Sunday, April 29, 2007

Roam If You Want To

all I ever wanted,
had to get away"

-- The Go-gos

The winter issue of Rogue Poetry Review Online is finally up. Again, much thanks to editor Michael Wells for accommodating my poems.

maligayang kaarawan pala kay Ramil Gulle. wasak ka, bayaw!

at kung sakaling makalimutan, itaas natin para kay:

Nick Joaquin, pambansang alagad ng sining
May 4, 1917 - April 29, 2004

Off to Baguio with the family. Posting two drafts to make up for the missed post yesterday.



I am reluctant to tell you this, but
there is death in the Old Testament,
numerous and final, bodies drowned
and unredeemed, forty days, forty nights
of rain, somebody struck by wrathful
lightning, Philistines in a city destined
to fire and ruin. There is even a chapter
that forbids merriment, a law permitting

crucifixion. But it is also written
that we should be happy, full of praise
and ready for the dance, prophecies allowing
for water to mean wine, the once-blind
witnessing this and other miracles. The way
we may still rise up to the music, like we did
not too long ago, forty years now, and how
we are again tip-toeing toward grace, life.

For Jet

Mountain Province

A white afternoon shivering to dusk.
In the distance, niches in even starker white
inhabit the hills. I think them cold,
colder than this air gathering around us.

Everything here is hunched: the trees, the houses,
the people. The natives drag their footsteps
heavy as in a procession. Twilight lurks
candlelight-yellow behind the mountains,

heightening the silhouettes of their soon-
monstrous sleep. The bus engine roars;
startled, we put our cigarettes out and quickly
get back on board. It's still a long way to the city.