Ken Rafiñan May 5
In intimate spaces we co-create confessions
whispered
then
written
on the walls of our throats.

Cryptic messages
we encode and decode
in a language lied about
as it lays around in suggestive shapes
and gets mistaken as love:
the fatal distraction that traffics erratically in abstractions.

Together, the intricate taxonomy of hegemony that
suppresses,
oppresses,
and represses—
see…—
slices us ever so slightly
making microtears on the tender insides of our wrists.

And so we get by masturbating ourselves with their bodies,
those sensual others,
each on a sin committed—no commitment.

Or so we like to tease and appease our precious palates.

Fleshing out a casual cling,
or an undefined thing,
that’s a little less attached
and much more detached.

Every day lived on the level of the supraficial: an anthology of escapist parodies—
our idle hours taken witnessing the weaponization of the human condition.

Asymmetrical power relations infect the non-linear ecology of digital space;
a pandemic of aesthetic proportions—the bourgeoisie fixation.

Acknowledge or pretend—
these are the representative orientations of the privileged.

The plural fluidity of a have-not culture transmitted—
processual, yet patterned—
a shaky stance while standing on shifting ground.

My only wish is for ideas and egos to be as they are: warm: malleable to the motions and outcomes of expansion and contraction.

We are a productive catatonia personified and manifested.

These are the semiotics of a soon-to-be-irrelevant decay.
This is history’s obsession with cyclical pragmatics. Eventually, a submission the psychotic use of political narcotics. The constant critique, endless in its scope, is our continuous expansion in the realm of possibilities.

In time, we will become as primitive as our ancestors.
Ken Rafiñan Apr 8
She was red light flawless:
districts of ephemeral perfection luxuriating on along sensual stretches.

The unmistakable presence of a woman;
some sense of the sublime:
its invisible edge cleaving my being wide open upon its passing.

The glitter of her dark eyes
a secret signal
tempting me toward sensual settings:
situations whose scents pull on plots pushing potent agendas
and explosive endings.

Ancient intersections awash with new blood;
a warm awakening of an almost forgotten biology.

Our contours resolve an oft-imagined samba.

Her hourglass orbit caresses kisses all over our angular philosophy;
some sympathy—
please!—
for the existentialists transpiring in all of us.

A distinctly human complexity that’s haphazardly indignant,
and disturbed only by the tediousness of interstellar transmission.

Into a feathery instability the thread digresses,
then back to hormonal flushes it fluxes,
and by its muscled materiality it flexes.

From ingress to egress:
defined by an awkward acceleration
of her truth’s unrefined relativity:
its complicity
in multiplicity
a welcome duplicity.

Pause: a space apropos: somewhere between ellipses and apostrophes.

A much need riposte from a feminine intensity most imperative.

Tomorrow is another day
and also a night:
further discourse in the eternal struggle
of leaving that her,
losing this me,
and living as we.

The de-territorialization of our skin maps out a dystopic equilibrium:
a chaotic futurescape that only the likes of our they can inhabit.

A final monolith reads: The Grand Narrative of Us.
*Filipino uses the gender-neutral "siya" to refer to a human agent-object. This ambiguity is the kind of space that the implied characters in this space inhabits.
Ken Rafiñan Mar 31
At times,
she was merely a whisper,
but at others—
the idea of her was a roar:
some sort of rampage that
ran and ravaged
men’s minds
leaving a moisty mess in its pasts.

It is a waltz written
for two,
by two,
but witnessed by legion.

Entire skinscapes under the wretched eye of the voyeur;
from public to private: a steady state of impassivity:
institutional lies lay out a constitution
for the politics of representation.

Moments made to mutually respect the most human enterprise: self-interest.

Spaces of our socialization constructed in intimate corners
that capture
explicit scents
of the implicit sense.

Discourse engaging in an interruptive objectivity.

Questions of the
whos, whats,
where, and whens
curl up eventually in conversational cul-de-sacs.

When truth is a transaction
the historicity of our
chemical desires and cultural anxieties
are the outcome of an interrogative ideology.

Reality’s tentativity
creeps up on all of us
cruising towards a blissful relativity.

In the absence of a defining aesthetic
the conversation
peters off
and teeters
on—
no!—
onto: awkwardness.

Soon the night ends, and she and I are left staring alternately at each other and occupied space, picking at the crusty traces left behind by exes asking the empty airs of bad religions the whys and hows of this petty predicament.

No answers are heard—of course.

The digital silence of a lack thereof has us waxing sentimental and raging hormonal for the warmth of analog love.

And to that we raise empty palms waiting to be filled once more with the glorious light of even emptier promises.
Ken Rafiñan Mar 24
The wordless farewell;
the only sound heard is our future
finally fleeing.

From skin-sought sensations
to soul-swept subjections:
an affection that's more faint by the minute murder of our muscle memory,
but never less felt,
lest you may be forgotten
completely
and forever.

As if this this summer had never happened—
and all things considered—
we may wish it never had,
but it did,
just that once,
then never again.

For a forbidden friendship like ours,
perhaps it was an instance too many.

Kisses awkwardly given
and taken as we lay in the brush
watching the sunset and cicadas overwhelm us.

Rough touches stealing sweat off of my skin—
secretly wanted,
then openly needed.

And the way I inhaled your name
as you exhaled mine
in the midnight mess we made of my parents' platonic hospitality.

Our real names.

A mantra repeated,
sometimes a sigh,
at others a rush:
of joy and sadness;
of trust and pain;
of comfort and loss.

Too much to be hushed.

Not enough tears to be cried.

A moment too cold,
even for a wood fire on a Hanukkah morning.
Inspired after a viewing of Luca Guadagnino's "Call Me By Your Name".
Ken Rafiñan Mar 14
is
to walk along blurred lines of the indefinite,
to hide behind shadows of doubts,
and to be surely unsure and seemingly unstable.

Change is constant,
when change is the constant.

Perhaps the only truth
and absolute
among and underlying
all those known
and unknown
to our limited senses prone
to bias and flaw.

When entropy is the end,
chaos is the order,
and so: order is chaos.

When then presents itself is a profoundly socio-biological paradox:
part-Darwinian, post-Machiavellian.

We do
what we do,
have to,
need to—
to survive.

To adapt: adjust: evolve: involve: our selves,
and egos.

At the expense of whom?

Of you by me,
of me by you,
of we by he and she,
of us by them,
of ours by theirs...

The mutual murder of dialectical discourse furthers the shared agenda:
an equality that's mutually consensual
constructed on an equity that's purely contextual.

The compromise is contracted,
and it demands sacrifice:
a constant contestation:
the needless negotiation—
forming a truth that's between tentative
and relative.

Some kind of equilibrium whose balance is contrast;
an investment in the arbitrary entropy of the situationship.
Ken Rafiñan Mar 3
&
The presence of anti-depressants
depresses me,
suppresses you,
and oppresses we.

He—
the he who always takes advantage of the
She—
the she who always turns a blind eye to the
He—
foolish.

The nighttime play;
their love up and away,

Flying to the moon—
ish.

Master and slave:
hands turning the clock of mood swings,
“How does hate taste so holy?”
Ken Rafiñan Feb 24
Ceramic crashes clash with the quiet night air.

A thunk and a thump—
cold doors opened,
then closed once more.

You could hear the frost his as it creeps along—
alone—
seeking another warm convert for its cool cult.

Spoons, forks, and knives tinkle:
creating stainless music that draws light form the darkest corners of the room.

Plastic wraps crinkle their already wrinkled faces
and cough up pairs of slices.

Bread offers itself demurely to layers of spreads
and dashes of sauces.

Breathing becomes a meditative mantra,
and before long once-idle fingers birth a sandwich.

Its crust is cut and contemplated with wistful whisper,
and then composted.

Some mouthfuls of pinot are decanted
poignantly
onto sculpted crystal castles whose rivers run red.

These artefacts of plate and goblet,
of cup and chalice,
and of hand and utensil are offered
to entropy in stories of sensation,
in texture,
and between feeling.
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