Monday, February 18, 2008


Back and exhausted. Back from a trip that had me, among other things, having to sit through two pig races. Each pig -- or perhaps piglet since they were small -- were clad in the colors of a different country. England was always a loser. The winners in the two races I witnessed -- slack-jawed at the surreality of the experience -- wore red and blue as colors and, of course, are colors in many countries' flags.

Geezus. I am discussing pigs.

Anyway, catching up and, among other things, am thankful to Geof Huth for his engagement with Tom Beckett's Tiny Book and the significance of the Hows of its publication form. Click on excerpt below for whole thing -- Geof aptly has great things to say about Tom's poems but I focus on this excerpt that focuses on me not just because it's about Moi but because there have been less reactions to the Tiny Books series, to date, that addresses the publication format:
What is interesting in this book is how Eileen Tabios, the transcriber, has ostensibly taken on the role of co-writer of the book. My interpretation—possibly inaccurate—is that Eileen is the one who has visualized this writing, who has not just handwritten these words, but who has added the visual character of words presented as shapes, colored text, and varying sizes of text. When “a map” starts sloping down the page, taking text and giving it shape, I see Eileen’s hand and mind involved. She is not simply a transcriber; she is a writer. And she does more than just visualize the text intentionally; she does it unintentionally as well. Every book is in Eileen’s loose hand, one that doesn’t go for prettiness, but instead depends on speed and a kind of demotic script, generic, loose, easygoing—just about the opposite of what a book handwritten by me would look like. And this visual presence gives the book a different feel, a different message and meaning, than a typed book, even than a book written in a careful calligraphic hand. This visual presence of the text becomes an essential characteristic of the text—a source of its meaning.

And thanks, too, to Krip Yuson for his column in The Philippine Star reviewing Dredging for Atlantis as well as The Light Sang... Click on excerpt below for whole thing:
...a prose rendering on a lower, right-hand column. It's too long to quote in full, so let's skip to its arc of closure, which could well be read as Tabios' ars poetica: "... you will conclude, no matter how many poets have labored, are laboring, will labor, there are never enough poems. Never enough poems. And as you read me now, you feel me sitting before a small desk, buried in a man's plaid bathrobe, unkempt hair falling over bloodshot eyes, ink smudging all fingers, munching on 'a cookie chock full of mountainous chunks of rich milk chocolate and munchable macadamia nuts,' as I write, as I write, as I write: Never enough."

Damn right that's Moi arse poetica: chocolate and Never Enough!

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