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Years of Again and Again by Hezron G. Pios | art by Seth V. Pullona


arning: this piece contains one to many repetitions more than necessary. However, repetitions, as some experts would argue, are also a method of assertion—which means to say, illustration or proof. Exhibition Notes, a 1058word prose poem by Filipino poet Conchitina Cruz in her poetry collection There Is No Emergency, does just as that, and displays how attentiveness in a person’s reclusive universe can be sporadic, and attain stasis at the same time. The poem begins with the persona’s staccato remembrance of pre-puberty until adolescence: At six I lost my first watch and gave up on biking. At eight I wanted a cow and a fridge to put the cow’s food in, and also a music box. At thirteen I broke a tooth in a dream and for days tapped each tooth in my mouth with my tongue, searching for cracks. At seventeen I lived with three strangers and at twenty-one I got chicken pox exactly two weeks before graduation. Look at the word ‘at’ penned four times at 28


each beginning of sentences. That is an emphasized indication on the use of repetition. Beer to wine. Couch to a chaise longue. Landmarks to street signs. The word ‘perhaps’ rather than ‘maybe’ as the latter can make the persona ‘officious’, Cruz itemizes preferences in a straightforward manner by saying ‘I prefer’ then annexing the contrasting metaphors; a poet possessing sovereignty over the persona. Although the issue of the persona’s language proficiency is not put on a hot seat, this could be excused by poetic license or suspension of disbelief. I would rather rent for life than be responsible for a house. // I would rather spend a weekend up in the mountains than in the city, but this was not always so. // I would rather not have a conversation begin with “We need to talk,” although experience has taught me that what follows is not necessarily terrible news. I think photographs of shadows are inevitably elegant. // I think it is better to walk in the middle of the street and get hit by a car than to walk on a dark sidewalk and get mugged.

Joust Volume 1  
Joust Volume 1