Drugs / Clay
Wrestling with Plato. Another white pill
and the night seems to shine --

night posts, more orange than sunshine,
in these end of times. Wrestling with Plato --

the suburbs choke because it is too dangerous to roam
these streets at night, the night posts are empty

and there are more-than-robbers about. I miss the city
where there are witnesses, I miss the country 

where there is happiness -- another white pill.

Here in the land of the dead,
everything's familiar.
The trees are green and the night posts are late to start.
Black writings scribbled on red walls,
endless protests. The huts are filled with students again:

girls and boys, their faces young, beautiful, untouchable,
their minds like clay. Even hell is illusion.


Five days before the death of Kian I had a mental breakdown. I poked my eyes out, then walked the streets of our subdivision at night. I was pulled out of it not by the voice of my family, nor by the barking of dogs, but by a motorcycle passing by -- blind, I could not see whether it was one rider, or two. Whether the helmet's glass was too dark to view. Not that there would be anyone there to witness: everyone was asleep, or studying, or watching television. 

I didn't write this for him. I didn't write this for my country, although the more political side of me frames it as such. The first half, I wrote five days after the breakdown, on the exact day of Kian's death, when my mother took me to a psychiatrist. The second half, I wrote another five days later, when I returned to university. Those trees, those night posts, those huts: they're all part of the university circle, where activists nowadays march constantly. 

I don't join them. I can't say I'm a coward, or I'm unconcerned, or I'm fighting my own battles. I can't say I don't know anyone, or those that I do know I'd rather not march alongside with. I can't even say that I don't believe marching doesn't work -- I know it doesn't, but my heart remains hopeful. All I can say is that on that night, five days before the death of Kian, I died. I'm still dead today. I walk in the land of the dead.
Sorry about all the tinkering. I keep going back and forth between making this a political statement -- cannibalistic, but there's a certain thrill to saying something, especially when it comes so rarely to me -- and just going the more personal, more narcissistic, more honest route. And when I posted this, I really wanted a cleaner, three-part structure, although now I find the diaristic last part distasteful. Thus, this compromise.
This is great, the spoiler works well as an extension to the poem too.

I can't say I know much about the political situation in the Philippines, just what filters through to North American media, but I enjoyed this. I like the title too.
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."
I can't say I know much about it either, since I don't have the time to go into the news as deeply as I would. That said, things are getting scarier, and I say that speaking as a private individual -- as a political individual, things have been scary since the campaign season, although I wasn't quite conscious of that until the first few months of the current administration. The killings that recently made the headlines were of youths below my age, belonging to roughly the same socioeconomic class, and living in places close enough to home. Thanks for the consideration.

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