Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jim Pascual Agustin launches 2 new books of poetry

Jim Pascual Agustin celebrated with a cyberlaunch of his books last March 31, 2011. Based in Cape Town, South Africa for many years now, Jim has just released 2 books of poetry published by University of Sto. Tomas Publishing House (2011): Baha-bahagdang Karupukan (poetry in Filipino/Tagalog) and Alien To Any Skin (poetry in English) as he turned 42 this year.

Poems of Jim can also be seen in He hopes that one day (soon), he could launch the books in the Philippines where his offline presence is needed.

You can also check out the blog sites of his 2 books: and You can also reach him thru Skype & YM: matangmanok or email him at:

Here is a taste to Jim's beautiful poetry and I'd like you to share in this 'cocktail' reading:

Lifted from Karupukan:
(1) Filipino/Tagalog poem

Paglusong sa Baha

para kay Claire

Paglusong sa baha
habang bumubuhos pa ang kimkim
na sidhi ng bagyong hindi bagyo
dahil walang pangalan,

May tutubing langit na dumapo
sa sampayan ni Aling Sela.
Kung hindi ko lang alam

na may kanal sa tabi

Ng kinatutukuran ng sampayan,
lumapit sana ako
at tinitigan ang mala-dugong katawan,

ang mga ugat sa mala-salamin ng simbahan

Nitong mga pakpak.

Pero alam kong malalim ang kanal,

may mga bubog, pangil ng delata,

mga kaluluwa ng basura.

Tila ‘di sapat ialay

ang mga biyas o buhay

kapalit ng ilang sandaling pagkamangha

sa tutubing langit sa sampayan ni Aling Sela.


Lifted from Burnt Bridge:
(2) English poem

What You Have Taken
             “It’s tricky when
———- you feel someone
———- has done
———- something on your behalf”
———- – “Desired Constellation” by Bjork from Medulla

Six in the morning, Yogyakarta.
No semblance of last night’s
fiery performance staged
at an ancient temple
for our paying pleasure.

I roam alone with a borrowed camera
thinking of taking
random shots.

Rickshaws of faded red
line the edges
of the road, now just waking.

The feet of a curled up rickshaw driver stick out
of the passenger’s seat.
His toes so round, so still.
Dirt smoothed into the skin
of his soles.
An umbrella over the rest of him
for when the sun grows

I snap. Without asking permission,
I take that photograph.

Then I turn around and there’s an old man
smiling. A little boy is strapped
to his back with a red blanket.

The boy doesn’t smile. He looks at me
straight in the eye.
I have the same colour skin, but he knows
I am not from here.

The words I mutter sound distantly similar
to the words they know. So I gesture,
with the camera, with a finger, a request.

And he nods. Gives an even wider smile.
The boy remains still,
his feet dangling on the sides of the old man
as I take my time

Years later I have these photos.

One like of someone dead,
faceless, unknown.

The other of two different generations.

One who must have wailed to witness
the murders of those he knew or loved
while the rest of the world slept.

And that staring child.

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