Friday Night At Famous

Poetry by David F. Lao |

The elderly waitress placed before me
a bowl of steaming Gou Maki.
She must’ve thought I’d order it
after all those years eating with my Angkong
at Davao Famous Restaurant. 

Tonight I took the table facing the entrance.
It’s been years since I last ate here but
the noodle soup still tasted the same.
Perfect for tonight’s cold October weather.
Does their cook never die? 

Angkong used to bring me here on Fridays.
or whenever he had time.
We used to own a small junk shop in Matina.
All day, he’d stay there to watch over
or negotiate with clients selling scraps.

Conscious of his hairstyle,
he wouldn’t go out without fixing his hair—
he’d comb his hair forward
and flip it up backwards, creating a pouf
like James Dean’s.

He was a jolly man. Once,
he showed me how to slurp a noodle soup.
I watched him hold his bowl of Maki
with both hands, ready to slurp.
His face fitted the bowl nicely. 

Then he started coughing and coughing hard
his false teeth came off his mouth
and fell into his bowl.
I laughed. But I was quick to pinch my legs.
Lola used to do that to me when I misbehaved.

Hurriedly I brought him a glass of water
to make him feel better.
The same way he woke me up
that night I dreamt of him inside a casket
slowly lowered down the pit.

With my fingers, I combed my hair
styled like James Dean’s in memory of Angkong.
Old enough to pay for it now
I lift this bowl of Maki to my mouth.
Hot soup steam rising, fogging up my glasses.
I slurped it the Angkong way!

aron ikaw nga setler masayod nganong di ko makiglabot anang inyong martial law

Poetry by Telesforo S Sungkit Jr |

kon did-an ka makagawas sa baryo,
dayon imbestigaron sa sundalo
kon ang bugas gipalit sobras usa ka kilo,
ug bun-ogon kay naalaan kang impakto, Continue reading aron ikaw nga setler masayod nganong di ko makiglabot anang inyong martial law

Kilometer Zero

Poetry by Mechelle Centurias |

Langga, pabiling gabarog nga lig-on ang timon
sa hawanan nga mao’y sukaranan
sa tanang gilay-on sa mga suok ning probinsya
diin una tang nagtagbo.

Ang Crown Regency sa Fuente
nga kanhi midayan-dayan sa rooftop
diin ta una nabuntagi, padayon gihapong mihatag
og mabulukong kasanag
Sa plasa sa Fuente
diin nag-inusara ko
sa naandan natong lingkoranan.

Langga, karong gabhiona,
takdol ang buwan
ug namulak og mga bituon ang kawanangan.
Gisuwayan ko pagsukod ang gilay-on
sa usa ka magilakong katahom
ngadto sa buros nga buwan.
Tinuod, usa lamang kini ka dangaw
apan dili gyod sila magkasikit.

(Unang napatik sa Kabisdak miadtong 2 Pebrero 2017.)