, April 22, 2024

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"Eddie Garcia, who was widely considered to be the greatest Filipino actor of all time, has died at the age of 90. Garcia, who starred in more than 600 film and TV roles during a seven-decade career, had been in a coma for two weeks after a fall on the set of his new TV show." - Daily Mail

by Vincent R. Pozon

You dropped to the ground
in quiet elegance, quiet
like how a supernova dies
in a section of space
now awash with white,
your cheek hit gravel,
the dust did not fly,
for there is no slow motion
hitting gravel in real life.

Moving on ‘action!’, falling
forward, we add the gritty,
we edit in your groaning
and our grimace,
we hold our breath
each time we see it,
your cheek sliding on gravel,
you with an assault rifle,
now learning that
you have unlearned
the ability to move,
to free the arm from
under your weight,

‘who is that screaming?’

one man lifts your leg,
and, unsure of the sense of it,
drops it,

we add the thud.

Your body disobedient,
hands and feet are not there,
but you are still there,
I think, hearing a frenzy,
but the unspoken worries
are louder,

'Have I done enough,
will the world forgive
me if I bow?’

You dropped in quiet elegance,
the movie idol, clad soldierly,
tripping over a power cable,
falling forward, sending
shockwaves to a brittle nape.
No slow motion.

You were mindful of body,
dutifully downing a pile,
a handful of supplements
and nutrients, ‘sandakot',
you would take everyday.
Doctors every quarter,
so I heard on the news.

But the devil is in the sigh,
and all that watchfulness
and ‘sandakot’
subdued by negligence, and
the non-attending physician.

Your ability to be
of value to the world
truncated in that fall
of quiet elegance,
days before the day
you dropped, quiet
like a supernova exploding,
you won Best Actor Award.

The father of a friend lost his wife,
and, with her passing,


for he was the one
with spoon and bowl,
the nurse with wash basin.
I learned that the father
himself is now sick,
and without wife, without
the need to measure days,
to point at sunsets,
he declines to claw to stay.

Life is without flavor,
without the spoon and bowl,
without the wash basin,
without ‘silbi’.

After heart surgery,
Mick Jagger gyrated
like only Jagger can,
on stage, at 75,
for three hours.


And so we mind the creaking,
we nod to the doctors,
score the prescriptions
folding them neatly,
suffer tests and stabs,
and that pesky colonoscopy,
so we may serve the stars
of our sections of space,
before exploding quietly
turning them white
and remembered.

'Silbí'*, derived from the Spanish servi, is Tagalog for function, purpose or use.

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