TRISTAN THINKS ABOUT THE NEWS, WHILE EATING RICE AND BEANS

by Julian Canlas

Isaiah 11:2 New International Version (NIV)
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—

Tristan does so without the fear of God, like a pinprick—
a spitting image of all those heretics and unknown curses—

no doubt, in this bog of a living room, where moments
of explosions become dictators, pushing him headfirst

into a make-believe past inside a war photograph, where he’s
God and victim—this derelict life of a journalist who becomes

his subject—the hapless child with glittering eyes—with the same divinity
instilled within him in a drunken Thursday night (where

he plays the ageless youth in a shirt beaded with gin and perfume,
sweat dripping like a bulging cloud), carried away in the sea

as the plastic bead made for beauty in fish throats. Tristan
imagines being in love with a man formed from wreckage

and scriptures who can only stay still, and staring at his crumpled
veins to feel breathless, in the same way great art can rile

you into smashing dinner plates into the heads of corrupt
patriarchs, as if it was his own body of tragedy that was shot

and disfigured. Call the relentless activists who’ve had their faces
against the gravel. Call those young adults in parks, holding

bottles of strange compounds with hard grey fingers while gazing in
the watery sky, then picking out the pebbles in their shoes to throw

them into the mouth of a most alluring future. To kiss this lover
under the fluorescent colour of Norwich on dead wood, but wind up

watching the news instead, to find himself on the news but lose
track of good and bad habits, to steal this man’s eyes and ears,

then throw him into the Siberian wind to tell a sensational story
replete with explosions, deaths, drug addicts, police brutality,

and sinful men, to lose himself like a lungful of smoke, then pulled
back into reality, coughing and choking from a mouthful.

Featured image via Radionewshub

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