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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.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

BEWARE MY FOOLISH HEART...(A Collaborative Poem in Response to "Gypsy Heart")


Hard to court abundance, /hard to keep it— . . .what surged/ like ripeness once, continues to show its face—/ shy homeless waif, knocking again on your door.---Luisa A. Igloria, From "Gypsy Heart", Via Negativa

When you gave up on dreams we gathered
like hoarded heartaches haplessly heaped

in darkened rooms we have long abandoned,
we stitched close a gaping wound of hurts

hurled helter skelter in a frenzy of fearsome
faithlessness we found were a fool’s scimitar.

O, corazon triste! O, corazon Gitana!
A sad, miserable heart is a gypsy heart!

Beware this desolate heart, when it is hard
to find and hard to keep: when it surges, as

it must defiantly burst into a pulsing geyser
of desire, it will not spare the idle, hardened

heart. Surging like the ripeness it once was,
it continues to show its face—a scrawny waif,

shy and homeless, incessantly knocking,
insistently rapping at your bolted door.

You leave it ajar, and it creeps in like the fog
that chilled your heart once, it lingers, it chokes

your still smarting heart with a frisson
of a joie d’couer.You take him in for the night

and in the coldness of a morning after, phantom
that it was, leaps out of your window, and leaves.

—Albert B. Casuga

Collaborative Poem Prompt: Luisa A. Igloria's "Gypsy Heart, Via Negativa, 05-04-11,

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