Friday, August 10, 2007


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I met Joseph Legaspi in grad school at NYU in 1995 (yikes!). We've grown up together as friends and poets, and now, he is reaping the rewards of hard work, dedication to craft, and persistence. His first book, Imago, will be available soon on and other booksellers in the next few weeks.

Not only is he a phenomenal poet, but he's a force in the poetry community. Did I mention he is cofounder of Kundiman, an organization dedicated to the development of Asian American poets? Simply amazing.

I'm just so proud of Joseph and honored to be his friend. Hope you check out his book or read more of his poetry online.

Men with Breasts

When I see men with breasts,
mammillary, twin elfin mounds
bulging through
shirts, I suppress
the bubbles of emotions
that might burp out of me—a moan,
a giggle. I think: nubile children trapped
in adult men, daughters
hidden in their bodies,
the women in these men
manifesting themselves.
Do their hands make pilgrimages
to these holy places? Do they
gently stroke the knobs
of their areolas to summon
a lover from anywhere across snow banks or Eden fields?
Or do they curse them
for obstructing intimate embrace
with pillows? Do they desire
the armor chests of Greek
heroes, demigods and gods?
At the beach they parade
in front of me like platters
of fruits: Chinese plums,
glossy pink and cup-sized, pale
strawberries, hairy kiwis. My father,
too, possesses a pair of dwarf papayas,
elongated, sagging into cusps
of rosy resin, languid, nestled
on his stomach like the Buddha's.
I know my father's breasts
are empty and my thirst
will remain
unquenched, I can suck
and suckle, work them
like the teats of a newly-birthed sow
or bitch, play the spherical
instrument of his nipples
with my tongue to hear
celestial music, and there will be no
warm, nourishing colostrum.

~ Joseph Legaspi

(I loves me some Jo Jo!)


poet with a day job said...

January - thanks for this recommendation - I will pick it up as soon as I can. That it an amazing and totally creepy great poem of his you posted!

And, I was in grad school in 95 too. If I think about it too hard it totally freaks me out.

January said...

I know! Hard to believe that grad school was so long ago.

Alex said...

This is from the forward of Imago; if this dosen’t gets you interested in buying this book from this amazing writer then I don't know what will...
" his mentor Pablo Neruda he seems able to locate the mysterious and the magical in the most common and overlooked objects. It is difficult to overestimate the daring and resourcefulness required to complete successfully this astonishingly original book. I believe this collection of poetry, so rich in the dailyness of the world and what wisdom we can draw from it, is ample evidence that Joseph O. Legaspi has arrived to a place none of his ancestors in life or in poetry have ever journeyed, and we his readers are the richer for it."--Philip Levine

January said...

I couldn't have said it myself.

Phil Levine has good taste!

odessa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
odessa said...

ooops sorry, i accidentally deleted my first post.

thanks for sharing this. i'll watch out for his book. the poem is brilliant, though it made me blush! hehe.

Goodnight, Mom said...

Joseph is an amazing writer and person. Having known his work for many years, I am highly anticipating his book. I have already pre-ordered it on!

Oliver de la Paz said...


Ah, Joseph LegaspI! Marilyn Chin thinks he's hot, and you know what? She's right!


I love that Joseph Legaspi.


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