from 8.23.11 what if we happen: collaborative generating #16 by ching-in chen


up this body
the curtains flush /pushed aside /a sigh
i the girl with longing for the maraschino queens
the balcony deluged with their Velveeta toes,
their Catholic biceps, their shin guards pressed
against four carpet corners of prayer,
whispers: “assalam-o-laikum”
their Nerf spiraled into longing, and deeper
so i could swim in it, dive
into their bearded world, signaled
by an aching gong — the electricity of tissue,
our fulfillment made from frolicking
our cradle made from sexy
i want to be the bearer of tidings,
of no barriers, pointless tents
a sequel comes, sweaty remembrance
of a child’s reconciliation
into an innocent river
into an aging sea

(prompt from Torso Fetish by Lisa Chen via Tamiko Beyer)
(mix and match with ching-in chen, rachelle cruz, toddw, hari malagayo alluri, dani)

prompt for tomorrow: 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.”


from Ching-In Chen’s 8.22.11 what our gaps: collaborative generating #15

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, melissa morrow, carol gomez, todd wellman)

more from collaborative manifesto remix (with ching-in chen)

Hi folks — Been posting almost every day onto Ching-In Chen’s collaborative manifesto, which you can link to here:

Wanted to share this next writing because I love the damn prompt so much! hahahaha.

Katagiri found a giant frog waiting for him in his apartment. […]“Call me ‘Frog,’” said the frog in a clear, strong voice.—Haruki Murakami (via Melissa Sipin)

city block treachery, she cranks up the walk, pocketing a fiver, feeling good, feeling high. resisting the urge for pancakes at midnight, artificial strawberries on her mind, she whistles a tra
la la la
song of spite, kissing elbows knees wrists, she remembers, honest women love harder. swinging twice around the seabird shitted lamp post, she’s got a mouthful of song to share. where have you gone, my love?
the night accompaniment has taken the day off
when her sore neck hits the pillow, she considers the music from the frog inside the toilet bowl.


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

comment to Ching-In’s Collaborative Regenerating #6 What are our non-neutral languages?

“An act of imagination is an act of self-acceptance.” –Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town (via Melissa Morrow)

Young buck, torn apart
by the cypress tree, languishing pieces
Dead Language, she stood and fought
a poem patchwork, stills, tiniest of cuts
Turtle face, he screamed
“the best phantasm I ever had!”
Mirror Mirror, neutral sits
between cracks, pauses, returns
Lucky rabbit, expanding sadness
grieving gnomes watering grass
Interruption letter, enter straightaway
clothes that reupholster chairs
Director moon, wintry conduct
orchestra sound oboe bayonet
Born-again cow, stuttering seashells
unfurling flags unraveled ocean strings
Unicorn dreams, gently place
your whorled ear into the basket
Serena Serena, head hanging
out the window, board up words
ignore all irrelevant doors

(Incorporating Melissa Morrow, Richard Hugo via Melissa Morrow, Rachelle Cruz, Paul Ocampo, Ching-In Chen, eucalyptusraven, Carol, Melissa, Tamiko)

prompt: “She knocks on the door and says, ‘Open up.’” ZZ Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

my collaborative comment to Ching-In Chen’s Collaborative Remix #2

What is your map of mythology? Can you tell it in 25 words? – Rachelle Cruz

mulatto — my lola told me the crows have driven allah out. exile? i mumble, soft breaths, wide eyes, 1001 fables bouncing around my skull. Dragging a bucket of chalk along the sidewalk until Pakistan, i drank an ocean. Spite the dreamcatcher, build a wall of cicadas, oxygen, and rage.

Do not believe a word your lola says
Do not believe her mulatto silence
Not singular, Not unique, A recurrent unit
Do not believe the hybrid orchestra

mulatto — my lola told me not to trust the poet. exile? i run away rips, smear, scar. Vibrating my bone broken in the backyard, collecting a spray of orchids in the shape of a cloud, i swallowed the cries of the river. its sad sounds. Spite the dreamcatcher, build a wall of cicadas, oxygen, and rage.

(Collaborators Nikki, Bushra, Rachelle, Addie, Melissa, Matthew)

goodbye complaint

fare thee well, complaint — i will see you on the other shore

broken, bowed back, brittle lips

have you got the crowd of us sooooo cowed that we never look


oh, complaint, what do you know of me?  struggling so mightily

one paragraph

one sweet story

one sensical dream

i hiked a dusty, long hill all the way to the top

i never stopped complaining, once

just ask the auntie who trailed behind me

she asked,

“do you ever stop complaining?”

to which i answered, no

not even tonight.


Prayer for Tomorrow (but today)

Sweet are my whispers.  Slow hum.  Lyrical dance.

Bowed foreheads to the ground.

I pray tomorrow that I will write a story.

That can change my life.

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