22 December 2006

How and why on earth do I love thee?

The truth is not always logical and what's logical's not always the truth.

Inaderwurds: Shut up! and just let me.

15 December 2006


And then comes the moment when you're doing something for so long the made purpose of the course is to prove a point you've drawn before only in theory.

My stay here at the office has been all I needed it to be: a money-making gig. But I won't deny its queer gifts. An object of my affection and desire, and therefore my literature, and the precise affirmation of the concept itself: Life sucks, but I'm cool.

I will leave this work. This is an authentic announcement. I must admit that this, for me, is a happy place, making it the very space where I get hurt most and often, and easily.

There should be shame in this weakness perpetually practiced: It's more convenient to get mad and fight than reason and compromise.

It is hardest to reason and reason well. It's nothing short of telling a plausible story.

31 October 2006

The Rest Of October

And how it went--

"Gusto ko, kapag kinuwento ko sa iyo, kuwento na lang siya."


Before, I benefit from/in thought that trust is a singular affair.
Now, the lesson is to trust in trusting people.

The point where both our facts meet, that they fit, is truth.


This must be friendship when the silence and distance you communicate
elicit not coldness.


Commitment to the moment may be the closest I can get to forever. But
let me spare the details as I often have. I cannot yet betray my
self, the person, the story.

20 October 2006

Half Of October

And where it went, I refuse to accept.

Probably because what went with time, I know I cannot retrieve, exactly as time.

Or I cannot hurry whatever I assume, pray will still return.


Given our changes are still us, where are those who've changed with
us?, through us?


Amazing how time passes swiftly along with waiting. And hurt does not
hurt enough.

Yet almost crazily I obsess with beginnings and endings, like my
sanity relies solely as to where I place my self in the spectrum.


What I give may be mine--what of those I'm not willing to let go of?

The giving game is fun only when someone's needing.


Half of October is spent in doubting and hanging on to whatever's left
to hold on to: dreams, deceit; what's left of good intentions;
figuring the extent of things I could do and the extent of what I
could forgive, thus accept.

I measure my days with how much I manage to live without: messages
and a plea for a call, the desire to send messages and call.

27 September 2006

Take Tuesday Off The Calendar

If you could take away a day from the week, what day would it be?

I heard this question in a radio talk show a couple of nights ago. And I answered it in my head.

I cannot take away Monday. It's "Manic Monday." It's when one is either excited/hopeful in starting the week, and in some ways, a new life or highly frustrated for again starting yet another unremarkable seven days.

Wednesday, I cannot take away too. It has such character. It's the middle of the work and school week and Lisa's made a song with it, "Waiting for Wednesday." It's the day when you think of how you'll progress through the rest of the week, make it quite pretty, if not fantastic.

Thursday, Thursday is my favorite. It's the day before Friday. When Thursday comes, Friday becomes so near, meaning the weekend is so near. And just pronounce "thurs." Hear it. It's soft and smooth as rabbit's fur.

Friday? May be over-rated, but I, too, scream, T.G.I.F.! on that very day.

Saturday--well, we love it. Simply, excessively. I treasure a heartful of Saturdays in my life.

And Sunday is always blessed with that "Sun"--er--that clarity of sorts. It's my personal rest day. Lazy Sunday. Slow, sweet Sunday.

Therefore: Tuesday is the unspecial one. It simply lays there. It's like one of those acquaintances whom you can live without. Who has not stirred your story even ever so slightly. A verse that has not pierced its way into memory.

Tuesday, I had my heart bruised. By not knowing enough. By knowing too well. Both A and B. A fish in a bowl well aware of salted water.

You are not fair. You're rejecting me at the wrong time. Variations of no and silence would've been useful in the beginning when nothing's begun yet; when there's nothing to end.

24 September 2006

The Weather: "You Don't Have To Name It"

"You want God to laugh? Tell him about your plans." --Amores Perros

I just had a great Saturday with my brother. We went to Brittany Bay, ate burger for lunch, had coffee, then on the way home, while drizzling, I vomited on the street the liters of water I drank at the cafe.

At home, we watched, "Amores Perres," a film that reminded me of Sannrise--which reminded me that "hope is severed from expectation," as Ms. Michaels put it quite well.

It's nebulous, how I'm feeling, I don't know the things I have, I don't know them, because I don't have a name for them.

To name is to limit, to capture, yes, in a way. But what if I give a wrong name, what if I assume? I'll just force the circle into the square. But then I agree man makes miracles and that "everything is in everything else," as Mr. Paterson put it quite well.

And I like the advice, not having to name it. To just stand at an approximation, though so worried now, I like not being worried about an end. Dot dot dot.

I'm just scared, maybe. Fear is noble; it's quite cool, in fact. I'm lazy.

Let it be, let it be. But let is also a verb, an action as consequential as pull.

The present is quite disappointing, yet like you, would I really rather be elsewhere?

11 September 2006

I'm not good enough for this very common world

1. I cannot endure how something must be given up for something.

2. How my human wishes are being disapproved.

3. I cannot purely give.

4. Love is killing me, and without it, it's killing me all the same
and more. The way he and his absence torment me.

02 July 2006

Sabi Ko Sa Sarili Ko

Worst is to assume you've known a person completely. You can only best learn a way of dealing with someone. And changes too abrupt. Primary to discover your self, your desires; check your defenses.

It's very easy to love someone so beautifully ordinary, because you can create all the myth you want of her and marvel at the humanness of her. Because once someone is so seemingly perfect, you feel him or her too good to be true.

But inconvenient when you are surrounded by minds too narrow to fit a shapeless relationship in.

Who cannot figure the pleasure lies there shifting, only given to certain luck for capturing.

21 June 2006

You Lose

a continent.

And you remain, to find in you something twice its size, to give.

21 May 2006

The mayness of May

They trip to fall into themselves unknowingly.

—Seamus Heaney, The Play Way
I'm taking all the chances to make my chances.

Elliptically talking to friends. Sentences disguising the sentiment.

I make a dedication not to list the statistics, for I want to turn the facts into story. That which has beginning, middle—how I'll linger in the middle, and I'll hurt in the middle, and I'll wait in the middle, might even make promises in the middle.

For something sane:

But for the name, the only pronoun appropriate is in our common tongue: siya, niya, kaniya. And of between us: kita.

Pagtingin: no, never, never a feeling, but a way of seeing.

I have a way of seeing you.

That which the I can never elucidate to the you.

Thus the injury.

With E:
E: I don't think I can handle rejection.

Me: I undermine rejection with worth of that gift of knowing someone finds a certain wonder about you.
Simply acknowledge that someone honestly admires you.

Either accept it or reject it: in both ways, you'll acknowledge it.

Own my sincerity. Hold the most abstruse part of me.

And stray, or end it in the middle?
When suddenly at midnight you hear
an invisible procession going by
with exquisite music, voices,
don't mourn your luck that's failing now,
work gone wrong, your plans
all proving deceptive—don't mourn them uselessly;
as one long prepared and full of courage,
say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all, don't fool yourself, don't say
it was a dream, your ears deceived you:
don't degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
As one long prepared, and full of courage,
as is right for you who were given this kind of city,
go firmly to the window
and listen with deep emotion,
but not with the whining, the pleas of the coward;
listen—your final pleasure—to the voices,
to the exquisite music of that strange procession,
and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.

—CP Cavafy, The God Abandons Antony

13 May 2006

No connection with pain

Gwendolen MacEwen

it's interesting how you can brag about a scar;
I'm fascinated with mine; it's diagonal and straight,
it suggests great skill, great speed,
it is no longer or shorter than it needs to be.

it is good how it follows my natural symmetry
parallel to the hip, a perfect geometry;
it is not a wound; it is a diagram
drawn correctly, it has no connection with pain.

it's interesting how you can brag about a scar;
nothing in nature is a straight line
except this delightful blasphemy on my belly;
the surgeon was an Indian, and beautiful, and holy.

06 May 2006


I went to Paenaan, Antipolo last Friday for a company outing. Suddenly, 17 of us found ourselves bored and so nagkayayaang umakyat ng bundok.

We were just supposed to see a waterfall. We didn't know we had to climb a mountain for more than an hour.

It was my first time. I haven't even tried wall climbing in the malls. Had I been alone, I wouldn't pursue it at all. But "Since the rest of the girls are doing it, why can't I?", I said to my self. Uhuh, peer pressure.

Every time I worry about going through a very steep incline, my worry doubles, for I also had to think of going back--how I could manage that.

And because I'm writing this, I managed.

Not A Virgin In Mountain Climbing Anymore Talk About Hard-To-Get Water

I never thought I would enjoy it. After reaching the waterfall, and higher, drinking the fresh water from a bamboo tongue, I got a feeling I could do anything. There really is something about challenging your physical limitations--the moment I got down, I thought of when my next climb would be.

01 May 2006

Good Intentions

I guess it's an old idea that in the end (or at the core?) of all acquaintances and relationships, what we really want and need to know of another is what they think of us. With the knowledge of how the other perceives you, suddenly s/he becomes complete, or suddenly uninteresting.

I never1 reject a Friendster testimonial, for I would like to believe those things are written with urgency, thus sincerity.2

And you are, of course, excited about what people would like to say about you, excited even at the craft of it--how they say it (your friends, after all, are reflective of you.) And you, of course, can't help but wait for that adjective you want to hear.3

And, of course, the time when I overanalyze. I get a bit crazy when people throw away a description like "she's a good writer," when they haven't read anything I've written, nor are they interested in writing at all. I get crazier when they write their testimonials as if they're texting you. But I will never reject, because again, the theory that it's done in the highest sense of spontaneity.4 Plus, I am of the mythological conditioning that I get along well with all kinds of people: elitists and others; text-conscious and not; homophobic and alcoholic; Ann, Anne, Ana and Anna.

This source of blind trust is what intrigues and bothers me, because I cannot figure anything but ignorance. Not that I'm being hard on my self and them, but pleasure and pain are accurate when their source is real. And real things are hard to come by.--Or that it must agree to what I opine?5

I wonder what those friendsters of mine think of me now. Now, at this very moment, that I look at some special ones: each of them surfacing constantly from memory, since their pictures have never been complete in my mind.

1) Well, not entirely true, since I do not approve those graphic stuff that you don't really think of.
2) There are two instances, though, when my friends blatantly told me they're writing me a testimonial, so I should write them one too! Eww.
3) For the longest time, I've been waiting for someone to say I'm sexy; I can't understand why no one has written that yet. Leche.
4) And hey, it's just Friendster. And hey, who among us is perfect anyway?
5) To make it easier, what I only mean by "real" is "intelligent." What I always mean by real is intelligent.

21 April 2006

Please Read This

Don't worry, these are not my words, so you can relax and trust them. This is an excerpt from Anne Michaels' astonishing--astonishing--book (I don't want to call it a novel), "Fugitive Pieces."*
     A parable: A respected rabbi is asked to speak to the congregation of a neighbouring village. The rabbi, rather famous for his practical wisdom, is approached for advice wherever he goes. Wishing to have a few hours to himself on the train, he disguises himself in shabby clothes and, with his withered posture, passes for a peasant. The disguise is so effective that he evokes disapproving stares and whispered insults from the well-to-do passengers around him. When the rabbi arrives at this destination, he's met by the dignitaries of the community who greet him with warmth and respect, tactfully ignoring his appearance. Those who had ridiculed him on the train realize his prominence and their error and immediately beg his forgiveness. The old man is silent. For months after, these Jews--who, after all, consider themselves good and pious men--implore the rabbi to absolve them. The rabbi remains silent. Finally, when almost an entire year has passed, they come to the old man on the Day of Awe when, it is written, each man must forgive his fellow. But the rabbi still refuses to speak. Exasperated, they finally raise their voices: How can a holy man commit such a sin--to withhold forgiveness on this day of days? The rabbi smiles seriously. "All this time you have been asking the wrong man. You must ask the man on the train to forgive you."
     Of course it's every peasant whose forgiveness must be sought. But the rabbi's point is even more tyrannical: nothing erases the immoral act. Not forgiveness. Not confession.
     And even if an act could be forgiven, no one could bear the responsibility of forgiveness on behalf of the dead. No act of violence is ever resolved. When the one who can forgive can no longer speak, there is only silence.
     History is the poisoned well, seeping into the ground-water. It's not the unknown past we're doomed to repeat, but the past we know. Every recorded event is a brick of potential, of precedent, thrown into the future. Eventually the idea will hit someone in the back of the head. This is the duplicity of history: an idea recorded will become an idea resurrected. Out of fertile ground, the compost of history.
     Destruction doesn't create a vacuum, it simply transforms presence into absence. The splitting atom creates absence, palpable "missing" energy. In the rabbi's universe, in Einstein's universe, the man will remain forever on the train, familiar with humiliation but not humiliated, because, after all, it's a case of mistaken identity. His heart rises, he's not really the subject of this persecution; his heart falls, how can he prove, why should he prove, he's not what they think he is.
     He'll sit there forever; just as the painted clock in Treblinka station will always read three o'clock. Just as on the platform the ghostly advice still floats: "To the right, go to the right" in the eerie breeze. The bond of memory and history when they share space and time. Every moment is two moments. Einstein: "...all our judgements in which time plays a part are always judgements of simultaneous events. If, for instance, I say the train arrived here at seven o'clock, I mean: the small hand of my watch pointing to seven and the arrival of the tain are simultaneous events...the time of the event has no operational meaning...." The event is meaningful only if the coordination of time and place is witnessed.
* Michaels, Anne. Fugitive Pieces (New York: Knopf, 1997), pp160-162.

12 April 2006

The fact of my days

O noon that's vaulted wide,
but for one hour infuse my eyes
with that good light which was before eyes were—
melt down the lie of colors...

—Gottfried Benn*
The truth I care about passes my tongue and reaches fullness! before it ends again.

When I look back from the farthest future, this will be the most vivid filmstrip that'll present itself, my lunch hours: how I outlast people in the dining room and then have a wonderful 30-minute walk to the office.

I, too believe you can never perfectly duplicate anything, let alone an experience, an astonishing experience. And so as much as possible—it is always possible—I try different places and different food in different noons.

*I received 2 remarkable messages today, one from Althea (Kanina pa ako natatawa mag-isa! Dahil naaalala ko long poem ko!') and the other one was this short verse by GB, texted to me by JO.

01 April 2006

A Day's Discovery

Be careful how you live. You may be the only BIBLE some people read.

--sign below the dashboard of the Sucat-Ayala shuttle service I was riding.


Image by http://www.townsend-records.co.uk/My brother and I caught the Klazz Brothers and Cuba Percussion's concert at Arirang last night. They played music from their album, "Mozart Meets Cuba." If you like Mozart, if you like jazz, if you're a fan of creativity, get this! (But if you're not fan of those things, yet you like me, then get me this!)


22 March 2006

The Sound Breaking

Got seriously sick in six months. I woke up, the right side of my head felt like breaking. I thought it would just go away if I fight it, just like what I did to my other headaches. And so I got dressed, went out. I rode a bus from Buendia to Ayala, and as the bus passed by the LRT station, I felt like vomiting. I got off. Vomited.

I vomited the ache away. I could already walk and think straight, but I opted not to go to work. Six months ago, given the same situation, I would've gone to work with no question, but now, no.

Figuring my way back home, I still considered going to the office. It was so near. I felt bad for the sum of money I'd lose and the impending blemish on my attendance report. Funny, I never wanted to live for money and records, but if not for these short-term objects, what for?

I kept remembering my friend who'd not attend to work, because he had to write a poem. (Bakit kaya ang sarap-sarap ng tula? I completely admire those who trust, ang tula, hindi para sa may ibig sabihin.)

I hailed a cab, skyway. Passing by the narrow path, I saw another highway being constructed. There I began to doubt the poet's awareness of his job. Never mind nobility and uselessness. The reality is this: we are less forgiving of the mailman, pilot, carpenter, engineer, doctor, surgeon; their mistake could cost us our lives and loves. A poet is no different. Imagine how they'd havoc an eager mind with a carelessly composed verse, loosely linked words, an imprudent punctuation.

02 March 2006

What keeps some of us

Don Paterson

In the same way that the mindless diamond keeps
one spark of the planet's early fires
trapped forever in its net of ice,
it's not love's later heat that poetry holds,
but the atom of the love that drew it forth
from the silence: so if the bright coal of his love
begins to smoulder, the poet hears his voice
suddenly forced, like a bar-room singer's--boastful
with his own huge feeling, or drowned by violins;
but if it yields a steadier light, he knows
the pure verse, when it finally comes, will sound
like a mountain spring, anonymous and serene.

Beneath the blue oblivious sky, the water
sings of nothing, not your name, not mine.
The greatest gratitude for poetry.

28 February 2006

We'll Correct Our Errors Later

From the 15-year-old Lee Hyeon Ju:
Teacher razle and susan are you Okay?
Yesterday I was reading a newspaper and saw it.
The philippines has a state of national emergency.
so I was very worried.
In my country the president is not good at government.
So a nation is complain about a president.
I think your president is not good when I saw newspaper.
Did you same thinking of me?
Anyway I hope that the philippines will Okay.
Teacher susan and razle take care.
(Please a reply to me all right?)
Bye Bye ^-^
I do same thinking of you, dearest Hyeon Ju.

25 February 2006

State Of Vacuity

We learn from history and repeat it cheerfully. History does not caution, it sanctions.
--Don Paterson
'Aloneness Extraordinaire' by D.N.

Am ending my February. It's too much.

See you March.

04 February 2006

Old Lover

Starbucks's Maple Oat Scone is back.

I was already having my chicken empanada heated when I saw at the bottom shelf a familiar figure in an unfamiliar, but expected price (guess what, from Php40 to Php65.)

My candid self almost asked the barista, "Did you bring it back, because I kept asking for it?")

What stopped me from asking was, I didn't need an answer. But more practically, I did not want to embarrass the barista--and my self.

But I always need that. That feeling, I mean, that every event in the now, I have a hand on. Because it's as if all has been a machination of chance. And while most of the time I believe in what they say about you engineering your chances, the universe has a way of making you see your self so little. So little you squint your eyes trying to find your self, trying to find your self, the universe disappears.


UPDATE (5 Feb, 2343): I finally asked the barista last night (at the Starbucks, Taft branch--I always feel at home there.) She said it's a promotional thing. Just like their Christmas lattes. Well, if absence makes the heart, tongue and stomach grow fonder, then whatever will be, will be.

03 February 2006

And Then Etc.

There are three absentees in our little office today. Here are their reasons listed in order:

Absentee A:
Nadulas ako sa banyo kaninang umaga.
Absentee B:
Umuwi akong Bulacan kagabi. Napagod lang siguro talaga ako. Magkakalagnat pa yata ako.
Absentee C:
Ikakasal ako sa Sabado, kailangang maghanda ngayon.
Guess what the order is.

01 February 2006

Holding onto its injuries year after year

Chemin De Fer
Elizabeth Bishop

Alone on the railroad track
I walked with pounding heart.
The ties were too close together
or maybe too far apart.

The scenery was impoverished:
scrub-pine and oak; beyond
its mingled gray-green foliage
I saw the little pond

where the dirty old hermit lives,
lie like an old tear
holding onto its injuries
lucidly year after year.

The hermit shot off his shot-gun
and the tree by his cabin shook.
Over the pond went a ripple
The pet hen went chook-chook.

"Love should be put into action!"
screamed the old hermit.
Across the pond an echo
tried and tried to confirm it.

29 January 2006

Labor N' Love

Katext ko kanina si Allan at napag-usapan namin sandali--ano ba naman ang mapag-uusapan nang matagal sa SMS?--yung tungkol sa crush ko na nakilala niya bago pa kami nagkakilala.

Di ko na siyempre ikukuwento ang buong detalye dahil di naman importante. Pero dahil sa simula pa lang, napakita ko na ang pagkabahala ko sa pagkakaroon ng someone to watch over me, sabi niya,
Antayin mo lang kasi. Wag na mag-anticipate ng kahit ano para masorpresa pa rin.
My gosh, Allan, I thought you were a poet! I thought you knew a thing or two about language!

Pinag-aantay mo 'ko, tapos sasabihin mo, 'wag mag-anticipate? Duh, "antay" and "anticipate" are synonymous kaya?! Although I kinda get the point naman. Parang waiting without expectation ('Pag binabasa ko ulit, parang ang labo pa rin.) Ay, mas better: 'wag magmadali/mainip, 'wag mag-expect.

Although alam ko na naman talaga ang lahat. Klarong-klaro sa 'kin ang lahat--ang problema, sanhi at solusyon--ganito lang talaga tayong mga tao, kailangan ng kausap.

Nakita ko kasi kanina yung crush ko sa Alabang Town Center. At ang sabi ni Allan, it's a sign. Sagot ko naman, hindi sign 'yon. Maliit lang talaga ang ATC, kako.

Which brings me to my favorite conclusion, na trinatrabaho talaga ang pagmamahal. That it's not just a gift that falls from the sky whenever you have an open mind, heart, hands and shirt; or grows from underground without tending. I can't think any other way, dahil kahit sa pamilya at kaibigan, ganoon din naman, kailangan ng effort. Pag-aalala't pag-aalaga. Careful dapat. That's my--what's the expression, "two cents worth"? May halaga pa rin pala, kahit papaano, ang opinyon ngayon. Di ko na nga lang natext 'yan kay Allan, kasi naubos na ang load ko. Nagnanakaw kasi ang SMART. Oh well.

01 January 2006


Ang favorite color ko yung nag-iiba-iba ng kulay.
--An audience at the World Pyro Olympics

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
That we appreciate each other despite moods, theirs and ours.

Forgive and accept with reason, but reason withheld.

Laugh, jest.

Discriminate, create.

Continue desiring iridescence, despite safeties.

* Photo from the World Pyro Olympics website.

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