17 Jul No Comments Aileen Ibardaloza-Cassinetto Issue 45, Poems

by Eileen R. Tabios

[1]

I forgot other boys like Samuel and Elwin whose bones became transparent…. I forgot imagination cannot alchemize air into protein…. I forgot an ascetic’s illusion of ecstasy will always be illusion due to its condition precedent: a suffering so unmitigated it hollowed non-survivors from children to earthworms…. I forgot no one else noticing the diminishing moon’s tiptoe across the night sky…. I forgot the lucidity of ancient mountains…. I forgot staring at a photograph of a baby with belly larger than head and later arguing with my math teacher, “Two negatives do not equal a positive!” I forgot broken glass surfacing my first conception of Beauty from the lovely wink of a glass sliver, belying edges and their sharpness…. I forgot the clutter of broken objects manifesting affordable treasures when one owns nothing, or owns only dilemmas over belonging….I forgot the seeking that began without knowing whether one was beginning to stink or sing…. I forgot the differences between desires for father and fodder…. I forgot anthologies of glass.

[2]

I forgot other boys like Samuel and Elwin whose bones became transparent…. I forgot an ascetic’s illusion of ecstasy will always be illusion due to its condition precedent: a suffering so unmitigated it hollowed non-survivors from children to earthworms…. I forgot a grandmother who threw empty bottles at a toddler’s face…. I forgot broken glass surfacing my first conception of Beauty from the lovely wink of a glass sliver, belying edges and their sharpness…. I forgot the clutter of broken objects manifesting affordable treasures when one owns nothing, or owns only dilemmas over belonging…. I forgot questions thickening as the sun moved alongside the moon to preserve the possibility of synchronous precisions against skeptics who surfaced to avoid commitment…. I forgot the differences between desires for father and fodder…. I forgot a carapace, then its splitting…. I forgot a bolt of cream linen turning crimson along the edges touching the floor.

[3]

I forgot a “Mom” and “Dad” bringing me to a turquoise house cheered by kittens and where I learned meals will be finished and still there will be food for the next…. I forgot stuffing doves into burlap bags…. I forgot no one else noticing the diminishing moon’s tiptoe across the night sky…. I forgot receiving a scar on my cheek while an emerald mountain wept…. I forgot the white light, white roses, white silk, white lace and white pearls that adorned my wedding—instead I remember this happy day included the whisper, “Mama, glass is easily broken …” I forgot questions thickening as the sun moved alongside the moon to preserve the possibility of synchronous precisions against skeptics who surfaced to avoid commitment…. I forgot the differences between desires for father and fodder…. I forgot anthologies of glass…. I forgot a carapace, then its splitting.

[4]

I forgot receiving a scar on my cheek while an emerald mountain wept…. I forgot the white light, white roses, white silk, white lace and white pearls that adorned my wedding—instead I remember this happy day included the whisper, “Mama, glass is easily broken …” I forgot broken glass surfacing my first conception of Beauty from the lovely wink of a glass sliver, belying edges and their sharpness…. I forgot algebra failing to succor when relationships were inevitably destabilized by indigenous cell memory…. I forgot the aftermaths from dilemmas of belonging…. I forgot the clutter of broken objects manifesting affordable treasures when one owns nothing, or owns only dilemmas over belonging…. I forgot the seeking that began without knowing whether one was beginning to stink or sing…. I forgot anthologies of glass…. I forgot a carapace, then its splitting.

[5]

I forgot other boys like Samuel and Elwin whose bones became transparent…. I forgot imagination cannot alchemize air into protein…. I forgot a “Mom” and “Dad” bringing me to a turquoise house cheered by kittens and where I learned meals will be finished and still there will be food for the next…. I forgot an ascetic’s illusion of ecstasy will always be illusion due to its condition precedent: a suffering so unmitigated it hollowed non-survivors from children to earthworms…. I forgot pausing to scratch with a missing finger…. I forgot no one else noticing the diminishing moon’s tiptoe across the night sky…. I forgot the lucidity of ancient mountains…. I forgot the original human born only because bamboo was split…. I forgot staring at a photograph of a baby with belly larger than head and later arguing with my math teacher, “Two negatives do not equal a positive!” I forgot broken glass surfacing my first conception of Beauty from the lovely wink of a glass sliver, belying edges and their sharpness.

[6]

I forgot immersing myself in a sea until, chin just topping salty water, my head became attached to the entire planet…. I forgot a “Mom” and “Dad” bringing me to a turquoise house cheered by kittens and where I learned meals will be finished and still there will be food for the next…. I forgot an ascetic’s illusion of ecstasy will always be illusion due to its condition precedent: a suffering so unmitigated it hollowed non-survivors from children to earthworms…. I forgot stuffing doves into burlap bags…. I forgot receiving a scar on my cheek while an emerald mountain wept…. I forgot the original human born only because bamboo was split…. I forgot staring at a photograph of a baby with belly larger than head and later arguing with my math teacher, “Two negatives do not equal a positive!” I forgot a grandmother who threw empty bottles at a toddler’s face…. I forgot the aftermaths from dilemmas of belonging…. I forgot the clutter of broken objects manifesting affordable treasures when one owns nothing, or owns only dilemmas over belonging…. I forgot the differences between desires for father and fodder.

[7]

I forgot imagination cannot alchemize air into protein…. I forgot a “Mom” and “Dad” bringing me to a turquoise house cheered by kittens and where I learned meals will be finished and still there will be food for the next…. I forgot stuffing doves into burlap bags…. I forgot pausing to scratch with a missing finger…. I forgot the lucidity of ancient mountains…. I forgot staring at a photograph of a baby with belly larger than head and later arguing with my math teacher, “Two negatives do not equal a positive!” I forgot the aftermaths from dilemmas of belonging…. I forgot questions thickening as the sun moved alongside the moon to preserve the possibility of synchronous precisions against skeptics who surfaced to avoid commitment…. I forgot the differences between desires for father and fodder…. I forgot the silvery thrum among treetops during perpetual autumns.

[8]

I forgot imagination cannot alchemize air into protein…. I forgot receiving a scar on my cheek while an emerald mountain wept…. I forgot the lucidity of ancient mountains…. I forgot the original human born only because bamboo was split…. I forgot a grandmother who threw empty bottles at a toddler’s face…. I forgot broken glass surfacing my first conception of Beauty from the lovely wink of a glass sliver, belying edges and their sharpness…. I forgot the seeking that began without knowing whether one was beginning to stink or sing…. I forgot the differences between desires for father and fodder.

Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released about 40 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Publications include two Selected Poems projects, INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & New 1996-2015 and THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems & New 1998-2010; the first book-length haybun collection, 147 MILLION ORPHANS (MMXI-MML); a collected novels, SILK EGG; and an experimental autobiography AGAINST MISANTHROPY. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku poetic form as well as a first poetry book, BEYOND LIFE SENTENCES (1998), which received the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry (Manila Critics Circle). Her poems have been translated into eight languages as well as computer-generated hybrid languages, paintings, video, drawings, visual poetry, mixed media collages, Kali martial arts, music, modern dance, sculpture and a sweat shirt. Additionally, she has edited, co-edited or conceptualized ten anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays as well as exhibited visual art and visual poetry in the United States, Asia and Serbia. Her most recent book is THE CONNOISSEUR OF ALLEYS published by Marsh Hawk Press in 2016. More information is available at http://eileenrtabios.com