Violette Leduc
was candid enough
to confess she “didn’t understand
a word of the Philosophic Fragment.
Do philosophers tell the truth
or poetically like?
She persisted, in the name of this word,
but “there were the dirty clothes
to be washed, the windowpanes
to be cleaned, the rug to be brushed…”
& he remembers CH in Kyoto,
wiping her kid’s ass
while focusing on her academic paper
& the internet to blast detractors
of her scholarship…
Is there space for women of intellect?
A room in philosophy?
In Ancient Greece, they were lynched
for their daring & blasphemy
& would hold their tongues
for Patriarchs at the temples
might wake up like ill-tempered dogs.
Violette wrote about being mad
in pursuit,
which was a lifetime
in this age of war & vicious men.


Thousands they are
fleeing toward the border,
hundreds more cooped up in camps
ransacked by mercenaries
as they await signal
from the Embassy which only listened
to their twitters weeks later
in an uprising
the home government was slow
to calculate…
Rats scampering all over the desert,
journeying with their tales of woe
& stolen dinar…
But they will leave again & again
if papers are processed
to work comfortably
as camels for the caliphate.
Hero or heel?
The revolutionaries in the boondocks
ready the team
for their ops in the lowland.


Tough, the old guy smiles,
to think of her,
as if he’s done with cheap sentiments.
At the end of the day,
he’s nearer the skyblue horizon than
the foam white shore,
& could only offer a wealth of despair
to anyone hell-bent
on a future career.
Pain is overwhelming?
The young always presume
the door is ever open
for one more who dreams to score.
Late in the game
while history turns asymptotic
in the perilous trajectory.
A player pushed onto the court
at garbage time
when everything is funny, already lost.
Tough, tough luck for one
cut out to be on the outside & looking in.


Should he, the self-confessed cynic,
care about that OFW
who got killed by Libyan thugs
in an attempt to get his passport
at the Embassy?
He must be itching to be with family
to risk it all
in a crossfire down some alley…
The Embassy was in a fix—
it could only issue press releases
to show they’re busy
with busyness…
The family, left twisting in the wind,
could only wring their hands
& cry endlessly.
But does the universe care
at the sad tragedy?


The Arab world
is in flames:
Libya where the dictator does
a Mussolini:
shoot down the people
in the name of feudal universality.
O How it was then
in Paris
when communards set up barricades
& wish God were on their side.
This time will He do it right?
The Arab world
is in flames.
But we’re all crossing our fingers
this will be for real.
Edsa was a nightmare
that resurrected
the ancestral villains,
restored the feudal order.


Armies of international
migrant workers
culled from the margins
of Europe & Asia,
troop down on Tunisia
like a plague of locusts
from Libya.
Hungry, besotted with fear,
anxiety & loathing,
they drag across checkpoints
& desert guns
bereft of money
saved for their overseas families.
Worrywarts are multinational bosses, too:
how to feed the masses
& keep the oil flowing
where their bete-noir rules.
How must they recover
their profit share
if their trusted colonel is in disarray?
Return to the old, old ways?
The International Order
must however
be solidly enforced,
the status quo recalled.


They flee
from the savage factotums
of the monarch,
staying congested under a Saudi bridge,
loitering at the Embassy compound…
The violated maidservants,
the brutalized men
who wouldn’t hack out
their bargain labor…
They have bled clean
their Middle East dreams
but the country has turned a blind eye
at their plight.
Where is justice then?
In our lifetime?
O How they persist
to believe God’s promise
in apocalyptic time.


At the instance
when they hurriedly trooped out
of their camp,
they had already commenced forgetting:
O how it was in the old, old, days
when they fled on foot
& trucks to speed over
chilly terrains of sand & blood;
chuckling & sighing
how they survived thugs
& African mercenaries
& found themselves in Paris suburbs;
taking note of their luckless dead
with a tinge of sadness
as they breathed secret prayers in Church—
it is as if destiny were written
in the stars
that as the earth moved mysteriously
so must they lest they calcify & die.
O Forgetting is elixir of life
but remembering fills the void of their nights.
O All things must pass,
gently weeps Sir George’s guitar.
The text pleaded for
her mother’s help.
But days had dragged on
with no rescuer in sight.
Until all signs of life….
They were desperate
down there in Iloilo/Cebu,
lamenting how helpless
they were to answer her call.
The priests could only wish
for the elusive miracle
but officials were trapped
under their own bureaucratic rubble…
Somehow they couldn’t
imagine how sweet a girl
could so perish in such
a brutal, merciless manner.
If only she didn’t dream
to leave for New Zealand;
If only she could get a job
here in the Southern cities;
If only God would hear
mortal pleas;
If only she were never born
at all
to suffer such ignominy.
O If only…


He doesn’t know the word:
diaspora is too academic,
only he’s familiar with
zero that grips his sleep.
Runs out of the country
where everything is perennially cheap,
again he runs out of Libya,
crossing the desert hungry, distressed…
O Where shall he lay his head?
He’s a field rat flushed out
by bombs & decadent sheiks…
O To simplify quotidians
of a minimalist life:
Flee to the hills
& wage a collective peace!

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3 Responses to Anti-poems

  1. Pingback: Shooo-nami « North Fort

  2. jpaul says:

    sir, i use some of your poems in my humanities class. will use the news ones in my lessons this summer. regards.

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