Amigo Warfare: Poems by Eric Gamalinda

By Eric Gamalinda

Eric Gamalinda's Amigo war is a beautiful meditation on identification and the methods we hook up with ourselves, with one another, and with the area: Grief is a state of every body a rustic borderless. Gamalinda's voice soars and swoops via fantastic, heartbreaking language, providing convenience amid the grief all of us proportion. In Gamalinda's poems, we're on their own, jointly.

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This is the graveyard of broken watches and discarded 31 chandeliers. This is the time of the arrival of assassins. Sorrow is all stillness, a pool of rainwater. Sorrow is a red silk line between the dreamed and the disappeared. This is what I dreamed last night (you can’t see it, because it was just a dream). 32 Politoxic You will die on your way to America You’re declared missing long before you disappear They’ve called off all further search for you But it’s still too early to patrol the hemisphere The bullets are dormant in their breathtaking shells Someone else will watch the suicides Lie down beneath the firelight of missiles One world persists in the eye of television Another in the eye of the newborn Let the oldest living person have her say Before the parliaments of the world Let all who feed on the suffering of others say aye Cities become longings, departures canceled on a blinking screen Let your body be drawn to my body My heart is ticking inside its shelter Dug in and waiting for someone to misstep and explode You walk away: there are no exits Your country is your poem: no one has been spared You will die in the name of America Fall from the sky, you black suited angels Grief is a river that hollows out the soul So that grace in the guise of silence can settle in May these words be invisible like light May light infiltrate the unsuspecting 33 You say your name: it no longer belongs to you Your country is your poem: no one has been spared You walk away: your absence walks ahead of you 34 In times of ascendancy, the conjecture that man’s existence is a constant, unvarying quantity can sadden or irritate us; in times of decline (such as the present), it holds out the assurance that no ignominy, no calamity, no dictator, can impoverish us.

Just like they do in my country. I will spread thorns and nails and crowns of barbed wire. I will put up a sign saying, It is forbidden to lean against this wall. In that walled-up space I will let everything grow in wild abandon. Weeds, snakes, mushrooms, worms, bacteria, orchids, hornets, dragonflies, cockroaches, mosquitoes, maggots, rats. The good will be few and dwindling. The evil will devour the good. Just like they do in my country. I will walk away from the safety of remembering but I will keep an amulet against those who still covet the last things I carry: I will bear my anger in silence.

If cities were built upon it, wars waged to win it. Or if it meandered all its life unknown, a vengeful but healing deity, crossed only once by a tribe whose name no one now recalls. 2 If you ask about my life I will tell you: I once loved someone who scavenged for shipwrecks. If you ask for a history I will say: born at midnight, in a city hospital, in the year of Sputnik. If you ask for references I will say: I told everyone what I thought was the truth. If you ask for an address I will say: water is the purest state of impermanence.

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