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Summary: Arvin Mangohig’s Martial Law: Poems for the Dead

Summary: Arvin Mangohig’s Martial Law: Poems for the Dead

Summary
Arvin Mangohig’s Martial Law: Poems for the Dead
Moderator, J Neil Garcia

Arvin Mangohig’s manuscript is a lyric sequence that dwell on the time and space of the Martial Law period. The proposed book is structured around various themes: suppression of freedoms, death, philosophy, silence, nostalgia, and love. While the project is nearly done, Mangohig was seeking comments and suggestions regarding the collection’s pacing and sequencing and on possible ways of juxtaposing the poems. More importantly, he was concerned if he should include pieces that go beyond the “Marcosian timeline” and that allude to the culture of violence and impunity under the present regime; as well as personal poems where the “I” can counterbalance the “negative energies” of the dominant themes in the collection.

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Poetics: Arvin Mangohig

Poetics: Arvin Mangohig

A POETICS FOR THE LYRIC SEQUENCE:

NOSTALGIA, CLAUSTROPHOBIA,

AND THE NECESSARY ENGAGEMENT OF EVIL

 

My book project is a lyric sequence about Martial Law.

 

I was born in 1976, believe it or not, by the time I was 7 years old in 1983, when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated, that cold-blooded murder served only to confirm my childhood fear: that there was something very wrong about Filipino Society—and I don’t use caps lightly—that the big, bad world out there was really big and really bad.

 

The lyric sequence is built, stacked, layered. One can liken it to a novel or a marathon in terms of “chapters” and “pacing.” Those are very apt comparisons. But for the purposes of this poetics, I would like to use the concept of collocation. Someone has defined the lyric sequence as:

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