Scranton Lace Factory

Just a few falling houses,

               A deserted driveway,

A bell tower se-

                        vered 

                                     from time

and melting snow 

              where the script 

of a grey cloud is written, zen-like 

by the hands

                    of an oriental calligrapher.

A lot of broken symbols, 

                         language with no words

 

*published on the amazing magazine ink in thirds where you can read the full volume of amazing poems and prose

I was recently rejected by the creative writing program at Cornell University, and I don’t think I can make it to Brown, NYU or Boston. It’s my second effort to try to become a candidate in writing. I know it’s a reach for someone like me whose mother tongue is not English to get admitted to an English writing program, it does not mean I’m a failure ( maybe I am, who knows, maybe I love to play the role of  Don Quixote), it means it will take me longer to get there, longer than most English speakers to write some god-damn good poems and it’s definitely a very lonely journey. But I’m on my way. I keep on failing; I fail better each time. This is enough for me.

Many Thanks for Ink in Thirds for publishing my poem, this is exactly what I need for now right before my 30th birthday.

A.H

El Nido ( Poem II of Versos Del Nido)

And the wind 

                    in the woods, 

No burgeoning red 

of a late autumn.

but green like the fern, 

                   almost eternal.

The sun

                   showering sparks;

A white egret 

on a low-hanging sky.

 

In the embracing waves

of the sea, 

Blue El Nido,

A hundred boats adrift,

A hundred swarthy faces, 

A hundred commercial boards 

exotic

on a street speaking little English. 

A hundred coconut trees,

A hundred shapes of seashells,

A hundred still blooming flowers

quiet

on the sand soft as milk.

 

I’m one of many

                  unworthy tourists 

walking into a tropical 

bliss, 

           lotophagi, 

黃泉,

no time and space

saved

when a boy comes running, 

his voice 

               grey 

in a land of many colors;

his words, 

in Tagalog, 

               meaning home. 

 

*published on Anak Sastra, where you can read the full poem about El Nido

The Line He Draws

For Tomas Transtroemer 

The line he draws on his notebook 

stretches out, endlessly, 

with the sound of an axe cutting the air, 

and continues its silent judgement, where 

the world is halved.

I’m on one side;

My deeds the other, falling soundlessly;

A rebuke— 

 

I cast my thought over 

into the realm of inanity.

It bounces like a morning dew 

on lifeless leaves.

Air is thinner there 

than a breath.

 

I grab hold of the line —the edge of existence, 

saved by an old hypothesis 

of death.

 

published at Thirty West Publishing House 

Two Monochrome Photos from Summer

1.

The morning heat 

                           breaks through the window

and warps 

                           the dream 

into a hot reality.

8 o’clock, 

                           the fateful hour of awakening,

reminded 

by a ticking watch,

with almost the same rhythm 

                                 of the heart.

A moaning summer, 

                            dying in the yards.

Some arranged flowers 

                            yellow

                            from a sad florist.

2

The scorching south wind,

                               breath 

of Feilian, coming to all

in cities or villages.

                            A wash of tolling bells.

thick shadows 

                             hidden

behind a mottled wall

and a murmuring crowd of people 

                            squatting at the gate

of a silent neighborhood.

 

Published at Thirty West Publishing House 

First Snow

The weight of winter, hard on every cloud

dropping low on this city, and soon

shredded, 

                     ground 

                                   and falling white 

from a vulnerable sky, 

                        breeding

the first shade of darkness 

                        prolonging the night.

A soft wavering voice 

                          Against the wind —

Melancholy.

 

 

published at Thirty West Publishing House