Showing posts from December, 2015

Only vow

This year I vow to rebuild my poetry collection.
Off the top of my head, I lost:
Seamus Heaney Marianne Moore Louise Glück Gwendolyn Brooks Edna St Vincent Millay E.E. Cummings Don Paterson Elizabeth Bishop Alice Fulton
Lucie Brock-Broido
David St John
Anne Carson
Cherrie Moraga
So maybe I'll start with them.
I can't believe I'd be this hurt to remember a line, a word, a turn of phrase, and not be able to find the pages where it came from. That I'd only find nine poetry books on my shelf. Material things, yes, but mortality is material and I'll cling to what I can so long as I can.
Been struggling with the thought of letting go of what's gone, allowing space. But they weren't gone. They're in my head, in a printing press and in a bookshop, somewhere.

No girl power, only power

It must be my limited purview. When I gained consciousness, the nation was ruled by a housewife. Now, in my lifetime, I’ve seen two women presidents — and it might be three if we all survived this coming elections.

I grew up watching Ally McBeal and Charmed, both of which had female leads, the former in position of power (she’s a lawyer) and the latter, gifted with supernatural powers (they’re witches). In school, the deans, department heads, and the brightest, most opinionated students I had shared classrooms with were female. When I got out of school, I entered companies and publications where I worked with girl bosses and editors. In my own circle of friends, the ladies stick to their passions, make a living out of them, seek romance, nurture a family and look good doing it.

The concept of “girl power” was lost on me: there was only power, available in varying degrees to all members of the human race. I never thought that those people I mentioned had something others of the same se…

That moment Beethoven invaded my video game

An indication that someone is famous and influential? When their name is known to those uninterested, even ignorant of their area of expertise. Ask a non-classical music listener which classical artist they know, chances are they’ll say Beethoven.

Anyone who took piano lessons practised every day to perfect Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Für Elise, and the more ambitious ones take on the entire Moonlight Sonata. To the rest of us who can only try, thank goodness for the CDs and concerts that allow us to appreciate the glorious sounds, whether digitally in our living room or live in music halls.

Imagine though the delight of coming across his compositions in an unusual setting, say, a video game. There was a time in the ‘90s when “Earthworm Jim” became popular, and to its credit it was a weird, fun, not to mention addictive game. What made purchasing the next instalment, “Earthworm Jim 2” worth it was hearing the Moonlight Sonata, particularly its third movement on the last level. Jim was runn…

Anton Juan leaves the secret garden to the imagination

An elaborate piece of work can either test or arrest one’s attention. Such is the case with Repertory Philippines’ adaptation of Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon’s The Secret Garden, a musical based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel of the same title. In it are symbolic set pieces, ghosts walking — and singing — among the living, flashbacks, and quite a large cast of characters with a chorus.

The year is 1906, the place is England. Young Mary Lennox, after being orphaned, lives with her widowed uncle Archibald Craven. In her new home she discovers locked up in one of the rooms her sick cousin, Colin, who is about the same age as her and is convinced that he’ll die at any moment. She also learns of and is lured by a secret garden, which, as is later on revealed, is emblematic of the characters’ lives. It is dead because their spirits are down, and it blooms when they begin to open up.

The audience doesn’t get a peek at this wondrous garden. Even the house that contains the complicated f…