give us a poem

I want a person who will never give up on me no matter how hard things get. I need to be reminded that I’m worth fighting for and that such great love exists.
—  Please don’t give up on me like the rest
Mexican-American

I know too well how it feels to have your soul split in half

Living on the American side

It does not mean that the struggle has sufficed

We cross the Rio for the hopes of a better life

We break our tongue in half

While all the white kids tell us we sound bad

Our existence is the constant fight of preservation and assimilation

All because I have embraced immigration

Translations have married me

Authenticity has divorced me

I am too white there,

I am too brown here

I am too Mexican here,

I am too American there

At times, I am could not helped to feel shameful

Seeing everyone mock my culture is painful

But, my parents back never failed to break apart

All because they think we can have a better start

I am not only their translator

I am their protector

I am anything they need me to be when there is no translation

And from that, Hispanic kids never take a vacation

I am not from here, nor from there

Mexican-American is the label I wear

-Eva Perez, 9/6/2016

Glenn Ligon, Give us a Poem (Palindrome #2), 2007

“Glenn Ligon made this neon piece […] in 2007, and I saw it a little while back on the wall of the Studio Museum in Harlem, where it’s part of the permanent collection. The work is built around an incident that occurred at Harvard in 1975, when Muhammad Ali had just finished a speech and a student in the audience asked him to improvise a poem: ‘Me/We’ was the pithy verse Ali offered. Even then, at the height of the Black Power movement, it was an intriguingly opaque statement that could have been read as a gesture of solidarity between the black boxer and his white audience, or as an underlining of their difference. In Ligon’s work, the two words become a visual palindrome, of sorts – symmetrical top and bottom – and alternate being lit (white) and unlit (black), which just increases the tension inherent in them. In 2014, in a museum in Harlem, it strikes me that the tension is between the artist and the audience he addresses – with the issue of race still there, but now wrapped up in larger issues of aesthetic communities and the class, and color, they imply.“ Blake Gopnik, The Daily Pic

Some monsters pretend to be human and
some humans pretend to be monsters.
Good luck at figuring out which one you are.
—  I.S., @lunatic-poet

Delicately like a flower blooming
The artistry with which you drew me in, like a painting,
Your mona lisa, not smiling but
Wishing, God, just wishing

And I’m left, just a pretty painting, not smiling, but wishing
To be the phoenix rising
Rather than the ash beneath.

**Special thanks to lovely girl Viper-seven; caption idea for this manip is thanks to her.
and sciencenerdbuckybarnes  author of this beautiful poem for giving me permission to use.

Letting Go

I spent years trying to love you,
but I think I’m slowly realizing now
that I have to let you go.
I’m sorry for my past
but I’m glad that it happened.
You’ve changed me.
I’m a stronger person now
and I refuse to fall back.
You were the reason why
I wanted to fight so bad,
I guess I must fight for another.
Thank you,
for the life you gave me,
I don’t want to give up on us,
but I have to let you go.
I can only move forward from here.

Love Story

I fell in love when I was 22
I knew love as a male
with a brightest smile
I recognized love as a 5.6 ft tall
I saw love wearing a pair of glasses
Not with blue eyes
Nor a sharp pointed nose
Not even six-packs

I fell in love when I was 22
Love was a warm midnight chit chat
Love were 8 pm phone calls
Love was laughter in every completed sentence
 
I fell in love when I was 22
I found out love is a longing
A missing greet
A lost kiss
A silent goodbye
A distance

I fell in love when I was 22
I was broken hearted in an almost 23
I used to enjoy my breakfast
Those days, it tasted a lot like giving up
I wondered where did I do wrong
I used to enjoy poems, stories, essays
Those days, they felt a lot like isolation in crowds
I wondered why did the air was choking
I wondered why breathing was painful

I wondered why, I wasn’t loved
Why was it my fault?

-seribubulan

Day 1 – Have you ever said something embarrassing to/in front of your TC?

I’ve said quite a few embarrassing things in front of him before, but my worst thing was in freshman year. He used to read over all my poems and give me some constructive criticism of how to make it better (without knowing they were about him) but one day, I wanted to see him and didn’t have a poem written. So, me being me, I pulled out a poem I’d written in the seventh grade and took it to him, and it was possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read. AND I DIDNT LEAVE LIKE I USUALLY DO. I stood there while he read it, which I knew made him feel awkward.

Anyway. Sorry, S. That was an off day.

a starless sky

how long can you pretend that thinking about your death,
more than you think about your future is anything close to okay?
they tried to smile every day,and they would spend hours each night,
trying to find distractions that wouldn’t leave permanent reminders,
looking to find beauty in every goddamn thing they saw, 
and searching for reasons to wake up tomorrow,

bad nights consisted of stained pillowcases, bruises,
and tormenting thoughts that would not be quiet,
they felt like they were rotting, absolutely everything-
was unappealing and nothing was pleasing anymore,
they needed to feel something other than bitterness,
something other than this anxiety that they were drowning in.

everyday they considered all the options that they had,
the thought of leaving was calming yet leaving forever sounded terrifying,
it is horrible, the comfort you find in your sickness, familiar like home,
unable to put this burden on their mother they are back to where-
they started, - dreading  tomorrow and unsure of today.


5

18 Museums in New York City Pair Off for a #MuseumInstaSwap

Check out the #MuseumInstaSwap hashtag on Instagram to learn more about the project.

JiaJia Fei, digital director at the Jewish Museum (@thejewishmuseum) in New York City, has visited the Studio Museum in Harlem (@studiomuseum) many times, but a recent trip was for the #MuseumInstaSwap: 18 museums in New York paired off and spent time with each other’s collections, taking photos with their own communities in mind and posting them throughout the day on February 2. Organized by the Intrepid Museum (@intrepidmuseum) and inspired by the first swap led by the Wellcome Collection (@wellcomecollection), the initiative offers a fresh perspective on each museum as well as a broader audience for all. At the Studio Museum, JiaJia (@vajiajia) took photos of pieces capturing its spirit, such as Glenn Ligon’s iconic work “Give us a Poem,” a light installation blinking the words “me, we.” “Though the mission of both institutions is dedicated to art seen through a specific lens, these are ultimately museums for people of all backgrounds,” says JiaJia. “We were able to connect all of our voices and audiences online, worldwide, for a single day.”