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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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


1. Do Not Disturb
You are noisy/ even when you are silent, / the world is dripping with/ Do Not Disturb signs in/ languages we don’t even/ recognize as languages. --- From “On Eggshells” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 01-03-12

It is easy enough to hear silence
at the edge of the woods. It is loud.
Your pounding heart is not there
beating sense into your dulled mind.
They just jump out like shadows
on walls, turn their backs, ignore us.
On its own, one whines with longings
struggling to spill out, uncorked,
from unguarded gaols of feelings
that have lain fallow, rotten carrion
of desire tardily unbound, love gone
still, a truant finally nailed dead
on broken beds creaking under cold
sheets that will never find heat again.
The other, a slug of a mind, stays mute,
until it is egged on to scream out a pain
in its pure form: a memory of loss,
a raw betrayal of troth. Cut, cut clean.
Out of the woods, on his way home,
it was easy to read on the locked cottage
door an absent sign: Do not disturb.
Silence has its sharp language. It is clear.
2.  Hunger
What remains after/ the marks are erased? / …You could be the sound of a shutter, the blank/ accordion surface of blinds turned down for the night. ---Luisa A. Igloria, “Erasure”, Via Negativa, 03-13-12
Look harder into the darkened corridor
after the shutters have gone down,
ignore the clipped clatter of slats slapped
shut with peremptory indifference;
blurred shadows should start jumping
through them as lingering sunrays
slither like paper-thin serpents flapping
languidly with the stale air. I am there.
How else will my lost carrion incarnate
except through the quiver of hungry loins
trembling achingly through cold nights
when your frenzied fight with the pillows
and caressing flannel become urgent noise
echoing unsatedly needy behind shutters.
Revised, July 22, 2014 Mississauga



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