how do we get around the uneducated guilt of the masses in the museum halls of our own office walls?

The Answers:

honesty, tell me anything, speak your truth
as long as it’s not racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise oppressive

let us write an Artist Bill of Rights and stick to it on principle

let us infiltrate the symphony, infiltrate the excellence,
proliferate the relevance,
give the comped tickets back and bring the museums directly to the neighborhoods,
pair the ballet with spoken word,
pair lyrical hip hop with violin strings,
commission walls of art on businesses by local street art kings,
and pay us for our work, you mine us for our work product, work
to pay us what you would pay the stars,
and underwrite our marketing cuz artists don’t really care about that shit, seriously
compromise some of the banquet shine for a little real world grit,
hire a Mexican,
hire an African,
hire an Indian,
and listen to them when you ask for an Opinion

the only solution for the administration
is to take risks that put you in the seat of the artists him or her or of
OURSELVES

“Our Plutos” (Biennial of the Americas 2015)

by Molina Speaks

(This poem was scribed to reflect Astronomy on Tap, a chat over beer about Space with American astronomy experts.  Molina was commissioned as the live poetic scribe of the Biennial of the Americas 2015.)

Our Plutos

Pluto, the abandoned child, we have cast you
out of our Solar System, but still we cannot let you go,
we string you along when it’s time for show

Pluto
fa show, fa show       Pluto
fasho, fasho
                                                          Pluto

we imagine you in the darkest corners, the forgotten
supernovas of our indigenous american diaspora

yours are the souls we launch to the furthest reaches of our light zones
kept in the blackest holes still identified an unseen by the bluest eyes

but right here in the brownest dirt we find america’s oldest bones

a wonder that we marvel at returning images of planets and satellites from afar
out in the very darkest solars, without caring for our own Plutos here at home

“Titan’s Stream of Consciousness” (Biennial of the Americas 2015)

by Molina Speaks

(These poetic ramblings were scribed en route to and during space age conversations about art, science and technology.  Molina was commissioned as the live poetic scribe of the Biennial of the Americas 2015.)

What is this “Biennial” business?
I keep hearing?
Is it about Art?
Is it about Music?
Business?                 Conspiracies?
Energy?

Spectators speculate
about the spectacle Now downtown.

What is a “Biennial”? and
What is “America” beyond the United States?

Most are just along for the ride
and I can dig it.

I ride my wave of unstandardized time
in my Lyft
back to the “Pavilion” in Rush Hour
reflecting back all these rushed hours
and how the last minute Lyft saved me from biking down-pouring rain
but then nearly made me late to my date
with the mic and the trumpet
watching traffic trickle down the gentrifying streets
of Denver’s first monsoon season.

break

The Planet is Warming and the Weather is Changing.
Millennials, what are YOU going to do about it?
The Tech Industry wizards say that YOU are the answer.
But no hologram machine can give me back the time I lost to it today
or the 10,000 species we have lost to the Oil and Technology booms
so 1 billion cars can go Vroooooom
So that mechanized time can go
Zoom
!

break

Boom
I’m back up in the mix
In front of Satellite Screens
thought-skipping over memes
on Titan, Saturn’s moon, walking through random cloud drawings
of some Thought Leader’s Universe,

  duck duck goose
  i choose
  for the moment
  to ride the caboose

Busting off letting loose with the words
What could be better than a Poet from the curb
getting paid Now just to serve you
Perspective—
a blessing to have the chance to color your Edges
on this dazzling dance towards imminent death,
planting seeds in your quick steps
that you might resurrect
any day at any time to remind you
that Life

is a miraculous Gift.

“A Poetic Ode to S.T.E.A.M.” (Biennial of the Americas 2015)

by Molina Speaks

(This poem was scribed in reflection of conversations about S.T.E.M. and S.T.E.AM. in Education.  Molina was commissioned as the live poetic scribe of the Biennial of the Americas 2015.)

A Poetic Ode to S.T.E.A.M.

(science, technology, engineering, ARTS, math)

mi poesia es mi corazon
mis artes, mi cuerpo
these relics, these stones
what is life
without these poems? 

what are your numbers worth?
sin musica?
sin danza?
your math, without design?

what are your buildings worth
if they don’t stimulate my mind?

mi alma, my technology
mi sciencia, the wings of las mariposas
the songs that keep my dreams alive

what are your lab results worth
without appreciation for the particles
that dance across my skies? 

mi poesia es mi corazon
mis artes, mi cuerpo
these relics, these stones
what is life
without these poems?

“Opening Sounds” (Biennial of the Americas 2015)

By Molina Speaks

(This poem was scribed to reflect the opening night street concert by the band Flobots.  Molina was commissioned as the live poetic scribe of the Biennial of the Americas 2015.)

I want to be free from this history
I want to be free from this history
I want to be free from this history

I see you,
I too
want to be Free
yet I am tethered
to a reality paved for me

Ya Basta!
I take a sledgehammer to past paths I did not lay

Ya Basta guay!
Ya Basta!
I take a sledgehammer to future paths I did not lay

Railroad tracks
for trains of thought
conveyed Now

I am an agent of change
yet I am tied to my history,
unforgotten
and unforgettable

I hold our people’s struggles and victories as my Truths, so I
fight with fight with fight with
Tools

break

The conscious performance landscape
has changed:
a milieu of arms crossed and fists raised,
who is who?

Fists don’t fly free to the sky the way they used to
like flags melting down the molten ticks of our times
speaking urgency
unrecognized

The boom lights rise to the righteous sound bouncing
through the darkness off the corporate towers downtown
juxtaposing,
contradicting,
conflicting,
merging,
communicating Love into the confusion  and chaos
of Now

break

“Opening Words” (Biennial of the Americas 2015)

By Molina Speaks

(This poem was scribed to reflect the Opening Symposium of the Biennial of the Americas 2015.  Molina was commissioned as the live poetic scribe of the Biennial.)

Suit Jackets and Ties
Live at the Americas
Cocktail Dresses and Heels
Costume and Curtain Time, Shine

The Beautiful People shuffle truths and disguise Now
Live at the Americas

Let us talk Money
Let us talk Business and Big Names
Politics and Community

Tell me about the Thought Leaders in the
“The Conceptual Economy”
I will tell you about the hood
and the ideas that are mined from our lives
by monopolies

It is a privilege to be Here
I will soak it up and plant a flag
A seat at the Table for the Poet reading shadows
I am honored to be of Residence here

Now

Let us talk of Now

Pull out the Resumes, Bios and the Script,
under-rehearsed name pronunciations
and Million Dollar accents
on Investment

Meet the Talent
Enunciate your Passions in Fluctuating Times

Now!
Meet the Millennials!
Meet the Billennials!!, the bilinguals

Meet the Now Statistics as America Browns

Do not panic, America
is Browning

Do not call me “Hispanic”
Another conversation for another time…

(do not panic)

For now we are speaking of Now
The Millennials are coming!!
The Millennials are coming!!!!

I counted 27.5 uses of the word “Millennial”
in session
and perhaps one mention of “justice”

Education and Choice, Taxonomies
Digital Currencies and Technologies
Old standards and Domains irrelevant
Times of Informal Educations and Social Media hype
Now

Where will you find Yourself a  m  e  r  I  c  a ? ? ?

Interesting… these times are “interesting”
(every intellectual’s favorite word, including mine)
Call and respond with me…

    When I say, “Well, what do you think ??? hmm…”
     You rub your chin and say “Hmm mmm I  n  t  e  r  e  s  t  I  n  g …”

Ready:

The experts say you can Now learn to computer program in about six months flat through some diligence and a free online class at Harvard… in exchange for your $70,000 receipt of debt from a university of your choosing: 

“Well, what do you think ??? hmm…”
“… Hmm mmm I  n  t  e  r  e  s  t  I  n  g …”

The experts say we are obsessed with public persona, that we are distracted, that we have redacted focus, that we are not engaged in the Now but instead are infatuated with the Packaging of Now…

“Well, what do you think ??? hmm…”
“… Hmm mmm I  n  t  e  r  e  s  t  I  n  g …”

(COMES NOW from Molina Speaks, you can find me on twitter at @ Molina Speaks that’s M-O-L-I-N-A S-P-E-A-K-S)

The experts say that the future of social media is really about teaching us how to set boundaries for ourselves…

Well, what do you think ??? hmm…”
“… Hmm mmm I  n  t  e  r  e  s  t  I  n  g …”

Finally, when asked, “what is the key to happiness?”, the experts say:

In a nutshell, “Happiness is about American Exceptionalism and Investment Potential…”

“Happiness is about Impact and Purpose…”

Another expert made it about “The Chicken or the Egg”, then babbled on about qualities and quantities, qualitative and quantitative data, extended wordiness and finally proclaimed that “It cannot be contained in mere words…”

Lastly, she said Happiness was about her Job, Success, and “Kicking Ass”

Well, what do you think ??? hmm…”
“… Hmm mmm I  n  t  e  r  e  s  t  I  n  g …”

Interesting indeed.

a  m  e  r  I  c  a
Look back at your history so that you can us where we are going
Let us play Definition together
as we sit Now at your Table: 

What
Would
Make
You 
Happy

NOW
America?