• Streams of consciousness in one paragraph.
  • Executes metaphors: fog, edge = whisper, words; branches = icepicks
  • Clear descriptions of what one sees and hears:
    • Figures are smudges.
    • Dialogue of boy and woman
  • Simile: fog = dry ice
  • Plays on logic but then returns to descriptions
  • Bottomline: These are really streams of consciousness, flowing like fog. A poem in fog form. Consciousness = thoughts + observations

The Cornerhouse

  • He describes a scene, possibly inside a restaurant and integrates some commentary.
  • Scenes:
    1. Couple in a restaurant
    2. Picture behind them: family in a motorcycle
    3. Return to the couple: meal arrives
    4. Commentary: motorcycles (their dangers), moving forward despite balancing a lot, comments on poverty.
    5. Return to the couple: Vince differentiates between the rich couple vis a vis a large family
    6. Philosophical: “Stasis is balance in disguise.” I am unsure what to make of this statement. Is he saying that the stasis that we observe among the elites is a reflection of balance, i.e., the more people suffer, the more elites feel better?
    7. Conclusion: Return to the observer (Vince) but also the “three children on the curb watch then pass.”


  1. Vendor calling names of fishes
  2. Haggling customers
  3. Fish barely alive
  4. Mouths open and close = wallets open and close customer’s hesitance
  5. Philosophical: “What severs you from the world denies you the prospect of encounter”
  6. Philosophical: “You do not know who you are until you meet another whom, with grammar and terms from the outside, you can dispute the silences of the inside.”
  7. Money goes from hand to hand
  8. Philosophical: “What is exchanged is neither bills nor fish but time.”
  9. Close description of fishes
  10. A symbolic description of sea

If You Can’t See My Mirrors I Can’t See You

A prose poem

  1. First person “we.” Talks about another pedestrian without a name.
  2. Description of setting.
  3. Describes a specific moment when, through mirrors, pedestrians see each other and mentions other instances when this happens.
  4. But then creates contrast. Majority off the city has no mirrors. Solid.
  5. Mentions: mirror = speculum speculate
  6. Description of R. Hidalgo: history, current situation, jeepneys
  7. A scholar speculates = solid facts possibilities (mirrors)\

Facts Solid

  • aluminum
  • tin
  • glass

Possibilities Mirrors

  1. Not scholarship but artifice
  2. Resumes describing another pedestrian
  3. Facts gathered = mirrors gather details = place gathers
  4. Mirror mirer mirage and miracle
  5. Describes another person (is it the fellow pedestrian or a different individual?)
  6. Moistness: poem = history: city
  7. Moistness discerned through angle = history: slant
  8. Lost from each other’s view, mercy of a film or angle
  9. Entanglements of objects and people in the city.
  10. Entanglements moistness
  11. Describes history of the black Nazarene
  12. Procession vow entangled with God from an angle
  13. Ends with a long run-on sentence, basically entanglements of everything he said

Here, he interjects history and insights with a walk.

He employs deep metaphors, not object to object but object to concepts.

Insight: Either you pursue popularization and democratization or you pursue innovation which could alienate you from people.

Poetry is read on faces. Therefore it is urgent to create new faces.

This is one of Vincenz Serrano’s multilayered poems. This one has two layers separated by a single dot equidistant from the last line of the first poem and the first line of the second.

The first poem has two lines each occurrence of layer. It is a play of images and concepts: bed, pickup, house, and road. I can understand it but it’s surreal.

The second poem has four lines each occurrence of layer. It is a prose poem. It talks about how faces communicate things. The philosopher again speaks. There is no “I.” He makes a comparison again: paragraph = city (capacious and ruthless). Sentences break punctuation rules. It is filled with observations but no interconnections: streams of consciousness.

Ferrante & Teicher

A two-layered poem. First layer, again two lines each occurrence. The second layer is prose poem. The above is a poem. The below is prose.

”When I came down in the house of prose…”

This is a hybrid poem about poetry and prose.

What Vince is saying is that eventually, everything leads to disarray because of decay. Decay poetry. A once structured prosaic life becomes disarrayed, poetic. This is nature.

I have a feeling that the man here was his father.

”Let them talk to each other.” Vince has executed this well. Each element talks to each other—return, repeat. How can I make my writing better by making them converse with each other?

Making Scenes

This work begins like a narrative essay. It’s the first work in this collection that I really felt like it would be a pure prose. But then there are sentences within this seemingly pure essay that sounds like a poem. And sentences that delve on the nature of things.


  • last sentence of paragraph 1.
  • The entire half of paragraph 2 has become a prose poem.

Then Vince proceeds to his mini recollection of movies:

  1. Oro Pro Nobis
  2. John en Marsha sa Amerika
  3. Batang West Side
  4. Batch ‘81
  5. Darna
  6. Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag
  7. Bayaning Third World

I won’t be able to compare these recollections with the real movies if I don’t watch them.

Short Walks

Consists of a prelude and a series of walk poems, which are not really that long, just vignettes of places in a few lines of poetry. The prelude shows Vince talking to someone he calls “my scholar,” which reminds me of the poetry vs scholarship tension he introduced in an earlier poem. It’s possible that he is referring to himself. The prelude is heavy with philosophical–poetic language that do not make easy sense as those before. Under Quiapo, he repeats info he already provided in a previous poem.


Layered work but vertical not horizontal. The form definitely looks like a static breakage on a TV screen. The left layer is a poem about static. Vince attempts to describe what is almost indescribable through metaphors etc.

The next layer is prose with poetic elements. It appears to be either talking about one movie (The Fly) or two movies fused into one.


Form: 8 poems into one. Different looks.

  1. 2 lines
  2. 1 block stanza
  3. 2 lines short
  4. 1 block stanza
  5. Prose poem (anecdotes and philosophical)
  6. Prose poem (anecdotes and philosophical)
  7. Prose poem (anecdotes and philosophical)
  8. Static poem


Serrano, V. (2010). The Collapse of What Separates Us. High Chair.