three flash

Our thanks to Don Baculao, his associates,
and his prosperous cigarette and plastic companies….”


by papa osmubal




I read Verlaine everyday hours on end in the toilet.
If not Verlaine, it is Jose Garcia Villa or Jorge Luis Borges.
Many find this habit totally revolting.
My wife once threatened to divorce me for this.
I just do not quite get why reading National Geographic
or Vogue or the Bible or making out in the toilet is not gross.
Sometimes nothing comes out, zero, nada, not even gas,
nothing that Al Gore and Greenpeace activists can complain about,
nothing but a few wee drops of sweat
and a poem on a piece of tissue paper.
I admit the tissue-paper part is violation against nature-
a collateral damage for the birth of a poem.


The heat takes its toll: a naked middle-aged man
swears at the government and the entrepreneurs.

He talks about the melting of the Arctic and Antarctica.
He has a litany of words about the global warming.

He is mentioning about sex, politics, and religions
and how they influence weather changes, and vice versa.

People pass by, shaking heads, shrugging shoulders.
Some hide their smile, but some can not just hold it.


The mayor presented a plan to the press
and he was dressed to kill for the occasion.

The biggest cancer hospital in town
is due to be erected this week.

It all comes from a philanthropist’s purse.
Now the town coffers have enough for something else.

Our thanks to Don Baculao, his associates,
and his prosperous cigarette and plastic companies.

Originally published:
Issue Sixty-One
July 2011


Papa Osmubal is a graduate student at the University of Macau, in Southern China, taking Master of Art in English Studies. His wife and children make his home an eternal spring. He has been anthologized in Synaptic Graffiti: Slam the Body Politik (Literature and Art on CD, Australia, 2004); Mitochondria: an Anthology of Rarities and Loose Ends (USA, 2004); and Honoring Fathers: An International Poetry Collection (University of the Philippines Press, 2005). His poems have appeared in various places, hardcopy and online, and several are forthcoming in The Golden Lantern, Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k), Word Riot, Leaf Press, The Taj Mahal Review, and others. More from Papa Osmubal can be found in the Vault of Smoke.


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