She had intimated

she didn’t want to be

gazed at

like a prized heifer,

though she towered

so beautifully

over the common crowd.

& when she vanished

into the underground,

high society

was shellshocked

why this chosen woman,

born to cacique family,

would turn


O She did walk the talk –

& we are forever grateful.

When she died

in her sleep,

people signed –

maybe that’s the best way

to go?

But media were overwhelmed

by a comedian’s demise,

not hers

who should have been

truly celebrated.

She didn’t make people laugh,

she pointed

toward a future

rising above a despairing tribe.

But only her comrades

felt the tremor

of her passing…

As if she would rather

tiptoe out of the room,

& into a crimson horizon.


In Latin America,

the illustrious act

would be repeated,

rare the act & gesture

for those

who have much to gain

by simply being mannequins

to be played

by billionaires.

Rogelia Cruz Martinez

joined the guerrillas

but was captured

by the military

& predictably

mutilated & gang-raped…

A women’s collective

remembered her deeds,

as if her sacrifice

was an accusing finger

at the fascist squad

who perished in time

with their own petty deaths.

O She has turned


raised to the heavens

by remembering fists.


The son texted

his mother

would be memorialized

in Paranaque –

it was her wish

to be laid out

on a gurney

full of flowers

before the cremation,

like a Viking Queen

on a raft

burning & sinking

into the sen’s

twilight depths…

She had wanted

a simple ceremony,

minus the coffin –

But people would buzz

about her

abandoning a life

of leisure

for the downtrodden…

Even her lovers

who vanished in the lee

(Was it love

or hormones?)

Like Che Guevara

who left Cuba for Bolivia,

as if the journey

shouldn’t stop

at a delivered country.

Did the International

hum in her ears?

But that is cheap poetry.

O How we mourn & marvel

at her audacity!


She came,

lover in tow –

but his heart

didn’t flinch a bit.

She, after all,

has always been spoken for

& he could only watch


watching like a stranger

the scene

where a minor tragedy


It was no bummer,


any conclusion wouldn’t


any further explanation.

A fata morgana

far beyond his imagination –

his heart

too barnacled like a wooden ship

of time

listing at midsea:

O if it sinks,

let it be!

Year ago,

he saw Maita walk across

the AS lobby

but he had learned

his lesson well –

desiring beyond one’s own class

is maddening perfidy.

He can only smile

at the Queen of Spades

staring back

from the gambler’s card –

ever Cinderella

is outside his mortal grasp.


“His reason for living,”

says French director

Benoit Jacquote,

“are books & women.”

& only through the cinema

“he is able to unite”

the oppositional solarity.

A “filmmaker at 13,

influenced by American movies

and the French New Wave,”

he admits “a fixation

with girls on the brink

of womanhood,”

hoping “to keep chasing

pretty girls down the street

with his [camera]…”

Yet, he “isn’t sure

he understands the opposite


any better than he did.”

“It’s like the horizon:

the closer you get,

the farther away

it seems,” he philosophizes

about the feminine mystique.

O How it dawned on him

he couldn’t pin her down

to the very fiber

of her consciousness –

she keeps drifting away

as if he’s holding

a fistful of sand

that leaks through

his enclosing fingers…



The Populist Guy,

clean as advertised

by his allies

& henchmen,

again addressed

the Great Unwashed.

He would congratulate

himself again

while troopers

cordoned off the affair

in gestapo number.

[Blood will flow,

blood will flow,

the protestors lined up

on the street

pantomimed at the barricade.]

O this has been going on

for years on end,

like a docu clip

from a recycled film…

Times have moved

in circles, it seems,

& the din of discontent

keeps ringing in his ears

like an old, old theme:

surely something

is rotten in this country

of repetition –

What expired yesterday

will recur tomorrow…

Don’t we see

the old dictators family,

in regal finery,

mount the rostrum?

Oligarchs & generals

widely grinning?

Fat, rich bodies

stride down the red carpet?

Only the streetsmarts

have learned the lesson.

Lorie had left earlier,

Maita, in the blink

of the eye,

disappeared under the canopy

of flowers…

O Will her sisters

& brothers

shift paradigm?

[Blood will flow,

blood will flow,

rises the chanting in the air…]


He hops

into a Kamuning-bound jeep,

introduces himself

as a messenger from Jesus

come to bring the good news

of salvation.

He opens the bible

& orates.

His org has a TV program,

& you could probably

tune in

while surfing the net?

The passengers,

drowsy & stonily deaf,

politely decline

the envelopes

as he catches his breath.

It is a day

after the bloody Sona,

& he has probably

lifted a page

from the President’s

long long speech,

how the country is moving forward

& progress is within reach.

The ersatz pastor

of the noontime flock

steps down

at GMA,

stubbornly on a hunt

for disbelievers

of the Holy Writ.

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