Day 287 – Nike asked Manila, “How much?”

Monday, June 14, 2010
Day 287
3:08 pm

Nike asked Manila, “How much?”

(this piece is inspired by the work of Manila Ryce –
please seek out the stunning art piece that features a slice of a Nike t-shirt
suspended in a metal frame, with a painting of Manny Pacquiao at a sewing
machine, that was applied with pig’s blood by the artist)

A collector in the truest sense, this Nike guy was a real hoarder

Wanted everything put out there to come back eventually
Heard people making money out of swoosh-splattered art pieces
Sought out the man behind the latest one that had everyone in awe

Found it hanging on some random gallery wall

Nike asked Manila, “How much, Manila, how much?” as he salivated
at the artwork, t-shirt stained with pig’s blood and the face of Pacquiao
Nike had to have it, couldn’t stand to have anyone else have a glance

Manila didn’t even look up, “I think we’ve heard that from you before…
You can’t afford it.”

Nike laughed and laughed and snorted and even spewed some spit
at hearing something he had never heard uttered to him before,
“Are you talking to me, Manila? I can’t afford YOU?!”

Manila didn’t even look up. Too busy painting his next masterpiece,
kept focus on his sense of duty to his art

Nike, gasping,
bit his cheek,
started a fury tantrum,
squealed, huffed and puffed
until he let out a scream

Manila didn’t even look up.

He turned his chin a half-shake and said,


Nike gasped again. And began to laugh.

But Manila

“$1 for every nose filled with lint
$1 for every set of sagging lungs and broken fingers
$1 for every family shouldering the weight of their kin’s weakened soul
$1 for every village suffering the wealth of such poverty as hosts to this industry
$1 for every penny of back pay
$1 for every second of motivation-vomiting T.V. commercial
$1 for every time you laugh while considering wages and profit margins
$1 for every hour of each day of every life spent toward reaping the rewards of a torn spirit

The number is not in the mere trillions.
It is infinite to include
Unborn generations.

You buy this,
I put you out of business.

My blood is not for sale.”

The words of Manila’s soul shook the ground underneath them
The earth opened up beneath Nike and began to suck him in
The metal frame of Manila’s art rattled against the wall
The pig’s blood stirred and lifted itself from the shirt, growing
into a tornado of blood that swirled all around the gallery
before heading straight toward

A trillion voices sang in unison

As Nike melted into the earth’s floor,
all that was heard beyond his screaming
was the gurgling sound of him gasping for air
while choking on the pigs blood,
forcing him into

Manila didn’t even look up.



About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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