A Rabbit in Search of a Rolex by Regie Cabico forthcoming from Day Eight Books

Day Eight is proud to announce a forthcoming poetry collection by Regie Cabico from our press. Cabico’s work has been published broadly for more than a decade and this will be his first full length collection. A Rabbit in Search of a Rolex includes more than three dozen new poems exploring the author’s relationships to culture, including the queer and Asian American communities. The book will publish November 15, 2023, and the author will conduct a series of reading events post-publication. To book the author, email: admin <at> Day Eight.org

Early response to the book includes:

“A wordsmith, a truth teller, and a dream weaver, Cabico’s collection demonstrates his unmatched poetic prowess…. A Rabbit in Search of a Rolex is a must read for anyone seeking to experience poetry that pushes the literary boundaries of our creative imaginations.” – Karen Jaime, author of The Queer Nuyorican: Racialized Sexualities and Aesthetics in Loisaida

“Regie Cabico’s A Rabbit in Search of a Rolex offers deceptively delicate poems full of Cabico’s keen observation and wit. His poems are full as a photograph, detailing objects and emotions of the everyday. Whether Cabico is in conversation with other poets, talking to celebrities, or reveling in poetic solitude, his imagination and juxtaposition of narrative voices and characters shows his magic.” – Jona Colson, author of Said Through Glass

Below is an interview conducted by Day Eight with the author, and about the forthcoming collection.

Day Eight: When did you start writing?

Regie Cabico: I started to write poetry after graduating from NYU with an acting degree. It was the early 1990s and it was the boom of multicultural literature. I found myself getting published very early as Asian American, Queer anthologies were popping on book shelves. The 1990s was the beginning of the first wave of the Poetry Slam at The Nuyorican Poets Cafe and I found myself as a pioneer of the competitive performance poetry competition. As a result, I found myself on tour with Smashing Pumpkins and The Beastie Boys as an official poet on Lollapalooza. CA Conrad remembers a performance where Courtney Love crashed my stage in Philadelphia. 

DE: There is a sort of deadpan humor throughout A Rabbit in Search of a Rolex. Who inspires you?

RC: As a boy, I was fascinated by Joan Rivers’ self-deprecating humor and I do like the dry dead pan wit of Demetri Martin. The best comedians are poets. Comedy is hyperbole.

DE: Are you interested in poetic forms? It’s hard not to notice that many of the poems in this book have a similar shape, and not shared by other published works I’ve read by you, and seen you perform.

RC: A Rabbit in Search of a Rolex was inspired by a Halloween reading I hosted for the literary arts education organization 826 DC.  I read dreams in five sentences. I put words on index cards and asked the audience and staff to write their own dream in five sentences. The results were amazing and I wrote more following that event. For November [2022], I gave myself a 30 for 30 challenge to write a poem on a daily basis. The five sentence format was a challenge. It’s like a story nugget or story haiku. A meditation on an idea or object and trying to spin that into life. While I say it’s a five sentence format, some of those poems were shorter or maybe a little longer. I was also experiencing vocal loss at the start of the pandemic and in some ways the book was an exercise in brevity – all of these poems are poems I can perform. Having read a few of the poems in the book at readings the results have been great with audiences laughing.

DE: What advice would you give to a poet working on their first book?

RC: Don’t over think it. I’m still overthinking it.

DE: What do you hope people take away from your book?

RC: I hope people feel inspired to write their own quirky dream, hyperbole, parable in five sentences. 

Author bio:

Regie Cabico is a Filipino American poet and spoken word artist. He has been featured on two seasons of Def Poetry Jam on HBO and has been called the Lady Gaga of spoken word. Cabico won top prizes in the 1993, 1994, and 1997 National Poetry Slams. His poetry appears in over 30 anthologies including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Spoken Word Revolution and Slam. Cabico is the recipient of three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships and was artist-in-residence at New York University, and De Anza College.

Cover art for the book is © Wayson Jones, used by permission. The book’s publication is supported by individual donors to Day Eight and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.