abo sa dila

May iniisip ka? Oo. Ano? Ayaw kong sabihin. Baka magkatotoo.

Dahil makulit ka
Kilala kita. Oo, ikaw 'yun: Nagkasalubong na tayo minsan, sa LRT, sa Gotohan, sa kanto ng Aurora at Katipunan. Nagkatinginan tayo. Hindi mo ako kinausap, pero alam ko, nakilala mo rin ako. Kaya ka narito, di ba? Para sabihing, Oo, oo, ikaw nga 'yun. Naaalala kita.
O, ha, Plurk, o, ha!
Radyo? Radyo?
Libreng humirit

Mag-exercise tayo tuwing umaga
Tambay ka muna
Lokal Kolor
Ano'ng hanap mo?
Basa lang nang basa
Tropa ko

    na, mula noong 24 Enero, 2006, ang nakitambay dito

a few new poems
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Juan dela Cruz Confesses to His Neighbor, the Dog Owner

This is how it happened:
It was a quarter past six
and your dog was sleeping.
I killed it. Let's not make
a story out of this.
Now that I'm a murderer, let me
unburden myself of the baggage
of symbolism: this frayed hat,
this crooked cane.
I am Juan dela Cruz,
killer of dogs. Years from now
only you will remember, and even then
you will remember only your grief.
Maybe even just part of it.
Perhaps it was dusk,
you might say, or was it dawn?
You will remember the heavy light
graying the blood on the pavement.
You will remember how
you asked me, Why? I tell you,
the world is a violent,
violent place. Death happens
and it happened. I am as human
as any murderer can be,
and I pray that you will find some comfort
in the fact that I would have sobbed
as you did, were it you who killed my dog,
if I had one. Why?
I am a man and I killed your dog.
There is no story behind this.
There is only the animal urge,
the primal moment, and this
confession, which saves no one.
Not me, not your dog,
not you or those like you
who hunger for answers, but are met
only with that howl, that gurgle,
that cruel crescendo, that silence.


I Suppose

There are those who find comfort
in repetition. And then there are those
like me, who find no comfort in it
but go on anyway, trial and error
and error and error over and over
until my fingers turn to slivers
of meat and bone. Somewhere a slingshot
held taut but targetless, a stone
resigned to aimlessness, homing in
on something not quite nameable.
Perhaps this is what labor means,
the common, endless turning,
the emulation of seasons, a tree
bearing fruit and a fruit falling to earth
and rotting, then becoming a tree again.
The world does not get tired
even when it should,
and there is little comfort in knowing
that this is the way it's always been,
this is the way it's supposed to be,
this is the way it's supposed to be.



Why are you so far away,
said she, said the song,
said St. Christina the Astonishing
as God blew ashes across her face,
or was it the wind dragging the smell
of burnt meat through her medieval town
the way the smell of burnt meat
drags through a medieval town.
Like a Pentium-age barbecue wafting
through a Pentium-age town,
only this time there's no beef,
no kid bursting bubble-wrap beneath the stairs,
no anorexic coed flashing her tits
as she would on Mardi gras, another day
for some porn to be made. But this
isn't a barbecue. This isn't suburban.
There isn't your hazel-eyed junkie
snorting coke by the shed. This
is the Third World with its midgets
crooning While My Guitar
Gently Weeps, this is your tattooed
bagman stepping on dog crap
and walking on, this is knife-against-your-rib
close quarter combat, compadre.
No creme brulee for you, only overripe avocados
swimming in cheap, expired condensada.
This is the latent energy of four
centuries worth of warlocks flailing
inside your insanely beating heart.
Hear them chanting. Hear their shrill
kundimans expiring, their small bodies shivering
by the cheek of a mountain. Kundiman
is the word for the opposite of if ever,
the if still dangling like some persistent
tropical fruit. If never. Qualtagh
is the word for the first person you meet
when you step out your brownstone apartment
in some other part of the world,
only here it sounds like something
someone would kill for, like a few wet bills
crouched inside a faux leather wallet,
like a rusty coin, like where
the fuck are you on my tongue,
why are you so far away wherever,
what the fuck does it matter, it doesn't.
In a church in Ankara the bells toll
for a bearded God glaring down
a six-year old in short pants.
I'm not there. I'm here while ding-dong
and the pastor clears his throat.
Ding-dong and could I wipe
the static from your lips. Ding-dong
and Antiscians is the word for people
on opposite sides of the equator,
their shadows leaning north, leaning south,
their fingertips bright, burning, basorexic.



June is water, the ruthlessness
of monsoons, wild, wild winds.
On and on the roads roll on,
dust giving way to an imaginary chrome.
I walk knowing the few things that last
outlast even me. Sometimes I spot
the carcass of a bird heavy with rain,
a cat licking away grime from feather,
feeding. Sometimes a fruit
decayed from summer peeking
from beneath a soft wound
of leaves. Solemnly the world
turns on its axis, the clouds yield
and return, and over and over again
the seasons give way
to an almost sudden rust.
The weather waits for no one.
There must be a reason for this
that we must live our lives
looking up, thirsting,
straining to find out.


posted by mdlc @ 2:45 PM  
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