Paradox Engine

My blood calls long distance

To the Philippines


Asian to some

Pacific Islander to others

It really depends

On the forms definition


My blood hearkens back to Spain

Through conquistadors mayhaps


Let’s not forget

The Irish or the English

The former gave me 19 freckles

And the latter a superiority complex


Spelled Tag-A-Log, pronounced Tuh-Gah-Lohg

I am deaf and mute in my mothers tongue


They hide their fear and pity

When immigrant Filipino parents hear this

Simply hoping,

Their children are not me


Bewildering my mother

To whom family are friends


I made friends, a second family,

From those I could relate.

Those who could later boast,

‘Oh yeah, I knew a Filipina’


I grew up with Toni Morrison

And her Bluest Eye


So to me, what is perplexing,

Is charming to others.

But I’ve never been told

To put on make-up.


I grew up in a Republican pocket

Of blue Massachusetts


Don’t get me wrong,

I’m an Atheist.

But when people rail

Against the rigidity and conformity of Catholicism


I frown and wonder,

Because my Catholic Christian Doctrine taught me

To strengthen my faith

By questioning it


However, when you ask me where I’m from,

You’ll never see this maelstrom.


But to answer honestly,

I am from confusion

And perserverence

Born from blood and triumph.




Willow by Julia Hoban

I want to like this book, I really should like this book, but it’s hard to.

Willow is a high school student who killed her parents in a car crash on a rainy night when her parents were too drunk to drive home from dinner. After the death of her parents she moves in with her older brother, David, his wife and child.

Feeling isolated, blaming herself and thinking David hates her for killing their parents Willow starts cutting herself to deal with life. She meets a boy, Guy, who finds out her secret and is determined to help her.

It’s actually a very sweet story, the characters are all slightly different from the typical high school depression story, the parents were anthropology professors, as is David. Willow works in the college library and this is where she meets Guy, who takes college classes while still in high school.

My problem with the book comes from the fact that Hoban writes as if she is (and maybe she is) a psychologist writing up a case study. The language isn’t very engaging, the curiosity to see how the story plays out, even though it’s pretty easy to see, is the main reason I read this book, that and I’m delving into the world YA. Hoban writes with only the literal sense of what words mean, and not the way words are actually used by people. Towards the end where Guy says he’s her lover I actually rolled my eyes. I was just glad I went to the library instead of paying for it.

It’s an easy, quick read, and if the YA troubled genre is one you’re in to, it is worth an afternoon.


The ability to reduce someone utterly with a look is not one easily forgotten.

She was driving down the street to his office thinking about dinner, about the weekend, his cousins wedding in a few months. She was going to be dropping off his new phone, he’d been getting by on just his work phone the past few days, she could’ve just kept it at home, but she knew he’d appreciate her bringing it in. While at a stop light she glanced out her window at the restaurant they’d had their first date at. Every time she came down this way she saw it and smiled. 

Not today. As she looked, she saw him outside the door with another woman. This woman was dressed in a skirt suit, and she could have pretended this was nothing if not for the kiss. Putting her eyes back on the road she continued to his office, leaving the phone, even chatting with his coworker for a few minutes before leaving.

Going home she made dinner as usual, and he made it in time for dinner, as usual. He thanked her for the phone which she accepted and replied to. It wasn’t until dinner when they were sitting across from each other, when he was looking at her over his wine glass, that she looked at him. Why? she asked with her eyes. Not even angry, she just needed to know.

He looked away, then back again, then down to his plate. He shifted in his seat and coughed uncomfortably before saying “I never thought you’d do that to me.”