Jonel Abellanosa


Jonel Abellanosa
lives in Cebu City, the Philippines. His poetry and fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary journals and anthologies, including Windhover, The Lyric, Thin Air, Star*Line, Poetry Kanto, Loch Raven Review, That Literary Review and The Anglican Theological Review. His poetry collections include, “Songs from My Mind’s Tree” and “Multiverse” (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York), 50 Acrostic Poems,” (Cyberwit, India), “In the Donald’s Time” (Poetic Justice Books and Art, Florida), and his speculative poetry collection, “Pan’s Saxophone” (Weasel Press, Texas).


Cardiac Arrest and Resuscitation

Why do you mist my weight
and miss me?

I’m the boat, I’m the paddle.
I won’t have the power, nor the echolocation.
I’m stationary, restless wing of bones, arms,
fingers. Underground river knows ways in/to
my ribcage, ways water secretes syllables
in stones. Flows me with the lift, cave blues
now deep now dark now surface or lark.
Look, crested flight, elegy, crust of light.

Why do you weigh me in,
wait till I’m in?

At the foot of the bed, you three. Come
before curtains blue. Sorrow oh ceiling,
all string and ring. I hear you say sampaguita,
grandmother voice heavy with decades
I didn’t see you. My skin rind, citrus smell
insectivore, passerine bird. I’m flycatched.
I hear you say citrine, father voice
with decades I didn’t see you.

Drip the weight with me.
Drip the wait with me.

Boat faster. I’ve never seen spires,
conical time halts. Taper oh pain reliever.
I’ve never seen trees are mountains.
Sky wrinkle, bird flight, boat slower.
Vines, intravenous tubes I glimpse.
No other name for pain, but not painful.
Never seen leaves are buccaneer hats.
You offer me lanterns, letting no rain.
I beg no crown dweller, nor stranded seer.
The land’s shoulders shake.
I’ve never seen tail feathers are leaves.
Parakeets. But you found me, Paraclete.
You found me, grandmother.
You found me, father.
Let me view my life, from birth to rebirth.
No mention of my name.
I’ve never seen such verve and vigor,
jubilant choir, riverbank grasses.
Floods from my ribcage rise
to my eyes. Painful except it’s not pain.

Happiest to see my dalmatian
but I forgot his name.

We kiss like kidneys. I watch the lift
where guilt watches, inhale from my friend’s
spotted fur. Fires beyond the bridge, firemen
hoisting tubes into my skin. IV fluids blue
as tongues. He was their dalmatian. He was
salvation, barking the dialect. I wave the white
flag, hear the Fibonacci eye. Pull the landfall,
crash into my chest of weights. Stampede
the strait below my throat. If not for the storm,
if not the torrential, water my eyes.
I know him, but it’s midmorning.
He was a puppy, but he wasn’t a puppy.

But not the aural anagram.
But not the aural anagram.

Draw me in, hypnogogia. Pull me out,
hypnopompia. Burrow, word fossorial.
Latin fossor. French excavateur. I’d badger,
naked molerat. Subterranean fauna, digger
fusiform, spindle-shaped bodies, blood suck
me more. Anxiety for 24 full moons,
transparence. No mirror hangs my house.

When next the counterflows, hallucinogen.
Never seen a skull as huge. O and O hollow,
caved nose below, draw me jaw, silver
teeth. River an oily serpent in my chest.
Grow a continent as molt. See, the heart’s
torus field, how peace speaks air.
I’m grateful, for more than some years.
Yes to the dot of light as it grows,
I’m home. Lightning strikes the elephant
on my chest, my body electricity.
Beams through my skull, green. It isn’t pain.
I don’t want to return. Take me with you,
grandmother. Take me with you, father.
Lead, furry friend. But they’re gone.

It wasn’t painful
but it was pain.


The Guitar

Plucking, strings luring
like sunflowers, the heart
teachable. Intros I play
again and again, notes from

the A-minor chord making
me remember Frost’s minor
bird. My desire to polish
echoes the fault in me.

Learning by trial and error,
mastering through measure,
I practice left fingers to
anticipate, right fingers

to lead, the music flawed
but whole, brief as sunlight
through windows, brevity
repeating pleasure.

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