Poetry by Pasckie Pascua

Most of these poems appear in my book, "Vagrant Verses, Serpentine Summers." I also perform with The Traveling Bonfires--mostly in downtown Asheville NC, Baltimore, Washington DC, and downtown Manhattan.

Location: Asheville, North Carolina, United States

Pasckie Pascua was born a Roman Catholic, baptized as George Alfredo Ravanzo Pascua. He grew up in the Philippine capital city of Manila, and in the northern Luzon mountain city of Baguio. He currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina--but travels, almost on a monthly basis, to New York City and Baltimore, Maryland to supervise The Traveling Bonfires. Pasckie edits and publishes The Indie, and heads The Traveling Bonfires (http://indiebonfires.blogspot.com/) To get in touch with him: Email--raindance60@hotmail.com and cc pasckie@yahoo.com or call (828) 225 5994. Mailing address: 70 Woodfin Place, Suite 01, Asheville NC 28801.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Open Mic

Ten minutes
this is my glorious moment
this is my avowed universe,
wombed in a square room
of broken morsels
of half, bleeding truths
converged in few salvaged minutes
by ten poets with 10,000 wounds

Do not lend me your ears
instead surrender me your hearts
so I could open it wide
like creaking doors of antiquated
truths, forgotten truths
I’d like to break open that heart, that door
and set your spirits free—
so let me in, let me in

Ten minutes!
I declare myself the Master
of this Night, I am the god
of this transcendent darkness,
the Fire Breather in the Cold—
Ten minutes
I will mute the thunder, melt the snow
quench the thirst of a hot August night,
and let the rain accompany the rhythm
of my blues…
captured in a few vagrant lines
of rock and funk

In ten minutes
Tonight, let me tell you
how I long to step on the ground
with my naked feet—
where blood, sweat and tears
nourish and feed each other...

Ten minutes, ten minutes
take home a part of my broken
imperfection of sweet warmth
and let it warm you tonight,
take a piece of my heart
it is free, it is fresh—
take a piece of my heart
then cut it, cut it to pieces
and keep it in your


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

American Poem, American Night

Are you, are we all American poets in here?
I want to plug my Walkman ears and blindfold my Rayban eyes
and let my vagrant, dumpster-fed heart listen
to an American poet read an American poem,
a homeless verse that screams from a broken trumpet
jigsawed from the salvaged bones of a Tennessee slave
and crafted a summertime serenade
that made a thousand blue stars wept
and muted an angry tempest,
a black rage on white redemption
memories of many, many American years ago.

I want to hear an American poem
about Mexican carpetbaggers in Glendale, California
Chinese railroad workers in some Nebraskan hinterland...
Filipino salmon cannery workers in Alaska
who did not know how to speak the language of kings
to communicate their immigrant dreams with gods…
I want to break open the long-safety-locked
doors of my American heart
and listen to an American poem
rejoice, celebrate, remember, and honor
the many, many, many golden nuggets of memories
now etched among the blaring neons of Broadway
and the gilded arrogance of Washington.

I want to hear something American
elegies to the Irish wheelmaker, Sicilian cheesemaker,
Polish steelworker, Hungarian dressmaker
Scandinavian meatcutter, Russian shoemaker
who cursed at a hurricane’s face and then scrawled
a beautiful dream at the winter pavement of Ellis Island,
bleeding stories of fifteen Cubans that drowned on the way to Miami
seven Burmese who perished in a sweatshop
in downtown Manhattan’s Chinatown
beside a grand feast of kings and queens in a Soho gallery,
of a Muslim Indonesian nurse who was raped and murdered
beside Chicago’s subway,
coming from healing the sick and dying
in a multicolored hospital of multicolored cadavers
covered with giant, suffocating drapes of white...

I want to listen to an American poem
of a young Nigerian basketball protegee in Harlem
who got wasted by a bullet emanating from a crack gunfire…
I want to hear a poem about ghettoes
why the blacks are on this strip and the whites are on this block
why the Chinese only work in east buffets
and Mexicans line up the streets of Queens
begging for a job
and why baseball players complain over
a multimillion-dollar spare change,
and why white gods of white proletarians
bring their white factories to a yellow and red hinterland
and then foment a black rage too loud and thick
for his dark heart to penetrate...

I want to hear about an American poem
of amigos jumping over the border
of picketlines at a huge automobile company
of Asians unable to get visas to see the winter snow
while US bases are built all over tropical shores of printine bamboos...
I want to listen to another Joe Hill
Robert Johnson or Martin Luther King,
Woody Guthrie,
and Geronimos and unnamed colored streetwalkers,
city street buskers who perished somewhere
building American structures
and defending American freedoms
in foreignlands...

Where is the American poetry in
South Bronx, Harlem, Queens
Chinatowns, Koreatowns...
where is Cherokee -- is it in Oklahoma or North Carolina?
I want to see an American in black and white
but flashed on cable TV in living color,
an American National Anthem sung with a Congo box
angry rap beat, Jamaican brass gongs
and Peruvian windpipes...
I want to listen to an American poem
that is as white as my brown skin
as black as my yellow brother's cheek
as red as my black neighbor's hair...

I want to hear an American poem from an American poet
whose words are as American as mine…
I hope that this poem is an American poem
even if I read it alone in the subways of New York,
or in the beaches of Sumatra, or in the airport lounge in Manila
or in the shanties of New Delhi.
I want to hear an American poem that breaks barriers
and builds bridges, burn candles that light
the dark of a beautiful sky that are dimmed
by the black and white of our,
of our American poems…

I want an American poem not crafted by words
but woven by a history of bones
and limbs
and hearts
and souls…
an American dream
that breathes in my little, wounded, but proud
American night.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Join Me, Miss Margaret

How are you, my dear Margaret?
How is Robert, the great dane, and
Smith, the german shepeard...
$45 each for an hour
I can walk them, no problem
let my soiled bandanna wipe
their $200 drippings,
I do not mind...

How is your lonely heart
of trinkets and Bloomingdale's
Harrod's and third world
Prada... let me wipe the grease
off of your royal cheeks,
erase wounded memories
off your fur coat...
let me slay your proletariat nightmares
tonight, let me drink your wine,
I do not mind...

I will gather all your silver morsels
laying by the pavement of your Olympian isolation,
and then conquer you, drag your stars down with me
with the homeless roaches and glorious urchins
of Central Park East...
and build you a vagrant dream so warm,
so mystifying, so free, so intoxicating
it will make you forget your name
and your way back to your kingdom.

But do not worry,
I have taught your great dane
and german shepeard
how to walk you back
to your dark room
of silver and gold.

When I am gone,
my sweet poison will haunt you.

I Don't Know How to Write a Poem

Four continents of red, white, blue, and shades of grey... one hundred cultures, subcultures, countercultures... ten thousand languages, dialects, technobytes, microbytes, trashbytes... one million drunken Shakespeares, trippin' Eliots and Rimbauds, imitation Kerouacs, and whining Eminems, electric Dylan Doubting Thomases and aging Bob Dylans, and the times they are not a-changin' ... and I protested and I yelled and I screamed, and I kept on protesting and yelling and screaming...

But I still don't know how to write a poem.

Broadway lights and Greyhound nights, and 42nd streetwalkers and streetcleaners, and runaway rock stars, Kid Rocks and Chris Rocks, Radio City Hall goblins and MTV neons... who beg for microwaved alms at Union Square, impoverished paupers who mope over college loans and broken-down SUVs and credit cards, union cards, phonecards, and out-of-sync Sopranos... and lots and lots of sex in the city... and I raved and I ranted, and I raved and ranted, and I kept on raving and ranting, raving and ranting...

But still... I don't know how to write a poem.

I celebrate, chime and rhyme and reason, and puke Chardonnay blood and exchanged spit of red berry wine on drunken Bleecker nights of serpentine tongues and cannibal mouths, electric penises and programmable vaginas mortgaged on reality TV, of nuclear warhead soundbytes and vital statistics... Columbia University Ho Chi Minhs and NYU throwing marxists, Chelsea Hotel homosexual dirges, Catholic Madonna opens the mouth of Great Britney and US of A, strawberry fields forever and ever amen... and I threw up and I threw up, and I kept on throwing up...

Yet I still don't know how to write a poem.

Ah! Too many words... hip hop, slam poetry and slamdance, slamdunk, Kobe Bryant and Nelly and it's too hot heere and Asbury Park and Springsteen's White Stripes... uptown, downtown, midtown, upper west, lower east, Wal-Marts and Micro mini soft touch, and then bill opens the gates of hell... 270 billion dollars out of medicare, stock up on tylenols, imodiums, valiums, 6.50 an hour madness... 87 billion dollars worth of flesh and taxes and wars and Saddam is alive, feed him with Vietnamese mickey dees, communists and atheists and good golly miss molly...

Oh no, I still don't how to write a poem...

Until one aftermidnight, as I mused over my bleeding moonlight
I tripped over a thick stench of blood,
blood that oozed out of nameless cadavers from the backdoors
of my gilded ruminations...
blood so thick they stuck in me, and turned black
bluish black like the blood of deserts and jungles and city ruins
that are fed by the screaming horror of the dying or the dead
blood so black with rage as crude oil...
oil like blood that nourish the undernourished monsters
of our time...

That aftermidnight, the nightmare went on and on...
fifteen billion little fingers spearing down my spine
fingers and hands and limbs that craft trinkets
and baubles and playthings and diversions and playstations
that made Wal-Marts and Bloomingdales and Harrods
tempt the West with cheap accessories
to expensive nights of the living insurance deaths
and financial debts of nine to four triple jobs, subway rush...

Oh aftermidnight...
white eyes on black faces
coffee harvesters and Starbucks caffeine wranglers,
cotton pickers and railroad builders of our history
and the trail of our tears went dry
beside burning casinos...

Now... the magician of words, sorcerer of half-truths
start to leave the stage.

Four continents of red, white, and blue... one hundred cultures, subcultures... one million drunken Shakespeares, Kerouacs, and Eminems, electric Dylans, but the times they are not, oh they will not change ...

But I am learning how to write a poem, at last...
but I should stop now...
I want to disturb your sleep in silence...
with just my noisy heartbeat.

Have a good night
welcome to my nightmare!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Velvet Rainbow Down

Velvet rainbow down,
the moon has been fatally shot by machinegun fire
and my innocent, civilian heart
was caught in crossfire --
wounded, bloodied, critically injured.

Velvet rainbow down,
let this burnt, toxic cellophane nightmare pass,
comfort this molested, used and abused heart
victimized by its own tyrant passion,
this heart gasps like a plasticine bubble
that bursts every minute it palpitates.

Velvet rainbow down,
allow the bonfire to burn like starving firelight tonight
in between the insecure, hidden crevices
of our physical desolations.
Let us feel and drink from our own
vagrant hunger and thirst,
nourish the emaciated deliriums of our truths
with the surging rage of our orphaned hearts.

Velvet rainbow down,
bury the phoenix tomorrow,
the morning sun should worry later
let us consume the sweet wine of this euphoric pain.
Lay your head on my chest,
it is rough but it is warm...
like black streets under blue sky,
there is always random warmth
from a homeless heart.

Velvet rainbow down,
let us embrace the pleasure and torment
of our indicted intertwines
even for a moment's time.
Dry your tears, slay your fears
with the poetry sown in between
in between velvet rainbow down,
velvet rainbow down...

My heart is not a rose nurtured in a garden
of April moons and August rainfall,
it is an old beaten gun
whose only purpose is to shoot a star down
like an executioner that does not look beyond
the target -- sure and deadly and lawless.

Velvet rainbow down,
burn me, enflame me
pulverize me, crush me...
all through the hundred years of this aftermidnight
and the universe of this four-walled room
give me death and then resurrect me
with a poison kiss
and an antidote of tears.

Let us break the law tonight
and drink the blood of our
stolen, convicted love.

Twenty Million Dollars

(Apologies to Nicolas Guillen)

On December 10, 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed by the United States and Spain ceding the entire Philippines to the former at the price of $20 million and guaranteeing the property and business rights of Spanish citizens in the archipelago.

Are you selling me the air
that playfully circle on your fingertips
for twenty million dollars?
The air that sheepishly
run across your hair,
like the lullabye that cuddled
the slumbering
infant of freedom
a hundred years ago?

Are you selling this
for twenty million?

And how much is the virgin sky above?
or even just a fraction-
that serves as room for the vagrant rain
sanctuary to the stars?
Or that small patch of land,
and those worn-out pots and pans
which serve as canisters
for your sweat and tears?

Twenty million?

A! That hatchet buried upon the
breast of history!
Betrayal that is redeemed by
the lumbering footsteps
that anchor on harbors
and land on airports
elsewhere in the world-
dreams grappling for realization.

I can still hear the howling of elegies
that wander along
the apple orchards of California,
in the canneries of Seattle,
in pineapple fields of Hawaii
in the freezing fishing lakes of Alaska-

Memories sharing morsels
with the homeless on the slope of
the Golden Gate,
Brooklyn Bridge,

Did the gyrating neons of Broadway
swallow the pristine sonatas
that birds sung and
the bamboos danced with
in Santa Filomena?

Tell me, have the cold of winter
comforted you
more than the warmth
attached in your child’s letter
from your rented shanty in Santa Cruz?

How many dollars would it take
to fill the vacuum of your loneliness?
How many promises
would echo
down hallowed halls
the mouths of the politics of our time
to tame the nightmares of a hundred
wars, revolutions and martial laws-

Twenty million dollars!

The price of that piece of paper
torn by the rage of revolution?
Or that small piece of card called visa
that makes us ache with hope
in front of the U.S. embassy?

How much, tell me, how much
is that piece of farmland
where worms freely crawl
that tree where fruits hang free
that land which remains
as the only refuge
of our forefather’s memories.

That thunder and
which you sometimes order
to scare the stars above…
The stars that could be the
Last remaining
spark of home in your children’s
innocent eyes.

You sold all of these for
twenty million dollars.

There is Grace in the Aftermidnight

(apologies to Dylan Thomas)

Should I go gently into the aftermidnight?
How should I go gently
when even the pain and pleasure,
dark and light, cold and warmth
of the aftermidnight
speak your truths,
the only truths I know
when doubts were the only couches
and armchairs and beds that
I could lay my tired body down?

Should I go gently into the aftermidnight
when all aftermidnights become you,
and you are gone.
I want to go gently into the aftermidnight
and remember only the many nights
that you kissed the scars on my chest,
with tears that tried to quench
the thirst of my homeless spirit,
groped for some hidden star in the dark
of the many mysteries laying
in the noisy silences
silent screams of my verses.

Should I go gently into the aftermidnight
when all the aftermidnights become you,
please do not wake me
for only in the dark
my light, love, and life
become one,
and so I live,
I live into the night,
gently into the aftermidnight.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Review of Pasckie Pascua's Poems by Matthew Mulder

... the intensity of a hot coal waiting for a breeze to ignite a flame.

By Matthew Mulder

Vagrant Verses, Serpentine Summers immediately introduces “a grimy side street of Bangkok” with enticing lyricism. The poet, Pasckie Pascua, invites the reader on a soulful journey but admonishes to “leave heavy baggages and unnecessary documents behind.” He investigates themes of love and loss and peace and politics. He plays many roles as a poet, a romantic, a philosopher, an activist, a mystic and a rock and roller. But “I don’t believe in love,” he writes disarmingly. “I believe in fire.”
Throughout the manuscript he writes with the intensity of a hot coal waiting for a breeze to ignite a flame. He smolders like ancient incense of sandalwood and cedar, his words mingle in a sweet smoky haze which spiral across each page and reveal a surprising strength and meditative melancholy. “I am both strange and familiar/I am recognizable like the wind/no shape, no color, no name,” he writes in a sage-like tone. On one page he blazes a tale of “a beautiful village muse with … sad eyes” and later he blasts fiery fury at “programmable hellos that strain… $10 phone card rituals.” He enjoys contrasts in the manner of love and hate being two sides to the same coin.
Like a Shaolin priest from a 1970’s television series, he drifts from one lonely horizon to another writing “I do not have a country.” Yet he finds solace in this wandering, “because all countries are mine.” For a moment you believe he could walk through walls and show places that cannot be seen and taste water that cannot be tasted as he transports you to his “village’s crystalline mountain brooks.” Rest beside the campfire of his words and hear his poems. Hold the book to your ears and let him tell you stories you haven’t heard. Stagger under the weight of Pasckie Pascua’s poetic trance.
These Vagrant Verses bleed from deep within him like his own blood. “I do not have a poem/because all poems are mine,” he writes in the fashion of an American Zen master. Vagrant Verses, Serpentine Summers burns with memorable lines but it is not merely black words on white paper. The collection of poetry exposes a window to the poet’s soul through the smoke signals he places along his journey’s path. He leaves words in place of footprints.
[The Indie. Asheville NC. 2005]

Those Who Love Me Can Take The Train

Those who love me can take the train,
leave heavy baggages and unnecessary documents behind
leave identification cards and nameplates and passports
dogtags, drivers licenses and state IDs,
leave crucifixes, bibles, rosaries, star of davids
korans, bhagavad gitas, confederate flags,
Elvis Presleys, The Beatles, dalai lamas
and Gandhis and Jack Kerouacs.

There will be many passengers on this train
and there will be no questions and strip searches
and background checks and checkpoints,
this train will not stop, this train will not stop,
but there will be many passengers waiting along
the railway tracks, too.
Some might even ride atop the roof of this train
boldly facing the dangers of imperfect balance
and wayward bullets riding with the wind,
unafraid of metal thunders and hard rain that
cut human flesh.
Unafraid, they will ride.

There will be no questions or answers
interpreted by languages and dialects
and fancy words and analogues and dialogues,
there will be no travel taxes and doleouts and donations,
there will be no confusion with accents
and colors and songs and poetry.
Many will be mute and deaf and crippled and wounded
and lame and sick and some maybe dying or dead,
but this train will be noisy
noisy with unspoken rage and pain
and unworded love and passion
and loud, booming heartbearts that rhyme
with the music of unstoppable anger,
music if this speeding train, this train.

Those who love me can take the streets,
we will slump by the gutters and roadsides
and sidewalks and downtowns and uptowns
and midtowns
we will make love with the grime and dirt
commune with the morsels of the many shattered
souls who once inhabited the streets
and we will scrounge for warmth from their memories
we will feed our bodies with their scattered spirits
that will nourish our next journey,
our next journey to the next streets.

Those who love me can burn a candle
and let it burn until the aftermidnights of the afterdarks
of this wounded daylights.
Those who love me,
are you ready to kiss the breast of the sun
embrace the wounded limbs of the moon,
for those who love me have ceased to find joy
in the private sweetness of my words
and pleasure in the spark of my eyes.

Those who love me have taken the train
and made the journey to the next streets
to the next train.
Tonight, tomorrow-- yes, tomorrow!
convergence will liberate
our souls and spirits
in the peaceful noise of this,
of this train.

Our journey is our home.

The Saviour

I wanted to save the world
from stormbringers and tempests
so I stole an angry lightning, turned it into
a raging rifle,
I muffled thunder cries into cannonballs
of volcanic wrath, and off I went duelling
high up there, I duelled with the moon
and the sun,
and in my wake were one hundred dead
starlights and one thousand wounded
but I was victorious, I murdered
a moonflake and I get one million
medals of valor.

I wanted to save the world
from demons, heretics, vampires, and sorcerers
so I knelt, all fours, on my knees
closed eyes, clenched chest
spread-eagled I cried for the sky to give
me a cross,
a silver cross of bladed faith and fatal devotion,
and I wielded that cross
like an almighty weapon of love and glory,
I cut through trees and mangroves and swamplands
weeded out the grass...
with that silver cross
in the name of God...
I was victorious, I murdered
two thousand vampires and one million nightmares
and so I get beatified and slept in quiet
in the kingdom of my heaven.

I wanted to save the world
so I walked the streets and forests
and jungles and woods
from north to the south, east to the west
and back...
I mouthed the promises of time
pledged allegiance to medals and cross,
in front of rats and rags, peacocks
and parakeets and monsters and ghouls
then I paid my respects to generals, presidents,
and Gods
I cut a tablet of commandments and laws
provisions and governments,
and I got elected
I got honored, and addressed, in his excellency
by stormbringers and tempests
demons, heretics, vampires, and sorcerers
that I murdered in the past
that I called back for new jobs and tours
of duty...
because I wanted to save the world again
so I ordered them all to burn one million more
moonlights, murder one million more
so in the name of God and country
I was victorious again
but now I am tired
I shall rest in peace
rest in peace...
and hope I get my sleep
before they call me again to save the world.


(Apologies to Eman Lacaba, revolutionary)

I do not have a name
because all names are mine...
wherever I go, I have a new name, old name
I am both strange and familiar
I am recognizable like the wind
no shape, no color, no name.

I do not have a house
because all houses are mine...
I find shelter in everybody's couches and garages
under bridges and flyovers and parks
boardwalks and sewers...
penthouses and castles and Holiday Inns
and apartment buildings and trailer homes,
I can knock at your door anytime
the moment you open for me
I am home.

I do not have a country
because all countries are mine...
all governments are mine, all currencies are also mine
I do not need a passport or a visa
travel checks or credit cards,
wherever I go, I stay.

I do not have a war
because all wars are mine...
I own all the wounds and scars and pains
as well as defeats and victories...
I do not have a poem
because all poems are mine.

Do not baptize me
ordain me, alias me, book me
imprison me, kill me, resurrect me,
immortalize me, canonize me,
remember me...
This will complicate lives and loves
politics and cultures
conflicts and agreements...

Do not paraphrase or interpret this poem
that will complicate its pristine fervor
and quiet beauty…

I am you and you are me.
I am nameless.

Looking for the Face of God

Awake, I want to wake up from this drunken sorrow,
tortured sleep, of aftermidnight ogres with glittered fangs
howling portentous crossroads, spontaneous journeys
without destination, screaming a Robert Johnson prayer.
I want to jump off a cliff of verses cradled
by cushions of full-bodied muses, and liberate my soul
as Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" delays my death.

I am a sinner. I am a lawbreaker. I am the cool saxophone
accompaniment of my own faults. I am a poet.
My music is bound to imprison me in its freedom haze,
my poetry is the chain that ensures me a home,
on the road, with dharma bums and desolation angels.
I do not mind--for
I am looking for the face of god as I spill through the streets of Bleeckers and
French Quarters and North Beaches
like lost, orphan, stinking dregs of bourbon drenching diamond soles
of gargoyle shoes that tap cadences of unforgiven deaths
of unfinished, neverending world wars of greed.

I am listening to the voice of god
drowning but rejoicing with the broken haikus of
homeless bards and whiskey-spoilt buskers
jamming, counterpointing rhythm and blues
and spoken word without benefit of soundchecks
and reality bytes,
listening to lovely white pigeons pecking at hamburger morsels
floating by the east side of West Central Park lagoon
where a hobo cut his wrist for a free-board
at Gramercy Hospital on a winter night.
The risk of death is a more peaceful agony
than the risk of pneumonia,
the flow of morphine snaking past billowed veins
is a lot more resting than six puffs from
spent cigarette butts down West 4th street.
A chance to lay a beaten body
on the privileged cot of power and wealth
is enough heaven for the night.

Awake, I want to wake up from this drunken sorrow,
tortured sleep, and walk down Haywood Street
avoiding the monster up Battery Park Avenue,
wake up to the refined stale of downtown pollution
as the insane fights for a seat with
the reasonable at Pritchard Park,
wake up to the soothing cries of protest
as highrises and condominiums engulf
the last of the mohicans of Lexington Avenue,
where one afternoon thunders were muted
with a holy grail of eviction.

I am a sinner. I am a lawbreaker, I am poet.
I am a rock and roll renegade. I am a blues traveler.
And I will read my poetry with pride and dignity
amid the chaos and crowded world of a single spectator
sitting in front of me, and I shall free his soul with
the sweet sound of my madness.
After this recitation of my glorious pain
I will trek the road again, and look for the face of god
find the face of god...
in the filthy and dark avenues of this journey
and when I find god,
along the road, the gremlins and the yahoos
and the wounded and outcasts
shall gather round my bonfires
and with the cool saxophone accompaniment
of the rain or snow, I will read the crumpled, soiled
poetry of my beautiful lunacy.
And I am sure, I am very sure
that the ensuing night of the peaceful dark shall
reveal the face of god, bloodied and pale and wearied
but gleaming, celebrating the joy of home...
and sleep shall be my awakening.

21 Jan 05. 2:27am
Asheville NC

Inside You... a poem

Inside you
I feel the rustle of rain
And the roar of the sea

Inside you
I lick the sun
And engulf the moon

Inside you
I break my metaphors
Into seeds that nourish
This earthly dream

Inside you
I seek my shelter
I grope for fire

And then
Your eyes
Shall promise me the world
That I lost a hundred midnights ago

All after that night unfolding
As we start to feed the infant
Of our love

With the defiant wind
And persistent rain
Of our beautiful madness.

In My Hometown

In my hometown, there is no blue sky with trinkets
of seductive stars, or floating beds of clouds
that serve as couches for vagrant wind,
beautiful mantles of God-given canopies
that have to be protected by law, politics, and guns
so they will remain up there, forever...
instead, in my hometown,
we have dark, black, undernourished skies that wearily
watch over orphaned farmlands,
it is there, to our understanding
to warn us of the coming storm and the ensuing flood
they are not protected by law, politics, or guns
they are too useless for wise men and magicians
to be governed or secured
only the beating of our hearts that syncopate with
raindrops and the croaking of frogs
protect these impoverished skies that
assure us that our farmlands will stay there,

In my hometown, we have no roads or streets
with signs that lead to supermarkets and moviehouses
concert halls where gods frolic and mesmerize...
so these convenient thoroughfares and passageways
parks and meeting halls
are protected by law, politics, and guns from vagrants
and intruders and strangers
so they will remain there, forever...
instead, in my hometown, our roads have no directions
no west, south, north or east
passageways that lead to anywhere you wanna be
we do not know how to sketch maps
but we know how to take you there, wherever that is
if you only reveal us what is it you want
in our hometown... we will strip the moon naked
to cover your cold body with its evening shade,
we will summon the dwarves and elves
out in the fields to serve you a feast of food.

In my hometown, we have no city halls inhabited
by sorcerers educated in heavenly structures that tower
over tombstones marked by trees and flowers,
shanties without roofs or walls but it has many
windows and doors...
instead, in my hometown, halls and churches
left by invaders and colonizers serve as schoolhouses
and free accommodations to lost travelers,
no law, politics, or guns protected them...
we the people own them, so you are welcome.

In my hometown, there are no women with beautiful eyes
well-endowed hips, and captivating smiles
multicolored hairs and tan and bleached skin
that can be had in an instant glare of money...
instead, in my hometown, we have women with bones that stick
out of their emaciated limbs
and eyes so tired with hopes and dreams
but like the women in your hometown
they are beautiful, too... and the glory of their love
echo and linger and flow like the song of fairies
no law, politics, or guns protect them
because they are free, anyway
to whoever who knows how to keep love inside
a naked heart of poevrty and not in a bucket of
wealthy promises.

In my hometown, there are no kids who sleep
under pillows of comfort and bedroom
cuddled by peter pans and tinkerbells,
instead, in my hometown, we have kids
who find quiet in the murmur of the river ducks
and ricefield birds, dancing of bamboo sheeves
and the peace is the only music that sends them to sleep...
until laws and politics and guns said they can protect peace
so they dropped the bombs...

In my hometown, there is beauty that is painted from within...
in your hometown, there is glory that is captured
from without...
I want to share you my stars and my moon
let me enter your gates to heaven
I want to share my rainfall, will you dry my nakedness
with your truths?
Let us walk this open trail to a land where there is
space of time to measure beauty and truth...

Ah, it only takes a heartbeat that blares
louder than thunder and rainstorm
to protect my hometown
and your hometown,
I wanna be home again in your heart.

Letter to the Peacemaker

I showed you only seven
but you saw 20 bleeding, gaping wounds
as I staggered along your hallway
coaxed by desolate flashbulbs.
I told you five stories of misery
but you heard an epic of agony,
I asked for a dime to secure my cup of coffee
but you vowed to be back with
a truckload of wine.

You are my saviour in shining armour,
the healer with golden hands
and diamond-studded fingernails,
my protector with fortresses of marbles
and steel.

You constructed buildings with bullhorns
and speakers announcing your goodwill deeds.
Sang songs all over the city
while millions gathered,
waving candles, tears on their eyes.
You spoke on primetime TV,
network gods chimed and billions fell from the blue sky
you called it storm of charity.

You wrote books, everlasting words
that reverberated for generations and generations
of angry wisdom and quiet adulation.
You are immortal, you are god,
everybody praised you, adored you
loved you,
they consumed your immortality in gilded
CDs and elegant books
like nicotine and alcohol.

You traveled to the west
singing songs of freedom,
trekked on foot to the east
recited hymns of democracy,
traversed to the south
carried the Calvary cross of the oppressed,
drove to the north
weeping, crying-
broadcast on cable and beamed
via satellite…

But you did not hear right.
All I ever needed was two cans of sardines
to feed my five little kids three times a day,
not a truckful of loaves of bread
donated by oil refineries and retail giants.
All I ever asked for
are six pairs of blankets
to cover the freezing bodies of my brother
toiling under snowstorm somewhere-
not an apartment in uptown Manhattan
where ACs mutilate the bashful warmth of the morning sun.
All I ever craved for
is a sack of seeds to sow, fertilize, nurture and harvest
not planeloads of Spams, Angus beef, and Campbell soups.

Why do you cleanse my thirst with your bottled water
all I needed was for you to help me maintain
the purity of my village’s crystalline mountain brooks,
do not wipe my sweat with your paper towels
the rough texture of my palm is enough,
do not secure my food with provisions
ensured by the multimillion-dollar dotted line.
Just teach me how to earn my dollar's dream
with just a dime of my sweat.

I showed you only seven,
But you saw 20 bleeding wounds.

untitled blues poetry on a snowy evening on the way to subway e train

I wrote this poem couple of winters ago. It was a snowy evening, New York City. I was hanging out alone at a Brooklyn blues/jazz bar following a long meeting in Manhattan. I love the blues. It was midway the band's second set--when the beat went kinda out of sync, sort of. The guitarist and harmonica player admonished the waitress, a young and slight Asian-American, to go sit on a stool up centerstage. then the blues jammed. The harp player pressed his head on the young woman's breast while he’s doing his harmonica. Then the guitar player placed his guitar astride her lap (she's wearing a skirt) and did the riff drills with his teeth, right on the girl's crotch. For me, the blues stopped right there. Call me naive or what but I felt so bad. After the show, I approached the young woman and talked to her. On the way home, I wrote this poem.

... the blues wasn't so kind
that night, that serpentine
round midnight
when a vagrant,
toothless harmonica
snapped its poison tongue
like wayward little spears

hitting at nothing
nothing but desolation
devil's rhythm that miserably failed
to hit the right chord
yet it rocked a mean boogie,
it rocked and it rolled
but just the same it refused
to connect

yes, the blues didn't sound
like the way it was,
that night, serpentine
round midnight
that blues guitar
lumbered like tired thuds
of concrete over concrete
metal over rage
interplaying on subway tracks
like two hand-dials
that couldn't follow a beat,
hitting at nothing,
riff drills that glorified a macho
mean boogie

but oh how you kicked
that cruel blues away
with just a one-note laugh,
a vamp laugh that drove
a halting coda
a sudden but
deadsure in-between note
to that blues night's impervious
three-chord boogie

and so the wild voodoo dance
stopped like china crashing on marble,
the fade-out fizzled like
an out-of-sync
flirting on a tuneless refrain
the snow fell
and your music ruled
the night after

oh yes
it's their blues allright
but the rhythm is yours,
all yours.

New York City
Subway E Train
March 7 1999

Thursday, August 04, 2005

LINKS, other references

We are currently upgrading/contructing a new website. www.travelingbonfires.com Meantime, please visit the following weppages, free webs, blogs, articles, google leads for more info and details.

[ ] Most recent article written about The Traveling Bonfires and Pasckie Pascua

[ ] Journals: Vagrant Wind Road Journeys

[ ] Pasckie Pascua's "Like a Rolling Stone" column articles

[ ] Updates of Traveling Bonfires/Indie programs/projects, brainstorms and plans, negotiations and transactions, and some more ramblings in between

[ ] Current, immediate, upcoming shows, events, trips, concerts, projects

[ ] Notes, announcements, updates, and other infos regarding sideprojects

[ ] General info, vision-mission/objectives, staff and volunteers, historical background of The Indie and The Traveling Bonfires

[ ] Working, existing Traveling Bonfires website

[ ] Pasckie Pascua's blog, or something like that

[ ] Other Pasckie Pascua's poetry and other writings

Traveling Bonfires posters and visuals:

Go to google.com and type in Pasckie Pascua and/or The Traveling Bonfires in Asheville, NC or The Indie in Asheville, NC

Saturday, July 30, 2005

I Do Not Believe in Love

I don’t believe in love
no, I don’t.
I don’t believe in three red roses
transparent petals like cheap table napkins
that crack under my tears,
I don’t believe in phone calls
programmable hellos that strain
like $10 phonecard rituals.

I don’t believe in serenades
Shakespeare is dead
and the bard is down and out
homeless and hungry in Central Park,
I don’t believe in till-death-us-do-parts
silly internet cards
kiss and hugs and chocolates.

I don’t, I don’t believe in love

But I believe in fire
yes, I believe in stealing a firelight
from up the bosom of a vagrant star,
I shall collect that serpentine fire
and run its heat
along your naked chest.

Oh I believe in patiently stoking a spark
and building bonfires
in between your legs…
There, there we could shelter our lost
wandering spirits
there, we could warm
our cold, homeless hearts.

I don’t believe in love

But I believe in the pain and pleasure
of my passion
like blood that oozes down
from a virgin’s unknowing
like an in infant’s wail from
a mother’s womb.

I believe in the insistent rush of silver bullet
thrusting deep down
a vampire’s breast…
Murder eternity’s flamboyance
with the silver bullet of my heart!

I believe in the uncompromising sincerity
of the rain
like tiny persistent arrows
whose voyage to the ground
can never be stopped
or refused.

I believe
I believe in the scorpion heat
that burns in the confines
of this dark and lonely room,
poison fangs that lose their sting
as we tame each other’s rage
and fears
and doubts
with the insistent language
of our hungry bodies
devouring each other.

I believe in the security
that we derive in treading this jagged line,
warm distraction
from our perfect worlds,
I believe in the comfort
of the endlessness of
these suspended

I believe
I believe in marrying our tears
with our dissident sweat
juice and saliva
as we intertwine.

I believe in the pain and pleasure
of our passion
as we break the stars tonight...
in painful aloneness
but sweet solitude
of our vagrant love.

Ten Dollars

Ten dollars
buy an exiled country
with an ice cream cone of toxic sugar
five more dollars
rent a Holiday Inn suite in Chicago
with icicle windows of broken
Third World dreams
ah seven dollars
I get six midtown Manhattan subway rides
with Metrocards swiped on thin
malnourished Mexican flesh
no free rides to Chinatown sweatshops.

Ten dollars
buy a mansion with a patch
of frozen teardrops cupped
from a tinfoil accessory
refuge to dumpster divers of Las Vegas
fifteen additional dollars
plus spent silver shells of orphan AK-47s
win a college degree
and assured Platinum AmEx’s
two dollars more
get a bargain perfume called Poison
with heavenly scent extracted from
a fallen angel’s wings by the slopes
of Winterland in Broadway.

One more dollar
for a free-trade coffee
marketed on corporate take-out cups
assures me a reading of my poem
under a warm roof
and secured four walls
50 more cents for a refill
means I deserve the glory
of a quiet of this one midnight
of my ten-dollar American dream.

Black Poem, Blue Ink, Red Blood

I have a black poem
that I wrote for my yellow friend
that I met in a grimy sidestreet of Bangkok...
it was about the love of his life
a beautiful village muse with blue, sad eyes
who climbed up a white ship that sailed
to a crimson faraway land,
fuschia-colored stairways to neon heavens...
never to return again.

I have a green poem
that I wrote for a brown friend
that I met on a pale Washington Square bench
in New York City one white Christmas afternoon...
it was about the love of his life
a lovely senorita with lonely, hazel eyes
that he left in their barrio in Cuzumel,
her heart grieving, praying for even a blue glimmer
of the star's wandering light to shower her
black aftermidnight,
and cheer her lonely, hazel eyes...

I have a yellow poem
that I wrote for a black friend
that I met inside a Greyhound bus
on my way to an orange county somewhere
in California...
His name is Green
and he has brown eyes and grey hair...
the poem that I wrote for him is for the blue
memories of the blues that the aquamarine devil
stole in the white crossroads of his tangerine past
in the name of a purple dream...

My poem is brown, my pen is black, my words are white
my metaphors are green, my language is grey...
I want to squeeze this blue paper
where I scribbled my yellow poem,
squeeze it hard with the black&white in color
stories of the multicolored pages of my life...

I want to squeeze this hard,
so I can show you the color
of my blood,
the color that can't be mistaken
by the shade of green on a passport
tint of blue in a state ID
speck of brown or yellow in your flag,
orange in your suit...

I want to squeeze this poem...
squeeze this poem so hard,
so hard... so this poem's blood
will ooze and flow
and dye and shade all the colors
of the nights that separate
the beauty of the blue sky
from the grime of the black streets...
the blue tears in a daughter's eyes left at home
and the black rage in a father's heart
as he sets to fight a black&white war
in a brown land with a silver gun...

The color of my poem
is also the color of my brother's soul,
the color of my friend's heart...
The color of my poem
is also the color of my blood...

Red is the color of my night.