8.22.11 what our gaps: collaborative generating #15



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)


12 Responses to “8.22.11 what our gaps: collaborative generating #15”

  1. Monica Hand Says:

    The noun, happiness, is a static state of some Platonic ideal you know better than to pursue. The forest is full of shiny stones and glass that look like grass. What promised to be a soft bed cuts the flesh. The wind scatters arms and legs, feet and hands. The air smells like onions, lots of onions cooking. There are no tears. Not anymore. There is a stillness. A stillness like the calm before a tornado. A stillness that forewarns devastation. Everything caught in a whirl. everything: the house, the car, the books, the paper, the mother, everything once thought permanent. What now? What now? What now?

  2. racruzzo Says:

    litter me

    oyster mushrooms
    can soak up oil
    in our flesh
    before a tornado

    a little me

    the history of
    caught in a whirl
    what now
    the ambulance

    a lit in me

    a soft bed cuts the flesh
    how ironic to use
    oil to hold water
    you ask another good

    alive in me

    what are you willing
    to risk
    you and i
    are watersheds,
    the pacific, atlantic,
    arctic, the gulf
    of deeper art
    deeper arm

    words from Rita Wong, Linda Sormin, Monica Hand, Cecilia Vicuna.


    Cecilia Vicuna

  3. hari malagayo alluri Says:

    watershed objects

    i have clawed at the remnants of my own
    architecture, an ocean turned red, a moon
    goddess, a mountain range
    older than restraint or clearings in forests
    shaped like eyes to ward off roots
    cracking out of skin. we make love
    in our dreams, our bodies lying
    down with wolves’ reliable joy, come quietly,
    slurred by water. mud made

    here a new spiral of concrete english
    smothering the land. i wrote this with a pencil
    from where the phoenician alphabet was given,
    smelling of coconut soap and ash. yet i am neither
    a nargeela for smoking chocolate nor my cousin,
    who ran behind a truck doling out free addiction,
    for he is strong and has the grace to laugh
    in moments when my teeth would have clenched. a soft bed
    cuts your flesh and mine, scattering the wind between us.

    cipher: ching-in, mel, monica, serena, rachelle, suheir hammad, mindcircus, claudia rankine, linda sormin, douglas kearney, pasalubong

    prompt: “hear a calling, answer it.” – via a friend’s facebook post

  4. caroljg Says:

    re-potting (or it’s time to reinstate the rose) – sedarat via rachelle cruz

    it’s time to put hand in soil, relish dirt under fingernails,
    cherish little crawly creatures who give life to the earth.
    so tiresome, i procrastinate in poetry, preferring

    the time to put pen to paper, relish words tapped out by fingertips
    cherish little flighty creations that give life to the mind.
    so hungry, i procrastinate in pursuits of the belly, preferring

    the time to put morsels of soft beds of buttery pacific salmon, sticky rice oyster mushrooms, wasabi and seaweed to lips, relish the sting, salty, smooth, sticky savored by palate, cherish little orgasmic satiation which gives life to the temple.

    so sleepy, i procrastinate in afternoon slumber, preferring the time to put head to cloudy pillow, relish the dreams imagined by my gardener soul,
    cherish little flowery gardens that color my inner universe

    Gratitude to: racruzzo, hari, monica, ching-in

    prompt: do i feed the squirrels alongside the birds? is that fair to the birds?

  5. toddw Says:

    inspired by: Mel
    let’s touch caretaker
    the way his heart beats.
    he doesn’t know our hand
    as it jumps his sleeping chest
    don’t know his name
    but space is there:
    we flock,
    more hands rise second night.
    he has heart,
    and skin.
    eighth night:
    crowd stands one arm out,
    one arm in.
    we rise, fall.
    in the nose breath is soon unison.
    then shoulders lilt, too.

    “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

  6. Mel Says:

    underneath what happens

    in its own line
    time, a vaster always
    on the move
    slow seep
    no more
    it contributes
    at the pace
    it travels
    above this city’s
    indifferent water
    seeks asylum
    from a when
    not a where
    here marks
    convey urgency
    reflect what you
    are willing
    to risk
    something I sense
    now in students
    another form
    of labour
    body’s job
    reliable ideal
    come quietly
    platonic, or
    he will
    have to
    Still be
    from nowhere

    object to
    history experienced
    modify processing
    un/happily if there
    it goes how
    we move
    here to be
    relevant work
    together the way we
    became curious
    a part of the
    21st century
    collect beautiful
    unusual things
    when we walk
    underneath all of that
    indigenous languages
    survive trying
    we might
    breathe that

    (made with words of Hari Malagayo Alluri, Monica Hand, Todd Wellman, Carol Gomez, Rachelle Cruz, Serena W. Lin, Meiver de la Cruz, Claudia Rankine, Douglas Kearney, Rachel Carson, Rita Wong, Linda Sormin, Monica Hand, Cecilia Vicuna)



  7. serena w. lin Says:

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

    steepling at the edge, ripples to wind
    a pencil between her chocolate-stained teeth
    she: a one-armed caretaker: jumps
    in the limitless litany of wasabi-stung lips
    of salty questions flavored by the
    stillness of onions
    i am your aslyum
    stung indifferently
    the deeper labor: is in the question
    that lives
    that is alive
    no matter how platonic your ash
    how labored your soil
    i am one who finds
    goodbye is the time
    we share.

    (poetrics from ching-in chen, rachelle cruz, monica hand, hari malagayo alluri, carol gomez, todd wellman)


    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.


  8. serena w. lin Says:

    and credit to mel too!

  9. serena w. lin Says:

    also, just wanted to dedicate this most recent collab entry (or credit, as the case may be), to my leetle brother justin who is moving tomorrow AM to new york for bright, big new adventures!

  10. yael v. Says:

    (after Sarah Gambito)

    My eden is always held by someone
    stronger than me. A fitting room girl
    in exile should have to explain

    nothing. I was a rut in the road. Wormy,
    insufferable biting myself gnashing my
    pacific friends.

    Even then. I cut out first.

    Where in your country
    is your family from?

    So many us knocked flat by the same

    having to learn this language again,
    having acrid sneakers and busted nails
    at your rival’s debutante party.

    This is your teacher, who says no for a living.

    She claims That’s how my husband likes it.

    What I know is my patron saint’s alchemy of pain.
    Tenderness as the yellow around a knitting suture.
    Her abeyance of blueribbon prove to me you’re sorry nesting.

    Before bed, on the telephone, we drift
    to a third place outside any room, any city
    where we must lie still. And I’ll admit only to you.

    They left home after home so I would learn to speak
    as a bird. All without asking. I want to be a tree.
    I want to be a river. To say, follow me.


    Hi everyone, I missed y’all over the weekend. Happy to be posting again 🙂

    This was constructed from the prompts/words/intentions of: Karen Llagas, Roger Sedarat, Rachelle Cruz, Todd Wellman, Carol Gomez, Tamiko Beyer, Serena W. Lin, Zadie Smith’s essay on Zora Neale Hurston, “What Does Soulful Mean?”, and a few different conversations.


    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


  11. Evangeline Says:

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

    unlike The Mary I never was pure
    eighth night breath of spiral love
    on coconut skin fluid warm ripping the insides
    planes intersecting queer
    to repent will not make sex the empty

    race fuego tengo breaking
    asylum ash goodbye
    history of water gulf legs poetry
    wasabi and seaweed lips
    into this bearded world and almost sirens
    this: how not unbroken strangeness

    with words from Ching-In, Hari, Monica, Todd, Carol, Rachelle, Serena, Mel

    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”

  12. Tamiko Says:

    mud made here to a here it is
    -Douglas Kearny

    There were too many everythings
    caught in a whirl. Here to here
    centered city to grow up steel:
    everything a lit in me. The architecture
    of an ocean turned red –
    we think it beautiful because
    this 21st century collects
    grains of forgetting – mine,
    yours, our senses find goodbye is the time
    to root in, to occupy that third place
    outside any room, any city,
    bend to what we long.

    [Word-source collaborators: Ching-In Chen, Monica Hand, Rachelle Cruz, Hari Malagayo Alluri, Mel, Serena Lin, Yael Villafranca]


    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.

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