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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.

Saturday, August 17, 2013



Old Question: Where is Abel, your brother, Cain? New Answer: Am I My Brother's Keeper? A Shot in the Dark: Perhaps, you were made for the Other. Am I?

"Der Mensch wird am Du zum Ich" (Through the Thou a person becomes I.)---Martin Buber, Ich und Du (1923) in Werke (1962) vol 1, pg. 97.

1.  Who Goes There?

What if this place were made only for the other?
You are yourself, but you are also others’ other.

Were you conceived for yourself, or for a specie?
Someone must extend the process of evolution.

Your first act out of the womb was to let out a cry.
Was it not to alert the birthing other you’re here?

And you will bring joy to a union forged in dreams,
but you could always be the unwanted obligation.

What if you were the inevitable happenstance
come from the aches of groin and gravid reasons?

Are you an issue of love or lust? An afterthought?
When did you start to even aspire to be yourself?

2. A Place: From a  Pauper Space

Dare you grow then to even ask: What do I want?
What do I need? Selfish angst? No. Must-ask ones.

One cannot give what one does not have, operatio
sequitur esse. Find and feed your hunger to know

what you are here for. Are you a brother’s keeper?
Or does a lover keep you? Either way, a hunger.

If you were for the other, you must be provident;
but fill your tills first before giving a ruddy cent.

Is your neighbour the village thief? Love him.
Clothe the naked, as you would with a fig leaf.

Before long, you would have guessed how little
you are without the other, and learn to whistle

in the dark, and wait, and build, and gather
behind walls, until, one on top of the other,

you begin to climb beyond your pauper space
to occupy a lost garden, a haven, as your place.

---Albert B. Casuga

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