The Strand

written by Ricky De Guzman

Most of my nights became dried salmon and cream cheese on a bagel, 
a stage of music stuffed into a manila envelope— 

White smoke and choir breaks in a car ride home 
in-between my lap is a book 
I write my name in, spilled soda 
that turned into an office joke about old fashioned plays. 

Continue reading

Grant Avenue

written by Ricky De Guzman

In the Quezon City art-deco streets I left behind, 
I still smell the hint of realism as my flag of coconuts 
spitting out a shuffle of dried fish in plastic bags that let me drink in the summer. 
Every fly on the wall is a member of the family, 
that Sun is a still life in my eyes 
two tears in a bucket gather. 

Continue reading

Diamonds in the Rough

written by Ricky De Guzman

A diamond left out in the open turns back into oranges and kids kissing the sidewalk, 
or spreadeagle before the plutocracy made babies crawl into a shooting range, 
the cry at zero is what made adults. Out of everyday target practice comes a measure of calm. 
I have no spine to spin, today I trapped out cultural address 
for five dollar fan service. In the middle of a heatwave came the hammer and the rock 
that cured my neighborhood of crime, just a few paychecks ago. 

Continue reading