Category Archives: Pines and Pains

2017 for 2017, 194-200:

Cusp between days
Threshold of hours
meeting point of
yesterday and tomorrow

 

where today
can possibly
disappear


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A Kind of Nightmare

Intrepid, the ceiling stared back
fully aware of slumber’s abandon
While I lay there wrenched in the gut,
eyes peeking out of a blanket of black.

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On this Ocean of Linen

The creases that stem from this valley of temptations slink into the raft of fingers that float from the branches where your forest crumbles. The sighs stretch themselves out in currents that roll with the ocean floor and each inch settles into the silt of voyages that only horizons and seagulls know.

This is the corner of the sea where the wayward disappears.

It flows and finds the island of my thighs, settling at the edge of my beach where the tongues of your ocean lap and dissolve. The ripples freeze into a map of movement paths that trickle towards the spot hidden by the blanket of your tricks.

On the other edge, another ship sails.

The sea levels rise as the trees that line the shore sweat into the night. While this island sinks, little by little, then slowly, disappears.

 

Paglilista

kapag ako’y naguguluhan, naglalabas ako ng papel at bumubuo ng listahan

ng lahat ng mga bagay na bumabagabag sa akin.

halimbawa: ang hilera ng mga sapatos na iniwan ng mga paang nagmamadaling unahan ang hatinggabi sa kama, ang balumbon ng mga damit na bitbit ang amoy ng mga usapang sinawsaw sa kape at binalot ng usok, mga salansan ng librong nagkalat sa bawat sulok at lilim ng kuwarto – bakas ng mga bagay na hindi kayang tapusin, ayaw tapusin, at hindi na siguro matatapos

tulad ng listahang ito

hindi na nalayo sa listahan noong nakaraang buwan, umulit noong nakaraang linggo, at malamang ay mabubuo ulit sa darating na mga araw

ang mga bumabagabag sa akin ay lulubog, lilitaw, lilisan, madaragdagan, makakalimutan, hahawakan, bibitawan, hahanapin, aalalahanin, at tatandaan–

para may listahang bubuuing muli at ipapakita sa iyo, puno’t dulo ng lahat ng gulo, ikaw na una at huling babagabag sa akin.

ikaw, tagabusisi ng mga bagay na naiwang nakatiwangwang sa iyong pagdating: ikaw,  tagapulot ng sapatos, tagatupi ng damit, tagabuklat ng libro. tagapunit ng mga listahang pinakatago-tago ko.

at kapag hindi ko na maisip ang mga bagay na bumabagabag sa akin, kapag hindi ko na maintindihan kung ako ba’y panatag na o lalong naguguluhan, ibinabaling ko ang mga tanong sa mga mata mong ayaw gumanti ng sagot. sa mga mata mong nakaukit ang ‘okay lang.’ sa titig na ayaw kumilala ng gusot. pagbaling na walang katuturan dahil may sagot ka na kahit wala namang katanungan

at kapag muli akong naguluhan, bubuo na lang ako ng listahan ng mga bagay na natatandaan ko na lang at hindi na nakikita, dahil naglakad na ang mga sapatos para salubungin ang papaalis na umaga, dahil ang mga damit ay binanlawan na ng beer at pinatutuyo ng bagong kuwento ng huli mong dalaw, dahil ang mga libro’y nakapila’t nakaayos at naghihintay na lang na mataunan ng pumipiling mata, daliring naghahanap ng hahaplusing pahina, dahil  isa-isa mo nang itinuwid ang mga baluktot para hindi na ako makapaglista.

Ng mga bagay na bumabagabag sa akin.

Dahil ikaw, puno’t dulo ng gulo, ang tuldok sa huling pangungusap, ang bakas ng huling patak ng tintang nagmamantsa mula sa listahan hanggang sa punda ng unang dinuduyan ang mga panaginip ko’t bangungot, ikaw ang taga-istorbo’t taga-ayos, ikaw ang pasimuno’t ang tagasunod, ikaw ang una, ang huli, ang paulit-ulit na lumilitaw sa mga linyang nakasulat sa papel, nakatago sa mga titik, nagbabadya ng pagdating at paglisan, ikaw ang dahilan at ang solusyon sa lahat ng kaguluhan;

ikaw ang laman  at pag-aalayan ng lahat ng aking listahan.

365 for 2013: (9) Captured, Stolen, Framed

Quickly captured, a smudge,
a trick, a splitsecond stolen
then framed, then thrown 
onto the wall, this memory —
a shade less bashful,
a brushstroke braver,
a degree warmer than midnight’s fever.

Here, a wasted glance.
Here, the corner you refuse to 
sign your name on to.

 

(Or whatever, later, maybe a verse longer, maybe titled better)

 

Captured, Stolen, Framed

 

 

Breaking Habits

I turn on the TV to keep me company in your leave. Slumber comes and goes and I am left alone with the sound of a woman’s thick French accent drowned out by the hiss of a lush body of butter melting in the heat of a sleek steel pan. For an hour after noon, the room is dim. Even with all the lights on, there is a void punctuated by all things suddenly starkly visible: wrinkles on the bedspread, strands of hair, stacks of clutter, unsorted business gathering dust. Only the curtain shifts to the draft of a cold artificial breeze.

The air swells with your absence and I breathe.

In another morning after, the room will be aflush with the simmer of our exhales. Stillness tickled briskly, light will slip in through the tangle of limbs beneath crumpled sheets.


Overtaken, Underrun

Self-proclaimed casualties on a street

with no signs, one way

or another: the other can’t

go on, the other gets left behind.

 

 

**not filed under 365 for 2012 because this one is from the year past:

December 30, 2011 while making my way up North

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365 for 2012: (65) A Note The Postman Lost

The same night whitening the same trees.

We, of that time, are no longer the same.

Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines, Pablo Neruda

Dear lover, there is no need

for you to tell me, again and

again that the night is

shattered . There are pieces

of it on the floor, the crumbs

of your leave heading for

the slam of the door. Shaking

the house, gently. Echoes, only 

a broken record: the voice

breaks, at that crack 

 

before the revelation: I no longer

love her, so suddenly, but maybe

I love her and again no longer — 

gibberish. There is dirt on the surface.

I could not wipe it off.

The poem could not end itself.

 

Dear lover, what nights we have

known: all the truths we have

thrown away to make way

for the ones we could own. 

Nothing about shivering

stars, pale moons, imagined

heavens , endless skies —  none

of those, only versions of hell. 

Where wars are lost

when heroes leave,

the white flag raised

then torn to bits. Oh, it is

 

all so simple: sometimes 

I loved, and then

sometimes I did not. 

When the rest of the world refuse to.

We held each other in our arms,

 blue stars shiver in the distance.

 

They lie when they say, dear

lover, I cannot have you.

 

The night is shattered.

Souls are not satisfied.

We are lost to this world, too.

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365 for 2012: (64) Bandits

Out of place, like invitations

for the anticipated absentee.

Misplaced, is it, an absent-minded

unintended misfit? Half-hearted guarantee.

 

Not where it belongs,

that should be returned,

Or lost . To be found again.

These belongings, owned at once,

then used, then worn out, then thrown.

So is the cycle of what we wanted,

what we took, what we had, what we stole.

 

We couldn’t place our names on it,

Harder to get rid of things we wish we owned.

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365 for 2012: (51)

Hear my body sigh:

I miss you like you were mine.

Always never here.

**This time, without title.

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Five Hours Since The Last Call

It’s almost eight. Today I woke up with an anticipated sense of calm. Like, coming from my dreams, there was no other way to feel upon facing the morning in this realm.

I am gaining a sense of bravery here. Talking about the  way I feel in such exposure. But believe me when I say that this time I really didn’t know what the song meant. I just liked how it sounded and paid no attention to the words. I didn’t understand it. But after this morning, I wish I still didn’t.

This is deliberate, the act of stepping out from that shadow of a pseudonym nobody knows about. You will find these words duplicated in another backlit sheet. If you do find that, you must have probably deserved the privilege of access. Right now, not yet.

Right now, we maintain this distance. Let’s try to catch ourselves from stepping beyond the lines. While it is somewhere we’d like to be, it may not be something we need to destroy ourselves for.

Right now, I’ll write my stuff and listen to these songs. You, stay.

And if you no longer can, tiptoe quietly away. Because if I catch you drifting away, I might never let you go.

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Appealing at Daybreak

Half past seven and I’m not supposed to be awake.

Half past seven and I could only be awake. I was waiting when I fell asleep at half past one, listening to a song that hauntingly speaks of the kind of mess I now seemingly find myself  in. The song is repetitive, persistent: Stay, don’t close your eyes. Stay open. Apparently, it seems to have manipulated my own patterns of sleep.

These recent nights, I kept toggling between what I needed to do and what I wanted to do: write a poem or write a report, keep talking or wait for a response, sleep before sunrise or wait for it. I couldn’t let it rest. The thing about absence is that it makes us crave for something that could not be there. There are things that we could have and things we could only allow ourselves to hope for. Like a few more minutes to stay awake. Or another hour. Or the rest of the dawn, maybe until daybreak. Could you afford a day?

Maybe not. At least not today.

So, stay. Don’t close your eyes. Please. Stay. Stay open.

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365 for 2012: (39) Before Sunrise

There’s no certainty.

I’m waiting with my senses.

Breathing in the dark.

There’s always something about being the one at the waiting end. Oh these things we subject ourselves to. I did write about this before.

So, after all the waiting, what do you get in the end?

 

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365 for 2012: (38) Left Unsaid

Don’t say anything.

We’ll let the universe speak.

It knows our heartbeat.

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Black & Blue

The song sounds so delightfully painful, it makes me want to dance and do headstands. But for who? 😛

 

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That Red But Not Red Letter Day

Something significant is expected to take place here. And, actually, there is an attempt to live up to that expectation. I don’t know whether to smirk or shrug at that. Even I could surprise myself sometimes.

Is it because we are now adhering to the frenzy of the ever so ridiculously hyped day of hearts for which I’ve already offered a piece of my mind to, weeks beforehand? It is, after all, that day when the little chubby winged being is forgiven if not celebrated for all the arrows he let loose, often towards unwilling targets, and for the other arrows that, insert-pessimist-remark-here, he didn’t throw. The temptation to let out some dirge on the L word (oh wait, even I have my own archived dirt on that) is too scrumptious to resist.

Or maybe I just want to make up for the entire weekend that didn’t see a post from me. The established consistency renders me guilty for the sudden break. Not even a haiku, another blurtout, a catchy new tune, a video too good to miss, an awesome illustration. Nothing? Too sleepy or too tired or uninspired. Or just the changing tide? Whatever. Excuses, excuses. 

What is expected to happen here? In a rambling post written at 3am, the universe is waiting for the side to be chosen: to shit and fart rainbows and butterflies or to puke at the thought.  The choice between bitter and sweet. To pick up the broken pieces (ugh, gimme a better clause please) and attempt at putting it all back together or to inflict bitter revenge on  someone else’s heart with the shards.

We all go through phases of bad judgement. Choosing to believe in everlasting  forever is one of those. See, being born knowing that we’re going to die eventually should precede that assumption. The majority of us all seem to skip the logic and learn the practical wisdom of time only after we’ve been stood up, the rug pulled beneath our feet, and left listening to time tick away. 

But resigning to the thought that forever indeed is non-existent is worse. Forever may be equivalent to Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy but these are the very reasons we grapple with reality the way we do. Doesn’t mean we can’t go on inventing new fantastical creatures to believe in either.  In fact our creatures of choice actually customizes itself to our comforts. All you have to do, like when you could justify how St. Nick fit down that chimney and got through the blades of the exhaust fan unscathed, is believe.

If you allow yourself, you will actually be converted from being brokenhearted to  wholeheartedly brave. Now the world and the rest of the brokenhearted-brink-of-giving-up population is in bad need of more of those. All you have to do is choose.

While Nat King Cole coos to me a waltz about delusional impulses, I myself battle with my own convictions.

And now it’s four in the morning. Easier said than done when you’re still nursing the pain of anticipating an arrow that will never come.

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In The City In February

—this is what it’s like, being out in the city, in the frenzy of the anticipation for the 14th of February. All around me are couples of all breeds and buds. They either rush ahead or trail behind. Others stay still. I strain to see their faces, decipher the codes in their looks, find a message there somewhere. In the distance, I listen to the movement of their lips and wait to hear the truth bounce from their skins towards me. I could make out some affection, some real love, some pure desires, and occasional lies. I look at the way their skins touch. My mind magnifies the movement of their pores, breathing each other’s scent. I try to see which ones are ready to take on forever. I shake my head at those I see who couldn’t. I pity them. I shrug. I permit myself these moments of judgement.

Today, I gain a sincere understanding for the cynicism of those who used to put a countdown timer beside the label of my own romantic undertakings. I’d do it myself right now but I’d really rather not engage in anything pretty stupid at the moment. Kidding.

There will be couples that will fail the meaning of the word the next time February comes. Some will be strong enough to withstand a few more years. And there are those, gifted by the universe with such honorable values and magnificent timing in every circumstance (the minute he walked into the room, the moment she dropped her phone, when the train doors closed, when the lights finally came on), who will persist. For the meantime, let them all cling to each other and litter the streets.

It’s a tricky thing, the way people commit themselves and lose portions of the self to that commitment eventually. Eventually, they will be left alone figuring out where everything else went during the times they were so immersed in the fever and frenzy of it all. And they will have their days of non-belief, too. They will have their questions, doubts, fears, anxieties, apprehensions, spite, disgust — they will nurse the inner cynic, even for just a while. There is no definite measure of how long it lasts or how short it should be. Or of how brutal the truth becomes, albeit sometimes unnecessarily so.

Don’t worry, the phase ends. It doesn’t last forever. Cause you know why? Nothing does.

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I should be asleep.

And I am actually sleepy. Really sleepy. But a portion of my mind refuses to rest.

The reasons of unrest stem from: the inability to comprehend occurrences that influence daily thought too much, the unavailability of answers to questions poorly formulated and ridiculously considered, the unnecessary recollections the mind randomly taps into, the undisclosed truths that cannot be confronted, the accidental heartbreaker, the uninvited lover, the lacks, the hoped-fors, the ands and the sotheres.

I am hoping that by drawing them out and labeling it one by one, rest would actually come. That the mind would calm down and let me sleep. I hope, all the time. I am a hopeful person. And I usually will the hopes to actualization, too. Tonight, or in this dark morning rather, I supplement the hoping-for-peace-of-mind-to-let-me-sleep-already-at-2-am with a lullaby.

My lullaby is a song  meant for the day’s beginning. Oh but 2am is indeed morning. Fantastic.

It repeats to me the inevitable revelation of love. I will find it, the song tries to convince me. I know, maybe, perhaps, hopefully. Really? Oh I can be a little skeptical, too.

And now while I listen, I get fixated with the meaning of harvest instead — that the long wait, the patient investment on Earth and its natural processes, will bear fruit. The song repeats a prayer for me. Finally, a sense of peace.

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365 for 2012: (Seventeen, Eighteen) Sagutan ng Nalipasan ng Gutom at Kulang sa Inom

This exchange started because a very cool guy sent in a very cool translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 17. The lines were just there staring at me, pulling out verses from my guts, prompting some wordplay. I just had to write back. So I did and he answered. So I wrote again. I’m still waiting to see if he’ll write some more. I hope the game never ends.

(Translation of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 17 by Froilan Medina)

Sinong maniniwala sa isusulat ko

Kahit puro tungkol sa iyo

Kung gaano ka kaganda

Kung gaano ka katamis

Kahit ganda lang ng mata mo

Kung mailalagay ko

Sa salita, sa notebook, sa ipad

O sa palad

Hindi pa rin sapat.

At wala pa ring maniniwala

Sinong maniniwala?

Sinong maghihinala?

Sa tula sa dulo ng aking dila

Na wala kang kasingganda

Ikaw lang, ikaw na

At ang dalawang gabi ng iyong mga mata

Sasabihin nilang kalokohan

Sasabihin nilang nalipasan

lang ng gutom

O nasobrahan ng inom.

Isang imahenasyong

pumapalag at nagwawala

sa pagitan ng iyong hita

sa gitna ng isang tula

sa dulo ng aking dila.

Sinong maniniwala sa isusulat ko

Kahit puro tungkol sa iyo

Kung gaano ka kaganda

Kung gaano ka katamis

Kahit ganda lang ng mata mo

Kung mailalagay ko

Sa salita, sa notebook, sa ipad

O sa palad

Hindi pa rin sapat.

At wala pa ring maniniwala

Sinong maniniwala?

Sinong maghihinala?

Sa tula sa dulo ng aking dila

Na wala kang kasingganda

Ikaw lang, ikaw na

At ang dalawang gabi ng iyong mga mata

Sasabihin nilang kalokohan

Sasabihin nilang nalipasan

lang ng gutom

O nasobrahan ng inom.

Isang imahenasyong

pumapalag at nagwawala

sa pagitan ng iyong hita

sa gitna ng isang tula

sa dulo ng aking dila.

(Prompted Curious Compulsions by yours truly)

Paano naman ang hindi puwedeng uminom

at hindi puwedeng magutom?

Ang bagsik ng lagnat ng pusong ito’y saan hinuhugot,

Saan hahantong?

(Immediate Answer by cool person mentioned above)

Kung hindi pwedeng uminom

At hindi pwedeng magutom

Ang bagsik ng lagnat ng puso

ay huhugutin ng bilog na buwan

at hahantung sa likas

na pagtakas

ng bait.

At palalayain ka ng pagkahumaling

sa kahon ng iyong katinuan.

Sasabihin nila, kabaliwan

Pero hindi ka maniniwala

Dahil nagmamahal ka lang

Ng tama.

(And another)

Di ba ang tama ay bunga rin ng pagka-untog,

Ng mga humahalik sa sahig kapag nahuhulog?

Ng mga hindi nag-iingat at bigla-biglang napapatid,

Sa mga naliligaw sa paghahanap ng langit?

Tama din ba ang makukuha sa pikit-matang pagtalon?

Katumbas yata ito ng hilong dulot ng urong-sulong.

Ah, ang may sakit nga nama’y kung anu-ano ang sinasambit.

Ang lagnat na ito sa panlasa’y nag-iiwan lang ng pait.

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365 for 2012: (Nineteen) And?

Send me another

witty remark. Don’t forget

to sign: ampersand.

http://keepinginmind.tumblr.com/post/6273509062/for-my-kitty-ampersand

*Sweet sixteen, indeed. One of those things that only matter to me, I guess. Harharhar.

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The sight of your name still pains me.

I feel the letters move from my insides to my lips. I fumble for the sound. It couldn’t quite make its way out.

The sight of yo…

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365 for 2012: (Ten)

Uncontrollable

patterns of fall. Lives at risk.

How constant hearts beat.That's Audrey Kawasaki For You

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