Monday, December 22, 2008

Previously Written: Adventure

This is a poem I wrote about Magellan. I was reading a lot of Natasha Trethewey at the time, but I don't know if that shows.


Explorer of the world, Magellan sailed
his Victoria across the planet’s everywhere,

Rabban beard crisp from the absorption
of salt water. Seeking a path to

the spice islands of Indonesia,
he camped in a smaller archipelago,

of only seven thousand islands. Drunk,
Spain’s adopted son declared the Sugboanons

servants of God and Spain, worse,
pronounced the people of Mactan enemies

of the Church. Ferdinand began his crusade
two weeks later, exacting holy terror

shaped as axes, swords, crossbows, guns
and cannons – all the marshmallows in

16th century lucky charms: Catholic edition.
Boats and artillery left behind

because of rocky waters, Magellan and his top
fifty favorite Spaniards stormed the Mactan

beach to find one thousand five hundred
infidels chilling, their kampilan, spears and poison

arrows rising slowly before they burned
down the wind, suffocating the Westerners

with a rice and fish diet
and a grand putang ina mo.

Filipinos always had great appetites.
Chieftain Lapu-Lapu, ever the hero,

chased Magellan back into the water,
the only thing to love him back.

When Lapu-Lapu impaled
the first man to cross the globe,

he jammed his spear into the sand,
so the explorer would drown

before he bled to death. Five hundred
years previous, those islanders, who slaughtered

the great Ferdinand Magellan,
rode boats of their own to

Madagascar and South America, while
Spain bribed the ruling Moors

with a flat-rate supply of virgins
to postpone the Muslim invasion.

It took half a millennium for someone else to figure out the Pacific.

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