Neva Kares Talladen Oct 10, 2008 16:00:33 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 16:00:33 GMT 2
Writer Neva Kares Talladen is one of the last remaining members of her family still living in the Philippines. Graduating from Ateneo de Manila University with a Dean's Award for the Arts for Poetry, she went on to garner Second Place in the Pen & Ink Poetry Competition sponsored by Ayala Foundation. She was a delegate at the 2004 Arts Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland and met writers Jeanette Winterson, Muriel Spark, Alex Garland and Iain Banks. After writing for magazine publications, PR and design companies, Neva put up Leyende, her own bath and body company producing environmentally conscious skincare and natural fragrance lines (www.leyende.com) in Manila. These days, she writes strictly and purely for pleasure.
A grown man’s mouth
suckling on a tit
reminds me of that morning
I found my mother, left breast in hand,
spilling her milk into a bowl. Releasing
the heaviness from her nipples,
she let me watch
as if teaching me a lesson:
there is no relief.
Desire leaves nothing behind,
nothing whole. You pay
with what you have twice over
until one day you’re caught alone
in a room, womb hollowed,
without trace of the thing you wanted
save for the crease in your hand,
the cut on your cheek.
Published in Philippines Free Press, October 2008
"Letters to Myself"
You'd hate it here.
No heat in Boston this time
of year, not along the Charles, the streets above
or under the still-gray trees. The crows resent this
and brashly show it, swooping down
on my ear that first morning---
a hostile mistake. Or maybe a demand
for something I hardly use.
Down the T you could drown out
the mad street-corner prophet
with the booming of the invincible subway.
Then the ghost cars carry you
through the minutes in stopped-ear silence.
Last Wednesday, up Newbury,
a blur to my right: pink-haired
and leather all over, a girl
on the front steps, smoking.
She had no arms, her toenails
I feel I belong here in the cold,
my limbs learning to stand
the wind. I'd pretend I'm exhaling
Camels with my frosty breath
(Lights, the brand you twirled
with your fingers before you quit cold, Turkey).
Even the crows are fuming
through their nostrils; they disappear
with a flapping like those pages of old paper
blown away from your bed
(Have you found them?)
This sound has startled me
a few times before. Now I just turn my head
to the side, usually to the right.
You get used to it like sunsets
at eight in the evening and static
and fried eggs with garlic and paprika.
You get used to everything.
Published January 2004 issue of Netauthor's E2K
The clock mocks me. It isn’t time
I count by. Days are a million twenty-four-hour
breaths each, pounding away like stone hammers
on the tin roof, refusing air as soon
as it enters. I inhale, and already
it’s been hours of raw heat that won’t pass
rising from throat to mouth
to the memory of your eyes. Breathing out,
weeks come careening around the corner,
blindsiding need for your blinding hands
on my breasts, my thighs. They ache to touch.
But I’ve been a cripple the moment
Sunday backed out of the driveway,
took you with it until I couldn’t see
the wide plain of your back. I glance
up the window through to the wall:
it is only tomorrow. But the body,
Incontinent Fool, still knows better. My heart’s shut down
while mind and lung work piston-duty to keep me
alive until Mercy comes handing you back to me.
Published in Eros Pinoy: An Anthology of Contemporary Erotica in Philippine Art & Poetry (Hardcover), Anvil Publishing, 2001
It’s strange now that I have
just become old enough to forget
that I find myself wondering
about you, the boy ten years ago,
and the spider you brushed from my hair.
I suspect you had put it there
for good measure after I
broke your pencil when you
called me a liar when I said
I could see angels.
Something felt funny
somewhere in my head, and then
there was the remorse in your arm
brushing my left eyelid gently—
Now I shake my hair back
and I think I see you trying
to pull a fast one; my fingers
tremble at what they might find and.
Nothing. There is only the smooth
parting clean across the plain
black tips that cut bluntly
into my nape. I look up
as if I could meet eyes,
give you a glare or maybe
that thank-you stuck in my throat
after you reached over to retrieve
the spider tangled in my hair.
My head stops frozen again
for your raised palm
showing the half-grown creature
clinging to it; the saved thing
I look for just above me, moving
down where I can see it.