Everytime our family comes
together, he who gathers us drops
from our roll — he can’t sit and chat
with us anymore. From the weight of nights

without sleep, his eyes are saved; from
the toll of vigil and funeral, his shoulders
are freed. Once again, we are united
by absence; and just like when our other kindred

died, our wallets wail, our guts grieve. Do we need
to mention? Everyone of us is mired in the abyss
of debt; especially that we now atone for what
we failed to give to the one we lament. His casket

must bear our pride; as seamless as our keening,
biscuits, coffee, and cigarettes should stream;
on funeral’s eve, the karaoke must croon from dusk
to dawn. Do we need to mention? We mourn not

because we’ve lost a kin. Death is trite. What rouses
our tears is the loss we shall live with back home
when we part. Luckily, it’s not a disgrace to cry
in public — our brother dear is resting

in peace. But deep is the wound his death has
left in our pockets. So let us all sorrow — let us sob, let us
weep; well, who can feel the real fount of
our grief? We are mourning for our beloved dead.



elusive death

Buried beneath the crevices of my hand
are million of lost laughter and broken kites
and tattered petals.
I can feel the crying bursting off my veins
popping out of my eyes
louder than the staccato of guns in the mountains.

This war is in my heart,
why can’t I kill you at once?
What prevents me from pulling the trigger?
Why can’t I kill you? What do I fear?

Nothing is sacred,
nothing can’t be traversed,
vengeance are spiky stares,
are barbed wires,
are thorns forced upon my head.

Why is it that when I look at you
I see my ferocious eyes,
I see my cowardice,
I see my sins.

Why do I hear pulse throbbing
each time I aim my gun at you?
Why am I so afraid to kill you/

LIFE HAS NO LIGHT without death.
I just want to spread light
so that we may know life better.

But why is death so elusive, why?

09feb2007/ 9am

a sudden thud hit my groin

A sudden thud hit my groin –
a nameless force so strong
that I lost the light.
And I lay there on the street,
baring my breast to the beast
roaming around in my dreams.
Why can’t I slay her? Why,
with all the powers of silence
and sighs, can’t I slay her?
The moment I think of defeating her,
she lurks with the fangs
that glitter under the wounded moon.

No one needs death. Dying
is just a trickery of sorrow,
pretending to maim, to numb the senses.
But even in death, metaphors hover
and haunt the poet. Death,
therefore, never settles anything;
it only sharpens whatever dreams have blurred.
Symbols strike their targets so shortly
that they fade the moment they assume

Cotton candies taste like wine.
Try them with your eyes closed
and feel the clouds swirl in your throat.
Extend your hands sideways
and you’ll know how birds learn to fly.
Flap your hands and your face will bathe in fog –
so pure, so blue, bleeding like a bloodless corpse.

Imagination is not fond of mimicry;
it conjures only what is real but yet unrevealed.

‘Why should your body lie on this forlorn street my child?’
God asked me. And I felt that my skin is of earth and on it
crisscross spiky beliefs and ideologies of self-righteousness
of bigotry, of maiming, of killing.

Survive! you who fit this wretched world the most;
but bear the brunt of the scourge of impotency.
Emmanuel, your god is in you. Summon the demon,
let it prostrate before you, but bear in mind the bareness
and barrenness of this truth: prostate gland
can never desecrate what is sacred.

Scared of scars and scarcity,
the economists hurl holy rocks
against the howling wilderness of hunger.
Why can’t they turn these stones into bread?
Why can’t they turn these wastes into waving
waistlines of wisemen who visited Jesus in the manger?

I can no longer dream of a white christmas,
my measled toe is burning with love
of Africa. Mandela, how many prisons
does a man need to gain the world market of ideas
and orgasms? Why can’t we eject our souls like a cd?

Spring sprouts like tubers, but plumbing needs tubes
and plastic straw through which the public trust
will be sucked and pubic hairs
will be hot oiled and groomed.

Some of the giants are really gigantic,
like the tsunamis braved by muro ami’s.
But even then, the vase of roses still tantalize
the eyes of a lion. And the sea shells,
the sea shells just lie there like my body,
waiting but not expecting anyone.
Just there, ready to offer the songs of the sea
for those who understand why do an abandoned corpse
decompose while a moribund composition uplift the soul.

Enlighten me my friend: is life really just a wink?

31 january/ 13 february 2007