Archive for August, 2011

WI Uprising anthology call for submissions (PLEASE HELP SPREAD/FORWARD!)

August 29, 2011

The Rise Up! Wisconsin Collective

Call for Submissions: Anthology showcasing radical and progressive stories and voices from the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising

The Rise Up! Wisconsin Collective invites you to submit to an anthology which will give expression to the diverse origins and broad participation in the struggle for Wisconsin’s future. Since Gov. Walker’s assault on us all, there has been increased media attention on our state because of the mass protests by organized labor, community groups, and students. Recent attention has turned to the electoral field as recall elections proceed. But very little is being written or published that approaches the politics and history of Wisconsin’s popular uprising through a radical lens. By “radical,” we mean getting at the root of a problem and transforming it into a community we can all participate in and be a part of. It also means viewing the assault by the Republicans and corporations as tied to the restructuring of global capitalism, and the parallel movements for survival by Wisconsin’s marginalized communities.

Our hope is to create an anthology that illuminates the origins of Wisconsin’s popular struggle as a consequence of interlocking grassroots work. We are especially interested in hearing from progressive workers as well as organizers from immigrant, indigenous and communities of color, LGBT, disability and women’s communities. What we hope to show is that this is not just a “union” struggle, in a restrictive sense, but a struggle to redefine progressive politics itself.

Ideas for submissions could include:

first-person accounts


blog entries


visual art work


sticker designs




oral histories

Please send submissions and a short bio including contact information (name, email, or the best way to contact you) in Word or PDF as well as within the body of the text to: Please put “Rise Up! Wisconsin Anthology submission + [your last name]” in the subject line.

* We recommend keeping your submissions to under 10 pages – please contact us if you intend to submit something larger.

* We accept previously published work, but preference will be given to voices that have fewer resources for having their voice in print.

Deadline for Submission: October 1, 2011.

Please forward this call to those you think would be interested!

8.25.11 how to offer gratitude. Collaborative generating to infinity and beyond!

August 25, 2011
dear lovely ones,

gratitude for your energies, your sharings, your
generosities, your uglies, your little and expansive bitters,
your writing through the nights, your browns, your
beauties, your afternoon slumbers, your bruises, your
breakfast mornings, your laughs, your solitudes and of
course, of course, your words. For those of you who
showed up every day, for those who were able to make it
for one day, and for those of us who occupy that sliding
space in-between, thank you. I'm leaving millay colony
this morning with you tucked in my backpocket. 

For this last post, I want to say, I hope this is not the last
time we write and create in the path together and I hope
to see your collaborations out in the world & in the street!

As Bushra says, “and wouldn’t you feel lucky in all this magic?”
 Thank you. <3!
today, onlookers meant to write this poem
waking up to trumpet vine world.

You can be proper body, even people who question
the nation. I am sick, I don't want
their eyes heard, only trains platinum
in their grammar. We every trickster peel
upstream night that do not know shame. 

Leave me humid

born without the proper

name loved to night.

Promptings for your writings:I feel sad and dehumanized when viewed in terms of my
utility instead of who I truly am.” - Soyeon Cho


Improv Everywhere: 



  …. And you,

who cannot keep still, who can never

look back, where will you go next?

How will I find you?

Can you feel the world pull

apart, the seams loosen?

What, tell me, will keep it whole,

if not you? if not me?

Send a postcard, picture, tell me

how you’ve been.

 - Blas Falconer (who was born on this day), from “Dear Friend”


“The J. Paul Getty Museum’s iconic statue of Aphrodite
was quietly escorted back to Sicily by Italian police, ending
a decades-long dispute over an object whose craftsmanship,
importance, and controversial origins have been likened to
the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum.” ~ LA Times,
March 23 2011
(via Carol Gomez)

Two more prompts (I’m sad this is ending. Thank you again,

Ching-In and all who have participated!):

*Frida’s Corset:


Wasteland Documentary Trailer

(via Rachelle Cruz)


1) what are the sounds of respect / beauty / sharing?
2) is all writing collaborative writing…

(via Hari Malagayo Alluri)


and my prompt!
especially the last part which I’ve been living and loving. .

(via Bushra Rehman)


come morning walls melt – Clarissa Rojas

the drum: 

(via Clarissa Rojas)


In honor of our sacred space here, my prompt today has to

do with spaces of art that face challenges and find ways to

survive. This is a trailer from the documentary,

“Unfinished Spaces,” on the National Schools of Art in Cuba.

(via Evangeline Ganaden)

But I say it is what you love: collaborative generating #17

August 24, 2011

But I say it is what you love: collaborative generating #17


I smother my two-thirds dark up this body

against four carpet corners of prayer

the gong on the black cart

the deep crane fatigues of my forefathers


ask for nothing smashed fingers


till blue light come


right now: the alley, skin

the willow trains will betray what you love

your black body inside me I sing

each step as tall as her legs

ten lashes to speak a river


the stones made people too


(made from the words of Rachelle Cruz, Dani Hartke, Hari Malagayo Alluri, Todd Wellman, Evangeline Ganaden, Serena W. Lin, Carol Gomez & Clarissa Rojas)


Promptings for your writings:

Make love. My lover leaves me with words I wish
To write. Flies from one side of a nation to the outside 
Of our world. I don't want the world. I only want 
African sense of American sound. Him. Touching. 
This body. Aware of its pains. Greetings, Earthlings. 
My name is Slow And Stumbling. I come from planet 
Trouble. I am here to leave you uncomfortable. 
-Jericho Brown, from “Heart Condition”


I was born here,
I have nothing left to conceal.
When the clerk chides
the mother and her child
beside me for blocking
the center aisle, only she
is worried. Do you understand?
I was educated in the proper books,
disciplined in the correct grammar.
I can trace my name
to a great-uncle who retired
with emphysema from
the Ford Rouge Plant,
and it doesn’t matter now
that he was buried
in Michigan City under a name
he couldn’t pronounce.

Hayan Charara, from “Immigration and Naturalization”


Akua Naru, “The World Is Listening”


We the onlookers on the corner
do not know shame,
chin to chest, Midas in the night,
in the night, shirtless in the night that comes
down humid, streetlight that comes down platinum,
in the streetlight, a pack of boys sprinting in the streetlight.
The city ends with bullet-hole, ends with light-bills,
with welfare
and food stamps—we pluck and sprint, gulp down malt
and take it to the head—
we huff the daylights out of our head.

Santee Frazier, from “10th Street Anthem”

(click on the link to see the real formatting)


Two (!) Prompts: (via Rachelle Cruz)

Pitching a Tent
Meena Alexander (from Poetics of Dislocation)

1.Poetry makes a dwelling for us, a tent of words.
2.The tent has holes for the wind to blow through, holes pierced by gunfire, by arrows, by sharp stones.
3.It can be pitched on solid ground, or rolled up, borne through air, carried over water. It can be unfurled here or there.
4.Inside the shelter we turn from the violence of history, to the lyric measures of poetry, so that we can see again, eyes wiped free of blood; so that we can hear again, the voices that allow us to be human.
5.Poetry makes ground in a vertiginous world.
6.All this is true, and necessary for our survival.
7.None of this is true.


(via Craig Santos Perez)


“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.” –
Mary Oliver via beautiful words –!/groups/220899054589810/

(via Hari Malagayo Alluri)


I can be the treble. You can be the bass” – britney s. (via Todd Wellman)


Jesus Saviour

8 bells. I cannot sleep, for I am sick
with fear, but writing eases fear a little
since still my eyes can see these words take shape
upon the page & so I write, as one
would turn to exorcism.


from The Sense of an Ending by Frank Kermode “The clock’s ‘tick-tock’ I take to be a model of what we call a plot, an organisation which humanises time by giving it a form; and the interval between ‘tock’ and ‘tick’ represents purely successive, disorganised time of the sort we need to humanise.” (via Serena W. Lin)


Today I’m bored, calm, protected, loved, hopeful, curious, confused, secure, happy” – 10 year old reporting his feelings for the day (via Carol Gomez)


to honor night – Clarissa Rojas

8.23.11 what if we happen: collaborative generating #16

August 23, 2011

8.23.11 what if we happen: collaborative generating #16


This is your teacher, concrete English,

together the way we became

onions, smothering the land. Who says no,

goodbye history of water, they left home

for a living. Eight night caretaker, I cut out first,


a lit in me can soak up oil.


One-armed architecture, a soft bed and she a fitting

room girl. The flesh cancer and chocolate, soon


unison, I would learn to speak as bird,

put hand in soil, rise

into this bearded world. To grow up steel,

I want to be a river.


(made from the words of Monica Hand, Rachelle Cruz, Hari Malagayo Alluri, Carol Gomez, Todd Wellman, Melissa Morrow, Serena W. Lin, Yael Villafranca, Evangeline Ganaden & Tamiko Beyer)


Promptings for your writings:

We must shift from a politic of desirability and beauty to a politic of ugly and magnificence.  That moves us closer to bodies and movements that disrupt, dismantle, disturb.  Bodies and movements ready to throw down and create a different way for all of us, not just some of us.

The magnificence of a body that shakes, spills out, takes up space, needs help, moseys, slinks, limps, drools, rocks, curls over on itself.  The magnificence of a body that doesn’t get to choose when to go to the bathroom, let alone which bathroom to use.  A body that doesn’t get to choose what to wear in the morning, what hairstyle to sport, how they’re going to move or stand, or what time they’re going to bed.  The magnificence of bodies that have been coded, not just undesirable and ugly, but un-human. – Mia Mingus


1) Tenor Rodrick Dixon on his part in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Donald Sur’s “Slavery Documents.”

2) T.J. Anderson\’s “Runaway, Runaways” – conceived as a companion to Donald Sur’s “Slavery Documents.” Drawing material from Loren Schweininger’s collection The Southern Debate Over Slavery, the composer asked himself, “Why would anyone want to write a composition about slavery at the beginning of the 21st century?”


Hari Kondabolu – Where are you from?


Versions of Tracie Morris’ “Project Princess”


What now? What now? What now? – Monica Hand


Cecilia Vicuna:

(via Rachelle Cruz)


hear a calling, answer it.” – via a friend’s facebook post (via Hari Malagayo Alluri)


do i feed the squirrels alongside the birds? is that fair to the birds? – Carol Gomez


DOT is currently studying the feasibility of adding a bike lane to the Hoan Bridge and expects to complete its study sometime this fall. This neighborhood meeting will be an excellent opportunity for you to learn more about the DOT bike lane study and to let state transportation officials know how you feel about adding a bike lane to the Hoan Bridge. I hope to see you there!” – Rep. Richards (via Todd Wellman)


(via Melissa Morrow)


From Insomnia by Cornelius Eady

You’ll never sleep tonight.
Trains will betray you, cars confess
Their destinations,

Whether you like it
Or not.

They want more
Than to be in
Your dreams.

They want to tell you
A story.


(via Serena W. Lin)


Prompt in two parts:

Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot
and some men say an army of ships is the more beautiful thing
on the black earth. But I say it is
what you love.” —Sappho, translated by Anne Carson


(via Yael Villafranca)


If you happen to have watched armed men
beat and drag your father
out the front door of your house
and into the back of an idling truck

before your mother jerked you from the threshold
and buried your face in her skirt folds,
try not to judge your mother too harshly.

Don’t ask her what she thought she was doing
turning a child’s eyes
away from history
and toward that place all human aching starts.

Li-Young Lee, “Self-Help for Fellow Refugees”

(via Evangeline Ganaden)


Torso Fetish
by Lisa Chen

I have a fetish for the torso.

The meat dead in the center.

The tragic hero in _Johnny Got His Gun_

The most innocent part the body because it is incapable of striking out.

The most of you that ties you to this earth.

(via Tamiko Beyer)

p.s. R. Erica Doyle @ Best American Poetry blog

August 22, 2011

p.s. off the collaborative path for another quick moment to say a thank you to a former teacher I hold dear, R. Erica Doyle, who ran the Tongues Afire Writing Workshop for queer women & non-gender-conforming writers of color at the Audre Lorde Project. 

Grateful & humbled to be connected to be connected to the constellation & included in the community she has invoked this week at the Best American Poetry blog.

8.22.11 what our gaps: collaborative generating #15

August 22, 2011



I know a form of labour


for almost a how angry month

la maquina de guerra the friend you forgot

despite their best efforts


if the poems the food the sex don’t

above this different city’s water

I can’t seem to recall


the body’s reliable joy

there were too many

let’s work together soon



(composed from the words of Hari Malagayo Alluri, Monica Hand, Todd Wellman, Carol Gomez, Rachelle Cruz, Serena W. Lin & Melissa Morrow with guidance from Meiver de la Cruz)



Promptings for your writings:


You explain to the ambulance attendant that you had a momentary lapse of happily. The noun, happiness, is a static state of some Platonic ideal you know better than to pursue. Your modifying process had happily or unhappily experienced a momentary pause. This kind of thing happens, perhaps is still happening. He shrugs and in turn explains that you need to come quietly or he will have to restrain you. – Claudia Rankine




photographer John Coyne’s video to Blue Scholars – Lumiere:





Douglas Kearney’s “The Black Automaton in Tag: Refugee”: the_black_automaton_in_tag_refugee



forage/salvage: a conversation between rita wong & linda sormin



the next one has to be completely unwieldy, untamed, unrelenting” – anonymous (via Hari Malagayo Alluri)



What would the journey towards filling the empty look like? – Monica Hand



“…it’s a blanket visa or something like that”
” oh, good enough to keep you warm with in Ohio winter
….aunty C & nephew J silly chatting on fb today (via Carol Gomez)



It’s time to reinstate the rose
and return the world to poetry;
the language that governs the heart
at long last needs relearning.”-Roger Sedarat, “Reinstatement of the Rose” (via Rachelle Cruz)


i never was pure…” suheir hammad (via Serena W. Lin)



 (via Melissa Morrow)

8.21.11 how to strangers be together: collaborative generating #14

August 21, 2011

bedazzled blood I came through

the virgin you to break

queer fields we peel

and peel between us


to repent one page flesh

is telegraph still your face

published because he was beast


won’t name him blank passage

until both of us please history my body


we stars in our hair in view of the one sin

theft a lit wick I

left the only appropriate apology


my name scratched red


(made from the words of Carol Gomez, Serena W. Lin, Hari Malagayo Alluri, Rachelle Cruz, Jai Arun Ravine, Todd Wellman, Melissa Morrow, Evangeline Ganaden & Tamiko Beyer)


Promptings for your writings:


Now I am safe in the deep V/
of a weekday.” – from Deborah Miranda’s National Poetry Month Cento (& if you don’t what a cento is, it’s
a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets:-)


from Sharon Bridgforth’s “Delta Dandi”: Sharon Bridgforth – Delta Dandi clip


Das Racist – Chicken and Meat:


Wood, Fire, Paper, Cranes. Three Elements >>

Thomas Matsuda: “Purification” –


Where to we go to hide? – Carol Gomez


the perfect splitting open of a longan shell
is controlled pressure smoothe twist all leap of faith
– calabaw proverb (via Hari Malagayo Alluri)


Just watched it and it reminds me of our poetic process in art form…. – via Carol Gomez


How far have i traveled to get beyond these inches? – Serena W. Lin


An excerpt from a Poetry Society of America Interview with Wanda Coleman:

When you consider your own “tradition,” do you think primarily of American poets?

No. My “tradition” (or psyche) is split [I prefer the expression “shattered”]. My “tradition” is a complex mishmosh of two basic traditions: 1) the best of Western Civilization, as taught in the Los Angeles school system of the 50s and 60s, Sappho and beyond. 2) the Afro-American blues/jazz musical tradition.

What is American about American Poetry?
The unique cauldron of Protestantism and Racism in which it is defined and from which it takes shape.

An except from Jericho Brown’s response to Wanda Coleman’s interview, ten years later:

How nice it would be to show just how male I am to someone else in this empty room tonight, but I’m much too busy shaking my head and muttering, “Wanda Coleman.” I should be pulling someone closer to me, but tonight I’m getting in my bed alone. Tomorrow, I’ll rise early and go to the gym where I bang my body against itself in a vain attempt to transform it into something someone wants to touch.”

(via Rachelle Cruz)


The strangeness of our insides
They will never know.
-Margaret Rhee, from the poem “The Flannery I Know” (via Jai Arun Ravine)


We tumbled to the bath mat.” — Roger Weingarten (via Todd Wellman)


(sequential imaging, lyrics, and music)

The Polyphonic Spree, “Running Away” (via Melissa Morrow)


For almost a month I lived at this rhythm: the night prostrate and the day letting myself be carried across Vienna by sleep and the tramway. – Marjane Satrapi, “Persepolis” (via Evangeline Ganaden)


 (via Tamiko Beyer)


& some extra prompts via Meiver de la Cruz (& the Carol she’s talking about is Carol Gomez – 🙂

Querida amiga,
…thinking about labor and the phrases below replay in my thoughts as I work, everyday. They’ve become inspiring meditations that remind me of Mo, Carol, Nisha and of you, Ching-In – as I work:

“La revolución es cultural”
-heard anew in July 2011 from the lips of “Slow” Miguel Martínez, of Colombia’s ChocQuibTown. A link worth enjoying:

“Process is dope”
-inspired by Carol and Monique’s amazing work.

“Dance is labor and love”
-inspired by the body’s reliable joy when dancing, even with aches and pains.

“Work dignifies you”
-Chile, 2003. Shared by a hard working musician, friend.

These phrases are all about the work we do, and help me through. I hope they encourage you too. Let’s work together again soon.

p.s. off the collaborative path for a moment (Bitch blog + dessert at Millay)

August 20, 2011

dear friendlies,


off the collaborative writing path for a moment to report:


1) Revolution Starts at Home Bitch Q&A blog is up!

2) If you’re curious about life at the Millay Colony for Arts where I’m a resident this month, a glimpse into our working dessert night by fellow Millay resident Claire Donato.

hope you have a sweet day, wherever you are! 🙂


8.20. how to offer and repeat: lucky collaborating generating #13

August 20, 2011

8.20. how to offer and repeat: lucky collaborating generating #13


on one page, a list of places

to send light/the ambush coming

the sting of bamboo/the metronome today

like all days your breath/did they try to threaten

any means of protection against my bare flesh

(nothing you can see is not fire)


in the rice fields is a body

a sky body rubbed chemical/without easy mirrors would you

history/rouse those endings

let go of that queer?


(made from the words of Hari Malagayo Alluri, Monica Hand, Rachelle Cruz, Todd Wellman, Melissa Morrow & Evangeline Ganaden)



Promptings for your writings:


Some gems from R. Erica Doyle’s Best American Poetry blog this week: “Today I will share with you the sky, because I can.” which includes write-ups on some of the visitors amongst us including Tamiko Beyer & Monica Hand:


  1. Chrystos’ plenary @ 2011 National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference:
  2. Once a man offered me his heart and I said no. Not because I didn’t love him. Not because he was a beast or white—I couldn’t love him. Do you understand? In bed while we slept, our bodies inches apart, the dark between our flesh a wick. It was burning down. And he couldn’t feel it. – Eduardo C. Corral
  3. One in 8 Million – Ra Ruiz



You know a letter, a cache in a person. – Roberto Harrison



ben harper via maya angelou (via Hari Malagayo Alluri):

(original Hari posted is blocked for copyright reasons so another version)

Does the grief for the loss of the mother (earth) ever heal? – Monica Hand

“In the family albums everyone
is always held by someone else,
in siesta or in fiesta.”
-Karen Llagas (via Rachelle Cruz)

 (via Todd Wellman)

Corinna” by Taj Mahal (via Melissa Morrow):

I’m traveling in some vehicle
I’m sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
There’s comfort in melancholy
When there’s no need to explain

But you know I’m so glad to be on my own
Still somehow the slightest touch of a stranger
Can set up trembling in my bones
I know – no one’s going to show me everything
We all come and go unknown
Each so deep and superficial
Between the forceps and the stone

– “Hejira” by Joni Mitchell, sung by Cassandra Wilson at the Hollywood Bowl, August 17, 2011 (via Evangeline Ganaden)

8.19.11 how not to stop coming home: collaborative generating #12

August 19, 2011

8.19.11 how not to stop coming home: collaborative generating #12



in response to bushra’s note on gratitude,

yes! I like this practice of gratitude.

I look forward each morning to see what has arrived through the day and night. Your words and ideas taking form, taking flight. Thank you for being in the path and for your gift of time and energy to be present. Your presence is necessary 🙂



every day this starting

again this blue light

when the breathing stops

secure the locks

half-submerged {I wish you could hold me}

chattambee 100 thousand stones

two ravens complaining

{consecutive kinds of submission}

to traffic. a single verb. to restore

on the edge of salish sea the pidgin


to pay my mother’s karma

everyday the ignition

rainwater in my sandals

say flesh blue heron I’m

coming home

walk the other way


(made from the words of Monica Hand, Carol Gomez, Hari Malagayo Alluri, Melissa Morrow, Serena W. Lin, Evangeline Ganaden, Melissa Sipin and Bushra Rehman. With nods to Khadijah Queen & Natasha Marin.)


Promptings for your writings:


from another collaborative project curated by ana-maurine lara, a 36daysweeksmonthsyearslifetimes, photo from luo yu.

36 days, weeks, months, years, lifetimes -- from Ana-Maurine Lara's collaborative project!



Millay slug, photo by Cristián Flores García:



Where children don’t sleep
In resting tremor and shelling
The earth is a pomegranate

Fady Joudah


Carrie Mae Weems:

By Any Means Necessary


Image from And 22 Million Very Tired and Very Angry People, 1989-1990


nothing you can see is not a flower
nothing you can think is not the moon
– basho (via Hari Malagayo Alluri)


My prompt for today is collaboration in the form of the following progression of three videos, posted here in order.

A little background: the theme was created for the show “Game of Thrones,” which is based on the fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire by Gorge R. R. Martin (first book published in 1996, the fifth book just published this summer, the story not yet finished and ongoing into the future).

Video 1: The fully orchestrated theme, as created for the HBO show:

Video 2: A fan’s interpretation of the theme on violin:

Video 3: A fan’s interpretation of the violinist’s interpretation of the theme, posted on YouTube as a “heavy version”:

via Melissa Morrow


P. Diddy: “I thought I told you that we won’t stop.” – via Melissa Sipin


I’ve seen God in the sun, I’ve seen God in the street / God before bed and the promise of sleep.” Belle and Sebastian

or the way I heard it: I see God in the sun, I see God in the stream. – via Bushra Rehman