Tag Archives: politics

Aerodrome reviews WINGS OF SMOKE

trial-2-cover

Some people have little care for words. Some learn a few that stick to them like bubblegum to orange hair, they end up using the same words over and over on television or Twitter. Surprisingly, one such person apparently managed to convince millions, mesmerised by his words, to vote him into power.

I don’t pretend to know more words than the average writer, but I try to care for the words that I let go, the words I allow to land on a page. In a world that seems to be increasingly overtaken by the loud and forceful, rather than those who seek truth and a common humanity, one has to be thankful for being read at all.

I previously posted links to the first review of WINGS OF SMOKE. I am delighted and deeply humbled by another review that has just been published at Aerodrome. Endless thanks to South African poet Christine Coates for her very kind words toward my latest paper child.

-o-

ABOUT THE BOOK

Wings of Smoke (The Onslaught Press, UK, 2017) is Agustin’s latest poetry collection, launched in the UK and worldwide in February 2017. The book may be ordered via the publisher’s website – www.onslaughtpress.com – and Amazon. It will be made available in South Africa from March 2017 mainly through the author who will be reading and launching the book at various venues: at the Writing for Liberty Conference at the Centre for the Book on 28 March, at Off the Wall (A Touch of Madness Restaurant) in Observatory on 30 March and at Kalk Bay Books on 4 April. More readings are to follow during the year.

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My shortlisted poem for the 2015 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award

The three poems shorlisted for the 2015 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award are now up at BooksLIVE. My poem, though, does not appear as it should be. So I am posting it here as a PDF for interested readers. I first read the poem a few months ago in front of a small but warm audience in Observatory, Cape Town when I was invited at OFF THE WALL by Hugh Hodge.

Click the following link to read my poem as it should look:

Baleka, What do You Know of Tenders and Thieves, Or Cockroaches for that Matter?


Ukraine and the Holy Triumvirate

Ever since I read one of his books, William Blum has continued to astonish me. In his latest post he makes it possible to see clearly and simply what has been happening in Ukraine.

Read and wake up.

ANTI-EMPIRE REPORT #126


Pag-uwi ng Bangkay / To Bring Home a Corpse

This is a very, very old piece.  I translated it roughly into English for the first time, and feel that it sounds like a totally alien poem from the original.  The translation also needs some notes which I have provided.  I hope this one isn’t too obscure for readers here.  It isn’t my best work.  Thank you for your patience.

21-22aug92
pm951-1025–719am
pb

Ang Pag-uwi ng Bangkay
1 Setyembre 1992

Upang makapag-uwi ng bangkay
ng pinakamamahal,

Bahain muna ng kung anu-anong balita
ang mga pahayagan,
radyo, at TV — aswang,
eleksyon, 349, kidnap,
lalaking buntis, olympics —

Basta huwag lang ang mga nakababagot
na balita ng kahirapan o patuloy
na paghaba ng listahan
ng mga nasalvage, mga engkuwentro
o ng utang daw ng bayan.

Mga bagay na baka
magpauga sa kabaong
ng mga gunita.

Kaya upang makapag-uwi ng bangkay

Pagbihisin ng kunwa-kaguluhan/-kasiyahan
ang mga pahayagan,
radyo, at TV
nang lalong madaling malimot

Ang mga pinatay
at patuloy na pinapatay
ng pamana

Ng pinakamamahal
nating halimaw.

-o-

19pebrero2009
2207-2316

To Bring Home a Corpse
1 September 1992

In order to bring home
a beloved corpse,

Be sure to flood the papers,
radio, and TV with a variety
of news – vampire attacks,
elections, 349, kidnaps,
pregnant man, olympics –

Just be careful not to mention
such boring news of poverty
or the growing list
of those salvaged, of military encounters
or the alleged national debt.

Matters that might
rock the coffin
of memories.

So to ease the return of the dead

Pretty up the papers,
radio, and TV
with mock confusion/celebration
to make it easier for us to forget

All those who were killed
and those who continue to die
from the legacy

Of our dearly
beloved monster.

-o-

Philippine Daily Inquirer Headline February 1986

Notes

1 September 1992 was the expected date of the return of the remains of former dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to the Philippines, three years after he died in exile in a mansion in Hawaii.  His regime was put to an end by a bloodless revolution in February 1986.  Some of you may have heard of it.

In 1992 Pepsi, the US multinational beverage company, was giving out considerable cash prizes daily to consumers lucky enough to find a declared single winning number. The number 349 was announced nationwide as the number on one day, but it turns out the company had printed more than one crown.  A deluge of claimants came to Pepsi offices, but media personnel said there was a minor mistake and that the winning number was something else altogether.  A legal case was lodged by consumers and the controversy continues to this day, as far as I know.  A consumer rights movement was established from the original group that called itself The 349 Coalition.  Be warned that the website is in dire need of an editor and a good web designer.

salvaged – a term from the 1970s meaning summary execution.