Saturday, April 24, 2010


Only a week to go before April ends. I'm currently working on something big due next week, which is why I won't be posting anything major 'til May comes. The only thing I can offer you is a peek into the past two years a.k.a. older posts. After all, archives do not exist for nothing. Oh happy day...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Four Poems

Here are four poems that I penned and were published in the first (and so far, the only) issue of The Locket, the literary folio of The Chain. A little background: That issue (2008) revolved around the seasons, having four divisions for poetry (one for each season), plus a section on prose and contributions from the alumni. The fate of this folio is uncertain, given the direction that the current staff seemed to have taken.

Asphalt Roads

They tremble, these coupes, like pigs
trapped in muddy sties, doomed to
taste the sinless kiss of the razor.

Eyes meet where the yellow lines lay
in muted slumber; feet step on the
cotton beds frozen by a grumble.

The red hand flares, the wheels pause.
Staring continues where motion halted,
while lips lock in the highway of souls.

The departed leave the rosy petals,
while the engine mourns the debris
of a grave the thread of time choked.

Earthly singsong melodies mash the
rumbling voices, a jade hand heralding
the zigzag of letters on the asphalt road.

I Fell for Her – I Mean, Him

My heart stops
every time I meet her
at the hallway during recess.
Marble tiles and dirty-white walls
turn to sand and bamboo
when she passes.

That fragrance,
that long, dark hair,
swiveling hips that punch the soul.
Eyes – male, female – worship her
when she walks by in her
silky Gucci dress.

Yesterday, however,
my heart broke as I strolled
along the park (I had followed her).
Last I saw my girl, she was holding
hands, kissing and groping
with some other guy.

I squinted
through faux shards and panes:
tattoos, short spiky hair, piercing.
Tears leaked from my eyes.
A candle reformed.

… Ah, the majesty of four
jagged peaks at a distance.

The Nicest Place in Town

Neon flashes brighten the
otherwise sordid quarter.

Laughter on one sidewalk, much
strutting on the other, lipstick stains
and nail polish plus a couple of
unbuckled belts – the
cheap perfume pervading the air.

Faint footsteps join the smiling
and prancing: the warm embrace of
vixens at the nicest place in town.

The rooster crows to the ceiling
with its faint, spaced-out leer.

Read: Me Not Dumb

It has been
two days
since you bade

Well, a slap on the face
and four teary eyes
don’t really make
a nice goodbye,
do they?
My cheeks are still sore, mind you.
And violet.

A garnet slash
on my cheek
is all there is
to remind me
that you
your fingernails

Bloodshot eyes
poured down buckets –
enough to dampen
my Garfield pillowcase
and Spiderman comforter
for days –
on that snowy evening.

But after you slammed the door
on that frosty night,
with me standing dry
in my polka-dot pajamas
at the dimly lit foray,
I know you smiled
and inhaled the night air

Darling, I’m not dumb.
I’ve known for months.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

She made my day.

I’m talking about yesterday’s check-in counter attendant at NAIA 2.

I was still approaching the counter, but already, she seemed delighted, too delighted, by my presence. In a very professional albeit light voice (one I’d associate with female military officials), she asked: So where are we going?

Come on. Straight English… at the domestic terminal? You remind me of my sister, I thought. I almost laughed, but her expression was dead-serious-and-happy-to-serve-you. So I answered in a somewhat uncertain tone: Uh, Iloilo po.

“Okay, Iloilo. Let’s go,” was her enthusiastic reply. Honestly, no other check-in counter attendant has ever made me feel so welcome to fly their airline. She started working on my papers. And just like every single time I fly, I had to make the request.

“Can I have a right-window seat, please?”

“Right window?” she repeated, enunciating the words as if to make sure she hadn’t misheard me. “Right window,” I assured her.

And she was more than delighted to get the seat for me. At least, that’s how I felt, based on the… aura she exuded.

“Okay, right-window… so we’re going for A, then,” she said, just to check that we’re on the same universe.

“No, it’s F,” I corrected.

“F? But right-window… that’s A, right?”

“It’s F,” I assured her.

“That’s… going inside the airplane… right-window?”

“No, in the airplane, facing front…”

“Facing front… oh, okay, so F then,” she corrected… with a smile.

I tell you, that smile was worth a billion frequent flier miles. “Yes, F,” I replied, smiling also. “Okay, so here’s your ticket…” She went on to explain the boarding time and all that, and as quickly as the conversation started, I was done.

But I have to say, it was by far one of the best moments I have ever had at an airport. A conversation in straight English with an attendant who was simply more than happy to have me at her counter. At least, this was how she made me feel.

If only all airport and airline employees can make people feel this way.