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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.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Photo by Melissa Datuin Nolledo, Cover Photo FB


Cierra algunas puertas. No por orgullo, ni soberbia, sino no porque ya no llevan a ninguna parte (Close some doors, not because of pride, nor arrogance, but because they no longer lead to anywhere. )---Paulo Coelho.

1. Closing Doors

How many more doors must he close
before he would know when stillness
has finally found its way to his door?

Doors swivel here and would not stop,
even for the doorman who grumbles
at how endless passages take, rotates

at the touch of dainty hands, the push
of gnarled palms, thrust of a bunioned
foot, or the dithering hold of an arm

by the lover who would rather he had
stayed when going ended up nowhere
anyway, and she merely stifled a plea

for him to stay; but he dreaded staying
because all wanting has finally died,
fervent desires wrinkled on the sheets.

2. Caution: Swinging Doors

There is just the urgent need now to run
quickly away from the swinging door
that will impale him needlessly to walls

closing down on him even as he spreads
his new-found wings to rise beyond all
this debris of meaning, love’s carrion,

when that is all gone, all abandoned, all
forgotten as just the drivel of cripples
who would not think of shutting doors

whence come the vultures of unfeeling
ennui, numb hearts still beating, still
blubbering about how lonely it will be

before the eager beaks have garroted
their brittle necks straining to grumble
a futile prayer that this visit is too brief.

3.  Last Door: Too brief

to even know how to close that last door
when the rainstorms have blown off lids
to protect him when he pleaded to go on?

Too late, he could not stem the rapid swivel
of a door, rotating inexorably to crush him
when he could have eked out and be free.

There is just the final question: Is he free

at last, this door having failed to swing back?

4. Some Answers Next Door

There must be a little door
that will not end in a room.
Space is all. Is there an end
to these rooms? An exit
into a free space all his own?

He requires a room-less door
to step out of when leaving
would finally mean being
unbound, no walls to fence him
in, no house to shackle a home.

For what would a sky be for?
Why would suns set over hills?
Suns rise from the edge of seas?
Why do springs expand to falls?
Why is beauty its own excuse?

Whence come this splendour?
What does it mean for a flower
to bloom? When all questions
have been answered, where
ends he whose end is a question?

Or are answers simply next door?



1 comment:

Hannah Stephenson said...

I like this interrogation of the concept of the door.