Presenting engagements (including reviews) of poetry books & projects. Occasionally there will be Featured Poets, as well as offerings from "The Critic Writes Poems" series. Deadline is ongoing: reviews will be posted as submitted and accepted. Please engage!
Monday, May 22, 2017
Alex Tizon’s article "My Family’s Slave" as regards Eudocia Tomas
(The Atlantic, June 2017)
No papers, no way to go home for Tatay’s burol.
Life in America costs: dollars for
Here, we cannot afford
compassion, the capacity to love
lest we risk waking from the dream.
Fifty-six years: broken tongue exiled.
Wash the sheets over sullied memories
of life in the province.
Water the plants, thirst for a lover’s
Cook rice while crying yourself raw.
The children are alright.
lang ako.” A lesser humanity,
punctuated by the cruelty of shame.
Eudocia, millions more in the shadows,
secret lives charred underground.
What price, kababayan, for Lola’s tears?
initial and visceral reaction to Alex Tizon’s article about Eudocia Tomas
Pulido was a mix of feeling betrayed, shame, anger and grief.
betrayed, wishing our community had the chance to process together before
outsiders cast judgments about a culture fragmented by centuries of
colonization and imperialism.
shame that my homeland continues the practice of exporting our people’s labor
in exchange for foreign remittances.
anger, because her story is part of much larger issues related to globalization
and capitalism: forced migration, immigrant labor, human trafficking. Enduring
systems of income inequality that render economic opportunities to very few
have created ripe conditions for Lola Eudocias throughout the world to be exploited
continues. I acknowledge that my grief over Lola Eudocia’s story was rooted in
the realization that many of our kababayans
live anonymous and tragic lives, as migrant laborers, paid next to nothing.
This poem shows my struggle in centering her story in a feeble attempt to
synthesize our people’s collective pain.
Maileen Hamto hikes and takes photographs of
interesting things illuminated by sunlight. Transplanted to Turtle Island from
Luzon Island, she now lives in the mountains and hillside homes of the Arapahoe
and Cheyenne (Denver, Colorado). Her professional work is devoted to advancing
diversity, inclusion and equity to create and provide opportunities and access
for underserved communities.