The last piece I wrote in 2020

I wrote this on the last day of 2020. I hesitate to call it a poem. It’s more of a written composition that in my imagination I would perform set to a rhythm. I think it’s incomplete.

The decision to frame my feelings in terms of the seven theological sins came from nowhere. But in hindsight it makes sense. The moral troughs of living closely echo the broad strokes of the year that was. Soon after this one, I’ll post something kinder. I promise.

This piece is entitled “mga tatlong daan, anim na pu’t limang kasalanan” (three hundred, sixty-five trespasses). I tried my best to translate it in English. I think I ended up with something else.


It’s 2021 and I still want a tarot deck for the aesthetic.

Tula: mga tatlong daan, anim na pu’t limang kasalanan

kahambugan (pride): kumayod, nag-astang estudyante, sumilbing anak, sumilbing botante, nagkaibigan, nagkaibigan, biniktimang yabang inangat sa kawalan. kinayang umiyak sa galit, ngumiti nang dilat; ang ganda ng buhay ko, ang ganda, kay ganda. alipin na may nakataling korona.

pagkaganid (greed): kalayaan ang kayamanan sa mata ng lipunan. pakikipagkilala ang kailangan sa panahon ng pandemya; suyuin ang rider ng shopee’t lazada, sobre sa guwardiya, regalo sa kapwa. ito ang bagong tinadhana, utang sa sarili, utang sa mana.

inggit (envy): mula impyerno abot-langit, hindi matimbang na selos at galit. mayayaman at mamamayan, sa bakit sila, sa bakit tayo.

kahalayan (lust): ang pinakamahirap na kasalanan. nakapapagod lumandi sa gitna ng pandemya.

katakawan (gluttony): ikakain ko na lang ang mga demonyo ko.

poot (wrath): walang kinikilalang hangganan.

pagkabatugan (sloth):


Poem: three hundred, sixty-five trespasses

pride: what crawled, this sham of a scholar, served a daughter, served a voter, beloved, fell in love, this bloody head still highly held. tears of rage with an unblinking smile; beautiful is my life, so beautiful, how beautiful. a slave tightly bound to a crown.

greed: freedom is wealth in the eyes of society. familiarity is a necessity in times of calamity; woo the riders of lazada and shopee, slip this to the guard, gift it over to the rest. this is our new destiny, owed to the self, owed to legacy.

envy: from hell it reaches the stars, this raging fountain of jealousy. the landed and the land, the whys of them, the whys of us.

lust: the most difficult of sins. how tiring to tease in times of trouble.

gluttony: let me gorge in what other demons come.

wrath: knows no end.

sloth:

3 Comments Add yours

  1. jesha says:

    Loved it already. Love it (or this other thing) more!

  2. chatmonty says:

    I understood the English version. I think it is a more apt expression ?!?

    1. jari m says:

      The Filipino version is the original. Haha. So in that sense, I think it’s more accurate. Thank you for the support!

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