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.

Thursday, December 28, 2023


In 2020, I read 403 books. But after 2020 I began focusing my writing on novels and not just poems. As a result, my reading dropped drastically--in 2021 I read 209 books and in 2022 only 91 books--as the form of the novel requires more and more deliberate attention. While my 2023 reading of 145 books increased over 2022, I still read at a significantly reduced pace compared to when I wasn't working mostly as a novelist. Anyway, here's my reading list in 2023 with authors listed alphabetically, mostly books but I also include book(ish)-length publications like newsletters:

2023 BOOKS READ: 145

26 Fiction, 79 Poetry, 40 Non-Fiction



HEALERS by Jonel Abellanosa (Penguin Random House, 2023). Novel.

The Alphabet Tax by Rosa Woolf Ainley (Grand Iota, 2023). Novel.

Bibliolepsy by Gina Apostol (SoHo Press, 2022. American version of 1997 Philippine edition). Novel.

La Tercera by Gina Apostol (SoHo Press, 2023). Novel.

All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang (Norton, 2010). Novel.


Metropolitan Stories by Catherine Coulson (Other Press, 2019). Novel.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Trans. by Irene Testot Ferry (Wordsworth Editions, 1995). Novel.

Simple Passion by Annie Ernaux, Trans. by Tanya Leslie (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Novel.

When the Hibiscus Falls by M. Evelina Galang (Coffee House Press, 2023). Short stories.

As A Friend by Forrest Gander (New Directions, 2008). Novel.

The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen (Thomas & Mercer, 2023). Novel.

Marshlands by Andre Gide, Trans. from the French by Damion Searls (Preface by Dubravka Ugresic) (New York Review Books, 2021). Novel.

REJWACH by Mikolaj Grynberg, Trans. by Sean Gasper Bye (Jewish Currents, 2019). Short stories.

All the Lovers in the Night by Mieko Kawakami (Europa Editions, 2011). Novel.


Anne Frank in Jerusalem by Scott Macleod (Serious Publication, Oakland, 2022). Novel. 

Betaville by Scott Macleod (Serious Publication, Oakland, 2022). Novel.

The Maps of Camarines by Maryanne Moll (Penguin SEA, 2023). Novel.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, Trans. by Ginny Tapley Takemori (First Grove Atlantic, 2016/2018). Novel

Department of Speculation by Jenny Offill (Vintage/Random House, 2014). Novel.


The Heart of Summer by Danton Remoto (Penguin, 2023). Short Stories.


Barkada Ng Lima / Gang of Five by Ninotchka Rosca, Trans. by Pia Arboleda (Villarica Press, 2015). Short Stories.

The Collector by Daniel Silva (Harper, 2023). Novel.

Secret Behind the Gate by Zvi A. Sesling (Cervena Barza Press, 2023). Fictions.

WHEELS: Flash Fiction by Zvi A. Sesling (Alien Buddha Press, 2023). Fictions.

How Can I Help You by Laura Sims (Putnam's Sons, 2023). Novel

The Mountain That Grew by Alfred A. Yuson with art/design by Marcel Antonio and Ilana Antonio (San Anselmo Publications, Philippines, 2022). Children's literature. 



Invitation to See the Leaves Outside by Eric Abalajon (in manuscript, 2023). Poetry.

Waking Up to the Pattern Left by a Snail Overnight by Jim Pascual Agustin (Gaudy Boy LLC / Singapore Unbound, 2023). Poetry.


CELLSEA by Sacha Archer (Timglaset Editions, 2023). Visual Poetry

The Flayed City by Hari Alluri (Kaya Press, 2017). Poetry.

Continuity by Cynthia Arrieu-King (Octopus Books, 2021). Poetry.


Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Basho, Trans. by Sam Hamill (Shambhala, Boulder, 2019). Poetry.

A Glyphic House: New and Selected Poems 1976-2019 by Beau Beausoleil (Blue Light Press, 2020). Poetry.

Another Way Home by Beau Beausoleil (Blue Light Press, 2022). Poetry.

The Killing of George Floyd by Beau Beausoleil (Intermittent Press, 2023). Poetry.

Kneel Said The Night by Margo Berdeshevsky (Sundress Publications, Knoxville, TN, 2022). Poetry.

The Obvious Poems and the Worthless Poems by James Berger (Spuyten Duyvil, 2023). Poetry. 


FEAST by Ina Carino (Alice James Books, 2023). Poetry

Bamboo Ridge 45th Anniversary Issue edited by Eric Chock, Darrell H.Y. Lum, and Juliet S. Kono (Bamboo Ridge, 2023). Poetry/Fiction Journal.

Adjacent Islands by Nicole Cecilia Delgado, Trans. Urayoan Noel (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2022). Poetry.

Gazing Down On It by Lauren de sa Naylor (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2022). Poetry.

xO 16 edited by Amanda Earl (2023). Experimental literary journal.

Marsh Hawk Review, Spring 2023, Editors Thomas Fink, Sandy McIntosh, and Burt Kimmelman. Literary/Arts magazine.

ZEUGMA by Thomas Fink (Marsh Hawk Press, 2022). Poetry 

Crisis Inquiry by Tony Iatosca (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2022). Poetry.

Dear Human At The Edge of Time: Poems on Climate Change in the United States edited by Luisa A. Igloria, Aileen Cassinetto & Jeremy S. Hoffman (Paloma Press, 2023). Poetry.

Snapshots From the Ark by David Jalajel (read in manuscript to provide blurb for Otoliths). Poetry.

Tropic of Squalor by Mary Karr (Harper Collins, 2018). Poetry.


Will You Be My Friend by James Kavanaugh with drawings by Merike Tumma (E.P. Dutton / A Sunrise Book, 1971). Poetry.

Steeple at Sunrise by Burt Kimmelman (Marsh Hawk Press, 2023). Poetry.

It got so dark by Benjamin Krusling (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2022). Poetry.

New Hull by Mikhail Kuzmin, Translated by Simona Schneider (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2023). Poetry.

Letters in Language by Harold Legaspi (Flying Island Books/ASM/Cerberus Press, Macau and Australia, 2021). Poetry.

Song Sonnets by Harold Legaspi (Papel Publishing, 2023). Poetry.

Postcards From Mental States by Julia Rose Lewis & Paul Hawkins (Hesterglock Press, 2023). Visual Poetry.

Reading Mei-mei Berssenbrugge by Ella Longpre (Belladonna, 2019). Poetry.

DANCE: Indigenous Poets Write From the Library of Congress edited by Denise Low and Edgar Silex (Mammoth Publicatios, 2023). Poetry.

Selected Poems by Hugh MacDiarmid, Edited by David Craig and John Manson (Penguin Classics, 1976). Poetry.

Happy as Larry by Scott Macleod (Serious Publication, Oakland, 2022). Poetry. 

LIFT YOU by Scott Macleod (Serious Publication, Oakland, 2022). Poetry.

Before the Dark Comes by Jose Primitivo Charlevoix edited by Arturo Mantecón (Nomadic Press, 2022). Poetry.

El Dia Mas Delicioso De Mi Vida by Emeterio "El Chango" Landeros as told to Arturo Mantecon (Prickly Pear Publishing, 2022). Poetry.

PoetsArtists magazine, editor Didi Menendez (Spring 2023). Art & Poetry

SOSTENUTO by Sheila E. Murphy (Luna Bisonte Productions, 2023). Poetry

October Sequence by Sheila E. Murphy (mOnocle-Lash Anti-Press, 2023). Poetry.

Seguiriyas by Ben Myerson (Black Ocean, 2023). Poetry

Lunduzinho by Tatiana Nascimento, Trans. by Natalia Alfonso (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2022). Poetry.

Exilium by Maria Negroni, Trans. by Michelle Gil-Montero (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2022). Poetry.

The Bungalow of Colorful Aging by Bruce W. Niedt (Kelsay, 2022). Poetry.

Shellback by Jeanne-Marie Osterman (Paloma Press, 2021). Poetry. 

Everything Turns on a Delicate Measure by Maureen Owen (read in manuscript to provide blurb for BlazeVox Books). Poetry.

Devil-Fictions by Lance Phillips (BlazeVOX Books, 2023). Poetry.

Ariel: The Restored Edition by Sylvia Plath with Foreword by Frieda Hughes (Harper Perennial, 2004). Poetry.

small mammals by Cati Porter (Mayapple Press, 20230. Poetry.

Outside Texts by Eleonora Requena, Trans. by Guillermo Parra (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2022). Poetry.

Wine Poems edited by Marilyn Robitaille (Romar Press, Texas, 2022). Poetry

THE LAST THING: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Patrick Rosal (Persea, 2021). Poetry.


Sleep by Amelia Rosseli (New York Review of Books, 2023). Poetry.

Song of the Absent Brook by Sabrina Ramos Ruben, Translated by S. Yates Gibson (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2023). Poetry.

Collected Poems by Sonia Sanchez (Beacon Press, 2021). Poetry.

SAPPHO, Trans. by Mary Barnard (University of California Press, 1958, 1986). Poetry.

Meditations: December 2019-December 2020 by Susan M. Schultz (Wet Cement Press, 2023). Poetry

Water From Another Source by Barry Schwabsky (Spuyten Duyvil, 2023) Poetry.

Simple Game & A Ghost of Fenway: Baseball Poems by Zvi A. Sesling (Alien Buddha Press, 2023). Poetry.

The Carrying: Poems by Ada Simon. (Milkweed Editions, 2018). Poetry.

Duende by Tracy K Smith (Graywolf Press, 2007). Poetry.

-48 by harry k stammer (Sandy Press, 2021). Poetry.

ALLEYS’T’ by harry k stammer (Concrete Mist Press, 2023). Poetry

walls 't's by harry k stammer (Sandy Press, 2021). Poetry.

Beesily by harry k stammer and Karri Kokko (xPress(ed), 2005). Poetry.

Tocsin by harry k stammer (Otoliths, 2019). Poetry.

grounds by harry k stammer (Otoliths, 2013). Poetry.

tents by harry k stammer (Otoliths, 2007). Poetry.

A Manuscript by Unnamed [for a competition]. Poetry

Vessels by Robert van Vliet (read in manuscript to provide blurb for Unsolicited Press). Poetry.

Tamsen Donner: a woman's journey by Ruth Whitman (Alice James Books, 1977). Poetry.

Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji by Martin Willits Jr. with woodblock prints by Katsushika Hokusai (Shanti Arts Publishing, 2024. In manuscript form)

A Rupture in the Interiors by Valerie Witte (Airlie, 2023. Read in manuscript). Poetry.

sorties by Mark Young (Sandy Press, 2021). Poetry.

The Sasquatch Walks Among Us by Mark Young (Sandy Press, 2021). Poetry

The Toast by Mark Young (Luna Bisonte Prods, 2021). Poetry.

Ley Lines II by Mark Young (Sandy Press, 2023). Poetry

XXXX CENTONES from the Cantos of Ezra Pound by Mark Young (Sandy Press, 2023). Poetry. 


with the slow-paced turtle replaced by a fast fish by Mark Young (Sandy Press, 2023). Poetry.

Kafka in the Tropics by Krip Yuson (San Anselmo Press, 2023). Poetry.



The True Story of Jesus-Christ: Three Notebooks From Ivry (August 1947) by Antonin Artaud, Trans. by Peter Valente (Infinity Land Press, 2023). Journals.

balikbayan blues by Anne Camille Baello (Carleton University, 2017). Thesis submitted for Master of Architecture Professional degree.

The Microbibliophile, Vol. XLII, No. 5, Issue 245, edited by James M Brogan (Oct.-Nov. 2023). Miniature Books Newsletter.


The MicroBiliophile, Vol. XLII, No. 2, Issue 242, March-April 2023, Editor James Brogan. Miniature Books Newsletter.

The Microbibliophile, Vol. XLII, No 1, Issue No. 241, Editor James Brogan (Miniature Book Society, January-February 2023). Newsletter. 


Brooklyn Rail, editor Phong H. Bui (Brooklyn Rail, October 2023). Arts magazine.

"Kindred Spirits Spark": An Exploration f the Origins and Evolution of The Sisters of Color Writers Collective and Its Literary Journal SEEDS edited by Esperanza Cintron and Lori Anderson Moseman (Among the Neighbors/The Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, SUNY Buffalo, 2023). History and Poetry.


Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller by Oliver Darkshire (Norton, 2023). Memoir.


THE YEARS by Annie Ernaux (Editions Gallimard, 2008). Memoir.


In Artists' Homes by Roberta Kimmel with Edith Newhall & photographs by Kari Haavisto (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 1992). Design/Art.

AUTUMN by Karl One Knausgaard (Penguin Random House, 2015). Essays.

A Bibliography of Belladonna* Collaborative Chaplets 2000-2020 by Krystal Languell (Among the Neighbors/The Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, SUNY Buffalo, 2023). History and Poetry.


Magical Creatures From the Films by Donald Lemke (RP Minis, Philadelphia, 2020). Size: 2.5" x 3". Miniature Book.

The MacDowell Colony 2021 Annual Report (The MacDowell Colony, 2021). Annual report. 


Creativity: Where Poems Begin by Mary Mackey (Marsh Hawk Press, 2022). Memoir and Poetry.

METPO by Scott MacLeod (Serious Publication, 2022). Memoir.

No Comment edited by Scott MacLeod (Serious Publication, 2022). Prose.

Our Lady in Art by Scott Macleod (Lulu, 2022). Art. 

Publishing Romance Fiction in the Philippines by Jodi McAlister, Claire Parnell, and Andrea Anne Trinidad (Cambridge University Press, 2023). Literary study.

The Award Winning Miniature Books for 2023, Miniature Book Society (MBS, 2023). Catalogue. 

Competition and Exhibition Catalog 2022 (Miniature Book Society, 2022). A book catalog. 

The Miniature Book Society Newsletter, Issue No. 121 (Miniature Book Society, December 2022). Newsletter. 

Appendicular Historicae by Jerry Morris (Booksby Press, 2022). Non-fiction in miniature book.


THE DISPLACED: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives, Edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Harry N. Abrams, New York, 2018). Essays.

Poets on the Road by Maureen Owen and Barbara Denning (City Point Press, 2023). Journal with poems.

Every Ounce of Courage: A Daughter’s Reflection on Her Mother’s Bravery by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Qurino (sp, 2023). Biography.

The Traveling Notebooks by Merle Bachman, Laurie Fader, Tiff Dressen, Chris Carreher, Sharon Coleman, Jaime Robles, Nancy Mozur, SM Steele, Dale Going and Michelle Murphy (compiled by Jaime Robles). Journals.

Pressing Further: Voices for Justice in the Book Arts curated by Meredith G. Santa's (Bromer Booksellers & Gallery, 2023). Book Catalogue.

Closer to LIBERATION: Pin[a/x]y Activism in Theory and Practice edited by Amanda Solomon Amorao, DJ Kuttin Kandi, and Jen Soriano (University of California, San Diego / Coagnella, 2023). Essays & Poetry. 

A Life With Books: Three Essays by Todd Sommerfeld (Booksby Press, 2023). Essays

Burger King Vignettes II by Todd Sommerfeld (Booksby Press, 2023). Size: 1.25" x 2". Non-fiction.

Consent by Vanessa Springora, Trans. from French by Natasha Lehrer (HarperVia, 2020). Memoir.


Published at The Poetry Project by Nick Sturm (Among the Neighbors/The Poetry Collection of the University Libraries, SUNY Buffalo, 2023). History and Poetry.

Hungarian Miniature Books in the Golden Era by Benedek Takacs (Miniature Books Society, Pleasanton, CA, 2022). Literary Study. Size: 2=3/8" x 2-5/8"

Obliteration of the World: A Guide to the Occult Belief System of Antonin Artaud by Peter Valente (Infinity Land Press, 2023). Literary Study.

THE PASSIONATE EYE: The Collected Writings of Suzanne Vega (Avon Books, 1999). Memoir with song lyrics

Rooted in Practice: Pinays in Law edited by Justine Eva Li Villanueva in collaboration with Pinay Powerhouse (Sawaga River Press, 2022). Nonfiction.

Entanglements: a crated collection of contemporary culture curated by Annette Wylde (PreNeo Press/Hunger Button Books, 2023). Artist's Book.

Threescore and Ten—the images from the covers of Otoliths May 2006 to August 2023, edited by Mark Young (Otoliths / Sandy Press, 2023). Art.

The Right Foot of The Giant by Mark Young (Bumper Press, 1999). Memoir

Thursday, October 26, 2023


After creating and describing a poetic form, I rarely give instructions on how other poets might write in the form. But I occasionally give tips (e.g., for the hay(na)ku I've suggested avoiding one-line articles like "the" or "a"). For the monobon, my (optional) tip is to radicalize the poetic leap between the prose and the ending monostich (one-liner). By "radicalizing" here, I mean writing a monostich that could not have been expected from the prose. Here's my example, the poem below that's entitled "Monobonbon." Monobonbon was a term I thought of while exploring what to name the form that I eventually call monobon. I loved the integration of "bonbon" because of its reference to candies. So I wrote the poem below, but which also displays a radicalization of that poetry leap between prose and one-liner. Perhaps you'll consider it for writing a monobon.

REMINDER: The deadline, Oct. 31, 2023, is coming up for a Monobon poetry folio to be published by The Halo Halo Review. Go HERE for Submissions Call.

Nota Bene: This is just one way for writing a monobon. Also, it's a first draft so I'm still tinkering with it--e.g. the "enjoyed" in last line of prose would be better as "relished".

Tuesday, October 10, 2023



NewPages has published a review of BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, I BECOME WAR. My book has many layers--I love to cram as many layers as she can in a single book--and this review is the first to look at the project in terms of archive-related issues. You can see entire review HERE but here's an excerpt:

"What is so magical about this collection is that we are not left hanging and lost in the dense material of this ambitious project; we are shown abundance and astounding imagination in what remains. This project is love."


Saturday, October 7, 2023


It's so difficult to write for/about my mother. But I did manage the poem "The Peony Named Beatrice" (my mother's name was the derivation "Beatriz") and I'm grateful it recently found publication in Entanglements2: A Curated Collection of Contemporary Culture, Curator Annette Wylde (PreNeo Press / Hunger Button Books, 2023). Here's my poem and other images from this gorgeous book that explores “Biophilia,” defined as biologist Edward O. Wilson as the “emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms” into our cultural consciousness and conversations:

Monday, October 2, 2023


In the prior post, I introduce the Monobon. Here is a Submission Call for a forthcoming feature on the Monobon--you are invited to participate!

Submission Call for the “Monobon,” A Poetry Form


You are invited to write and send Monobon poems. A Monobon is a poem comprised of prose and ending with a monostich, or one-line poem. The prose can be one or more paragraphs.


Updated Deadline: November 12, 2023.

Selected Monobons will be published in The Halo-Halo Review.

Send poems (with brief bios) by Facebook Messenger to Eileen Tabios, or by email to galateaten@gmail.com


Monobon is a form inspired by the monostich. Ideally, the poet would consider its one line to be a valid stand-alone poem as befits the monostich. The form is open to all styles, subjects, treatments, and also welcomes variations. (An example of a variation can be the “Found Monobun” where the prose paragraph(s) can be an excerpt from a previously written text which then inspires the ending monostich. Poets should feel free to create other variations.)


As a poetry form, the Monobon can be written by poets with different aesthetics. Here are two Monobon examples by two poets who write in different styles (see their bios at end of this Call).


Bruce W. Niedt


Two Sides of Temptation


 A little six-ounce screw-top jar. Every 90 degrees, a hole drilled through the glass near the neck, four in all. Through each hole, a red rubber stopper, flower-shaped with a smaller hole in the middle. A half-cup solution of one part sugar, four parts water, almost fills the jar, which hangs by a hook over a piece of clothesline, strung under the eaves of the back porch. A ruby-throated hummingbird accepts the invitation to quench his thirst and need for energy, and he flits and darts around it, dipping his needled beak, hovering with blurred wings, before he flashes off just as quickly as he came. He remembers this station, this sweet oasis, returning again and again, and if we let it go dry, that clever little dynamo reminds us by buzzing around our back porch door, peering in at the humans who feed him. Today, though, there are different visitors, and they march single file up the post that leads to the tied-on clothesline, tightrope-walk across it to the jar, and crawl in through the little faux-flower holes to find the source of what they smelled, that sugary lake inside. But they are trapped, unable to get a foothold, and drown there by the dozens, while a parade of unsuspecting comrades pushes on to a deadly objective. By the end of the day, the sugar-water is black with bodies.


The sweetness, the trap—



Sheila E. Murphy


Tone Tempura


Humpbacked hashtags winter here among the decibels caught up in an ear trumpet just newly cleaned. I stole a moth from the giveaway coat as beige as let-go winter trees. I writhed with smudged wings to be included in a chamber music mainly insects know. Mirroring the sotto glow of bronze bells lifted to another weather. Astride a full-grown tarp draped across a dry dark fence. A kind of limbo marks the close of trail toward and away. Any deviation, a sullen mischief marks the smudge that seeks a quiet shrillness in the cold. 


Mortuary science left to tithe beyond young gravitas



About the Poets:

Bruce W. Niedt is a retired “beneficent bureaucrat” whose poetry has been published in many online and print journals, including Rattle, Writers Digest, Mason Street Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Tiferet, Spitball, and Your Daily Poem. His work has also appeared in the anthologies Best of the Barefoot Muse, Poem Your Heart Out, and most recently, Poetry for Ukraine. He has won poetry awards from Writers Digest, ByLine Magazine, and the Philadelphia Writers Conference. His first full-length collection, The Bungalow of Colorful Aging (Kelsay Books), and his eighth chapbook, Knit Our Broken Bones, (Maverick Duck Press), were published in 2022. 


Sheila E. Murphy. Murphy’s most recent books are Permission to Relax (BlazeVOX Books, 2023) October Sequence: Sections 1-51 (mOnocle-Lash Anti-Press, 2023), and Sostenuto (Luna Bisonte Prods (2023). Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Murphy's book titled Reporting Live from You Know Where (2018) won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland). Her Wikipedia page can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Murphy

Saturday, September 16, 2023


I'm pleased to introduce a new poetry form, the "monobon" consisting of a prose paragraph followed by a monostich (one-line poem). I present the form's inaugural poem below, which is based on a true story of a recent cancer scare:




Have poems always been conscious of mortality or has my aging recently passed some threshold that makes me now read poignancy in any poem? Prageeta Sharma* reveals relief when she discovers her “breasts are okay, just dense with benign cysts” and that her nurse told her those cysts are “from coffee or chocolate, two things I love.” This is from her poem “Annual” where she quotes me when I wrote (and forgot) on Facebook, “A problem with entering your sixth decade is that death is no longer unimaginable. To continue, you must renew your commitment to an art/poetic practice that most others find irrelevant. That renewed commitment is… hard.” I quote her now in this poem because Prageeta doesn’t know that I read her poem shortly after my doctor discovered a cyst in my left breast. Prageeta doesn’t know how I kept the news private and relied on the comfort of sharing her coffee and chocolate habit until my doctor confirmed the cyst was benign. “It wasn’t cancer, but it was still a brush with death,” I wrote in another Facebook post that concludes, “A brush with death is a potent muse.” With these words, I inaugurate a new poetry form I call “monobun,” a prose paragraph that concludes with a monostich. My first draft wanted to end this inaugural monobun by citing another poet and Facebook friend with this line: “Harry K Stammer says Death’s pause by your door ‘will fuck with your head’ long after the peevishly immortal Death ends its brush to move on with its breath turned dank and hair turned oily by wide experience whose breadth cannot avoid regret.” But the sentence’s length would diminish its visual impact on the page; nor do I wish to hearken Walt Whitman’s long monostich from his 1860 Leaves of Grass. Thus, I shall end this poem instead with


A life without is darker, especially without you


* After “ANNUAL” by Prageeta SharmaThe Bennington Review, Issue 12. 


The Monobon is also inspired by its initial name of “Monobun” which is also a hairstyle which provides a metaphor I appreciate, a gathering of hair atop the head--above the brain--to clear one’s vision of impediments to seeing clearly before alchemizing what’s seen into the single line of the monostich:


If any of you write in this form, please share your poem(s) with me!

Here's an illustration of my coffee and chocolate habit in my poem "Without," a real-life scene on my writing desk:


Master poet Sheila E. Murphy who's known for writing in such forms as the ghazal, pantoum, and haibun--as well as hay(na)ku--also has just written a monobon which you can see HERE.


I'm delighted to share master poet Sheila E. Murphy's monobon! I'm honored she wrote in this form, about which you can read more HERE.

Tone Tempura


Humpbacked hashtags winter here among the decibels caught up in an ear trumpet just newly cleaned. I stole a moth from the giveaway coat as beige as let-go winter trees. I writhed with smudged wings to be included in a chamber music mainly insects know. Mirroring the sotto glow of bronze bells lifted to another weather. Astride a full-grown tarp draped across a dry dark fence. A kind of limbo marks the close of trail toward and away. Any deviation, a sullen mischief marks the smudge that seeks a quiet shrillness in the cold. 


Mortuary science left to tithe beyond young gravitas


Thanks Sheila! Here's more information about her:

Sheila E. Murphy is an American poet who has been writing and publishing actively since 1978. Recently released from Luna Bisonte Prods in 2020 is Golden Milk. Murphy's book titled Reporting Live from You Know Where (2018) won the Hay(na)Ku Poetry Book Prize Competition from Meritage Press (U.S.A.) and xPress(ed) (Finland).  That same year, Broken Sleep Books brought out the book As If To Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory. Luna Bisonte Prods published Underscore (2018), featuring a collaborative visual book by K.S. Ernst and Sheila E. Murphy. Murphy is the recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for her book Letters to Unfinished J. (Green Integer Press, 2003). Murphy is known for working in forms including such as the ghazal, haibun, and pantoum in her individual writing. As an active collaborator, she has worked with Douglas Barbour on an extended poem called Continuations. Murphy’s visual work, both individual and collaborative, is shown in galleries and in private collections. Initially educated in instrumental and vocal music, Murphy is associated with music in poetry. She earns her living as an organizational consultant, professor, and researcher and holds the PhD degree. She has lived in Phoenix, Arizona throughout her adult life. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023


The Philippine Scholars Program, founded by Gary W. King (Minnesota, USA), began in 1994 with prioritizing the education of children of political detainees and desaparecidos. It since has expanded to include the children from marginalized groups encompassing farmers, urban poor, among others. Participants in its workshops come from both high school and college-level students. This year, the organizers thought to include a creative arts workshop for the first time in its summer camp that took place in the SVD retreat house in Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines. Writer/facilitator Malou Alorro handled poetry writing and Nenita Pacilan handled music and creative dance.


In presenting poetry, Malou also introduced the hay(na)ku (thank you, Malou!). Here are photos of the lovely participants Bryle, Byron, Lalaine, Maymay, Ereln, Jasper, and Prence.:

The following is a chained hay(na)ku encapsulation of the workshop:



Its literary 

Now in culmination. 



It's treasure 

Time well spent. 



Good work 

Expressing them well. 



Are built 

Knowledge is gained. 



A high 

Creative imagination, awareness 



Summer camp 

Good times together. 



Unexpected happenings 

So much learning.



But beautiful 

And it's enjoyable. 



Now free 

Are truly home. 


June 25, 2023 

Literary workshop of Philippine scholars at the SVD retreat house, Lapulapu City, Cebu, Philippines.



I continued to be envious of the hay(na)ku’s global jet-setting lifestyle, but am happy to receive such field reports. Thank you, Malou and other teachers. Thank you, Universe.



Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Eileen R. Tabios' new book BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, I BECOME WAR, has become an SPD Bestseller within a week of its official release date. See more information at




Available on SPD, Amazon, Bookshop, among others. You can also ask your local libraries and/or bookstores to order from SPD.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023


It's been a long time since war didn't exist somewhere. But the biggest war being waged is Human vs. Planet. Let's do better.

Monday, March 27, 2023


You are invited to read my' essay on titling poems, the latest installment in Marsh Hawk Press' "Chapter One" series! 

The essay deliberately references poet-activists Kerima Lorena Tariman (pictured above) and Ericson Acosta because, yes, their murders should never be forgotten. Essay available HERE. Here's an excerpt:

"... much of my job as a poet takes place before I begin any poem. My job is to educate myself on as many topics as possible, engage in a wide variety of experiences, hone my skills at observation, and meditate over the significance of a variety of events—not for writing a poem but by being better in the world through a basking in experience. All this knowledge and experience are filed in my brain as raw material for when I finally write the poem, e.g., the information on Negros Occidental which had marinated in my mind for three decades. In the actual creation of the poem, I trust in having filed enough mental material for the poem to access as it chooses.

Obviously, the more content there is in that mental file, the better the poem is served. I recently noted in an interview that as a poet I believe in education for education’s sake for avoiding cliches and sourcing new metaphors. As an example, for no particular reason besides education, I learned about black holes, specifically that if one is able to witness the phenomenon, one would see objects falling into those holes in falls that seem never to end. The idea of a permanent falling resonated with me and came to be included in several poems."


The article also provides a link to my next book BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, I BECOME WAR. It's not scheduled for release until May, but SPD now has it available for purchase HERE.

Monday, February 6, 2023


Philippine Bookshelf--through @yugto.bookclub on Instagram--is featuring my poem "Epiphany at Monster High" as part of their February Invitations to Poetry. I'll post poem in its entirety below because I don't know how to share it from Instagram to Blogger :)

Epiphany at Monster High

I realize

I like to rescue

discarded by children
who grow old by forgetting 

I dust them, shampoo
their plastic hair
(now a collection of split-ends)
and bathe their bodies
(many scarred by animal teeth)

When I rescue dolls
I revive their ghosts
who now bring me 

their language of longings

(fresh fodder to translate

for making new poems)—
I reciprocate

I clean their clothes
or give them new apparel

For one treasured skirt

I apply my inheritance

of Mom’s needle and thread

Most need new shoes

The ghosts cease crying
and masticating hapless tongues 
behind scarred stiff cheeks 

After sponge baths, smiles surface
from erased grit—most dolls 

are made with upturned lips

for they rationalize their existence

as conduits for joy, for Grace

I discover I like to rescue dolls
to rediscover 

how I love to rescue Love