Allen Samsuya works as a copywriter on the internet, and moonlights as a real
estate broker in Davao City (Philippines). He dabbles in poetry because a short
story isn't exactly short.


In April, after paying
rent on one too many
houses for the longest
time, my wife, my kid,
and I walked into
our very own home
for the first time.

The bartender said
nothing, cracked
no punchline,
because the world
isn't a joke,
and we didn't walk
into a bar. Meanwhile,

in a sports bar
in the real world
in the past,
people watched
Lomachenko shoeshine
into no mas land
real fast.

This year has been one
of the good ones.

I remember, in December,
I photoshopped for my son
a cartoon piranha
inside a light bulb full
of the ocean even when
the internet insisted
on a goldfish instead.

The Law of Falling Bodies

Whatever escapes the hands
of astronauts finds the moon
at the rate of a pin drop.

I wish you never get tired
of staring at the sky at night.
And for every unrequited

breaking of your heart, I hope
you remember that before
it was gravity, it was only

the falling of feathers.
It doesn't matter
whether it was a hammer,

a hand grenade,
or rainwater that ruined
the great alien landscape

of your past.
It doesn't matter
whether or not Galileo dreamt

of angels. Or that the dead
cannot unspeak of loving.
Pick yourself up. The roots

of trees are still intact,
and air remains the quiet
element of resistance.


In hopes of building
a happier character
as a nation, the public

has recently adopted
the general elements
of sitcom as its own

new way of living.
Responsible, law
-abiding, citizens

are learning to end
their conversations
with punchlines

as punctuation,
day in and day out.
The government

even commissioned
the quarter-hourly
broadcast of canned

laughter on national
And although people

laugh in a hundred
different dialects
in this country,

everyone everywhere
that good comedy

is great tragedy
made hysterical
with time.

This new way cracks
me up every time.
The way an exploding

volcano cracks open
the Earth every time.
The way somebody

slipping on a banana
peel cracks someone
else up every time.

Late at night, just
for kicks, I tune in
to stories about

wars breaking out,
economies breaking
down, and famous

lovers breaking
up. Turns out
that peace, money,

and love are a joke
much bigger
than everyone

else's momma.
When news anchors
fall about, I know

things are getting
a little too funny,
and it is getting

too late. Even for me.
So I turn in, and laugh
myself to sleep.

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