jason bayani

Jason Bayani, Pt. 2, #writetoday

(Inspired by Warsan Shire’s poem, Backwards)

What are some of the most significant moments in your life. Good, bad, and all things in between. What are the moments you feel define you? What stands out? What images, symbols, and landmarks do you associate with yourself? Now make a list of what you would change and what you would keep the same, then rewrite the story of your life. 

Jason Bayani, Pt. 1

For each day of National Poetry Month one of our fellows will explore the breadth of poetry in three ways: through a question from another fellow, through a poem and through a writing prompt, #writetoday.



Roberto Ascalon asks, "What’ve you got in your hands?"

Jason Bayani responds, Well that is the question is it not? What truly is in our hands? Or we think about the question and somehow when you ask this, what is in our hands suggests the future, what will be, that’s what our hands can hold. Or what is in our hands is something that is in process, it is current. We speak current or future, but what is in our hands can be what has always been in our hands or what has been, so where are my hands engaging time? I think that’s the question. What is in my hands? An infinite set of possibilities, all of space/time. I have, not only a universe, but all of the universes. 

Actually, it’s just my phone. I’m using it currently to send you beefcake photos of myself, Robert. Some of me doing some crossfit training, kettle bell curls, stuff like that.



As I can recall, every bit of telling 

memory is a certain fiction. The truth 

as best as I can build it. The Philippines is hot; this is true. 

Everyone looks at me and sees my father; this is also true. 

When I leave the farm of the woman who helped raise him (when 

the money was not enough), she: my grandfather’s sister 

chases after me as I trod down the muddy pathway back 

to our car. She cries and asks me not to leave her again. I feel

that this too is telling memory. The mist pulls into wide;

when the body reminds itself; learning her hands

outstretched to God; sun stumbling across 

the palm canopy. Her hands, they say

the story. All of her tears

folding into the rain.


Jason Bayani is the author of Amulet, published by Write Bloody Press. He’s a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program and lives in the Bay Area. You can find him at www.jasonbayani.com