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The Experiment of the Tropics

That American thing · The good old good

By Lawrence Lacambra Ypil

remittance The most difficult thing about a post-colonial existence can be recovering a sense of self, when the colonizers have so thoroughly left their stamp on not just language and geography, but also custom and aesthetic sense. If our behavior and what we find beautiful is shaped by an external culture, how will we ever know what is truly ours?





The Experiment of the Tropics

As a nest among the trees               As a garden among the bigger garden of sea

Mountain                     View             As a wish that were drawn to scale

So the idea became foldable                        a mere scaffold

Discarded                     For the long-lasting thing

That revivalist thing                Style                which was as the master

carpenter implied                 went beyond               road               port

Nut                 bolt                 wharf               a nail

In a railroad port                a pipe

that opened and closed

The central portico             the color and the texture of

A solid collonade               Inday’s silence

Which was her sense of water flowing       across the experiment

that was the tropics                A river bank made private

A theater of night guards                               A soda parlor

Of that foreign good                 whisky tractor

red tin can                 with the picture of a scarab                 and a quaker oat

Acquisition                               That American thing

The good old good

Cheese and grape

There was a tennis court in the club                           where you hit a ball

and nothing returned

We munched                 on its brandy biscuit.

We ordered two of it.