Tunnel #5 ( * )

I change shapes just to hide in this place

But I’m still, I’m still an animal.

-Mike Snow

Like Badang and the Singapore Stone of long ago

I begin to fill up this hole spotted selflessly

on this avenue with something, something.

Boys and girls play together seeking

their form hiding in dark alleys,

four by four they come running, running

to see the eyes of somebody, of the myth

of madness burning up history that slips their vision.


What is this hole that tunnels above the roofs

of our brain? Animal love that mothers of the world 

nourish, nurture, nurse... so we can feel

the future to not make us think so folded, folded!

For one, let’s not confuse the hole

to be the perfect circle or that ’70s radio blasting

Girls just wanna have fun in the open city, city.

Let us think of it as fever dream coming

alive in the doorway, or as rain on the doorstep.


But there’s neither a hole nor more holes

to see now, like some days wanting, wanting

God’s love to caress the words

we can’t afford to say. A shape, a modern

shape speaking to me in the face. Sometimes

I’d like to say it’s this shape that speaks

the language of love, the strange interlude

in a movie that keeps repeating, repeating

on the shore that shifts the character

of our inner flowering shapes. 


Sometimes I’d just like to watch how the sun

change the shape of tomorrow

as if grace, as if mystery in the appearance

of Badang, the legendary strongman of sampan

memories. And I would simply like to ask

how mother and father and brother and sister

offer some flowers to the rest of religion,

how they pray for my job not to grasshop

like the sight of litmus changeling, changeling. 

Maybe I just miss them so much,

with each the shape of ( * ).


Intro to end (makananu tana?)

You see this humdrum town

Bacolor or Apalit or Macabebe*
seeking colors & flood tide arias

on the impulse of a rainy Saturday afternoon

before the machinery of undergarment civility
because a harness will only be made for one

far away from the closet

ripraps & minuets

ageing windows sigh in the air

I have no plans & resolutions—


when in this charming confirmation

your handsome decision lounges

on the very idea I suppose was your idea

of the blue histories of weather report

in a coma,

wishfully contacting

Rogelio de la Rosa (makananu tana?),

his name typed up slowly, fur is flying—

lightness!—but you got everything now

round your mythic little fingers

life at the alterations shop

oh what a terrible mess I’ve made

of this ending,

ending of a poem.

*All three towns of the province Pampanga in Central Luzon in the Philippines.


Lawdenmarc Decamora is a Filipino poet and critic whose poetry saw print in 16 countries mostly from the US, Europe, and into the heart of Asia. He holds an MFA in creative writing and is presently completing his MA in literary and cultural studies. His poems and a few critical essays were widely published in the Philippines. He has received nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. His literary work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Seattle Review, Drunken Boat (now Anomaly), Cordite Poetry Review, SAND Journal, Columbia Journal (honorable mention), Kartika Review, The Ilanot Review, AAWW’s “The Margins,” aaduna, Mithila Review, Longleaf Review, Vilnius Review, Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, Kitaab, Poésie Bleu Souterrain, among others. He teaches literature and humanities at the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (UST)—the oldest existing Catholic university in Asia.