A Promont’ry

A promont’ry, I mark’d it, as
I trail the vista of the years.
Ah! Ah! To see the familiar
Pencil of a wild child-dreamer
That scrawls and scribbles – beaks, petals.

Colours of an onyx bird is
Gaping in elegant surprise.
Roses’ golden silk, I give them
A promont’ry.

I squiggle eagle of shekels
Spreading, its Leviathan wings
Hah! Come, rush Majesty’s river
The flowers’ gust–Rhea’s prayer
Prayer, pious prayer – vapour… on
A promont’ry.


Hezekiah Louie Zaraspe is currently finishing his M.A. in Creative Writing at the UST Graduate School. He teaches language and literature classes at Miriam College Nuvali. His short stories, “Private Mirage” and “Nirvana”, have been featured by Miriam College’s “Bukad”. His poems have been published by Revolt Magazine. UP Manila’s forthcoming anthology, “Locked Down, Lit Up: An Anthology of Creative Work in a Time of Quarantine”, will feature his flash fiction piece, “Sleep is a Truce, Dreams its Succor”. Inquirer published his first essay in Filipino, “Pagbili ng barbecue, paglunok ng katotohanan”.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook

I had turned twenty-one when I read
how and why Hook lost his right hand:
In battle, Pan maimed him,
fed the hand to the Crocodile who fancied
the taste of his flesh.

It soon grew hungry, famished
for the rest of the poor Captain.
In perpetuity,
through every nook
and cranny of Neverland,
the Crocodile chased Hook,
cursing Peter for making
his perfectly wretched life
more wretched.

In our Neverland,
Pans dismember Hooks.
Rapacious Reptiles lust
after these Half-Handless Lives.
No wonder why
we are stuck
in this swirling
delirious limbo of a gyre
of Beasts stalking
Men stalking
Men with revenge
in sight.


Hezekiah Louie Zaraspe is currently finishing his M.A. in Creative Writing at the UST Graduate School. He teaches language and literature classes at Miriam College Nuvali. His short stories, “Private Mirage” and “Nirvana”, have been featured by Miriam College’s “Bukad”. His poems have been published by Revolt Magazine. UP Manila’s forthcoming anthology, “Locked Down, Lit Up: An Anthology of Creative Work in a Time of Quarantine”, will feature his flash fiction piece, “Sleep is a Truce, Dreams its Succor”. Inquirer published his first essay in Filipino, “Pagbili ng barbecue, paglunok ng katotohanan”.

Cider

Cider is the drink
I concoct each day without fail—
to keep my breathing as it should,
and to keep my sniffing, sneezing, at bay.

As crickets chirp at night,
my dog asleep in his corner—
in the dark kitchen,
I then stir in a cup:
boiled water,
a spoonful of vinegar,
and four teaspoonfuls of honey—
the concoction—now ready.

I pray to God that it is tea,
perhaps Pepsi to taste,
but the concoction is a warm, amber potion
one has to gulp to invoke
the spell that seethes
of tangy apples and, less, candy from combs
down the throat and into the belly—
That I will do
to breathe the day’s first proper breath
of fresh air
without sniffing and sneezing.


Hezekiah Louie Zaraspe is currently finishing his M.A. in Creative Writing at the UST Graduate School. He teaches language and literature classes at Miriam College Nuvali. His short stories, “Private Mirage” and “Nirvana”, have been featured by Miriam College’s “Bukad”. His poems have been published by Revolt Magazine. UP Manila’s forthcoming anthology, “Locked Down, Lit Up: An Anthology of Creative Work in a Time of Quarantine”, will feature his flash fiction piece, “Sleep is a Truce, Dreams its Succor”. Inquirer published his first essay in Filipino, “Pagbili ng barbecue, paglunok ng katotohanan”.

When The Woman Saw

When the woman saw that there was sadness burrowed deep into her fingernails, she resolved to have it removed as soon as possible.

She figured that it got there when she bit her nails in an attempt to scrape off the taste of sadness from her teeth, the moment she found out that the mouth that kissed hers shall remain hollow and closed forever. Now, the same teeth that once sang in desire turned her mouth into a waiting shed of what will never come again, and bits of sadness clung onto her teeth despite the fact that she spit most of it off.

So she headed for the sink and was about to turn the faucet on when she remembered that the sadness was the only thing from him left of her, and she decided that it should stay, even when she saw it every time her hands moved.


Celle Orbeta is a writer in one of the Philippines’ leading news channels. She is a prolific diarist with more than 10 years worth of journals. Visit her literary blog: vecelle.tumblr.com.

Fugitive Manila

incursion,
ambition
greed for power
is an artificial,
pattern of self.

carefully,
rendering
those in society
history method

one by one
is devalued
with distress at
the turn of the
lies,
eminence
these events
took place
.


Maria Kristelle Jimenez works as a freelance writer, layout artist and website specialist in Pampanga. Some of her works have been recognized by the Saranggola Blog Awards and the Gawad Digmaang Rosas. She manages KADLiT: Katipunan ng Alternatibong Dibuho, Liriko, at Titik. Her works are published in Assortedge, Philippines Graphic, and Vox Populi. She is the founder of Rebo Press Book Publishing, and the current creative director of Revolt Magazine. For suggestions, you may leave her a note at mariakristellej@gmail.com. Reach out to Maria via Minds and MeWe.

Numbers

Under dim lights and a pop song, they shuffled in a circle around
the reflected platform in a basement dance bar.

Their arms collapsed around their bare stomachs.
Their eyes fixed on the scraped metal floor.

On the stage, angels with no names in black heels hunch their shoulders
and shrink into the shadows.

A bell sounded, someone entered, anticipating.
She stepped forward with a required smile. Her knees shook in the spotlight.

She could be Diana. She could be Rose. She could be Mary.
Tonight, she is someone’s sin.

Tonight, in bed, tucked and neatly done, she will permit him chaos.
He will tremble in her world and make her forget herself.

A moment of fault disguised as love, only one would remember:
that she was desired not as a name but as a number.


Gari Vinluan is an advertising professional. He graduated with a degree in Creative Writing and Sociology at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is currently finishing stories for a chapbook to be released sometime this year, hopefully.

As Tori Amos’ Putting The Damage On and Silverchair’s Abuse Me

my wounds are not wounds.
these are remembrances on how you have disqualified me of courage.
i have given you permission for your cruelty. i was designed for this abuse.
you arranged me to be broken: you taught me to refuse my own valor, your kindness is callous,
and i hung my heart to this affliction like a question mark. and the answer was subdued to

this truth: the only known resolve to this was negligence. the whole idea of disregard
imbued on the skin, immune and irresilient from the terror of this devotion:
that this love was a thoughtful deception. you taught me to be undeserved, you showed me
how i was only whole in the collapse of your own making, and yet I was the one who
taught myself to repair.

i always shuddered before you: that was how i always felt the ache of the world:
to love you was to suffer the world’s loneliness.

i kept my damages as a tribute to remember and write this one
with nothing to my name but the sound of yours, how it was both love and pain.

there is no why.
tremble with a sigh.


Gari Vinluan is an advertising professional. He graduated with a degree in Creative Writing and Sociology at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is currently finishing stories for a chapbook to be released sometime this year, hopefully.

Why You Shouldn’t Write Love Poems Anymore

Because each line is a note on suffering.
Each word is a reminder that we write better when we are shattered.
They say this is idealizing an emotional terror. You will liken your grief
to a scar from a wound that was self-chosen.
You will be forced to write lines that cut right through the heart because without it,
you might as well have written something about a fruit or that mother begging
in the streets while carrying her child in the rain.
If you will be reminded of how happy you once were,
smoke a cigarette, grab a beer, and listen to the saddest songs
in your music collection. Don’t write a word. Don’t think of words
and arrange them into lines of memories and metaphors. Recollection
is a knife that scrapes the bone beneath. Open the windows when you cannot breathe.
Each word you can think of would start a fire and no amount of crying will ever put it out.
Whenever you remember her, think of it as a random coincidence: there is no happiness
in happenstance. Time passes to remind you of everything you happen to remember.
Isn’t it tragic that you still say her name the same way? Do not gather words into sentences
even if longing confirms her absence.
Instead, write a story about forgiveness and oblivion.
Before you start with your first sentence, look up at the sky so you would know
that somehow you are trying to find your way back to yourself.
Do not write love poems anymore. When you do, this will be the last time
you will suffer these verses for her.


Gari Vinluan is an advertising professional. He graduated with a degree in Creative Writing and Sociology at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is currently finishing stories for a chapbook to be released sometime this year, hopefully.