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We were immigrants then,
unversed in a small town;
we might have looked like
an odd young couple
asking for directions,
inquiring about jeepney trip schedules
and wondering at the decreasing price
of mosquito coils.

At a fast-food
we might have resembled
the giggling girl crews’
favorite soap love team:
two iced tea thirsty
partners in crime
charming the crowd
with their sudden break-in.

There being not so much as a taxi to hail,
we argued about the number of meters
each kilometer contained and
that we would have to trudge.
I bet a thousand pesos
insisting it were but a hundred,
so hold on to me,
we’ll soon reach our destination.
I asked you to wager your sweet kiss
because I was confident I’d win
(later when we found out I lost,
you gave to me my prize anyway,
plus a lot more; though,
up till now, I owe you money).

I looked for us a house,
like any other good husband would do.
I found us an abandoned shack
with merely a dusty plywood for a bed.
You found me
with a naughty grin on my face,
beckoning you
to lie down with me right away.

Oh, then,
when we eloped
and cohabited (for a night),
we had our most delightful supper,
together nibbling on mango shortcakes.
Right there and then
I knew it was worth the wait.

My lips on your belly
were worth the loneliest nights
I endured without you.
Our hearts,
which we held inside just one ribcage,
were worth the years spent apart.

Those moments
were indeed worth all the trouble
and even the hurt
the next day when we said good-bye
on a bus to our city,
to our real lives,

in your bag, the unused coils;
in mine, the left-over biscuits.

Despite the human passion consumed,
still we might have appeared
like savages to the world.


9 August 2005


------
*************************************
crystal face I kiss
tongue tastes like sweet cold rain
I fall into pond




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Comments

The following comments are for "Abridged"
by peterpaulino

PETERpaulino
hey sorry about that on nae's page -nothing persoanl.
to the poem-I see exactly your style here. It isn't bad in fact it is on the verge of being very good but it needs some fine tuning and some fine tuning.
for instance there has got to be a better way to say this line
later when we found out I lost,
you gave to me my prize anyway, [i'll leave that up to you, it shouldn't be that difficult.]
also I dont think you need the ().yeah just some wording issues.
is this about two guys in a relationship-cause you never mention wether him or here-or him and him or -you got my point. Cya
lamemansterms

( Posted by: LamemansTerms [Member] On: August 20, 2005 )

Lamemansterms
Your avatar made my heart jump, I thought it was Bob(RCallaci) commenting on my poem. Anyway, thank you for commenting on this. This poem's here (although a bit had been revised in it through the help of other forums) because I believe it still needs some more polishing, and I am open to it. I just need someone to help me figure it out clearly. I didn't say here whether the other party is a he or she because I wrote the account using the first person voice. This also, I thought, would in a way help any reader to easily assume the role of the speaker here, as a paramour, as simply a lover or however else he would judge it to be. I'd like to depict here the two faces of love - on one side, which is to the side of the lovers here, it could look beautiful, and on the other, which is to the side of a judgemental public: savage. I also thought on playing with the word 'cohabit', it seemed to me an action that can take place for a long time (like a week, a month, a year, a decade). Why not, make it a night?

Thank you for reading this, I'm glad I got someone in this site to talk about this poem. You made my day. :)

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: August 22, 2005 )

p.p
you are very welcome

( Posted by: LamemansTerms [Member] On: August 22, 2005 )

Lame, Tina and Fairplay
Lame, I forgot to address your concern: I know what you mean. It couldn't be called a 'prize' anymore as the speaker here said he already lost, eh? I appreciate it, there's really something else better to say it... an 'unwon prize' Heh, it couldn't be any more difficult than that! (And about what I said on Nae's page - It's okay now. It's just that Nae is a friend and I'm sure I always give honest remarks to either their works or sometimes their avatar).

Tina, thank you. I couldn't anymore enumerate the times you have been an inhabitant of my poetry, all I know is that the thought always gladdened my heart. If I ever dared keep a diary, this is how they would look like plus some erasures and sketches and scribbles. It's funny, when I post here, an international poetry site, I don't care much about grammar. But when I do in local poetry sites - hhmmmh, I couldn't afford to be neglectful! or my heart would break because of (quite) harsh critique on grammar. Most Filipinos, amazingly, are very good in English language. I also see the same charm when I read poems written by some fellow-Asians. You see, we Asians are speaking a bit differently as much as we do feel and think. Namaste

Eric, thank you to you too. I know what you mean and that's what I often avoid whenever I visit a foreign town or city, trying to sound or act like the locals. However which way they would laugh at me, worse, sometimes not even inwardly (LOL), might I talk like them or I become the boy I am from an alien city. The mosquito coil is one of the parts here that's real and it happened (fortunately) not along in a romantic (or philandric) trip. I was buying a box of mosquito coil and got surprised at how low it cost, of course because it's only been sold in far away provinces! Mango shortcake is a favorite and I couldn't think of any other hearty, humble meal than that. Its realness I know is in every person's attempt to seek his real love - and failing to find it. It happened at least once too many times in everyone of us.

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: August 23, 2005 )

In one Ribcage
Peter,

I have to agree with Tina, nothing here that deters from the flow of your poetry which paints a picture and feeling of your mood. The actual way you use Enlish adds to the effect of the piece, and while a few grammar rules were broken, this enhanced the flow and I thought was done deliberately with poetic licence.

You use of the word 'prize' was to me correct, although it had not been won it was given anyway and so remained 'the prize'. If there was to be one piece of imagery that I found excellent it was:

Our hearts,
which we held inside just one ribcage,
were worth the years spent apart.

Again a critic could say that you should of said 'that felt that they were inside one ribcage' but that's not poetry!

The excellent way you bastardise the English language shows a great apreciation of the language you are writing in. Don't ever be afraid to create your own rules to do this, in this piece it has certainly helped.

Have Fun,

Ivor

( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: August 23, 2005 )

Ivor - Abridged
Yes! An unwon prize given anyway would still be a prize! Or a gift! Thank you very much.

That particular image you chose had rather made me unsure of its being put there. I honestly dilly-dallied about it but then reassessed its meaning: when two people love each other and they become apart (e.g. one went working abroad), the two of them reserve a part of themselves, putting them in a somewhat 'time capsule', and then later on pull out when love is ready for consumption again. You know whata I mean? I thought, a ribcage would be a good 'time capsule' for hearts. Whatever. :0)

Your comment once again made me smile, my dear friend and it helps me accept and appreciate my own poetry more. You are an inspiration brother!

( Posted by: PETERPAULINO [Member] On: August 23, 2005 )

Pen - it has not gone away
The feeling that my heart melts whenever I see your name on my thread. Thank you.

The last part appeared invisible in my other version of this posted in some other forum. You see how much big difference that would make if the last stanza were taken? Oh, Pen... is it so me? Is it the melancholy, you mean?

( Posted by: peterpaulino [Member] On: August 26, 2005 )





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