Introducing our podcast with Filipino-Australian poet Merlinda Bobis, I mentioned her poem ‘siesta’, an innovative multilingual work. In the podcast, she spoke about her writing in Filipino and English, and the way in which it is mediated by her first language, Bikol. Thanks to Merlinda’s generosity, we are able to reprint her poem ‘siesta’ in this blogpost so that readers can enjoy an example of her multilingual writing.
take me not
only to thaw the frost
of your old bones
imagining how stallions rear
in the outback,
hooves raised to this August light,
kakaibang liwanag,kasimputla’t kasinglamigng hubad na peras.*
but take me
on a humid afternoon
made for siesta,
when my knees almost ache
from daydreaming of mangoes,
and just right,
at higit sa lahatmas matamis, makataskaysa sa unang halik ng mansanas.*
as pale and cold
as a naked pear’
plucked from my tongue you have wrapped
in a plastic bag with the $3 mango
while i conjured an orchard
from back home — mangoes gold and not for sale, and
sweeter, more succulent
than the first kiss of the apple.’
From Summer was a Fast Train without Terminals (Spinifex, 1998, 8).
Have you read the Poetry in Process blogpost about Lisa Samuels and multiplicity yet? Don’t forget we’d love to hear any comments about what resonated with you. Today I am excited to bring you one of Lisa’s poems that experiments with sound as meaning and was featured in the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook. This is a revised version included in her latest collection Foreign Native (Black Radish Books, 2018). Hope you enjoy it!
People talk about the vanguard takes a turn its conscript energy acts on macro-particles as though you choose or Resolute you’re given mesh back to the deal your limbs eye dim harmonics rise for tiny ones Crash at you crash at me “give us a family look”
Hello poets and readers. Have you listened to the podcast with Melinda Smith yet? Don’t forget we’d love to hear any comments about what resonated with you. Today Poetry in Process is excited to bring you one of the found text poems Melinda referred to in the interview, about Ernie Ecob. Hope you enjoy it!
Ernie Ecob . . . was arguing against providing bathroom facilities in shearing sheds for female shearers because he said women only want to be shearers for the sex. My mind melted at the number of levels on which that was the weird and wrong thing to say. Melinda Smith