Published On: Tue, Nov 1st, 2016

Emerging Voices: The Poetry of Jessica Molina

[This is a work in progress because Puerto Rico is a work in progress]

While at La SOPA, we were prompted to write “187 reasons why Puerto Ricans can’t march in the Puerto Rican Day Parade” inspired by Juan Felipe Herrera’s “187 reasons Mexicanos can’t cross the border” (regarding Prop 187).

187 Reasons Puerto Ricans Can’t March in the Puerto Rican Day Parade

-because marching is a political symbol of unity
– because corporations will pay for floats but not to keep PR afloat
– because this land is your land and this island is not our island
– because ‘Police Line- Do Not Cross’ makes any person crossing that line an illegal immigrant to their own culture
– because they rather see corporations march as we cheer
– because pride is power so stand on the sidelines
– because to recognize our diversity is to accept it
– because the struggle in my bloodline is real
– because I’m supposed to hate the man that exists in my DNA
– because 50 stars will always come before the first
– because the only time PR matters is when it’s to worship the corporate dollar
– because colonization isn’t over
– because we went passed colonization and straight to infection
– because how long will it take for pelo malo to become pelo bueno?
– because pobre de ti si no pides la bendición but the white man brought us Jesus
– because to worship everything God gave us is a sin- only a white man can save
– because I’m grateful for the times I’ve been saved by white men
– because I’m grateful for the brown voice that speaks of their pain and fears
– because in my body and blood there is a civil war; the black is no good, the white is no good, the Taino is silenced
-because I must learn Spanish but who bothers to learn the Taino language
– because shame on the Puerto Rican who doesn’t incorporate Spanish in their life but please keep hating the European colonizers
– because white, black, and red will never be at peace in the world until they are at peace within me
– because the parade is a show
– because real pride comes when we stop hating and we’re still too angry
– because we parade floats of Budweiser, Corona, Heineken, and Coors and not Random House, McGraw Hill, Penguin, Houghton Mifflin, and MacMillan
-because tell the parade version of our story but keep the real story behind police barricades
– because I don’t need 187 reasons
– because one reason is enough of a problem
– because this is 29 and I still haven’t scratched the surface
– because our Sunday best is not good enough
– because the parade is a facade of pride
– because we can barely unite for 5 hours on the island of Manhattan, how can we expect PR to unite at all
– because the education we need is not found in textbooks
– because we are still learning how to love
– because until we accept what happened we can’t make anything happen
– because some people still won’t get it, don’t get it
– because I shouldn’t know every name of every Puerto Rican that rebelled; they should be innumerable
– because we need to stop the blame game and live
– because the greatest act of rebellion is love and happiness
– because we need to set examples for each other
– because we need to stop perpetuating the pride of harmful parts of our culture
-because bofetas, galletas, chancletasos, y la maldita correa are remnants of slavery
– because I love my light skin
– because I love my curly hair
– because I love the Earth, Sea and Stars
– because I don’t want a parade
– because it’s more important that my blood cells march clearly through my arteries without elements of my culture clogging them
– because my spirit dances no matter whose music plays
– because Salsa is strings, drums, and horns
– because the parade is a mockery of the essence of my humanity
– because 50 stars are a symbol of pride but 50 reasons and people still ask why

–> By Jessica Molina

fb_img_1459265532024Poet Statement: Jessica is anything you label her.  I’m sure she’s been that label at least once in her life.  If not, give her time, she’ll get there.

Emerging Voices

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About #LaSopaNYC

1656146_10100584107525894_1476730087_nThe School of Poetic Arts (#LaSoPANYC) is an educational workshop series from Capicu Culture that provides a communal space dedicated to the development of artistic skill and exploring the core principles of theatrical and literary expression. Join us as the first official class of our Artist residency at The Loisaida Center, Inc! As artists and scholars from historically marginalized communities, we feel that it is important to create opportunities for our stories to be seen, read, and heard. La Sopa provides a platform for those voices to be supported and uplifted, increasing the proliferation of creative works across the artistic spectrum. Our time together, generating and editing works, launching new ideas and projects, is an inspirational way to end each week and begin anew. We look forward to the return of our previous participants, as well as the addition of new voices that will enrich the experience.


Emerging Voices: The Poetry of Jessica Molina