13 October 2010

"Tinatakasan Ako ng Ritmo at Tugma" (Axel Pinpin)

Rhythm and Rhyme Are Abandoning Me

Poet that I am, I can’t fish out a metaphor,
my love poems are devoid of lust and
spice, versification's uninspired,              
modernism is stale,
beside ice-cold tropes.
How can I rehabilitate the farm                     
devastated by flood? What gold-glint  
will sprinkle the grain                                
when the nickelled price of rice    
is reduced to dirt rust               
in the usurer’s granary? 

Because shortage is black
and because starvation is black,
black will never ever turn to gold.              

As the wise men          
and national artists
and critics advised –
compose, compose and compose with care,
every word must bring a certain magic to it.
Structure the hate
into a whistling song,
gently tell a tale.

And so –
the gleam of leech fat               
is golden in the field                  
moist and glassy when kissed by dawn –                
in the dam                      
neatly stacked up                   
the bloated bodies –                
of farmers slain!                       

July 21, 2008

After reading “I Know I’m Not Sufficiently Obscure” by Ray Durem

Translated from Filipino
From Tugmaang Matatabil (Southern Voices Printing Press, 2008)

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