Saturday, June 29, 2013

The International Poetry Review: Soup Bowls and A Site to Behold

I already received my copy of the journal a few days ago. Now, I can post my poems here because they're not available online.

The International Poetry Review (IPR), Spring 2013

A Site to Behold

What a sight
Beauty, behold Manila
on the streets
a fresh Bawal Tumawid
warns you not to die
like many before you

See, we’ve tidied up
the slums with a makeshift wall
whitewashed, fresh as a new page
awaiting possibilities
a spattering of starfish, squid, corals
intricate pipelines, circles and squares

See, our new kalsada
fenced and repainted
a lane for motorcycles
a lane for buses
(more or less)
moving us forward

See, even the tindera
peddling candies on the sidewalk
applies her daily mascara
and smiles as a cat steals
the half-eaten fishball
she had for breakfast


Soup Bowls

At the other table
two men are talking

over plastic bowls of reheated
soup and cheap egg noodles.

Father and son perhaps
somewhat reminds me of home

only instead of fastfood plastic
we sipped soup from smoothed

coconut husks, mother frowning
across the bamboo table for I said,

the food is bland
there's not enough

rice. Those two men have finished
their meal, and here my soup has gone


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mission: Fave Poem/Story of the Week

To get my bum ass up and reading, I'm going to post about my favorite poem or story for the week (every week). For a writer, the stuff I read are pretty limited. I haven't read Kafka, Murakami, Camus, Le Guin... I haven't even read The Game of Thrones or The Hunger Games.

I'm one of those people who'd rather play games, spend my money on Muay Thai, hand wraps, and running shoes, and watch TV series. Though I do enjoy books by Stephen King, John Grisham, and a host of sci-fi / fantasy writers like Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, I think I need to expand a bit.

For one, I've discovered a gem of a site for speculative poetry, Inkscrawl. I really enjoyed The Mermaid's Winter song by Brittany Warman. It's opening line is fiery and magical-- "In December I string the stars through my hair." I love how the images of white, cold, solitude and winter all come into play to create an icy image you can almost touch

And just to plug this in because I'm shameless like that, I finally got an acceptance from F.J. Bergmann, editor of Star*line. Star*Line is the official newsletter and network instrument of the SFPA (Science Fiction Poetry Association), established in 1978. It is a venue for speculative (including science-fiction, fantasy, and horror) poets and poetry enthusiasts, and features interviews, articles, reviews, member news and letters, association business, and poetry—by members and nonmembers.

Two of my poems, "Caterpillar Man" and "Why I Will Not Attend Your Wedding" will be published in one of their upcoming issues. Did a lot of work and re-work for those two pieces, but they made it through in the end, and now they have more muscle. Will post more on this when I have more on this.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Atlantis, Giant Pyramids and Sphinxes

I bought a book when I was younger. It was all about occult stuff like levitation, poltergeist, seances... I was most interested in stories about Atlantis. I was amazed at how explorers in the 1950s described ruins that showed a culturally-advanced society that used a different energy source to power their city. The energy they used was supposedly generated from crystal pyramids. Some occult groups believe that crystals are natural energy accumulators due to their capacity for "vibrations." The structure of pyramids are also believed to concentrate energy into usable forms.

Recently, interest in Atlantis and lost ancient Egyptian cities have resurfaced. In the Mediterranean Sea for instance, the remains of pictograms, mummies and statues have been unearthed. It is believed that the discovery may be the lost city of Heracleion. The Huffington Post writes:
"It is a city shrouded in myth, swallowed by the Mediterranean Sea and buried in sand and mud for more than 1,200 years. But now archeologists are unearthing the mysteries of Heracleion, uncovering amazingly well-preserved artifacts that tell the story of a vibrant classical-era port."
And some of the finds:
Too cool, right?

Another recent find is a couple of giant crystal pyramids and sphinxes in the Bermuda Triangle. The scans show that the pyramids are really MASSIVE. Pyramids of that size have long been theorized by occultists to be potent power sources. From the article "Two Giant Underwater Crystal Pyramids Discovered in the Center of the Bermuda Triangle":
With the use of sonar, oceanographer Dr. Meyer Verlag discovered giant glass pyramids at a depth of two-thousand meters.  The use of other devices have allowed scientists to determine that these glass giants are both made of a crystal-like substance, and are nearly 3 times bigger than the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt.
 This city is believed to be connected to Atlantis, and may have sunk during the last pole shift.

Image from Altering Perspectives
I hope they continue digging and studying these amazing archeological finds. Crystal energy seems particularly interesting, as it might be an answer to the current energy crisis.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Published and Available for Reading

I've forgotten to post about these! These titles were accepted a few months ago and some are now actually published and available in print and/or online:



  • "Piso" in Poetry Cornwall Issue 37:


A child opens his hands
to receive my coin

A child opens his hands
now empty
A child opens his hands
now still

A child opens his hands
still and empty.

In my hand
a cold coin shines a dull sheen.

  • "Summer" in Paper Wasp Winter 2013


a breeze sways
the chipped garden swing—
our prayers
to the three Saints
we dance the pandanggo
sudden rain

kaimito season
the first fruit falls
from our tree

kapok in full bloom
our unborn child

just a pile of coins
in the well

closing the blinds…
a streak
of dry tears

"Haze" earned an honorable mention in On The Premises' 20th short story contest

This is a good year indeed. I'm starting to try out joining writing contests (mostly the ones with no fees since I don't have money hehe). While looking for places to submit, I discovered that On The Premises Magazine holds quarterly short story contests. The magazine was accepting submissions for their Contest #20 at the time I submitted. After waiting a few months, I got an email telling me that out of 295 entries, my story, "Haze" had been shortlisted.

To me that was good enough. I mean, I've never won a writing award in my life. I'm just happy doing what I do.

And then a few weeks later, the organizers contacted me, telling me that "Haze" made an Honorable Mention! What's great about this is that there's a cash prize, so it literally pays off my hard work.

"Haze" will be out in a few weeks, will post about it soon. We're currently in the process of making a few edits so the piece will be in tip-top shape.

The premise for Contest #20:


One or more characters must examine the inner workings of something important to the story. The “something” can be a physical object, a person’s mindset, a relationship, an idea... anything so long as the concept of “inner workings” can be applied to it literally or metaphorically.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bebeh of the Week: Sea-jacking Sea Lion

Cutest thing ever. I'd have hugged the shit out of this bebeh. So trusting, too. Gotta learn from this.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Strange Horizons, At Last! Plus the Philippines Graphic

*roundhouse kicks*
*jumping jacks*

Who cares if that wound on my shin is gonna scar like hell (though let's hope it doesn't. I still want to wear my dresses). Last week was a hell of a bad week for me, but maybe bad luck fuels creativity?

Just too excited right now. I've been wanting, or more of dreaming to be a part of one of my favorite speculative fiction sources ever, Strange Horizons. (Town's End by Yukimi Ogawa is a recent fave. Go read it's not that long). About two years back, I read about how a Pinoy, Dean Alfar, got in there. I was so envious given that the speculative writing genre isn't so in among the Filipino writing community. It has been heavily criticized, the point of many writers being that genre writers are not literary enough, relying on plot devices to make stories stimulating and exciting. Another point is that it is redundant, as fiction in itself is supposed to be speculation/speculative.

Yet I beg to disagree. I've enjoyed speculative fiction since I was a child, and I may not be a lit major, but I can tell the difference between the so-called literary works and the specfic I enjoy. Literary works have this trend of being so heavy with symbolism that there is almost NO story in the story. There is also a trend to use the first person narrator, which is not bad in itself, but the stories have, for some reason, begun to sound alike, as though just one person wrote them. Heavy on inward thinking, and the character's preoccupation with how he/she feels, it gets tiring after a while. The stories smell great, but give me something to eat.

I tried getting into Strange Horizons via fiction first. Fiction is my first love, but maybe it doesn't love me back. So I combined my specfic writing skillz with my poetry, and voila, I've found something I love even more, and it actually looks like it loves me back! @_@

Ms. Adrienne Odasso, Poetry Co-editor of SH got in touch this morning as a poem of mine got in at last! *tears of joy.* Maybe I'll frame the letter? Or is that weird? Hahaha

Dear Anne:

We are pleased to inform you that your poem titled "Rehearsal for When He Wakes" has been selected for publication in Strange Horizons. [cut short by me]

I will be in contact with you shortly about minor edits to the poem (mostly punctuation, etc.)


Adrienne Odasso
Poetry Co-Editor
This week is too good to be true! I mean... I should probably see a priest / medicine man to protect me from bad luck because I don't want to pay with another big wound. Please please please.

Earlier this week, Ms. Alma Anonas-Carpio, Literary Editor of the Philippines Graphic magazine also got in touch with an acceptance. (I'd have blogged sooner if my work weren't so darned heavy with an exciting new mobile app):

Hi Anne!

I am pleased to inform you that we are taking all your poems. However, because we need to give way to other authors, I am calendaring your poems to appear pair by pair three months apart, so you have work coming out in the next issue, then in September and December. 

I hope this is okay with you.

Alma Anonas-Carpio
Literary Editor
Philippines Graphic magazine
So that's June, September, and December 2013, where any of the following poems will appear:
  • Things We Tell Ourselves After Elections
  • No One Wants a Girl with Brains
  • An Appetite for Words 
  • Salt
  • A Study of Swarm Intelligence
So I just have to control the happiness now because it might make me go pack up like a bear and hibernate. No, these aren't reason to take a break. These are reasons for me to push on harder and write better. One thing I've learned, the more hard work you put in, the better the work that comes out. Some people rely on being inspired to write, but I just go out and look for the inspiration. I'm fortunate to find them everywhere I look.

Thank you Strange Horizons and the Philippines Graphic Magazine for making my year.

Now, to do some Muay Thai...