Friday, May 4, 2012

Where I Am From (Reprise)

Where I am From (Reprise)

Where I am from we have a
Sense of unity through music and food
Even though we have different names for
The same things
(Give examples)

And where I am from you walk down the street
And everyone says “Hi!”
(The students say hi as one of the characters they have played)
And we kiss on the cheek
And Spanish is what we speak
And everyone is your auntie when you meet them
Where I am from we are family

Where I am from

Mama Tingo is a Hero
Lolita Lebron is a Hero
Pedro Pietri  is a Hero
Pancho Villa is a Hero

And we sing to 
Vicente Fernandez
And don’t care

Where I am from we don’t need tanning salons
We are born with the color some guidos desire
Where I am from school is a privilege 
Not just a responsibility
Where I am from my mother say llurena
Where I am from my mother and father
Cried and sweat and hoped
For a better life
Where I am from, they built 
A better life
And where I am from I do not forget 
Where my roots start

Where I am from we are empowered
Where I am from we are a multi cultural community
Where I am from we are in search of justice
Where I am from we are the voice of our community
Where I am from we are united

This is where we are from
Here we stand
Aqui Nos Mantenemos Unidos

El Puente
El Puente
Es la Gente
El Puente
Palente Siempre Palante

Monday, April 30, 2012

Where I am From

**Put together from workshops with students from Los Sures for a final performance project and so is meant to be spoken by an ensemble.

Where I Am From
(For the People of Los Sures)

Where I am from the concrete is cracked
And the English is broken
Fire hydrants blast
And boleros blast
While kids run, jump and dance in the street
There are no trash cans around
So the trash stays at my feet
The smell of cigarettes fills hallways
But it does not linger too long

Because it is covered by the scent of
Arroz con habichuelas
Queadillas , mole, enchiladas
Arepas, Empanands
Pastilitos for a dollar
(cough) $1.50

Really? Dannng

Where I am from salons are filled with
Chismosa’s whispers
Under clouds of hairspray and fumes
And hair is blown out
And color is drowned out
Curls are straightened out

(One person touches an actor with curly hair’s hair) “Pelo malo”

Where I am from the streets are loud
With cars honking
Music playing all hours of the day
Viejos and Viejas sit outside, dominos, betting
And the guys on the corner keep sweating
Every girl that passes
(Actors line up and transform quickly into male personas)

“Pssst. Psst. Psst”
“Aye, Ma.”
“You’re beautiful”
“You so sexy”
“Daaaamn girl”

(The girl ignores them)

“Man, forget you then, you ain’t even that pretty anyway!”

Where I am from sometimes can be quiet
And you feel sort of safe
But then get creeped out
Because you were told you’d get raped
If you’re out late
You’ll get jumped
You’ll get stopped
And you’ll get frisked
Where I’m from walking down the street
Can be a risk
And danger lurks from every corner
Making the fun afraid to come out
But it‘s only sometimes

Yea but sometimes is enough
(Actors all agree)

And if you are lucky
You can make it out of here in one piece
Before cops throw you down in the street
Or you get down with gangs on these streets
Or before the drugs get to you
Or the drinking
Or you start thinking that
“If you are Black, Brown, Latino
You won’t amount to anything” thinking

Where I am from
My dreams are not my mother’s dreams
But she wished that they were
Because she had dreams too
But they didn’t turn out the way she hoped
They were washed away with dirty dish washing soap
She cleaned homes that were not her own
And folded clothes that were not her own
And helped raised other people’s kids
So she could raise her own
My mother has dreams for me
That were her dreams
But my real dream is to be…
(The Actors state their dreams)

And I know getting there is not easy
We’ve got debts to pay
And not just ours, but our parents
We’ll inherit them
And these bills and this rent that
Keeps getting hire
Become chains
And all of a sudden we are slaves

Where I am from
We become what we fought not to
This place we come from
Is being taken away
Capitalism is Imperialism of Modern day
Gentrification wiping the brown out
“Cleaning up” our streets
New Thai place around the corner and Vegan eats
And other restaurants and clothing stores
That I can’t even afford

Where I am from stories were written on the walls
They were painted on the walls
But now they’ve been breaking down our walls
To build new ones
That we cannot afford to tell our stories on
Or live our stories in

Where I am from
I call home
We call home
This is home
And it has always been
Where I am from
And no one can change that

Read Me

*The experience of an object- a Book

Read Me

My spine stays stiff
As you open me up
And pass your fingers through me
Knowing exactly which part
You left off at
You stop to adjust yourself
In a postion where you are ready
Keeping your hands steady
Keeping me spread
I let you run your eyes up and down,
Left to right
Inside me
Until you are ready to turn me
Take me in
Pull me closer
Part by part
You build until you reach the climax
And I know
You could go on for hours
But you exhale
And I keep you wanting more
But its time for sleep
So you close me up
And remember your place
But still keep me
Right next to you in bed
Just in case

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I am not a starving artist
Because my art feeds me
And sustains life in me
But also because
I make sure I know my work's worth
And I've learn to let the world know it too
Because when I sell my art
I sell pieces of my heart
To keep other hearts beating
And so there's just no cheating, it.

My imagination's imaginings
Open your eyes and mind,
And have you seeing
My truths truest form coming
From my fingertips
Keep sighs and awe breathing
Through your lips
I'm a creator whose creations
create movements
My art is action
It is active in its community
In creating I create unity

My art acts on all the injustices
My art fights justice it,
Acts on, against, for what it sees
Are these realities our realities
Or is it what THEY want us to believe
My Art exposes the bad guys
It makes you wise
To patriarchal, capitalistic
Imperialist lies
My art wears no masks
No facades
My art knows what its cause is
And causes you to think
And to feel
Makes you want to do
My art is love and truth

I know what value my art has,
Make no mistake.
And because of this, as I give
I know I have to take
My earnings, and
I won't sell-out just to make my
Ends meet
Keep my self on my feet
Keep me off of the streets
Keep food on the table to eat


Because I  choose to let you know
You have to pay for each piece
Because my art keeps life looking beautiful
Doctors save lives, are life giving
But artists make life worth living
So drop the idea to be an artist
You have to starve
That the life of a creator has to be hard
We live for the struggle,
But have to break that struggle
You don't have to always struggle
To live your artistry
Take it from me
I'll take the lead

You have to start
By letting the world know
That art,
Your art
Is valuable

Friday, April 27, 2012

I Dance

I Dance

I dance
When I hear the rhythm
Of beats island to streets
My spirit can't help but
Feel moved
I get down with that groove
Right down to the grooves
Of my toes
Tapping the Earth and
Calling her to waking
And I feel my hips shaking
And there just is no faking
This freedom
I lose thought
I break pattern
I flow until I fly
I feel what its like
To have your body cry
Cry out
Shout out
Wail out
No doubts
No question
No thought
No judgement in ability
Only pure vulnerability
My body in chaos
No reason to be made
I dance for ancestors
With homage to be paid
A warrior of joy
Sweating away
All my fears
I dance with power and passion
I sweat out my tears

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Know I Am Beautiful On the Inside

*What I know and what I don't know

I Know I am Beautiful on the Inside

I know and tell my self
Everyday that men and womyn
Should be equal
That I should not let
Anyone make me feel that
I am not worthy
That even past thirty
It is not downhill for us
That if we just trust
In love for our self
Life be just as generous
In its givings, that I will find love
With confidence and faith
That I don't need to make 
false impressions on any dates
All I have to be is me
And if he's right he'll see
That I am a catch
Be my match
He should, he should see
But in reality
He might not
And I know that

Because I know
And I have heard and experienced
That men need time
They need space
They need to find themselves 
before settling down
That they need to experience other womyn, 
shop around
That its not you its him
And if he wanted to commit
I would be it
But right now its about running with lust
And if we were meant to be I should trust
We will find eachother again in love
I know it is what it is
And that even though I try to say 
"I am Good enough"
Even though I say that to myself
I can't help
But feel otherwise
Because I'm not compelled 
To be with other guys
But he's off
Looking for the next girl to
Be a maybe
And I look nothing like them
I pin myself against other womyn
And feel like its a competition

I know that we take cues from
Man's design
Of what a womyn should look like
Talk like
Act like
That even though I seek to just be me
That maybe
The me I am, that needs 
That little bit of eye liner and rouge on my face
Wears lingerie when I know 
He is coming over to my place
Just in case
And has way too many panties 
To choose from in the first place
That makes purchases
For ageless defence and youthful look
Items that claim they'll make you sexy
and how to please your man books

Or when I go into dressing rooms 
With so many clothes and leave with none
Because they made me look fat
Or made me look flat
Or made my but look small
Or made my hips or my tummy pop out
Made me wish I was tall
And shit I know I'm tiny and skinny
But then that's a problem
I don't want to get fat
but hate that I'm petite
And even though I tell myself 
"I am beautiful"
I still find my defeat
In all of this conditioning
All of this tradition in
Believing I have to be something
That I was told I need to be
To keep my man wanting me

I know that its all lies
That we have been fed 
the need to compromise
Who we are 
And believing is my demise
I know and I fight for
My own empowerment
The same as the young sister
If she came to me and told me
"I don't like the way I look"
She is not good enough
I would tell her in truth
"You are beautiful,
Don't let anyone take that away from you
Don't let anyone convince you that
You are less than the Goddess in you."
And I tell her, to tell myself too
Because sometimes I feel hypocrite
And my whole life I've been fighting it
My whole life I've wanted what she does
Just to be loved,
Not just for who I am
But what I look like

I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder
But our eyes have been conditioned
Our eyes have us wishing
That we looked like someone else
I don't even know anymore
Why when I see big breasts
Exposed chests
Tiny waists
Big butts
And find myself feeling insecure
I'm unsure
Of myself
I just don't know what
Makes me cringe and my breath stop
When I see a womyn's face
Big eyes, lips pout
Clear skin, slender and thin
I start to hate the skin I'm in
No one wins
7 billion people in this world
And we keep telling every little girl
That she needs to be beautiful
By some standard that we don't all fit
And I'm really tired of it

And no matter how much I know
And no matter how much I grow
In understanding how fucked up it all is
I shake my head in disappointment of myself
Because I still wish
That I could look a different way
Because no matter what they say
The inside counts its true
But the outside really does too

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



4 months in
And I already feel the change
The flow of life has rearranged
Feelin' strange
Trying to focus
There are things about myself
I've come to notice
That I don't feel satisfied
With all that has conspired
In the time that has flown by

That the goals I have set
Aren't even in my grasp yet
Now I'm working in the struggle
Many dreams I'm trying to juggle
And not just mine,but all the youth
Who I'm helping find their truth
And just trying to be there for the people that I love
Sometimes putting their dreams
up above

My own

Because they've grown me
And in their existence in my life
They have shown me
I'm not alone, but I still feel lonely
I've been concerned about other people making it
Giving advice, but never really taking it
Fall in a cycle, I don't know how to break it

The years I've been alive
And I know who I am
I know where I'm from
But I'm more concerned on who I might become
If I don't start taking the risks that I'm scared to
With degrees,
and experience,
This heart should be prepared to
But I'm not, I just keep it on the low
Diggin' myself deeper
With the what ifs, can'ts and no's

Don't get me wrong
Every day I give gratitude
And I'm really trying to change up my attitude
Look to the sun every day
Taking in her light
Goddess and warrior,
with so much fight
In me
My will to change the world
Still fuelin fire in me

Fist up in the air
Inhale, exhale
Breathing through
Beating through
All the pressures and despair
They are not all I'm made of
I've got so much to share
All my talents, all my passion, all the love in my heart
Today past this poem
Action needs to start
With me
I act like I was blind, but I known have always seen
What I've being growing into,
what I'm meant to be
Letting go of fears, setting my spirit free

Sister to the sun
There can only be one
Going to scream it at the top of my lungs
I am proud of who I am
I'm proud of where I'm from
And I know all the things I am destined to be come

I'm 25
The years I've been alive
And I'm not going to give up
Bet I'm going to live up
Every day I am blessed to be
This year I'm shifting my focus
And before all others I'm gonna do me