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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.

Friday, October 7, 2011



If you have a heart murmur, or if your heart/ murmurs to you what it wants/ or doesn’t want./Ask your doctor if your/ heart is healthy enough for/ what you are feeding it. ---From “Do Not Take This Medicine” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 10-06-11 

Could it have survived that steady diet
of longing? Unsalved pangs of desire?
Cold nights on empty beds? The pains
trickling like needles into  its auricles
as you waited for her to come home,
but only the scent of rain broke through
the door you left open for what felt like
forever? How much could it have taken? 

Where would it find the balm for hurts
no apothecary could blend with prayer
to mend a ruptured, haplessly broken
heart? You did not care what you fed it?
Throbbing through those lonely dusks,
did it not plead in its halting murmurs
for more time to rebuild its violently
riven chambers so you could come back? 

Should you find the healers in some
infirmary where you might be nursing
a petrified heart into pristine tenderness,
pray, point them to my direction while it
still beats in the throes of one overfed
by disaffection, a wounded and hungry
heart that might, just might, suckle from
warm healing breasts and be mended.

--- Albert B. Casuga

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