un Projects is based on the unceded sovereign land and waters of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation; we pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
un Projects

citations for a dream


citations for a dream1

And so
the whole thing collapse at the dawn
of history2 when tiger look askance
on His earthisland possessions

riding shotgun the crocodile3

little bunso and kapatid kayak kuya
swing generous-genealogied into the mouth
of a dream where wound are aperture
and not deep pit to lose oneself down4

deep lore come present itself dressed
in the timbre of a nighttime5

and your ancestor spirits too6

one opens the dream like a sari sari store
and the packaged goods like oneirogens
shines the floors with buko so young
the bayog caricatures the sky in a parody

of origins

where what is originary embellished
in a watercolours of the new
and what is new a horizon


gulls exploded into kaleidoscope
and the turtle supine
encasing his folklore
in lineage of oceancurrent
his genitor tautologies


inheritor grief7

prolix as consequence the journey
welcomes us in our own shrugoff skins
little bunso and kapatid kayak kuya

sing the language vernacular

sing the body redoubled8

if once our guides walked the waters
anachrotime runs the body mammalian
through knowledge biomimetic

sing the body referential!

sing the body in droves
the dancing the violence
the arkipelagic dreaming
of a drumbeat footsong
bamboo clacked ankle
and chronicle tempi9
hide to fascia boneburied
ritual folded morphology

here, sinta

all folded here for you feasting

before citizen, to each our own waters10

before balikbayan
we are outriggers
with great sails like celebration anointing
the formation not of city but of mountain11


riverine peninsula and to each their own sun12

sky bow-bended over the edge of wondering
if you, your island feet, could walk
the long way of a compass direction

to the gaping maw of survivance13

to the palpitation blood-heavy
a vernacular

if one told you you were loved
you were loved

the stars our relations

our astrology of origins

the constellations we vagabond14
the skies we track home

Lou Garcia-Dolnik is a poet of Ilocano descent living and working on sovereign Gadigal land. Their writing has been awarded Second Prize in Overland's Judith Wright Poetry Prize, an Academy of American Poets University Prize from the University of Texas at Austin, and has been shortlisted in the Blake Poetry Prize, the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award and the LIMINAL and Pantera Press Nonfiction Prize.

1. Lapit mga kaibigan at makinig kayo
Ako’y may dala-dalang balita galing sa bayan ko Nais kong ipamahagi ang mga kuwento
At mga pangyayaring nagaganap sa lupang ipinangako

(Asin 1994)

2. Perhaps we can begin with time, which is unkind to flesh and steel, vomits out the tropical, but smoothens out the wrinkles of memory, reminds us that what used to be... an ocean aeons ago will eventually kiss the skin of the sun. (Pascual 2018)

3. A story is told that when the Spaniards (who colonized the Philippine islands beginning in the 16th century) began to understand the power and potency of the babaylan, they so feared the latter’s spiritual prowess that they not only killed many of them but in some instances, fed them to crocodiles to ensure their total annihilation. (Mendoza & Strobel 2013: 13)

4. It is terrible how grief is a glutton—it swallows everything in its path. History, revolution, bloodshed. I wanted to write in
a voice strange and distant and foreign—I wanted to get outside of myself. A different lens. And I wanted to write about this unfinished thing—this revolution. A story of war and loss so repressed and so untold. But all I did was dwell on trauma that only causes recurrence of pain.
(Apostol 2018: 292)

5. The dunes were lit
like ancient silk, like clandestine pearl.
In the constant lunar night this luminescence

was all we hoped for.
(Gamalinda 1999)

6. Nu anung nu anung anungan
Nu anung anung anung anungan
Nu anung anung anung anung
Nungani anungan
Nu anung anungan nunganu

Nu da nga kawo maglume nu anu
Turug anung anung anungan
(Nono 2008)
7. Press here to untangle the north wind, who kite tail flutters
from a canopy of bronchial trees. Flight can be fragile, bungled by words. Everything I wish I had never said: knots.
(Ong 2015: 17)

8. ... conversions, in which one exists like a vestigial body,
a desiring corpus, occupied by the words of others, is the most difficult of these types of translations: Magsalin simply refuses to accept them.
(Apostol 2018: 60)

9. (Yoneno-Reyes 2010: 43)

10. Casla ac coma quenca o danum a napigsa
Nagayusac agpababa inggana wayawaya

11. But I am here now
Now this road to the rice paddies
And my feet are bone-dry
Feeling something coursing underneath And into me, the buried river Breaking through like blood.

(Bobis 2013)

12. The sea, then, does not constitute a barrier but, rather, a connective tissue crossed by perpetual flows. The importance of the trope of the archipelago is exactly this; that it shifts attention away from compartmentalized island space and redirects our gaze towards the relational space of the sea. (Cuevas-Hewitt 2011: 29)

13. The colonial enterprise was indeed a ravenous maw. (Mendoza & Strobel 2013: 13-14)

14. Insurrecto is a misnomer. Revolution is a dream. (Apostol 2018: 316)


Apostol, G. (2018) Insurrecto. New York, Soho Press.

Asin. (1994). ‘Balita’, Special Collector’s Edition: Masdan Mo Ang Kapaligiran. Vicor Music Corporation.

Bobis, M. (2013) ‘Water-Earth’ in Peril. https://peril.com.au/ back-editions/water-earth/

Cuevas-Hewitt, L. (2011) ‘Sketches of an Archipelagic Poetics
of Postcolonial Belonging’ in Umali, B. (ed.) Pangayaw and Decolonizing Resistance.

Oakland, PM Press, pp. 24-32 Gamalinda, E. (1999) ‘Zero Gravity’ in Zero Gravity. New Gloucester, Alice James Books. Mendoza, S.L. & Strobel, L. M.

(eds.). (2013) Back from the crocodile’s belly: Philippine Babaylan studies and the struggle for indigenous memory. Santa Rosa, CA, Center for Babaylan Studies.

Nono, G. (2008) ‘Anungan’, Isang Buhay. Tao Music.

Ong, M. (2015) Silent Anatomies. Tucson, Kore Press.

Pascual, J. (2018) ‘Top 5 Places in Manila to Check Out While the City Swallows Us Whole’ in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. https://www.asiancha.com/content/view/3157/672/

Salidummay. ‘Danum’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9nEDoAF7sY

Yoneno-Reyes, M. (2010) ‘Salidummay’s Hybridity and Congregational Singing’, Humanities Diliman: A Philippine Journal of Humanities 7(1), pp. 24-57.