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About this poet

Barbara Jane Reyes was born in 1971 in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her undergraduate education at the University of California Berkeley and her MFA in creative writing (poetry) at San Francisco State University.

Reyes's poetry collections include Invocation to Daughters (City Lights Books, 2017), a finalist for the California Book Award, and Diwata (BOA Editions, 2010). Her first book, Gravities of Center, was published by Arkipelago Books in 2003, and her second book, Poeta en San francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005) received the 2005 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.

She has taught at Mills College and the University of San Francisco. She is an adjunct professor in the Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program at University of San Francisco. She lives in Oakland, California.

calles de los dolores y trastorno de tension postraumatica

your methods are unacceptable :: beyond human restraint :: things get confused i know :: the heart’s a white sepulcher and no man guards its doors :: against the growing dark :: incessant blades beat air :: incessant blades :: what means are available to terminate :: gook names :: with extreme prejudice :: you may use those :: blades beat :: easier than learning their gook names :: your boys don’t know any better than :: gook names :: dead men hanging from trees so far from the known world :: how does it come to this :: being blown to hell :: incessant :: gook names :: in panic mode trigger finger instinct efficiency :: incessant blades beat air :: blades beat :: dead men hanging :: gook names :: no sin committed :: no dead men :: to forgive.

Copyright © 2005 by Barbara Jane Reyes. Reprinted with permission of the author from poeta en san francisco, published by Tinfish Press.

Copyright © 2005 by Barbara Jane Reyes. Reprinted with permission of the author from poeta en san francisco, published by Tinfish Press.

Barbara Jane Reyes

Barbara Jane Reyes

Born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, her second book, poeta en san francisco received the 2005 James Laughlin Award.

by this poet

poem

Once, when there was no light, the wind danced with the sea, whose glassy surface became untame funnels and silver crested waves as she leapt and spun. How the wind also spun and let out a mighty roar. You have heard this one before, no? How earth convulsed as if laughing. How seafloor forced her fingertips skyward

poem

To honor movement in crescendos of text, combing through ashes for fragments of human bone, studying maps drawn for the absurdity of navigation — what may be so edgy about this state of emergency is my lack of apology for what I am bound to do. For instance, if I dream the wetness of your mouth an oyster my tongue

poem
		See how she lists. The body is bent as light, as wind will it.
And so you must tread light. Mind the rocks under foot. You must tread slow.
There has been drought; see where water has long ago troughed, has carved her.
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