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April 2023 Zoom reading hosted by Off the Wall Poetry

I had a chance to share my poems online via two poetry platforms recently, one in April and the other just this month.

I’ll make shorter clips of these recorded readings one day.

HERE IS THE LINK TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL with the Zoom event hosted by Off the Wall Poetry.

Zoom event

Selfie before dawn. Outside, the only lights are from the neighbours’ who have emergency backup power during loadshedding. We were out of electricity for most of yesterday due to unannounced maintenance in the area. Then the scheduled power cuts again from 2 to 5 am. Tomorrow is my ZOOM event and it’s smack into another scheduled power cut, but I’m preparing some videos just in case all my backup stuff fails at the last moment. Please join me in the dark 7:30pm South African time. Buy my books from me, from my various publishers. If you don’t, who will? Hahaha. Driving in fog soon. Good morning, Cape Town!

Video on Instagram “The Man Who Wished He were Lego”

Slightly recycled video that originally appeared on the YouTube channel of Dr Ahmed Elbeshlawy. “The Man Who Wished He were Lego” remains a favourite. You can get copies of the book, HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS from me if you are in South Africa (send me a message! or email I also have copies of my other books – BLOODRED DRAGONFLIES and limited copies of WAKING UP TO THE PATTERN LEFT BY A SNAIL OVERNIGHT. If you are in the Philippines, please contact San Anselmo Publications via Facebook.

A day after my birthday, Gaudy Boy due to release my new paper child

2022 Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize Winner

Official release a day after my birthday!
Poetry lovers, friends and family in the US and Singapore can now order copies!
We’re still working on editions in other territories. If you know publishers we can approach, please send me a message!
The book contains poems that mention or refer to Martial Law in the Philippines, the Duterte fake drug war, Jacob Zuma, Maria Ressa, Mad Max, Björk, and Taylor Swift, among others.

#AWP23 Book Signing by Jim Pascual Agustin

I’ve had two off-site events here and it’s been a spectacular experience. The book fair is awesome!

If you’re in Seattle, please drop by at the Gaudy Boy table and check out the truly brave and beautiful titles they’ve been putting out since 2018.

My book is the new baby – Waking Up to the Pattern Left by a Snail Overnight!

I’ll be around for the book signing from 2pm! See you!

#AWP23 Calling writers from South Africa and the Philippines

I have to admit, I didn’t think I would ever be here at AWP. So with this being my first time, and hopefully not the last, I’d like to link up with other South African and Filipino writers.

I posted about this on my Instagram account


Thank you to the amazing people who have supported my writing in various ways. The crowd funding campaign made it possible for me to get to Seattle.

Here: Lies, Love for Money, Murder

I’m currently in Seattle, USA to attend the AWP Conference and Book Fair where my new book, Waking Up to the Pattern Left by a Snail Overnight, will be launched and presented alongside other writers with Asian heritage. NOTE: I now have both Asian and African roots, if you ask me.

The book will be officially released in April, but pre-orders are now open. Here are my publisher’s website and some distributors you can check:






Early copies will be available during the AWP Conference and at the following events. Here are the relevant posters:

Since I was going to be in Seattle before an audience, my good friend from my university days in the Philippines, poet and musician Zosimo Quibilan (who is now based in the US) asked if I could say something about the concept album by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, “Here Lies Love” – about the so-called rags to riches story of Imelda Marcos. “Here Lies Love” is now also a stage musical with audience participation that was apparently performed in Seattle, among other places, and will soon hit Broadway.

I admire the early work and solo output by David Byrne. I hate censorship, so I have no right to tell any other artist, including Byrne, what they must or must not produce. But putting out anything in the world naturally opens it to feedback and criticism.

I think his concept album is a complete misfire and should be challenged. Not because he is white. Not because he played no part in the dark Filipino history he claims to focus on. But because of how the Imelda Marcos he chose to depict was never shown as complicit and even active in the abuse and murder of countless Filipinos.

Imelda Marcos has been convicted by the Philippine courts for fraud and corruption, and should be in jail (check #ImeldaIselda). Her family, including the current president of the country – perhaps president only by some magical mathematical calculation attributable to fautly vote counting machines and invisible hands – owe a few hundred billions in taxes and refuse to admit or pay for them. Not to mention their refusal to apologize for their past deeds and to return what their clan stole under martial law.

Imelda, to cite one instance, was never held responsible for what happened to the now-abandoned and haunted Manila Film Center. During construction, part of the structure collapsed. The bodies of the workers were not dug out but simply buried with quick drying cement. Those whose bodies protruded, including survivors, had to be cut to pieces so that she could open her international film festival on time. With this concept album, and now stage production, one can only expect Imelda Marcos to be hoisted up as some nearly-mythical and desirable figure who will gain more sympathy than she deserves. The whole affair, despite the few hints of failed irony in the lyrics, tramples on the bones of the victims.

The album cover should not have been that image of Imelda as some damsel with an umbrella, but this one:

Perhaps a better concept album title and appropriate work has to be put out there to challenge Byrne’s. Before I even heard of his album I had actually started putting together a chapbook of poetry (aiming for a full collection) tentatively called “Blind as Love.” Maybe I should re-think that and replace the title with – HERE: LIES, LOVE FOR MONEY, MURDER – THE REAL “IMELDA THE CENTIPEDE STORY”

From a photograph to a book

Posted on Instagram the shortened version of how my forthcoming book WAKING UP TO THE PATTERN LEFT BY A SNAIL OVERNIGHT came to being.

Here is the link.

Continue reading

Nina Simone as sketched by my daughter named after her

Nina Simone would have been 90 this year.


Love & Other Afflictions: a snap poetry reading event this Saturday 11th of February 2pm South African time and 8pm Philippine time. Please check your time zone.

I’ll be sharing poetry from previous books and probably some new work.

This event is to thank everyone who has supported my writing in various ways through the years and particularly during the ongoing crowd funding campaign for me to get to Seattle and New York this March.

My forthcoming book, WAKING UP TO THE PATTERN LEFT BY A SNAIL OVERNIGHT (Gaudy Boy, 2023) will be launched during the AWP Conference and Bookfair.