TAYO Issue Six

ANNUAL ISSUE | 2016–2017


Artwork:  "The Beauty of Indecisions" by  Ernest Williamson III

Artwork: "The Beauty of Indecisions" by Ernest Williamson III


Hello readers, friends, and community—old and new,


We wish to begin with song that is rooted in our bodies, and so we turn to Lucille Clifton’s ”won’t you celebrate with me,” a poem appropriate for our times: “won’t you celebrate with me / what i have shaped into / a kind of life? I had no model. / [...] come celebrate / with me that everyday / something has tried to kill me / and has failed.”

Welcome to TAYO Issue 6. We welcome you the way we would welcome beloved friends and family; we welcome you the way we have been welcomed into our communities. We welcome you with an acknowledgement of a shared exhaustion, a communal despair and hopelessness, a rage that burns steady in our chests. We welcome you into this community that was created and is maintained as a space where you can feel safe, seen, heard, loved, celebrated.

We cannot write this letter without acknowledging the ways in which America and the world have shifted—the 2016 U.S. election, Brexit, and other global political events—but they are not without resistance and calls for change. We three editors live in the United States and are based in the Bay Area—already we can see the ripples of hate, ignorance, fear, and supremacy lash out with even more power, audacity, and impunity at marginalized communities.

We want to acknowledge and hold space for your fears—for our fears. For the ways in which many of us feel unsafe and worried for ourselves, those we love, for those we don’t know but still love. But most of all, we want to acknowledge and hold space for you—your work, your voices, your stories, your art. As artists and writers ourselves, we understand that the future, resistance, and solidarity that will allow us to survive and thrive can already be found in our art and in our lives.

Our bodies and our hearts hold the resistance and radical love of our ancestors before us. Let us draw strength from them in their ancient, their persistent, their protest, their limitless. And let us not forget that one of the foundations of this radical love is our ability to listen deeply and actively. To bear witness to our community’s pain and to mourn together—but also to celebrate together. Haven’t we celebrated like this before, hundreds of years ago? Won’t we continue to celebrate again and again—our beauty, our joy, the flash of our crooked teeth, the shades of our skin, our connection to the earth, our resilience, our grief, our voices, cracked but rising louder still?

We look to you, our contributors and our community, and that is where we find our hope and our joy. In James C. Bautista’s “Collision Tour,” we see the exhilaration in rebuilding together from chaos; in Sophia Terazawa’s poetry, there is ownership, power, and complication in the language of talking back. Within these pages, you will find art of resistance. We stand in solidarity with others who are resisting erasure and violence at the hands of oppressors: the water protectors who stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Black Lives Matter movement, undocumented immigrants, the Muslim community, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples, POC, sexual assault survivors.

Lastly, we wish to thank you, our readers—we thank you for being a part of our growing community of resistance.

In solidarity,

Melissa R. Sipin


Bel Poblador

Managing Editor

Janice Sapigao

Associate Editor

I remember the nights I spent curled, alone, and warm, the morning I woke in the dark to a lightning storm and I thought the world was ending. I can’t remember what I felt then, truly, alone, watching the sky split again and again open, from the window of my bedroom, and then the window of my kitchen, where I stood, barefoot, and cool: exhilarated, terried: this is the end of the world, this odd, underwater light, this purple sky.
— Shruti Swamy, 'NOTES ON CREATION'


Jennilee Austria
James C. Bautista
Dominic Dayta
China Pearl Patria De Vera
Janna Doyac
Kitsune Hirano
Jessica Lanay
Jason Magabo Perez
Ploi Pirapokin
Aileen Santos
Doug Thiele


Hari Alluri
Cynthia Buiza
Kharla Brillo
Salud Mora Carriedo
Joey Chin
Zaldy Dandan
Kim Davalos
Katelyn Durst
Randy Gonzales


Trinidad Escobar
April Joseph


Maria T. Allocco
Elena Botts
Jen Soriano
Shruti Swamy

Poetry, con't

Paul Jeter
Jessica Lanay
Angela Peñaredondo
Jason Magabo Perez
Elmer Omar Pizo
Vaughan Rapatahana
Alex Ratanapratum
Tony Robles
Christopher Rose
Sophia Terazawa
Nate Umagat
Maria T. Vallarta
Phuong T. Vuong
Verna Zafra


Online Excerpts

Selected by Managing Editor Bel Poblador

Visual Artists

Rick Febre

Ricardo Febre is a Northern California graphic designer and educator.


Sai Li

Sai Li: San Francisco based painter, animator, illustrator and comic artist. Born and raised in China. Graduated from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) with a BA in animation, 2012. Currently enrolled in San Francisco Art Institute MFA program (2014-2016).

Noele Lusano

Noele Lusano’s photography is often an attempt to merge with nature and reveal its otherwise hidden facets. In her photo selection for TAYO Issue 6, human figures are placed against the backdrop of wild romantic landscapes and allude to a sense of placelessness, unrest, or rumination—all feelings Lusano aims to resolve through her work.

Mohammad Ali Mirzaei

Mohammad Ali Mirzaei was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1982. He earned his BA in the field of News Photography at the University of Culture & Art Isfahan. Mirzaei's works have appeared in various festivals in Iran, such as the 4th Festival: Women and Urban Life. He has also won numerous awards and honors, such as First Place in the National Festival of Iranian People and Winner of Best Collection in Festival of Film & Photo Young Cinema, and his photos were chosen for the Fereshteh Prize (Tehran 2015).


Dr. Ernest Williamson III has published creative work in over 600 journals. Professor Williamson has published poetry in journals such as The Oklahoma Review The Roanoke Review, and The Copperfield Review. Some of his artwork has appeared in journals such as The Columbia Review, The GW Review, and New England Review. Many of his works have been published in journals representing over 80 colleges and universities around the world. Dr. Williamson is an Assistant Professor of English at Allen University. He holds degrees from The University of Memphis, Seton Hall University, and a certificate from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.


Jennilee Austria

Jessica Lanay

Ploi Pirapokin



Alex Ratanapratum

Christopher Rose

Phuong T. Vuong

Tony Robles



Shruti Swamy

Jen Soriano



Trinidad Escobar


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