Biography of Ronald Baytan
Ronald Baytan holds a Ph.D. in English Studies (Creative Writing) from the University of the Philippines. He obtained his MA in Language and Literature, with High Distinction, from De La Salle University-Manila in 1996. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Literature of De La Salle University-Manila where he teaches creative writing, Philippine literature, gay/lesbian literature and world literature; and holds the Charles Lui Chi Keung Professorial Chair of China Studies. He co-edited Bongga Ka ‘Day: Pinoy Gay Quotes to Live By (Milflores Publishing) with J. Neil C. Garcia and Ralph Semino Galan. He is currently working on The Queen Lives Alone: the Orient: Personal Essays and The Queen Sings the Blues: Poetry 1992-2002. He is a member of the ALON Collective.
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Ronald Baytan Poems
He Who Sleeps On My Lap
My friend who sleeps on my lap loves someone else.
Mama, the rhinestones are falling one by one Because I always put the crown on my head When you and Papa are sleeping. Imagine: A fairy at the center stands with her wand
The paella is thick with the sea, Creatures of the deep Fresh and poised warm On the platter of our desire.
Bath House Blues
Once more, I have set foot On this promised land Where dark is right And silence is the source
Life takes Without warning Like flood heaving Under the bed
The Cut Sleeve
Dong Xian had dreamt Of this day many, many times: When he stepped Out of the emperor’s chamber,
Between the terrible ease Of promise and the flowering Of regret, I must lay myself bare:
In the south, there once lived Pan Zhang, A man of immense beauty and skill In poetry. He moved like a gentle wave, And his skin glistened like berries in summer.
Bath House Blues
Once more, I have set foot
On this promised land
Where dark is right
And silence is the source
Of all thrills.
All around me,
Men strut naked
Save for white briefs,