Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mula sa Musa

Para sa Manunulat --- 

Isang malalim na buntong hininga ang sagot ko sa pag-agos ng mga salita mula sa iyong pluma.

Dahil sa unti-unting dumudulas ang mga sandali, parang hindi ko kayang pasanin ang kalungkutang mararamdaman ko kung sakaling dumating ang araw na hindi na ang aking anino ang lililim sa katawan mong magbibigay-buhay sa isang tula.

Natatakot ako na sa bawat indayog ng [mga] buwan dala nito ang mga alaala na ulap na lamang ang nilalaman.

Natatakot ako na hindi na maaari ang mabagal na paglalakbay sa bawat araw sa kagustuhang bawasan ang lawak nitong distansya sa ating pagitan.

Nababalutan ng takot itong aking pag-amin na nais kitang mahalin — sapagkat 
anong sagot 
            ang maisusukli mo 
                                    sa akin?

Muted gestures and imaginings. Often it is the writer who captures the words behind beauty and inspiration, bottles up the emotions, and unleashes them on the page. Do you ever wonder -- what of the muse? 

True to my editorial colors. Original scribbles from The In-between. Because I'm bored and would like to put the 'use' in amused. Hehe.

Monday, May 28, 2012

True or False


Write T if the statement is True and F if the statement is False.
Fine, we'll throw in Maybe in the picture. So that's an M.
Answer as truthfully as you can. No second-guessing; no erasures.

Same shit, different package sorrows are. Agree or disagree?

________ 1. Some days you really believe the world is unkind when What You Can Do is different from What Will and Can Happen. And so you knock on all pieces of wood you can.

________ 2. Things they say suddenly speak to you, i.e., *Comma, n.: Is this the effect we have on each other, the power to force a pause, but not to end the sentence? Or **Songs are as sad as the listener.

________ 3. You're not supposed to say anything. So you write something like this. Or hold her name and a vestige of her face between your palms, holding it for the longest time until the most opportune moment.

________ 4. Believing you can tell the world to behave, owning the vast expanse of the Universe, and deserving every ounce of happiness --- only to be tied down by invisible strings reminding you that above all else, you're human.

________ 5. You hate getting all hot and bothered. For nothing.

________ 6. It's called a triage. You believe in annihilating things, people and feelings for what you perceive to be the greater good. Some nights, you worry --- what do you know, really?

________ 7. You give in to the memories and smile, you silly twit. But you know there really is no escaping the memories. And they give you the sweetest smiles. So what the hell. Revel.

________ 8. You want to get drunk. Again. Oh, and not necessarily to feel a little love.

________ 9. When sleeping gives you the break you need but never the answers you seek.

________ 10. You kind of want to hold her hand or poke her. Just to feel she's close. Just to make sure she's near. Just to be sure of her.

How did you do?

*David Levithan, The Lover's Dictionary on Twitter
**Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Got a kick out of this poem, et. al.

She doesn't know, but I know
Allen B. Samsuya, Anthuluge ~ Easy Does It

She doesn’t know but I know
how she still has the hots for me —
How she keeps her hair kempt
and smelling of warm gin
and citrus so she’s sure
she intoxicates me
despite the distance she claims
to have between us. And how
she wants me to take her hard
against something, a wall perhaps,
or a closet, or a king-sized bed.
This, I can tell by the way she walks
away — the shape love takes
when nurtured in secrecy poised
on the curve of her waist.
But she walks away, anyway.

Being writer-ly:

Inspirations [sort of] notwithstanding, I've been trying to write more. Experimenting with languages and dialects to see where I'm most comfortable.

Current assessment: A toss-up between Filipino and English.

Loving the challenge I get from writing a tula and at the same time, playing around with length in English is giving a hands-clasped-behind-the-head satisfied feeling. Sadly, something erotic doesn't this way come. It seems being sensual is better done than written about (but this is just me).

Sometimes wishing I can translate to the sound of letters how my body curves at your touch, how a sigh slips from my lips at your caress, and how we dance to the edge of the world and explode midst a slew of stars...

that sort of thing.

Life, lately:

Been feeling a bit under the weather. The mad, mad combination of sun and rain and gloriously polluted Ayala has taken its toll on little ol' me. Work is something else, too. Physiology will buckle somehow when caught smack in the middle of shitstorm season. And so we sigh, roll up our sleeves and get to work (nonetheless).

Looking forward to the rainbow this June. A 45-minute plane ride will usher my feet back to Iloilo for a week of celebrating birthdays, meeting up with friends, and playing with my rottweiler Pucci. Some alcohol-filled night-out or two is also in the works. Perhaps, I can squeeze in a day at the beach if I'm lucky.

Oh, yeah.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Atin Ang Gabi

Ikaw, ako,
kape at kuwento.
Dala ng magkaugnay na hapdi
itong higpit ng pagsalubong sa sandali.

Ito ang naging simula:
Minsan tayo ay tumigil sa paggalaw
at nanatili sa iisang lugar.
Hinayaan ang banggaan ng mga kapalarang iba-iba ang tangan.

Bumalik tayo sa nagdaang panahon.
Ikaw at ako, sila --- ang pinagsaluhan.
Binilang ang araw ng pagsasama
nang sabay tapon sa mga panghihinayang.

Ipinaaalala sa atin na wala na rin namang silbi
ang pag-inda sa lungkot na minsan nilang dala.
Tiyak ang paglaho ng kung anong bahid ng alinlangan.
Hindi natin sila kailangan.

At naganap ang hindi inaasahan: Napunit ang langit
sa pagsiklab ng sandali.
Ating ipinagdiwang itong minsang pagtatagpo
sa pinakamahabang gabi.

Ngunit walang katiyakan
itong pananatili ng mga sandali,
bagamat magkatabi at masaya
hanggang sa tahimik na pag-uwi.

Sa ngayon nababalutan ng pag-unawa itong pagsasama.
Isinantabi sa kaloob-loobang sulok ang pananabik.
Maselan ang pagbitaw sa mga salita.
Walang nangangako sa takot na walang maaako.

Hanggang sa muli,
mananatili sa kalagitnaan itong tagpo.
Di tiyak ang pagpapatuloy o pagtatapos
ng ating kuwento.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Story of Remembrance


is the ceaseless attempt to forget.


When all that is left is the sound of wanting ---
the soft whisper of loneliness
aching to be spun into song.

Your name escapes from my parched lips;
a sigh barely heard for it has been too long,
far too long.

I give it another try.
Chords for want of stronger sound

I must utter your name
so there will be no forgetting.


On days when the past knocks on my front door like an old friend, I do not quite know how to react. Or if I want to welcome it at all.

But it comes bearing gifts; and almost always, I cannot resist. How can I when they come in such beautiful, ornate boxes? And when, deep inside, I am hoping, encased in perhaps an intricate decoupage of gold, green and silver, I will uncover You?


Today I stand before the place where I met you.
My hands are formed into cups nestling the box I have chosen.
This box: striking in its beauty feels oddly heavy in my hands,
its weight shooting daggers of hope in my heart.

I am itching to open the box, anticipating our reunion.
Already my mind is racing ---
How are you? Do you remember me? What do you remember?
Tell me, tell me.

In my haste, I almost didn’t hear the moon.
Its mellifluous voice, mocking, calling me foolish
for believing too much,
for believing in so many things.  


It is said that dust is formed from our skins and that if we stay in one place for a long time, an eventual mound of dust shall have formed at our feet.

If this is true, and if by some unfortunate circumstance, the wind comes our way, what will become of us? Particles in the wind, we spin away from each other bearing versions of our story. Away and away, the distance erecting walls between us. What once was ours shall have become yours and mine.

Open it, said the moon. And I oblige.


Save for a thin coating of dust.

I waited too long, I told the moon.


Dust in the wind. You and I.
If so be the case, do we still hold the right to ourselves? Do we not become properties of the wind --- our story becoming the wind’s own?


The moon was witness to our story and its beginnings. And she tells me in dulcet tones that with each of her motions mapping our days apart, underscoring the absence of sight and sound and touch, a memory is taken away.

The smoke wafting from your half-opened lips, the color of the night, the feel of your palms on the small of my back as you steered me to our spot by a palm tree. Or was it a potted plant?

See how the details are easily forgotten? The moon whispers.


I empty the contents of the box into my hands but I am not careful enough.
You slip easily between the slits of my fingers to be blown away by the wind.


What am I to make of this?
It seems so unfair when all I want is to talk to you so desperately.
And so I whisper stories of my day to the wind hoping that somehow it gets to you. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Who are you, Woman?

I do not know the woman
I only know of this ---

She is the hand resting lightly on my shoulder,
becoming the language no longer needing
the soft swish of letters.

She is the song that lulls me into a dream,
where upon waking, I find the sky is mine for the taking.

She is the rain masking my tears,
leaving a trail of kisses as I take back
my heart in need of mending.

She is the words I weave into a poem
bespoke of courage and strength.

She is love forged between weak links,
supped over broken phone lines and
hurried text messages.

She is my mother, the woman I do not know.
Save for her beauty, her serene acceptance
of the daughter who will not have become her.

I must surrender what little I know of her
what little I understand,
when what we have
is the absence of sight.

And what we try to do
is fill the void with sounds
of bodies being forced to injure/endure
shared time and space apart.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama. I may not say this as often as the gods or you or me would like but you know I love you, right? Oh, and I'm sorry if I do not answer back after a particularly horrid night at the office. It kills me, you know, how to the ladies I love/particularly like I am so available but to you... Shame on me. I am working on it, Mama. I am. Because all this time --- It's been always you and me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Someone beat me to it

Finding the words before I did ---
We talked about nothing in particular, but it felt like we were talking about the most important things.
 Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Yep, there are things I sure miss.

"Hey, you," said I, as I wave to you in dreams that vanish in the morning, snippets of which hover in the air as I make my morning coffee.


Trying to a write a poem with se[x]nsual undertones. Progress report: Not very successful.

This may not see the light of day or am I the only one who thinks writing/revising a piece can take forever? This rediscovery is (still) scaring me but reining it in. And trying my hardest to catch up. Or keep up?

Of course there are the questions: Must everything always be tested by time? Must things always take time? Time to heal, to evolve, to make sense of? Time -- that which I do not have -- is slipping away like a missed train I want to be very much on.

Obviously, patience is not a strong suit. Also, a penchant for stating the obvious. Minus 5.

Starting to get sick of the voices inside my head. Three words: Not good enough.

I have been feeling better --- and worst. One more so than the other; guess which. 

But, trying to make a conscious effort to see the glass half full. As in 'seeing' -- really -- and not merely 'looking'. To inject some sense of "Yes, I understand." Which means getting over Things Not Going As Hoped, Things Not Happening, and Being Too Hard On Self.

Fighting off this anchorage. Let go -- it's ok -- let go.

For now, a poem by e.e. cummings -- because words are elusive sometimes, like butterflies.

Lady, I will touch you with my mind.

Touch you and touch and touch until you give
me suddenly a smile shyly obscene.

Lady, I will touch you with my mind.
Touch you, that is all,
lightly and you utterly will become
with infinite care

the poem which I do not write.

I love updates, don't you?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bagong Buwan

Sa sandaling iyon
Umiral ang isang tagpo
Nang kinuha mo sa aking kamay
Ang isang tala at ibinalik ito sa kalangitan.
Ang sabi mo:
Mahal, ako lamang
Sa gabing ito, ako lamang.
Sabay tayong maglalakbay
Patungo sa isang banyagang dalampasigan
At doon, mag-aabang ng panibagong buwan.

Kung paano sa mga sandaling iyon
Umiral ang pag-asa, hawak kamay.
Hindi natin namalayan ang paghilum
Ng mga kung anu-anong sugat
Na dala-dala ng nakaraan,
Habang tinatalunan natin ang mga alon
Ng walang pag-aalinlangan.
Ang ating mga tawa umaalingawngaw
Habang tangay natin ang isa’t isa ---
Hudyat ng umuusbong at namumukadkad na simula.

If you listen, ever so closely, you will hear my sigh. The sound of feathers, my choosing to nurse this ache happy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Inspiration[s]. Sort of.

Tell me about it. I've been spewing words for weeks now. And I'm as surprised as you are. But amused nonetheless. So who could have caused this? Some list.

  1. Someone of all trades. A master of one. Or two. Oh, alright, a few. Fine, several. It was good while it lasted. Sweet escapes. Quite civil given half the chance, no longer chummy. Questions. Kaput.
  2. Epic: One of the most amazingly talented people I know. A mean combination of prose, poetry and photography. May wield more, I'm afraid to admit. Or maybe I have, i.e., reason for unsound sleep, flying.
  3. Silent. Fleeting. Most likely. But then we'll never know for now. Feathers all around still.
  4. Smiles that make me forget how dark the world can be. Sweeping. Primal and unadulterated conversations that could go on for days. Progress report: Nil.
  5. Constant like change. 
  6. Some kind of wonderful.

It should not come as a surprise that all of them are women.
Men, you ought to shape up. But I couldn't care less. Har dee har har.
Save for 5, I'm currently keeping a safe distance for my own good. And theirs.

Haiku-happy for days now. There are words but they speak too much of the truth. Only a haiku because the poems must get shorter in the attempt to not risk anymore of what's left (if there are any). Oh no.

Lose yourself in art ---
in poetry surrender
in song abandon.

and because the heart has indeed grown fonder but has learned its lesson and will opt for silence:

Windblown refugees
wandering with empty hearts
mistaken for stars.

See what I mean?

Friday, May 4, 2012

To silence

At night, she bellows
the sound barely audible
unheard ‘til the morn.

“I would like to know
what it will take to make you
fall in love with me?”

In the morn, humming
she sings laments of longing
the tune without words.

“Winged the span of time
Yet your footprint remains etched
right here, above my breast.”

That thing with feathers,
hope, discloses everything;
revealing nothing.

“Within the confines
of my heart, I begin the
task of vanishing.”

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I am a Jonathan Safran Foer paragraph

  • when sadness takes another form
  • of longing and loneliness
  • of escapes and forgetting
  • when confusion is a necessary good
  • in which I cannot stop writing
  • but I must

Does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of, I never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, I never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn't the world, it wasn't the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, I don't know, but it's so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? I think and think and think, I've thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.

So many words in the English language and yet, they still manage to fail you at the most opportune moment. You may be interested to read this.

And then I came across The History of Love to find that "When will you learn that there isn't a word for everything?" which greatly reminded me of my e-mail signature from two years ago, "Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?" 

There's a moral to this, I swear! Or I can always say "Deja poo! I've heard this crap before!" but something tells me enough is enough, "Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and get your act together." 


Hindi ang nalaman mong hindi ka papasang cum laude ang pinakaayaw mong pakiramdam sa mundo. Hindi rin ang nalaman mong hindi ka makakauwi sa semana santa kasi maraming trabaho sa opisina kahit pa mahigit isang taon mo nang hindi nakakasama ang mga mahal mo sa buhay. Ang p-------------- pinakaayaw mong pakiramdam sa buong p---------------- mundo ay iyong malaman mong may ibang gusto ang babaeng gusto mo, iyong tipong inamin mo na sa sarili mo na alaala pala niya ang isa sa mga pinakainiingatan mong bagay. Parang bumulusok kang bumagsak bago ka pa magsimula; parang pinatay ka na bago ka nabuhay. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How do I tell you

I'm sorry.

The misleading volume of my words has gone out of line. And I know I have got to stop speaking in flames that give birth to knives, and maim quite successfully.

I'm sorry.

When friends press for stories, I like to laugh and pretend like you were the one sent to me by angels at the moment I needed reprieve, and that your job here with me is done when the reality was that you were the one that had potential, which is infinitely more painful for reasons I cannot even begin to explain.

I'm sorry.

A part of me will always ache for you, I suppose.

On nights when I am lonely and just a tad proud, I remember our conversations and the way we could go on for hours just talking about things not meant to be discussed. In our little space in time, we did disappoint each other (like the time I promised I'd call but forgot) --- because people always do --- but at least it would be in ways that we both understand.

I'm sorry.

I've never resented you for having a home inside my heart. I built that myself. It's here to stay, I think. Others may occupy it but their names and faces would be stored in some other body part; a space for each moment. But never where you are.

I remember how it was with you. Exchanging our versions of sadness. Some days I still hear you --- the funny sound you make when you're laughing, about to laugh but not quite.

I'm sorry.

I think I need to learn that the trick is to keep it quiet. Yes, I think this I learned from you. Keep quiet and smile (how you won me over).