The linings thin out,
just enough for the doctors
and interns to observe the tunnel
within, a traffic of
patches & abuse & austerity
& bad credit & grease & rust
& bile & boil & brine
& resistance & fucking & love
& pixels & property & heat
& syntax & shame & jazz —
diagnosis: chronic belief in invulnerability.
recommendation: an exposition of regret.
I asked you once if the meat
was prepared properly.
You said the art was wrong,
but the procedure should suffice.
Cut the raw muscles with a blunt blade,
savor it with a sharp tongue.
How many letters have been found
between forgotten pages? Fragile little notes trapped
in the gutters, resting on receipts, coupons, strips
of quick wit barely holding intimate banters,
breaking action, disrupting drama, pausing
the author’s unfolding of a quiet scene.
Once, a torn tissue held a scribbled question:
“Will late dinner suffice?”
Perhaps the answer was trapped somewhere
in another book, another shelf, another time.
(for R & S. I found your book)
So I’m currently crafting a series of poems based on bodies of water (sea, lake, river, etc…) which entails a mix of light erotica and meditation (and a wee bit of playfulness). The original language used for the project is Bikol. This is to reunite a piece of me with my roots, and this is to help me re-awaken some forgotten limbs of my own language.
I’ve just posted the picture below on my Facebook account. Here’s the translation:
I wish to drown
in your sea —
the last breath
from my lungs
I am an irreconcilable belief system.
I am a star, falling in the mid-afternoon.
I am a broken whisper.
I am partially aware of your internal revolution.
I am the eye above your shoulder blade.
I am a system of inconsistencies.
I am a fish, swimming between your sighs.
I am a body of intimacies.
I am a conjunction: & you shall be disconnected.
I am here for your anxieties.
I am a figment of your intoxication.
I am the voice inside your nostalgia box.
I am a pre-recorded argument.
I am a sleep of depravity.
I am your situation on the horizon.
I am an exercise of denial.
I am the dog in the dark corner, waiting.
I am just teething on jagged gums.
I am the rust in your gift.
I am hidden outside privileges.
I am the unspent August — the calendar is late.
I am an a; I am the the.
I trust your hands to unravel the linings of my brain. Closer, your fingers
tiptoe along the narrow passageways where the walls hold the soft angles of
The moonlight beams through the nerves where I can only feel a solitary grin. A splintered hue vibrates in dislocated spots — I travel through the maze to pick up the particles you’ve left, like a trail, towards a half-opened gate.
A window filters the night air into tiny crystals, cold to the touch, warm to
the throat — I permit my mouth to swallow the edges of your wit, your grace,
your frown. And here I am happy to have lost my footing inside your mind.
Your lips are brittle
this time. A great deal
of skin came off ––
Once, I picked up a flake
and mistook it
for an old rose petal.
It’s still here:
a bookmark tucked
between Chapter VII
and your written thoughts.
My feet crush the dry little stars,
finding satisfaction in the melancholic
melody of their crunch & crackle.
Time fades with their scent’s threads:
saintly subtle, sweet — a reminder that Sunday
is nothing but brittle, faded recollections
of the breath of leaves, rivulets of wind,
a waiting woman, sleeping cats,
prayers in pauses, a song in the distance.
Three men laugh as they mend
a poor, broken pipe — the punchline
was swallowed by the quietness.
The world disappears in the afternoon:
I find solace in stillness
of stones. A silent smile.
To which I fold inside this invisible cage: the walls are thin but the whispers are thick. My throat is choked by elderly mandates as they throw old memories, obsolete rules which turn our “selves” so small. Convenience is a bribe; underneath such comfort is a pool of tension.
To which I am silenced by their selective memories. This is my tongue: tethered by arguments wrapped in victim’s clothing. I open my mouth, only to find my voice dismissed into anger & shame. I open my mouth, but why do you dice this reasoning? I have become mute.
To which I am dragged by matters of old principles perpetuated not just by permission but by pride. My legs — they have been chained by parables of forgotten antiquities. I owe this home something and nothing at the same time. The windows are half-open. My spirit is heavy. The air has gone stale.
To which I see myself as nothing but a puppet. The threads which pull my hands are held by wrinkled fingers. They weave a web of deceit under the guise of ‘guilt’ & ‘age’ and ‘bloodline.’ I am reduced into a projection of this family’s decay. I have become nothing but a meaningless surname.
The corridors are open; the doors are shut. The windows are broken; the walls are cracked.