Tuesday, September 27, 2011


In the just-released issue of OurOwnVoice, Nicholas Spatafora offers a review of that which I once laid: SILK EGG. It's always interesting to see responses to one's writings -- thank you, Sir! I'm appreciative of any response that ends with "the enduring, resilient and determined nature of the human spirit"!


And if above makes you curious about SILK EGG, do feel free to read what others have to say about it!

Nicholas T. Spatafora, OurOwnVoice, September 2011

rob mclennan, rob mclennan's blog, Aug. 22, 2011

Alan Baker, Litterbug, July 11, 2011

Stephen Hong Sohn, Asian American Lit Fans, June 19, 2011

Michael Leong, BIG OTHER, June 10, 2011

Zvi A. Sesling, Boston Area Poetry Scene, March 2, 2011

Joey Madia, New Mystics Reviews, Feb. 21, 2011

Jean Vengua, JEAN VENGUA, Jan. 30, 2011 and Feb. 6, 2011

Leny M. Strobel, Kathang Pinay, Feb. 1, 2011

Allen Bramhall, Tributary, Jan. 14, 2011

Check it out, please. I worked so hard on that book. Why, it took an entire month to write those Baker's Dozen's worth of novels...!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011


Yo! Got Moi the first true pumpkin of the season!

And speaking of harvests, here's moi latest update to my Recently Relished W(h)ine List below. Note that if you see an asterisk before the title, that means a review copy is available for Galatea Resurrects ). And I'm looking looking looking for reviewers to get books offa moi floors and to hit 100 new reviews for the next issue! Yeah! More info on that HERE.

112 cherry tomatoes
144 regular tomatoes
28 red onions
2 strawberries
18 zucchini
74 summer squash
51 squash flowers
44 green beans
1 lemon cucumber
2 pumpkins (the first doesn't count as it was harvested prematurely when I thought it was a melon...)
27 sprigs of basil
5 clumps of sage
1 green cucumber
4 lemon cucumbers
8 sprigs of mint
50 Concord grapes
24 figs
3 bunches of chives

THE ULTERIOR EDEN, poems by j/j hastain (worth re-reading; highlights the power of eros)

* A TOAST IN THE HOUSE OF FRIENDS, poems by Akilah Oliver (couldn’t help but notice the energy that reared up with the first page and just boomed on each succeeding page until the end – it wrote itself and the poet is to be admired for ego not getting in the way)

"NEITHER WIT NOR GOLD" (FROM THEN), poems by Ammiel Alcalay

HOW PHENOMENA APPEAR TO UNFOLD, poems and essays by Leslie Scalapino

PHOTOGRAPH OF A NUDE, poems by Gary Silva (I’d seen Gary Silva around while he was doing Poet Laureate duty for Napa Valley, e,g. hosting a poetry reading at the local library. I finally got a chance to read his poems through 2 chapbooks including the one listed below, and was pleasantly rewarded!)

CERAMICS: LAUREATE POEMS by Gary Silva (wonderful “occasional poems”)



HANK, poems by Abraham Smith

* THE DIVINE SALT, poems by Peter Blair

* FLOWER CART, poems by Lisa Fishman

FROM HERE, poems by Zoe Skoulding with images by Simonetta Moro

CORPORATE GEESE by Christopher William Purdom



KITCHEN TIDBITS, poems by Amanda Laughtland (charming)

THE SPIRIT OF THE SAINTS / EL ESPIRITU DE LOS SANTOS, St. Helena High School Literary Arts Journal 2010, co-eds Susan Swan and Sophia Cahua



THE SIEGE, novel by Stephen White

THE SHADOW CATCHERS, novel by Thomas Lakeman

IN PURSUIT OF HONOR, novel by Vince Flynn

SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT, novel by Lydia Joyce

2001 Brunello di Montalcino Valdicava
2005 Trevor Jones Dry Grown Barosso shiraz
2010 Dutch Henry sauvignon blanc Chafen Family Vineyards
1990 Ch. Margaux (Moi Birthday Wine this year!)
2004 Samuel's Gorge shiraz McLaren's Vale
2001 Monprivato In Castiglione Falletto Barolo Mascarello Guiseppe E. Figlio
2002 Puligny-Montrachet Clos de la Mouchere Jean Boillot & File Monopole
2002 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Pruliers Philippe et Vincent Lecheneaut
2008 Conundrum
2002 Bonneau du Martrey Corton Charlemagne
Vega Sicilia Reserva Especial
1988 Ch. d’Yquem


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Yes, usually the word “bankers” elicits an Ugh nowadays. But yesterday my local banker made MOI DAY! I was talking about a banking problem (what else) with her and her computer was slow (of course). During said slow period, she chit-chatted with me as she’s personable … and Moi is personable, too. ‘Twas during that chit-chat that I mentioned my "business" Meritage Press and the Great Recession in poetry publishing and she replied by saying she’s bought a poetry book!

Yep. She’s bought a poetry book! Just to be sure my elation was not over-the-top, I asked whether she’s a poet when not doing her day job. Nope, she’s not a poet. AND SHE BOUGHT A POETRY BOOK!!!!!!


I asked, which poet? She replied, “Edna … something.”

I enthusiastically riposted, “Ah. Edna St. Vincent Millay.”

“Yes,” she replied. “I read a poem and it spoke to me so I bought the book.”

Wisely, I offered my expert opinion: “Edna is good.”

Then we beamed brightly at each other.

Then her computer caught up with reality, and we returned to my banking problem.

But isn’t that great? I was so happy to meet a non-poet who voluntarily buys poetry books. Okay, maybe I should say “poetry book” as in singular. For all I know, that may be the only poetry book she’s ever bought. But, if so, she’s still ahead of general culture, yah?! So definitely worth a Nota Bene.

And speaking of which, here’s my latest list of recently-purchased poetry books or books by poets:

bough breaks by Tamiko Beyer

ROAD SONG FOR by Lars Palm



KALI'S BLADE by Michelle Bautista


SILK EGG: COLLECTED NOVELS (2009-2009) by Eileen R. Tabios (As this blog is about Moi, I non-apologetically suggest you buy it, too! GO HERE for the ordering links through various venues.)

Sure, the list could be more voluminous. But how are you doing with your poetry purchases?

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I found it interesting to stumble onto this article for several reasons. Since this blog is about Moi, let's scroll down to where you see my name...

...in reference to a 2001 symposium in New York in which I participated regarding "Filipino Literature and the Arts in the Diaspora". The article references an idea I've launched more than once at these Filipino Literature-related forums about the "community" supporting its literature, to wit, about de facto enforced purchases of books as door prizes at the numerous conferences that sprout up within the community. The article mentions one "fundraising ball" where the prize was a Coach bag. Well, where's the imagination? One couldn't stick a less-than-$20-book into that bag that undoubtedly cost in the hundreds...?

Books can be less than $20. Why not purchase these books in bulk, add the resulting (discounted price of, say) $8 to the entrance fee which probably would not be noticed, and force the books into the attendees' hands? Even if they don't read it, said attendees would take it -- it is a freebie -- and bring it home and it may end up in a daughter's or son's hand....

Filipino social clubs, professional associations or activist groups frequently sponsor these big parties, conferences, etc. There is room within such infrastructure for mass promotion of a relatively inexpensive object like a book!

Okay, so I toss out this idea again -- hoping after a decade of it being ignored that this idea may yet get traction elsewhere. What else is internet for?

Meanwhile, do read Tricia J. Capistrano's well-wrought article which raises larger issues about what is "Filipino" in literature. Perhaps such might make you curious about reading moi SILK EGG which has received, so far, fabulous critical praise among a cognoscenti more rigorous than what typically populates mainstream publishing. Jest sayin'...

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Thanks to all those sending birthday wishes...

Meritage Press author Luis H. Francia writes a column about "9-1-1" HERE for the Philippine Star, which movingly ends with one of the poems from his collection Museum of Absences.

Meanwhile, thanks to Lia Chang for sharing photos of the 9-1-1 Exhibit at the Library of Congress, curated by Reme Grefalda. Here's one shot of how my cut-up poem was cut-up-n-pasted, as well as a close-up thereof...

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Monday, September 05, 2011



Well, okay! So the review copy list for Galatea Resurrects has been frequently updated this past week, reflecting some additional fabulous titles just aching for your attention and review! Now, I've publicly announced a goal to publish 100 reviews in the next issue. I am currently at 19 reviews. World, do you really want to see the Chatelaine fall down in ignominious embarrassment?

It's a good thing that, in poetry, I'm not embarrassed to become ... embarrassed.

But, actually, there are way more than enough review copies circulating out there amidst ye beloved GR reviewers so that if you all actually sent me those reviews we'd have an issue of 200-plus reviews! What's stopping ye? Deadline is Nov. 15 but I'll take reviews sooner!

You will relish reading many of the available poetry titles ... [insert drum roll for segue] ... and speaking of relishes, here's moi latest update to my Recently Relished W(h)ine List below. Note that if you see an asterisk before the title, that means a review copy is available for Galatea Resurrects ). And I'm looking looking looking for reviewers to get books offa moi floors and to hit 100 new reviews for the next issue! Yeah! More info on that HERE.

112 cherry tomatoes
76 regular tomatoes
28 red onions
2 strawberries
18 zucchini
67 summer squash
51 squash flowers
44 green beans
1 lemon squash
1 pumpkin
27 sprigs of basil
5 clumps of sage
1 green cucumber
4 lemon cucumbers
2 sprigs of mint
50 Concord grapes

* THE SPIRITUAL LIFE OF REPLICANTS, poems by Murat Nemet-Nejat (so wise)

WAIFS AND STRAYS, poems by Micah Ballard (fabulous!)

* THERE'S ONLY ONE GOD AND YOU'RE NOT IT, poems by Stephen Paul Miller (is that a great title or what!)

ES VERDAD, poems with photos by jim mccrary (GAW-GEOUS GAW-GEOUS!)

* SHE, A BLUEPRINT, "text" by Michelle Naka Pierce and images by Sue Hammond West (interesting concept--and fresh take on ye olde body as basis for POV --summarized by a quote from Bhanu Kapil: "In the process of carving out a territory,...we also carve out something like a body for ourselves. So this dual operation of territory and body is produced simultaneously.")

* THE FEELING IS ACTUAL, poems, plays and visuals/collages by Paolo Javier

* YELLOW / YELLOW, poems by Margaret Rhee

* LIGATURE STRAIN, poems by Kim Koga

RED WALLS, poems by James Tolan (gorgeously hard-fought and honed into gold)

BLUE&YELLOWDOG, FALL 2011 ISSUE 6, literary journal edited by Raymond Farr (adored those poems by Mark DuCharme!)

UNDER ALBANY, memoir by Ron Silliman (as pleasurable at 2nd read as it was in the 1st read!)

PATHS TO HOMELESSNESS: EXTREME POVERTY AND THE URBAN HOUSING CRISIS, study by Doug A. Timmer, D. Stanley Eitzenand Kathryn D. Talley

NEW COUNTRY COLLECTING by Carol Sama Sheehan with photographs by Joshua Greene

THE NOMINATION, novel by William G. Tapply

WINTER MOON, novel by Dean Koontz

THE INFORMANT, novel by Thomas Perry

STRIP, novel by Thomas Perry

DEAD AIM, novel by Thomas Perry

SILENCE, novel by Thomas Perry

NIGHTLIFE, novel by Thomas Perry

HEART OF ICE, novel by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

HARVARD'S EDUCATION, novel by Suzanne Brockman

HAWKEN'S HEART, novel by Suzanne Brockman

2002 Hutton Vale Grenache Mataro Eden Valley
2005 The James Brazill "Good Catholic Girl" shiraz
2007 Serra "Paitin" Barbaresco
1994 Pesquera Reserva Especial Ribera Del Duero

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Sunday, September 04, 2011


I mentioned previously that Cecilia Langlois aka Geejay Arriola, an award-winning songwriter and singer, has decided to put one of my poems to music! What an honor! Well, I don't think she anticipated having to slog through all my books, though, before she chose a poem (heh). Anyway, she chose an old poem of mine (it classifies as a "baby poem" since I believe it's among the first 20 poems I ever wrote) from my first poetry book Beyond Life Sentences, a poem entitled "Immigrant."

What's interesting is that she asked permission, for purpose of making the text work more for her song-writing, to edit the poem. I'm going to show the poem below with the indicated edits. But what's intriguing to me is that, the way I see the poem now, her edits improve the poem as poem anyway. Certainly, if I were writing the poem today I might edit it her way whether or not one calls it a poem or song lyric ... (even as I recall how certain poets in the past call for the poem to sing!)

... and, in turn, this all leads me to wonder about the difference between poem and song lyric. Does there really need to be a difference...?

The faces of the elders
Bestow a haunting
On others reciprocating
With their own weariness,
Dropping gazes like debris.

Teeth are missing
Gums full of potholes.
Long ago, shoulders sagged
To crumbling ruins.

They sit by roadsides
Under trees whose shade
They treasure for costing

Splayed around their feet
Are the young whose faces,
Like babies anywhere,
Eagerly turn here,
Eagerly turn there,

Searching surroundings
For treasures invisible
But I also believed existed
When I still shared their innocence.

There is a country somewhere
On the opposite of where I stand
On this earth, a country
From where I departed
For a people I thought to save
Someday with my return.

But the old and the young
Are as different from me
As the wealthy of this universe:
They do not need much,
They need too much
They do not ask,
They must often plead
—While I know what it takes
To survive

And that survival meant
To move on from where a man
And a woman joined
Before the onset of weakness
To create me

Finally I know
At this peak of my wisdom
That to return bears
No relationship to survival

Which, instead has to do
With you whose path
Crossed mine
In a new land.

There is a country somewhere
Dying without a protest
From me defensively,
Selfishly seeking
Rebirth in your arms

Hm. I couldn't ... wouldn't ... write this poem today ...

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Saturday, September 03, 2011

HE'S BA...A...A...ACK!!!!

I'd been so sad that Michael stopped showing interest in visual art for the past several months since I feel he's got great natural talent in it!!!! But he's baaaaaa....aaaaack!! He's taking visual art in high school and look at what he did for the cover of his artbook!

Isn't that just a fabulous combination of the figurative and the abstract?! But of course it is! It's Mama Moi being rhetorical to ye 9.5 billion Peeps!

And can you tell that he did the "abstraction" by first putting a palm on the surface to paint around the fingers....? Well, I'm blind -- so, actually, I didn't get that until he said so. Sigh: he is such an artiste....!

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Friday, September 02, 2011


September 3, 2011

Editor: Theodore S. Gonzalves
Release Date: Fall 2011
ISBN No.: 978-0-615-52120-6
Price: $40.00
For More Information: MeritagePress@aol.com, http://www.meritagepress.com, http://integrityofspaces.info (http://www.missionculturalcenter.org/MCCLA_New/gallery.html)

Meritage Press (San Francisco & St. Helena) is delighted to announce the release of CARLOS VILLA AND THE INTEGRITY OF SPACES, edited by Theodore S. Gonzalves. This long-overdue book takes a critical look at the life and work of one of the most celebrated Filipino American artists of our time and a leading light in the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich history of creative arts. The book includes essays and poetry by Bill Berkson, Theodore S. Gonzalves, David A.M. Goldberg, Mark Dean Johnson, Margo Machida, Moira Roth, and Carlos Villa; and features a gallery of 77 color and b&w images from Villa's career.

ADVANCE WORDS on this project include:

“For this beautiful book, cultural studies scholar Theo Gonzalves brings together the most relevant and important voices on the work of Carlos Villa, which spans more than half a century. Together with Gonzalves’ own detailed and nuanced essay, which provides a rich context for our understanding and appreciation of Villa’s art and life, they variously illuminate how the artist’s vision emerges from Filipino American history, how his work engages the work of other American visual artists, and how he thinks about and makes art. The book ends as powerfully as it begins, with Villa’s own words, both as a teacher and artist. Carlos Villa and the Integrity of Spaces is the definitive work on one of the most important American artists of our time.”
—Elaine H. Kim, author of Fresh Talk/Daring Gazes: Conversations on Asian American Art

“Here, finally, is the book that Carlos Villa so richly deserves. His fascinating art-and-life trajectory is explored by an equally stellar group of writers who weave the links (and ruptures) between Filipino/U.S. histories, art worlds, jazz, Asian American arts, San Francisco, and Villa’s gifts for friendship, teaching, and cultural activism. His art is memorable, powerful, and moving. So is this book.”
—Lucy R. Lippard, author of Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America

“When I first moved to the Bay Area in 1990, I remember seeing a pair of feathered shoes in a glass box. The implication—that by lifting the glass the shoes might fly away—did not feel like mainstream art or party line culture. It felt like a leap both personal and tribal. Looking back, I can now see the leap that Carlos Villa took as something close to my own immigration, one having always stood for a non-ideological American multiculturalism firmly grounded in the steps of his—and our—own journey.”
—Hung Liu, Professor of Studio Art, Mills College

“Carlos Villa is a legendary figure in the arts and in the struggles of a multicultural generation. For over four decades he has created work from the soul of his ancestry, language, and ceremonial vision. His generous leadership in the movement for cultural rights has brought together the luminaries of our time. His contribution to global artistic expressions is immense and incalculable and his iconic work marks an era critical to the arts in America.”
—Amalia Mesa-Bains, artist and author of Ceremony of Spirit: Nature and Memory in Contemporary Latino Art

“A wonderfully rich and important anthology that generously offers several instances of Carlos Villa’s own words with writings by distinguished contributors. Editor Gonzalves critically coheres a lively collection of essays and a brilliant piece of pantoum poetry, from discussions of the manong legacy to an assertion of hybridity and the primacy of art. Carlos Villa and the Integrity of Spaces will ensure the artist his rightful place in art and cultural history.”
—Yong Soon Min, Professor of Studio Art, University of California at Irvine

“This remarkable book on Carlos Villa—artist, educator, curator, and author—reveals the breadth of his work worldwide. His World’s in Collision has been one of the most important texts for the education of students and artists for over two decades; and his own art extends the cultural range of visual perception.”
—Keith A. Morrison, art educator, curator, art critic, and administrator


Meritage Press seeks to expand fresh ways of featuring literary and other art forms. Meritage Press publishes a wide range of artists – poets, writers, visual artists, dancers, and performance artists, among others. By acknowledging the multiplicity of aesthetic concerns, Meritage’s interests necessarily encompass a variety of disciplines – politics, culture, identity, science, humor, religion, history, technology, philosophy and wine. Based in St. Helena and San Francisco, Ca., Meritage Press is published and edited by Eileen R. Tabios. More information at http://www.meritagepress.com and http://meritagepress.blogspot.com.

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