8.17.11 to fly above silence: collaborative generating #10

8.17.11 to fly above silence: collaborative generating #10


this is how your mariposa body

cumin in your throat

for the love of x

died without poetry



to mourn my passing honest

by way of the Pacific

whatever safe passage

the myth that masculinity

out spills toads



without ash those

who have forced everyone else’s hands

tamarind fingers rain

harder this is how



the ventricle digging mouthful

of song the balm of flesh

the incinerator your deepest

membranes yesterday and yesterday

lanterns dancing



(made from the words of Monica Hand, Todd Wellman, Rachelle Cruz, Hari Malagayo Alluri, Melissa Morrow, Bushra Rehman, Serena W. Lin, Carol Gomez, Evangeline Ganaden, Melissa Sipin & Clarissa Rojas)



Prompts for your writings:

You never did know this part
of what I am. Fieldworker, or framer,
I only showed you what you said I couldn’t be. – Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

and if this is the case,

gente, I say,

be a threat.

– Rich Villar

Our palms resist egg shells.” – Serena Chopra (via Rachelle Cruz)


Tony pulls the hood
of a big borrowed coat
over his head and bodyrocks,
a monk shadowboxing
at the clang of churchbells,
moving to a song
with a distant helicopter beat,
la tormenta
and the anthill scattering.



(via Melissa Morrow)



(via Bushra Rehman – it’s more about the song than the video!)



As soon as you opened your mouth
And I heard your soft

I knew we would be

The first time, dear pilgrim, I heard
You laugh,

I knew it would not take me long
To turn you back into

-Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky (via Serena W. Lin)



Everything, even the trees and the clouds, has come together to bring about the presence of your body. – Thich Nhat Hanh (via Evangeline Ganaden)


Then I turned around and saw the sky. It was red and all my life was in it. – Jean Rhys, “Wide Sargaso Sea” (via Evangeline Ganaden)


For my poems cannot help but reflect my identity as, in the words of Filipina American writer Lara Stapleton, a ‘bastard of the Philippine diaspora.’” – Eileen Tabios (via Melissa Sipin)


lesson: how to extract love from a stone – Clarissa Rojas


22 Responses to “8.17.11 to fly above silence: collaborative generating #10”

  1. caroljg Says:

    you never did know this part of who i am
    i’m not sure that i truly did either
    but tomorrow comes a window of opportunity
    for exploration
    of the same sides but hopefully of others

    does one settle at a certain age for familiarity
    when the economic tide is so uncertain
    perhaps one doesn’t have the option
    to gamble
    gamble and wait
    for other opportunities for you to find out
    who i am

    spun from the thoughts of: Melissa, Allison Hedge Coke, Evangeline, Ladinsky via Serena

  2. Dani Says:

    Love from a stone.
    On this, you and I could write an epic.
    You, with your passion for geology,
    I, with my penchant for personification.

    A fragment of mottled granite.
    You, peering closely with your scientific lenses, see texture, fabric, fracture, stress and strain.
    In this brindled flake, you see stories of past worlds and times.
    For this, the stone loves you.

    An outcrop of nonesuch shale
    I, letting my vision go fuzzy, see texture, movement, colors and shapes.
    In this worn, partially submerged slab, I see winking eyes and a knowing smile,
    as if letting me in on a secret –
    all rocks are happy.
    Love does not have to be extracted from them.
    It is freely given.
    If one knows how to look.

    (don’t know if the photo will link in…)

  3. hari malagayo alluri Says:

    if you know how to drag ashes
    across your doorstep
    preventing the rain from getting through
    the tumble, tumble sounds we hold,
    then, no. i don’t think i’ll bet on this game we are playing.

    without betrayal, what would there be to forgive?

    at the very least, don’t make your children
    turn you into god. when the neighbour’s dog is jumpy,
    the roosters don’t bother waiting for sunrise. dragging ashes

    across my doorstep, i’ve seen things that have made me
    go scrub the kitchen floor. say flesh, say balm.

    if you have ever felt the wolf’s howl
    in that place below your ribs,
    you already know what i’m trying to tell you.

    cypher: rich villar, allison hedge cole, ching-in, joe tex, bushra, carol, mel, evangeline, melissa, jas, chris, cyrus, kim.


    “What I’ve come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion, everyday acts of compassion. In South Africa they have a phrase called ubuntu. Ubuntu comes out of a philosophy that says, the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me.”
    — Chris Abani

  4. hari malagayo alluri Says:

    forgot to include: “after chris abani” in cypher section.

  5. Claire Donato Says:

    lesson: how to extract love from a stone – Clarissa Rojas

    I distributed them equally between my four pockets, and sucked them turn and turn about.

    Three passionate unsent love letters

    They were pebbles but I call them stones.

    found among Beethoven’s papers after his death, addressed to his ‘Immortal Beloved’

    This raised a problem which I first solved in the following

    Just now I perceive that letters must be posted first thing early. Mondays – Thursdays –

    So I began to look for something else …

  6. Claire Donato Says:

    Oops! Prompt:

    ‘To restore silence is the role of objects.’ – Samuel Beckett

  7. serena w. linsere Says:

    Everything, even the trees and the clouds, has come together to bring about the presence of your body. – Thich Nhat Hanh (via Evangeline Ganaden)

    to turn the stone into god
    to drink the water; upside-down
    to send a letter to the problem
    still the tree
    be the cloud
    gamble the richest coin
    gamble Hafiz
    the winter is always spending
    your summer body

    (fabricational dues: Hafiz via Daniel Ladinsky, Ching-In Chen, Hari Malagayo Alluri, Claire Donato, Clarissa Rojas, Evangeline Ganaden, Thich Nhat Hanh via Evangeline)

    Wave of sorrow,
    Do not drown me now:

    I see the island,
    Still ahead somehow.

    I see the island
    And its sands are fair:

    Wave of sorrow,
    Take me there.

    -Langston Hughes

  8. drunkenwhispers Says:

    ok, that didn’t work. ching-in, please feel free to erase my second post. 😦 wordpress, you’re hurting me.

  9. chinginchen Says:

    sorry, wordpress doesn’t do white space & formatting too well. another option may be to take a photo & upload jpg?

  10. Andrew Says:

    lesson: how to extract love from a stone – Clarissa Rojas

    lesson one: silently and without prompting, lay a bleached-clean, white v-neck t-shirt on the bed;

    lesson two: your long, dark, curly hair ;

    lesson three: never touch there (but you already know that);

    lesson four: silent storm chasing;

    and the bruisy, purple-green thumbprint on your fleshy arm.

    prompt: Alice doesn’t.

  11. Melissa Says:

    Then I turned around and saw the sky. It was red and all my life was in it. –Jean Rhys, “Wide Sargaso Sea” (via Evangeline Ganaden)

    My lola knew I would sound like a bastard child
    whenever I tried to color my tongue Tagalog. She mourned
    the way I stuttered, how I paused over words that looked
    like olds myths. She ran her fingers across my cheeks,
    saying, “Here you are. Ikaw ay puti, anak. Ikaw ay puti.”
    She frowned.

    In the morning, I dig in my soul with a spoon full of rice,
    looking for yesterday and yesterday, paper parols dancing.
    I force my lola’s hands in mine, asking where my sky was.
    Was it here, was it there, where do I stand? Am I of the
    brown children or the white, I ask, telling her, please take me there.
    She frowned a wave of sorrow, saying our sky was where
    the gone things go, tucked away, laid in the folds of yesterday,
    yesterday. I see the island and I am a thousand years old,
    my lola stands with me, her skin bright like warm coconut milk
    mixed with calamansi blood. She sings an old, forgotten kundiman
    to my lolo in the woods. He wears a green beret and has a rifle
    in his hands. When he sees my lola, his eyes become the Pacific.
    He is the myth of the masculine toad, anger lives in his arms.
    He sees me and spills ash on the land.

    I begin to fade in this island without a sky. When only my hands remain,
    my lola takes them, placing them on a rock. She tells me all the things
    that I am: I am Ilocano, from Ilocos Sur, my lola is from the mountains,
    my lolo is from the sea. I come from a rich farm family, and my great-lolo
    died when the Japanese burned his land. The redness from the grass has
    become my sky. There was no rain to quench the redness. Everything I am
    has become yesterday, yesterday, like the sun goodbying at sunset.

    Made from the words of Monica Hand, Todd Wellman, Rachelle Cruz, Hari Malagayo Alluri, Melissa Morrow, Bushra Rehman, Serena W. Lin, Carol Gomez, Evangeline Ganaden, and Clarissa Rojas.

    “Others never see you: they surmise about you from uncertain conjectures; they do not see your nature so much as your artifice. So do not cling to their sentence: cling to your own.” – Michel de Montaigne, “On Repenting”

  12. collaborative generating #10: “whenever I tried to color my tongue Tagalog” « Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Says:

    […] Collaborative Manifesto Project: here. […]

  13. Melissa Says:

    I forgot to add: Paul Ocampo. ❤

  14. yael v. Says:

    Faustina (II)

    Folks turn and spit when a good woman
    goes to war. Very young. Brighter than
    your hardest wish. They see her leap

    heedless, wrench apart into rubies as
    one final note hangs mid-air. They sip
    henn and smoke. Faustina cares only
    for the song, pure language

    of done deals atomized into swords,
    rotten roses. A song that short-circuits
    your guts into mayhem, a telegraph of

    sheer need– offstage, the man gripping
    a new amber bottle and yours, whatever
    the fuck you picture, babe. She thinks she’s won

    five new hearts tonight. She’ll come again tomorrow.


    constructed from:

    You never did know this part
    of what I am. Fieldworker, or framer,
    I only showed you what you said I couldn’t be. – Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

    Then I turned around and saw the sky. It was red and all my life was in it. – Jean Rhys, “Wide Sargaso Sea” (via Evangeline Ganaden)

    “Amy Winehouse’s Intelligent Soul” by Nitsuh Abebe (http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/07/amy_winehouse_1.html) (so sorry I don’t know how to do links in these comment boxes!)

    “A Good Man Goes to War,” a recent Doctor Who episode written by Steven Moffat

    And if you want to see the draft of first poem in this series, it’s here: http://jlvwrites.tumblr.com/post/8209458947/faustina-i


    Prompt: “Modem not working, probably the result of last Thursday’s lightning flash. Tried several times to reconfigure it, but to no avail. Trying to calm myself down at meditation, I realized I had to remember this is simply a machine, more fragile and imperfect than people, and that it is its nature to break down, a fact that shouldn’t agitate me so.” —Eric Gamalinda (from his experimental novel Exit Music, which you can read the whole amazing thing online starting here: http://ericgamalinda.tumblr.com/post/3865661545/exit-music)

  15. yael v. Says:

    oh, turns out the links are automatic. i know how to do it now!

  16. Mel Says:

    Silence Function

    silence restores objects, the world is never saved
    in grand messianic gestures some compassion
    saves us, some pact to give up chatter
    so someone can sit with their feelings
    to reflect humanity back, this is how
    to extract stone from a love, and fly
    above silence, is to why for the love
    of x, for the rooted cumin,
    for the mariposa body to die
    without poetry, without safe passage—
    well, that one is harder

    if your time is worth saving, if this
    is the case, gente, don’t settle
    for familiarity, but keep your deep
    lanterns dancing, don’t make your
    children pay for your mistakes
    don’t make your children
    turn you into god, don’t remain
    a fragment, be a granite flake
    singing past tides, let the sea
    slake your thirst and be
    reborn in goodbyeing

    the time is now, if you have ever needed
    the wolf’s howl remember the pebbles
    are silent, just some letters unsent remember
    summer is always waiting in winter’s body
    not frozen on old myths, but skin both
    tempered steel and Kali’s minstrel blood

    silence was made to listen, writers
    who proselytize with their sins
    always take the first watch

    do not stay yesterday gone
    even if you didn’t ask to come here even down
    to the last cup of flour, don’t leave the care
    of yourself to someone else, don’t make
    the unnamed pay for your mistakes
    even when it seems like all that’s left
    is silence, you better start swimming
    or you’ll sink so many rocks in your pockets

    words are prophets not written
    on subway walls or bathroom stalls
    but in sounds birthed in silence

    (Made possible with lines from: Samuel Beckett (via Claire Donato); Chris Albani (via Hari Malagayo Alluri); Clarissa Rojas; Ching-In Chen; Monica Hand; Todd Wellman; Rachelle Cruz; Hari Malagayo Alluri; Bushra Rehman; Serena W. Lin; Carol Gomez; Evangeline Ganaden; Melissa Sipin; Rich Villar; Dani; Claire Donato; Joe Tex (via Bushra Rehman); Bob Dylan; Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle)

    Prompt: (more from the mind of Zack Snyder–this time, a clip from Sucker Punch)

    If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
    (credited to Alexander Hamilton, Ginger Rogers, or Malcolm X, depending on who you ask)

  17. caroljg Says:

    Oh sorry, forgot to include my prompt:

    ** How do you sweeten the words of a three year old cherub child from screaming fuck you bitch to singing the gentler tunes instead?

  18. toddw Says:

    Everything, even the trees and the clouds, has come together to bring about the presence of your body. – Thich Nhat Hanh (via Evangeline Ganaden)
    imagine with me
    that you are not immortal,
    that you do not go anywhere
    but here
    when you die.
    now tell me how you think of trees,
    how you think of dulce,
    how you think of me.

  19. Bushra Says:

    We find ourselves in the Catskill mountains
    two old friends wondering over our lives
    weeding gardens for money and laughing

    we hold each other’s twenty year old selves
    in a locket of our own choosing
    she knew me when I was free and poetic
    I knew her wild eyes from a born again meeting

    we met on the grass in California
    and she decided for me
    we would be friends

    15 years later, our bodies no longer lithe
    are hearts no longer open, all the wo/men
    we’ve slept with, all the drugs we’ve ingested
    we rise and fall, rise and fall with the weeds

    taking smoke breaks and water breaks,
    crawling on our hands and knees
    among the wilderness
    just as we did
    when we were kids.

    inspirations:; all o f you plus Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky (via Serena W. Lin)

    what happens when the breathing stops?

  20. clarissa rojas Says:

    the trees have clouds
    where fabric fractures
    spill out toads
    when breathing stops
    deep lanterns dance
    unmake ayer
    wolf beckon howl
    sink deep like stone
    touch lips
    echo of sea
    come gentle
    come compassion come

    gracias: chign-in thich nhat hanh dani mel chris abani bushra

  21. racruzzo Says:

    Immortal Beloved,
    Dear Pilgrim,

    If you’ve ever felt
    the shadowbox
    you see the sky’s geology
    It was red
    the rib underneath war
    a wolf’s howl
    Lesson three: and all our lives in it
    The first time I heard
    the rooster laugh
    Folks turn, jumpy
    is our summer body
    Clang of churchbells
    We / threat
    and sunrise

    (words from Yael V., Serena Lin, Ching-In Chen, Rich Villar, martín espada, excerpt from la tormenta (via Hari Malagayo Alluri), Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky (via Serena W. Lin), Thich Nhat Hanh (via Evangeline Ganaden), Jean Rhys, “Wide Sargaso Sea” (via Evangeline Ganaden), Dani, Claire Donato, Hari malagayo alluri)

    Sorry, I’m late! Will post a prompt on today’s blog.

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