My photo
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, April 6, 2014



They stand still, move a little when someone stares, then point to the tip can.

How grotesque should I get to get noticed as a busker?
An earlier mask was that of an Oscar statue, gold, de oro.
Yes, I was naked, except for a fig leaf on my privates.
Standing ramrod straight like the stroked movie award,
I can’t even get rowdy sistahs to scream libidinal cusses,
Nor the crotch-scratching, repositioning, baggy-pants
Brodahs to giggle at my golden balls and golden tool.

Have been doing this before Hollywood sent Britney
To bare her derriere at salivating dotards on front row.
But where is the silver change, the crumpled bills?
I regret leaving Oaxaca’s fishing village, but fishing
Is not a man’s job. It is a lazy act. Miming here is art.
Haven’t I sent my boys through school with this work?
I will stand still here and listen to the can’s clunking.

Maybe tomorrow, I will put on a wig, and put on a garb
Much like that of Jesucristo, a glowing heart on my chest
And mime a gentle smile on my lips, two fingers raised
In an act of blessing scuttling tourists in the Name
Of my Father, in my Name, and in the Holy Ghost’s.
Maybe someone will notice me then, as a stolen statue
From the Cathedral behind the 24-hour brothel in Reno.

---Albert B. Casuga
04-07-14, The Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada


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