The New Young American Poets: An Anthology

By Kevin Prufer | Go to book overview

Nick Cabó

"When the grain is golden and the wind is chilly, then it is
the time to harvest"

Leron-leron sinta, umakyat sa papaya
Dala-daldy buslo', sisidlan ng bunga

In a dusty village in Cagayan Valley,
Ramon and his father were planting rice when soldiers

appeared on their farm. They questioned his father,
had he seen any communist rebels recently

in the area, and when he did not give them
a good enough answer, they beat him with the blunt ends

of their rifles, shot him as he was lying
on the ground. Ramon snuck away but remained hidden

in nearby bushes, to witness the soldiers
laugh out loud as they chopped his father's shaking body —

"they first removed his penis, then cut below
the knees, then the ankles, then the elbows, then the neck."

Leron-leron sinta, umakyat sa papaya
Dala-dala'y buslo', sisidlan ng bunga

After dusk Ramon ran home to his mother
and younger brother. She feared the soldiers would soon knock

This poem is derived from events retold by the director of the Children's Rehabilitation Center in Manila in an interview in Joseph Collins, ed., The Philippines:Fire on the Rim, San Francisco: The Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1989 (296-99). The first two lines are from a Filipino folk song children sing while they are playing.

-32-

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The New Young American Poets: An Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • A Foreword Looking Backwards xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Sherman Alekie 1
  • Talvikki Ansel 4
  • Rick Barot 10
  • Paul Beatty 15
  • Erin Belieu 21
  • Rafael Campo 27
  • Nick Cabó 32
  • Joshua Clover 38
  • Nicole Cooley 41
  • Denise Duhamel 46
  • Thomas Savers Ellis 52
  • Suzanne Gardinier 60
  • James Harms 66
  • Allison Joseph 72
  • Julia Kasdorf 78
  • Joy Katz 83
  • Timothy Liu 88
  • Khaled Mattawa 93
  • Jeffrey Mcdaniel 99
  • Campbell Mcgrath 105
  • Heidilynn Nilsson 112
  • Rick Noguchi 117
  • Barbara J. Orton 124
  • Alan Michael Parker 129
  • D. A. Powell 137
  • Claudia Rankine 143
  • Matthew Rohrer 146
  • Ruth L. Schwartz 149
  • Angela Shaw 154
  • Reginald Shepherd 160
  • Larissa Szporluk 164
  • Ann Townsend 168
  • Natasha Trethewey 173
  • Karen Volkman 177
  • Rachel Wetzsteon 182
  • Greg Williamson 188
  • Max Winter 194
  • Sam Witt 198
  • Mark Wunderlich 204
  • Kevin Young 209
  • Acknowledgments 217
  • Contributors 223
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