RIC S. BASTASA


SCREENSAVER Poem by RIC S. BASTASA


My sister saw the black cat inside my monitor
Black fur and sharp eyes
Piercing like sharp claws
Whiskers like catfish
In the mud,
It was staring at her
And felt its anger,

Of course, she did not like it,
She complains
Why of all screensavers

Anthurium (oh she loves Anthurium
Red and white anthuriums)

Or four horses, white grazing horses, brown galloping horses
For some screensavers’ lucky charm,

Why the black cat
As screensaver?

It was just the head of the black cat,
Nothing else
Nothing more, popping up in the screen,
A black cat as wallpaper

(Like one that unzips automatically
The zipless type) ,

And I am afraid she may not like
The sudden popping up,
She fears it may jump in front of her
And scratch her and totally scare her off
Her years of
Prudence,

And easy submission,
And her tradition,
Her sense of
Propriety
And piety
It is indeed a delicate
Issue

She had not seen, to my mind,
Anything yet,
The way I scratch my head
And turn it sidewise
Once or twice to say no
Ordinarily

And inside myself, I was laughing,
She is scared
And funny
Skinny sister
Emaciated by too much
Keeping
& unforgiving


I was not scared because
Anyway
She cannot understand
Me
My trauma at 2
My love at 15
My longings for all those years
Carefree days in the river bathing naked
With some brusque
Friends and their passion for
Carabaos
& then there were

Some sad stories about the cats in the alleys
Black and white
Those that I really love and caress &
Died and
Those I cannot really mourn
& love
In the open

What will our neighbors say?
It is always the favorite question of my sister
They would think that I am crazy
I am cheap
I am an embarrassment
I am a burden
And deserve nothing
The whole family will be hurt
& suffer incessantly
Unnecessarily

As a matter of compromise
The cat, the black cat as screensaver
Shall be changed tonight,
But frankly, I love its
Sharp black eyes
Warm long black furs
I would still touch them
In a dream
Slide its furs in my armpits
And I would giggle, giggle, giggle, and giggle
Alone
Away
The whole night giggles, giggles, giggles and giggles
Deep and
Dark

It is the being of giggling, the giggling,
Yes
My dear sister
It is the giggling
That counts in my being
The whole being

And I am telling no one
And I can’t tell anyone

Who is really interested about
Dead black, foul cats, with black furs
For jinx?



Anyway, I’ll save
In the ‘shared pictures”
The
Black cat, and in nocturnal
Dreams I’ll have scratches
All over my body
Of this black cat


My decision to be unwise for once
Is now

I am laughing inside myself
(ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!)

I face her,
My skinny sister
Un-giving
She faces the black cat
Sharp eyes facing her,
She sees the head of the black cat
And she can even touch
My face because of that
Certain closeness,

But she will never, never,
Never know
The real name of that black cat
And the new name I call myself

(Me, a name I call myself
Fa a long long way to run)

Because, oh well, she never asked,
In the first place

Submitted: Tuesday, April 01, 2008

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