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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, August 7, 2013




...They pose, /then fall, purposefully, /yelping WOOO!, which translates /as A little fear is fun. --From “Resemblance” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist

How little of fear is fun? How much of fun is fear?
Intensities of either define staying on with courage,
Some grace under pressure, if there were no choice.
But there is. Yet, you probably screamed your pain
away by claiming you did not choose to be born
when struggle became a burden and living a chore.

Does your mother still cap birthdays with the story?
The one about how fearful she felt that giving birth
was not going to be fun, until she heard you yell

your tiny heart out, trembling for air, screaming
as early as then: This is not fun, you know. Being
pushed or pulled even before you got your bearings.

Would you have understood what in great blazes
everyone was happy for? Or was that a grimace on
Father’s face to counterpoint the smile on Mother’s?

Before long, we forget the fun that was earned
to vanquish the fear marked on all things mortal:
a day after birth, we start the art of dying. Living?

Why should it be delirious to be riotously happy?
How much of fear is fun? How much of fun is fear?
If there were no life hereafter, would you even ask?

---Albert B. Casuga


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