The Insistence of Being (2021)
Created for Hatak
by Victor Barnuevo Velasco

About the installation:
For close to two years, the outdoors had been slowly moving indoors, out of pronounced longing to survive. Fields collapsed into potted plants, mountains into domestic clutters, lakes and rivers into faucets and wash basins. Last year, I wrote this poem out of pronounced despondency:
after Theodore Roethke
Recent arrivals bring us death: an army
Of ants parading a half-finished cocoon --
The caterpillar inside -- Worms scorched
On concrete walkways after pushing
Themselves out to light -- A cloud of gnats
Taking over a hot humid afternoon.

Were that these things only analogies:
White rain while you were driving on
An open highway -- A quake in the middle
Of the night – Viruses snatching your body --
Stasis -- Synapses -- Slipping into something
You never imagined or began to understand.
In this piece, a documentation and a vision out of existential threats, an attic holds artifacts of anni horribiles, remnants of vanishing nations. But for the insistence of the body to continue to be and the spirit to remain human.

Victor Barnuevo Velasco is an I.T. Consultant who occasionally writes poetry and fiction. His fiction appeared in Philippines Graphic and his poetry in AniBicol Journal of Literature, softblowMollyhouseImpossible ArchetypeTLDTD, and Migozine. In 2020, he participated in a project of Tupelo Press, 30/30, writing one poem a day for the whole month of November.  This is his first time to participate in a visual art project.