Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Poem of the Day: “A Feast for Scavengers” by Anne Carly Abad

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “A Feast for Scavengers” by Anne Carly Abad. Ms. Abad writes poetry and stories when she's not training Muay Thai. She earned an honorable mention from On The Premises' Contest #20 for her story “Haze.” Her work has appeared in: The Asia Literary Review, The Kudzu Review, TSA: Ribbons, Modern Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Strange Horizons, Dreams & Nightmares, The International Poetry Review, and Star*Line. Find out more about her at http://the-sword-that-speaks.blogspot.com/.

A Feast for Scavengers

Anne Carly Abad

Come, let us meet them
coat our double-edged tongues
with drunken cheers.
They have achieved
what we couldn’t. Victory
deserves no less
than a welcome of palms
firecrackers, new holidays
and freshly-slaughtered sucklings
to be roasted for the banquet;

and then let us watch them
fatten up, get intoxicated
with their newfound eminence
let us gossip about how
our champions have changed
let us draw lots
and foretell their fall.

Ready for slaughter,
a champ squanders his wealth
a queen leaves her husband
to frolic with more handsome men
a king inebriates himself
with substance and pleasure
and their children, princes
and princesses, rebel
against them in shame—
we knew what was coming.
Let us hoot and snicker
the real amusement
is in eviscerating
their royal images
and long after they are gone
we will still feast
on their carrion like flies,
raise our children from the rot
of lessons on their remains.

Poet's Notes: Filipinos and idols go together like peaches and cream. From wooden saints to agimat (amulets), top boxers to movie stars and beauty queens, we hold on to our aspirations with a fervency that borders on obsession. And we like to see our heroes fall. The latest extramarital affairs and epic knockout losses are the stuff of news and gossip for weeks. No one comforts the loser—this inspired me to write “A Feast for Scavengers.” I wanted to explore a society that survives on an industry of idol worship. I sought to understand how people could love someone or something so much yet allow the beloved to come to ruin. Is it because we run out of things to talk about? Just entertainment? Or is this the (vicarious) way for us to investigate our own limits? Everyone falls, but how far can we go?

Editor’s Note: I like the moral lesson offered as well as the mocking, irony-filled tone. The imagery takes me to a bad visual place but in a good way. “A Feast for Scavengers” was first published in the premier issue of Songs of Eretz Poetry E-zine in August 2013.

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