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Showing posts from 2018

My Full-Length Poetry Collection "By Astrolabes & Constellations"

A Glimpse I couldn't wait to share the mock cover for my first full-length poetry collection, "By Astrolabes & Constellations"! Thanks to review blurbs from Ira Sukrungruang, Luisa A. Igloria & Frank Montesonti that will grace the back cover.  It is available through Agave Press. 

May I Mourn My Everyday Clothes

A Poet on Tinder

Give me an old poet who would appreciate what I am saying—who inspires me by his lifetime of work and dream only if we were the same age, what life we would have had, what children would have come out of our poetic forms. Or give me some young, dapper fellow who appreciates the Arts and me, who understands the doldrums; when to draw the curtains, when to let light in, when to plan a party, when to let me stand staring at the tree in the yard while handing me a cup of fresh brewed coffee without breaking my meditation. But no one like that exists in my world. I learn to tilt my head just so for a kinder response from the peanut gallery who hum and haw, yawn and impugn at my assumable carriage.  I go to book stores and grocery stores and walk through each aisle and question.  If I had enough time  I’d go to the university and do the same at the library in search for the university lecturer who would gladly abide and amuse me for a moment, disregarding yo

My new website!

#AWP2018, Installment #3, Ira Sukrungruang

Buddha's Dog & Other Meditations by Ira Sukrungruang Living in the Tampa Bay area for some years now, aside from finally attending AAWP this year that was held in Tampa, I wanted to know what writers live around me.  Lo and behold, there is a prominent writer who is also Asian American. Thai-American to be exact and his name is Ira Sukrungruang and he is a creative writing professor at University of South Florida's MFA program. I have heard his name in certain circles before, but I searched University of Tampa's booth out at the writer's conference and got to meet Ira and purchase his latest collection of personal essays. Let me tell you, what depth and breadth of his prose, though seemingly personable in diction, like listening to your best friend confessing his or her worries and fears, it is balanced with a great amount of humor and heartbreak.  Most of all, it is also interspersed with such lyricism and universal truths.  Buddha's Dog &

In the Event of My Absence

This creative non-fiction piece of mine was published by Flagler Review in 2013 I Perhaps between heaven and hell typifies an experience outside the pain of childbirth, beyond the anguish of loss and the perpetuity of the arctic, hospital waiting room—where, like the airport, the masses wait anxiously for their arrivals and departures. Here is what I am writing about now.  A place where someone cannot absolve are the spaces where I cannot let go.  Therefore, ghosts still walk on my paper and step all over my canvas and pull my hair at night and I cannot remember where I stashed my poems—my paintings—destroyed in my brother's basement during one rainy season that I have not been able to hold a mordant gaze upon an original idea.  Assuredly, I told my brother, John, that if I die now, I would like him to oversee my writing and artwork.  I can see it in his expression—who the hell do you think you are?  People

Announcement from Agave Press

photo by Henrietta Bogdan Agave Press has announced the upcoming publication of my full-length poetry collection in November 2018! I n anticipation of the publication of By Astrolabes & Constellations by Cristina Querrer (forthcoming from Agave Press this November), we are pleased to share with you an excerpt from this volume. This collection of poems explores an interweaving and melding of worlds and experiences; it is an ebb and flow of awareness, bringing together questions of the self and of identity, travel, nostalgia, loss, and the beauty of forgiveness.

#AWP2018, Installment #2: Tiana Nobile

"the spirit of the staircase" by Tiana Nobile When I visited the Asian American Workshop Workshop's table at AAWP Tampa 2018, I was greeted by a bubbly young Korean-American woman who entertained all my weird questions. I introduced myself to her and asked if she had a book for sale here and she lit up and presented me "the spirit of the staircase" as shown above which upon first blush, appeared to me like a graphic novel when I started flipping through it. But what caught my attention (as I'm sure it did for many people) was the brazen index of poems: I. Is it true Asian pussies are sideways? II. Go back to China! III. I used to work in Korea. Ya'll make really great cars. IV. I used to watch Thai porn with my Taiwanese ex-girlfriend. Then we'd fuck. V. Where are you really from? VI. I've never had an Asian before. VII. What are you? These titles coupled with Brigid Conroy's paintings, which are light a

Who I Found at Tampa's #awp2018: Installment #1

I t's April, National Poetry Month, and I thought I'd dedicate my next posts to reviewing a couple Asian-American writers and other poets whose works I've discovered this past 2018 AWWP (Association of Writers & Writers Program). It was my first time ever attending the event and because this time for once, it actually convened in my area, therefore, had no excuse but to attend at least one day.  I was overwhelmed, swirling, like a kid in a candy store for I was surrounded by books and my artsy fartsy tribe! I got a chance to run into the women at the Sundress Publication's   table.  One of my poems have appeared in their earliest online magazine back in the late '90s.  While there, I  stumbled upon the work of Jim Warner, entitled "Actual Miles" published by Sundress Publications.  He's a Filipino-American poet.  How do I know?  Well, when I was thumbing through the pages, his poem "subic bay" jumped out at me. Jim Warner'

Deep Reading

What is deep reading, exactly?  Basically, it’s submersing yourself in a contiguous block of time reading a sizable book of text (not just mere images) from beginning to end.  Oh, you think: that’s easy! Or, you’ve done it plenty of times.  If you done it recently and regularly, then kudos to you! But for some, have you noticed that your attention wanders so fast when trying to sink into a good book that you had to put it down as soon as you started?  You’ve chosen a topic you want to read about, a topic you want to learn and educate yourself on, or a novel you heard about and wondered what the hype was about, but the book sits on your nightstand for weeks on end, if not months, only collecting dust.   I am glad you are reading my blog posts and would love you to come back, but I challenge you to make a goal to read a book a month and then two books a month, if you are not a reader, or an avid reader.  I know people read at different speeds and some have learning disabilities th

Is it Poetry?

From Bukowski to Instapoetry Barfly Bukowski When Charles Bukowski entered the writing scene in 1939, he was considered an underground, low-brow writer who submitted to magazines and underground papers.  Most of his themes were guttural and sexist, wearing that gritty, greasy sailor masculinity on his sleeve. He drank excessively, swore and objectified in real life as well as on paper. He was criticized for lacking metaphors, but his anecdotes were interesting as well as his raw and offensive grit. Quite opposite from academic poets, postwar poets who entered academia, he stood apart, impassioned and bitter at the fringe of society, drank and smoked his life away.  Posthumously, he has gained some of the notoriety he longed for. He had produced many volumes of work, dabbling in many genres, he was championed by respectful editors in the end. Instapoet: Rupi Kaur In today’s world of social media phenomena, it’s no surprise that there may come someone with a cult f

Breathings of Your Heart

As a writer and visual artist, I constantly scour the bookstores and art stores for inspiration like a kid in a candy store.  It's a constant battle to keep inspired.  Before I know it, I am knee deep in my mediocre life forgetting I am lost in the grey and banal existence of working a 9-5 job, juggling a household, remember to eat right and exercise all a while hoping I get enough sleep--let alone write? Create art? But there in the modicum of desire lies my fantasy of a writer and artist life.  What are they really?  Is it the masculine existence to live feverishly and crash and burn like Jack Kerouac or Earnest Hemingway? Is it the kill-myself-in-the- short-end like Virginia Woolf?  I think in today's world it may actually be the slow death of unguided, anxiety-riddled, bombarded by useless information dichotomy.  We eat too much carbs, carcinogenic meats and processed foods, work in menial, uninspiring jobs, that we end up dying by our own demise subversively anyway

Age is Nothing but a Number

In the United States, we yearn and celebrate youth.  Every turn we take, we hear: fresh faces , fresh ideas , young minds , new perspectives , to describe what we need for our collective consciousness to move forward, and now we hear this ring true in our politics, this need to elect younger candidates to force out the old and tired voices.  It even rings more true in the tech industries, with the new fan-dangle apps and wireless everything, coding for kids. Of course when I was younger, I was the least phased about what this all meant because I stood at the threshold of many possibilities.  It's true that older generations give way to the next generation, but what's even true is that age does not matter in creativity.   Look at Dr. John Goodenough, who at 94 has a patent pending for a new kind of battery that will change the way we live.  94!  He was featured in the New York Times article by Pagan Kennedy who wrote, "A study of Nobel physics laureates fo

5 Reasons to Start & Keep a Journal

T hroughout my lifetime I have started many, many journals that are still scattered throughout my house.  From time-to-time I take a deep breath and delve into the blast from the past, which is usually a brave endeavor, to say the least.  Why? Because I have mainly started journals to document most difficult times of my life.  One, for example, is my divorce chronicles from 20 plus years ago.  When I revisit it, I reopen the wounds slightly but not entirely because I come away with it with a sense of accomplishment that I have indeed survived that ordeal.  I look back and think about all the injustices and also the regrets.   Some of you may have approached journaling as a place to dump all the horrors, and to be honest, I do have some more light-hearted ones with some very, very awful poems that have evolved into more palatable ones...but most of my journals were experimental, raw, often incoherent, which stored my anxieties and obsessions. Journaling, however, doesn