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.

Friday, April 13, 2018


Marthe Reed with husband Michael Kalish, photo by Laura Mullen

Devastation is newly-defined by the passing of extraordinary human being Marthe Reed, ever a source of balm in the world and poetry world.  I am mostly stunned into speechlessness. But of course a poem erupted for--and with--her.  This is based on the topics we last discussed through Facebook Messenger:

You Brought Me to the Mangrove Forest
—with and for Marthe Reed

In the Sundarbans of South Bangladesh and India
the climate keeps worsening. We bemoan
across our paper-cluttered e-desks as you adopt
a collage technique from Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
“Is my Black Radish subscription up to date?”
You make notes on small pieces of paper—side-effects
of chapbook-making. You pause to hug an animal
before returning to the IPCC Synthesis Report
while discussing native plant species, literature and
ethics. Always ethics. “Should this be reviewed by
Galatea Resurrects?” Always literature. The Hungry Tide
by Amitav Ghosh, Travels In The Mugal Empire by François
Bernier, and Schizophrene by Bhanu Kapil. How to own
responsibility? How to inspire an inspired poem. A country
‘s name becomes synonym for deferred responsibility
Exhausted from gardening tiredness… but “Then I made
a strawberry birthday cake for a friend!”  Prepare by
laying out the words on the dining room table. “How many
participants in Anthropocene?” "Over a hundred." Arrange
conversation through a juxtaposition of texts. “Can I order
30 more copies of AMNESIA?” Do smoothen that grammar
New poetry anticipated from Jaimie, Anastacia and Jared
We’re marrying fragments to each other. Visiting Portland
for your daughter, you observe, “I am nearby.” I am nearby

I feel you in the mangrove forest, charming the Crocodilus
porosus, the Panthera tigris, the Varanus salvator, the Platinista
Gangetica and the Lepidochelys olivacea. Always, you are near


  1. So beautiful, Eileen. So beautiful to have been moved and write and share this. Marthe would have loved it.