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, July 12, 2017


In my 2004 book Menage a Trois With the 21st Century, I "resuscitate" the Philippines' first woman general Gabriela Silang into a 21st century life. Thus, the poems all have subtitles like "As Gabriela Reconsiders Everything," "As Gabriela Stares Down An Empty Boulevard" and even "As Gabriela Masters the Washing Machine." Then there's the poem with the subtitle "As Gabriela Falls In Love With John Olson"--a poem that reflected how, just prior to writing that poem, I'd read the brilliant poetry collection that introduced me to its author: ECHO REGIME by John Olson (Black Square Editions, 2000).

Over the years, I'd come to read other works by John Olson and they always had tremendous resonance--I read his most recent, DADA BUDAPEST, and if you read my Galatea Resurrects review, you'll see how his prose poetry impacted me like dynamite et al. I think, frankly, that he's one of the best contemporary writers today (to understate the matter), and his contribution to the prose poem form is and will remain historically significant. Yes, he's one of my rare picks as to those writers whose words actually will live forever.

And he blogs--over at the Tillala Chronicles. So to get to another of my points -- I am HONORED (no other way to put it) that an excerpt from AMNESIA: Somebody's Memoir was cited in his post today, "Foolish Fire." Here's the excerpt:
     Who, or what, weaves the narratives of our lives? Is it one big sweeping novel or a collection of short stories with no particular theme holding it together other than our own privately weeping selves?
     “I Forgot Ars Poetica,” writes Eileen Tabios in her memoir titled (with exquisite irony) Amnesia: Somebody’s Memoir. “I forgot my poetry is going to change the world. I forgot my words are healing. I forgot my words are apples infused with cheerful cinnamon. I forgot my words are holy. I forgot my words are going to lift you  -  all of you!  -  towards joy.” 
     And those, my friend, are words to live by.

I can't really describe the jolt I got to see my words end up in one of John Olson's posts...

But I certainly want to file this moment (and we all know, right, that I use this blog as a file cabinet too). I want to share that when you've followed an author for nearly 20 years now, to end up in one of his writings like the above is nothing less than ... a joy. Thank you, John Olson -- my heart is full. (And it's always interesting to feel a life-circle turning ...)

Anyway, read John Olson. If you haven't yet, start with any of Backscatter: New and Collected Poems, Larynx Galaxy, or DADA BUDAPEST. If with the latter, you'll gladly be a changed person after you close the book on its 401 pages.

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