This House is a Skeleton

MANILA, Philippines—It seemed no one really wanted to have anything to do with a once sumptuous, P142.9-million mansion linked to a disgraced presidency. E. Tandoc Jr. Inquirer, Jan 27/10

This house is a skeleton
the remains of a dream
with some beloved and her children
who have given all what a man wants:

some laughter in dark days by the palace
when the plot of the silver screen
turns to some heroes I can never forgive.

Some of them come from dead alleys
their crisp placards calling out
to what deception there is when
one good friend decided to tell all
that which happens in the wake
of a sleep that just died because

one, the rallies go on and on
two, the demonstrations are becoming
a contract with the devil
three, they no longer believe
what I say except the jokes
I have not made from sex to sexlessness
or those phallic virtues of Filipino men
who can woe all, a country such as women

one, we have it all anyway, this charm
to win voters who do not know how to think
for themselves since they confuse
what heroes are for in grainy films
and those who die tragic deaths
fighting for what is right on deadends

two, we have it all anyway, this promise
we spell out without a commitment
to our word except to say
what people want to hear
except to leave the lying to them
who believe in miracles, in truth
as in despair when all what our macho men
have got are the ability to go my way
go where the action goes, where I lead them,
and make them see that they are me
and I am them in the first place.

Now that they sell this house,
this skeleton of a grand dream
where I had hoped to rest my tired mind
thinking of what could have been
were it not for this awakening
on the sacred street of activists
who have called for my head
them who made it sure
that in four days of my last glory
I would be gone, spirited to some
place in a mountaintop where there
I would meditate the meaning
of kingdom come.

And now, no one wants to buy
this house, this skeleton house
of my dream. It has history,
you know, and it has all what it takes
to fool those we can and should.

You could come and live here,
watch the Boracay sand, sad and immaculate,
fly, the waves of the urban sea
urfurling what pretense desire is
when everything is a secret
when things are done like this loving
away from the public's prying eyes.

But then the ghosts of the past
have lost the meaning of honor:
they do not allow me to leave behind
the life I could have lived were it not
for the revolution that came out
from the people's clenched fists
their rage for having me becoming a clown
the holy word uttered that cannot be undone.

This house is a skeleton.
It will always be so.

Hon, HI

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