Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Touched At Birth

BULOSAN HUMOR for the holidays, in time of relative peace. That this story and a lot of others collected in a book of the same title received attention only because America needed something exotic to laugh at during the war, as some people say, is bullcrap. And that a writer of such serious issues as racism and social injustice could write hilarious, self-deprecating pieces is amazing. The guy was good, and this Binalonan piece deserves space in the magazine, wartime or peacetime. A few days early for this post, but next week will be crazy at home and work. So as they say in Alabama--Merry Christmas, y'all!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Anger Management

SHERMAN ALEXIE QUOTE from his young adult book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, banned in some schools. I see your point now, got it. The principle behind the craft reminds me of David Mura's (how apt his name) powerful and incredibly angry poem from the nineties entitled "Song for Uncle Tom, Tonto and Mr. Moto" where he trashes American racism and colonialism, subjects I've never tackled as far as I know. Nothing seems to have changed much in America since then, the situation made worse by a moron of a president who has no care and interest in people other than his kind. But gooks are here now, massa, growing in number by the minute like Gremlins in a cesspool. We tearee down your door!


from "Song for Uncle Tom, Tonto and Mr. Moto"

I am the dance the drum the sneaky inscrutable body ...
of a Jap who knows at last my brothers 
are creatures of adobe and Sand Creek and those who bowed massa
yes, sir, all the good niggers and the mute buffalo herds 
all the torrential unconsecrated nauseating flood, each
singing the old imperial clichés — whip marks and sweat, harvest, bone and blood ...
and yes I’m raving, asphyxiated and incurable and now proclaiming...
and here in my uterine mind something is cleaving, beating, growling ... 
and it is rising in Soweto, in Wounded Knee 
in Savannah and savannah, in the Indonesian junk shops 
and the smell of the hanged man or the shoyu-stained tables of hana 
in the Andes and terrifying inner storms of the Caribbean 
sordid, visionary alleys of São Paulo, the alchemical, Amazonian jungles 
and we are all good niggers, good gooks and japs ... 
obsequious, ubiquitous ugliness, which stares at you baboonlike, banana-like 
dwarf-like, tortoise-like, dirt-like, slant-eyed, kink-haired, ashen and pansied ...
we are whirling about you, tartars of the air, 
all the urinating, tarantula-grasping, ant-multiplying, succubused hothouse hordes
yes, it us, it us, we, we knockee, yes, sir, massa, boss-san, 
we tearee down your door!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

How About That?

VERY OLD FICTION with Christmas lights. I wrote about a different kind of caregiver in the nineties when I was a dreamy kid living in California. It appeared in The Likhaan Book of Poetry and Fiction 1998 through the invitation of its fiction editor, the prizewinning writer Charlson Ong, who wrote in his foreword that it was "a Fil-Am story that might yet extend, if not rival, the tradition established by Carlos Bulosan and Bienvenido Santos." Thanks for the kind words, Charles! But to me it is still a rookie story with problems. I am posting it here for fun, to see how it differs from the New York caregiver poem in terms of tone, language, character, what-have-you. And it's good to learn how to embed a PDF file. Credits go to Dennis Lockwood, Fritz Lederer, Zuki and Isaac Friedlander for the woodcuts.