Gasps
Sunday, January 16, 2005
 
NOTE TO SELF

The "Fathering Identity" poem began in prior post doesn't have, so far, the *gasping* urgency (via energy) that I like to see in my poems. I feel like the energy faints sometimes into the slogging-on variety. Well, there's nothing else to it but to Slog on! Call this a poem entitled "Onward!"


Wednesday, January 12, 2005
 
ONE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION

is for 2005 to be the year I return to "narrative" (the term in scare quotes because I'ma just being lazy here -- poems are inherently narrative). Here's a first attempt -- I suspect this is the beginning of a longer poem. And, so far, this narrative don't sit easy (hmmm):


FATHERING IDENTITY

I. December 2004


The Mayor calls for relief
for Asian African victims of the tsunami

proclaiming, You are luck
-ier than those poor souls.


Paternalism, particularly well-
intentioned, consistently breaks her

silence. She proclaims, No. We are
not more blessed than others.


Eyes glitter with ancient fevers.
She repeats the always unheard

prayer: We are all the same
Self: the One, the Many.



II. Paul Auster's Father

Stamped in golden letters
THIS IS OUR LIFE!

Yet the leather-bound album
"was totally blank inside"

the exception a yellowed photograph
slipping now from brittle pages

to reveal a man with a neat haircut
whose image sits, quintupled,

around a table as if he is more
than one and all can play poker.


III. The Autistic Boy

To never feel the sidewalk
as one walks, runs, stumbles...

Persistently stimming in order to locate
"one's body parts in space"...

The One for whom wings
might never provide solace...

How to protect flesh from a too-infinite
expanse of an ever-garrulous Sun...?

(All "American" poems, the scholar notes
"are about space or place.")


IV. Filipino

Because someone invaded
then stayed.                       Because

someone inhaled                the penetration
behind windows glowing from shells hollowed

by sea, salt and tropical light.                Because
all moons pale as they shed virginity to rise

the better to navigate layers between dark leaves.
Because white caesuras make poems

possible to read.                                              Because
beneath sapphire eyes, I am authentic Filipino.


-------------
NOTES:
Section I is written after Leny M. Strobel's Dec. 31, 2005 post regarding the tsunami.

Section II is written after Paul Auster's memoir Invention of Solitude

Section III is written after certain discussions about autism with Jim Ryals, a lawyer/novelist, poet, and father of an autistic boy.

Section IV is written after the husband got a massage from a blonde, blue-eyed lady who apparently is one-sixth Pinay and loves adobo.




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