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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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011



Love sans irony. It sticks on the craw sometimes
when you least expect the nuance of sincerity.

Have we learned then to obfuscate what we seek
to reveal like the primrose creating claw-like shadows?

We do live in a bleary quonset that is inhospitable
to the clear and transparent, we create our shadows.

There are Babel towers in every ramshackle cottage,
the dumb and the weary are with us to the bitter end.

When this masquerade is over, when the periphrastic
shackles of language are all shorn off our tongues,

we doff our hoods, tear off our masks, and speak
of the feelings we cloak with opaque figures, symbols

of bondage we promised to overcome, speak with the rare
and liquid tongues of angels who call washtubs basins

and flowers simply flowers for the living not the dead,
and like the honchos at the Bronx call a spade a shovel.

Perhaps, then, they would not remind us of how long
we really have languished in our exile from our dreams.

—Albert B. Casuga

Prompt: Listen, if we hate poets here, it’s only because/ they brandish empty wash tubs instead of roses/ & remind us we’re all in exile from our dreams.---From “Passage to Exile” by Dave Bonta, Via Negativa, 06-15-11,

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