Friday, April 30, 2010

NINETEEN HOURS (RADIO EDIT) by JIM WARNER

EILEEN TABIOS Engages

nineteen hours (radio edit) by Jim Warner
(chapbookpublisher.com, Pennsylvania, 2009)

Apparently, nineteen hours (radio edit) is a chapbook released to coincide with one of Jim Warner’s poetry readings; it was prodded into being by Dan Waber who manages chapbookpublisher.com. Well, I for one am glad that Waber, as Warner puts it, “[got] my ass in gear” into putting out this nifty project. Because it’s not just a collection of hay(na)ku but hay(na)ku written during a nineteen-hour flight between the U.S. and the Philippines. Given how the hay(na)ku is, among many other things, a Filipino diasporic poetic form, the context—and conceptual underpinning—is quite fitting.

The next question is how the hay(na)ku stack up--I’m delighted to report that
they
are witty,
funny, and charming!

Here’s a mordant sample:
LAX, International Gate

Terminal
too appropriate
to boarding gate.

This sample also should elicit much empathy from 21st century denizens and those who’ve made looooong airplane flights:
IPod Shuffle and the Otis Redding back catalog

Around
hour five
headphones became lifelines.

And while you need not know “tapa” but only need to know “USAIR’s peanuts” to appreciate the following,
Your inflight meal: Tapa

Chicken adosilog. Sure
Beats USAIR’s
Peanuts.

here nonetheless is a link to that incomparable Pinoy delicacy: “Tapa is dried or cured beef or venison, although other meat or even fish may be used. The term "tapa" however, has mostly become associated more with this form of cured meat and tinapa (literally "made into tapa") with smoked fish. Filipinos prepare thin slices of meat and cure it with salt and spices as a method of preserving it. Tapa is best fried or grilled, often served with rice, fried egg and achara (pickled papaya strips).”

Imagism even nicely rears its lovely head:
Pacific Crossing

Mother
holds my
hand like parenthesis.

Having said all that, I have to say that the last time I did this, it was last century:
Manila Customs Desk

Slip
a crisp
fiver between passports.

So they’re still doing that? Color me na├»ve…

Anyway, this was a delightful read and I am so pleased that the hay(na)ku continues to welcome new peeps into its inviting world.

*****

Eileen Tabios does not let her books be reviewed by Galatea Resurrects, but she is pleased to point you elsewhere to reviews of her newest book THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems & New (1998-2010) over at Litter Magazine and at Tributary. The book's "Afterword" essay by Joi Barrios is also newly-available online at OurOwnVoice. If these reviews get you curious, please note that its publisher Marsh Hawk Press is supporting a fundraiser for Haiti relief by giving a free copy if you order at least $15 worth of booklets through the Hay(na)ku for Haiti fundraiser; as THE THORN ROSARY is priced retail at $19.95, this is one of the best bargains in the poetry world, even as it helps out with a Haiti fundraiser.

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