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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, October 23, 2013



 The last ghost town was the one I left
when I grew up—strange requirement
to abscond when one is no longer needed,

like that bare birch tree, shorn of its foliage,
is no longer the sanctuary for that dotard
who left his empty rum bottle under the tree.

Cheek-by-jowl with the porch, it was the Ritz
with free coffee or tea doled out by a host
who talked funny with his metaphors: Hornets.

They, too, create ghost towns of hives on trees.
No point staying when leafless trees no longer
need them, no flowers to touch, no bees to kill.

I have outlived my usefulness, haven’t I? I asked.
She said: Verily. How else respond to this curt
snort, when all I really had or have is only a pack —

not even of beer, nor cheer, not even care? Zero.
Nada. End of the line. Really, all I had was a pack
of worn-out metaphors, lost love, lost coin wallet,

and a wayward heart too needy to want to betray
its anguish, its plea, to come home soon where
there is nothing but a ghost house in a ghost town.

— Albert B. Casuga

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