​Our love is like a silken

Sleeve, whisper

Of water whipped by tiny

Fishtail, breeze

Among tremulous blades

Of bamboo. Our love:

Fold of piña,

Crinkle of jusi--

Through the weave

We let air touch

Our skin, wipe

The moist afternoon

Banish beads

Of sweat into sepia

Or vermillion. Our love:

A pencil stroke:

Timid, or audacious

A smudge is a smile:

Charcoal or pastel

On Bristol or Ingres

(Or tones upon tones

From a block of limestone)

A form apart but as firm

As Rodin's bronze

An embrace

As light as a cloud

On Makiling or Mayon

Our love:

Fold of piña,

Crinkle of jusi

Curlicue of callado

Embroidery

Over our horror vacui

(2013)

_____

​​Marne Kilates has published four books of poetry, the latest of which is Pictures as Poems & Other (Re)Visions (UST Publishing House, 2012), and has recently completed his fifth collection of poems. His ekphrastic work may be found distributed in his five books so far, though the two contain the most. He has also published numerous translations of works by leading Filipino writers, including National Artists Virgilio Almario and Bienvenido Lumbera. Pitik-Bulag, an art and poetry coffee table book with ekphrastic interactions between Filipino artists and poets, which he co-edited with national artist for literature Rio Alma and translated into English, is a major work published by the government insurance agency, GSIS, featuring its Museum collection. Kilates has won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, the NBDB-Manila Critics Circle National Book Awards, and the 1998 SEA WRITE Award given by the Thai royalty. Recently he was the holder of the Henry Lee Irwin Professorial Chair for Creative Writing at the Ateneo de Manila University. He publishes and edits the online literary journal, The Electronic Monsoon Magazine, at www.electronicmonsoon.com.

Diaphanous

by Marne Kilates

(After The Kiss by Bencab)

The Kiss

by Bencab

1995

 

Lithograph

 

AP, 1/12

 

13 inches x 10 inches

 

Five numbered test prints included

_____

Benedicto Reyes Cabrera--or BenCab, as he is more popularly known--is widely hailed as a master of contemporary Philippine art. He was born in Manila on April 10, 1942. BenCab began carving a niche for himself in Manila’s art circles shortly after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines in 1963.

 

A painter and printmaker, he has exhibited widely in the Philippines and in Asia, Europe, and the United States. He has won several major art awards in a career spanning four decades. In 1992, he received the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining (Cultural Center of the Philippines Award for the Arts).

 

In 2006, he was conferred the Order of National Artist for Visual Arts by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacañan Palace.

 

(This brief biography is condensed from the BenCab Museum website.  The curators of GaleriaPaloma.Com highly recommend a visit to this museum in Baguio City.  For more information, please visit the site at www.bencabmuseum.org.)