poetry

lunatic, the wanting comes in waves

Loose branches rustle in the strange air of
Night. Standing in the middle of the abandoned park,
on the thin metal slide, the World coos in anticipation,
it is Time. I shift my gaze to the sky.
There are two beams of light, two bodies over my head
yet I only know of one, I only know of One
Moon, and She pulls me deep into
Desperation, dank and dark behind her shadow
in the push and pull of the tides of Memory.
She hides her face and her calloused Hands
in changing phases, but her delicate wrists
always unveil in ritualistic
Slowness, like a secret being whispered
into small holes by the side of trees
so Here is my blessing, the cleansing.
this baptism by borrowed
Fire, by the warmth of her palm
pressing her prayers into mine, as if
gliding on my wavelength the Moment freezes
and the air is pregnant with Silence.
She holds her breath. it Cocoons straight
in my veins, holding her close. Her
light is not hers, but it is nothing if
not a message. Here, in our borrowed World.
Basking in the glow of stolen Light, I
greet her with faint, trembling fingers. Fate
pointing to my chest, right on the spot
where her light is the brightest, in this
World, where her wrists are bound, a waxing song
crystallizes in my ears. This is not home,
but you are Welcome. You are safe. Safe as
my Wanting can be. Find me in this world.


Inspired by Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. I really miss Japan. This is for another day.

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I GET SO EMOTIONAL WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT ACHILLES AND PATROCLUS

My love, how was I to know
that they would make a myth of us?
Did we not die? Are we not dead?
Are your bones not my bones?

Before the war.
Before we had to
kiss Troy out of each other’s
teeth, we were a paradise.
You were the only one I kneeled
before.
You made the warrior in me tired.

They write about your death.
How I sliced through countless
men trying to build a
monument to the monster
I was after your body
blazed before me.

I can tell you now that
I begged for the arrow.
Welcomed it.
My last wish was to
sleep beside you in our tent.
To hide you so well in the afterlife
that no God could take you
from me again.

My quiet love was yours from the
beginning.
I call my ankles by your name.
When mother dipped me in the river, she was introducing us.

by Caitlyn Siehl, Achilles to Patroclus

here’s what our parents never taught us:

you will stay up on your rooftop until sunlight peels away the husk of the moon,
chainsmoking cigarettes and reading baudelaire, and
you will learn that you only ever want to fall in love with someone
who will stay up to watch the sun rise with you.
you will fall in love with train rides, and sooner or later you will
realize that nowhere seems like home anymore.
a woman will kiss you and you’ll think her lips are two petals
rubbing against your mouth.
you will not tell anyone that you liked it.
it’s okay.
it is beautiful to love humans in a world where love is a metaphor for lust.
you can leave if you want, with only your skin as a carry-on.
all you need is a twenty in your pocket and a bus ticket.
all you need is someone on the other end of the map, thinking about the supple
curves of your body, to guide you to a home that stretches out for miles
and miles on end.
you will lie to everyone you love.
they will love you anyways.
one day you’ll wake up and realize that you are too big for your own skin.
molt.
don’t be afraid.
your body is a house where the shutters blow in and out
against the windowpane.
you are a hurricane-prone area.
the glass will break through often.
but it’s okay. i promise.
remember,
a stranger once told you that the breeze
here is something worth writing poems about.”

by Shinji Moon

TO ORPHEUS

It isn’t madness but shame for wanting
and shame for not having what I want,

which is a kind of madness—drunk,
3 a.m., the stairwell too steep to climb.

The bed can wait. I go to the pool instead,
strip and step in, the smell of smoke and sweat

washing from hair and skin. The wet kiss:
his mouth pressed here, my neck, and there,

my chest—in the end—went nowhere.
Cars pass with coupled strangers. I wade.

The brick wall stretches into the sky,
the sky empty, save the constellations,

whose lives I love—yours most of all,
father of poets, whose lyre filled trees

and stones with awe, the lover torn to shreds
and thrown in to the river. Tonight,

you’re the swan, lost among pinholes of light,
your throat bitten by a black hole

that takes and takes and never fills. I kick,
stroke my tired arms to buoy this body.

It makes ring after perfect ring, but each one
breaks along the edge. You who never were,

did you look down on the world at last
and see that more won’t be enough? Not now.

Not ever. Want picks the human heart.
You’re the lie I won’t believe forever.
by Blas Falconer

hindi ito aksidente

nais kong sumisid sa dagat ng iyong panaginip. mangisda ng pira-pirasong alaala ng ating taong ligaw sa nakaraan. sumalamin sa iyong isipan sa dilim ng kinabukasan. isang dasal laban sa dilim, isang kandilang sindihan– ilaw, dilaw, dilaw ng araw, dilaw na kislap ng mga tala, kislap ng mata. pansinin ang dalawang metrong gumigitna sa atin, buhangin lamang sa ating paanan. tumutulo ang apoy at ito ay dugo, dyamanteng dugo. isang patak ay pag-ibig. dalawa’y aksidente, tatlo’y sigaw ng gera. tatlong metrong lapit, tatlong metrong layo. luluhod ako, ako’y lulunod. hawakan mo ang aking kamay, daliri kumakapit. mga kuko’y dagit na bumabaon sa buhangin, sa ugat. wala nang ididiin pa, wala nang mas ilalalim kung hindi ikakalula. pula. pulang ikabubulag. hanapin ang aking kamay. huwag mo akong pakawalan.

my first ever poem in filipino. lol.

you’re my ever afterthought

“How many ways do I love you? Clad, half-clad, starkers.
Erect, recumbent, tumescent, down right limp. Snoozing.
Snoring. Smiling—as now—eyes shut, almost asleep. I
love your fingers! They unlax, they unfurl. You are
floating away from me on a dark, salt, refreshing tide.
I will tell you softly and more softly of the many ways
I love you and gently ease my voice to a thread, to an
all but Invisible strand of silk loosened—so lightly—
from the cocoon of sleep, unseen, within you. Dream. I
love you, a whole dream heaven world away from me, far
from me as Mars and further than the Pleiades, who are
seven. You no longer hear my voice, its ‘baltering
torrent is shrunk to a soodling thread.’ I will, all loving
all of you, cease now to speak.”

“Go on. I’m listening.”

“Dear heart!”

James Schuyler, from Excerpts from a Novel

the flame

degrees climb to match
the heat of your skin,
rising higher, dropping down
the pitfalls of your pulse,
pressed against the walls of
your throat, exhales peeling off
and sliding sighs dripping
want from lit fingertips
matches, smoke screen beneath
your eyelids as we burn. i
extinguish flat air purging
soft rays of sentiment, all room
left for arson. i am nero over rome,
burning rome, bowing beside
your fiddle, your fickle body.
we float on embers. rising higher,
rising higher, a trail of ashes
leaving poetic memory

shinto

When sorrow lays us low
for a second we are saved
by humble windfalls
of the mindfulness or memory:
the taste of a fruit, the taste of water,
that face given back to us by a dream,
the first jasmine of November,
the endless yearning of the compass,
a book we thought was lost,
the throb of a hexameter,
the slight key that opens a house to
us,
the smell of a library, or of sandalwood,
the former name of a street,
the colors of a map,
an unforeseen etymology,
the smoothness of a filed fingernail,
the date we were looking for,
the twelve dark bell-strokes, tolling as we count,
a sudden physical pain.
Eight million Shinto deities
travel secretly throughout the earth.
Those modest gods touch us–
touch us and move on.

by Jorges Luis Borges

Mersault’s Sun

There is a certain kind of fatigue caused by the sun.
This pushes me to desperation. I inhabit the air around you
for a split second, waves of heat cascading down my back.
Finger on the trigger. The wind shifts direction, wavering,
wavering; I compel you to listen. This is heat, this is day,
my will slipping through my fingers like sand. Red in
warmth, yellow in fire. All alight, all raised to death.
I am burning, I am aflame: the Sun is high above.