"THE T(H)ORN ROSARY"
I'm purring with gratitude. Thank you to Litter Magazine, edited by Alan Baker, for featuring a review of THE THORN ROSARY. And thanks to the reviewer Aileen Ibardaloza! Click HERE for entire review but here's an excerpt:
As the rosary is a meditation on the decades and their mysteries, the mysteries of The Thorn Rosary involve more than a decade’s worth of meditations and engagements with language, form, culture, reason and human experience. Underlying both is a “purity of intention”. Without romantically idealizing a post-colonial Philippines or the concerns of immigrant communities in a postmodern, multicultural society, Tabios redefines the word “Balikbayan”(3).
I am called “Balikbayan” because the girl in me is a country of rope hammocks and waling-waling orchids—a land with irresistible gravity because, in it, I forget the world’s magnificent indifference.(4)
This, along with Allen Bramhall's earlier engagement, is heartening....especially as I think that THE THORN ROSARY will send out the fewest number of review copies among my books. Kinda interesting how that occurs: one would think one would do an extra-super marketing push for a "selected poems" type of project. Instead, by the time Moi got to my first Selected, I'm simply exhausted from the whole po-biz slogging machination, choosing instead to focus on fewer but perhaps more intimate engagement-experiences.
So I'm very grateful for this review -- especially as I learn from reading it that here's one reader who apparently had been "meditating" on my poems for nearly five years now! Five years! To know that I wrote a poem(s) that can move someone to that kind of commitment -- I'm blessed to find such a reader! Salamat!