Wednesday, February 21, 2007



We are pleased to announce: the recipient of "The Filamore Tabios, Sr. Memorial Poetry Prize" is


for her manuscript, PRAU.

Ms. Vengua (Santa Cruz, CA) will receive a U.S.$1,000.00 prize and PRAU will be published by Meritage Press ( for a release date in Fall 2007.

We would like to thank the poets who participated in this contest. We read many wonderful poems by other participants. In particular, we would like to acknowledge Finalist/Second Place Winner Edgar B. Maranan (Quezon City) for the lovely lyricism and imagery displayed in his manuscript, STAR MAPS & OTHER POEMS.

Submissions were screened by Eileen R. Tabios to generate Finalists' manuscripts. To determine the winner, manuscripts were reviewed on an anonymous basis by Beatriz Tabios to ensure that judging was based solely on the merits of the poems themselves. We are pleased to present below some samples from Jean Vengua's winning manuscript PRAU, and hope you will remember her entire book -- as it turns out, her debut poetry book -- when it is released later in 2007.



Because back then, I truly did not care. I want to return to the fold. This is the text, these are the tears along the creases of time. If time is that room, and an interior of paper and ink, which some say is "not limited," then I must have built it all myself, and furnished it with my loneliness. I became beautiful in a manner of speaking, and without adequate protection against intrusions, I framed and latched the windows and thought this is myself. So, if you don't mind or even if you do mind, I'll return to the hundred rooms mansion, and put on the ornate cuffs and collars left by my changeling masters and mistresses. I will lock the doors tightly.

I am all yours, O.



She removes her clothing before going to bed.
Allusions she drops along the way.
What can you find out by picking through the trash.
4 dimes rest on each other like fallen dominoes.
The headache diminishes with an illusion of surcease.
Chartreuse post-its and floppy disks.

Mind your manners.

Say nothing.

Say little.

It's late.

Tiny adjustments all day long.

In the night the body, the meat diary, remembers certain conversations.



I barely know what I'm writing; it's true. Something comes out of "reality." Some letters; something is missing, and we know it. The sound of that engine is indifferent to humans, like a dog nosing garbage. Aching for some taste of something. Fat and the heat it generates. Beuys understood this. Or the assemblage and movement of parts. What might be fashioned from it? Still the old bird keeps trilling. Mimicking the bird next door. Mimicking, in fact, the door. Something opening and closing on squeaky hinges. Nothing is new, or should be.



position the bird in a side pocket or put it to sleep in poetry. step right up to the shining path. a broken column is pinned to the collar bone, pillar to support her head. she paints a portrait, enlarges upon puddles hidden behind creative writing, drips tears onto a palette, rips open her camisa de dormir. there are two fine breasts cleaved up the middle, and crowning the brow a hairy sliver of moon. the bees are joined in marriage behind literature, european. i kiss your hand, madelaine. i eat your cookies. she unstraps her camisa de fuerza. el corazón beats between science and the mystery of moths and myths. there is cooking for my mother's rosary, juvenile for our apocalypse. choose your color, advance one square, retreat six. cambiarse la camisa is to change categories. in fiction, one must cross two rivers, being careful to avoid the black holes, center stage. fall forever into universe, tell a story, make place.



this in the moment
being hurried &
little time to say…

this is beef stew
being et while jotting
a number of tasks

to do

this is not listening
to the still deep bubble
of ecstatic hokum flower

flowering in my gut
i promise someday dear
ecstatic lightning rod

& transcendent protein

i will listen i will
write you i will listen

i promise