Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Quasi-Plagiarist: On Urban(e) Poems

The City is Alive
by Miguel Paolo Celestial
translated from the original Filipino

The power cords caught the kite by its tail,
strangling its flight across the purple sky.
A sparrow negotiates the trick of wires,
From the door of my window, it tells a song.
The sun battles against the rust on the roofs.

In the streets, flowers yellowed beneath busy feet,
stained by the drip of gasoline. Rain began without notice,
nor apology, as I stepped out the door, in the middle of April.
I left my bedsheets creased with reveries,
the memory of you amidst blankets I kicked under the bed.

The light played against leaves of tamarind,
which clasp together slowly into prayers. I have things to tell you still,
but the afternoon has already folded the words into the sky.
The sun sets herself at the very last in the fairest of hues,
ripe with the certainty that you have left without return.

When It Rains and I'm Alone With You
by Miguel Paolo Celestial
translated from the original Filipino

The storm slams itself against our words, until it drowns our voices,
and the thunder steals a handful of heartbeats. I search the dark
for your pulse. But shadows fail in the dark, and their touch, barren.

The streets are empty with the busy tableau of traffic.
Flowing sheets of rain light up the windows.
Horns blare and founder. Mirrors hide beneath dust and grime.

As I return to the room, there was nothing
in the brief slice of lightning. The floods have left a sea of mud,
thicker than the dreams that return with each calamity.

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