Doubt not, O poet, but persist. Say, "It is in me, and shall out."
Emerson, "The Poet"
It is your way of blurting it out.
Saying, even the unsayable
As if the words are not to the liking
Of the police and the moral men.
There are priests in the imagination
And they come with their whips
Their bribe for salvation or doom.
Even then, this curse is more
Than what it is because, one,
You have to be a poet, man,
And two, you have to be a man, poet.
In the faraway land, your mind go wild
With imaginings of nearness and distance
And the abstractions are clear enough
To spell pandesal at home with a quick call
On a phone line, working or with the hiss-hiss
Of absence and incompetence.
You see all these and your heart breaks
The way the words form out of blood
In your nape, you loin, your sex.
The evening will not read your lines
And all that you have for company
Is that sadness refusing to be named
Resisting all that which can be resisted
Like one flower on a cliff near a ghetto
Of your soul. You cannot give it up,
This liaison with language.
You die too soon cavorting with demons
And demigods if you miss a day
Not thinking about loves without beginnings
Or beginnings without loves.
Such play is in you, your wandering
Meandering in brooks whose location
You keep for you to know alone.
It is the brook becoming your well
Becoming your water becoming your eternal spring
Becoming you your poem your love your life.
You take it now to the twilight, this contract
To create a world from words. In this world,
Life is red, pulsing with the green of the universe
The blue of the skies, the violets of evenings
You cannot call out to ask for blessings
Because, one, you are a poet
And two, you remain a poet
And to redeem yourself, you need to resist
O poet, your grace, your honor, you prophet!
O poet, your honor, your grace, you rebel!
O poet, your rebellion, your eminence, you dissident!
O poet, rebel, prophet, dissident, and no priest of phrases!
A Solver Agcaoili
Dec 23, 2007