Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Andy Warhol Speaks to His Two Filipina Maids

by Alfred Yuson

Art, my dears, is not cleaning up
after the act. Neither is it washing off
grime with the soap of tact. In fact
and in truth, my dears, art is dead

center, between meals, amid spices
and spoilage. Fills up the whitebread
sweep of life's obedient slices.

Art is the letters you send home
about the man you serve. Or the salad
you bring in to my parlor of elites.
While Manhattan stares down at the soup

of our affinities. And we hear talk of coup
in your islands. There they copy love
the way I do, as how I arrive over and over

again at art. Perhaps too it is the time
marked by the sand in your shoes, spilling
softly like rumor. After your hearts I lust.
In our God you trust. And it's your day off.

Principe by Eman Lacaba

I do not know my own position.
Somewhere behind me is a structure
of masks and walls that have been my life
in plays with lives. Each four-cornered

room unknown to and unknowing of each other
contains me, knowing all, known
to all, and yet unknown. I have come
to a room of mirrors and am caught

by my selves. It is different,
for I escape before and behind,
left and right of me, a stage without

the curtains and yet with them,
stage by stage, a pattern of deception.
I do not know my own position.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


by Eman Lacaba

Ang sabi mo pula ang paborito mo.
Ang sabi ko puti ang paborito ko.
Kagabi nang tayong dalawa'y nagkita,
nakapula ako at nakaputi ka.


What you said was red is a favorite of yours.
What I said is white was a favorite of mine.
When the two of us saw each other last night,
I dressed in red and you wore white.

(translated from the Tagalog by Paolo Javier)