Category Archives: That L Word

Intimamente

For all the eleven hours between us,

and all of the moments shared in between.

 

 

At breakfast, you tell me about dinner,

then you watch me make my way to work

while you wait for sleep to come.

Past midnight here and midday there

are our everyday hours: short,

too quickly greeted,  too soon ended,

but constant —

like birds that chirp all around us during humid Amazonian mornings

or the smell of bread that follows us from the boulangeries in the streets of Paris

or the tickle of the third glass of wine on the lips, in whatever continent we taste it.

The sound, the smell, the taste – it lingers, leaves a trace, constant, it remains.

 

Like an image of you in my mind—

Ever smiling, ever moving, ever vibrant,

Ever there and never quite.

 

I keep your memory there,

Where the seconds lose meaning

And the hours need no counting.

Because at midday here or past midnight there,

we are nowhere there yet everywhere we wish to be:

a good morning greeting

almost as if you were breathing

within the reach of my fingertips—

 

soon enough, buena onda, indeed,

soon enough, it will be.

 

 

 

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Proximity

Across where you are, you’ll see,
We’ll meet where the sun meets the sea.

Like thread through a spread
of cloth coloured deep blue,
our fingers will weave through
the fabric of the Pacific, riding
the rise and fall and roll and
crash of waves that slip
into the palm of the shore.
Where changing sands mark the distance
between here and where you are–
nearness begins
where the ocean ends and expands.

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Never Out Of Time

It will come to a point when the seasons no longer define our timelines

We will gather in vases the bloom of fallen leaves in autumn

We will wade through the waves with snowflakes whispering in our ears

We will come to know moments instead of counting hours

And splitsecond kisses will sustain us year after year after year

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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.

 

Wine and Wait

Another glass past the soundless hour before sunrise, I sit and listen to my Cabernet exhale

and catch my breath caught in a draft dragging the night away

from a dream fermenting inside another pillow misshapen

on a bed, empty, in a corner of a room: door unlocked, windows ajar

 

There goes another minute, drifting beneath streetlamps washing pavements warm yellow.

 

I think that was where time stood still.

After the point was made and the last sentence ended.

It walked away: hands inside pockets, hunger inside heart

 

I swirl the wine on my palm and inhale an old summer harvest forgotten inside oak barrels,

stored deep and dark to age and change into another summer to be poured from a bottle

on a night in another room, foreign and unfamiliar, door unlocked, windows ajar.

 

 

365 for 2012: (10) An Exercise in Writing Letters No. 1

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The thoughts ran faster than the words could
arrange themselves neatly in line. Properly
waiting to nod their heads
at the end of the sentences.

So I rearrange them again.

And in carefully placed punctuations
and calculated silences between syllables,
I fold myself silently. Breaking
into shards and splinters
so that in the gaps where the thoughts are unsaid
pieces of me could slip in quietly,
almost unseen.
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365 for 2013: (7) when the loss is one you refuse to own

when the doors of the elevator open

my eyes will make its way through

dressed in amber and rose

looking back at the space 

of secrets only mirrors inside the box know 

you dont reach out

because i am no longer with you

i am no longer with you

 because i am within

i will be in the space you breathe

in the same rhythm you beat

in the same paths through doors that close

and open again

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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.


365 for 2013: (4) treasure hunting

i know where you should be but you refused to be found so i dipped the tips of my fingers in gold and settled for a version of treasure that your chest would not offer up; the sentences still go different ways and i try to chase them but you’ve put the commas in so many random places i’m forced to dot the end of my phrases and  each time another one of  your commas show up, a swoop beneath the dot, almost as if it says we should go back. but that messes up the map and then X is no longer the point to pursue but a footnote to the treasure that should now be dug up. not all that glitters is good for the soul, we offered a toast to that. we know where the shiny things are and we could have been led to that but the holes we fall into are much more interesting. and in the interstice between where we’ve fallen and where we’ll land, all your words come rushing through and i’m rushing just as fast. this is another terrain we’re traversing, another target we’re hunting. my compass points me to a direction which i reckon now defines forward, though it be pointing away from the pot of gold they’ve laid out for you and me, it is exactly where you didn’t tell me we have to be.  i will find you there. i have nothing else to seek.  the stardust from my fingertips have seeped into my veins, it has made my blood rich. while all these chests and troves, heavy as they may be, will never have enough to hold.

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365 for 2013: (3) As I Stand With You

In reference to the poem ‘The Flag’ from Pablo Neruda’s The Captain’s Verses. Here is my pledge.

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The truth is I would run with you.

 

These nights when no bed can hold us

down, these blankets uncover us,

bare, shivering

in our desires, quivering

as our hearts beat out our souls

ascending out of our skins.

The satellite of your gaze keeps me

locked in the orbit of your heat,

your passion. And I am in place,

surrounding  you. Moving. Still.

 

By you, without doubt,

no fear; with you, certain,

standing, constant as you

have taught me, faithful

as I have known. Steadfast.

 

We own the truths we know.

We will fight the battles that need to be won.

 

And if your fingers speak

Of fear, let them tremble

against my palm, with my own.

And if your body exhales

exhaustion, fall upon me

your back to my chest.

And I  will keep us upright;

our grasp, firm, our breath

steady, our eyes burn.

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365 for 2013: (2) From the Leaf to the Lover

Meant as a gift. 

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In the fiercest of winds

and the most glaring of summers,

I may tremble, even wither;

but in the passing of seasons

and the changing weathers,

I will bloom in the dusk,

feed on stardust

and you will find me there.

In the scent of moonlight

and warmth of sunrise,

You will find me there. 

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365 for 2012: (67) Resolute

It is not that one has not tried again and again to alter the course of the lines or the sound of the waves that bounce off the page. It is that there are stubborn thoughts that will not yield. It is that it already is what it should be as it was first conceived: as if  without beginning but with a definite end. 

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And if my fingers find themselves

lost through your hair again,

if i take a whiff of you again

own you for one brief moment again

Then let go. And lose all these

that I’ve known. Will they say

it’s so wrong? Then set fire

to my soul. Nothing changes.

At the thought of your eyes alone

I burn. Again and again.

And from the ashes at your feet

I rise, again and again.

 

From the beginnings of the last quarter

October 16, 2012

 

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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: (63) Pagpupunla

Kung paano hinahagod ng patak

ng bagong-panganak na hamog

ang tuktok upang tuntunin ang dulo;

mariin, ninanamnam ang bawat

damping nag-iiwan ng bakas;

bago tuluyang maubos

pagdating sa ugat,

 

mamarkahan ko ang daraanan

ng mga halik na kasingnipis ng silahis

ng unang sikat ng araw

sa pagbuka ng langit.

 

Saka ako sasanib sa putik.

Makikiisa sa pinagmumulan, kaibuturan

ng mga lihim ng pamumulaklak, pagbunga,

pagkalanta. Doon ako magtatago.

Yayakap ang katawan ko, basang-basa,

sa bukal ng iyong pag-usbong.

         Punong-puno ng pangako,

         kumakayat sa pananatili. Naghihintay. 
 

Hanggang sa muling sunduin ng bukang-liwayway.

 

Lalapat sa kalupkop, sasalubong sa umaga.

Hinog at buo, muli tayong magtatagpo.

Pagbitak ng araw, doon tayo magkikita.

                                                Doon tayo magkikita.

                                                                  Doon tayo magkikita.

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365 for 2012: (62) Pag-inog ng Mundo

While listening to Ada Tayao‘s blues-y melody for ‘Lambat at Sagwan’ a song we wrote about fishermen, fishing, and sun movements, these verses came to me, sort of forcing itself into the music.

Such cheesy cerebral flatulence. It’s actually not even cerebral, but oh well. Carry on. 

 

Sumisikat na ang araw, dahan-dahan

Gumagapang ang liwanag sa ating paanan

Sa lilim ng kumot, oras ay ating tinakasan

Sa bisig ng isa’t-isa’y hinanap ang kalawakan

 

Humiram tayo ng kaunting sandali

sa mga bulalakaw na nagmamadali

At bago tuluyang bumagsak at maglaho

Dito sa bagong-tuklas nating langit tayo magtago

 

Tamnan mo ng mga halik ang buo kong katawan

At aani tayo ng tamis na kailanma’y ‘di tatabang

Sa kuyom ng palad ko, ang puso mo ay ipinid

Pag-ibig natin ang susi sa pag-inog ng daigdig

 

Paano bang natangay ako ng mga titig mo

At heto na tayo, bumabaybay ng bagong uniberso

Matutunton ba nila kung saan tayo papunta?

Hangga’t hindi pa, ipanatag muna ang pangamba

 

Ngunit  sa pagtirik ng araw sa tuktok ng kanyang trono,

Tanghaling tapat ang huhudyat sa ating prumeno

Saka mo tutuntunin ang daangtalang sinumpaan

Saka ko titiyaking hindi ako nakaharang sa inyong daan

 

Tamnan mo ng mga halik ang mga pisnging binasa ng luha

Mangarap na lang na may uusbong pang bulaklak

Sa kuyom ng mga palad natin ay ating ikukubli

Bakas ng pag-ibig na hindi maaaring manatili

 

Nagtanim ako ng mga halik sa lupang hindi ko maangkin

Sa bawat dampi ay inilibing ko ang mga lihim natin

Ang ating langit ay kinanlong ng walang-katiyakan

Alikabok na lang ng mga bulalakaw na naglaho ang naiwan

 

September 5, 2012, Pagadian  

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can i call you darling–

–and tell you how i am moved by the way your eyes caress me from that distance, two bottles of dark roast brew between us and a universe with seeming infinite possibilities in our hands on this table where the rest of the world is lost on us and the only people who know us are the waiters ever so loyal to bring us our elixir, make the night possible, permit us to prolong, stay

can i say, darling, lean closer, let the roll of the r elide into the curl of the l, the way tongues move – oh you know that well – and plant another kiss on your cheek, and another, and another. easy, it comes naturally. acquainted properly, our lips know where to go, what mark it will leave on the skin that anticipates, the body that craves, every inch that aches. we have imagined this so well. waited, so eagerly. darling, i whisper, and on your ear you will hear the blooming of a flower.

darling, darling daredevil slip your hands where it belongs, if you will. under the seat, behind the wheel and hold on, hold tight as we speed through the night. have we not always longed for dawn? to be bathed in the rays of a rising sun? finally, together, our morning no longer another typewritten daydream. there it is, don’t you see, at the turn of the highway, away from this city. or maybe, just maybe, under these sheets in a universe that knows only you, only me.

 

 

**a replica of this somewhere, lost in stealth

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Note To Self: Jorge Luis Borges’ You Learn

You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth…
And you learn and learn…
With every good-bye you learn.

and of course, in it’s original Spanish form…

Uno Aprende

Después de un tiempo, uno aprende la sutil diferencia 
entre sostener una mano y encadenar un alma;
Y uno aprende que el amor no significa acostarse 
y que la compañía no significa seguridad;
Y uno empieza a aprender que los besos no son contratos 
y los regalos no son promesas;
Y uno empieza a aceptar sus derrotas con la cabeza alta y los ojos abiertos;
Y uno aprende a construir todos sus caminos en el hoy, 
porque el terreno de mañana es demasiado incierto para planes 
y los futuros tienen una forma de caerse en la mitad.
Y después de un tiempo uno aprende que si es demasiado 
hasta el calorcito del sol quema.
Así que uno planta su propio jardín y decora su propia alma, 
en lugar de esperar a que alguien le traiga flores.
Y uno aprende que realmente uno puede aguantar, 
que uno realmente es fuerte, 
que uno realmente vale, 
y uno aprende y aprende…
y con cada día uno aprende.

 

Happy birthday Jorge Luis Borges. Oh the things I learn from you 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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365 for 2012: (60) Torn and Folded

at the back of a receipt, a scribble:

you held me as if knowing exactly

fading against creases: to find

torn edges, some parts– missing.

 

like a response to a song

heard on the car heading home,

roll the words around your head

over and over. burst of genius,

cloud of smoke. fireworks.

 

the view outside complements

a stirring within. it is the road’s

usual, flash of yellow lights, blurring

facades, the faceless rush. fleeting,

every inch you know and then don’t.

 

in the corner of your back pocket, another secret:

 

your breath travels to corners

your lips refuse to touch

your eyes, my salvation

my kiss, our sin

 

the adventure you seek

is the risk you couldn’t take.

moving further, we accelerate.

the other foot already on the brakes.

 

her letters are neatly piled inside

your heart. waiting to be opened.

 

my words are crumpled

in the clutch of your fist.

the night moves away from us,

we move away from us.

I’ll Write You In Until I Could Sleep

I write you into the night like this:

if Joni was singing beside me she would have already hurled on my bed, the case being constantly revisited. and the blinking cursor awarded the medal of honor for always giving in to my unwillingness to blink back. the line-cuts are non-existent where they should be because the spill of thoughts refuse to let them in. and when the foot couldn’t reach for the brakes, we speed forward farther. it’s getting harder to go back. 

it could have gone into the style of Neruda channeling the moonbeam on the windowsill or tears that turn into oceans the way hearts are ripped apart by continental differences. But all I have is a love song gathering mold on my iPod and an online journal where I gather shame writing you into the night like this.

Others have absolutely less. And we have been so lucky to have found each other in the city. Your car neatly parked below the balcony I lean over to reach for some sense of the scenery. They have made us drunk and so unsatisfied. We walk past them who live off another breath if they be allowed. You don’t even hold my hand.

If you make me feel small it is not because you do not talk to me at the mark of the green light. It is because I realize I could not cut through you the way caged animals could. Although if you start believing in the cause of freeing Beluga whales then maybe there would be hope for you and me. And maybe we can skip fast food on our morning-after delivery. 

We can cook and wash dishes and segregate our junk and leave our shoes under the couch and know the way in is through the door but not the way out. Look, outside on the next street they’re building another part of the city. There will be another window there, another girl held, another heart staring out. This is what feeling has cost me, nobody gets anything for free. So I write, and I don’t let the pen breathe. The next time the city knocks into my walls and tells me there is so much more to turn into that road for, I’ll write you in. I’ll write you in deep.

365 for 2012: (58 – Random**) Confessions

This is their method of extracting 

our stories. First, the isolation.

 

 Where it is still and quiet, questions are

asked. The process is done 

and repeated: a tip of the chin, a click

of the tongue, a slick

look from the side, sweeps past

your eyes. Twice over, if

you fail to deliver

the truth. Then, here, still

us, quiet, the way words unspoken are loud.

We all know that by now.

 

What are you afraid of? If this is

the way our bodies emerge from underneath

blankets and dim lights. The will

of the flesh, our breath, our mouths;

our travels down south. The paradise

we know destroyed by fear?

 

The narrative of the consequence,

is yet to be made. Still, there will be 

you and me. Our stories known or not.

 

Take my hand under the table, they’ll ask

you again. This time, keep

the secret pressed between our palms.

Slip it beneath our skins, we will

                                                                                     never let them in. 

**Again, without much thought.

patterns beyond sleep

i have stopped waiting for sunrise. but morning after morning, it creeps in. it makes its way through the thicket of rainfall, slithering through disappearing stars, spilling onto my bedroom floor. it enters my room, finds a spot at the crevice between the wall and where my body crumbles. it has no voice but it speaks the truth: morning has come and i am still waiting. in twenty-four hours it will happen again. and again. and again. but maybe on a different morning the pillow will be somewhere else, the wall would look back sooner, my body will not be on the bed. not this bed, maybe another. morning is certain to arrive everyday. to subject one’s self to wait is borne out of an illusion that there is something special about the arrival. maybe because the return is as certain as the departure. this is how we know things should be. as children, we were taught that morning light comes to take the place of a dark night. growing up, they tell us that the night is darkest before the dawn. some of us were convinced the moon and the stars are just as, if not even more, beautiful. our lives revolve around the movement of nights and days. we are bound by the habit of the universe. we are made to believe that this is how things should be. what celestial bodies do not shed light on is this: how are we able to feel the absence of something that is always there anyway?

sometimes an  arrival does not signify the return from a departure. sunrise will come again tomorrow.

 

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365 for 2012: (57 – Random**) Switch On

All the lights are bright, each corner

of my periphery is lit. there is nowhere to go, look

 

gaze, stare

 

long enough it might get a little dark

has it been that long?

             the whole time. been staring

waiting, when i catch your eyes

wandering off to this side of the room

 

this signal of a smile

this beckoning of a breath.

 

has it been that long?

the whole room, it’s bright

in here, no way out.

 

staring the whole time.

 

time to turn down the lights,

dim, a little yellow.

the way we used to,

the only thing to see.

 

gaze, beckon, stare. stare. stare.

 

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*Random, meaning without much thought. But with fond, sincere memory.

Smoky Room, Yellow Light, Persistent Desires

This one. Ash on my fingertips, dribble of scotch from the corner of my lips. My sin, my soul. Sole. One step ahead of the fall. Him, honey? Tip of the tongue, flick of desire, taste of sugar traced behind the pucker of your lips. A world of delight inside your mouth. This, baby, baby? A tiptoe, a tuck of the  nose under your chin. You, upright, top of your head seven inches away. Me, at dawn, in the crevice of your arms, we lie down, nose to nose. At sunrise, asleep, the length of a sigh separates our cheeks.  A nest of limbs, the length of our reach stretch on to trap the other.  This one, a name known only from backlit screens. This one, under the sheets a body I can own. Mine. What I can reach for. Exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged imagined. Look, this one: entangled, torn.

**Referencing Nabokov’s Lolita for my own delusions. 

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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365 for 2012: (38) Left Unsaid

Don’t say anything.

We’ll let the universe speak.

It knows our heartbeat.

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365 for 2012: (35, 36, 37) After Midnight

 

I.

Stay up to keep up

and converse while the world sleeps.

Darling and discreet.

II.

Only the dawn knows.

Our silly little secret:

Promises unkept.

III.

Conversations end

when words no longer suffice.

Lips, tongues cross the lines.

 

 

 

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365 for 2012: (29) Unsaintly Reminder

Faultless flirtations

anticipate bad endings.

Woo with certainty.

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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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365 for 2012: (25) Sa Simbahan ng Iyong Pagsinta

**This poem is derived from my first translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 105. I totally soiled myself upon hearing the music composed for this poem because it had so much of the feel of Fitzsimmon’s Goodmorning which is my sort of anthem at the time. So I did a little tweaking here and there to really place the words with the sound. So here it is.
 
 

Pagsinta ko’y di basta-bastang pagsamba,

Dahil ang iniibig ko’y hindi isang diyos na bato

At lahat ng awit at pagpupugay ko ay takda

Sa kanya, nag-iisa, siya nawa.

 

Siya na nga.

 

Banal sa paggising, dalisay hanggang pag-idlip

Sa kahanga-hangang dangal, walang tinag, nananatili

Kung kaya’t salita ko’y tapat ring nakapinid

Ito’t ito lang, taimtim kong sinasambit

 

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

ang lahat ng aking katwiran

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

sa ibang salita ma’y nailalarawan

 

Ito ang layaw ng dila kong makata

Ang alay kong pagdarasal

Sa simbahan ng iyong pagsinta

Puso ko’y nangungumpisal

 

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

kadalasa’y hiwa-hiwalay

Itong lahat ay nagsanib sa’yo

Sa kabuuan mo’y nananalaytay.

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

Siya nawa,

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo,

Ikaw na nga.

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So Shoot Me

Like what I said previously, it’s that little chubby winged creature’s day.

If he’s not tossing around our hearts —

–he may be releasing arrows towards unwilling targets. So please, duck.

And as for me, I’m still waiting for that arrow to come my way.

Say hello to my bullet.

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365 for 2012: (24) Contact

Because we’re all suckers to this Hallmark holiday anyway.

Staring, you catch me.

Our two seconds of romance.

Here’s to more, more, more. 

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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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365 for 2012: (21) Tuloy ang Sagutan

And we continue the game.

 

Sabi niya:

Tama, dapa

Hulog, untog

Pero iba ang nangangarap sa nahihibang

Iba ang naniniginip sa nababaliw

Iba ang nilalagnat sa inaapoy

Iba ang naghahanap ng langit

Sa tinakasan ng bait

Hindi pinipiling pikit-matang tumalon

O kagat-labing umurong sulong

Walang pinipiling lasa ang dila

Walang pinipiling tama ang tula

Matamis na ang lahat ng pait

Sa tinakasan ng bait

At pwede mo sabihing

Nahanap mo na ang sarili

Nahanap mo na ang pag-ibig

Dahil nawala na ang lahat…

 

 ——————————–

Sabi ko:

Kahit ang usok na naglalaho sa kalawakan

Sumasanib sa ulap, bumabalik bilang ulan.

Ito ang mga bagay na hindi natin napapansin:

Ang pagsuyong nakaipit

Sa paminsan-minsang ‘di pag-imik;

Ang tamis na nakapinid sa pagitan

ng mga labing nakailag sa pait;

Ang digmaan sa dugong pinapaikot

ng pagtibok ng pusong may sakit.

Ito ang pira-pirasong katotohanang iyong matitikman.

Masinop na itinupi ang mga hiwaga ng mundo

At ikinubli sa mga sulok ng kaluluwa,

ingat na ingat na inialay sa kalaguyo.

Ito lang ang katotohanang kinakailangang mabatid.

Ganito ang mga bagay na hindi natin namamalayan

Akala mo’y wala, yun pala’y nariyan.

Ang galos hangga’t hindi mo nakitang nagdurugo,

Kaiba man ang pakiramdam ay di pa rin kikirot.

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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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365 for 2012: (Seventeen) Thee Na Natukso

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Di ko alam kung tutula o tutulala

So I, for fear of trust, forget to say

Kung putî man ang puto, suso niya’y kutsintâ;

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;

Sakdal-lahat ng alindog ng mundo’y kawangis mo

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st

May lambot ng mamon ang puso mong sintibay ng bato

And so the General of hot desire

Dilang buhul-buhol bumubulong na lang sa hangin

Admit impediments. Love is not love

parang mga guhit sa dalampasigang binubura ng tubig

Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument,

Ano’ng silbi mo sa akin?

Millions of strange shadows on you tend

Kalaro kong aninag na di magbalik?

(Beat. Voices switch.)

 

Irog ko, paano na ngayon ito?

Love’s not . Time’s fool.

Istupido yata itong si Cupido.

————————–

**Yes, these are not my own words. (Yes, not?).  As a teaser for a project we’re doing right now, I was tasked to mash-up lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets and its translations. Meaning I had to read and re-read  (14 x 14  = –> ) 196 lines in Old English  as well as the corresponding translations and/or adaptations (196 ++) and find a way to make sense out of alternating select 14 or so lines from both original and translated sets. Apparently, I couldn’t keep it to the minimum.

Does it make any sense, then? And since it qualifies as a poetic exercise (excuses, excuses) I’m going to count it in the 365 for 2012 project. So there. And no, I’m not ranting. Hah.


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365 for 2012: (Fourteen) Salin ng Sonnet 105 ni Shakespeare

**Salin ng Sonnet 105 ni William Shakespare, ang pangalawang sonetong kailangan kong isalin para sa darating na concert sa buwan ng Pebrero. Tinapos habang nagpapahinga sa lilim ng mga puno ng buko sa baybayin ng Guimaras. Walang katumbas ang puting buhangin at hampas ng alon para sa pressured na makata. Hahaha. The life indeed, the life.

 

Pagsinta ko’y di basta-bastang pagsamba

Dahil ang iniibig ko’y hindi diyus-diyosan

At lahat ng awit at pagpupugay ko ay takda

Sa kanya, nag-iisa, siya nawa, natatangi lang.

 

Mabut sa bukang-liwayway, hanggang takip-silim mabait

Sa kahanga-hangang dangal, walang tinag na nananatili

Kung kaya’t salita ko’y tapat ring nakapinid

Ito’t ito lang, walang pagliliwaliw mga katagang sinasambit

 

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo, ang lahat ng aking katwiran

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo, sa ibang salita ma’y nailalarawan

Ito ang layaw ng dila kong makata

Sa lawak ng saklaw ng balirala’y pag-isahin itong tatlong katangian

 

Marikit, mabuti’t totoo, kadalasa’y hiwa-hiwalay

Itong lahat ngayo’y magkakasama sa’yong kabuua’y nananalaytay.

 

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I learnt to tie my shoes

I learnt to ride my bike

I learnt to smoke

I learnt the vulnerability of fully exposing an idea

I learnt to tie my shoes

I learnt to adapt my behavior in the light of others’ actions.

I learnt the difficulty of sustaining the hopes of youth.

from Schematics: A Love Story

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365 for 2012: (Eleven) Salin ng Sonnet 20 ni Shakespeare

**This is my translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 20. Did this for a sonnets concert project we’re doing for February. This already sort of fails the traditional sonnet form, but oh well. 😛 Linguistic discrepancies. The more lyrics-for-song version follows after. You are such a challenge Bill.  

Sonnet 20
Mukha ng dilag sa’yo ay ipinintang likas
Ikaw na mayordomang kumander ng natitira ko pang lakas
May lambot ng mamon ang puso mong sintibay ng bato
Panay lambing ang pag-ibig na walang bahid ng pagkatuso
Talbog ang titig nila sa mga mata mong walang ligaw na sulyap
Nababasbasan sana kung hindi pinapangarap ang iyong pagkurap
Ang tikas mo’t dating, kumporme’t nakapanunukso
May suwabe kang hatak sa kaiba’t kapareho.
Nilikha kang babae sana, pero sa pagpeperpekto ay lumabis
Sa iyo ay may naikabit na sobra na nagdudulot sakin ng pagtangis
Ang kasaganaang bigay sa iyo’y para sa aki’y walang saysay
Ano’ng silbi mo sa akin, kung dapat akong umibig sa isang Inday?
Anu’t-anupaman, nilikha kang aginaldo para sa mga dilag
Kanila na’ng katawan mo, maliban sa puso mo’ng sa akin sana ipanatag.
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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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365 for 2012: Six, Seven, Eight

I.

A morning crime scene:

A blooming red mark right there

From the culprit’s lips.

II.

Another crime scene:

Rouge marks on a shirt’s collar,

A ring down the sink.

III.

No more evidence

Door’s ajar, wine glass empty.

Our case unresolved.

**I got a little fixated with the idea of a crime scene . Here’s a different take that churned out another series. I like doing this series of threes. Feels like a comic strip in verse.

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365 for 2012: Two, Three, Four

I.

Hair strands on pillows,

Traces, thoughts falling away

To count and pick up.

II.

Hair strands on pillows,

Traces of thoughts fallen out.

Don’t count, don’t pick up.

III.

Hair strands and pillows.

Traces of us. We’ve fallen.

Count on being caught

**This is the product of the magic of repositioning words to find the most apt manifestation of the image in the head. Thank god for details that strike you upon waking up. Although I am still quite uncertain about the order of the three, I’ll leave it be for now and go for the gut feel. The time will come to edit it accordingly.

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