We are in the middle of a storm
in this season of profit & phony fun
& to invoke the memory that matters is what matters
at this time. We need to call the witches who will invoke
this memory, our memory, us who need to remember.
There is the sucker of a storm that visits our land
& shore & sand each morning. This havoc of a visit
may last till the next season of sadnesses.
It comes to accompany our worst news,
this loss of lives & livelihoods in a split second,
in Colombo & elsewhere in Aceh,
all these islands in this season of storms
all these islands in this season of typhoons & terror,
in our Manila as well as in Phuket
while a priest, gracefully & with much studied
convent poise, takes his morning meal
of abundance & prayers & indifference.
He did not know, he said, of the coming of the raging waters,
this wall of water wreaking all that can be wrecked,
buildings & bodies
fate & faith
the poor people & their prayers,
all, in substance as well as in its absence.
In all these tragic stories, in our homeland
& in many others, the rest of the world frolics
in the sun in these holidays,
in these demented days of giving gifts courtesy of profiteers of death,
those who invest on imagination & images,
those who play on our small sickly hearts,
those who offer us the seductions
of multiple meanings
of lousy loving & lusting
after lousy loves, like the priest's,
those who believe in the images
of sin when you can no longer
believe in the obese santa claus with his bulging bag
of empty ecstasies from a beribboned box of grief.
We have gone haywire in our hybrid lives,
we who can afford to watch from the sidelines.
We pick up some news from the spirit of the aborted christmasses
like some news from aborted poems & aborted lives,
turn this news into truth, evangelize on behalf of this truth
we create out of repeated lies,
& there, we import the lies,
we export the lies, we do not call them lies
no more but take them as some kind of a gospel,
we begin to speak in its name
we begin to teach of the new truth in its name
we begin to announce the new salvation in its name,
all of us,
rich & poor alike
the oppressed & the oppressor alike
the commerce-men & consumers alike
the colonizers & the colonized alike
the neocolonizers & neocolonized alike
the emperors & their subjects alike.
It does not matter no more
where we are in this space where we no longer
go figure where we are.
The time does not matter either.
To go through the motions of living,
just the motions, is all that matters
in this tsunami season &
in this season of storms.
As if we all are alive.
As if we all are kicking.
As if we all are breathing.
As if we all are in the world of truth.
As if we all are in this universe saving us from
recollecting what comes with meaning & blessing.
The as if & our belief
is all that matters in the end.
The enchantment of the false kind.
The magic in the fantasy like when we take pride
in our belief in the coup of corpses, whether
from this tsumani of our tears or from church wakes,
the coming again to life of cadavers paraded
or interred in mass graves that promised us the greatness
of greed couched in words wrought in prophesies
of new mornings
of new dawn breaks
of a new redemption from the silly speeches of actors
acting on behalf of dead kings and their queens,
of behalf of ousted presidents who lied to us
in evenings as well as
in daytimes, their lies packaged as the fulfillment of a promise
in the plots of third rate films as well as in imprisoned lives.
These people do not know how to stop.
They have forgotten that some of us,
the poor as well as the enlightened,
have come to know how to spell the beginnings of tall tales
have come to know how to spell the middle of tall tales
have come to know how to put an end to the spell of tall tales.
There is a whole withcraft to all these
& there are witches among us,
the poor & the enlightened,
those who have learned to summon the strong winds,
those who have learned to call again the fierce waters
those who have learned to invoke the memories
of a fecund land for all the landless
of a full meal for all the hungry
of a warm home for all the homeless
of a just job for all the jobless.
This invoking of memory will matter.
It is the only thing that matters now.
This invoking of memory will break the spell.
It is the only one that can break the spell now.
Aurelio S. Agcaoili
Dec. 29, 2004