Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista,

The author of

The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus

Selected Poems

Kung Paano Matatamo Ang Katahimikan Sa Mundo






The Sea Cannot Touch


A Man Falls to His Death


Walking Around in Brussels


Written in Stratford-Upon-Avon


Dead Weight: In Memoriam
(Ferdinand E. Marcos, 11 September 1917—28 September 1989)

Excerpt from Telex Moon (Part Three)
The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus


Excerpt from Sunlight on Broken Stones
The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus



Excerpt from Telex Moon (Part Three)
The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus

In the begininng God was pain in the void,
a cosmic wound pulsing with brilliant blood
like a poem, like the bullets floating in
my flesh after the smoke, the existent

who is non-existent. To say that of man
or of any categoric being,
is only to philosophize, as to
conclude that because the motorguards who

run over children in the part are doing
their duty, the levies on machineries
ought to be revoked, is only to beg
the point. The sea crawls as it ought to crawl,

dragging the seaweeds and the seastones with it.
as it should, but to conclude it retards
the growth of hibiscus and ephemera,
or clog the brains of statesmen on rainy days,

is to debase one’s own persona. To say
of this City that it is the City
of God favored by the cross-sticks and cross-lights
Aramaic, is to dress violence

in pied puppetry. The caverns of Cana
and the judges of Jerusalem still count
their coins, tied to the Central Bank and Supreme
Court by telex geography. To begin

is to die, die miserably in the flux
the void supports, not like the phoenix who
blooms from the pieces of his myth, who stachs
his library with antiquarian scripts

that advertise his r ise, die in the very
syllable of birth, in the very moment
of birth—“To see or to perish is the one
condition laid upon everything that

makes up the universe”—before the names
acquire citizenship to adorn the beard;
Buddha, Jesus, Zoroaster, Mahomet,
Invisible lights in a visible worlds,

visible worlds in an invisible light,
charging with energy the real world
which is not th real world, beating with sheep’s
staff and epistles the unbelievers,

die with the lotus in their throat. Turning
and turning in the abstract womb, each petal
an epitaph, they wait for the messenger
with their birth certificates, and waiting thus,

do nothing with their hands. It is so with this
world which we inhabit in the argument
for tin roofs and rice wine, a double world
of that which will come in the name of the

unborn now already festooned with angels
and mangers. It is with this City
which is a finger of this world, whose taxes
would intoxicate a yogi with its

numerals and numismatics, a kamic
flotation, the ledger of the islands.
“The asseblage of pious legacies,
temporalities, and other funds ands

property placed in the care of several
administrative committees, for pious
purposes as well a charitable,
constitutes the chief capital employed

in external trade; and notwithstanding
the failures which from time to time occur,
the subsequent accumulations of
the enormous premiums obtained for funds

laid out in maritime speculations,
both in time of peace and war, not only
suffices to make up all losses of
the above kind, but also to secure

the punctual payment of such charitable
pensions and other charges as are to be
deducted from the respective profits
of this species of stock.” As much of this

abundance the pygmies could bury in jars
they buried in jars, having no ice-chests
or bank accounts, worshipping no idols
that would divide their polemics. But their

poor brothers, who lived in caracoas
and brick houses, shuttled between temples
and money minters, could not balance their book,
still cannot balance their book, comic bungling

artists in trapeze acts. Cum grano salis,
con espiritu santo, the prophets
who squat on City corners waiting for
the glorious birth wait like marionettes

without strings, but still caterwauling over
the revenue. Prophets without honor
in the City, they denounce the City
amidst the hubbub of old pots and kettles,

foot-powered grindstones, cracking belfry, wooden
clappers and levers, their eyes burning red
in madness, thinking of the impending doom,
shouting, “Light the lamps! Light the lamps!” Chattels

in a cosmic household? Lepers in clean
synagogues? Who knows the vision they have
will save this City? Who will wager against
the rab of their faith? A faith draconic

or chordotonal could erect in one breath
the platform for choraguses, with spices
and balsam sweetening the oil, sweetening
the soil, for the one dramaturgy.



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