Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I make the rules

"Vanity is becoming a nuisance. 
I can see why women give it up, eventually. But I'm not ready for that yet."

You don't have to read this.
There's not much in this except me.
But what the hell --- my blog, my rules.

Photos courtesy of Wilfred de Vera

On second thought: Here, have a poem.

Under One Small Star
Wislawa Szymborzka

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.


madali na para sa atin ang lumayo
sapagkat patapos na ang ating kuwento.

ating bibitawan ang huling alaalang
marahil sadyang walang puwang

sa paraisong hinulma
mula sa pirapirasong puso.

bubuksan ang palad bilang pagtatapos
at hahayaan ang muling paglalakbay

ng mga kapalarang iba-iba ang tangan
sabay papakawalan ang galit kung bakit

sa paglaho ng mga alaala
hindi mabura ang sakit.

La tristesse durera toujours.

For Belle. Believe me, sometimes one word is all it takes and the poem will write the greatest story. Merci!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ask yourself:

All the hard questions.

Like what do you want to be, what does the morning decide you will become? A raindrop, a mermaid, a fallen feather off a clumsy dove mid-flight? Whose voice sings in your heart right now? What words do you find your thoughts clinging to over and over and over? What story did you erase and which chapter did you start with? How many ghosts inhabit your head at this very moment, and how many of those said supernatural forces are you willing to entertain?

Just right now you offer your hand, fingers dancing despite the cold coating it, despite the rain, reaching out with hesitant palms wide open, an aria aching to be sung from the quickening beat of your pulse:

  1. How long do you have to wait until another verse arrives?
  2. And how do you intend to welcome it?

Friday, July 20, 2012

These words

When what you have
is the absence of words
to fill the dry, expectant parchment ---

you tell me how you have tried
to fill the gaps with fixtures, pictures, a trip to some distant country,
smokes and sighs of longing  

to find the words
older than our own still elusive,
the quill poised, the ink quickly drying.

To this, let me tell you --- I dreamt of a poem
taking flight from the tips of your fingers
springing forth to bleed unto the page.

In my dream, the poem found itself awake.
And you, powerless in its awakening, 
can only stare at tall walls turned short,

narrow ends opening to wider streets offering no resistance
to the words surging, hurriedly whispering ---
We’re here. We're here.

Here. In the arms of an imaginary wind.
The words telling of movement,
promises a return.

Trust that these words won't fail you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Writing these down before I forget. Books I am lusting on. Books that my friendly neighborhood bookstore do not carry. Books that I am charming my friend[s] to get me:

  1. A Man Without a Country ~ Kurt Vonnegut
  2. Breathing the Water ~ Denise Levertov
  3. The History of Love ~ Nicole Krauss
  4. *A Lover's Discourse: Fragments ~ Roland Barthes

Because I am so over you Nancy Drew.

*Thinking of stealing this back from my aunt. Har dee har har. But how?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pop Quiz

TRUE    2. Things they say suddenly speak to you, i.e.,
“I love you’ means that I accept you for the person that you are, and that I do not wish to change you into someone else. It means that I will love you and stand by you even through the worst of times. It means loving you even when you’re in a bad mood, or too tired to do the things I want to do. It means loving you when you’re down, not just when you’re fun to be with. ‘I love you’ means that I know your deepest secrets and do not judge you for them, asking in return that you do not judge me for mine. It means that I care enough to fight for what we have and that I love you enough not to let go. It means thinking of you, dreaming of you, wanting and needing you constantly, and hoping you feel the same way for me” 
~ Jonathan Safran Foer 

It's not every day one scuttles around objectively in one's heart. Going at length attempting to explain how it is to live a curious four-letter word, and failing miserably. Then he goes to show you how it's done.

Which makes me think --

Ask: Do you really need to afflict the same cruelty you so suffered?

Decide: All the cards have been dealt. Except for one, its edges dull and worn from being kept in your back pocket for a long time.

Consider: How many things -- wondrous and amazing -- have you let go for something real and easy? It is not kindness that call for the need of walls or extended pauses.

Understand: You are not separate from the world.

Ruminate: Do you even remember the name you called out like a song in the beginning? How far from the chapter has she gone?

De novo

Say we surrendered to the act of forgetting. Allowed the slow 
passing of our senses, lost in the movement 
of fading into absence -- wave adieu 
as they exit the broken doors of our hearts 
to slip through the slits of our fingers. 

Say the first to leave is sight, a wave of nihility in its wake 
save for a fog of apology as it clothes our world with darkness,
to have touch and taste follow suit. Straining for sound 
we get nothing for hearing has thereafter left 
with nary hiss nor hoom.

Say the last to leave is our voice, forfeiting
our right to ask of the world 
that has nothing left to offer.
Nothing left to tell of our story 
that we are not given time to remember.

Say would you be willing to want this? 
To go as far as forgetting, no longer
be bound by memories deceitful?
Would you? Forget and be
something else, someone else
with me. Shall we?

Make it new.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ano ang naiwan?

Mistulang nilamon ng ulan ng iyong pagkawala ang baga
ng damdaming minsang umawit sa kagalakan.

Walang takas
ang nalulusaw na mga ngiti,
nangingisay na mga kamay na walang mahawakan,
at nangangalawang na bibig 
mula sa dumadausdos na tubig
ng kawalan.

Tanging ang usok na dala nitong pagbulusok ng puso
ang naiwan sa iyong paglisan.

Into the abyss.