Walking Through Words: A teaser as to how I spent my World Poetry Day

(Belated by the time this is posted) Happy World Poetry Day!  Despite the fact that I have a killer Ethics final at 1pm today, I decided to devote a good one-and-a-half hours of potential study time to attending a poetry reading at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, given that today/yesterday is/was World Poetry Day, and that I think I am a poet.  I think.  Though after tonight I really do have just cause to reconsider that label.

Anyway, it’s late, and I am exhausted and there is still that matter of Ethics to study, so I won’t go into detail now (after all–I’m saving it for When In Manila).  As a teaser, however, I will leave you with one of the poems that was read aloud–by writer/media personality RJ Ledesma–at the event.


Schrödinger’s Cat and the Last Eclipse of the Millenium
Eric Gamalinda

The one who begins this poem won’t be the same

As the one who will end it. Already
Fifteen minutes have passed since I wrote those lines.
I take my shirt off. The day is getting warm.
Yesterday I learned two words: Geheim, which is German
For secret. Temem, which is Arabic
For plenitude. In a few hours a hundred million people
Who do not speak the same language
Will gaze at the last eclipse of the millennium. Bonheur,
what a beautiful word when formed by the mouth
Of a French Buddhist. Didn’t I tell you words
Should be emptied like a vessel, didn’t I tell you I loved
Schroedinger’s cat. Kept for days in a closed box
The cat can either live or die, but until we look
It is neither dead nor alive. Next question. Ask me what light
Feels like, at the instant when it falls. The one
Who ends this poem is not the same as the one
Who will stand accused and be forced to deny it.
Can sorrow be weighed in gravitons? Is fear genetic?
Does the soul know it exists? Does it echolocate its way
In this world, looking for an exit? The inferno that we form
by being together. — Calvino. I use these words
To keep from looking away, ensorcelled by the radiantly
Mortal, but with zero yearning. X = wonder,
Vivid under the spell’s recurring question: Peut-on
Naitre-mourir? Lust kills joy
Instantly: half glass fully empty. Diamond cusp,
Be beautiful, brief, and blinding.


Hope that was enough of a teaser.  If you’re wondering, yes I tried to write something tonight–the first draft of something, at least–but until it is fit for human consumption I’m not putting it up here.  Instead, here’s another something I cooked up a few weeks ago.

All rights reserved.

The Lie of His Body (2.28)

On the rivers of my fingers,
the delicate underbelly
of my wrist–

      which the men in Japan find dizzyingly erotic–

he writes lies–on my arms,
     with his arms
     with his mouth
that I want to believe.

So easy to 
my hands around his neck and lean in
until almost,
                               not quite.

It takes all of me to keep
my mask–
    consummate actress;
    his touch I consume–
when he asks
“You’ll be mine?”
(But I already am…
                                  Or am I?)
It’s the lie of your body.

I would believe.

~ NC


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