Week 1: 10 Poems based on the prompts "Fake Can be Fun," "How do you Authenticate a Person?" and "Technology is a Weapon"

1. Technology is a Weapon

Technology is a weapon, a knife. A gun.
How do you authenticate a person? You pay them.
The truth is . . . candy? I don't know.

A response to one of the eight foundational #100hardtruths-#fakenews about the social media and the internet, #6: "today’s fixes to fake news are bogus."

2. Fake can be Fun

This is how we get things like ‘The Onion’
And 'MAD.'
We’re being given information that might or might not be real,
depending on where it comes from and essentially accepting it because of the truth behind it.
It is the only way to try and decipher information in this day and age.
So, what's more fake: what we’re reading and seeing? The toxically sadistic bullshit that spews out of the mouths like Beelzebub’s ugly kidney stone? Donald Trump, the greatest figurehead in the fuckin’ world? this dickwipe is worse than George W. Bush.
Anyway, read Mad Magazine.
we may not be getting accurate information while the world burns,
But what, us? Worry?

- Jordan W.
A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #80: "outlast virality."

3. How do You Authenticate a Person?

Her hair is long and her smile is big.
Her red lipstick pops like a cherry ice on a hot day.
She's tall and thin,
every man's crush.
She speaks in high educated
and her manners are top-notch.
She's a role model, everyone's dream
I tell her she's beautiful
She looks in the mirror and says “what is beautiful?”
She takes off her long hair,
She takes off her voluminous lashes,
She is no longer smiling.
She wipes off the red lipstick.
She imagines eating a bacon cheeseburger with cheese fries,
her favorite.
she feels happy and free and she dances to the beat of her heart.
a knock at the door
She turns to the mirror in her natural state.
I tell her again she is beautiful
She looks in the mirror again and says “what is beautiful?”
she applies her long hair
she applies her red lipstick
she applies her lashes
She applies her makeup
She ensures she looks thin
Another knock on the door
She opens the door, she exits
They say to her “ oh my God you are soooo beautiful”
She looks and walks away
She reminds herself not to cry
and just like they say
“I am beautiful”

A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #65: "#fakenews #realtalk #realtruth about black girls’ liberation," contributed to that effort by Cheryl Dunye.

4. Technology is a Weapon

Technology is a weapon,
it can be used to hurt people,
it can be very dangerous.
People often use it to threaten others,
they often use it in abusive ways.
They often send nasty emails
or look up people's information,
and then use it to stalk them.
People often use technology
to take advantage of others.
They use it to manipulate each other
and to use other people for their personal gain.
They don't seem to care
how much it hurts
the people that they are targeting.
They just go ahead and keep doing it anyway.
Some people never seem to learn.
They continue to use technology
to benefit themselves at the expense of others,
even if they have been told not to.
Even if they have been given warnings.
They just keep using it to harass people.
Technology allows people to do very bad things.
It allows people to do things that they know they shouldn't do.
But people just don't seem to care about what's right and what's wrong.
All they care about is themselves
and their own selfish desires.
That is why technology is so dangerous.
It's very important for us to make sure
that we are using it responsibly.
If we are not careful with it,
then we could end up
becoming exactly the kind of people
that we don't want to be.
Technology can be very bad.
That's why we must use it with care.

-Alex A.

A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #90: "Trump is always making provocations."

5. Technology is a Weapon

My brain is the power of Truth and wisdom.
My phone is my weapon and I look it up everytime it interests me.
I love technology because it brings me all the fun, action, enjoyment and care.
Technology is all about facts and news.
Hilary sends a lot of fake news to her clients across the globe and they would let her off easily so they will not send her to prison.
-Lenin D.

A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #68: "digital self-defense in the time of trump needed" which focuses upon the work of Equality Labs, “the first South Asian Women/Gender Non-Conforming/Trans Technology Startup.”

6. Technology is a Weapon

Technology can be used for good and bad things.
It can be used for creating and destroying.
We can use technology for making our lives more convenient.
It can also be used as a means of protection from evil.
Each instrument is used for a specific purpose.
It can also be used for committing and preventing crimes.
If technology is used in a bad way it can destroy the world.
We need to prevent that from happening.
We need technology so that good can triumph over evil.

-Harvey P

A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #91: "we need the NEA and NEH to know how to imagine ourselves as a nation" which was written by feminist scholar of photography and American Studies, Laura Wexler, in support of continued national funding for American historical and art agencies that support education and other efforts that "increase our chances to understand who we are, and thus to envision how we might better proceed."

7. Technology is a Weapon

The demons of dummy angels
ready to be devastated
by an army Institute University of Technology.
a SWAT team of employees
trying to destroy
a warlock military
looking in the future
of technology in a movie theater
in entertainment
fantasy under a hypnotic spell
protesters of military
technology is a weapon
a challenge of competitive Warfare
a brainstorm
that is a rainfall of knowledge
combat and tactics of survival
a military soldier in camouflage
to win the battle
graduate with a doctorate of weaponology
a university of pride
a guided-missile devastating and destroying
the sorcery of the uneducated.

-Wayne B.

A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #82: "explain your irrational destruction," which is excerpted from “Innocence Nevermore,” by poet, Abraham Jesús “Tato” Livaiera: "Educate us to the rationalization of your vicious impotence/ Explain your irrational destruction before the eyes of humanity."

8. Technology is a Weapon

Technology is a weapon because it is all serious.
Between taking care of business is making you delirious.
Computer technology still searching for some information is the key to success of life.
Like everything could be serious for life.
It could be Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and more
but never post nothing in different pages before.
Never the drugs, alcohol, but it's all the same.
‘Cause technology is still the same name.
Just because I need to do the hard work
don't mean I'm supposed to be the jerk.
Straight up for that I've even heard the game
of this technology thing is still the same.
Because positive choices is always on my side
But that don't mean I've lost my pride.
Losing you things could be very serious
‘Cause in the real world I've never been curious.

-Gerard G.

A loose response to one of eight froundational #100hardtruths-#fakenews that focus upon social media and the internet, #4: "the internet is built on deceptions."

9. Fake Can Be Fun

No weapons
Fake at home protection,
Homeland Security,
a camera.
Fake can be fun
In my mind I can be whatever I want to
to stop gun violence.
dishonest politicians.
Come to agreement with President, senators and the house to stop endangering people with reckless bills.
Create a better democracy.
Give better security to the world

-Jack C.

A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #9: "YouTube is less platform than emerging internet nation-state."

10. Information Costs Money

Information causes pain and suffering
Blood and Tears.
I see more suffering in people's life
and for myself
it is a wound in my soul.
Seeing everything
No truth
No honesty
Sensations that problems happen.
This country is using Facebook instead of news.
There is a Buddhist monk
says he hates Muslims.
But you are a person of faith.
Yours is a religion of love
and patience
it's understanding.
and it sickens me.
This is a person of peace and not violence.
Why are you so angry?
Angry? So angry?
You get your information from Facebook and it is not true.
He believes this news.
Not getting the facts correct.
People are not translating the news into the right language.
Only two people translating in the country
Guessing it wrong.
You say something different language in different words.
Facebook doesn't take responsibility for that.

-José G.

A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #67: "watch those who are monetizing their watching from the shadows," contributed to the online digital media literacy primer by Jacqueline Wernimont.

Week 2: 8 poems

2.1 #Science is Real

Science is challenged by religious people
they have their own ideas about science
That is not fact, it's fiction
Science is challenged by politicians.
They deny science,
that global warming is real.
They wants to destroy the planet,
make money,
they don't care about the future.
Science is challenged by stupid people
who think the Earth is flat.
Old science stupidity
You try to explain the fact,
they don't want to believe it.
The proof is in the pudding
My science is challenged by people that are too stubborn to understand
I am not stupid
I am a smart person
I am not a rare unicorn
“Oh my God A Latino person who is smart!”
“Oh my God! A disabled person who is smart!”
I have a disability, I am not stupid
-José G.
A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #35: "Science is Real." This was later transformed into a video-poem of the same name, viewable in Media."

2.2 Trump is our Rightful Internet President

Trump is always on the internet.
Trump is on Twitter always lying.
He cheated on his wives and he is in office?
Trump does not tell the truth and God will judge his heart.
Why doesn't Trump man up and tell the truth?
How dare you Trump, cover up your thighs?
You are a lying, adulterous man who broke one of the Ten Commandments. it's Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Trump you must confess on what you did.
If you don't confess your sin how will you live yourself?
Trump you can't handle the truth.
-Maria Z.
A response to one of eight froundation #100hardtruths-#fakenews about the internet and social media, #3: "Trump is our Rightful Internet President."

2.3 Deportation

For the past few years many Mexicans broke
alone because they not have green card or document.
they illegal aliens in USA.
The reason they enter America
by make wall President Trump
does not like Mexicans to enter in America
also DACA too.
I feel some way I do because
my parents came this country from Cuba.
They do the right thing
I don't like Trump
I hope Jesus will take him
I think Trump is evil now
Shall we take him to hell and punish Trump?
-Michael G.
A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #64: "efforts to parse truths, reveal contradictions, or negotiate with this mode of power are disguise what it is: a new fascism" which focuses upon “Eleven Theses on Neo-Fascism and the Fight to Defeat It,” by Lia Haro and Romand Coles write.

2.4 Government Lies Now

Government always lies to people in America.
Because it always Trump
as the TV and YouTube.
Such a fool
I want a turn a real truth
Some Americans us white trash people
don't like Mexicans or others
they not right to doing it.
-Michael G.
A loose response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #31: "look deeper into the migrant experience," which focuses on an art show, State of Exception/Estado de Excepción, that “presents traces of the human experience—objects left behind in the desert by undocumented migrants on their journey into the U.S. and other forms of data," all collected as part of the research of University of Michigan anthropologist Jason De León’s Undocumented Migration project.

2.5 Black Lives Matter

Black people die every year from drugs,
violence and AIDS.
Black people die every year from police choke holds and death row.
like that gots to go
Sometimes racist Trump says black never lives matter
because Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, needs to have their pockets fatter.
It's always time to stop all the racist jokes
‘cause in the real world black people ain't B's noting no coax.
t can be B.I.G, POC, Jam Master Jay
can live forever
but they will never die in my heart
‘cause it's a place to start.
When it's time for the black Revolution to start the war
it's time for them to take it far.
Sometimes Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben keep saving the coons for food
but black lives matter is still in the mood.
‘Cause if I was in the mood for love
like God is still up above
I might as well fly high like a dove.
Between blacks black folks always beefing with white folks in different states
I'm all around them in every day
don't mean I change my way.

-Gerard G.

A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #44: "Black Lives Matter." In a later workshop a video-poem of the same name was produced and can be seen in "Media" to the left.

2.6 Stay Aware Not Afraid

Stay aware not afraid
don't be ashamed
don't be scared
don't make yourself or anyone else a target or victim.
stay aware and not afraid
don't be too busy looking at your phone
don't get too into that book you're reading
don't be flashing your wallet out.
Stay aware and not afraid
don't talk to strangers
don't sleep on the train
don't be afraid to tell someone of authority
Stay aware and not afraid
be that one to stick up for what's right
be the one to stand your ground
be the one to love others
Stay aware not afraid.
-Gabriel S.
A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #46: "Stay Aware Not Afraid," which refers to an artist remix project of the "If You See Something Say Something" ad campagin of the NYC MTA.

2.7 Stay Aware Not Afraid

Don't worry be alert
get ready to stand your ground
be strong
think positive
there’s hope
don't think for the worst
it may increase the crisis
the sorcery or challenge
will overpower you
don't be afraid
use your military intelligence
think of a master plan
you’re a commanding Sergeant
do not let the challenge
overpower you
you are in control
you are the commissioners of anti-terrorism
your job is to destroy Terror
you must win the battle
be a camouflage to trick the enemy
to complete your mission
before it's too late
your tasks must be accomplished
stay aware not afraid
-Wayne A.B.
A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #46: "Stay Aware Not Afraid" and a loose response to #100hardtruths #78 foreign policy should be rooted in evidence and results, not ideology and the politics of punishment.

2.8 It’s About Xenophobia, Racism and Sexism

They don't like you because you're different
if you don't look alike, you don't speak their language.
“We are not the same so you don't get respected”
your complaints and your feelings or always neglected.
Uneducated and superior, that's what they are
“You can't sit in our parks or come to our bars”.
“We don't need you here why don't you just leave?”
Innocent souls wondering “Oh God, why me?”
They say just stay in the kitchen where you belong.
Clean up all my filth while you sing a song.
Real-life Cinderella, a slave to the Man.
Doing what she's taught, working hard as she can.
We all deserve love and want to be heard.
All it takes is some kindness and some heartfelt words
Make the world better and always spread love
so that we never ever have to worry about all of the above.
-Jessica L.
A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #73: "It's About Xenophobia, Racism and Sexism", contributed to the online digital media literacy primer by Jay Fisher.

Week 3: 5 poems based onthe prompt "Our oral stories are our truth"

3.1 Our oral stories are our truth

In my young days
as a little boy
being insulted and being bullied
I understand that is who I am
and the way I respond
it's true
I am afraid of terror
hard to Stand My Ground
as a man
being mistreated making me more recessive
I must remember
that I am God's greatest creation
God loves me
and accepts me the way I am
even though I keep getting insulted
I must learn not to meditate
on being cold a fa***t
though it is mean
I know Society or the public doesn't like the status of gay men
I must remember not to worry when I am mistreated
or insulted
I must learn to be strong
when I learn to be strong
I think about myself as a person
that has a very strong nature
and not to worry
I must learn to think positive in life
and not let people feed
with negative insulting thoughts
that can destroy my glamorous nature as a man
-Wayne A.B.

A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #90: "our oral histories, our oral stories are our truth" and loosely to #100hardtruths #39 reward responsible disobedience, a $250K prize for responsible disobedience in times of need.

3.2 Our oral stories are our truth

I felt I was in the moment of silence because I was shy, a little bit social
and my identity has been changing for the better and worst of me.

I was never rejected not because I have a disability,
I just didn't want to talk to people in high school.
because I was shy, and anti-social and I wanted to be by myself.

I have a story to tell about myself and my surroundings,
I keep it real about myself as a human being
and I have many things to control myself and not to worry
what other people think of me.
- Lenin Dominguez

A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #92: "our oral histories, our oral stories are our truth," and loosely to #100hardtruths #86 resist how we are framed written by queer writer, Hugh Ryan, whose #100hardtruths served as an important inspiration for the poetry that would follow.

3.3 Our oral stories are our truth

my stories in my life is disabled
because I lost my hearings and low vision
not able to see
but I could see very hard.

I felt some way
I do my family treat right
I got older in 90s to 2000s
many people do not treat me bad
I told Jesus that help bad people's pain.

I identify myself to be proud
I do things and try real and have kids of my own.
I wish has cure to fix me and other disabled people
it the truth.
also I don't like people to hurt my feelings.
- Mike Guillen

A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #92: "our oral histories, our oral stories are our truth" and to #100hardtruths #52 address fears about beauty, disability and aging, written by disability theorist and artist, Petra Kuppers.

3.4 Our oral stories are our truth

Our oral stories, begins October 5th 2018. I was in front of house which is the dining room at Shake Shack I was in uniform then at 3:15 in the afternoon when Marisol and Kristen began blinking the lights and called us into the kitchen and I did not know what was going on then Kristen announced that I made employee of the month. And I almost cried in front of my team members. I felt very shocked and happy the next day Ronnie came in and was shocked. When I got home around 6:30 in the evening and waited for company to leave I told my mom I made employee of the month my mom almost cried and fainted at the news.
- Maria Zulic
A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #92: "our oral histories, our oral stories are our truth."

3.5 Our oral stories are our truth

I asked a girl out in high school
she said no
because of my disability
it was winter time
at the station
sitting downstairs and waiting for the train
we were at the same school but we had separate areas
mine for people with disabilities
has was for single mothers or people who had dropped out of school.
I asked her out
she said no
I know you are a person with a disability I don't want to go out with a person with a disability
I asked her why
I am a calm person and your boyfriend is a jackass
she said she didn't care
she felt weird going out with a person with a disability
I told her, is going to get you
for your rejection
it could happen to you, to your kids and you will remember me.
I left with my friends
I was pissed
I was rejected
I thought this is going to be my life.
I asked my friend on the train do you have a girlfriend?
He said yes
a regular high school girl.
I ask him
how you did that?
He said I lied to her.
she had already fallen in love with him.
Me, I am an honest person.
I don’t like to lie.
My story is my truth


my high school asked me to stop training for a job
I went over to the veterans hospital
I was a volunteer
I was training to do a job
and there I met a high school girl
she was so gorgeous
I was so nervous
I had had rejection before.
So I was flirting with her most of the time
not even seriously.
I didn't think she would be interested.
So the next day my friend debreeze
my friend said
talk to her don't be scared.
I ask her out and she said yes
I was in shock
I was pinching myself
am I dreaming?
She say yes?
To me?
I take her out to 116th on the east side
El Barrio
we got some Spanish food
we started talking
she told me she was a regular high school girl.
she was Chinese.
a father was black.
I said you look more Spanish and she laughed.
I felt happy.
my first time going out with a woman.
- Jose Guardiola
A response to #100hardtruths-#fakenews #92: "our oral histories, our oral stories are our truth."