the Diasporic
I leave one place for the other, welcomed and embraced by the family I have left—
fathers and brothers and cousins and uncles and aunts. Childhood sweethearts,
now with their own children. I am unable to stay. I make excuses, adhere to tight
schedules, I return only to depart. I am the other, the exile within afflicted with
permanent nostalgia for the mud. I return only to depart: Manila, New York, San
Francisco, Manila, Honolulu, Detroit, Manila, Guam, Hong Kong, Zamboanga,
Manila, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Manila again, Manila again, Manila
again.—jessica hagedorn, ‘‘Homesick’’
As the Filipino American novelist Jessica Hagedorn poignantly sug-
gests above, the seemingly mantra-like incantations of points of depar-
ture merging into destinations or periods of arrival are part and parcel
of immigrant, diasporic, and/or exilic lives. This work is constituted by
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