“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

“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