Secret Asian Man
by Nick Carbó
Nick Carbo's Secret Asian Man is a hilarious and poignant look at the immigrant experience. The hero of this collection of poems is Ang Tunay na Lalaki, the Filipino equivalent of the Marlboro Man. Macho and bare chested, he endorses gin. When he finds himself transplanted in New York City and auditioning as a bit actor, disillusionment quickly sets in. He realizes he, as...more
Paperback, 60 pages
Published October 12th 2001 by Tia Chucha
(first published 2000)
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I bought this book at a sale my school was having, and got it because of the whimsical title. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was by a Filipino author, and I could relate to the parts where Filipino culture was brought up. I enjoyed the first half more than the second, but overall I thought it was a solid collection of poetry. I did question the author bringing himself into his own book, but I guess that's the nature of poetic license.
I recently found this slim book of poetry among my college debris; thought it was so funny back then... poignant too. It tells the story of this Filipino named Ang Tunay Na Lalaki who was kind of a bigshot c-list celebrity back in Manila but after moving to NYC is faceless, emasculated. All the poems, bearing titles such as "Ang Tunay Na Lalaki Explores the Chatrooms on AOL" and "Ang Tunay Na Lalaki Does His Laundry," are quirky and fresh.