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Anthony Edward L. Abalos, Socrates Aguila, Mark Angeles, Marc Ayende, Edgar T. Balista, Archie Barcelona, Don Belardo, Kristoffer Berse, Wilfredo R. Bongcaron, Don Bustamante, Karen Cabatuando, Mic Camba, Manny Caoile, Eduardo M. Carpena, Kristian S. Cordero, Camilo Corpuz, Anne Stephanie Cruz*, Syria Dee, Melanie Dela Cruz, Jonathan Duay, Trina Fernando, Raul Funilas, Ezzard R. Gilbang, Lolito R. Go Jr., Marlon Hacla, Carlos Correos Huelma, E.V. Infante, John Jimenez, Elvira Klaus, Marilyn S. Ku, Leo V. Limcangco, Jen Macapagal, Noel Malicdem, Nino Saavedra Manaog, Francisco Arias Monteseña, Adalbert S. Naval, Sherwin Nones, Anthony Pabon, Pilar Pajayon-Berse, Pol Vincent Perocho, Alexander Martin Remollino, V.A. Rice, April Joy A. Rivers, Erwin Robledo, Fermin S. Salvador, Joseph Santos, Jheric A. Saracho, Gretchen Joane Singson-Que, W. J. Sonita, Nicanor P. Tiosen, Anjelah Ty, Jan L. Velasco, Rowan Canlas Velonta, Vic P. Yambao, and Kyo Zapanta.

* Poems---Gisadong Pansit and 'Tis the Praying Man






Third Wheel

squirrel couple
cracking walnuts in cadence
I stare unblinking
and touch the emptiness
of discarded shells



Moon Poems

for the controversial J.


moon flower
catching dew
from a secret lover


claiming the night
on borrowed light--
mistress moon


don't hold back
it's only our shadows
under the moon



The White Dress

My Dearest Taylor,

I need a new dress
White and more beautiful
than any of my Sunday’s bests.

I want it long and flowing
down to my ankles but never reaching
the floor—I don’t want to drag it
down the aisle as I walk.

It should be simple.
Unembellished by lace, pearls or embroidery—
after all, there would be no room for luxuries
after I take my vows.

I want a cord with three knots
Tied snug around the waist---
not to flatter my figure,
but to remind me to remain faithful and submissive
to my divine spouse.

I’ll wear a matching wimple
To catch the sweat from my brows
as I go on my knees dispensing my sacred duties
from everyday forth.

This is what I’ll wear on that joyous day,
not a corset and a heavily-beaded brocade.
You’ve always known I was destined for servitude,
and not a life playing wife to someone who makes suits.

Anne Stephanie Cruz



Short Poems: In Contrast

1. Fire and Ice

candle woman
without a wick

pilgrim palms
between ice walls

2. Sun and Rain

half-torpid lids
under a sun roof

red umbrella
to kiss raindrops

3. Man and Woman

alley tomcat
solitary lifetimes

a giggle-fest

*Russian doll containing 7 or more smaller dolls nestled inside oneanother. Also means "mother".





Like a banshee, you wailed as I fell.

Perhaps it was your shrill scream that pierced the ocean and
formed the angry, frothing mouth that swallowed me.

Inside this snowglobe of aquamarine,
saltwater churns like clockwork:
tossing top, heaving bottom, displacing even it's own heart
as everything yields to current and undertow.

This is the rule of the sea: nothing stays hidden.
Soon, she will set me free.
Rising with the moon, I shall ride the swell of the waves
and drift toward estuarine waters or some unbeached shore.

Eventually, I will be found,
what's left by spawning salmon tagged as "Jane Doe"
until positively identified (by you, most probably).

You will weep,
and make a fairy tale of my life to the authorities;
layering lies to conceal how I was always to you---
a mere floater with hardly any salt in me.

So mote it be.
I sought the bottom of the sea to fulfill your life-long prophecy.




Rengga: Muffled

Pinoypoets*with Idol Kris


What is being muffled?
Beer is the color of Listerine,
therefore, one is allowed to expect some form of cleansing.
Each swig is a ritual of sorts, anointing the teeth, tongue
and the roof of one's mouth
sanctified, all of them, washed away
like the splash of waves towed under waves.
Inebriation sanctified.

Look out, it's a fly!
A bird to eat the spine
and compel one's body to break,
break all the rules and start anew
like the phoenix rising from the ashes.

Muffled then, tell me, but are you, still?
You think you've bared it all as you tell your tales

But nobody takes you seriously.

October 3, 2005
Watering Hole, Ortigas