Merienda Renga

Posted: February 7, 2008 in All and Sundry, poetry, Poetry & Verse

It’s ironic that on Chinese New Year, we wrote a renga.

It was a lazy afternoon, so I decided to spend an hour with some of my Creative Writing students in a kubo near school. We drank coke, I smoked, and traded childhood stories about playing damang, siatong and tigso. Even stories about sitting on the branches of trees to play house or look for nests. What lazy afternoon it was, complete with a renga-writing session, which I out of boredom initiated and in which my students were happy to join, perhaps to indulge my quirks.

Here is the short renga we wrote inspired by the bottles of Coke on the table in front of us . It’s unedited, spontaneous, raw and most of all FUN.

Merienda Renga

six empty bottles of Coke

drank lukewarm at its best

the last glass, bubbles on the rim

straws point heavenward

only half a bottle remains to go down

thirsty throats

epiphanies, half-full

Coolness. I’ve never felt so cheery about writing a renga since the last time in college when I was part of a longer renga Cesar Ruiz Aquino and some writers from Silliman orchestrated during a party. We even ended up publishing the work in Sands and Coral. :-p I guess we need more sessions like that. I’m beginning to think I should be more open to new ways of approaching how to teach writing in this day and age. Sometimes, it can actually help you and your student if there are moments and spaces that you are both allowed to be friends and have fun. Ah! The hierarchy makes us all insane.

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