The Fashionista's Book of Enlightenment by Carlomar Arcangel Daoana (Poetry Book)

The Fashionista's Book of Enlightenment is a collection of poems by Carlomar Arcangel Daoana that was published in 2009 by Designed by Words Co. The collection contains 43 poems. Some of the poems have been previously published in other publications and anthologies (i.e. Ani, At Home in Unhomeliness, Dark Blue Southern Seas, Ladlad 3, Likhaan 3, Montage, Philippines Free Press, Tomas).


"This fine collection of forty-three poems is a gathering of odes and elegies to the grand frailties of the world: from missed relatives and pets, visited cities, to the many failures of the body as it continues enduring the daily grind of modern city-living. The poems in The Fashionista's Book of Enlightenment are driven by a formal, often detached (half-mocking?) tone that meticulously details chance encounters with strangers and instances of intimacy. Daoana delights in chronicling the many posturing and elaborate decorations of the high society, and is openly scornful at the artificial and heavily made-up. From couplets to experimentations with the prose-poem form, this book offers myriad themes that mostly revolve around a hunger for cleansing, an envy of angels, and a wanting for quieter evenings. Yet these poems are never insistent on lower volumes and change; they simply - and all-too-humanly - remain steadfastly watchful of little kindness." - Joel M. Toledo

"In The Fashionista's Book of Enlightenment we find one of the top poetic voices of the post People Power Revolution. The nuances of serene images like "The clouds hang low, bruise the tip/ Of the mountain, which, oddly, is chiseled/In such a way that the left slope looks like/Cragged ladder, broken teeth, an angle of anguish," fill the book with Byronic beauty with indigenous flair. If I were to pin my hopes on the future of Filipino poetry, Carlomar Arcangel Daoana's name would be amongst the top three. This book should be on the book shelves of serious readers of our contemporary poetry." - Nick Carbo

"Among our finest poets writing today - Carlomar Arcangel Daoana: in such poems as "Mending" and "Surrender", there throbs, beneath the casual intimacy of the considering eye and the tender feeling, a deep sense of the world's sorrow and calm, harm and care, doom and certainty." - Gemino H. Abad

Here are two poems from the collection:


A male octopus travels an ocean
To have an embrace with his kind.
The tentacles know what to do
And soon the gaps are sealed as
If to say: nothing else but hunger.

The whirling in the depths is
A hopeless dance. No baby
Octopus shall swim in the ocean
Because of this love. As if to say:
Sacrifices is its own enduring gift.

The grip happens in darkness,
Ours, and we smell the ocean.
I knock on the door of your body
With a question: Who are you
In these ridiculously mortal clothes?

It took you half a road to enter
My bed, half a second to kiss me.
What dangerous hunger we have.
We descend into the doom -
A wreckage - arms locked.


At this edge (must be), the altar of the world
(Given), a pile of words and significances tight
As house, light-ambushed and rain-cohered,
I invoke your pure delight and luminosity, boy
In a red jacket, registering as both breath and
Emergency, as the bus dips - sideways -
Into the three o'clock road. See you neither
Falling nor swimming in the fog, simply,
Standing and staring with no heft of purpose,
Just gazing, marvelously, letting time precipitate
As your slow body tilts toward the dissolved:
Landscape bereft of contradictions. I call to you
Instead of the muse, not just because we share
The same millennium, the same hollowed-out
Clouds of the unhinged city, but because -
Let me put it this way: You venerate lostness.
You know how to stop, and stopping, the blur
Is summoned from the details, and the unknown
Rolls like the spokes of white wheels, and
Something gets polished inside you and what shines
Is a small, incalculable belief in the little bit.
This morsel is what sustains me so the words
May come with blood in them - reprehensible,
Inert in many ways, hopefully human. As for you:
A revelation of salt, earth and the curved sky
Hiding beneath all this white. So bless me.
Restore me to my edgedness. Intervene
Against the wind shutting down flames and
Roses in my head. As soon as I hit forehead
Against the page, you should have known:
That I write because you exist on the other side,
Smoldering with a life that stays put (the way
You want it) complete and incomparable
In the total mist, needing me not one bit.