You are everything to me

You are curved
porcelain of coffee cups;
I can handle hell.
The little length
of thread tied
on little bookmark-holes
to remember where I’ve been,
and remind me where
I’ve reached. You:

cloud of white or grey,
suspended in sunshine,
looming in rain,
you prepare me for the day…
almost. You can be as fickle
as geeseflock patterns
above a troubled sea.
You are everything to me.

You are the only 1, highlighted
in red, above a mail icon
that I wait for. The only
welcome break
from solitude and silence,
like a lone shakuhachi
sliding its notes
from air content to eager ear. You:

the reassuring voice
of psychiatrists in the movies and
handlebars on staircases
too steep, that trigger fears.
I will hold on to you through
roller-coasters and ferris wheels
and other-worldly nightmares.
Like how especially ridiculous
all the love that I poured
in this poem can be,
you are everything to me.

— A. P.


dog-rhymes and wicked schemes: observations from across a century-old home

That rabid dog still goes to school,
passing a whipjack on its way.
(They’re a bit the same, these
beggars and dogs,
in that they ask — no, whimper
for scraps. Both use their feet
to scratch their backs; on both:
black, soil-infested claws.
The dog does look a bit
nicer, though).

But this dog is different in that it goes to school.
It wears a tie and all that,
it wears a uniform, too.
Make no mistake:
it is still a dog, and possesses
an instinct that wants
nothing more than survival.

Survival: this dog goes to church
and prays with its paws together;
out, glistening tongue.
It cannot kneel so it sits quiet
when it wants its master’s compassion.
It cannot really give anything away
(at least never wholeheartedly), so
it despises the people who can;
it masks its contempt as derision.
The rabid dog that goes to school
has his future set, however.
He will get paid for scoffing
at people in his mind, but
people see only drool on its face,
and only hear it barking mad.

— A. P



Messed around with Photoshop today. Raw text:


a beehive
pointing towards
the sky, you will be
towering above the
echolalia of the Sunday streets.
Between ceremonies,
prayers wrapped
in kimono, whispered by
reddest lips. The roads
that lead to us must be for
dancing; in time, the bells must
strike a rhythm familiar
the sound of
horse-drawn carriages,
and the breathing of
a crowd underneath one
hundred white-orange
They should spin and careen
like a hundred sunsets fighting
for their place to rest. You will be
towering above them all.
I will sit
in your front steps,
content in the marvels
and joys brought by your foundation.

— A. P.

I just realized all my heroes are going to die

In my troubled age of twenty-nine
I realized that I shall witness
all my heroes die.
I could get a bucket and fill it
to the brim with rainwater,
dig a hole in the ground,
plant a redwood, watch it grow,
get a job that pays well,
find a girlfriend and get married,
have seven kids, feed them
cold pizza for dinner as
we watch reality TV.
In the morning I could sit
in the little front-beach porch
of a shack-by-the-sea,
my rocking chair overlooking
the sun-rise and sun-fall.
I will contemplate on beginnings,
I will contemplate on ends,
like how mornings now new
are like mornings that went.
Today, I realized
that my heroes will die
like my father before me,
and grandfather before him,
and the hero that used to
live inside me, that hero
that used to have dreams.
I will watch them die.
I will see them die.
I shall witness them vanish
like sunsets swallowed
by a calm, gentle sea.

— A. P.


These are my birth pains;
I swallowed a wedding song.

I found a nest of tempests,
they have all but laid their eggs.

Even if one cracks open,
the sky will be calm

as a pirouette building
from carnation blossoms.

I will be the bee
of discontent

dancing figure-sevens
before my rapture.

I am made of skin,
I am made of glass.

I am made of ice,
I am made of fire.

— A. P.

“There is No War in Ba Sing Se”

I’d like to think that my country
is more than a thousand-year-old map
that changes hands whenever someone wills it
(like someone actually owns it).
I’d like to think that my country
is full of kind-hearted men
and women, who would tell me
that I’ve built my home accordingly.
I’m an upstanding citizen.

I’d like to think that my country
would make me proud that I am proud
that it is my country.
An archipelago it may be
but we are united — truly united;
there is no room for anarchy.
The people here are like family.
We spread only goodwill and compassion
amongst our fellow men.
Our justice system is not blind! It is just,
and human rights are human rights
(we don’t make excuses for such).
People don’t get raped in my country,
and criminals get help because
we believe wholeheartedly that
people can turn their lives around.

To be brutally honest with you, foreigner,
there is no war in my country,
(just like there was no war in Ba Sing Se).
Conflicts just don’t happen here;
they just don’t— that’s the way it is.
People here live correctly; we
never make mistakes. So please,
leave your meddling outside the borders
leave your questions back at your homes.
Because as for me, I’d like to think
that there is nothing wrong with my country.
There is nothing wrong with my home,
and there is nothing wrong with me.
There is no war in the Philippines.
There is no war in Ba Sing Se.

— A. P.

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