Rappin' with Ten Thousand Carabaos in the Dark (1997)

New Releases

Author: Al Robles

Paperback: Out of Print

ISBN-13: 978-0-9340-5225-2

ISBN-10: 0-934052-25-5

Product Details: 123 pp, 9 x 6 x 0.5 in

Categories: Asian American; Asian American Studies; Asian American Movement; Literature; Pilipino; Philippines; Poetry


The quintessential Pilipino American poet, storyteller, and co-founder of the Kearny Street Asian American Writers Workshop in San Francisco tells stories that span a century of Pilipino life in America. His poetry is inhabited by families, farm laborers, factory workers, Zen monks, pool sharks, cooks, children, lovers, preachers, pinups, young bloods, musicians, barbers, and Buddhas.


Preface by Russell Leong
As a Poet


  • Tagatac in Ifugao Mountain
  • A Thousand Pilipino Songs: Ako Ay Pilipino
  • Agbayani Village
  • International Hotel Night Watch
  • Manong Federico Delos Reyes and His Golden Banjo
  • Manong Jincto Santos Tomas
  • Manong Camara
  • Benito Milliano, the Rice Cake Manong
  • Uncle Victor, the Forgotten Manong
  • Manong Felix
  • The Hawaiian Sugarcane Wild Boar Manong
  • The Wandering Manong
  • Taxi Dance
  • Manong O'Campo
  • Bataan Bar in Delano
  • Jurimentado Blues in Reno
  • Guadalupe: "Come To Me My Melancholy Baby"
  • Carlos Bulosan: Pilipino Poet


  • Back to the Land
  • Hidden Forest Sanctuary
  • Jedediah Smith RedwoodsTraveled North to the Woods Humboldt to Oregon – Washington Pacific
  • Northwest Cascades
  • Boyang the Wandering Recluse
  • Kenji Miyazawa, the Sad Poet
  • Sakurai Takamine, the Wandering Kyushu Mountain-Sake Hobo
  • Ryokan - The Crazy Snow Poet
  • The Mountain-Toilet ThiefHunting for Bamboo
  • Sushi-Okashi and Green Tea with Mitsu Yashima
  • Meeting the Poet Luis Syquia on the Fourth Month Thirteenth Day One Thousand Nine-Hundred-
  • Eighty-Nine
  • Mary Tall Mountain
  • Wandering North to Alaska
  • Winter Rain Yum Cha with Gin San
  • Cheuk Heuk Returns to Hong Kong One More Time
  • Over Etang's House for Talong
  • Hop Jok Fair
  • Poor Man's Bridge/Portsmouth Square


  • Chinatown Blues for Blues Poets
  • Jazz of My Youth
  • Fillmore Black Ghetto
  • Rebirth of Wounded Knee
  • It Was A Warm Summer Day
  • Olangapo
  • Tiao-yu Tai Islands
  • Rapping with Ten Thousand Carabaos in the Dark
  • Asian Center
  • Yukio Mishima 48 Ronin
  • Visiting the Grave of Edwardo Bedajos
  • From the Poet's Place
  • Ode to Bill Sorro


"In the world of Al Robles--real or imagined--are the still-life portraits of our collective memory." -Jeff Tagami
"The poems of Al Robles have the smell of the sweetest fragrance of sampaguita." -Luis Malay Syquia
"This brilliant collection is a journey into the heart of the Pilipino soul." - Ishmael Reed

"At last! This long overdue collection by poet, shaman, and storyteller Al Robles is finally with us. His soulful, earthy and loving poems give voice and vibrant music to the rich language, bittersweet dreams, and difficult lives of the manongs of Pilipino America." -Jessica Hagedorn

“There is a geography-crunching aspect to Pilipino American writing, which is becoming a sizable American contribution to a world literature now in the making. Al Robles is one of the pioneers." -N.V.M Gonzales

Related Center Press Publications:

Amerasia Journal 15:1 (1989).

  • - Leong, Russell. "Poetry Within Earshot: Notes on an Asian American Generation 1968-1978."
  • - Robles, Al. "Hanging on to the Carabao’s Tail."

Amerasia Journal 17:1 (1991). Robles, Al. "The American Eagle."
Amerasia Journal 21:3 (Winter 1995-96). Robles, Al. “Manong Federico Delos Reyes and His Golden Banjo.”
Amerasia Journal 28:3 (2002). Robles, Al. “Coming Home to Manilatown: International Hotel”

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