Poetry / July 2018 (Issue 40: Writing the Philippines)

Two Poems

by Ivan Emil A. Labayne


There's a copy of Copernicus on the coffee table
Coughing Precambrian ash after Precambrian ash
Of dust

In case someone asks, tell it there's a nude
magazine also, long abandoned by children,
and there's an ironing board,
no longer in use since Cynthia graduated.

Gradually, a swift fleck of light
tilting one's view of the sky
The fleck wonders why such swiftness
took centuries to happen.
The sky can use some evening wonders.

Once, I saw tamagochi on a golden sofa, rotting.
A true Gucci, outshined by the latest iPhone
A satellite news telling me about the latest
Latest latest gadget.
On my way home, I saw a mailman
Drinking frisbees on the subway;
He's wearing a clown's hat
and driving bees away.

At night, someone sent me a flower
Colorful as all objects obsolete and unused
I transferred them to a dying vase
Saving it from the same fate.

Was it Copernicus who told me the sun
Doesn't revolve around us?
Was it you there, telling me to be
Silent about the unused?
How can I use the commonest of words?
How can the sun shine as coffee?
Was it Cynthia there outside,
looking at us looking?


The incantation in engkanto bleeps
As the dawn dawns
The scientific ascent of sun
In newsworthy, 5:43 am fashion

The people scattered to get some sleep
Having grown tired of mystical mumblings
Neither the trees nor the truncated
Libraries forbid them
To partake of this morning meditation:
It is just that the body

Pauses with no period,
Pissed by answers

The quest in questions was lost in sight.
A dual difficulty is posed
Looking for the quest is needed,
The din of the answers is noisy.

Thankfully, there will be electricity soon
And the city will recognize itself again
Away from old-fashioned mist tea schism.

Spellings will break the lines
The old spells will decline
And when a computer opens, google
Will have the first answer.
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.