for Carlos Celdran
Why are you scatterbrains all scattered? Be simple.
Get into rows of three’s or five’s. Four’s an
unwanted number and I’m two-thirds Chinese.
I’m sorry, I have to be strict. It’s my duty.
You know this is an impromptu, right?
You all came here unannounced, uninvited,
expecting to drop your load and wishful thinking
I’ll drop mine too. Expect again. Do you guys
even have an inkling as to what it means exactly
to be on and not out of commission for once?
Try stretching your imagination to the stacks
and cases of human rights violations I have
to read day in and day out? You, in the tank top,
quit playing with yourself. Everyone stay still,
or I’m out the door. Do you all hear me?
Because I don’t all hear you. No, that side
is not my vantage point. Don’t make me
turn my head just for you. I don’t even know
you or what field you came out of. I repeat
this is an impromptu. And impromptus, if
I’m not mistaken, give me the right not to turn
my head right-left-right-left-up-down-
down-up if I don’t want to. And I don’t want to.
My mind is already overloaded with down-
loaded images of precincts and policemen
in boxer shorts and t-shirts kicking prisoners’ beer
bellies like soccer balls and playing tug of war
with their genitals. You in the green shirt,
you’re ugly, get out of my line of sight. Who
was that that just left? You think I’m doing
this for my benefit? Such simple directions
for your simple minds and I have to repeat myself.
Look at me. All of you look at me. If I’m facing
you this way and not the other way, is that a good
angle to shoot me from? No. The laws of physics
say so. It is always better to shoot up-close
than from behind or way yonder, unless
you’re God. And it doesn’t take God to know that.
Okay, one more worst-case scenario: If you
and I get caught up in a moment like now
and another guy jumps in, is that considered
polite and good hygiene? N-double-O.
I know why you’re here. I thought long and hard
about you, shot you from every angle, every
side, dorsal, anterior, profile, top, bottom,
and the bottom line always remains the same:
calling me Coco doesn’t mean we’re seeing eye
to eye or almost close to coming together.
R. Zamora Linmark