Begin the poem with a metaphor. Say, “At the sight of him I am a house
falling apart, strophe by strophe, as I walk away.” Remember how you picked yourself up
over the years, fragment by fragment, into wholeness, only to be collapsed
by this moment. Fragments seem contemporarily preferred
over complete narratives, intact artifacts, whole structures: Be consoled
by metonymies. The sight of him is a symphony
of several violas, his smell the whiteness of cirrus, his voice
the blackness of gathering storms. He is blue in the dark.
You have not seen him in the dark but he is blue
in the dark. Your decrepit house in Bacood, Sta. Mesa—
you feel like it. How is a house supposed to walk
with no stilts? I live alone in an apartment, you heard him say
once, while you were looking at his left hand. Looking at his left hand, you realized how strange
it would be if you touched him. Suddenly it would dawn on you
that you do not know this person. Strange, holding a hand that is part of me
but of another body.
Refer to yourself in the nickname. See how the third person works
in a confessional: Christian will write a poem on his little peripatetic tragedies.
Use the future tense in the previous line such that the present
appears to be a premonition. Make use of materials from the past: Through the window
a view of two boys projecting a kite, a panel from each of the thirteen houses
you have occupied, a roof of a sky over Sitio Molave, a carpet of grass from every empty plot
in your memory. A house walking away from him in medias res, you would like that.
Ambulatorily disassembling, a line of junk in its wake, trailing back to where he stands, for him
to be sighted again. Digress from here, to the many neighborhoods
you have walked on. Count the houses, surmise how every one is built. Stay for the night
if it gets late enough. You might chance upon him
in the morning. Ask, “Why all the random imperatives?” Because you need
to construct this
house. Make it sturdy, this time. Close this with another fragment, hang on the wall
an image, the picture of his left hand.
Christian Tablazon 22, finished his BA in Creative Writing at the
University of the Philippines Diliman. He is a member of U.P. Quill and .U.P. Ugnayan ng
Manunulat (U.P. Writers' Guild), and his works have appeared in university and national
publications, the most recent of which are his vignettes anthologized in City Lights
by Psicom Books and his story included in a flash fiction anthology released by Milflores
Publishing. He currently teaches English and Literature at a college in Camarines Norte,
Philippines while working on his fourth short film.