ON THE EVE OF SLAUGHTER

1.
The myth of December
& the eve of slaughter of innocent animals.
O How their blood flows luxuriously
to the merriment of mankind.
Does God sit uneasy on his High Chair
as the storm of hosannas
lifts towards the sky?

B.
The 25th
& revelers fail to see the feast
of dried blood & corpses chopped to pieces
on the table.
Have incense & prayers blindered
like rig horses their eyes?

C.
New Year
& the carnage continues.
Don’t we hear their pitiful shrieks
in the dead of night
as we drift deeper into our id?

2.
Sadness is your heroin fix,
she says.
How about Christmas where all myths
are deemed sacral?
He quips, twisting the imaginary dagger
in her pure white heart.
Days roll on,
people die silently in musty rooms
& the cold sting of nights
fuels his wordless diatribe
against off-key carolers of yuletide.
You’re hopeless, she sighs
A smug grin forms on his lips:
he knows the conversation
will drag on like Hamlet’s soliloquy.
When a sickly stray scavenges
at the corner,
something tells him there must be a message
behind it all.

3.
The New Year is a leaf turned over
on the wall calendar for the days & months
to repeat themselves like clichés
when the zodiac reassigns
the disorder of his future life.
O you’re such a bore, she says.
Life is an infinite play of mirrors
& You have only eyes for evil,
the disorder.
Can’t you change your old, old song?
But the street noise of fire crackers,
on this day of juvenilia
of doddering adults
to drive away the fear and trembling
in an uncertain future,
drowns all sense away…
Things simply repeat themselves:
the senile patriarch is the same clueless child.

4.
High expectations there are
about this day & all the sunlit days thereafter:
But it always returns
like a prodigal child
to where it has always been beloved:
the dullness of events, the greed of mankind,
the ennui of sadness, the cycle of beginnings
that forge the fool’s gold of deliverance,
the hell-ward route of centuries.
Of course, Rousseau missed the point
yet life hereabouts,
in this country of amnesiac inhabitants,
seems to offer proof
savagery is left unnoticed
as people crawl through the grind, like crabs.
Amazed are we to have survived…
For what?

5.
It’s not right –
friends are unfriended
memory buried in box of shifting sand,
& you turn despicable
before the inquisitorial Other
as if you started it all like a fool.
Fate, kismet:
You can’t go against the tide, the rule.
Bump your head on the wall,
slip on the floor,
& they like hyenas madly laugh.
Yet how you miraculously survive…
These must be something to be thankful for.

6.
She inquires after all these years
if everything is all right.
Is she being polite? he muses.
Is he being grossly cynical?
O But she really means well,
Though he’s ever stuck in his sad anger.

(Yes, the world has left him behind.
The old emperor knows only too well
barbarians are knocking at the gates:
Will he pick up the revolver on the table?
Yet no one hears the shot ring out:
Ever unfinished is this circular fable)

7.
He is putty in her hands.
A kitten tenderly stroked to purr.
Is he an easy prey to solicitous women
& soft, soft hearts?
But he’s scared shitless at being overwhelmed
by love –
A word, he pontificates, synonymous with macabre.

8.
A.
A whiff of sewer lingers
like invisible fog outside the posh café
where ethnic kids with saltwater hair
amble by,
thrusting empty envelopes in his face
& eyeing the morsel of chocolate cake
on the veranda table.
Do they tug at his saccharine heart
already scarified by sob stories
& city slobs?
They descend in droves,
hauled off by syndicates
from far flung alcoves
to hold hostage his Christian piety
in a city that will not share & cry.
O He knows better than to be suckered
into observing this season’s rites.

B.
But what if karma awaits him
like a curse?
He is not a businessman, he sighs.
He does not invest in good fortune’s return.
Fear cannot press him into compassion
via schemes & lies.
He is a victim too of the human plight.

9.
O this sense of family”
opening each other’s gift,
they are pleasantly surprised
how they have muddled through seasons
of loss & want.
The circle is small –
barbarians at the gates
don’t give a damn either:
it’s dog-eat-dog out there
& mostly false sentiments
about love & charity.
Malacañang has its claque
to list & bless;
they have only their own chosen few
to ease the predictable pain
of possibility.

10.
The health workers were cuffed,
couldn’t even pull their panties down
to shit or pee:
a soldier-bodyguard must wash them like a child.
In the cells, they’re chained to their beds
for fear, like vampires, they would fly out:
subversives are expected to do that…
But there was no torture, no humiliation,
no rights abuse, chimed the three apostates,
idiot grin on their faces.
We’re party members who wholeheartedly
confessed to the crime
& would rather integrate with the military,
they added on television for posterity.
But what area of operation, under what command?
Their lips were verily sealed,
as if to camouflage a lie.
They would stay put in Camp Capinpin
to be beyond the reach of partisans:
that way, they would be shielded from the Morong Tribe,
safe in the bosom of their new prison house.

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