Tag Archives: UST Publishing House

A free gift… Sixfold Summer Issue

A few new poems got included in the latest issue of Sixfold. Here’s a page off the issue.

 

SUMMER 2014 ISSUE the man who wished to be legoIf you like this one (which is now included in a manuscript in search of a publisher) maybe you’ll like the others in the issue. HERE is the SIXFOLD link. And if you end up liking my other poems, then maybe you can show them to other readers and then… maybe find enough time to vote for my books that are nominated at the Filipino Readers Choice Awards. HERE is the link. 🙂

I know it’s a long shot, as it is basically a popularity contest (haha! an excuse for those who are left unread or with a less supportive group of friends perhaps?). But hey, worth a try. I’m currently recording some of the poems in the books and thinking of putting them up on Soundcloud… and always that question, why? Which should always be answered with WHY NOT?

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Day of Rage and a previously posted poem, “Rent a Horror Movie”

After seeing Jon Snow’s “Unseen Gaza,” many years ago, I wrote a poem called “Rent a Horror Movie.” It is full of rage, but one that is like a fist in the dark. HERE IS THE LINK TO THE POEM.

-o-

The following is taken from the BDS Movement.

Gaza Calling: All out on Saturday 9 August Day of Rage

Join the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement today. Demand Sanctions on Israel Now.

As we face the full might of Israel’s military arsenal, funded and supplied by the United States and European Union, we call on civil society and people of conscience throughout the world to pressure governments to sanction Israel and implement a comprehensive arms embargo immediately.

Take to the streets on Saturday 9 August with a united demand for sanctions on Israel.

From Gaza under invasion, bombardment, and continuing siege, the horror is beyond words.  Medical supplies are exhausted. The death toll has reached 1813 killed (398 children, 207 women, 74 elderly) and 9370 injured (2744 children, 1750 women, 343 elderly). Our hospitals, ambulances, and medical staff are all under attack while on duty. Doctors and paramedics are being killed while evacuating the dead. Our dead are not numbers and statistics to be recounted; they are loved ones, family and friends.

While we have to survive this onslaught, you certainly have the power to help end it the same way you helped overcome Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. Israel is only able to carry out this attack with the unwavering support of governments – this support must end.

This is our third massacre in six years. When not being slaughtered, we remain under siege, an illegal collective punishment of the entire population. Fishermen are shot and killed if they stray beyond a 3 km limit imposed unilaterally by Israel. Farmers are shot harvesting their crops within a border area imposed unilaterally by Israel.  Gaza has become the largest open-air prison, a concentration camp since 2006. This time, we want an end to this unprecedented crime against humanity committed with the complicity and support of your own governments!

We are not asking for charity. We are demanding solidarity, because we know that until Israel is isolated and sanctioned, these horrors will be repeated.

– See more at: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/gaza-calling-all-out-on-saturday-9-august-day-of-rage-12423#sthash.NW8glK7y.dpuf


Three poems from Sound Before Water featured in Dead Snakes

Cluster bombs being dropped on Gaza by Israel (image from Wikipedia)

Three poems from Sound Before Water have been posted on Dead Snakes. Please click THIS LINK to read them. Posting a comment (or three) will help encourage the editors to keep up their good work.
Thank you, Stephen, for making room for my work.


Poem from two years ago finally finds a home

Two years ago I saw my family and friends back home in Manila. It had been three years since the massive flood and things looked a lot better, but there were still traces of the devastation. I’ll write about that later, if I get the chance.

It was sore saying goodbye again, particularly to the little ones. Since then I have been revising and rewriting (are those not the same?) this poem and I think now I can let go of it. Aerodrome has accepted and published it today. It will also appear in my forthcoming book, A THOUSAND EYES (UST Publishing House).

CLICK HERE TO READ  “POEM FOR AKI.”

Please leave a comment whether you like the poem or not. 🙂

Maraming salamat, AERODROME!


Versions Old, Revised,…Final?

moth wings blurred up

 

In January 2011 my two books were born: Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin. I was elated to have those two books published (both by UST Publishing House) for it had been a long gap since the last collection (Salimbayan, 1994). Soon after I wrote the first draft of the following poem. This one eventually joined a new set of poems that would become Sound Before Water (UST Publishing House, 2013), a much slimmer volume than the previous two which contain poetry from over 15 years. In a forthcoming review of this new collection this poem gets mentioned for the oddity of its title. I am posting this version – the one that is now in the book, as if being in book form makes it final! – perhaps as an invitation to adopt my paper children and make room for them in a new home.

It pains me not to be in the same country where these paper children are born. All I can do from where I am is tell as many people online how much I wish and hope the best for them. I will post a link to the review once it is available. For now, I share this with you.

 

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-


To Remember

anti-war protest rally in London image from wikipedia

To remember is an attempt to piece together what can never be one again. The time, the place, the scent of flesh once beating. Today marks the invasion of Iraq. It seems the rest of the world has forgotten.

The following poems appear in my book Alien to Any Skin (UST Publishing House, 2011). Should I thank GW Bush for writing them?

Just This One

Art. 33. No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she
has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures
of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
The Fourth Geneva Convention

When someone says “Think about the bigger picture,”
I hide. My life has the legs of an ant. I find the resilience
of pebbles more inviting. They smooth themselves on riverbeds,
current rushing over their backs, pushing them to cling
with other pebbles or grains of sand pounded to near nothingness.

There are so many of them, too many to count. Each one
has something the others do not possess. Perhaps the thinnest streak
of brown, the sligthest indentation, the faintest crack.
Even when they are broken they are never the same. Caress
the jagged edge of this one with your index finger. Just this one.

July 2008
-o-

The Day the Dead Tree Fell

years of fear
have come to this

roots unearthed
longer than the arms of men
pointing skyward

the drone
of foreign planes

a hollow in the ground
deep enough
for a coffin

the silence
of loaded guns

all those fine veins
where something
used to flow

November 2008 – August 2010
-o-

Questions
for the leader of invading forces

When you put your shoes on this morning,
do you remember which foot came first?

Does someone tell you when your collar gets stuck inside your shirt?
Do you let that person touch you?

What colours make your eyes stop searching?
Are those the ones you like or the ones you hate?

How many people have you met that had an extra finger
and wasn’t shy about it?

Have you ever held a firefly in your palms?
Was it warm? Were you alone?

When you close your eyes,
whose face lingers?

What was the first word you learned to write?
Did you use a pencil or a crayon or a borrowed pen?

If you had a dog, would you name it
after the person who blew up your house?

Is there something on my forehead
that only you can read?

Can you tell if someone is lying
or just scared?

Will my name be on a piece of paper?
Spelled correctly?

August 2008
-o-

Going Retro: The Victorious Army of Gobbledygooks Penetrates the City

“Why do they hate us? We’re setting them free!”
A foot soldier

They were expecting
sweaty hugs and kisses
from dark veiled women
and their adoring children.

Ears cocked, they anticipated the struggle
of the local band in playing
their beloved anthem,
as if it were not foreign.

But only hollow,
sporadic shouting of men
who gathered from nowhere
welcomed the forces.

The army was laden
with a quick,
calculated victory,
craving for popular jubilation.

Instead, this caricature of a show
put on by these nowhere men.
Stick figures in the desert sun,
sure of only one thing:

Tear down the giant statue
designed originally
by a previous generation
of gobbledygooks.

This show had been triangulated
for the world to see
moment by breathless moment
on their most trusted TV.

And then what? An awkward silence
as the statue grates to a stop,
refusing to crash down. A monologue broken
by coughing in the background, off camera.

Days later when the local population
finally came out with their voices raised,
the victorious gobbledygooks felt
strangely welcome, unable to decipher

Joy and ecstasy from utter hatred.
It is only now with proper translation
years later that we have
a clear understanding of gang rape.

December 2008
-o-


Seven Poems at OUR OWN VOICE 42, March 2014

I never gave much thought about borders and national identities twenty years ago. It seemed pretty clear to me back then that where you were born defined who you are and how you viewed the rest of the world. It was a simple way of identifying who was “the enemy” and who was on your side. It was narrow-minded and simply wrong.

Now I see that the concept of nationality can and has been used by those in power to turn us into pawns against each other. It is no more than an idea that is easy to throw around because it is in our nature to recognize and accept more readily what is around us as the norm, and that what is outside of that limited experience is something to be wary of.

Yesterday I heard that dreaded word again in a news report: xenophobia. That discussion will have to wait another day. For now I would like to share some news.

I intend to share a number of poems over the course of this month (March 2014) as my way of celebrating the books that have been generously put out by various publishers through the years. Some days I may provide links to poetry published online and other days I will just post the poems here. I have my own personal reason for this. Maybe I’ll explain that at the end of the month.

The first installment comes out today. It is from an e-zine that features poetry from the “Filipino diaspora” – a concept which to me feels like a cousin of “nationality” to a certain extent. I am and I am not. The grains of sand between my toes do not have passports…

The poetry e-zine Our Own Voice has featured my work a second time. Four of the seven poems are from Sound Before Water, one (with an English translation) from Kalmot ng Pusa sa Tagiliran, and the last two are from manuscripts in progress. (NOTE: as of this writing there is a layout problem with the first poem, “Air from Another Moment,” which I hope could be fixed by the end of today.)

I encourage you to leave a comment on the e-zine’s website. Even to say how you hate my poems and why. 🙂

Our Own Voice March 2014