Poetry by | July 10, 2016

It is the moon’s urbane hour—
the period for prism play,
and sidewalk vigil.
The bay tonight is a carpet,
creased by the warm west wind,
black, crayon crimson and yellow.
I sit on the steps, with a paper bag
of syruped sticked fruits, while you,
angle adept, contour the moments.
I watch you fade into the crowd of clicks
and ice cream cones. Fireworks balloon
and pop in the night sky.
You emerge from the flurry of laughs,
with a scarfed smile to show me
your harvest of colors.
In the roll of my mind,
I harbor outtakes of you,
undeveloped, paparazzi raw:
Cotton-gloved fingers by the docks
of the browning hills
in the crips of autumn.
Palms clasped in prayer after washing
the golden god of a birth day
in the bricked spirits of a temple.
Broad shoulders bronzing
in the noontime sun,
the sea shelling you in…
We return to the hostel,
doubling back to our double deck
I pillow my head, close my eyes
and replay tonight’s scene,
this time, in reel time:
the indigo wash of the bay,
our bodies head to toe,
blurring the crowd,
a stranger’s hand snapping
a portrait of two sailing smiles
in an open harbor.

Miguel Antonio Lizada grew up in Davao City and teaches English language and literature at the Ateneo de Manila University. He was a fellow of the 54th Silliman University Writers Workshop. His essay “The Bangkok Masseur” won a Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award.

The Bangkok Masseur

Nonfiction by | September 20, 2015

Celebrated on the 2nd weekend of April, Songkran is a three-day holiday befitting Bangkok, the city of rivers and waterways. The city returns to its true form: children with blue and red water rifles counterflow the gray pedestrian logic of the streets, laughter bubbles from the streaming alleys, jets of water crisscross and cloud the scrapers spiked to the earth. For many foreign gay men, the holidays are exciting opportunities to flirt with locals and fellow tourists. Siam Square becomes an open playground. The dynamics of Silom are a different case: wet the cute ones with your colorful phallic object, aim true, and do not forget to smear each other’s faces with white chalk dust. These are blessings. Bless the body with the element of rebirth.

My companions simply wanted see how Bangkok would dissolve in its wet and wild carnivalesque of a basin on a Songkran weekend. I shared their excitement too, but there was an equally important goal for this trip.

When the story is not finished, return to the place.

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Dying Young

Poetry by | November 14, 2010

And sometimes, you just feel it
because quickness, the twin of youth
can turn dark. It may come
like that. A sentence, then the period,

then space and suddenly, for a moment, your life
finds full form, in paragraphs on another paper:
you were good. Yes, you were good.
Goodness at this point is a genre,
the template of remembering.

Oh but see the body still. The body,
the body is a living book of the dead:
your cells, the syllables of generations.

So I tell you now what grief is:

a sentence forcing the spine to snap
a book shut, before it’s passed on, held
by handshakes, read out loud

by a kiss.

Migoy Lizada is finishing his graduate studies at the National University of Singapore.

Science Fiction

Poetry by | November 22, 2009

I wish to live with you on a planet
at the edge of the universe. Earthly
houses, their pestilence of weed and gnome
have tired me. I wish to uproot
myself from them as quickly as I would mute
the screens of this black and white world
of Di Caprio and Winslet. Titanic
towers and princesses – the same entrapment,
the same frame, the graven
images we are meant to idolize.
I wish to live with you on a planet
at the edge of the universe. Where we constellate
the zodiac of our fates
and the geography of our feet.
And the Sun? The Sun will be an alien,
a distant star we shall point out one night
and say: It took billions of years for that light
to reach us. The Sun must be dead by now.
I wish to live with you on a planet
at the edge of the universe.
And there, where strange is now home
I can finally say to you this, this, this:
Only in your hands, stellar yet familiar, light
hands will I dissolve
and die.

Continue reading Science Fiction