from MAL
by MESÁNDEL VIRTUSIO ARGUELLES
translated by KRISTINE ONG MUSLIM 




There is blood
the one who built: his eyes are shut



In vanishing
became a bird

In putrefaction
In impotence

lorded over
the corpse

_

thousands
were not seen

in a book
someone’s probing to be sure

_

Scrutiny being scrutinized
outpouring poured



The room

scrub
clean thoroughly

flush

then paint
pure white

_

One Chinese
while watching
grazing



Because the poem
was stopped and asked to alight

Far afield

_

the root
the branch

as a door

or as platter
or even perpetuity



sizzled
blazed

soared
slashed

stuck the tongue out
acknowledged Time

_

It isn’t expected that
someone speaks

during climax

_

Clink of the emptied
beginning regarding the end 



Always, the future
is inscribed

_

Where it comes from
from the source

From the source
glimpse of a ray of light



Everything is forgotten except for the essentials

Go up and down
take a chance with the fang

meander
move sinuously

to delay
or counter the finale

Perhaps, now
gather in the womb





May dugo
nakapikit ang nagtayo



Nang maglaho 
naging ibon

Nang maagnas 
Nang mabaog

pinagharian
ang bangkay

_

libo-libo 
ang hindi makita

sa libro
may nagsusuri upang tiyakin

_

Pagsipat na sinisipat
paglukob bumuhos



Ang silid

isisin
linising mabuti 

bombahin 

saka pintahan
puting-puti 

_

Isang Tsino 
habang nanonood 
na nanginginain



Dahil ang tula
pinahinto at pinababa

Malayo

_

ang ugat
ang sanga

bilang pinto

o bilang pinggan
o kahit walang-hanggan



sumagitsit
lumagablab

lumipad
lumaslas

dumila
kumilala sa Oras

_

Hindi inaasahan 
may nagsasalita 

sa sukdulan

_

Kalansing ng basyong 
simula hinggil sa pangwakas



Lagi, ang hinaharap
iniuukit 

_

Saan nanggagaling
mula sa mula 

Mula sa mula  
silay ng sinag



Nalilimot ang lahat maliban sa kailangan

Bumaba-umakyat
makipagsapalaran sa pangil

magpasikot-sikot
kumiwal-kiwal

upang maantala 
o masalungat ang pangwakas

Marahil, ngayon
nagtitipon sa sinapupunan













MESÁNDEL VIRTUSIO ARGUELLES’ 12 books in Filipino include, among others: Parang (High Chair, 2008), Alingaw (High Chair, 2010), Alinsunurang Awit (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2010), Antares (Aklat Kurimaw, 2010), Mal (High Chair, 2011), Mga Tala at Panaginip (High Chair, 2012), Guwang (High Chair, 2013), Pilas ng Papel: Mga Sanaysay sa Tula (De La Salle University Publishing House, 2013), and Pesoa (Balangay Books, 2014). His volume of selected poems, Anima, will come out late this year from the Ateneo de Naga University Press. A recipient of multiple national awards and fellowships in the Philippines, Arguelles is co-editor of the journal hal., works as a book editor, and teaches literature and creative writing at the De La Salle University in Manila. http://mesandel.wix.com/mesandelarguelles


KRISTINE ONG MUSLIM’s books include, among others: We Bury the Landscape (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2012), as well as the forthcoming illustrated short story collection Age of Blight (Unnamed Press, 2016) and poetry collections Lifeboat (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2015), and Black Arcadia (University of the Philippines Press, 2016). Her poems and short stories have been published in magazines such as Boston ReviewConfrontation MagazineExistere, and New Welsh Review. Her translations of Arguelles’ poems have appeared or are forthcoming in CircumferenceThe Missing Slate, and The Cossack Review. She lives in southern Philippines and serves as poetry editor for LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, the literary journal published by Epigram Books in Singapore. http://kristinemuslim.weebly.com/





The Adirondack Review
FALL 2015