Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Episode 41 - John Davis, Jr.




John Davis Jr. is a Floridian poet residing in the Tampa Bay area. He has been writing and publishing for about 20 years.  Listen to us discuss how the Florida landscape and his love for travel influences his work and about his future projects. 


       


Bio:  John Davis Jr. is a Florida poet. His books include Hard Inheritance (Five Oaks Press, 2016), Middle Class American Proverb (Negative Capability Press, 2014), and two other collections. His poems have been published internationally, with appearances in magazines like Nashville Review, Barren magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, The Common online, and Steel Toe Review, among many others. He holds an MFA from University of Tampa in addition to a master's in education. He presently serves as associate dean of academic affairs for Keiser University in Clearwater. 


Typewriter Thief

Silver keys drew me in – neatly lettered and numbered circles
the size of my fingers. If only I could hear those hammers,
smell ink pressed free. Taken by its store display, I sought
a rhythm of permanence: the striking discharge of my name.

Once cops found the Remington in my neighbor’s shed, they said
That boy, as if nobody else would want black applause
from a curious carriage’s well-oiled melody
played on paper and ended with a single bell – done.

Police returned it to Mister Howard, who let it sit
because his name was already on too many buildings.
They booked me in, had me hold a sign with Courier numbers –
white holes of zeroes captured by print’s hard impact.


Creek Wading with a Young Son

Arriving by bike, we know to whisper like the woods:
This stream’s soft trill and the wind’s slow travel
through pines drown the drone of highway lanes
beyond the palmetto-frond hands opening toward water.

Predator, provider: This anonymous tributary
takes and gives alike as our four bare feet
bring clouds from its white sand bottom – swirling rising
residue stirs south, settles back beneath water.
Your passage here disproves ancient philosophy:
I am the nameless man who stepped in the same time
twice thanks to your smaller, faster-filling tracks.
My deeper plunges do not slow this aging water.

In sunlit pockets along the dark-patched course,
shadow fish dart like memories – there, gone.
But we have neither hooks nor bread today,
so black scales brush our foreign ankles underwater.

Your sunken toes discover some animal’s rib
and like a tribesman, you lift it, fling it forward.
It skips, ripples holes in two distant points
before rocking and sinking in new familiar water.

Check out my first episode!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Episode 40: Elmer Omar Bascos Pizo



Listen to my interview with Elmer Omar Bascos Pizo, currently residing in Hawai‘i, an amazing poet with raw insight and stories. I had the chance to meet him out in San Francisco in October at the 5th Annual Filipino American International Book Festival where I learned of his work and found out that we also share some interesting parallels and intersections. Listen to him read and discuss his poems from his debut full-length poetry collection, "Leaving Our Shadows Behind Us" published by Bamboo Ridge Press in 2019.


Me & Elmer at the Filbook Fest in San Francisco, October 2019Me & Elmer at the 5th Annual Filipino American International Book Festival in San Francisco, October 2019, organized by PAWA, Inc. & San Francisco Public Library.


Leaving Our Shadows Behind Us book coverYou can order his book here at: Bamboo Ridge Press

--------------------------------------------------

SIBULAN
Negros Oriental, Philippines

At the mouth of the sea
where the Ocoy River ends,
brown bodies of naked boys
pop in and out of the swirling
water, like fish gasping for air.

Foaming soapsuds stained
with dirt from clothing
women scrub on the river banks
dissolve in the green water,
like this half spoonful of sugar
I just dropped
into my cup of tea.

AFTER THE LOVE-MAKING

Be honest, you insist,
catching your breath.
I want you to describe
how I made love to you.

Do you really care? I ask.
You nod.
All right then, I say,
swiping my wet lips
with my tongue. 
You're a half-ripe tangerine,
somewhat sweet,
a bit sour,
even after dipped in salt.

BIO:  Elmer Omar Bascos Pizo is an emerging voice in local literature, who translates his feelings into his poetry, reinterpreting his life experiences and working diligently to maintain authenticity. His poems are uniquely provocative, often sad in depicting his journey from an abusive childhood in the Philippines, through the trials of an overseas Filipino worker enduring and witnessing injustice and torture in the Middle East, to the challenges of a hard-working immigrant in 21st-century Hawai‘i. This is an important collection that offers a glimpse into a life of laboring to survive. Sometimes self-deprecating and occasionally humorous, Pizo’s distinctive poetry affirms the redemption found in the small sparks of humanity.

Check out my first episode!