Directions to My Imaginary Childhood

If you stand on the corner
of Mabini Street and Legazpi Avenue,
wait for an orchid colored mini-bus
with seven oblong doors,
open the fourth door —

an oscillating electric fan
will be driving, tell her to proceed
to the Escolta diamond district —
you will pass Maneng Viray's Bar,
La Isla de los Ladrones book shop,

the Frederick Funston fish sauce factory,
and as you turn left into Calle de Recuerdos,
you will see Breton, Bataille, and Camus
seated around a card table playing
abecedarian dominoes —

Agony in the Garden

At supper he whispers something in your ear,
the Judas boy, who wants you.

We go to the garden where it’ s cool
and wait.

From my place against the tree
I see you through the window,

watch as you walk from door to desk,
reach into your pocket,

pull out your wallet, empty it and leave it by the lamp,
pick up a pen, lean over to write, then don’ t,

take something heavy from the drawer, put it back
then sweep the money into a paper bag.

To Catullus

Would that you were alive today, Catullus!
Truth ’ tis, there is a filthy skunk amongst us,
A rank musk-idiot, the filthiest skunk,
Of no least sorry use on earth, but only
Fit in fancy to justify the outlay
Of your most horrible vocabulary.

My Muse, all innocent as Eve in Eden,
Would yet wear any skins of old pollution
Rather than celebrate the name detested.
Ev’ n now might he rejoice at our attention,
Guess'd he this little ode were aiming at him.

O! were you but alive again, Catullus!

Reading Saint John of the Cross

How many miles to the border
where all the sky there is
exists for the soul alone?

Where the only breathers
breathing are constructed
from some new electricity
and the flowers are made
indestructible, and messages
from the dead arrive like calm
white birds with a gift?

One more night of spiritual
ice and we might all become
birds, green birds frozen
on a black winter branch.

There is a drumming in the shadows
under leaves: a million eight-eyed
spiders on the march.

Loving in Truth

Someone will push the house over one day,
Some spacedozer give it a shove,
But the cobbles we laid down here in the yard,
These are a labour of love.

All winter we set these cobbles in place,
Or was it the summer as well?
Sorting through lumpy bluestone pitchers
For ones that looked suitable.

The old house decayed – along with us –
Will a strange new resident
Admire the patio made in joy
Wondering what we meant?


Not forced to fall for hideous Phaon,
nor to drift dreamlike from
a Victorian cliff, pursued by visions
of slender limbs, peach-soft hair,
dewy violets clustered
in an unwilling lap, not exiled
on a distant island for writing
smartly about love, not called amoral
nor forgotten, not murdered
by a jealous lover, nor weakened
from drink, did not make an incision
in the veins, never murdered
in a tavern at twenty-nine
nor thought mad, released immediately
from St. Luke's Hospital for Lunatics,

Written By H'Self

The signature public
the only avant-garde
behind invention

wheelchairs (in) "the street."
Type (A) bleeds through the page —
or screen — it becomes —

a pool as it we're
one drop rules(.)
Individual talent

divides tradition
into tithes, tenths
and nationalized tribes —

market share erosion.
Staggered Lees

piggyback the Gap.
John Henry — busted by Keaton.
Gentlemen, 'e thinks,

as the bespoken,
it was the other
kind of happy