#Poem for Marthe Reed by Eileen Tabios

I mentioned in my last post that I’m doing a reading at Studio One today in Oakland with other Black Radish Books writers. Sadly, the beloved Black Radish poet/publisher/editor Marthe Reed passed away several days ago. The reading will go on tonight, and will include readings of her work. You Brought Me to the Mangrove Forest is a recently written poem for Marthe by Eileen Tabios. Click on the link for the poem and images.


Monday 4/8/2013

Haven't let go 
of yesterday


the need to get

get it down
in the other room

he is

invisible thread

I drew a line
many lines

on brown paper

to "Hellas Planitia"
nothing is 

or fully known
but by rough

upon a surface
and by


...because Juana
never faltered

living her Truth
even as

snuffed the votive
lights in

--- Eileen R. Tabios, "La Loca," The SINGER And Others: Flamenco Hay(na)ku, p. 53.

992 Valencia

Just back from a trip to San Francisco to participate in APIA (Asian Pacific Islander American) panel on avant garde poets and poetics, with Truong Tran, Jai Arun Ravine, Margaret Rhee, and Eileen Tabios — hosted by Barbara Jane Reyes and Samantha Giles of Small Press Traffic. Of course I’m familiar with Eileen (who was in fine mettle this evening), and really enjoyed getting to know more about the work of the other poet/artists. I also met Robin Tremblay-McGaw of xpoetics.

This country mouse doesn’t get up to San Francisco often, these days, and I have to admit that I miss the incredible creative and innovative energy of the poets and artists of the city where I was born. I plan on going to more readings and art shows there in the future. It’s always inspiring.

(silk egg) and i cont’d.

Alright, an egg has a life of its own, and yet is food in that we are all food; as we consume others, various others snack on us, even as we head toward that final place-setting in the soil (pause to flick an invisible creature from my eyelash). Who isn’t “avaricious”?

Speaking of inevitabilities — I have a question for you: does the word “obviate” or “obviated” appear in all of Ms. Tabios’ books? Several times? What does the text obviate?

As a victim of “dry eye” syndrome, I know that a tear can ease the movement of, if not ward off, pain. Soften the skid.

Chapter I

Her lid fell like a wave. A tear obviated the wink.
Thus, did she become my horizon.

I think of the horizon of the poem, which is the horizon of breath and will–or accident. And the horizons of novels pretend to go on uninterrupted until reaching an “inevitable” conclusion; whole in themselves, supposedly.

"His cock was midnight."

Like that.

   The conclusion is a red skull and, Oh! How it lit up that
corner of the room!
   Where a staircase led up to a higher part of the wall and
it is a greedy disillusion that would sculpt that impassive
space into a Door.

And yet something so soft as a cloud will lead bone astray. When my cloud plant turned silver and died, I had to admit — I knew not the least bit about plants that live on air and steam alone. Does that compute?

On the other hand,

 Lindt, white chocolate truffles


skim milk

out of context still have their pull. Small offerings, as if to stave off anonymity or death.