Conversations with a Mirror

When I tell you I am a poet would you believe me?
When you tell me you are a serial killer, do I believe you?
When I tell you I am nothing, will—

4 December 2017
Kyoto-fu, Japan



your body greets me well
and every part a label to open

yet how open depends on how close
we can shut everything for our selves

our mouths for secrets, our pores
for sweat, our hands for the sheets

our eyes to keep the searing white
light from escaping the aftermath

14 February 2016
Quezon City, Philippines

Sana may katawan
akong mahahagkan
ngayong gabi,

katawan lang,
hindi na kailangan
ng puso

sapagkat matagal na itong
pinaglipasan, pinabigat,
at pinalayas ng taglagas.

Sana malagas na rin
ang lahat ng damit ko
parang mga dahong

nililisan ang nangangayayat
kong kaluluwa. Sa lagaslas
nitong hininga, patuloy

na hinihiling
na hindi na ikaw
ang laman

ng bawat halinghing, panaginip.
Iba na lamang. Wala na lamang.
Bakasakaling tuluyan na

akong maging manhid, baliw,
lango sa hamog
ng iyong mga salitang

kinailangan kong marinig
nang paulit-ulit
sa aking pag-iisa:

nakakabalisa ka, nakakatakot,
nakakabalisa ka, nakakatakot,
nakakabalisa ka, nakakatakot

mula sa Projection (2017)
5 Agosto 2017
Ikoma-shi, Nara


sapilitan pinatulis
lapis sa pantasa

hihipan sa ulunan
aalisin sa tinalupan

pipilitin ipanulat
sa pinilas na pahina

alaala tatapusin:
tula, lapis, tula!

ilista, itala
tipan, tipanan

punahin sa isinulat
at talas, pupulpulan

aapulahin, papupulahin
alipustahin, alipustahin

at hinala, pustahan! sa tapunan
nila hahanapin, hihilahin

lahat: talata, tula, tala
alipin lilipunin

salita, salita, salita

San Pedro, Laguna
Ikoma-shi, Nara

Body Against Light


Here, pornography is clean yet threadbare:
       stores tucked behind blockbuster stalls
       or on the second floor.

Expose skin smooth but blur
       private parts to noise.
       Pixels turn to clothes.


Tonight, a disappearing act.
       How to feign interest
       with a couple of bodies

huddled in a steam room. Breathe
       but keep lust to yourself
       covered with a thin towel.


Silence is a giant monster shadowing
       the skyscrapers. Superheroes cry
       out underground, their frames possessed

by frenzying lights. If everything not saved
       will be lost, surrender these figures
       to their own darknesses.

from ん
10 July 2017
Ikoma-shi, Nara

Four Views of Temples


The perfect match
can ravage this temple
glistening in the middle
of winter. You are
the secret I
desire to keep.


Love is not
falling. Look at fog.
Escaping the sharpest
leaves. Lovers wake
up on a pilgrimage
catching soft cotton
unclothing mornings.


Mind beautiful pain
only when noticed.
Imagine cruelty
as thousand summers
fading the surface
of the temple
tirelessly varnished
with sweat.


Whatever is between us,
would this remain
hidden? Decide.
With one hand, nothing
springs forth. On
your other hand,
everything blooms
for me to ruin.
All I dream of
is this temple
formed by hands.
I arrange
its imaginary bouquets.

21 June 2017 / Summer Solstice
Takayama-cho, Ikoma-shi, Nara

P.S. This is such a nice break, writing.