Murder Death Resurrection by Eileen R. Tabios


A five-year (2013-2018) project, “Murder, Death and Resurrection” (MDR), includes “The MDR Poetry Generator” that brings together much of my poetics and poet tics. The MDR Poetry Generator contains a data base of 1,167 lines which can be combined randomly to make a large number of poems; the shortest would be a couplet and the longest would be a poem of 1,167 lines. … Yet while the MDR Poetry Generator presents poems not generated through my personal preferences, the results are not distanced from the author: I created the 1,167 lines from reading through 27 previously-published poetry collections—the title’s references to murder, death and resurrection reflect the idea of putting to death the prior work, only to resurrect them into something new: sometimes, creation first requires destruction.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 176
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: February, 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1-939929-99-0



Startling, not just for the method but for the lines of breathtaking beauty resulting from it. These poems are tender, wistful and humorous, an incantatory catalogue that is spiritually tethered to the body and the earth, where everything is vital and important, and incites wonder, melancholy, and gratitude. —Eric Gamalinda

While Georges Perec famously gave us a work of literature that began “I remember…”, Eileen Tabios gives us a very human sounding algorithm that lists for us what “I” has forgotten. In the backgrounds of paintings like those of Lucas Cranach, Bosch, Durer, Da Vinci, are castles, ruins, caverns…. Each line is an invitation to seek within the sfumato for a miniature clarity—sometimes the blinding light of a furnace, sometimes an old movie set swarming with quotation marks, sometimes lines that, with their specificity, invite us to linger and to imagine the margins full of novels, short stories, memoirs…. Some lines are rungs for the hands and feet of angels and these I recommend to you most of all. —Jesse Glass

AMNESIA: Somebody’s Memoir
One might ask, whose memoir is this anyway? AMNESIA: Somebody’s Memoir is everybody’s memoir! —Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino

Certain scholars say the modern self is masterful but emptied of connections to ancestors, myths, nature, place, history, storytelling, faith and spirituality, community, and dreams. In AMNESIA, I am reminded of all that is Beautiful, Good, and True—but often forgotten: “Waves rolling away from Asia to storm even the Americas.” —Leny M. Strobel

A phrase from Comte de Lautréamont’s prose poem Les Chants de Maldoror (1869) has been used by many as a definition of surrealism: “the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella.” Such fanciful and bizarre juxtaposition is one of many sources of beauty and the sublime…. Tabios’ text collides with itself but there is nothing chance about the delicacy and beauty that comes from those collisions. —Vince Gotera


1: I forgot I became a connoisseur of alleys.

2: I forgot I knew the back alleys of this neighborhood, where beggars made their beds, whose cats stole their food, which doorways provided for or grabbed the fragile into a hold of cruelty.

3: I forgot why lovers destroy children to parse the philosophy of separation.

4: I forgot the glint from the fang of a wild boar as he lurked behind shadows in a land where it only takes one domino to fall.

5: I forgot how quickly civilization can disappear, as swiftly as the shoreline from an oil spill birthed from a twist of the wrist by a drunk vomiting over the helm.

6: All around the border of that place, the desert was a forever. I forgot how no mountains, no trees, no tomb markers—nor memories perfumed by jasmine—interrupted the horizon.

7: I forgot the horizon is far, is near, is what you wish but always in front of you.

8: I forgot one can choose always to face the horizon.

9: I forgot any reason for you to hold my hand as a day unfolded.

10: It was a different time. I forgot there is always a different time, even within the span of an hour (or less).

11: I forgot how your eyes always reached for me when I passed the threshold into the home we carefully shared.


Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released over 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Recipient of the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry for her first poetry collection, she has seen her poems translated into eight languages as well as inspire collaborations involving computer-generated hybrid languages, paintings, video, kali martial arts, modern dance, among others. She also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized 12 anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays as well as served as editor or guest editor for various literary journals. Inventor of the poetic form “hay(na)ku,” she maintains a book lover‘s blog, “Eileen Verbs Books“; edits Galatea Resurrects, a popular poetry review; steers the literary and arts publisher Meritage Press; and frequently curates thematic online poetry projects including LinkedIn Poetry Recommendations (a recommended list of contemporary poetry books). Her writing and editing works have received recognition through awards, grants and residencies. More information is available at

Additional information

Weight 13 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .5 in