Saturday, March 18, 2006

What is this pain we feel?
Whose words have cut into y/our psyche and flesh
making us flee into silence and sadness?

They claim that your poetry opened the
first cut in their hearts
Stabbing at their holy relics
defiled now, saints smeared with
"bad" words. Thus, they say
you were merely making money
out of your crotch, capitalizing on your
exotic look.

This is poetry, for pete's sake! And they
do not care to explore beyond skin.

Skin. White. Brown.
Unafraid to go deeper into the memory of
colonial violence, they can only talk about Skin.

Brown Skin. Brown crotches.
Offends the religious among them.
So they bite back. But it is not your poetry
they talk back to but your Self
Perceived from the lens
of white skin.

White Skin. So comforting to hide behind
its thick scaffold of privilege honed by
centuries of selective, hierarchical,
universalizing rhetoric about humans and infrahumans.

They are human. You are infrahuman.
How did you end up on the center stage?
How did you steal your way into a Laughlin?

The Blind Spot on White Skin doesn't,
cannot allow this incongruity. So they must
stage a dissent. This is their show.

We have to remind each other that it is their show.
Let them be. Let us not be the "yarn in their spindle."
Let us not take the toxic bait.

Ok. Siyempre. Easier said than done. We are
Pinays, after all, and we are not prone to that
kind of dichotomy. The walls we build are
always see-through and slender to allow
for moments of potential reconciliation
between us and those who consider us their "other."

For us, there is no Other. Not even White Skin.
This is the fragility of our condition.
The babaylan's dilemma.

Our History is fraught with unifinished wars.
We take our place in the frontlines.
With Poetry, Song, Drama.
We invite ourselves into the Circle of Fire.
Poetry as embers we must walk across,
barefeet, where we welcome the shock
of Pain that eventually gives way to
Pleasure and healing.

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