Thanks for allowing me to submit a work to this issue of High Chair, but I just can’t bring myself to submit anything other than this expression of hesitation to submit. How dare I – how dare any of us – make an object of writing out of the atrocity of what’s happened in Maguindanao? I can’t say it’s our obligation to write out either grief or disbelief as a gesture “against forgetting,” to commit the horrors of such incidents to social or cultural memory: We already have the news for that, we already have so many documents that map out the terrifying topography of the event, such that any depiction in “poetic form” that doesn’t concede to its own sterility is nothing short of pornographic. Poets can’t keep insisting on their self-importance, or at least I can’t. The poet’s typical excuse is that people need to be reminded that they’re capable of committing such horrible actions, forgetting that carrying out this messianic narcissism – this exploitation of the grief of others so s/he can still have a sense of worth in a community that has no need for poets – is just another horrible action in itself.