To Francisco Guevara, poet, longboarder (- 28 November 2014)
By Karlo Sevilla
I don’t know you:
Was surfing and by chance rode the ad for “The Reddest Herring,”
to be launched on your first death anniversary.
Thought you died of old age; you did not.
On another page saw a photo of yours: young. serious. Asian.
Read that you “graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop,” and stuff.
Then I asked this certain Facebook page and its administrator replied,
“he was longboarding in antipolo city and a jeepney sideswiped him.
am not sure about all the details actually. sorry po.”
Want to attend your posthumous book launch this twenty-eighth of November,
but must attend wife’s family reunion. But will save for a copy of your reddest –
without your signature.
(Wonder if your first name’s after the 19th century epic poet of our country,
whose dying wish was for his children’s hands to be cut off
rather than for them become and suffer as poets.
Or if you’re somehow related to Che, who is not of our country…
Your age? Birthplace?…)
I don’t know you but will read you, wherever you’re longboarding now.
And it doesn’t matter if it matters to you or not,
gone. young. gun.
(And just consider all of the above
an awkward attempt at conversation;
the immediately above,
Karlo Sevilla lives in Quezon City, Philippines, and writes for The Philippine Online Chronicles. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Philippines Graphic, Shot Glass Journal, Spank the Carp, Pilgrim and others. In his “spare time,” he coaches wrestling and does volunteer work for the labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers).
Nice conversational piece. I could not stop reading it, so thank you for sharing this.
You’re welcome, Andy. And thank you very much, too, for the encouraging words.