17 August 2004

Haven't Had Enough Of Moon And Star Metaphors?
How About Bones?

Ladies and gentlemen, Pattiann Rogers:

Those are my bones rifted
and curled, knees to chin,
among the rocks on the beach,
my hands splayed beneath my skull
in the mud. Those are my rib
bones resting like white sticks
wracked on the bank, laid down,
delivered, rubbed clean
by river and snow.

Ethereal as seedless weeds
in dim sun and frost, I see
my own bones translucent as locust
husks, light as spider bones,
as filled with light as lantern
bones when the candle flames.
And I see my bones, facile,
willing, rolling and clacking,
reveling like broken shells
among themselves in a tumbling surf.

I recognize them, no other's,
raggedly patterned and wrought,
peeled as a skeleton of sycamore
against gray skies, stiff as a fallen
spruce. I watch them floating
at night, identical lake slivers
flush against the same star bones
drifting in scattered pieces above.

Everything I assemble, all
the constructions I have rendered
are the metal and dust of my locked
and storied bones. My bald cranium
shines blind as the moon.
She has her own website, The Poetry World of Pattiann Rogers. Her ear for music is fantastic and her imagery's as vivid as can be (but sometimes too much.)

15 August 2004

Romulo Baquiran, Jr.

Cirilo decided to be generous yesterday. He gave each of us in his class a book as a token of--so that we'd have some poetry to read (I supposed)--ok, ok, he gave it as a remembrance (so that we'd have some poetry to read). We drew lots and I was the 10th person to choose a book (out of 12). Since Allan already voiced out that he wanted Gary Snyder and Althea, being the first person to get to choose, took Jolography, I was left with Teo Antonio, Romulo Baquiran, Shirley Lim and some unknowns to choose from.

Here is a piece from Romulo Baquiran, Jr.:

Pagkaraan kong bumuhos:
pintig ng liwanag sa daigdig.
Lalong asul na langit,
lalong dilaw na araw.
Tumatawa ang agos sa kanal.
Sumara ang bitak ng lupa,
nagising ang lumot, halaman, hayop.
Biglang lilitaw ang mga kabute...uusbong.
Ako ang nagulat sa mga banyuhay!
It reminds me of Anne Michael's brilliant line: "Rain articulates the skins of everything..." The situation in Michael's poem is very far from that of Romulo's poem, but that particular line shows, just the same, what rain does to this earth. The destroying and renewing. The washing.

08 August 2004

First to confess

I am really scared with our attitude. As if confession amounts to absolution. When the Filipinos see someone confess their sins or madness, we forgive and find it a courageous, noble act.

06 August 2004

Some Stuff

Because I commuted a while ago going to my ortho in anticipation of the removal of my braces, which had been postponed till the next month, and because I waddled through mud and fought with Mama and the traffic unforgivable

I chose to stay graceful.


Some Trees
John Ashbery

These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though speech
Were a still performance.
Arranging by chance

To meet as far this morning
From the world as agreeing
With it, you and I
Are suddenly what the trees try

To tell us we are:
That their merely being there
Means something; that soon
We may touch, love, explain.

And glad not to have invented
Some comeliness, we are surrounded:
A silence already filled with noises,
A canvas on which emerges

A chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
Place in a puzzling light, and moving,
Our days put on such reticence
These accents seem their own defense.


My umbrella, my only defense was broken.

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