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, October 14, 2015


I was blessed to participate in a Kelsey Street Press reading last night ('twas part of a series curated by Mg Roberts for Intersection of the Arts--an Event Report HERE).  At that reading, I read a new long poem which I described to be a poem I would be "inflicting" on the audience. I used "inflicting" because part of editing a poem sometimes involves reading it out loud, preferably to an audience, and so the poem I shared necessarily was unfinished (yes, poems are never finished but that's another story).  I read "The Secret Lives of Punctuations" (working title) from my HIRAETH manuscript; as a result of the reading, here are some adjustments:

--deletion of two "The"s from two lines (in a poem, each word must be necessary)

--deleted the word "its" from a line as the possessive was already obvious

--deletion of last three words in the line "Waiting out the ash in one's mouth until morning dawns"; "until morning dawns" diluted the desired rhythmic pace and is clichetic

--adjusted the order of a line to move it above what had been a preceding line

--changed the word "sea" to "ocean" as reading it out loud made me realize the "sea" rhymed with "see" in an unwanted way

--deleted the line "Wave of grasshoppers blocking the view of a headless Buddha" because the image suddenly seemed a cliche (the definition of cliche can be subjective--this may be one--but it seemed such to me)

I hope the audience wasn't tortured ...

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