The University of the Philippines (UP, the national state university) Marine Science Institute (MSI) disapproved of the dumping of crushed dolomite sand, saying that it will not improve the water quality in the Manila Bay, and that continuous replenishment of the sand will be expensive.
In a rented palace by a river there is a dolphin that walks and talks. He squirts out words from cheeks shiny as oiled buttocks.
He is a transcriber of minds, tortured and troubled. Randomly he delivers interpretations to a population whose ears have gotten used to the grating voice and cryptic mutterings of his master for years. With every appearance he flips backwards, swirling the real and the fantastic in a flurry of over-sized fins.
He wears a smile forever plastered on his round face, even when he is struck with sadness, for he must never lose hope in his ability to convince the people that all is well in the kingdom.
But as the air carries maladies no kulambo could ward off, the dolphin flips backwards even more frantically. He wants the people to believe that the battered remains of a mountain now powdered and stretched on the brief shoreline is a seductive woman.
“Feel how she kisses your feet! Watch how she dances with the waves!” he squeals and squirms in his shallow plastic palanggana, made in China.
Those who can bear his performance are happy as crabs in a bubbling cauldron. They dream of white beaches where they can run anywhere they want, always sideways.
A new South African website for poetry went up a few months ago called AVBOB POETRY. I wasn’t quite sold to the idea, but in the end I submitted 26 poems (I think) and a handful got accepted. Not sure if that’s a good rate or not, but a foot in the door is better than being completely shut out, right?
The poems had to deal with themes of love, birth, death and hope.
I’m still finding it tricky navigating the site, but my poems are up and free to read.
You take memory. Put it in a box. Shake it a bit. Open the box. Whisper into it. Close it up and shake it some more. Open the box. Take it apart. Look for the memory that seems to have disappeared. Now start writing what you remember, what should be remembered, what will always be remembered, and then make a new box out of air.
It’s great to see two more poems appear on the fantastic site AERODROME. I wrote “Wood and String” after a video prompt from an international competition at Poetry International. It received honorable mention. Now it has its own page shared with another poem that has been around since… 2010. 🙂 I hope you enjoy both of them.
I have been invited by PEN SA to read on 16 November 2015 at Kalk Bay Books to commemorate the Day of the Imprisoned Writer. Here is a LINK to the PEN SA website regarding the event. I’m thinking of reading some poems from ALIEN TO ANY SKIN and perhaps a new work, if things fall into place.
If you are anywhere in Cape Town on that day, please do join us.
I need to tell you how everything went on the night of 4 November 2014 at the Goethe Institut in Johannesburg. But it’s going to take me some time. I also want to tell you a lot of other things that made the brief trip way better than I ever expected.
For now, I want to congratulate my new friends and fellow winners of the 2014 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award – Rochelle Jacobs and Thabo Jijana! You guys are amazing people and I hope to meet up with you soon again.
Jacana Media has generously made available the three poems up for the 2014 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award. HERE is the link. My poem, “Illegal, Undocumented,” is part of my manuscript SKY FOR SILENT WINGS (or OSAMA, YOU ARE NOW OPEN COUNTRY… or THE MAN WHO WISHED HE WAS LEGO… yup, I still haven’t made up my mind which title to use, and neither has my fictitious publisher decided to accept it or not… maybe I should dream of another publisher?).
My poem, “The Unspoken Child,” just went up on Aerodrome. It’s an odd piece that mixes memory and longing with elements from fantasy/horror movies – or one could just say a child’s imagination, just so potential readers don’t get creeped out. If you’re going to ask if any of this was real, as always my answer would be YES and NO.
I’m really glad that the poem has found a home so far from home, a place to haunt outside of my own head. Speaking of head, the original title was “The Head of a Child,” lifted from a line of a fantastic poem by Jimmy Pappas. Maybe one day I can get his permission to share that poem. For now, thank you, Jimmy.
My poem forms part of “Counting Backwards,” the opening section of a forthcoming book, A Thousand Eyes (UST Publishing House 2015 – hopefully).
There may be a bit of a gap between this and the next poem that sees publication as I have not sent out poems for a while.
Early versions of two poems were accepted and published on Poppy Road Reviewon 10 May 2014. Around the same time one of the manuscripts I put together was accepted for publication. Both poems will be in the new book hopefully to be released in 2015 by my faithful publisher, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. I said “early versions” because I have since revised the poems and the final versions will be in A THOUSAND EYES.