Eileen R. Tabios is a poet working in multiple genres and in-between. She also loves books by writing, reading, publishing, critiquing, romancing and advocating for them. This blog will feature her bibliophilic activities with posts on current book engagements and links to her books and projects related to books.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Belligerence can manifest in many ways and one of the examples in Love In A Time of Belligerence has to do with the increased popularity of sex dolls and what such implies. I'm posting below an excerpt from the book's poem "Pathos." I was moved to do this blog post by recent articles on sex dolls relating to their use as for-hire dolls, mimicking prostitution, as well as the more unsavory use of child sex dolls, mimicking pedophilia. At the latter, I admit to having my open-mindedness come to a screeching halt -- what a belligerent world.

Here's an excerpt from how the book addresses this issue in a poem entitled "Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Pathos":

men collecting rubber sex dolls—yes
one is not sufficient. It’s not only about
sex, though the dolls all share breasts
permanently uplifted in defiance of
gravity. The doll owners put them in
wheelchairs to take them to the beach
to a picnic, to love hotels where mirrors
surround the bed—the doll is property

and the owner is in total control. In
a world changing constantly and in ways
off-putting if not terrorizing to who they
believe they are, the doll owners can
always arrive “home” to dolls whose eyes
ears, mouths, genitals remain ever attentive

One man’s daughter receives
the doll’s hand-me-down clothes—what
must she think as she puts on the sheer
lace blouse of her father’s rubber toy

I'm still processing sex dolls and its implications (see HERE) ... and continuing to be bothered by its pedophiliac aspects so that my aggravation surfaced yesterday in a second poem on the issue. No doubt writing is helping me process. Anyway, here's an excerpt from a new poem from "The Ashbery Riff-Offs" series--it's entitled "Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Bizarria":

of sexing with a robot. There’s “Bobbin,”whose human
trawls lingerie stores for just the right lacy corset to wrap
around her. There’s “Maui,” whose human props her in
a wheelchair so she can accompany him to the beach
where he locks her legs around his surfboard so they can
ride waves together. There’s “Amazon”—the given name
to ten dolls—whose human outfits them in helmets and
combat uniforms to play wartime fantasies. Finally, there’s
“Samantha,” who costs 4,000 euros for her human “skills”:
hugging, moaning, and remembering who previously
grasped her skin-like skin. Surely it won’t be long before
an engineer can twist Samantha’s nipples into tightening
as she replicates a female orgasm. We long have taken
pride in our openness to the varied creatures inhabiting
our massive universe; we have not wanted to be judgmental
But one morning, you turn on the computer to discover
an article about child sex dolls popular among pedophiles
Regardless of gender, they bear the name, of course, of "Baby"

We sorely need to do a better job protecting our children. Among other B.S., these folks positing that child sex dolls help distract pedophiles from human children are cracked. Let's ALSO address those who'd create that kind of ridiculous and dangerous culture.


"Bizarria" is a word introduced to me by the two lines from John Ashbery's "Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror"--

Parmigianino says of it: “Realism in this portrait
no longer produces an objective truth, but a bizarria

A bizarria is the first graft chimera between the Florentine citron and sour orange, and looks like these:

There are more bizarre images, but the point is that the result is a hybrid ... which made me relate it to a sexual (and no doubt other types of a) relationship between human and robot. This is a large topic (larger than sex) given the growth of AI and the lagging nature of ethics.

Finally, as an aside, part of what's interesting about reader responses and/or reviews of a poetry book is seeing which poems are highlighted by the readers. For whatever reason, cited poems to date have related more to "Love" versus "Belligerence." Well, why not? We all look for love where we might find it? This then, is partly to share something about the belligerent side, indeed, of Love In A Time of Belligerence.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene, that is. Thanks to curator Doug Holder and reviewer Zvi Sesling for their attention to MANHATTAN. You can click  on green link below for review, if you wish to read!

Since the 1990s when I first encountered Eileen Tabios’s poetry, she has continually taken readers on a different journey of creativity with each book. Ms. Tabios is one of the Philippines’ great gifts to the United States. Her poetry is innovative, definitely creative and never repetitive…. There are many other lines in Tabios’s poetry that intrigue – there always are. Her language is light years ahead of many poets from countries around the world, yet remains accessible and exciting.
—Zvi A. Sesling, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene, Sept. 18, 2017

(Nota Bene: I chose to excerpt above lines to ... make mischief, not necessarily because I believe my own P.R.)

Monday, September 18, 2017


Well now, I hadn't been planning to but given this stupendous gift of jellies and poetry that just arrived in the mail from stupendous poet-publisher Kimberly Ann Lyons, let's celebrate Galatea Resurrects' 11th birthday, shall we?! Thank you Kimberly! GR is proud to have reviewed, to date, nearly 2,000 poetry books and other projects. Let's eat! For my afternoon cuppa, some of those fig reserves indeed! Or shall it be the rosehips that puts roses on my hips? All to the tune of a birthday poem for this "little snowball" from Gerrit Lansing! Indeedy!

Per third image, Kimberly refers to the site of Galatea Resurrects and I'm glad it and its Archives keeps giving! 


My beloved Achilles joins me in this fundraising anthology for animals adversely affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. He has a poem in this chap anthology--he was such a great creature he was even a poet!

Gratitude to editors Aileen Cassinetto and C. Sophia Ibardaloza for putting this project together, as well as to Paloma Press for publishing.  After Irma, After Harvey may be ordered through HERE. Proceeds will be donated to the Animal Defense League of Texas and the Jacksonville Humane Society.

From the Editors:

We are ever committed to the rescue and care of displaced and shelter animals—before Harvey and long after Irma—“until they all find a home.” 
Aileen Cassinetto & C. Sophia IbardalozaEditors


Gratitude to Grady Harp for his review.

MANHATTAN's Amazon link is HERE.  I believe MANHATTAN is my most pricey book yet; it is available at a lower price through HERE.

MANHATTAN also will be at Paloma Press' Book Table at next month's Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco, where I will actually launch it through one of its HOT OFF THE PRESSES readings:

(click on image to enlarge)

Sunday, September 17, 2017


A Celebration of Leny M. Strobel's Love and Life ended up becoming, among other things, the California Book Launch for Love In A Time of Belligerence. It seems fitting that this occurred as the book is dedicated to her--synchronicity, thanks to the spirits watching over Leny!  Here are photos of the Santa Rosa Launch:

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer Grady Harp likes Love In A Time of Belligerence! He reviews it -- with two bonus poems (despite typos) -- on Amazon France. I don't know why it doesn't show up at Amazon U.S. but I'll take it with a huge MERCI!

Excerpt? "Awe-inspiring."

Like I said, I'll take it!

And it seems like a good reason to remind of Love...'s Hurricane Relief Offer!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Well, next month Meritage Press will cease its distribution arrangement with Small Press Distribution (SPD). Both parties are still amicable with each other—the move simply reflects how most poetry titles sell during the aftermath of their release and I hadn’t listed a new title with SPD since 2008 as the press shifted to POD options. So my backlist no longer make sense to be at SPD. What this means is a temporary $3-per-book sale of the following titles (pay viz Paypal) just to help adjust my inventory storage issues. Good through end of the month or Sept. 30, you can acquire these books at a bargain price:

100 MORE JOKES FROM THE BOOK OF THE DEAD by John Yau and Archie Rand (excellent essay on collaborations by John Yau) 

PRAU by Jean Vengua

COMPLICATIONS by Garrett Caples

DERIVE by Bruna Mori

OPERA: POEMS 1982-2002 by Barry Schwabsky 

[WAYS] by Barry Schwabsky and Hong Seung-Hye 


THE OBEDIENT DOOR by Sean Tumoana Finney 

That’s a real bargain—the $3 obviously is just going for postage. After this INVENTORY ADJUSTMENT SALE, books revert back to usual prices and are available direct from Meritage Press or at Amazon.

And, actually, looking at the above list reminds me of how many fabulous titles I’ve been honored to publish. Notwithstanding the lapse of our arrangement with SPD, Meritage Press remains in business.  Go HERE to see our fabulous catalog! 

Payment will only be taken through Paypal (include your address).  Email me at meritagepress@gmail.com for placing orders.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


It seems fitting that a book entitled LOVE IN A TIME OF BELLIGERENCE will sponsor a Hurricane Relief Fundraiser. In other words, 100% of sales proceeds will be donated to those aiding those adversely affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Payments can be taken by Paypal or check. Each book is U.S.$16.00 (the author will toss in free domestic shipping). To order Eileen R. Tabios’ new book, email her at galateaten@gmail.com (or PM her if you’re on Facebook). This fundraiser will take place through Oct. 31, 2017.

As regards her book, here’s a description:

To understand human history is to recognize the eternal presence of belligerence. Eileen R. Tabios’ Love in a Time of Belligerence surfaces a variety of wars and their collateral damage of nature, indigenous culture, pets and infants, democracy, teachers, the poor, even “sex dolls,” among others. Such spirals to more losses: innocence, ideals, loyalties, family, and hopes. Love can be an antidote … until it’s not. The world presented in Tabios’ poetry does not reduce humanity to problem-and-solution—her poetry is one of insistent lucidity, which is an accomplishment on its own when one wants to hide one’s eyes from the world.


Ajax helps me welcome author copies for Love In A Time of Belligerence ... which also is now available on Amazon (ignore the out-of-stock note which they put up always in the early days of listing a book): https://www.amazon.com/Love-Time-Belligerence-Eileen-Tabios/dp/2849245038/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505028625&sr=1-11&refinements=p_27%3AEileen+R.+Tabios

European book lovers can still order it for 13 Euros in through Editions du Cygne in France!

Friday, September 8, 2017


Thanks to Anselm Berrigan for putting up poems from "The Ashbery Riff-Offs" over at The Brooklyn Rail. This can't help but be poignant ... TIP: Reading all the poems in order colors the last line of last poem in a certain way ...

For my blog-filing, here are poems' titles:

"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Vision"
"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: 1.6 × 10^-35 Meters"
"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Aura"
"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Earned Caviar"
"Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: Euphemisms For Mortality"


And speaking of this series, another poem just went up at The Fil-Am Artist Directory site: "Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: For the Dreamers."
The intersectionality kinda went amuck in this poem, from Ashbery to DACA to an assignment to write after a FilAm artist's work (in this case Pamela Ybanez's) to Irving Berlin. But such is ... Ashbery's effect, and greatness.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

R.I.P., JOHN ASHBERY (1927-2017)

 from The Ashbery Riff-Offs
—where each poem begins with 1 or 1-2 lines from “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror” by John Ashbery

Witnessed in the Convex Mirror: R.I.P.

The record of what you accomplished by sitting down
“With great art to copy all that you saw in the glass”
like the gesture heightened by the hand enlarged
as it moves towards us who see you, even as your
face remains reticent in the background as if you are
unsure of your reception. Well, death is the final judge
-ment and, here I am, still writing a poem for you…

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Eminent reviewer and Clyfford Still fan T.C. Marshall reviews MANHATTAN: An Archaeology for The FilAm -- it's cool: I've never had my poems compared to Legos before! Here's an excerpt:
The first two-thirds of the book elaborate multiple readings from a one-page prefacing poem called “The Artifacts.” Its core images provide the impetus for long poems and a “novella-in-verse” made of 11 “chapter” poems. They are followed by “vacation” poems on “Skiing away from Manhattan.” This serious framework of proliferations provides a strong sense of constructedness—a structure actually evoking Legos. The poems are solid, and yet their parts are moveable. We dig into feelings and their origins here in an archaeology that constructs or re-constructs a past and, as in Charles Olson’s “archaeology of morning,” a possible future of a city of possibilities.  
In “Post-Nostalgia,” the concept of interactions through language helps define this city with “Will you articulate back / to me to teach me / the vocabulary I lose as I speak it?” That loss and recovery are the aesthetic core, as is San Juan de la Cruz’s epigraph: “Vivo sin vivir en mi / I live without inhabiting myself.” Lest that be another old Rimbaud bit re-hashed, Tabios works it fully as she links with many autres. No poem is cut short; thought carries them on beyond succinctness. Worlds are elaborated from the boundary where irrealities meet the real: “while the air, too, begins / to become physical // by taking on the tinge / of fire, rose, ruby, / sunset, dawn, sunset …”. The images for all the senses are strong, but they also cross back and forth over that line between thought and image. That is the thrust of this book.
You can see entire review HERE.

Friday, September 1, 2017


Happy to be in the new Spillway 25, especially as it's the last edited issue by poetry editor extraordinaire Susan Terris. Great company. And I love that my poem "A Shy Painting" is one inspired by the FilAm artist Maryrose Cobarrubias Mendoza -- this ekphrastic relationship will be reprinted in the FilAm Artist Directory's Ekphrasis section (for which I'm always looking for submissions -- go to link). On behalf of the Poetry World, thanks to Susan for 17 years of editing poetry journals!

(Click on images to enlarge.)


That hay(na)ku sure loves to travel!  Most recently, it was introduced by facilitator Maria Lourdes “Malou” A. Alorro during an Arts Training event for students and teachers for a Special Program in the Arts. The event took place at the Don Vicente Rama Memorial National High School in Cebu City, and was sponsored by the Philippines’ Department of Education. 

(Click on all images to enlarge)

The SPA program was facilitated by Malou and Dess Balota, both from Women in Literary Arts Cebu. Jonathan Jimenez was the overall coordinator for the event. The Don Vicente Rama Memorial National High School is into its 4th year on arts training and is the only program in Cebu City. The training encompasses music, dance, theatre, visual arts and creative writing.

Here’s a photo of some of the attendees:

For more photos and coverage, go to the Hay(na)ku Blog over HERE!