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men live to mother my breeze

for taut bloom

and lip, a boy’s porcelain poetry

                             wrapped in leafy necklace, after

the heart a curious

                                   tree, slow roots of mutations

growing through the net, the end

got us trapped by forest, or

                                           your thoughts of, tide

                                         creeping up on us

                                       a belly full of wings,

                                     the fire’s out/side but

                                   only one has the potential for opus

                                                                         by impulse my eyes find

                                                            the horizon


                                 it resists, always tentative

                               dislocates the mind

from a vision

like puzzles, they peel

and reveal fragments—a disjointed prettiness

cataloguing is a way of mapping

out desire, out fire

​                 out  ​ ​ ​ ​ ​                               desire


              a head like a wave, an expression of storm

              and the shepherd or the magnet, that

              bold white lie refracted into lime

              into lavender, two halos close enough

              for difference or for half of sight


the self is corroding

                                     in the margins, too far

now from the halfway                point

                                   the sun flickers in the dusk’s


            there is a threat—a possible

decadence of colours, the beginning

of extinction breaches the frame:

arise, deep shapes, frantic female

concave man


when he drifts off

                                  I stay in the open, distorted

by dappled scribbles of light



Frantic Concave

by Ina Abuan and Stuart Cooke

(After Love Story by Gino Tioseco)

Love Story

by Gino Tioseco​


Diptych, 2013


Mixed Media on Paper


26 inches x 19 inches (per panel)


Ina Abuan teaches humanities and literature at the University of Santo Tomas, where she also obtained her MA in Creative Writing and AB in Philosophy. She is the Associate Festival Director of the Manila Fringe Festival (FringeMNL). She is the former vice president of LIRA, one of the country's premier literary groups. She has won national fellowships for her poetry in English and Filipino, and has published works in books and magazines. She co-wrote the rock musical  Sa Wakas, which was based on the songs of Sugarfree and earned rave reviews. Her paintings have been shown in a solo exhibit and several group shows.

Stuart Cooke is a poet, translator and critic. He is the author of  Edge Music (2011), a collection of poetry, and Speaking the Earth's Languages (2013), a critical work about Australian and Chilean poetics. He lives on the Gold Coast, Australia, where he lectures in creative writing and literary studies at Griffith University.

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