Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Metro Manila Miasma

"I am here to propose a legend that says the city was once / a tribe of children / humming around in a circle / with embers at the center and cold hunger / for a story." - Ned Parfan

I, we, thrive within the Petri dish defined by your jagged boundaries, binding sixteen cities and a developing duck embryo, officially, squared by three suspended railroads plus the most ancient on soil, you are defined and simplified by two to three words and not much else, and undefined and unraveled by a million spectacles and cuss word puzzles. Tabloid fodder factory you are, and we line up for news about ourselves and the more suffering, or dead, victims among us. And I, we, your weary children: indifferent, passive, as our lungs fill up with your pneumatic smog, with barely a sniff, plow like the diminishing, extinct-bound carabaos (and trivia: sprawled inside Krus na Ligas, is the only functional rice field within you, which your steeled and cemented self may have forgotten.) 

Your redemption lies buried in one of your landfills, perhaps among the one hundred and fifty buried in Payatas, or underneath a garbage pile on one of your feces-strewn sidewalks. Your chalice of salvation dumped in a junkyard somewhere or sunk on a bed of your polluted rivers. In futile search of your desaparecidos, there are uncanny moments when incense mingles with the unified cry of your orphans, add to that those of the casualties of the recent Kentex conflagration (among others).

May all your churches, temples, buildings of worship, of whatever religion, serve as your thumbtacks, iron nails, staples, keeping you stuck to this earth, in place, that you wouldn't tremble too much in case of a violent tremor. We got, gathered, guts grinding from your gutters. And the (arguably) richest of your fiefdoms dreams of a tower that will be third tallest in the world (and soon fourth, fifth, sixth, and ad nauseam, as vanity of edifice complex goes). Indeed, you host these parasitic turfs that are no different from you: cabal of fools making fools of what they really are: 

fools. 


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Happy New Year, everyone! 

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Plath and Bukowski

I have Sylvia Plath's "Collected Poems" and Charles Bukowski's "You Get So Alone..."

The former borrowed from my sister a year ago, and since I've no plan of returning it, it's mine.
(Anyway she just lives in the next building and may "borrow" it anytime.)

The latter I bought from National Bookstore a month or two ago --
with money my wife thought better (and more humanely) spent for our little daughter's milk.

(One afternoon I found them lying on top of the other on top of our plastic bedroom drawer.)

I believe reading them both is good for my, ah, "poetic education"

and mental health. 

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Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, everyone! 

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Ham

Mother got pissed when she caught me
slicing ham with butter knife.

I said, It got it done. Just let me eat.
And quit the utensil profiling.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Gi Gold!

Quotation from T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock":
"I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."
But I'm still good enough for gold. wink emoticon
(...and one bronze medal in the white-blue belt 85 kg. and absolute divisions, respectively, of the 1st Philippine Brazilian Jiu-jitsu open, held earlier today at the SM Mall of Asia.)
I'm practically a no gi grappling guy: Last time I competed wearing a gi was way back in 2005, in the first ever Pan-Asian International BJJ Competition, where I also won gold in the white belt division. And after 10 years, and with barely a total of two months of training with a gi in-between (including the very few times I trained with the UP Judo Team around 2005), I'm definitely very happy with today's results -- first time competing as a blue belt. smile emoticon
Thanks to all my teammates and athletes in SPRAWL and Kamphuis-Fabricio BJJ, also to Maestro Afonso Cego for the luta livre lessons. 


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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Blunt

Rough at the edges,
foreboding a scrape or two,
till he smoothed final draft
with sandpaper of safe
sensibilities.

(Fool should've let surface
scratch where it may.
As they say, what doesn't
kill you...)


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Sunday, October 18, 2015

I shall leave

I shall leave.
And if granted, at most, decades,
or at least, years,
shall look back through years
of debris, rubble, broken things,
wrecked by my leaving.

And to myself
shall say (perhaps without remorse
nor sorrow, after all
their accusations and mine):
Decisions had to be made.
Decisions have to be made.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

On depersonalization

"The emotion of art is impersonal. And the poet cannot reach this impersonality without surrendering wholly to the work to be done." -- T.S. Eliot

In fit of jealousy,
don't sit down to write poetry --
storm out that door into
crime of passion.

When jealousy subsides,
go sit down to write a poem --
with no time to waste and
bloodstained shirt on.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

I didn't brush my teeth last night

I didn't brush my teeth last night:

So tired when lain for moment's rest,
drifted to deepest sleep.

(And to think for dinner dessert,
two chewy chocolate cookies!)

Now this morn I wake
and feel sugar -- or specks of it,
or specks of specks of it --
bear down on my teeth,
threatening cavities.

Oh I need to brush!
(But first, breakfast.)

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Ice water in glass (Tribute to Herman Hesse)

(Photo from www.livestrong.com.)


One encompasses its solid self
that melts into its liquid form
encompassing it; transparent
as the glass holding it
in different forms
becoming one
with the other,
and they have
always
been
one,

are one,

is one.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Marikina City Host to two Monuments of Marxist-Leninist Revolutionaries

Note: I'll make this short, and hopefully, sweet. But I think I'll improve and expound on this later, when time and (more importantly) motivation permit...

Distinguished historian Prof. Vicente Rafael of the University of Washington, in his erudite foreword entitled, "Radiant Hope, Dark Despair," for the remarkable autobiographical opus Subversive Lives: A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years (2012) of the siblings Susan and Nathan Quimpo, wrote in his beginning paragraph (bold letters mine):

THERE ARE NO monuments to communism in the Philippines. Instead, there are numerous statues of nationalist figures. Whereas it is common, perhaps even essential, to commemorate national heroes, the nation seems unable and unwilling to acknowledge those whose nationalism was colored by communism. Even the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, which is run by a private foundation and not by the government, commemorates the victims of the Marcos regime primarily as nationalist martyrs rather than members of a radical revolutionary movement. Why this absence of memorials to communists?
The fact is, Marikina City holds the distinction of hosting not just one but two monuments to socialist revolutionaries! As "early" as  2001, then city mayor Bayani Fernando erected a statue of labor leader Filemon "Ka Popoy" Lagman (March 17, 1953 - February 6, 2001) -- just a few months (I believe) after the latter's assassination. To this day, it stands proudly at the middle of a busy intersection of Barangay Concepcion Uno:

(Yours truly took this photo recently, of the statue of -- in the interest of full disclosure -- my uncle, my mom's brother. :) )

Then in 2014, only a month after he perished in a vehicular accident, Arvin "Tado" Jimenez (March 24, 1974 - February 7, 2014), renowned TV personality, activist and comedian of the absurd (preceding Ryan Rems Sarita), was honored with a mural along a road straddling Paliparan, Marikina:

(Photo from marikinacity.wordpress.com.)

Trivia: There was this encounter between Ka Popoy and Tado, when the former allegedly grabbed the latter by his long hair, angrily, and...I think I'll just let their comrades, who actually witnessed that, complete the story. ;) Still, years after Ka Popoy died, Tado proudly declared in an interview with Kris Aquino his deep admiration for the murdered revolutionary, that he emulated him. So, regarding their respective dates of birth and death: coincidental? 

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Ghost Debate

Little Milo shouts,

Look! Look!

Ghost! Ghost!

Watch curtain

form a nose,

agape mouth,

then ten finger tips

pushing, menacing!


Littler Mikael replies,

I see curtain

form a nose,

lips of mouth,

fingers flowering,

but all I see is curtain --

not the ghost behind it.

So I don't believe it.


And he goes back

reading ghost stories.


(And, I love this shortie film. :-) )

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Coincidences?

I.

Last August 8, I started a new blog which I named, "The Gods Envy Us." (Yup, after the line from the Troy movie.)

Last August 12, I bought a book of poetry (rather casually and hurriedly, from a book sale) entitled, The Gods We Worship Live Next Door, by Bino A. Realuyo.

the gods we worship live next door_prev
(Cover design by Gerry Baclagon, book design by Jo B. Pantorillo. Anvil Publishing edition, 2008.)

II.

Earlier this afternoon, I added the following phrase to my secret prose poem:
perhaps among the 150 buried in Payatas...
Just now, this late evening, I read the following from her* poem:
A few miles away, the residents of a dumpsite are dead, their bodies buried in an avalanche of trash.
*Last night, I visited, just for the second time, a bookstore which -- according to the "attendant" there yesternight -- the poetess co-owns. (To my sweet surprise!)

And, barely an hour ago, I watched Rated K and found the place where Ryan Rems Sarita was interviewed as quite familiar. ;-)

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