TAKE MY HAND • Writing upwards

STRANGE YET BEAUTIFUL | While I was in the middle of an asemic writing session on Facebook Live, I felt a presence take over my hand to write in an upwards direction on the paper, I went with it. I believe it was my birthfather showing me how to write to my dead. A much needed gift—I suppose. I didn’t know my left hand was my birthfather all this time.

I chose Monk’s song “Last Song,” as the music clip for this video.

De-Canon Exhibit @ UNA Gallery, Portland

De-Canon Library Exhibit Opening Night @ UNA Gallery • Congratulations to @herandthesea@neil.aitken , Mercedes Orozco and Blair Crissman (@unagallerypdx ) for a successful exhibit opening for De-Canon.

I’m honored to have my works featured with Samiya Bashir, Dao Strom, Roland Dahwen Wu, Stacey Tran, and Jonathan Raissi — This exhibit takes the form of a pop-up library that includes 150+ books by POC authors, plus visual-literary artworks in the form of video poems, asemic art, and more.

A series of events accompanies this exhibit throughout August and includes poetry reading (8/5), workshops/presentations (8/12), a film screening (8/16), music+poetry performance (8/19), and closes with a Reading Group hosted by Physical Education on 8/26.

The library collection contains works by writers and artists working in and across the domains of poetry, prose, hybrid literary forms, image-text, visual art, performance, and more. Through this, we wish to push against notions of how literature — which conveys to us perception, language, and cultural (as well as self) definitions — may be transmitted, gathered, contained, released, hidden, revealed, coded, decoded, shared and preserved, in both temporal and fixed ways, especially for communities of color.
Performers/participants include:

Visual/Literary/Poetry Artwork: Samiya Bashir, Sam Roxas-Chua, Dao Strom, Roland Dahwen Wu, Stacey Tran, Jonathan Raissi

Poetry: Neil Aitken, Stephanie Adams-Santos, Christopher Rose, Jake Vermaas

Music+Poetry: Shayla Lawson, Trevino Brings Plenty, Dao Strom, Anna Vo, Tron 444

Other Presenters/Collaborators: Unlearning Podcast, Physical Education, Moved By Words, White Noise Project

Find full calendar for August and more details at:
De-Canon ( is a project facilitated by Portland-based poet Neil Aitken and poet-musician Dao Strom. This project is supported by a 2017 Precipice Fund Grant.