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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, July 20, 2011



(After Letter to Attention)

If this were a glimpse at dying and how the mind,
fragile as it is, could pull one back to life, I would
work at it, break free from cages that have held
me captive, look at the burning sun long and hard
until I am wedded to its brilliance and finally unified. 

This is the vessel that I offer you to have and to hold,
but I must fill it with the salving grace that will mold
my injured spirit back to what I carefully surrendered
for you to mend and nurture when  it had foundered,
lost at some hostile sea, a boat shorn of sail, unanchored. 

Like Pygmalion, I will chisel every jagged chip, remold
every broken edge, to remake this cup and will unfold
before your eyes like an earthen jar spun out of my hand,
pared clean at its brim, to collect a wellspring of fluid
nectar to last us a lifetime of all that is sweet and kind.

---Albert B. Casuga

Prompt: Are you still with me?/I know you’re tired, and you want to press /your cheek on the mat or stay supine as a corpse./But the voice nudges you back to the shore, saying /Open your arms and legs like a starfish, open/the cage of your heart; look at the unblinking sun.---From “Letter to Attention” by Luisa A. Igloria posted in Via Negativa, 07-18-11

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