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A Namenga is a linked poem of 15 one-liners. One link of the poem has to include the name of either a person or a place. It can either be written solo or with up to three partners. The Namenga was created by ai li on the 22 February 1997.


Copyright ai li 1997



MOTHER'S DAY by ai li
SUNDAY AT FOUR with ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
PONT NEUF with ai li and Fay Aoyagi
NEW CONGO with Fay Aoyagi and Sue Stanford




A solo Namenga by ai li
22 February 1997



the sunday roast called billy

crying child           someone hid his dummy

immigrant tailor has night for companion

chess player stopping for cappuccino

organ grinder           hearing him through mist

green stick           the dog colour blind

faded curtains by the south facing window

lilacs           someone comes to steal them

gunshot - nike on the gravel path

visitors           grandma puts her teeth in

sweet compote from a broken jar

sweeping to forget

a name in stone           familiar

ferry boat leaving, a full moon

love song for maria




Copyright ai li 1997




A solo Namenga by ai li
9 March 1997



the cat without her kittens           on Mother's Day

window panes of rain

daffodils that won't last a day

the guilt in a brief phone call

pork chop for one

she sits        by a warmed oven

on the sideboard           overripe banana

the card by the mantelpiece           years old

an old woman sings           leak for tune

early dark           a banging shutter

remembering April in Paris

a love so deep           time didn't matter

war and separation        empty courtyard

peeling wallpaper in the children's nursery

by the bed        a cracked glass        rusty hairpin





Copyright ai li 1997



A Namenga between ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
London and Los Gatos, California
29 April - 5 May 1997


sunday at four              canasta, anyone?

Dick Cavett shows up dressed as an elf

the child hears its' giggle              invisible friend

the sphinx on top of the car           blinks

premiere of the new kitsch store

a shrunken head in the bathroom

witch doctor buying a pressure cooker

seeing the goiter before her face

pearl necklace turning black

oy oy oy           the oysters were toxic

a clambake with sweet potato pie

what I dreamed strewn on the beach

the priest blowing conch

sea urchin smelling of sex

virgin telling lies




[Published SUNDAY AT FOUR, Spring 1997,Louisiana, USA]

Copyright ai li and Alexis K. Rotella 1997




A Namenga between ai li and Fay Aoyagi
London and San Francisco
7 - 15 May 1997



he waits on Pont Neuf              for her

a picture bride scans solemn faces at the wharf

after the wedding              he leaves for war

July 4th, 1967           postmarked           Saigon

silent on an airfield              pine boxes

white sand beach              bones left behind

a crow sits on a torn snapshot

he only talks to ghosts and himself

night comes early to an empty room

across the street              a flickering tree

the man on the bench has one leg

debate over a brain death              heartbeats

sleepless              a wrong decision

button           only for the Commander           A-bomb

the onset of Parkinson's Disease




Copyright ai li and Fay Aoyagi 1997




A Namenga between Fay Aoyagi and Sue Stanford
San Francisco and Sydney
20 May - 8 June 1997



fear of AIDS           a prostitute in new Congo

          some are longer terms              chameleon

her mystery novel           the last chapter

          the undertaker        is measured by his tailor

abandoned airfield        tall pampas grass

          wet with dew        the blazing meteorite

showing her power again        Mt. Everest

          breaks through the clouds        unbroken sleep

dragon yawns           tiger watches

          around the clock        they machine shoes

out        to        a detention center

          in weak sunlight        snowdropsnow        drops

church renovation on hold        baby swallows

          a tower of ivory        tusk slips against tusk

sold out        the circus troupe without animals




Copyright Fay Aoyagi and Sue Stanford 1997


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