Eileen R. Tabios

Light’s Illogic

Light caresses you
You fondle back
What else can you do with the ineffable
But relent
To its gentle illogic

Water washes itself

Useless Wisdom

Only stars outnumber the mosquitoes.


The world began to end when the President of the United States informed the world that stars were missing from star maps. Havoc began to reign in diverse ways. Humans behaved predictably: many killed others simply from the inevitability of being killed—that these folks committed murder instead of suicide would be raised as proof by the Powerful Ones that they decided correctly. You see, any species that uses stars as fuel is intelligent enough to discern who is worth leaving behind—like those strangling the same planet that allowed them to survive, whose lack of nuance proved the reductivity of their slogan “Kill or be killed.” To such a combination of ingratitude, venality and stupidity, the Powerful Ones released a spare star. They held back the radiation so I can finish this report for their files.

Earth’s Last Eyewitness

[Still Untitled]

               “I forgot I looked for an ex-lover and discovered an obituary.”
               —from “Murder Death Resurrection”

I heard you died.
As with other matters
in our dysfunctional world,
How can that be?

You’re dead?

But I’m living
off the memory
of the planet
we created
from a single chair

that felt my thighs
drape over yours.

If you are dead
how can I still breathe
your breath
that accompanies
your lips and tongue?

I welcomed time
collapsing after
we separated.

When time collapses
Past, Present and Future
meld to become Now—

wherein and whereby
the rose in crystal 
never withers by the
planet of our chair.

If you are dead
has the dew evaporated
on the rose whose
petals are no longer 
thick, waxy and red
with the peak of existence?

Did September cease?

Did the frog pass
without grumpily eating?

Did I never make
an exception for you?

Did you never teach
me to be nervy?

Listen to my lips, trembling
as they continue in vain…

Eileen R. Tabios has released over 70 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in 10 countries and cyberspace. In 2023 she released the poetry collection Because I Love You, I Become War; an autobiography, The Inventor; and a flash fiction collection, Getting To One. Other recent books include a first novel DoveLion: A Fairy Tale for Our Times; two French books, PRISES (Double Take) (trans. Fanny Garin) and La Vie erotique de l’art (trans. Samuel Rochery); and a book-length essay Kapwa’s Novels. She invented the hay(na)ku, a 21st century diasporic poetic form; the MDR Poetry Generator that can create poems totaling theoretical infinity; and the “Flooid” poetry form that’s rooted in a good deed. Translated into 12 languages, she also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 15 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays. More information is at https://eileenrtabios.com.
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