Monthly Archives: August 2017

Peter Horn didn’t think his poem would one day appear as a precursor to Duterturds

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Acclaimed Novelist Edgar Calabia Samar Includes SANGA SA BASANG LUPA on his “Best Filipino Books”

It came as a surprise this morning when I was notified that highly respected writer Edgar Calabia Samar included my short story collection SANGA SA BASANG LUPA among the best books in Filipino released in the past three years.

Maraming salamat, Egay. Sana maniwala sa iyong payo ang laksa-laksa mong mambabasa.

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Oh, my book gets first mention, too! And who can resist that eye-catching cover designed by… hahahaha… that fabric came all the way from Indonesia (if I remember right), on one of our last trips before the kids were born. The branch that looks like a snake came from one of our walks on Tygerberg Nature Reserve – and no, I didn’t break it off a poor plant, I found it on the side of one of the trails. The back cover image I took from NASA. You’ll have to buy the book just for the lovely cover. Hahahaha… no, really, I think it’s worthy of reading and owning. It might be my first and last short story collection in Filipino. It’s too much effort for me to write fiction. I need the space and time. Ah, we shouldn’t always be fighting for space and time.


My poem based on Three Colours: Blue 

Take a look at @Fixional_Inc’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/Fixional_Inc/status/898182053921005569?s=09


An interview with Fixional: forget me, read my work instead

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I don’t like talking about myself. I prefer sharing thoughts about other things – literary, or otherwise. You can chat to me about movies, music, the ant climbing up the side of a wall, or just about anything else.

Don’t ask me how to read my writing. Unless we’re in a workshop environment, don’t ask me to explain what I’m trying to say in my writing at all.

But every now and again I get asked to respond to particular questions for an interview that will be made public. I only agree to interviews if I think they would help me find more readers. Please don’t see it as a marketing ploy. I would hate that.

Read the interview, consider giving my work a chance to be discovered by new readers. Tell your friends about the interview. Tell them that you read my blog regularly – or have just discovered it today. I want people to adopt my paper children. They need warm homes.

So… here’s the link to Fixional where my latest interview appears.

Fixional recently published my trilogy of poems that were based on the cinematic masterpiece trilogy by Krzysztof Kieslowski, Three Colors: Blue, White, Red.

Forget me. Read my work. Please. Maraming salamat.

PS – I haven’t read he final version of the interview, was too excited to. If you find typos or errors, please tell me. Fixional used to be NoiseMedium, which awarded my poem “To be an Orc” the Grand Prize last year.


Brief Bio for an Anthology

I stare at it like the beginning of a flatline,
that dash next to my year of birth.
Two lines down, a paragraph with nothing
but blurry snapshots of a life
unwillingly summarised for imagined readers,
strangers, for posterity.

Then that uncontrollable laughter kicks in.
It is shrill, like the wailing of an ambulance,
and drowns out all dramatic gestures
I have conjured for myself
on that page. Delusions of grandeur
stripped naked on a stretcher.

Sometimes oneself can be the cruelest critic,
the first to hold the blade
against such tender skin.

June 2008
-o-

(from Alien to Any Skin, UST Publishing House, Manila 2011)

This poem came to mind when a good friend, SA poet Raphael d’Abdon shared his bionote poem with his friends on Facebook. I hope I haven’t posted this before here. The book where this poem first appeared, Alien to Any Skin, was published around August six years ago (if memory serves me right).

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Wings of Smoke gets reviewed on Eclectica Magazine

ECLETICA MAGAZINE wings of smoke

I’m always thankful for every reader who spends some time with my work – whether it’s a haiku attempt, an essay,  a story, a poem. Then there’s that completely different kind of high when someone not only reads a whole book, but writes a review to share what s/he feels about it.

Wings of Smoke received very warm reviews from Aerodrome and The FilAm. And now this one from Ecletica Magazine! Lovers of poetry will find Jennifer Finstrom’s review engaging and, I hope, make readers consider getting a copy of the book.