Barbara Barquez Ricafrente: Charlatan



Notes: One of the things I learned from my AB/BSE Litt classes is that poems do have a variety of meanings. And as I read Ricafrente’s “Charlatan”, I can’t help but to associate this with the pain and the angst that comes from a heartbreak. It’s a biased opinion, of course, given my recent melancholia over a certain someone (X). But I find this poem biased as well. I mean, here, the reader only gets to read the side of the one who’s jilted/left behind. There are no explanations justifying what the other party did. In fact, the persona doesn’t even want to hear any explanations from the other party. The frequent use of the lines, “you have no right” and “do not speak to me” support this.

The thing is, I cannot blame the persona. He/she has already gone through the period of  hoping and waiting, only to find out that: (1) there are no words left for him/her and (2) that the other party has moved on to another phase of his/her life, totally oblivious of the wreck that he/she has left behind. People may say that the persona is selfish and unfair but really, who wouldn’t be when one gives away everything and realizes that it is all just a play?

Maybe the reason why I’m so affected with this poem is NOT because I’ve also been fooled twice- setting aside my pride for someone who’s assuring himself that there’s a girl willing to sacrifice an arm and a foot for him. No. It’s because like the persona, the wounds are still open. A part of me still hopes and dreams. True, the other party has just left me behind without even explaining why but it doesn’t mean that he has vanished completely. He is still there in my Facebook liking and posting stuffs; He is friends with my friends; and the worst of all, he is lurking in my subconscious. That is why, every little action that he does- even how irrelevant it is- speaks to me and transforms into theories as to why he suddenly cut the connection between him and I. And I’m tired of hearing it. I’m tired of playing mind games. And he certainly has no right to speak of love and of pain when he’s a jerk enough to toy with my feelings. But I cannot help it. Sometimes I wish I’m selfish enough so that I can only think of myself.


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