Pinoy poetry

A Tangle of Books.

Damn. It’s hot & humid & sweaty & sticky & I’m sitting here in Los Banos all alone & I’m reading Angelo Suarez’s Else It Was Purely Girls & I swear to god every other poem in his collection is about cunnilingus. Curse you Angelo Suarez!

And curse you too for

& your sweaty palms, slightly bent nose, / shoulders & armpits worthy of psalms — / your sex songful / with salt & sin.

(Sorry, I couldn’t get the PRE tags to work, so I can’t reproduce the funky layout of “Back-to-Back Showbiz Love Cycle.”)

Or these especially lovely lines, from “To a Girl Sitting on the Table:”

…how distant
the sky! how pluvial the night to reach

for hiding stars! tonight your cheek from there
is the moon for my broken rocket of hand.

Speaking of poetry, though, I am now the happy owner of an actual copy of Paolo Manalo’s Jolography — finally went to the source (UP Press — I was interviewing someone in Teacher’s Village, so malapit lang), to which I should have gone in the first place (got author’s discount too!) and found a whole stack. Bought an (older) anthology of essays by Roland Tolentino, who is just about the most prolific UP professor this side of Neil Garcia. Also caught up on the Cornell-Kyoto mafia: Carol Hau’s hard-to-find On the Subject of the Nation, and Jojo Abinales’ fourth? fifth? book in five years?

Anyway, back to work: interviews to transcribe and all.