CRIMSON

1.

Chronotopic site

is the yellowing picture

of four decades ago –

Hawking’s space

expanding toward zero,

his time’s interior wasteland

darkening toward noon;

only ghosts remain

of familiar figures

that once graced the frame:

O should he put a stop

to obit offerings

for memorial friends?

The breaking news has been

grim, stirring emotion:

she has passed on at 84

last Sept 18, 2011

in Manheim, Pennsylvania.

Vickie Nelson,

who oversees her estate,

adds:

“She had always prayed

for you.”

[Oh he tried to call her up

from New York

but she was out,

selling Avon products

on the side,

this missionary who came

to Calapan –

then a one-horse town,

now a car-driven city –

& waited for the rascal

of a kid to come to his senses.

Never one to polemicize

about imperial order

& Christian faith,

calmly staying in the wings

for his arrogance

to thaw out…]

  O Miss Marilyn Smart,

bearer of God’s love

& goodwill,

who prayed for the prodigal

with compassion,

without fear.

O the watery world of time

has condensed into a

teardrop crystalline.

2.

A.

Greg Brilliantes, in his fiction.

writes it plain & simple:

“…He will discover

he no longer loves her.”

Was it a singular

“broader than ink”

declaration of truth?

Pablo Neruda is himself

poetically ambivalent:

“I loved her,

and sometimes she loved me, too.”

But none is sadder

than the other:

the history of loss,

as in Freudian Fort-da game

starts religion,

hermeneutics of the unsaid,

prayers for the desaparecidos

O What must invoke

then the tears of grief,

old tradition’s sentiment?

Stolid inhumanity

that things, as wisdom rules,

just happen?

Can we be so brazen?

If the loss is infinite,

how do we cope

with eternal absence?

B.

Looking at her

from across the table,

she would set his heart

on fire –

but he cannot go

mad, even wild

for nothing, at the back

of his mind,

lasts forever:

She will,

as quickly as her smile,

also disappear

at the blink of his eye,

& dismissed

as if she never existed.

If they meet again,

will they remember each

other?

Perhaps a dull stab

of pain

& that’s all

in a world of shadows

& quick forgetting –

O this art of survival

is custom-built for lovers.

3.

A.

Eros & Thanatos

are twin brothers of desire –

& he who loves feverishly

must prepare his heart

for bitter potion,

or sharpened knife.

In medieval lore:

didn’t Romeo exercise

the fatal passion of youth –

& Juliet, too,

who perished in the night

because love unfulfilled

cannot be on hold?

Such impetuosity,

such diabolical tantrums,

but at dawn

when the sun lights up

starkly & cruelly

on the wayward bodies

only the kinsmen’s tears

rained down on the star-crossed

lovers?

Taliban bombers have a deadly

& differentiated logic of despair:

if you dare pursue the veracity

of your truth’s belief

you must prepare to die…

Do barbarians plumb

the workings of the heart?

Is death the ultimate

philosophy against a lie?

Eros is a one-way street;

Thanatos Tiresias’s road.

B.

Year 2013,

epoch of bombs of mass destruction

& scientific inquiry,

new set of mathematical formulae

& space satellites…

Her father “found

the young nurse, cuts

on her right wrist,

hanging with a blanket wound

around her neck

inside the bedroom” closet…

A violent tiff with her boyfriend

the previous night

was the alleged motive

for her suicide.

O How her lover’s face

loomed large in the horizon

of her dread

as she fatally “leaped

into the dark!”

Objet petit a

is madness of the “blotch”

on imaginary canvas

that deceives the eye,

the giant ghost of a shadow

that blackens the vision

of her heart’s mind.

4.

So the ex-bf

reaches for the brass knuckles

in his pocket

& swings at her

with the fury of a rejected

lover…

Is he being vulgar,

unjust,

patently criminal

for having a heavy hand

because he madly loves her?

Strange, idiots say,

are the workings of the heart –

but the world knows

it should not be the sanctified manner.

O Only barbarians applaud

such demonstration

of nullified desire…

But did he really love her?

She’s a sitting duck

for his fists

in a tumultuous love affair.

Is this a reprise

of a singer who found herself

back in the arms

of her cruel rapper?

Stupid is the way of love,

for beyond the wisdom

of any necromancer.

5.

How do you fall in love?

How do you turn schizo-mad?

Is there a rule of proper conduct

once desire holds you in thrall?

What sense should survive

as you walk down the burning path?

Questions, questions, questions –

as if love has never known

it carries multiple masks,

& lovers’ gaze at each other

like angels of purity, never of lust?

There are histories flowing

toward hellish/heavenly delight –

but you suddenly wake up:

the sun has gone down,

& you grope for her invisible hand

in the thick, thick dark.

Did you wake up late

to what has always been

the telltale signal

of the heart?

6.

He has this bad habit,

the guzzler drawls,

of falling in love so easily.

But he’s a shy lover

& clams up as quickly

when he recovers

from the Freudian slip

of baring a private secret.

O He cannot wear

his fragile heart

on a sleeve.

What, after all, is there

to concede?

He’s stupidly old –

the world has passed him by –

he should never drink

& empty himself of palaver.

Yes, yes,

desire wells up incessantly;

But did he ever have her?

How could you lose

something you never had?

& if you had her,

did you really possess her?

Body & soul?

Her heart was meant

for someone else.

You always fall prey

to shrewd intruders…

O there is only

the silence,

at the cafe table,

of wine-colour bottles.

7.

& when she turned her face

& nodded beautifully,

O how the world spun dizzily!

O was he blessed, amazed!

He refreshingly turned mathematician,

counting the probability

of billion chances to one –

this is one miracle of the ages

that saved his infernal finity:

He wasn’t aware, of course,

that pleasure & joy

last only for a brief, brief

while…

Somehow it was noon

but as the sun slid down

per God’s decree

from on high,

it was almost evening

when darkness swallowed

him up,

like any lover,

mortal & vulnerable.

8.

Don Juan, they claim,

he is –

easy on the eyes of mistresses,

objects of his desire

he has full access to…

But why is he confessedly

melancholic

as if he were cursed?

Yes, yes, yes

such a bizarre predicament

most lovers are not heir to…

But he would swear

as if he were cruelly burdened,

he cannot,

like a man in pain,

in Zizek’s formulaic comment,

“find satisfaction

in all he wants.”

O Nothing is long

as the exhortation

to enjoy!

In a world of psychic antagonism

that cannot allow

rare pleasure.

9.

Is it true love?

The fellow drinker

asks the cynic of a professor

across the table.

She’s bedridden,

afflicted by some disease

people fear

could be long-term, delicate.

The guy has attended –

as super caregiver –

to her needs.

When he heard he had

blurted out,

he leaves it all to God!

as if finally

exhausted…

The professor

takes a deep puff

on his pipe,

turns psychoanalytic.

It is superego’s

ethical duty

overturning the destructive Id.

That’s it?

he counters,

as though nothing holified,

ever civil,

must be admitted?

How about the call

for society, the other,

to minister

to the needy, the sick?

He tactfully makes

a paradigm shift,

dropping the academic shit.

Yes, it could be love,

whatever it is;

We must make a margin

for miracles,

the human mind

cannot explain it all.

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