RHIZOME

1.
He’s been treated
for hypertension,
the military spokesman
reports.
Were they wary
of talks that the captives
are being interrogated?
& therefore tortured?
It is SOP in ops
to squeeze out info
from collared combatants.
The language is deceptive,
skeptics point out,
for detainees are subject
to water boarding,
electric shock & cure…
The two are prized animals
in the stockade
& no stone is left unturned
to gain points
from the summer heist…
Is the fight over
for players in the field?
It is only a comma,
never a final period,
that marks the transition game.
Will the enemy stand down
& guns remain silent
in the night?
O peasants still wait
for their hacienda lot;
workers still raise hell
for higher wages…
Has the dove of peace
flown down with
an olive branch?

2.
The spokesman
of a former discredited regime,
who has fattened his ass
in the Palace,
could only chuckle
why this old & gaunt marcher
during their Diliman phase
is still at it –
raising his clenched fist
despite the handcuffs,
ideologically fixed
on an idea that mesmerized
them
during their salad days.
O Why does he continue
to plod on
with a struggle
that the world has forgotten?
Chairman Mao is dead;
capitalist roaders
are back on the saddle
in polluted Beijing…
who now claim
West Philippine Sea
for their own,
with its gas & oil reserves
worth billions…
But the bartender,
who has heard it all
during nights of heavy rain
& forlorn carousing,
knows the final narrative
is yet to be written.
O this season of fortune tellers
& empty political palaver!
A macho game, he muses.
He still sees brats
scavenging outside the café
while nubile virgins
book their bodies for cheap pesos.
Will the nightmare
ever end?
O Dawn is a long-time coming.

3.
The buzzword Revolution
is no longer fashionable.
The young have their cell phones
to mark time
& Internet to tell authorities off –
O We are watching;
we shall not fall
for your promises!
Blogs have shifted
to summer
of cool vacation spots
where lovers can tryst
by the beach side.
Who shall bother
with Lenin’s question:
What must be done?
Flee to the mountain
& encircle the city
from the countryside?
But is everyone wired?
Who owns the corporate servers?
No one is listening:
But Big Brother does
who will mark your word
for it.
For Snowden in Russia:
everything is a never-ending
surveillance!
How can time shift
magically
when more Taipans and mestizo caciques
make it
to Fortune list?
Americans play their China
card on the table
to wangle an onerous treaty:
O they speak
with forked tongues
while screwing the country
like an Olongapo whore.

4.
The young lawyers
are still deluded
they can make sense
of the system
by opening a loophole
they can slip in
with the equitable…
But the law
does not operate
on formal logic
lest philosophers & mathematicians
take over the magisterial
chamber…
No more hiding
in the open field & foliage
to figure out
why courts contravene
the moral edict?
O How we trust
guys in coat & tie
mouthing legalese
who claim to bend
the law
according to reason
& logical gambit…
That the law serves all –
the innocent
& the foolish
must languish
in judicial orbit…

5.
O They agree –
the old people
in their rocking chairs –
the movement must
ruminate over
the wayward fall.
O how they secretly wept
that it should not
have happened to nicer guys –
but has God better reason
to allow the disappointing fable?
As if truant angels
have stumbled on earth
with their clipped wings
in immaculate mission?
Are there cherubims
waiting in the wings?
Is the foliage
heavy with fruits & flowers?
The resolute know
history moves in helter-skelter way
like a drunkard
zig & zagging on the road.
April is just around the corner,
but why must all
mimic the Calvary
like penitents?
History has a roller-coaster trajectory
& cynics could only shrug off
the circular story…

6.
They do not mince words,
simple as they are:
The revolution is finished.
The general can’t hide
his secret glee.
O How he taunts
the enemy across the other side:
“We’ve got your supremo!”
Sophists take pride
in the clarity of the line:
But the paradox of the discourse
is like the ocean floor
that hides the broken ridges
below the surface.
The smoothness
cannot calm down
the undertow:
he therefore must simplify
for the masses to realize
who the lord of the flies is.
O truth is a rhizome,
post-Marxist Deleuze & Guattari
theorize:
“Like a tuber or moss”
if one node is cut off,
lines would link up
with the other,
allowing the organism
to flourish & grow
as if the center over holds.
O Nothing is ever sure,
stable,
authorities cannot eternally rule.
The game has turned deadlier,
multiple –
the morning shadows
loom over the circle of fear.
At the camp fire
warriors recycle old fables
while figures in the nightscape
measure them with radical will.

7.
Their voices
ripple in the air.
Who should allow their
electronic infamy?
O They chose their ex-comrades
well to confess
the founding leader
is siphoning their funds
off to live luxuriously.
O the old demonizing stratagem
done through the years:
a lie repeated the nth time
passes for standard paradigm.
The old Nazi technique
that bodes well for Gestapo clique.
But who will unveil
the assets if an imaginary pistol
is cocked at their hands?
They had no choice?
To read the satanic lies?
O How early to push the domesticated
over the edge
who had been processed
like maddened tigresses.

8.
Both sides
will review & assess
the aftermath.
The state will congratulate
its useful snitches
for trapping the elusive captives:
the others will change
& rectify the security net.
How could the enemy
slip through its safe houses?
Who tripped them off?
Where’s the leak?
Who could have betrayed
the people’s trust?
But this is paranoia
that caused them innocent lives.
It took decades
to heal the collective sanity.
Is it kismet?
Caution is a tactic
but too much of it
paralyzes…
Que sera, sera?
Damn the torpedoes!
Life cannot flourish
in the rabbit hole!
When they were young,
who would bother
with origin & fall?
The people is the main argument,
O mantra that must not be forgotten!

9.
Revolution
is the trickster’s ploy
for novelists & poets
to mix with the subject
of guilt-ridden conflict
in the theatre
of life & the abyss.
How metaphysically they long
for Christ to descend
& solve the eternal contradiction.
Should there be freedom
or bondage
which Duvalier & Marcos
dictatorially advocate?
O visionaries prattle
about the utopian past
that never, never was!
Thousands have fallen
by the wayside
in the journey to the Final Act –
But the night has been
long & perilous:
ever historians doggedly focus
on intentions & heroes
whose errors seem
lamentably human, forgivable!
O How can we get out
of the pit?
Should we philosophize
over gin & tonic
inside deserted cafes
until lights dim
& evening kicks us out
with our eyes wide open?

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