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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 26, 2011



It is not a pretty sight. I pointed to the stained cobblestones.
What isn’t? My walking stick, constant companion now, asked.

Carcass strewn on the pavement, Stick! A birdling’s carrion,
one with an uningested wriggler between its broken beak,

stared back at me between eyes half-chucked out of sockets
that must have slid down its tiny breast when the wind came.

Story of our lives, I said. Stick perked up: What is? What is?
You know, just when we would have had a bellyfull of chow,

we get cut down, even before coffee and doughnuts and love.
That’s it, Stick! I will not take this anymore. Endurance, nil,

Act of God, the full enchilada. It will always be uneven, Stick.
Violence on the birdwing, that is the daily axiom. Patience?

Love? Endure this carnage anyway you want, Stick. I quit.
Let me just behead these dandelions, and skies be damned.

—Albert B. Casuga

Poem Prompt: "Letter to What Must be Bourne" by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 05-24-11

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