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Poems Written in NEW YORK

THE ETERNAL WOMAN

The eternal woman
complains
about the quality of bread
in the kitchen.

Nor do I growl
back at her
though she angers me
like a nail in my foot.

MOONCURSE

Although the aboriginal moon-mother mooningly
Calls out to him with her wild summons
He’d prefer to stay indoors:
To dwell in his cave with his stone-tools,
His adze and various implements of magic.

                 

He feels at home

Only in his cave of shadows.

She tears her hair, leaps out with an ear-splitting yell
Instinct with jealous anger. In times such as these
It’s hard even for someone quarantined
to keep emotions in check.

THE MASTER

The other day a lady in her graying
Offered him a burnt croissant.

He ate what she had offered.
Left him transmogrified.

Old witch, though you love
Your art, your self, your menopause

Yet his simple sorcery
Eluded you forever.

He knew what it was to love, and how
To murder, to abominate.

THE MIRROR & THE FLAT-IRON

One Sunday the flat-iron just
Couldn’t take it any more.
‘Motherfucker,’ said
The iron to the mirror.

‘Who do you think you are?’
Straightway the mirror
Replied: ‘Of all
The objects in this household

I’m the number one.
Do you understand?
I’m the lady, you’re the maid.
I’m the beauty, you’re the beast.’

‘Shut up!’ cried the iron
‘You mothafuckin’ shit.’
Whereupon the iron mirrored
And the mirror seethed.

DO I MISS YOU

‘Do I miss you’ depends on
Where you are.
This far away you turn
My belly sour

You stare up at me
Your eyes
Of a cow sacred
With a rascally devotion

To the day-to-day,
Yet I in all humanity
Deserted you, in
Despite of myself

I turn to you, temptress
Without a heart
Dangling in a hammock
Your fistful of pearls.

YOUNG GIRL

I lent my bed
To a friend
Who felt awfully horny
But had no place to go.

He came with a girl
Thin-hipped
With lots of curly hair.
She shivered a little

In front of me
Then spat
In a paper spittoon
Beneath my bed.

While he undressed her
My whole body
Convulsed with laughter
That died with her tears.

BITTER SWEET

Good morning
I’m out of job

It’s winter
in New York.

Ah, to write
a poem

without a heart
That is to say

without mentioning
the words

heart, love, rain.
It rains.

I’m in love.
My heart trembles.

Wilfredo Pascua Sanchez
Wilfredo Pascua Sanchez, prizewinning poet and fabulist, is the author of New and Later Poems published by The University of the Philippines Press in 2003 and co-author of Companionable Voices published by Quincunx Publishing in 2013. He moved to New York in 1972 and now lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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