Story Time! – Nothing More

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Hello 😊

As well as this poetry blog, I also have a blog for stories that I’ve written. If you’re interested then head to Telling Tales and take a look!

I’ll be posting a link a week to one of my stories with a short synopsis: please look at the tags for warnings!

This week: Nothing More

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The Life On Hold

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What are you achieving there,
Putting your life on hold?
Staring at the ceiling bare,
For which you’ll gain no Gold.
If what makes you happy
Is what you already have,
Perhaps this is all you can be –
Embrace the small, and live.
Something keeps you from moving
And that can only be you.
If not, what are you proving?
Give in. Give up. Make do.
I suspect though, that’s not the case,
And through this mirror, judge.
There’s wanting carved into your face,
And yet. You do not budge.
You do not flinch from what’s deemed right,
Even when it cuts deep.
You refuse to be basked in light,
And still your secrets keep.
Regret. This is a lonely word,
One I hope you’ll never use,
It doesn’t deserve to be heard.
Don’t give it voice or fuse.

Poem of the Week: I Do, Eileen R. Tabios

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“I do not know English”
—from “I Do Not” by Michael Palmer“Marunong akong mag-ingles” (I do know English)
—any 21st-century Filipino poet

I do know English.I do know English for I have something to say about this latest peace stirring between a crack that’s split a sidewalk traversing a dusty border melting at noon beneath an impassive sun.

I do know English and, therefore, when hungry, can ask for more than minimum wage, pointing repeatedly at my mouth and yours.

Such a gesture can only mean what it means: I do not want to remain hungry and I am looking at your mouth.

I do know English and still will not ask permission.

I shall call you “Master” with a lack of irony; lift my cotton blouse; cup my breasts to offer them to your eyes, your lips, your tongue; keen at the moon hiding at 11 a.m. to surface left tendon on my neck. For your teeth. And so on.

No need to decipher your response—and if you wish, go ahead: spank me.

I do know English. Therefore I can explain this painting of a fractured grid as the persistent flux of our “selves” as time unfolds.

There is a way to speak of our past or hopes for the future, the hot-air balloon woven from a rainbow’s fragments now floating over St. Helena; your glasses I nearly broke when, afterwards, you flung me to the floor as violence is extreme and we demand the extreme from each other; your three moans in a San Francisco hallway after I fell to my knees; your silence in New York as I knocked on your door. There is a way to articulate your silence—a limousine running over a child on the streets of Manila and Shanghai. And Dubai.

There is a way to joke about full-haired actors running for President and the birth of a new American portrait: “Tight as a Florida election.”

I do know English and so cannot comprehend why you write me no letters even as you unfailingly read mine.

Those where I write of the existence of a parallel universe to create a haven when your silence persists in this world I was forced to inherit.

Which does not mean I cannot differentiate between a reflection and a shadow, a threnody and a hiccup, the untrimmed bougainvillea bush mimicking a fire and the lawn lit by a burning cross.

I can prove Love exists by measuring increased blood flow to the brain’s anterior cingulated cortex, the middle insula, the putamen and the caudate nucleus.

Nor is “putamen” a pasta unless I confirm to you that my weak eyesight misread “puttanesca” as the crimson moon began to rise, paling as it ascends for fate often exacts a price.

I can see an almond eye peer behind the fracture on a screen and know it is not you from the wafting scent of crushed encomiums.

I can remind you of the rose petals I mailed to you after releasing them from the padded cell between my thighs.

I slipped the petals inside a cream envelope embossed in gold with the seal of a midtown Manhattan hotel whose façade resembles a seven-layered wedding cake. Which we shall share only through the happiness of others. Which does not cancel Hope.

I can recite all of your poems as I memorized them through concept as well as sound.

I speak of a country disappearing and the impossibility of its replacement except within the tobacco-scented clench of your embrace.

I can tell you I am weary of games, though they continue. Manila’s streets are suffused with protesters clamoring for an adulterer’s impeachment. Their t-shirts are white to symbolize their demand for “purity.” Space contains all forms, which means it lack geometry. My lucid tongue has tasted the dust from monuments crumbling simply because seasons change.

Because I do know English, I have been variously called Miss Slanted Vagina, The Mail Order Bride, The One With The Shoe Fetish, The Squat Brunette Who Wears A Plaid Blazer Over A Polka-Dot Blouse, The Maid.

When I hear someone declare war while observing a yacht race in San Diego, I understand how “currency” becomes “debased.”

They have named it The Tension Between The Popular Vote And The Electoral College.

I do know English.

Expected

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Being strong is not always the solution,
And neither is doing what’s right.
It becomes what is expected of you,
And dreams vanish into the night.
Showing weakness can be an affliction.
A roadmap leading all to run you down.
But you settle, because that’s what’s expected of you,
Being stoic your greatest renown.
Change of character is met with resistance,
Self-reflection called selfish in fear.
Reassurance is what is expected from you,
Reaffirming your life’s not yours to steer.
In the wake of normality’s solace
In the shelter of Everything’s Fine
Can you truly live up to what’s expected of you,
Certain that your needs are intertwined?
Pause for a second, be honest,
Think about the ticking down of days,
Is this all that you expected for you?
Did you intend to put your life on delay?
Life is too short to live without happiness,
And too precious to live through deceit.
Whilst it’s noble to do what’s expected of you,
It doesn’t mean that life comes with a repeat.
Only you can navigate your direction.
Only you know, deep down, what to choose.
Only you can achieve what you expected for you,
And to do that, what you’re willing to lose.

 

Story Time! – When

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Hello 😊

As well as this poetry blog, I also have a blog for stories that I’ve written. If you’re interested then head to Telling Tales and take a look!

I’ll be posting a link a week to one of my stories with a short synopsis: please look at the tags for warnings!

This week: When

Almanac

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It’s not that I’m giving up.
But when you change the goalposts
And have nothing left to say anymore,
The thought that I have most
Is resignation.
I’ve predicted that this day would come,
Like I’m a self-inflicting almanac
That foresaw one day, you’d be done.
I guess I kind of hoped
This meant more than silent retreat,
But it’s okay. I accept it wasn’t. That I’m not.
I won’t force what isn’t there to defeat.
I have grown cold with acceptance that
There’s no longer any interest here for you.
So this is where I give in and stop reaching out,
For that’s all I’ve left in me to do.