Representing UrbanWordNYC For Nosotros Fest At Electric Lady Studios

On November, 3, 2016, I had the honor of embracing the opportunity to perform at the Iconic, Electric Lady Studios originally founded by Jimi Hendrix – where he recorded and performed himself as well!

I  was personally invited by UrbanWordNYC, a New York City organization that promotes youth literacy through creative writing workshops and performances, to represent their work for artists across the city.

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 We united on the night for the annual, Nosoetros Festival, an event dedicated to the celebration the power of language, art, music, and love to unite our Latinx communities, among several several note-worthy artists.

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The festival organizer, Alynda Segarra of Hurray for The Riff Raff, kicked off the night and was followed by Las Cafeteras, Making Movies and The Mona Passage, among other artists. Rosal Colón from Orange Is The New Black was also present, and blessed the audience with a keynote speech and acknowledging the significance of youth utilizing their voices to create positive impact.

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”We earned featured article on remezcla.com about us in the process!

http://remezcla.com/lists/culture/nosotros-fest-urban-word-young-poets/

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And best of all?

Having to have been able to be in the studio with such a vast history. img_5250

It was a fitting night, for an Electric Lady.

One Woman Show : Runway Modeling at The Wild Project.

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On October 8th, 2016 – I had the privilege of being booked as a solo runway model for an incredible show at The Wild Project, featuring some of the most well-known and prestigious singers, song-writers, and spoken word artists from the Lower East Side.

Serving one look, after the next.

Strong stride + head high.

A video posted by Jessica Torres (@xojessicatorres) on

 Being the only model to walk in this runway entirely on my own provided me with the freedom and power to prove that woman are multifaceted individuals, capable of moving with grace and carrying themselves with a confident demeanor and elegant presence that demands respect. One woman. Every woman.

Jessica Torres Featured on Thirteen WNET’s Open Mic Night on PBS.

I had the honor of being selected to appear on Thirteen WNET’s livestream for their first ever, open-mic night in their studio.

I was among a lineup of diverse talent in NYC :

http://www.thirteen.org/blog-post/open-mic-performers-66-broadway/

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I made history as the youngest artist to appear that night on Thirteen WNET!

The livestream of the event is now available to watch via the link below :

http://www.thirteen.org/programs/66th-and-broadway/

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2 hours & 12 minutes in, you’ll find  Jessica’s feature, including two spoken word pieces.

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Evolution

 

You’ve changed.
That’s what they keep telling me.

You’ve… changed.

Of course,
you’re right.
I’m not the
vulnerable,
young girl
I used to be.

I won’t walk around
with my head down,
chin staring blankly at the concrete,
to hide the teardrops
streaming down my cheeks –
no, not anymore.
I won’t suck in my stomach to impress you.
I won’t foam at the mouth for your
insignificant validation.
I won’t restrict or suppress
my mind,
decline
to articulate my soul
in fear of being ridiculed.

No, not anymore.
This little light of mine
I’m gonna let it shine.
Even if it’s blinding to your
eyes.

You know why?

I remember saying out loud
“I hate myself”.
couldn’t bare to
glare at
my reflection
without being reminded
of the words I heard –

he said
she said
they told me

“you aren’t worthy”
and I
believed
them.

Dear diary,
I wish I was beautiful.
what’s wrong with me?

I recall
the
nauseated feeling
in my stomach
I’d get from seeing the
morning sunshine.
My dad having to drag me
out of bed each morning
because I didn’t want to be awake to begin with.
I remember walking in the school
building like
a walking corpse
bones aching
hands trembling
face radiating warmth
from my blood pressurerising
heart palpitating
knees
intertwining
in fear of fear itself.
I remember
sitting in the back of class
like a wallflower yet to bloom
aching to be noticed
but begging internally
not to be approached,
only speaking unless
spoken to first.

I remember the
masterpieces
I painted on my wrists
so passionately,
I tried to hide with
long sleeves in the summer
and stacks of silver
and gold jewelry.

I remember when I
gave myself
pep talks in the mirror
on the nights
I ached with desperation
to leave this world-

I told myself,
listen –
Someday,
you and me.
We… will be amazing.
Everything is
going to change.

And now,
I love myself
I wink at my reflection
every time we meet.
Damn gurl, you look
so beautiful
inside and out –
you make younger me so proud.

Now, in her loving memory –
I caress this
goddess given
throne every chance I get,
acknowledge my intellect
treat myself with the utmost respect.
I adore this glorious
hourglass figure
these full hips
and insightful
uncensored lips.
I now utilize
negativity
as spite
to further amplify
the rhythm
of my heartbeat,
satisfy the
fibers of which
my mind speaks.

Now,
I purposely
smile blissfully
laugh obnoxiously
exist unremoursefully
speak uncensored
breathe,
however I ache
to do so,
because I learned…

I deserve to
grow into the
rare caliber
of woman I
have transformed into.

So,
When you say
“You’ve changed”,
I would hope so.

I am better than I was.
and I will be even
better than I am.

I’m only just
getting started.

How To Love

I am almost 20 years old and I have never been in a relationship.

My soul is just too sacred,
my mind is too powerful,
my heart is too golden
to let it be touched
by anyone with impure intentions.

So,
I involuntarily flinch every time a guy grows close to me emotionally –

Don’t take it personally,
It’s not you. It’s me.
It’s a natural impulse of mine to fear attachment to any human being.
After spending my entire existence watching my mom be dominated by a man who believes he is in control of her every word, breathe, movement and action.
I’ve had no choice but to sit back idly,
as he knocks on the bathroom door until his knuckles bleed just to get to her on the other side who was likely glaring at her reflection attempting to collect the remains of her sanity.
After reliving the aftermath on the daily –
Nobody can ever tell me,
nor dare to attempt to convince me,
that I owe anyone an apology for refusing to grant them access to me.

Mark my words, after all I’ve observed –
I will be damned if I ever dare allow a man to have the audacity to label me as his property.
I will never owe anyone an apology for openly,
enunciating the words to him thoroughly.
“I belong to me.”

This,should be common knowledge.
But common sense is unfortunately,
far from common.
Ignorance is caressed with open arms far too often.
I promise,
out of all the vulnerable words
I release into the galaxy –
you won’t ever hear me say sorry.
Especially not when I’ve had men old enough to be my father verbally harass me,
broad daylight in the streets of the insomniac city –
with what it supposedly deemed to be complimentary.
Uncomfortably whispering in my ear,
Baby, come here…
I must admit –
after I unlearned what this society had previously taught me.
I was able to recognize that I have
have more to offer than my thick thighs and a 36C sized chest.

Yes, even then…
I am so much more than a body.
I am a mind, heart, soul, spirit,
with passion, ambition, and intriguing intellect.
Hence,
don’t ever be surprised that I refuse to
ever settle for less than the absolute best.
Keeping it real,
nothing has ever fueled me more than striving for the impractical.
That’s why my standards are ridiculously high
and I insist on being unbareably high maintenance.
It’s unhealthy but I only ever ache to make love with the impossible.
I only crave what’s forbidden,
Like…
human interaction, affection, love, and attention.
It’s evident that the environment I was raised in –
is entirely to blame for my unconscious quivering hands,
shaky knees, and crippling social anxiety.
I’d love to understand the deeper
physcology as to why
despite my expectations,
I just can’t resist the temptation
but to fall for a guy who settled for her, over me…
and is content with
letting me be his second choice

Backup option.

Whatever.

Plan B.

Maybe.

Almost.

What if.

Just in case.

Like, I’m not a priority.

When I should be. When I am.

Even on the days he’s intertwining his soul
with some girl who will never love him as much as me,

I will still keep myself up past 3
bleeding on my satin bed sheets,
composing poetry about him,
that he’ll never even read.

Maybe I just love it when people hurt me.

Because negativity fuels me.

Hatred amplifys me.

Caressing pain with open arms is the only way I know how I survive.

I grew up learning to believe I was supposed to tolerate abuse because
apparently –

if a man loves you,
He’ll tell you that the door is always open for you to go,
But once you’ve finally had enough and your bags are finally packed –
He’s contradicting himself, holding you back

But yelling…

Go ahead and leave –

You will never find someone who will “love you like me.”

Evidently,
if a man cares about you –

he will immerse you in the twisted art of reverse physcology.
Manipulating you into believing being emotionally traumatized
is a confirmation of his love for you.

I was convinced by the age of 5 that romance was alive when my mom would

call the police past midnight,

only to open the door when they arrive with bruised eyes

and a voice behind her back

telling her to say

“Nothing’s wrong officer, I overreacted”.

I was convinced that love was staying

despite him having yet another

emotional breakdown,
yet Another bipolar tantrum.

Exhibiting yet another instance of domestic violence.

But love is supposed to make you feel like you can’t breathe, right?

When my dad had his arms gripped around her neck.

It confirmed the answer to be yes.

Love is supposed to make you feel like your suffocating anyway, isn’t it?

Little me remembers,

She will never forget

asking, “Mommy When are you going to leave daddy?”

Please Don’t cry.

Let’s start packing our bags right now.

Let’s just runaway from home and never look back.

Mommy

Listen,

I don’t know if you have ever known it be real in your life

But please

just look at me

When you need a reminder

Or if you ever forget

What real love is supposed to feel like.

Legacy.

Performing at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium as part of the Poet-Linc Mentorship Program, April 7th.

At this very moment,
life is happening.
The future is unraveling.
Right here, right now.
What are you going to do with it?
Wait, stop.
Don’t stop.
Don’t wait.
Don’t waste another precious second.
I know you think you are going to get another in the next.
But what if you don’t?
What if you do?
What are you going to do with it?
How are you going to utilize it?
Hold on.
Don’t answer that.
Wait.
Don’t wait.
Don’t blink.
Don’t think about it too much too much too much,
Like drake
Don’t get sentimental about all the memories that got away,
or you just might waste your entire existence contemplating your moment away.
Aren’t you exhausted of mindlessly scrolling through your news feed, heartbeat amplifying vigorously
Cranium pulsating from restricted creativity, suppressed revolutionary concepts –
yet you settle for barely breathing, merely existing.

Aren’t you tired…
Of sleeping?

I think
I speak too much.
or not enough.
I’m too quiet,
or too loud.
Shut up.
Damn it.
Control yourself.
Shhhh…

Don’t let them know what your thinking.
They will only misinterpret or neglect to appreciate your intellect
Manipulate you into believing you are unworthy of speaking.

We’ve all heard the voices of other people in our brains.
You and I both.

But what about your own?
Listen to it.
What is it telling you to say?

That’s it.
Enough.
Don’t tell me how to live my life.
It doesn’t concern you.
Leave me alone,
you aren’t worthy of taking
up a space in my brain.
Go away…

I’m sorry.

No, I’m not.
Life is too short for apologies.
I can’t hear myself think,
let alone speak.
I keep telling myself,
shut up.
Remain low-key.
Shhhhhhh
be quite.

But please,
Say something.
let them know you exist.
This silence is deafening,
and it not only will be the death of me but all of humanity.

This is your moment.
Don’t ever doubt it.
You were released from the womb nude,
exposed with nothing but vulnerability,
and yet you still came out screaming,
unable to speak but determined to
let your voice be recognized.

Don’t you ever be silent.
Don’t you ever be quite.

Say it.
Out loud.

They will remember me.

Say it.

Out loud.
They will remember me.

Disconnected

Lyrics :
I’m sorry I didn’t pick up the phone
the first time you were trying to call.
I was reluctant to fall because I was terrified.
Please know,
letting this connection fade was far from my intention.
I figured, I would be damned regardless
if I let you in or if I didn’t.
I predicted this end before it began.

My bad…
My bad.

Oh, I ever imagined I’d be craving you like this.
Maybe, I just want you when I can’t have you…
Reminiscent to the dreams I’m endlessly chasing.
An unhealthy obsession,
I ache to make love with the impossible.
That’s why I…
want you so bad.

Maybe it’s true,
there’s nothing sweeter
than the forbidden fruit.

I wanna taste you,
I only wanna kiss you.

Oh I, can’t help but wonder –
Do the words I never said,
never told you,
echo in your head?
Tell me, do I linger in your wildest dreams the
same way you do in mine?
Do our lips only touch
when our bodies are laying separately,
unconsciously?
Do we communicate
telepathically?
Are we loving each other subliminally?
Does my heart ever intertwine
your mind anymore?

Please tell me,
I’d love to hear the caos in your mind.
We can go, all night.
Cause I’m laying here idle on the phone,
life of the line
on full exposure.
Tell me,
if we’re just getting started
or if it’s truly over.

I want you,
I need you.

Tell me,
is the feeling mutual?

Can we,
connect like we used to?

Loving you when you love someone else
is exhausting.

The assumptions are
killing me softly.

Am I sleeping?
Is it too late?
Am I too far?
Am I too close?

Hello?
Are you… listening?
Do you hear me?
Answer me,
Please…

I’m sorry.
We got so disconnected.

Can we try again?