Skip to main content

Episode 47: Nick Carbó

Closing out this year with a sensational guest: poet, Nick Carbó!  Listen to this episode and discover how Nick's Filipino American literature and poetry anthologies helped catapult Filipino-American poetics.  Find out what he's been up to and listen to him read some of his poems!

Secret Asian Man book cover
You can purchase Secret Asian Man here: 
Some interesting links pertaining to Nick's work!
Nick on NPR:


The screaming woman on the other side
Of our tall black gate
Would have thrown a rock at me
My maid, Rosita, sheltered me from the insults—

Something about my being
Retarded and full of worms

The woman nudged her son forward.
Blue shorts, clean t-shirt, rubber slippers.
She said her little boy was the one
Who should have been adopted, he was healthy.
He looked about my age, four or five.
We were both silent.
“I want to see the Mr. and the Mrs.,
they are making a big mistake!”

Rosita bolted the gate, took me by the hand—
“those are bad people, don’t listen to them!”
I felt the crisp whiteness of her skirt all the way across
The garden back to our house.
The next poem was recently scrolled on the big screen in the big U2 and Bono's Joshua Tree concert in Manila in December 2019. They might use the poem in some video in the future.


If you stand on the corner
Of Mabini Street and Legazpi Avenue,
Wait for an orchid colored mini-bus
With seven oblong doors,
Open the fourth door—

An oscillating electric fan
Will be driving, tell her to proceed
To the Escolta diamond district—
You will pass Maneng Virays bar,
La isla de los ladrones book shop,
The Frederick Funston fish sauce factory,
And as you turn left into Calle de los recuerdos,
You will see Breto, Bataille, and Camus
Seated around a card table playing
Abecedarian dominoes—

Roll down your window and ask
Them if Mr. Florante and Miss Laura
Are home, if the answer is yes,
Then proceed to Noli Me Tangere Park,
And wait for a nun named Maria Clara—

If the answer is “je ne sais pas!” then turn
Right into the parking lot of Sikatuna’s
Supermarket to buy a basketful
Of lanzones fruit, then get back
To Calle de los Recuerdos until you reach
The part that’s lined with tungsten-red
Juan Tamad trees, on the right will be
A house with an acknowledgements page
And and index, open the door and enter
The page and look me in the eye.

Bio: On the day Nick Carbó (kar-boh) was born on October 10, 1964 in a village beside the sea in the Philippines, the number one song was “Oh Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. One can imagine that riff (cue in Da-na-na, na-na, da-na-na, na-na)
following him the rest of his life after being born to a poor peasant family and quickly improving his lot in life when he was adopted by a well-to-do Spanish/Filipino couple at around fifteen months old. Yes, there would be pretty women walking in and out of his life with the first being his adopted mother Sophie who was half Greek and half Filipino/Spanish.

Check out my first episode!


Popular posts from this blog

Eileen Lives with Art

Eileen Tabios, my long time poet/writer friend, wrote about my art I had given to her a while back in her blog:  

Eileen Lives with Art

Episode 27: Briana Muñoz

Listen to Briana discuss how she got into poetry, her new collection & future projects & plans!

You can by her book here:

Interview on San Diego Voyager:

Instagram: @womanofwords BIO: Briana Muñoz is a writer from San Diego, CA. now living in Los Angeles, CA.

Her poetry and short stories have been published in four editions of the Bravura Literary Journal. In the 2016 publication of the Bravura, she was awarded the second-place fiction prize. She has been published in LA BLOGA, an online publication, the Poets Responding page and in the Oakland Arts Review. Her poem “Rebirth” was featured in the Reproductive Health edition of the St. Sucia zine, a publication dedicated to “Exposing What It Is To Be A Mujer”. Briana’s work was one of ten chosen for “The Best of LA BLOGA” from 2015. One of her prouder wri…

Episode 13: Gregory Phillips

This episode takes us to Los Angeles where I got a chance to talk to Dr. Gregory Phillips.  It was his exquisite photography that caught my eye and prompted me to reach out him.  You will be amazed, just as I was, when I learned he has lived a rich life and the courage it took for him to stand for his conviction as an artist with a vision.

Dr. Gregory Phillips is a former English professor, who six years ago decided to leave teaching and pursue his life as an artist. He was living and teaching in Minnesota and woke up one cold, winter day and decided to move to Los Angeles to chase his dream to be an actor. That summer, he packed his car and headed west. It was the best decision he's ever made, he said. He's also a writer and photographer. In terms of his photography, it started as a hobby, some fifteen years ago. Shortly after starting, it became clear that he has an eye. Photography for him is a way to document the things he sees. When …