Poems by Jonel Abellanosa (Phillipines)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 44
Articulations of shaping the human
Body, enjoying echoes in my hands from
Clay. (I wonder if I could cut my heart like a
Diamond.) Sometimes drawn to wood,
Excisions of the mind, carving out
Fecundity of imagination. I look for
Grave angles, discarding strength in
Heaps. Biceps tend to trap my gaze
In perfection. I mold a disdain for faces –
Jetsam of my craft, like the radio out of
Kilter. How countenances loved to
Linger in my dissatisfaction. With
Muscles I was gratified, but not for long.
Not before venturing in belly flab have
Overtures of completion been firmer,
Perfecting less acute. Like tender tickle –
Quizzical feather – this paunch fixation,
Rounding urges. ( In repressed
Silence, quick pleasures with my hand. )
The languages of chest bones, reflections,
Undulations more fire than marble,
Vigor of material in the manual.
Worshipful thanksgiving to the hours
Expending wicks like nourishment. For
Yawps of my idolatry I enshrine my creations:
Zests of my taboos, me as its devotee
I smell more after 24 hours
Of sleeplessness. Wafts of ceramics,
Mothballs, leather belt
Warp me to childhood. I’d hide
Under the bed, suck thumb, wet pajamas.
Inhaling, falling asleep.
Tonight I notice apple pie and soursop
And it brings me to the church
Of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
I close my eyes to see the park,
Watch leisurely churchgoers.
I hear Derek Walcott:
I may have many sorrows,
Dawn is not one of them.
I rise from the bed’s self-gratifying smells.
Roosters will soon remember their songs.
I brew more coffee: If sleep eludes love,
I’ll tend a garden of smells.
Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, includingAnglican Theological Review (United States), Bangalore Review (India), Poetry Kanto (Japan), Cha (Hong Kong), Eastlit (Thailand), Deep Water Literary Journal (Ireland), Poetry Pacific (Canada) , Otoliths (Australia), Anak Sastra (Malaysia) and Philippine PEN Journal. His poetry has been selected for the 2015 Dwarf Stars Anthology of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. He has a chapbook, Pictures of the Floating World (Kind of a Hurricane Press, United States). He is working on two full length collections, Multiverse and 100 Acrostic poems.
Image: "Respite Shroud #4" by John 'Jay' Glenn.