Andres Bonifacio

I am dying.  & all my acts herald my heritage, my heart.

Remark therefore my ancestry of grief & plebeian dream:
To the earth I return from where everything begins
& the crimes magisters have made me by the ikon sung
of amulets & steel, shall be the Gorgon of primal will.
Who shall proclaim the heart evil?  Mind a saint?
Warriors of my vassalage to whom fealty is a blaze of blood
conspirators who have judged me singular, counterfeit of God?
I have performed my task!  Having thus serveyed evil
Traded I evil for evil, virtue for virtue, truth for truth
for, roaring in Gethsemane of loves, that solemn beasthood,
where women are women—
prey to divinity & evil,
huntresses of coral & orchids, secret rivers ever flowing in their
& men men—prey to divinity and evil,
hunters of stars & earth, secret seas ever wheeling in their
That all the heart proclaimed but my mind stumbled in
the lee
like an ark of loves whipped by the tides
& drowning winds as alchemists blew me into a lair
of lions & serpents tearing off my golden wings!
& this clan had blazoned forth with equal sting
claiming my child at the common altar their own
forged by wrath & desire original:  Where lies locus then!
Let them thrust a greater covenant ruled by the mind
I shall gnash to weeping mine braced by barbarous love!
Yet for what end?  What grand design?  What governance?
Beast trapped by its own beastliness,
angel clipped by its own angelhood,
Raft thrown about the waking seas,
Mortal vised in his own mortality:
I seek thee now, kinsmen of the sun, mediators of ruins,
to succor this cry turning among the heliotropes
winged tenderness of black dreams
& birds flying the flight of ancestral anthem.
Where lie my loves now?  Slowly like summer rain
in barren fields, I forget the nemesis of seasons, their names
but my periphery, my distance, my own;
& thus at the threshold of dark & spiraling light
I let loose about my personage
the holocaust of invisible boars & doves—
Yet ever the silence lurks & rules,
I hear in the hollow caves of Night the fall of my own voice
snarl of angels in mind & blood
As this body disinhabits me—
As again—O eons it seems—
I epic warsongs of olden times, the world O just savagely
Who hears an Apostle’s solitary voice?
O Tondo & walking canes visit the country of my desolation
As archangels piss at doorposts in search of Anti-Christs
Ever far from the din of tribes, sepulcher of reason, mystery
of sty
I clutch at stars, body of the crawling wind
that merely signifies letters of an ancient Game
To die is all it seems?
Just as when the womb of a mooncrowned Madonna
I blew out
child clothed in sheaths of moss & tears
throat clamped in slime
guts spilling to the sides
without feeling, without thoughts, without name
Yet full of knives & hymns
I now verily return—O the Cycle, riddle, legend—
child clothed in sheaths of blood & tears
throat clamped in ice
guts spilling to the sides
without feeling, without thoughts, without name
yet full of imaginary armament:
Let ministers therefore, rule; they have always schemed!
Let children, therefore, perish; they have always died!
Let widows, therefore, lament; they have always mourned!
Let warriors, therefore, wreck; they have always destroyed!

I am dying.  & all my acts herald my heritage, my heart.

From Conjectural Poems, 1977

This entry was posted in POETRY OF EDEL GARCELLANO, selected by G.Y. Guillermo. Bookmark the permalink.

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