Re: Aborted poetic projects. I’ve been second guessing my reasons for stopping a project dead in its tracks. With all of this blog reorganization, and with all of these final Diwata edits, I have been sifting through my old work and thinking about the poems I consider the stragglers. These are the ones which have ended up not making it into the book manuscripts. Last year, these poems comprised two chapbooks, but I am now wondering whether full-length books may come out of these aborted projects. What became the chapbook Cherry, for example. I keep picking the idea back up, starting in on finding source material, then putting it back down. But it’s exactly that aversion I feel toward the source material which makes the poems so prickly and obscene.
Re: Diwata. There is one poem, “Duyong 1,” which I am having some difficulty unpacking. There is a lot of stuff in it that I really do not want to have to explain because that all goes beyond poetry. There are old fishermen who believe in mermaids. These mermaids are pretty ferocious; at their most benign, the mermaids are probably mischievous. There are the sons, who think their fathers are superstitious. There is the mermaid herself, witnessing all this from the water; the sons disappear, and this becomes attributed to crocodiles. The crocodiles are really a metaphor for the parties who kill young rebels (read: the military). The mermaid sees these young rebels, because they are dumped into the water, in proper Philippine “salvage” operations. I include in my end notes this explanation for “salvage”: Jose F. Lacaba writes, “As used in the Philippines, the verb ‘salvage’ and the noun ‘salvaging’ are the slang equivalents of the terms ‘to execute extrajudicially, to assassinate’ and ‘extrajudicial execution,’ terms used by human-rights organizations such as Amnesty International.” Still working this one out.
Re: Poetry Foundation blog. What is up with these half-paragraph posts? This actually tempted me to do my own very brief post:
Joseph O. Legaspi just read in San Francisco, and he rocked mad shoe game. I live by two words: Fuckyou. Payme.
Seriously though. My eleventh post, Filipino American Poetas en San Francisco is now up.