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Dream: Performance Poetry

Image by Rupert Kittinger-Sereinig from Pixabay

I had a long and vivid dream, but all I can remember is the last part. 

After a long journey, where we had to eat packed meals and wash up in our cars, we finally reached a Makati hotel we called The Westin. I was with family and friends, and we occupied several rooms. 

The hotel was decrepit, aged by the pandemic, and you could no longer tell it used to be good. "This was my favorite hotel," my sister said, as we surveyed the room and stashed our belongings.

I checked the bathroom. It was clean enough, but it wasn't well-constructed. You could tell by the puddles gathering in some parts of the floor. There were also leaks--when you turned on the light by the sink, water spouted out of a crack near the switch.

We took quick showers, changed, and started to settle in.

We had dirty clothes and dishes and a lot of leftover food. As I was putting away some food containers on a dresser, I dropped a bowl of champorado, spilling chocolate and rice all over the floor.

My sister sighed and said, "Clean that up." But before I could, people started arriving, including old Filipino poets, with a couple of National Artists, tracking the chocolate mess all over the floor. But because the room was packed, nobody noticed. 

Apparently, we had agreed to host a poetry reading and my best friend Sherwil was going to perform a classic ars poetica piece about poetry. It was called something like The Point of Poetry or The Purpose of a Poem. 

When our friend Jimple--he was staying in another room--heard that Sherwil was performing this particular poem, he lent her an origami piece based on the poem that he had made a few years ago so she could use it as a prop. It was like a handheld pinwheel that transformed, as it turned, into several things: a blooming flower, a pointing finger, a smoking gun, a dancing lady, a pensive fairy ... 

When it was Sherwil's turn to perform, the whole room went quiet. She gave the performance of her life, unleashing acting skills even I didn't know she had. (I dreamed the entire poem, but I can't remember it in its entirety. Boo. It sounded a little like Ars Poetica by Archibald Macleish.)

Sherwil arrived at the last lines, which I vaguely remember: 

A poem exists so it can be all of this--

And she held the origami piece for everyone to see.

--a blooming flower, a pointing finger, a smoking gun, a dancing lady, a pensive fairy--

Everyone was blown away. Sherwil paused. Then continued:

a man's clothed honesty. 

The dream ended with everyone's applause.


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