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Antino Art Feb 19
The smoke stacks that line the waterfront be like giant joints puffing thoughts of her into air embalmed by hundreds of rainy days
That slow burn, against the icy bay and the barges that carry their loads through them
This corner of the country gets six hours of daylight, tops
Greys seared by neon, smoke and clouds and fog produced as one
continuous substance
There's a pleasant blurryness here
floating amid the buoys and the docked ferryboats,
In the way the monorails glide above toward a 1960s dream of the space age through an Amazonian jungle of glass and cranes
in harmony with the clouds sailing overhead
Here is where you go to let off steam deferred, where you ride trains through a kind of dark that arrives early, stays up late
as shadows wander across the gum covered walls of Post Alley
lik lost souls
freed from lit joints protruding from the skyline
to a high beneath starless heaven
Resting into the glow of that harbor
against thoughts of her that cloud the view of the sea.
Antino Art Nov 2018
Raised
in this floating
world, forever
deep.
You can’t drain the ocean

Decidedly from down
south of here
You can’t un-trace the roots.

You can’t lie and say,
“This isn’t where I grew up”
You can’t deny the fruits
of what was planted two generations ago
when your grandpatents arrived from the Philippines, seeds in tow
soil for the taking
You can’t confiscate what they claimed
when they planted their flags
into the moon-white sand of a beach in Florida
on a far side of the planet
their forefarthers have never seen

You can’t say those flags weren’t there
when wind came
You can't ***** out that pride
of country,
cut off its native tongue and its acquired taste, or pass up the plate of fried lumpia and rice passed down from the kitchen of your Daddylol
feeding seven kids day in and out with tomatoes he planted,
chickens he raised, Malonggay leaves he grew
with thumbs so green they wrote in the papers about it
He was a farmer
Your grandmother, a nurse
And i was writer
And this is our story

You can’t erase the letters of your name,
your lineage written all over it
like a map
of everywhere we been
You can’t take back the words in Tagalog and Chavacano
your Lola Shirley must have sang your mother to sleep with
You can’t take their dreams

You can't just wake up one day and undo
the ripple effects their moves
created across waters 10,000 miles east of here,
the rolling waves they curled into
or the faraway shores they washed up upon
Bottled messages in hand
Our legends held within
You can’t say centuries from now that they won’t feel it
when their feet hit the sand of their own frontier
beside the waves we stayed making
a history written in deep water
for those who come after you
to sail above and beyond.
For Nali
Antino Art Oct 2018
If you're unclear about love,
return your heart to a place with fog
With clouds created from breathing in the cold during long uphill walks that end in a view of the water
Return the way daylight retreats to the grey embrace of the Pacific Northwest sky at the edge of winter, dissipates in all directions like ripples upon their misty bay
Return the way sunset colored leaves hanging in limbo fall back to Earth
Visions to pieces
Tears to eyes as condensation builds
against the glass of a coffeeshop window and distorts the view from outside and from within
Return the way rain lands on a broken sidewalk in Seattle,
not pouring so much as drifting
through what looks like a new morning
blurred with all the dark nights that came before.
Antino Art Oct 2018
Seattle is where it's okay to bury your head in the clouds,
where it's acceptable to walk beside and among their sad water

Here, the greys of puddled sidewalks
give way to deeper greys that extend beyond the reach of their docks

This is the place where you can get to any level of cold and wet, only to be steps away from any given coffeeshop and the steam from a mug held with two hands

This is where you'll wake up and face the rain sans umbrellas
where you'll gain an aesthetic to the gloom, a poise to the overcast
Shrouded in mist at the far corner of the map, you'll draw your energy
in harmony with the ups and downs of their multi-storied fish markets and undulant streets

Here, you'll find your path through faded daylight and breathe in air embalmed by hundreds of rainy days

You'll exhale the weight you carry within your chest into a healing view of a horizon lined by ferry boats,
there to take you across whatever darkness you're faced with at day's end.
Antino Art Sep 2018
Who draws strength
from watching the passage of time
after midnight
blur against the windows
of a moving train bound
for ends uncertain.

Who walks most balanced
on the beams of empty tracks.

In the shuffle of strangers
at a crosswalk, who finds
direction.

Who sees
clearer through rain.

Who finds their place
in the limbo of airport terminals,
on delayed flights
between chapters,
over open roads that branch
into tales of cities unseen,
in the turn of pages unwritten.

Who can keep track of time
during the improvised chaos of jazz,
catching notes scattered
in the winds of horns.

Who understands
that wind moves
fastest through dark places like tunnels under Harlem,
during storms named in late August.

Who finds their center
hurled in flight,
always coming and going.
Storm flight trains movement
Antino Art Aug 2018
maybe the buildings are hollow,
occupied only in facade on the first floor of storefronts

maybe this whole town is a hologram
of neon against puddles
on the pavement.

maybe the citizens are ghosts
floating by
in circles, or squares of city blocks,
around a routine,
or droning through on electric scooters
as if on muted theme park rides
to the next sensory diversion;
to the nearest gastronomical pleasure;
toward the weekend and its next party
celebrating the loss of time,
I see their tired faces

staring out from the glass
of coffeeshop windows
on every block.
I see their piles of beer cans
beside the trash chute.
I hear them singing
on *****-cruises to nowhere

What part of this cycle
that turns days into dust
moves us closer to heaven?

What feast from what new restaurant downtown
will feed our souls?

From which lonely night do we finally emerge
beside the one
whose presence fills
these hollow buildings
to the top-most floors?

Which of the empty lots
between us do we fill
with a conversation
about how this is all a dream,
or how we'll keep each other awake
on a bench
beneath a street lamp before dawn
waiting for the first bus to take us home.
Antino Art May 2018
The complexity of notes
Chet Baker hits
a rainy morning downtown with
match the rise and fall
of rooftops,
the streams created by gutters

He traces the city's architecture
against the grey sky
with the wind from his trumpet-
there, outside a corner cafe on Hargett and Wilmington,
trumpet case open,
playing for passerby.

I take my morning coffee
studying Chet,
him putting notes in my head
through wired earphones,
Me writing them all down.
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