Polemic on Culture and Capitalism

Poetry by | September 16, 2007

The pen is mightier than the sword
But the PC is mightier than the pen
But the cell is mightier than the PC
But the radio is mightier than the cell
But the cable TV is mightier than the radio
But the power company is mightier than the cable company
But the bank is mightier than the power company
Perhaps I shall work for the bank

The Driver's Blessing

Poetry by | September 9, 2007

One day, I saw a driver
He was getting off his jeep
He ran to the roadside, stood against a wall
And became a priest
He stood with his legs apart
Looked up to the sky above
Bowed down his head in prayer
And clasped his hands in front of his hips
In silent supplication
In fervent adoration
Then he started to perform his rite
And suddenly out gushed
A spray of amber water
The driver has blessed the concrete wall
And washed away its sins

The Sound of Water

Poetry by | September 9, 2007

I like the sound of water
crooning like nature’s song
from a mountain’s secret streams
I like its voice, like a lover’s
echoing whispers
within a pool in a cavern
sometimes subtle, like dew
on a yawning leaf,
it can whoosh as if in a rush
and slap against daring rocks and ridges—
at times oddly thoughtful,
it putters and plops
and trickles on a window sill;
or merry, it blends
with the shrieks and splashes
of running naked limbs—
forbidding, it roars
with the force of an angry ocean;
hurt, it whimpers—the sound
muffled by a confining bottle
or glass—

quiet, it lies gagged and imprisoned,
locked by a trembling eyelid.

When I talk

Poetry by | September 2, 2007

When I talk
To you and you answer
With a sigh or
Asterisk I am at
A loss

For words just
As well
And then we converse
In long
Or short
Silences and a smattering
Of footnotes

You and I
We do not talk anymore
And all our asterisks
Are turning
Into flowers.

I was told you just died

Poetry by | September 2, 2007

All day long for two days I had longed to see you
Now you are dead
And all I have is this desire
Monumental and cracked
To run as fast as I can
Into the unyielding heat of the desert sun
Into the hot fury of my own heart
Where love long and immemorial
Could not save you
I was told you smiled on your way out
Knowing you it had to be the thousand little golden stars of your childhood
The ones that named you after their own light
Because like them you too are brilliant
And of another world
You were perhaps seven or eight again
Or maybe a grown man as you are now
Comforting yourself as you begin to die
Among the same stars that came to you in the same dream
Always in the softest glow and the scent of cinnamon

Tulang Tumututol

Poetry by | August 26, 2007

Paano kung ang tula ay may presyo?
Puwede nang pambayad sa bus,
sa dyipni, sa traysikel,
sa eroplano, sa grocery,
sa ilaw, sa tubig, sa kuryente?
Siguro lahat ay makikinig.

Paano kung ang tula ay may katawan?
Magpupursigi kaya itong ibenta
ang kaluluwa sa bangketa?
Paano kung ang tula ay maaari nang
pambayad-utang sa puting may-ari
ng pandaigdigang kalakalan?
Maiahon kaya nito ang Pilipinas sa kahirapan?

Ano ba ang magagawa ng makatang tulad ko
Na hanggang sulat lang ang kayang gawin?

Banana Cue

Poetry by | August 26, 2007

Kanina pa kumukulo ang tiyan niya
Ngunit walang pumapansin sa kanya.
Napakadungis ng kanyang mukha’t katawan—
Sindungis ng saplot na basahan.

Isang ale ang naawa,
Inabuluyan siya ng isang piso.
Tumakbo siya sa nagtitinda ng banana cue.
“Makakakain na ako!” aniya sa sarili.
May ngiting gumuhit sa payat niyang pisngi.

Kinaumagahan, nakitang nakabulagta
Ang batang palaboy—
Namatay sa gutom dahil
Ang halaga ng banana cue
Ay limang piso na!