how not to be an egotistical asshole: collaborative generating #4

Collaborative Manifesto Project: here.

What is your fire that cannot be put out by mere water? What of your water that cannot be warmed by flame? – Tamiko Beyer

Your father said to your husband: when she becomes angry, become the water to her
flame. Anger is a flame that needs to be doused. An ocean out of wedlock is still an

Your husband’s family said to you: wrong is wrong. What it takes to rise is much, flames
no water can douse. We won’t pretend anything.

This is how two beings divide by flesh.

You remember your lola’s words: I never loved my husband because I never learned to
love the stranger.
Your husband became the absence of a straight black line.
His voice carried the past, the memory stories passed down by syllables in time.
He said to you: a secret marriage is still a marriage. You said to him: lies
sing a deafening mythology, become a wall of cicadas, a flame no water can douse.

Silence is the space between the words. You give them space. The words had been
robbed from your tongue with holy water. They won’t pretend anything.

You live in the stories you tell yourself. When you don’t tell the truth, a woman cries.
Breathe so you can speak. Think of the sky. Drink an ocean. Become a nature poet.
Silence that smells like rage is still silence. Speak, or hear the woman cry.

Inspired by:

Caroljg, Chin-In, Paul, Serena, Tamiko, Rachelle, Monica Hand, Bhanu Kapil, Bushra, and all of you here during this immensely inspiring creative collaboration.


In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

“Keeping Things Whole” by Mark Strand


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