Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles

Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles’ 12 books in Filipino include, among others: Parang (High Chair, 2008), Alingaw (High Chair, 2010), Alinsunurang Awit (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2010), Antares (Aklat Kurimaw, 2010), Mal (High Chair, 2011), Mga Tala at Panaginip (High Chair, 2012), Guwang (High Chair, 2013), Pilas ng Papel: Mga Sanaysay sa Tula (De La Salle University Publishing House, 2013), and Pesoa (Balangay Books, 2014), a finalist for the Philippine National Book Award in 2015. His volume of selected poems, Anima, will come out late this year from the Ateneo de Naga University Press. A recipient of multiple national awards and fellowships in the Philippines, Arguelles is co-editor of the journal hal., works as a book editor, and teaches literature and creative writing at the De La Salle University in Manila.

Translator Kristine Ong Muslim is the author of We Bury the Landscape (Queen’s Ferry Press, 2012), Grim Series (Popcorn Press, 2012), and A Roomful of Machines (ELJ Publications, 2015), as well as three forthcoming books—the short story collection Age of Blight (Unnamed Press, 2016) and poetry collections Lifeboat and Black Arcadia, both of which will come out from university presses in the Philippines. She lives in southern Philippines and serves as poetry editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, a literary journal published by Epigram Books in Singapore.

Window; Greater Than Modern Art
poetry

	
	Window


	He surprised him by the window
	on the eighth floor. He should not 

	have been caught unaware—
	there was prior notice about the cleaning.  

	The light strikes the gaps amid the blinds
	and the mirror gleams

	between them. Something becomes visible
	like an image:

	is it his? is it his?
	He sees himself, he sees himself

	He steps on concrete
	His two feet are in a pit

	Briefly, he stopped what he was doing
	He looks forward to a long day

	Continuing to crawl
	he ascends using his rope

	There are one thousand and one windows



	Bintana


	Bumulaga siya sa bintana
	sa ikawalong palapag. Hindi siya

	dapat nagulat—
	iniabiso ang paglilinis. Tumatama

	ang sinag sa mga siwang ng blinds
	at kumikinang ang salamin

	sa kanilang pagitan. May lumilinaw
	waring imahen:

	ang sa kanya? ang sa kanya?
	Nakikita niya siya, nakikita niya siya

	Kongkreto ang kanyang tinatapakan
	Nasa hukay ang dalawa niyang paa

	Saglit niyang inihinto ang gawain
	Mahaba ang araw niyang tinitingala

	Patuloy sa paggapang
	umaakyat siya sa sariling pisi

	May isang libo’t isang bintana

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