My photo
ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

POWS Revenge

Ascot Media Group, Inc.

Jul 17 (1 day ago)
to me
Dear Albert Casuga:
More than 40 years ago, two naval aviators endured unspeakable pain as POWs in Vietnam. One soldier buried his demons and built a successful career in law enforcement. But the other followed his demons down a dark path toward the ultimate revenge.
In The Oath, author Dennis Koller expertly weaves the gripping stories of two former POWs with a modern-day murder investigation to create a mystery-thriller with enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the end.
Please allow me to send you a complimentary copy (or pdf) of The Oath in consideration of a review, interview or feature.
Dennis Koller makes a dynamic guest. Please contact me to schedule an interview, or let me know if I may send a review copy of the book. If you would like to run this story I'd be happy to send you a JPEG of Koller and the book cover. Thank you.
Sarah Carter
Pen Books
117 Southwind Drive
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
310/413-4691
925/586-2012
sarah@penbooks.biz

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Oath — The Desire For Revenge Never Dies
Pleasant Hill, CA, July 17, 2017 ― A lifetime ago, two young naval aviators took an oath to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Both were shot down over North Vietnam and endured years of brutal torture in the same prisoner-of-war camp.
Now, one is a San Francisco homicide inspector, with his allegiance firmly anchored in the law. The other remains steadfastly allegiant to the oath and is systematically eliminating Americans who had visited North Vietnam to aid the enemy's cause — Americans he views as domestic enemies. The lives of these two former POWs are about to intersect again, and the consequences will be explosive.
In The Oath, author Dennis Koller creates a gripping, stay-up-all-night mystery-thriller that expertly intertwines the compelling stories of two former POWs with a modern-day murder investigation.
The book opens with the cold-blooded murder of a famous San Francisco newspaper columnist. Homicide Inspector Tom McGuire is called to investigate a scene that's unlike any he's seen before. The victim was shot in the head — execution style — and her arms were bound behind her, the rope knotted tightly from shoulder to wrist.
Awash in an eerie chill of recognition, McGuire is transported back in time to the infamous Hanoi Hilton where as a POW he endured rope torture many times, his arms tied in exactly the same fashion.
The medical examiner — already on the scene — explains that the victim was shot and killed before she was tied up. The killer, it seems, is leaving a calling card that only a select and unfortunate few would recognize.
As the killer's identity slowly comes into focus, McGuire is forced to face his own demons and reluctantly pursue a brother-in-arms. Will McGuire remain allegiant to the law or to the oath he shares with the killer?
Born and raised in San Francisco, author Dennis Koller was the Executive Director of the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, a World War II Liberty ship berthed at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.
In 2013, Koller figuratively "jumped ship” to write his first mystery-thriller, Kissed By The Snow, about a secret FBI drug taskforce that devises a plan to finally win America's war on drugs. The book placed fourth in the Ink & Insights national writing contest.
He is also the author of The Custer Conspiracy, published in October 2016, which was named a 2017 Distinguished Favorite in the thriller category by Independent Press Award.
The Oath, released in May 2016, won the 2016 Bay Area Independent Publishers Association Book Award for Best Fiction and the 2017 Independent Press Award for Military Fiction.
Koller is a member of the Naval Order of the United States, the Navy League of the United States, the Military Writers Society of America, the California Writers Club, the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association and is on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Bethlehem Shipyard Museum. Koller holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in business administration, both from Saint Mary's College of California. He lives with his wife in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Oath
Pen Books
ISBN-10: 0692656731
ISBN-13: 978-0692656730
Available at www.Amazon.com and all book stores upon request.
Autographed copies are available at www.penbooks.biz.
###
TIP SHEET:
Q & As available on request.
The Irish Herald Book Review: "Dennis Koller's mystery-thriller debut is a strong one. The novel has it all: intrigue, politics, murder and romance. Combined with characters and dialogue that are ultimately believable, The Oath is a real page-turner.”
Military Writers Society of America Review: "An intriguing plot and artful writing make Dennis Koller's The Oath an entertaining read. Readers will appreciate the author's ability to bring a scene and its characters to life with just enough detail to make it all pop, without becoming bogged down in over-descriptive narratives. Adventure and thriller fans' appetite for a rush will be well satiated with the twists and turns throughout this book. Koller displays an innate understanding of the plight of Vietnam POWs as well as the intricacies of police work. He weaves these experiences together to create a plausible and compelling picture of the immense struggles attached to both. That the homicide investigator survived the same prison camp as the killer he now seeks creates a clear conflict — as he must choose between his allegiance to the law and the oath he and the killer once took. The tension builds as readers are drawn into both Tom McGuire's character and the man he reluctantly hunts. The Oath's suspense pulls its readers through each page with a force of its own.”
Mike Billington, author and Army veteran who spent two tours in Vietnam (awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman's Badge): "A dying former POW, four dead women, a world-weary homicide cop and the Vietnam War are expertly woven together in a masterful piece of storytelling that will leave you guessing right until the last few pages of The Oath. This is an excellent book with just the right amount of social commentary woven into its pages to make it not just another murder mystery.”
Capt. Kris Carlock, USN (retired): "This is the book today's sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen want to take on their long deployments for those short moments they can get away and unload their minds on an entertaining novel. It's a good read that might be hard to put down when you have to go on watch or patrol, but in the end, after the twisty-turny story and after the good guys and the bad guys duke it out, there's the great military lesson. The oath that we all took to 'support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic' is repeated over and over in this novel, reminding us, and perhaps all of society, of our military's responsibility and why we are such a great country. Great book!”

















Ascot Media Group is compliant with the can-spam act. Contact Information: Ascot Media Group, Inc. Post Office Box 2394, Friendswood, TX 77549. Main: 281-333-3507. Fax: 832-569-5539. If you would prefer not to receive press releases and other information from Ascot Media Group, Incorporated, please respond with the word "remove” in the subject line. Please note the removal process can take up to 48 hours before it is fully in effect. Thank you.

UFO Ascot Media

Ascot Media Group, Inc.

Jul 17 (1 day ago)
to me
Dear Albert Casuga:
Seventy years ago, UFOs began buzzing Roswell Army Air Force Base in New Mexico. Since then, the subject has remained taboo, despite millions of sightings – including tens of thousands of eyewitness to the Phoenix Lights.
Now, a new documentary and book: Unacknowledged.  An Expose of the World's Greatest Secret by Dr. Steven M. Greer, and a fictional thriller, Undisclosed, by NY Times best-selling author Steve Alten (the editor and co-author of Unacknowledged), are exposing 70 years of lies.
Please read the following press release and let me know if I may schedule an interview with Steve Alten, who wrote Undisclosed and edited Unacknowledged. If you would like to run this story we'd be happy to send you JPEGs of Steve and the two book covers. Steve is well-versed about the secrets revealed in both books and his guest appearances have been leaving hosts and listeners wanting more. Thank you.
Please see YouTube link with Steve Alten at: https://youtu.be/KpEZqU9pWbA 
Danielle Malcolm
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
(281) 333-3507 Phone
(832) 569-5539 Fax
news@ascotmedianews.com 
www.ascotmedia.com

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Two New Books Expose The Shocking Truth Behind UFOs, Extraterrestrials, Roswell And Zero-Point-Energy
Washington, DC, July 17, 2017 ― Seventy years after the cover-up of three interstellar craft downed over Roswell Army Air Force Base in New Mexico, two new books and a documentary reveal the shocking truth about covert programs and why the UFO subject remains taboo... even up to the President and Congress!
"It's not about whether these interstellar craft are real,” states Dr. Steven M. Greer, considered by many to be the world's foremost authority on the subject. The author of Unacknowledged: An Expose of the World's Greatest Secret (book), and the executive producer of a new documentary by the same name, has collected testimonials from hundreds of eyewitnesses in the military, Intel agencies, the FAA, NASA, and private defense contractors that expose 70 years of lies. "This is about USAPs ,” Dr. Greer explains. "Unacknowledged Special Access Projects operating illegally outside of Presidential or Congressional oversight, covertly funded over decades by trillions of our tax dollars. What really keeps the subject taboo and outside of the mainstream media are the energy technologies we acquired from these downed vessels – specifically zero-point-energy which would replace fossil fuels. We're talking about a free, clean energy source that would end hunger and poverty, reverse Climate Change, and create millions of new jobs.”
As the editor of Unacknowledged, New York Times best-selling author Steve Alten was given access to these testimonials and used the information to pen his just-released fictional thriller, Undisclosed,  in an attempt to disseminate the truth to the public in digestible bites. "Jimmy Kimmel had President Clinton and President Obama on his talk show and asked both men about UFOs, ETs, and Area 51. They both smiled and poked fun at the subject. But Dr. Greer, the expert who submitted briefings to both administrations as well as members of congress, the CIA Director and the Joint Chiefs, will probably never be allowed on Kimmel or any major talk show to discuss this – not because Jimmy Kimmel wouldn't love to interview him, but because the Intel Agencies refuse to allow it on mainstream media.”
Dr. Greer adds, "Unacknowledged was either the #1 documentary or close to #1 on itunes nearly every week since its release, and it's never mentioned. I flew out to Los Angeles and did a two-hour interview with an entertainment reporter at Breitbart News, only to have the Intel Agency that determines what's allowed to be published cancel it.”
Steve Alten agrees. "There's information in both Unacknowledged and Undisclosed that pulls back the curtain on seventy years of lies, including testimonials from people who have worked in black ops subterranean bases which hold ARVs (Alien Reproduction Vehicles) capable of interstellar travel. Many of these witnesses who held above-top secret clearances would not allow Dr. Greer to publish this information until after they passed on, out of fear. Who could blame them?”
Just how untouchable is the UFO-ET subject?
"I spoke to people very close to Alex Jones,” Dr. Greer said. "I was told the subject was 'too controversial to touch.' This from the guy who claimed the Sandy Hook shooting was fake!”
Please watch the trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNVjTWzLDiA
Available at all online outlets
Undisclosed
By Steve Alten
Publisher: A and M Publishing LLC
June 2017
ISBN-10: 1943957053
ISBN-13: 978-1943957057
###
TIP SHEET:
Q&As available on request.







Wednesday, June 21, 2017

AND INTO THE FIRE

Dear Albert Casuga:
The world today is a very scary place. With nuclear weapons being built and tested by nations that should never possess them, having a nuke set off in a major US city has become everyone's worst nightmare!
Robert Gleason is a nationally recognized expert on nuclear terrorism, author, repeat guest on major TV and radio shows around the nation, and star/host of the History Channel's 2-hour special on this subject. His latest book And Into the Fire ― depicting in great detail how our enemies would be able to accomplish a nuclear attack on America ― has been hailed by Byron Dorgan, former US Senator and New York Times bestselling author of Gridlock, as a book that "should be required reading for all Members of Congress.”
I would like to forward a copy of And Into the Fire in consideration of an interview or review from you.  Please read the following press release and let me know if I may schedule an interview or forward a review copy of the book. If you would like to run this story we'd be happy to send you jpegs of the author and the book cover.  Thank you.
Monica Foster
Senior Publicist
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
Direct: (713) 446-8815
Phone: (281) 333-3507
Fax: (832) 569-5539
mfoster@ascotmediagroup.com 
www.ascotmedia.com

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
And Into The Fire Accurately Depicts The Horror And Chaos Of A Devastated America After A Nuclear Terrorist Attack
New York, NY, June 21, 2017 ― For most Americans, their greatest nightmare is of someone setting off a nuclear weapon in one of our major cities. Two possible scenarios that come to mind are setting off a nuke near Washington's Capitol building during a State of the Union address, or melting down a nuclear power plant ― like Indian Point, a mere 35 miles from New York City ― creating such terror and chaos that 9/11 would pale in comparison. Critics agree that nationally recognized nuclear terrorism expert Robert Gleason's latest book, And Into the Fire, describes these terrifying scenarios in more factual detail than any other book they have read.
Robert Gleason, bestselling author of End of Days and The Nuclear Terrorist: His Financial Backers and Political Patrons in the US and Abroad, has starred in and hosted a History Channel two-hour special on this very subject and the various scenarios that could take place. 
He has been a featured guest discussing nuclear terrorism on national TV and radio shows such as Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, George Noory's "Coast to Coast AM”, and NPR, along with many others, and spoken numerous times on this subject at Harvard.
Gleason's latest book dramatizes in great detail how terrorists could steal bomb-grade highly enriched uranium from a country such as Pakistan and smuggle it into the US.  Once in possession of the fissile nuclear bomb-fuel, cobbling together crude would be an amazingly simple procedure.  As Luis Alvarez, the physicist who designed the Hiroshima bomb wrote, "a high school student could build the Hiroshima bomb if he had the bomb-fuel.” Gleason then shows how terrorists can use such crudely built but highly powerful Hiroshima-type bombs to incinerate any major US city.
Advance reviews on And Into the Fire all agree that it is not only a hair-raising thriller, it is arguably the most knowledgeable nuclear terrorism novel of our time.  Byron Dorgan, former US Senator and New York Times bestselling author of Gridlock, has written:  "Gleason writes with undeniable authority on the threat of nuclear terrorism… And Into the Fire, is an eye-opening, hair-raising, up-all-night thriller that should be required reading for all Members of Congress."
With nearly 30 years experience researching the threat of nuclear terrorism and the possibility of nuclear annihilation, Robert Gleason can address topics on national security, foreign policy, current events, politics and what needs to be done to defend our cities and nuclear power plants. Following are suggested questions that could be addressed in an interview:
• Are nuclear terrorists wreaking havoc in the world today?
• Is nuclear terrorism feasible and realistic?
• Is it true Japan's new nuclear program is exacerbating the nuclear terrorist threat? And does their nuclear power debacle teach us anything?
• Is Russia's annexation of Ukrainian Crimea exacerbating the nuclear terrorist threat?
• Is a multi-city nuclear attack on America its worst-case scenario?
• Is nuclear power a nuclear proliferation threat?
• The time is fast approaching when any rogue state that wants nukes will be able to get them. What strategy should the US adopt in a world where it is threatened by anonymous nuclear terrorist attacks?
• Can nuclear terrorism lead to Armageddon?
• Does the Bible predict a nuclear Armageddon?
• Which nation is most likely to sponsor nuclear terrorist strikes?
• Why would nuclear terrorists want to strike the US?
• Why Does the Bible think the world will end?
Robert Gleason is a highly regarded expert on nuclear terrorism. He's spoken on the topic at Harvard four times, and on Sean Hannity's and Lou Dobbs's TV shows, PBS, NPR,  George Noory's "Coast to Coast AM”, and many other radio & television programs.  He also hosted and starred in a two-hour History Channel special largely devoted to the subject. He is the author of The Nuclear Terrorist: His Financial Backers and Political Patrons in the US and Abroad, as well as the critically acclaimed End of Days. Gleason lives in New York City, and you can learn more about him and his books at http://robertgleasonbooks.com/.
And Into the Fire
Forge Books
Available June 6th in print and ebook online and at your favorite bookseller
ISBN:  978-0765379160
###
TIP SHEET:
William S. Cohen, Former Secretary of Defense, US Senator and New York Times bestselling author of Collision: "His research is devastatingly detailed and shockingly realistic. We should be scared, all of us--very scared.”
Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters (US Army retired) three-time Boyd Award-winner, Fox News military analyst and New York Times bestselling author of The Damned of Petersburg: "Not only the most terrifying, but also the most realistic nuclear-terror scenario I have encountered, whether on the page or in the Pentagon.  Robert Gleason's decades of deep research into the dark realms of nuclear energy and weapons have yielded a superb thriller.  It's a gripping read--and a primer on nuclear terrorism.”
Richard Marcinko, New York Times Bestselling author of Rogue Warrior and founding father of SEAL Team SIX: "The book's nuclear terrorism scenarios are not only possible they are probable. Robert Gleason enhances the realism with technocrat language and verifiable research.”
Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The 14th Colony: "Gleason's book is steeped in pure fact.  And that's what makes this book so scary.  It actually could happen.”
James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Labyrinth: "And Into the Fire is "frighteningly authentic . . . Don't miss this cautionary and important tale of where the world is headed.”
Booklist (starred review): "Gleason is a bona fide expert on nuclear terrorism, and he utilizes his knowledge, along with his storytelling skills, to deliver a thriller that feels shockingly authentic. Military-action fans will relish this one as they shudder at its implications.”











Ascot Media Group is compliant with the can-spam act.  Contact Information:  Ascot Media Group, Inc. Post Office Box 2394, Friendswood, TX 77549. Main: 281-333-3507.  Fax: 832-569-5539.  If you would prefer not to receive press releases and other information from Ascot Media Group, Incorporated, please respond with the word "remove” in the subject line. Please note the removal process can take up to 48 hours before it is fully in effect. Thank you.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: The God Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us


Dear Albert Casuga:
We would greatly appreciate your help getting word out to your audience via your blog or other social media sites on a highly anticipated, soon-to-be-released book.
Christian psychiatrist, international speaker and author Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., recently brought us the thought-provoking, widely successful book, The God-Shaped Brain. He now takes us even further into the realm of God constructs with the equally provocative, The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us.
For more information, please read the following release. Thank you.
Monica Foster
Senior Publicist
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
Direct: (713) 446-8815
Phone: (281) 333-3507
Fax: (832) 569-5539
mfoster@ascotmediagroup.com
www.ascotmedia.com

(This press release may be reprinted or posted to social media either in part, or in its entirety)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The God-Shaped Heart — Book Helps Christians Connect With God's Transformative Love And Truth
Chattanooga, TN, June 13, 2017 ― Love is power — the power to live, the power to heal and the power to be free. What happens, however, when distorted beliefs or unhealthy God concepts take root in the heart and obstruct this love?
Christian psychiatrist, international speaker and author Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., explores the healing power of love, exposes beliefs that obstruct love and identifies eternal truths that open the heart to God's love in his newest book, The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us.
In this compelling follow-up to The God-Shaped Brain, Dr. Jennings takes an evidence-based approach to exposing an infection of thought that keeps millions of Christians trapped in fear and insecurity. He also documents seven stages of spiritual development that can lead people out of this trap and back to God's love.
 
In The God-Shaped Heart, Jennings compellingly reveals:
• Genuine Christianity is centered on love, and such love, when practiced, transforms hearts and heals minds.
• An infection of thought deeply rooted within Christianity is causing confusion, contributing to division and preventing millions from experiencing the transformative power of God's love.
• When human-imposed law replaces design law, injury, pain and damage occurs to hearts, minds and relationships.
• A scientifically and Biblically sound understanding on homosexuality that resolves the long hostility between Christians and homosexuals.
• While there is something wrong in Christianity today, there is a remedy freely available that brings healing and transformation.
Jennings provides insights that make God's love understandable, applicable and accessible for all audiences, including those who struggle with Christianity or struggle to harmonize Christianity and science; Christians who have become frustrated with Christianity; and those who view Christianity as negative and critical.
The God-Shaped Heart was written to help Christians everywhere advance ever closer to God's ideal through experiencing the transformative power of God's love.
Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified Christian psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, international speaker, author, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Life-Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association.
He obtained his M.D. degree in 1990 from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis. He completed his psychiatric residency at D.D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, and has served as the Division Psychiatrist for the 3rd Infantry Division. He is married and lives in Chattanooga where he is in private practice. Jennings is also the President and Founder of Come and Reason Ministries and has served as President of the Southern Psychiatric Association and Tennessee Psychiatric Association.
His other books include Could It Be This Simple? A Biblical Model for Healing the Mind, The Journal of the Watcher, The Remedy New Testament Expanded Paraphrase and The God-Shaped Brain: How Changing Your View of God Transforms Your Life.
 For more information about Dr. Jennings and to hear his lectures, please visit the website: www.comeandreason.com.
The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God's Love Transforms Us
Baker Books
Release date: September 5, 2017
Available for preorder:
https://www.amazon.com/God-Shaped-Heart-Correctly-Understanding-Transforms/dp/0801075211

###

Thursday, December 15, 2016

TRANSFIGURATIONS





TRANSFIGURATIONS: IS BEAUTY AN OMEN?


A condition of complete simplicity/ (Costing not less than everything)---Little Gidding, The Four Quartets, T.S.Eliot


Cocooned in a condition of utter simplicity,
the silkworm will not stop oozing out its tapestry
onto the point of death which is also its beauty.

How much beauty can be eked out of pain?
Like the hurt bivalved flesh of the grimy oyster,
would the papillon wings glisten like a pearl?

But this one is spun out of patience: there
must be radiance out of a cocoon’s dark
confines. It can only break into mobile light.

Colour the mariposa green, would that matter?
Dye the silk out of its consumed gossamer nets,
would that stop its flying out of a crude beginning?

Arrested from its final transfiguration, the worm
turns and it is on a table–the grub of culinary
quintessence! Quite like an earlier challenge:

“Eat of my flesh, drink of my blood. This covenant
shall not be broken. I will be with you again when
the radiance of this goblet dims into a eucharist.”

A condition of simplicity? Bear beauty and perish?
Offer an unending dream in a kingdom, and be slain?
The tale of the supreme sacrifice is also immolation.

What does it matter that I die then, if I flew out
of a trellis like the monarch butterfly, that started
as a wormed-out silkworm then food for the hungry?

I would be the worm, the injured mother pearl,
the crucified madman who asked that his flesh
be eaten, his blood quaffed, and live forever.

Beauty is an omen. Destroy this vessel of clay,
and it can only spill the reddest of wine, the
stoutest of ale: a dangerous promise of eternal life.


—ALBERT B. CASUGA

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

THE GREAT GRIEF OF EXTINCTION SERIES

POET ROBERT FROST WROTE IN ONE OF HIS POEMS: EARTH IS THE RIGHT PLACE FOR LOVE. HE WAS TOO OPTIMISTIC. (See my series on Extinction and End Times at https://ambitsgambit.blogspot.ca/2015/07/the-great-grief-series-dread-of.html















Tuesday, November 15, 2016

  1. MY SUITE OF LOVE POEMS TODAY was prompted by Leonard Cohen's
  2. LIGHT THROUGH A CRACKED MIRROR
  3. (For Leonard Cohen, RIP)
  4. ...
  5. “Ring the bells that can still ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack in everything/ That's how the light gets in” ~ Leonard Cohen

  6. 1. Her Questions

  7. How far have you gone from all that you were,
    little chipped stone from a hidden tributary,
    little pebble that has yet to reach the bottom
    of the well to hear its thunk and come to rest?

  8. How far, indeed, that you must finally beg
    to be taken home? Where, what place, what
    troubled spaces have you been all these years?
    Bitter years, you say almost in descant candor.

  9. Take you home? But where do you belong?
    If I knew, if I could follow that map long
    faded in your doleful heart that has dogged
    every fickle chord from every pied piper—

  10. If I could find every pied-a-terre you’ve been
    that I might collect the shattered life pieces
    left of your gypsy heart so I could remould
    them to our heart’s desire, I would. I will.

  11. Take you home. Prop you up, start you up
    once again from whence you came, where
    your heart is not merely a sieve for sorrow
    or pain, but where it is a fortress of care.

  12. 2. His Ardent Offer as His Plea

  13. I am back, but I have nothing new to say,
    nor anything that I can offer save myself.
    Unchanged, undefined, unshackled, free.
    There is no other way you would have me.
  14. Would you rather I had lost my insouciance?
    Would you have me speak only one language,
    that of fear, and would not risk this loss again?
    Sing only your song? Part my hair another way?
  15. At the edge of the woods, I have mastered wiles.
    You’d think I had changed and now just a shadow
    of a broken man come home to lick old wounds
    that were left unsalved, cankered when I lost you.
  16. I am the same, and this sameness will make you
    want to look again even if the thousand faces
    that you behold are those from a shattered mirror
    through whose cracks some light must still slither.

  17. 3. Looking Back to Coming Home

  18. Trek back to the church belfry and be the deft
    hands of the carillonneur you wished you were
    when you were young, malleable, and oh, so free
    to dream, to laugh, to thumb your little nose

  19. at the carousing lads vaulting over rooftops
    to call your name, to sing your name like
    perching sparrows lined on some errant wires
    at sunset warbling: sweet-sweet, sweet-sweet!

  20. Take me back. Take me back. And we will retrace
    those letters carved on some saplings grown tall
    beyond our reach, and sing with carillon clangor
    those old evensongs, brave songs. Old love songs.

  21. We will outdo the bell choir master on the belfry,
    ring them all, sing them all, hum them all until
    sundown overtakes us and we hold our tremulous
    voices like our stuttered promises of coming home.

  22. ---ALBERT B. CASUGA

Sunday, August 28, 2016

MY ARS POETICA




MY ARS POETICA: A REPRISE

MY POEMS TODAY spell out my Ars Poetica as a practitioner of the literary art of poetry---the most venerable of the literary arts.

Like most literary artists, I restate my Ars Poetica as I write. This reminds me of an aesthetic which I may have defined some time ago in my The Aesthetics of Literature, a book I wrote for my literary theory and criticism classes at the De La Salle University in Manila. (ca. 1970s)

These poems, like those of poets Archibald MacLeish and Jose Garcia Villa, articulate my poetic credo. Describing the process, I also keep in mind the kind of poetry I deign to create.



1. APOLLO DESCENDING

It is a fiery birthing: after the lonely call
of the last gull that darts after the last
glow of sundown; after the sandpiper’s
song peters out to a lost bird’s chirp;
after all the images have crept under
these breakwater boulders to surface
perhaps as frenzied dancers casting
shadows swaying underneath this tent,
this caravanserai of dreams; after this,
on a throne of palaver, a fire-bearer
lights the torches that fence us all in.


Like Apollo’s captives, we cup flames
in our palms and sing polyglot hymns
to the beauty of words while we shower
our paths with pellets of fire, as we crown
the beggar queen with a flaming nosegay.



2. SURFACING

(An Ars Poetica)

Surfacing. We allow ourselves this one
salving act when every balm fails.

Bobbing up for air where it is rare,
we pray that this will hold long enough.

Enough for the moments at dusk when
we must dive again, submerge again,

into depths we know will one day hold us
down, and remain there to mend hurts

that in those magical spaces become
like pearls: prickly cutting dirt engulfed

into bivalved flesh that may in turn
become a magical gem from the agony.

Surfacing, we find ourselves some river
stream to rest with the rolling river stones.

Surfacing, we know we must go back
to the darkened depths, and like oysters

bear the pain cutting through our flesh
that we may surface soon with a new pearl.


—ALBERT B. CASUGA


Friday, April 22, 2016

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL ARTIST FOR LITERATURE EDITH L. TIEMPO, WOULD HAVE BEEN 97 TODAY




APRIL 22, 2016, Philippine National Artist for Literature EDITH TIEMPO's 97th Birth Anniversary. Remembering a dear mentor and a literary giant.


EDITH L. TIEMPO


Edith L. Tiempo, poet, fictionist, teacher and literary critic, was born on April 22, 1919 in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. The daughter of an auditor who had been assigned in various places in the country, she spent her childhood and pre-teen years in Laguna, Pasig, Zamboanga, Surigao, and Samar.

Back in Nueva Vizcaya, she began corresponding with Edilberto K. Tiempo, then already a published writer, who had written a story with a protagonist named after Edith's older sister Arlynne. She wrote Ed Tiempo to ask for an explanation, and the exchange of letters began. Ed Tiempo would become the greatest, most enduring influence on her life and her writing. They both studied in U.P.--he took up his M.A. and she began her law studies. But after only one semester, they got married, went to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, and settled there.

Ed left for the States in 1946 on a fellowship at the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, and Edith followed in 1947, after she graduated from Siliman, magna cum laude.

They stayed in the U.S. a few more years to study and teach--from Iowa to Michigan, then Denver--then returned to Dumaguete. In 1962, they founded the Silliman Writers Workshop, the first of its kind in Asia, where many of the Philippines' best writers have honed their craft. They spent every single summer since then managing the workshop, even sharing their wedding anniversary celebrations (May 20) with the writing fellows.

University funding for the workshop stopped in 1992, and for the next thirteen years, the workshop continued through the efforts of workshop alumni, who formed the Creative Writing Foundation, Inc. and the Dumaguete Literary Arts Service Group, Inc.; with generous support from CAP College, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and various groups and individuals.

Edith L. Tiempo's influence as teacher of literature and writing is beyond measure. She is one of the finest Filipino writers in English. In the words of poet Gemino H. Abad, Edith has established a tradition in writing with “two distinguishing marks: a fine critical sense for language and poetic form, and a ceaseless quest for that synergy of idea and emotion by which the Filipino sensibility is most fully expressed.” Her poems are models of organic unity, each word inevitable, each line earning its keep. Her fictional characters are complex and memorable, a confluence of conflicting impulses and principles. When writing fiction, she always starts with character, even in The Builder, which she calls her most plot-driven novel.

She was conferred the National Artist Award for Literature in 1999.

SELECTED WORKS

NOVELS
A Blade of Fern (1978)
His Native Coast (1979)
The Alien Corn (1992)
One, Tilting Leaves (1995)
The Builder (2003)

SHORT FICTION
Abide, Joshua, and Other Stories (1964)

POETRY
The Tracks of Babylon and Other Poems (1966)
The Charmer’s Box (1992)
Beyond, Extensions (1993)
Marginal Annotations (2001)
Commend, Contend (Work in progress)

TEXTBOOKS
Introduction to Literature (Co-authors Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo and Fr. Miguel Bernad), Manila: R.P. Garcia Publishing Co., 1980
College Reading and Writing (Co-author Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo), Manila: Rex Publishing House, 1964. Revised editions, 1967, 1980

LITERARY CRITICISM
Six Uses of Fictional Symbols, University of the Philippines Press, 2004
Six Poetry Formats and the Transforming Image: A Monograph on Free Verse, 2008

HONORS AND AWARDS
National Artist Award for Literature, 1999
Various Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards and Philippines Free Press Awards in the short story and poetry categories
National Fellow in Poetry, UP Creative Writing Center, Manila, 1992-1993
Negros Oriental Centennial Commission Award for Outstanding Negrense in Art and Culture, jointly with Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo, 1991
L.T. Ruiz Professional Chair in English, 1981-89
Outstanding Sillimanian Award, August 28, 1989
UMPIL Award-Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas jointly with Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo,1988
Focus Magazine Special Citation in Poetry
The First Leon Kilat Trophy, jointly with Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo, as Distinguished Citizens of Negros Oriental in the field of literature, 1987
Cultural Center of the Philippines First Prize in Novel, His Native Coast, 1979
Elizabeth Luce Moore Disitnguished Asian Professor, 1977-78
Region VII Award of Recognition in Poetry, 1975


*(Reprinted from the Edith Tiempo Blog)




Tuesday, April 5, 2016

back cover blurb for language of ashes

"Language of Ashes", Joel Pablo Salud's first collection of his poems, is worth spending precious life time on. I know I have scarcely any left---physical, spiritual, even literary--- but I find reading his poems a delightful jolt (he would call it "orgasm", not afraid to use all forms of linguistic figures to capture his poetic "meanderings" --- no, not "rants") for their breadth of content and sagacity (audacity?) of style and unobtrusive technique. He describes this book as a collection of love --- and he has them aplenty, the poem for his wife Che being stellar; viz., "Your love/ So strangely swirling without shore/ Binds me to you---a feather or a wing/ Heart beat among breasts of honey." In "Song for Eve", (feminine mystique, really), he sings "...words mean little when set against/ the cuddles of suns in your eyes... how can all this be a thing too odd/ when men love more richly because of you?" It is lyrical and romantic lines like these that made me squirm with envy. Oh, that I could have shed all restraint and burst into unbridled warbling in my poetic diction! Yet, he writes: "I cannot for the sake of brevity/ Impose my will on a word..." for he declares in his ars poetica --- in "I Write" --- "I write to sculpt/ creatures, dye their/ eyes with metaphors/ primrosed by time." Indeed, his metaphors could easily be "over-the-top" were it not for their coalescing into a clear gestalt of imagery when he writes finis to a poem. This is an unerring mark of a gifted poet. Mr. Salud's collection is a stout collection of poems on persons, (writers Nick Joaquin, Edith Tiempo, F Sionil Jose, Jorge Guillen, Dylan Thomas, Che Sarigumba), politics and culture (in "Oremus", "Mendiola Massacre, 1987"), engaging musings on themes poets are never caught without, Indeed, he admits" "It is the wreckage of a soul/ where poems reign." That would even involve poems of vomits, inebriation of assholes, the naked and erotic, and bravely whimsical use of street language that en fin would sound poetic---beat that. "I am not a spool/ Of blunt words,/ A gathering of moss-eaten/ Homes, fallen trees/ And the roots of manes/ Where ingots coalesce/ Brooding and frozen." I shall not torture this "blurb" with a book review or even a critique --- not yet --- I eagerly look forward to reviewing it, and finally criticising it for its literary merits in order to establish its rank as a poetic achievement in his country and internationally. This book is that good. I have read a number. ---ALBERT B. CASUGA, Canada