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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.

Saturday, July 14, 2012



We’ll remember this as the summer of swiftest change: how we walked, mornings and evenings, past fences overgrown with wisteria— their opulent scent already balanced on the rim of decay.---From “What We’ll Remember” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 07-14-12

 Summers at the City of Pines, Baguio of my youth,
 saw us picking up tennis balls at Camp John Hay,
 for the most filthy-mouthed players in memory.

 At my granddaughter’s tennis clinic today, I cracked
 a racket on a young man’s shin for yelling the effing
 word every time he failed to return an effing ball.

 Why do we remember anger longer than any earth-
 shaking event? The god particle discovery by savants
 lasted a only a week. Who cares about the goddamn

 particle? The slaughter of children, women, the old
 who could not outrace bullets in Syria, Kabul, Libya,
 Kenya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Ampatuan, Nigeria—

they are yesterday’s news rehashed every lazy day
thereafter until the copy desk won’t consider these
news enough to pepper papers preferring Tom Cruise

and Katie Holmes’ quickie divorce. Who needs to hear
more murder stories, of mothers and fathers killing
their own babies to hurt each other? Summer news.

Am I any bigger than all these when I did not bother
to attend my mother’s burial, or catch her last call
for me, his firstborn, before she gasped her final breath?

I will remember this summer as the cruelest, heartless
time: I became my most dreaded shadow-self. I could
no longer feel even the pain of my mother’s death.

This summer, I might as well be dead, as dead perhaps
 as I can remember any dying when what remains here
 is a mocking wraith of a man who is no longer human.

—Albert B. Casuga


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