Monthly Archives: October 2012

Xstrata and Indophil Resources Go Home!

Sometimes it really is quite simple. Lives are more important than profit.
In the following news item it is literally the foot soldiers who are in trouble while the executives of these multinational monsters (or should that be monster executives of these multinational companies?) go globetrotting in search of more lands to plunder.
13 Soldiers Face Court Martial for Davao del Sur Massacre

Resurrecting Words

I am in the process of translating my poems from two early books – Beneath an Angry Star (Anvil, Manila 1992) and Salimbayan (with Argee Guevarra and Neal Imperial; Publikasyong Sipat, Manila 1994) – in the hopes that I can release a new edition as an ebook that will be bilingual, expanded, and slightly revised. I hope I won’t have to leave out some poems due to translation difficulties or space limitations. After this I plan to put together a selected poems manuscript initially intended for South African readers. I need friends to keep me focused on this. Any out there? (… there… there… there… — think of echoes in a dark cave)Image

One Day I’ll Hear about It

I just got reminded that one of my books, BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN, has been nominated for the National Book Award for Poetry in Filipino back home. Now I can’t remember if I posted this bit of news here before. But still, very happy to be reminded. I’m not expecting to win, although it would be nice. Very nice. hahahaha (can’t contain myself, obviously!).


I’m Being Petty, but it makes me happy! (TRANSITIONS Table of Contents)


I laugh at the drop of a hat. Or a hat staying on someone’s head when it should’ve been blown away by the wind. Or just a hat with or without a cat. Or the absence of a hat that used to make me laugh – well, a sad laugh then.
So this makes me ecstatic – seeing my name in the table of contents of Modern Poetry in Translation‘s latest issue, the last one to be edited by David and Helen Constantine, and the first one with incoming editor Sasha Dugdale.
I grabbed this image off the MPT website, so sorry for the low resolution. If you are able to buy a copy of the issue, please do. If you work for or are in touch with libraries – in the Philippines or wherever in the world – please request the staff to subscribe to MODERN POETRY IN TRANSLATION. It is an amazing publication. A bridge of words, ideas and worlds across time.
This is probably not my last post regarding Transitions. Wait til I get my copy from the post! 🙂

It’s Like the First Time Again

I’m stopping myself from rambling … just wanted to post this bit of news for now until my excitement settles down (less likely to say something stupid haha).

That amazing project started by Ted Hughes in the 60s is still going strong – Modern Poetry in Translation – and they are launching a new issue soon. I’m in it!!!!

‘Transitions’, is jointly edited by David and Helen Constantine and the poet and translator Sasha Dugdale, who will succeed them as Editor from 2013.


Thank you, David and Helen, for letting me in. Welcome to Sasha! Can’t wait to see the issue.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It has been a while since I wrote anything here. Too many things have happened, not all of them I can really share with anyone else. Self-censorship is a version of hell – worse because it is your own thoughts that you imprison before anyone else has heard/read/seen them. You stop yourself from expressing what needs to run out the door to find its own path, its own world that might or might not welcome it.

As far as I know there are no birds, even flightless ones, who pluck out their own feathers. Tragic characters in old narratives pluck out their eyes.

Not long ago I wrote a short poem whose title was longer than the body. Not a lot of journals or magazines accept short poetry (or Haiku, or whatever this particular beast might be called). And this rambling post was not meant to be an introduction for the piece. I just remembered it. The same way things that have no connection to what I am busy with suddenly enter my thoughts – like when I was mowing the lawn earlier I suddenly realized I hadn’t written birthday poems for our twins. They are now ten and I owe them at least a poem for each year that has passed. The next thought was “Maybe I can write the poems backwards.” Who knows that that means? The lawnmower blade got stuck with thick grass and I had to deal with it. The thought passed.


The poem has two versions, so I shall post them both here.


I Took a Walk and Came Home a Stranger in the Dark

cold night, hum of stars
my feet stick out the blanket
soon enough, sunrise


cold night, hum of stars
blanket’s too short for my feet
soon enough, sunrise