Ramil Adrian R. Fariñas

I. Cubao: Pagsapit ng Umaga

Hot comes the ease, the still sleepy streets

filled by the pandesalʼs signal from the oven, 

as Cubao closes another Tony Perez retaliation. 

Mapping the meanings in Cubao, I tend

to know more the why than the how

to begin again after all these dangerous years—

To be a student again. And, to be one

is to define love, while being a bear. 

Out of a moment from isolation,

the door of Plato’s Republic opened

for a poet born from modernity and modernism—

It was September. The sun was on the horizons

of sincerity, and I wondered what was it like

to know Socrates, and face the philosophers; as

in the first year of the pandemic, I’ve read Iliad, the first

epic of the West to signal destruction;

because there’s a repetition, like the plague 

brought by Apollo’s incantation—rage and revenge

took part in the devastation. Two years after, 

from Meno to Theaetetus—I engulfed the dialogues,

and learned Plato, not Prozac, was the connection. 

The sun gives its rays to this drive, 

this introspection of ancient philosophy. 

I give both heart and mind to what 

                                   Socrates said:

“The wisdom it acquired is for staying alive.”

II. History from the Mathematician

“Bears are solitary,” Philip Pullman said in His Dark Materials. And I roam in the wilderness of history marked from Thales to theorists of modernity—to be both encyclopedic and systematic from Bertrand Russell’s perspective. Within the aspects of his study—it at least coheres, as it’s calculated. There is no perfect philosophy, because there is no perfect history.

//

The cooking’s start as it’s near noon. Water was, according to Thales. After the arasaw, I dipped my fingers to measure the rice’s water. It is a tradition of intuition, I learned from my mother. No measuring cup needed. Oh, Thales! If only you were the first to cook rice. 

III. February Synthesis

The band-aid strapped after my booster shot—

I walk about in Roxas Avenue, all the trees

scattered leaves in a road without people. 

Every lamppost scarred has sarimanok lanterns, 

alternating from yellow to pink in their stillness.

Love is but a walk here, around the campus, with 

these Imaoesque symbols, 

these leaves slipping past the invisible

slide in the air—the road becomes symmetrical

in the rendition of the symbolic and the real.

From the talk of this walk, now, I’ve known

the synthesis for a month

the world has forever divined—

All hearts are Lucretian: from atom to atom

the light moves like these lanterns 

                                   lighting up—

The relative range in the day of the hearts. 

IV. Ursa Minor

The sun, melting, pours its gold to all the houses’ mold, and windows light up. February lines up the walls, the mother of three cooking, Netflix set for watching—a love that is always told, a life that has never been gold. The intermittence shifts all accord—I hear voices of happy families in my solitude. 

//

The highlighters, neon green and red, find the souvenir cup holding all the pen. Good night to these inks which help me to read and think. I move to the window, and look up—the chickens have become celestials. I may be a bear, but I am small before the stars. So what? Learning, after all, is a matter of humility. And I never wanted to fly. I only want to sleep, and dream of mathematicians doing poetry.