Tag Archives: The Onslaught Press

PROMOTIONAL SAMPLER selected poems from Wings of Smoke

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Please send me a request if you wish to read this sampler.

Wings of Smoke is available worldwide through The Onslaught Press website, on Amazon and, for South African readers, through me (leave a message here).

I also put up an audio recording of the set on Soundcloud.com.


The first review of WINGS OF SMOKE

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Huge things are happening in my country of birth. A retired policeman has corroborated the testimony of one of the hired killers of the dreaded Davao Death Squad, saying the former mayor, now elected Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, created and conducted the vigilante-style group. During Duterte’s term as mayor of Davao City thousands were claimed to have been murdered or made to disappear by the DDS. Will this revelation change the course of my country of birth? One hopes for the better, as worse scenarios have been floated by various critics such as self-initiated revolution in order to force a change to federalism or even dictatorship (as Duterte’s hero, former dictator Ferdinand Marcos did in the 70s).

But the title of this post said something else! Yes, it did. My apologies. Here goes.

It is one thing an author wishes for his/her paper child – to be read. So I always thank readers who can find time to delve deeper into my work and come up with their own ideas about it.

Thank you to Marius Carlos, Jr for this review with two versions. One appears on his Medium.com page. The other version appears on The FilAm.

-o-

Wings of Smoke may be ordered via my publisher’s website – www.onslaughtpress.com – and Amazon. It will be made available in South Africa in 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 to follow during the year.


“Open Air Cinema in the Rain” on Soundcloud.com

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original artwork from Synaesthesia Magazine

“Open Air Cinema in the Rain” was first published by Synaesthesia Magazine (pages 40-41).
It now finds a home in my new collection, WINGS OF SMOKE.

I posted a reading on Soundcloud.com

Should I say HAPPY VALENTINE? 🙂


A paper child is born

1 February 2017. Or nearly. As I start writing this it is 23:33 in Cape Town. It is already dawn where I was born. I wonder what it’s like in the UK where my new paper child, Wings of Smoke, has just been born.
A few years ago two books of mine came out at the same time, Alien to Any Skin and Baha-bahagdang Karupukan. I’m still very fond of those books. They broke the more than 10 years of publication silence I underwent. I was terrified what would happen to them, as if they were flesh and blood of mine. So I wrote a poem where I gave them names, Karu and Skin. That poem later appeared in another book, Sound Before Water.
I can’t remember if I’ve posted it here before, but it seems appropriate to share it as Wings of Smoke is born.
May you all find loving homes and eager readers, my paper children, sooner rather than later.

How to Sell a Child Door to Door
for Karu and Skin, my paper children

tell them this child has no parent
and can only bring joy
to its new home
bring light and promise
into the room
as it silently sits
in their hands

even as the world burns
outside the window

tell them everything
they want to hear
that might make them smile

anything just to get
this child’s little foot
in the door

do not bat an eyelid
should the child
gasp at fragments
of moth wings

by the kettle
no one invites sorrow
into their lives

-o-

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“The Breath of Sparrows” on Soundcloud

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Photo from Wikipedia

I have many fathers. One who gave me flesh and bone, a few who guided my first steps in the world of words, some who don’t even know I exist, and then many now no more than dust. I shall not name them here. There is no need.

In that vein I wrote “The Breath of Sparrows” years ago and posted its early version here on matangmanok. It now finds a final version in print form in my forthcoming book, Wings of Smoke (The Onslaught Press, UK, 2017).

I did a rough audio recording of it. Please click this LINK TO SOUNDCLOUD to listen to the final version of “The Breath of Sparrows.”

Tell me what you think, if you have the time or inclination.


Of Pregnancy and Paper Children

I have the utmost respect for mothers. It is no small effort to carry a life that is slowly growing inside you, turning your body into a vessel that seems less and less your own. Imagine bearing two or more!
My wife didn’t have the easiest time when she was carrying our twins. Likely only the mothers of twins or multiples will ever have a true idea of how it was for her. All I could do then was try to be around whenever she needed any assistance, especially in the last few months of the pregnancy. I’ll spare you the details of those days for now.
Here’s a poem I wrote way back, not to make light of the whole ordeal, I hope. The poem appeared in my book Alien to Any Skin (UST Publishing House, 2011) – a book I wish more readers would seek as it contains what I feel is a substantial body of work.

Pregnant Moon Reflection

I watched the moon lift herself,
a woman ripe
with twins.

Brimming with awesome fullness,
she heaved her burden of light
over the eastern mountains,
past sandstone peaks,
cubist dream of broken rocks,
deserted cities of the future.

Up she pushed herself
until the blue darkness
surrendered his realm.

The stars felt faint,
their grandeur diminished.

A hush fell upon the heavens
reminiscent
of my wife’s visit
to the clinic.

     January 2009
-o-

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I call my books paper children. The struggle to bring each one to life is not at all like carrying a real child.
A paper child is bound to be put out for adoption once born. Yet I feel something similar to a parent who is forced to surrender a child for whatever reason.
What I let go will have to wind its own way without looking back. It has to find its own home. Otherwise it will be forever lost, perhaps shredded beyond remembrance by cruel time.
Who will adopt this new one?
My UK publisher, The Onslaught Press, posted an initial announcement regarding the worldwide release of Wings of Smoke. CLICK THIS LINK to the page on their website where you can place your order come 1 February 2017.
Two other fantastic titles will be released – Hold Your Breath by Waqas Khwaja (Pakistan-United States) and long days of rain by Janak Sapkota (Nepal).
Friends in South Africa will have to wait just a little longer – 1 March 2017 – to be able to order the book through me. I’ll see if an arrangement can be made with accommodating local book dealers.

Here is the Goodreads.com link to WINGS OF SMOKE.

Aside from The Onslaught Press website, the book will also be made available through Amazon.


Veins Cut Open – an audio recording attempt (although the poem is about xenophobia in SA, it might as well be about Trump and his troops)

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I’ve got a new paper child about to be born – WINGS OF SMOKE. I’ll write about it in the next few days, I hope. “Veins Cut Open” is one of the poems, it was first published in the Sol Plaatje EU Award Anthology. I recorded an audio reading of it – instead of just posting the text – to give you an idea of what’s in the book. Well, I just felt like it. haha. Tell me what you think.

I don’t have a great voice, I admit. But it’s the only one I have. Although I do drive my kids nuts when I take on various voices, sometimes singing made up lyrics of some language plucked out of nowhere.

So HERE IS THE SOUNDCLOUD LINK.