Dennis Andrew Aguinaldo
Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo teaches a course called “Science and Technology in Literature” at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He blogs at tekstong bopis.
I listen to the oldest poems and a good number of what we have now as shaped breathing. Lamentably, too few can mindfully enjoy this privilege of crafting air into sound. Now, the pandemic drains the source of poetry. Most of us need to imagine what others can’t help but hear: struggling chests, collapsing lungs, a global failure to catch its breath.
What do we poets make of our ability to play with what is near universally taken for granted but also, to a daily increasing number, a dwindling, threatened resource? This question provides ground for everything I’ve done since the lockdowns, never truly answering it, always putting on some face or other to gather composure, living through stagnant weeks, months, then, suddenly, forming a few words, and they aren’t sighs.