Gabi ng Pag-Ibig

Poetry by | February 22, 2009

Ang dampi ng malambot na balat;
Madulas dala ng pawis.
Nanaig ang katawang pumipiglas;
Sa ilalim na maninipis na kumot.

Habang nanaghoy ang hangin sa bintana,
Mga mata nangungusap;
Humihingi ng pagkakataon
Na isantabi ang mga alinlangan.

Nagsimula sa mga labi,
Animo’y taong naghahanap ng landas sa gabi
Na may malalim na pagnanasa
Mapusok na pangangailangan.

Nagsumpungan ang mga dila sa kalagitnaan;
Mainit na buntong hininga;
Uhaw na uminom ng alak
Sa umalimpuyong kapusukan.

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ischemic heart

Poetry by | February 15, 2009

as soon as the doctor proclaimed
a state of emergency of my heart’s ischemia
owing to the adventurism of a small artery
surreptitiously collecting deposits of cholesterol
from uncontrolled greed for pork and other
corrupt and decadent pleasures of the mouth
as soon protest movements start to sprout
among the citizenry in my oral cavity–the gums
began to turn red as they congest at the edges;
the tongue used to habits of a true gourmet,
kept twisting restlessly like a jailed cadre
of a banned revolutionary labor party;
the teeth gritted noisily simulating diligence
of mimeo machines spewing leaflets, handouts
and manifestos on eve of a mammoth rally;
and oh, the cheeks have widened, perchance
to accommodate slogans in doggerel verse
as wails on jerusalem’s walls (?)–let alone, o my god!
the hushed underground writhing by armpit hairs!
and pubic hairs’ wriggling like medusa’s serpentine anger!
how can my body’s army of muscle and flesh now
execute with dispatch this heart’s scheming desires?

Continue reading ischemic heart

On Moving Forward…Then Staying

Nonfiction by | February 15, 2009

Tonight, I look at my child, with her hair bunched up like a fountain at the top of her head, with eyes wide and seemingly wondering whether I’m going to pick her up or not, and feel something painfully heavy on my chest.

A year ago, I had made a very selfish decision not to have her. Before she turne 2 months, I resolved that the creature inside me was not going to make my life any better. In fact, I had decided that her
presence will only bring an onslaught of bad luck and a multitude of clinical depressions. I had wanted to let her go — even forced her to leave.

Continue reading On Moving Forward…Then Staying

Katong Nagbinahinay ta sa Saging

Poetry by | February 15, 2009

gibaligya ang among saging
sa Tokyo ug gitagaan
ug daghang bulig ang Manila
gipanitan, gihiwa-hiwa
gibahin-bahin nila
bisan sa panit
wa mi naangkon
apan tua mi nabilin
sa aping sa kutsilyo
isip usa ka lagom
nga salin
katong gihiwa
ninyo ang among yuta
ug ang among mga
sugilanon tua mi nabilin
sa aping sa lagaraw,
nagkadugo pag-apil ang among

Continue reading Katong Nagbinahinay ta sa Saging

Good Luck and Stay Happy…

Nonfiction by | February 15, 2009

All romantic relationships are bound to hit nasty ground in the end — those that were mine, at least. I console myself with the idea that it’s how you loved in the moment that matters. Knowing that you have given yourself wholeheartedly and had possibly been made into a better person is reason to move forward. I tell myself that although I have lost, I have tried hard. At least I discovered who I am and what I am capable of doing. This I learned through someone who, at one point, I thought defined my being.

“You should meet my cousin.”

Continue reading Good Luck and Stay Happy…

Letter to My Atheist Brother

Nonfiction by | February 8, 2009

What I’m going to do is just share you something because, by having said that you’re an atheist, you remind me of what I was then and the thoughts that I harbored and the journey that I had to go through. Perhaps, your statement is a blessing because it has challenged me to write down and crystallize everything that I believe about God.

But before I start, I just want to ask that you own your statement. It is so easy to say “I believe in God” but it is a wholly different matter to say one doesn’t. To say that you’re an atheist is itself a product of deep reflection and hence must not be uttered in jest or mere fun. I expect that you take your statement seriously because this is a serious matter to begin with.

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A Modern Asian Fairy Tale

Fiction by | February 8, 2009

There was this teenaged princess from Southeast Asia who, tired of all the political maneuverings and killings and dissent and poverty unsolved by parliament, sneaked out of the country incognito by wearing a wig and a tailored suit, her crown in a hatbox as hand-carried luggage. Landed in a small Philippine airport, found a small house to stay in the middle of a coconut plantation, then walked to town to pawn her crown.

The rural atmosphere suited her needs, also it was just like home—the land, the trees, the air, the trade. Helped a farmer by burning coconut shells for charcoal, sold these to the barbecue people out in the stands at the town streets, and saved up her money so she could get back her crown.

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Twilight Memories

Poetry by | February 8, 2009

pale crimson and orange palette
painted in that endless canvas
with the final rays of the sun
sinking over the horizon;
the blades of cogon grasses turn
into dark, dancing silhouettes –
the best twilights, i left at home…
now, i see no velvet sunsets
and no dancing cogon grasses –
just a lone lightpost by the street.

Continue reading Twilight Memories

A Farewell Tanka

Poetry by | February 8, 2009

used to being side by side;
withered bunch of blooms
forgotten by you, by me —
how do we say our goodbyes?

A Lot Like Love

Poetry by | February 8, 2009

a single broken fork,
a couple of plastic cups,
lots of crumpled paper —
and you start to realize
that they’re all just clutter…
yesterday, they’re needed;
now, they’re nothing.
and you squint at the same thought
because it’s a lot like love,
where one is left behind –
broken and utterly