Monday, April 30, 2007

May Day Eve

it's fast turning out to be one great weekend in Baguio for us and the kids. much thanks to sir jimmy abad for letting us use his beautiful condo unit for this family trip. :)

and so IntPoWriMo ends! what a great month of writing. mostly drafts, of course, but the challenge has really been a great push to sit down and revise, work on new ideas, and relish drafts. thanks to ivy and the rest of the NaPoWrimo initiators and participants for coating this blazing summer with torrents of poetry and accommodating the others from the peripheries who are as equally interested. :)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Roam If You Want To

all I ever wanted,
had to get away"

-- The Go-gos

The winter issue of Rogue Poetry Review Online is finally up. Again, much thanks to editor Michael Wells for accommodating my poems.

maligayang kaarawan pala kay Ramil Gulle. wasak ka, bayaw!

at kung sakaling makalimutan, itaas natin para kay:

Nick Joaquin, pambansang alagad ng sining
May 4, 1917 - April 29, 2004

Off to Baguio with the family. Posting two drafts to make up for the missed post yesterday.



I am reluctant to tell you this, but
there is death in the Old Testament,
numerous and final, bodies drowned
and unredeemed, forty days, forty nights
of rain, somebody struck by wrathful
lightning, Philistines in a city destined
to fire and ruin. There is even a chapter
that forbids merriment, a law permitting

crucifixion. But it is also written
that we should be happy, full of praise
and ready for the dance, prophecies allowing
for water to mean wine, the once-blind
witnessing this and other miracles. The way
we may still rise up to the music, like we did
not too long ago, forty years now, and how
we are again tip-toeing toward grace, life.

For Jet

Mountain Province

A white afternoon shivering to dusk.
In the distance, niches in even starker white
inhabit the hills. I think them cold,
colder than this air gathering around us.

Everything here is hunched: the trees, the houses,
the people. The natives drag their footsteps
heavy as in a procession. Twilight lurks
candlelight-yellow behind the mountains,

heightening the silhouettes of their soon-
monstrous sleep. The bus engine roars;
startled, we put our cigarettes out and quickly
get back on board. It's still a long way to the city.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mini Retro Review: Flaunt the Imperfection

"hear my silence, see my blindness
a love ascending, and never ending
you did cut me, from the same tree
a love incision, my inner vision"

-- You Did Cut Me

Flaunt the Imperfection
China Crisis
Virgin UK Records

the band's superb and landmark third album transcends the cutesy and lilting riffs and synths of their more popular and overplayed song, "Wishful Thinking". produced by Steely Dan's Walter Becker. becker's influence clearly showed in the more mature arrangements (complemented with a nice horn section) and innovative instrumentations, without compromising China Crisis' brilliant lyricism. flaunt the imperfection houses hit '80s anthems "Black Man Ray," and "King in a Catholic Style," plus some of less played but equally well-written tracks such as "Highest High," "Blue Sea," "Bigger the Punch I'm Feeling," and my personal fave, "You Did Cut Me".

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bayaw Slam Book (Part 1)

subject: Marnie Tonson
occupation: Non-Practicing Lawyer
age: (almost a) 40 year-old virgin
school: UP Diliman
highest degree obtained: Fahrenheit 451
positions held: former president, U.P. SFNFS (Science Fiction and Fantasy Society)
interests: girls, Stephen Hawking, more girls, and...

favorite tv show: buffy the vampire slayer
favorite actor: steve carell
favorite actress: many to mention
favorite animal: many to mention
does he believe in engagement: (empathic) YES! PLEASE!
favorite words/phrases: yup-yup; the thing is...
what is his motto: Long live Isaac Asimov! May he rest in peace!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Come Summer

"I walk along these hillsides
in the summer 'neath the sunshine
I am feathered by the moonlight
falling down on me"

-- Counting Crows

essential summer listening albums (covers):


Monday, April 23, 2007

Scorched Earth


We crept out of the water and shivered under our skins. We isolated the weak.
In the widespread cold, we strove for company. We huddled together, growing
Warmer and surveying the view. We discovered beauty in stones. Eventually
We put away the furs and left the wild beasts alone. When we decided to settle,
We lined the sunset with a collage of trees. We learned landscaping, irrigation.
We built high roofs and even higher walls. We relished culture, privacy. All this
During the early years, long before we managed to separate ice from water,
To push it out of our territories the way we drove away the wolves. Until today,
Illuminated by sunbeams, pillars of glacier collapsing far away, dwindling into
The keening sea, where now resonates but some vague memory, history offering
Nothing but water, more water. Or none. Where a brilliant change is taking place.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sablay King

You see, to someone, somewhere,
Alma matters in mind, body and soul
In part, and in whole
-- Morrissey

finally. formally finished my masters yesterday. the CAL graduation rites was held in the hardin ng mga diwata outside the U.P. faculty center. suma. sumasampu. hehe. 10 years in the making. ganun kasablay.

much thanks and gratitude to Dean Rio Alma and Sir Wendell for the best m.a. thesis honor.

other happy news here.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Straight to Hell

read that the Catholic church has finally "buried" the concept of "limbo," that middle place between heaven and earth better known in Christian dogma (or in classic, "Alighieric" literature) as the purgatorio.

the main idea for this religious revamp is really to resolve the age-old issue that has to do with unbaptized children not going straight to heaven. of course, it goes without saying that the new treatise does not say anything in regard to what Dante says in the Divine Comedy of purgatory being the resting place for non-believing philosophers and intellectuals like, well, Plato and Socrates (or Spartan warriors like Leonidas).

the funny implication is that we may now say that their long wait is over and they can now "go to hell," as far as the Vatican is concerned. hahaha. wasak.

and by the way, are catholic churches now required to revise some "staple lines" from the mass? and will there be more circles to be added to the inferno?

from the onion

Tenth Circle Added To Rapidly Growing Hell

Friday, April 20, 2007

The First Picture of Ewe

"the first picture of summer,
seeing the flowers scream their joy"
--The Lotus Eaters

wala lang. i love the animal condition. ahehe. photos credited to their respective sources.


photos below from the happy mondays reading last april 16 in mag:net, courtesy of kit

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sizzling Puzit and Other Newssssss

photo from here

lintek. sobrang init. eto muna, pampalamig na halu-halo.

from Poetry Daily, Eugene Gloria comments on The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter

"The mucilage that binds my New Directions copy of Selected Poems of Ezra Pound has dried and crumbled like crushed Communion hosts. I have neglected this artifact of my student days in Ohio far too long.

What I have not forgotten is that this poem was the one I found most striking when I first discovered the Moderns. The poem takes a long look back to make poetry new. With Ernest Fenollosa’s notes on the Japanese translation of the eighth century Chinese poet Li Po (Rihaku is the Japanese name for Li Po), Ezra Pound re-imagines the ancient poet’s wartime emotions he himself did not possess as a noncombatant in World War I.

In the first of Li Po’s “Two Letters from Ch’ang-Kan,” the poet is speaking in the voice of a woman left at home while her husband fights in some distant war. Waiting, she consoles herself by recalling him dragging his feet and imagines his footprints still fresh near the gate.

Here emotion is understated, subtle and given to us through image (now a cliché in our workshops): “By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses, / Too deep to clear them away!” As their parting lengthens, the woman left behind asserts: “At fifteen I stopped scowling, / I desired my dust to be mingled with yours / Forever and forever and forever. / Why should I climb the look out?” Pound allows the lyric to lapse into a feminized longing for a lover who may never return.

In one translation from the Chinese, the reference to “the look out” alludes to a story of a woman waiting patiently for her husband on a promontory. Another layer unveiled from this version shows the woman turning into a rock having waited so long (see Wai-Lim Yip’s lucid translation of Li Po’s “The Song of Ch’ang-kan”). How curious it is in world literature for a woman to be transformed into a rock while in the throes of deep longing.

One needs only to look back at the story of the indomitable wife of Lot (yet another nameless woman, identified only in relation to her husband) and the brilliant poems by contemporary women poets such as Jane Shore and Wislawa Szymborska who have transposed this biblical narrative from the woman’s point of view.

Whether or not Pound’s “non-Chinese” translation of “The River-Merchant’s Wife” is in the tradition of a war poem or a love poem, what I as a reader value most is Pound’s precise language, a discernable idiom that is spoken plainly, what William Carlos Williams would claim as “an American idiom.” What Pound transports into English is a pure emotion—without sentimentality, a kind of precision that is part and parcel of our modern and contemporary tradition."

Eugene Gloria was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in San Francisco. He earned his BA from San Francisco State University, his MA from Miami University of Ohio, and his MFA from the University of Oregon. He is the author of two books of poems — Hoodlum Birds (Penguin, 2006) and Drivers at the Short-Time Motel (Penguin, 2000), which was selected for the 1999 National Poetry Series and the 2001 Asian American Literary Award. He has also received a Fulbright Research Grant, a grant from the San Francisco Art Commission, a Poetry Society of America award, and a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at DePauw University and lives in Greencastle, Indiana.


from the onion:

Signature Dominates Sympathy Card



So that when I discuss with you
my idea of empathy, I am really

stepping into a clinic, the walls
white or off-white, waking vaguely

to color, finding myself hurting
somewhere, like it’s no accident to be here,

that whatever happened should bring me back
not to regret, but to the stain of blood.

That I can comprehend; looking at myself
beside my body, playing doctor examining

a patient, feeling for my own pulse. And if I
should stop by some morgue, it is because

when I beat my chest, it should be out of triumph,
and incidentally, I’ve given up on electricity

or gambling, definitely on sleeping
with other women, preferring instead

to focus on the slow, diminishing light
that confounds and readies my mind

for forgetting, like sealed inside a coffin,
I am now descending into the future

tombstone, the irregular visits
and wilted flowers and rain and years.

That all I really want is to lie down
underground, free from the things

the living do, like breathing or loving.
So don’t feel bad that I cannot talk

as much as these cooing nurses,
nor my children, slumped on the bed,

saying no, all the while I am trying
to say don’t cry, look, see how I die.

For Jem



So that if we alter the spelling, say,
Phillipines, it might just sound biblical,
ready for war in some chapters only
resolvable with God’s grand mediation,
somewhere proximate to the digging
that persists on the margins. Exegeses,
they call it, though it sounds too Greek,
too final. Yet with the scrutiny comes
real value: a heeding governed not by
Romans, but by liberation and post-

script: the letter hurriedly sent because
it’s too urgent, modern, so email.
So that when someone says it’s time
to move, that’s really saying submit
yourself to the language, rely on nouns
and the now brimming voices speaking
in tongues—local and blessed and
totally, inviolably official. A testament
to change. To true glory and precedents.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Monday Bloody Monday

AP Photo

Tell me why I don't like Mondays
Tell me why I don't like Mondays
I want to shoot the whole day down

-- The Boomtown Rats

this is really troubling. the identity of the gunman who shot 32 people in Virginia Tech before turning the gun on himself--what is now considered the deadliest shooting rampage in modern US history--has just been revealed. it turns that the asian guy was a south korean native residing legally in the US and is not 19 as initially reported, but 23 years of age.

even more disturbing for me is that the guy was a senior student of creative writing in the said university, majoring in english, who had written a few plays, the ones shown in video footages all around the web littered with lines that read "i'd kill him", "he should die", etc. according to one of the gunman's former cw teachers who was interviewed, the gunman's works hinted of deep-seated, if not outright, anger at the world.

now the mourning american populace is looking for patterns, how to profile the killer, the psychology of shooters, etc. preventive psychiatric measures and clues to the personal life of the gunman himself. was there really a love triangle? did he, in fact, talk to anyone after he killed the first two victims? were the killings pre-meditated?

some initial reports seem to put the easy and convenient blame on the guy's writing, the literal paper trails of his so-called "history of violence" which actually is non-existent.

yet there are more pressing issues here: the lax gun law in virginia, the two-hour gap between what the police thought was an isolated incident (two people murdered!) and the killing spree (30 more innocent lives!), the fact that the classes went on, on-campus (mis)communications.

AP Photo

the world is watching as the sorrow starts to sink in. how surreal. yet, sadly, all too real; it did happen. truth stranger than fiction. so many needless deaths. a 23 year-old. a virginian. a quiet, alienated asian. an alien. a writer.

and i'm really affected--no, wrecked--by this. wasak.

*btw, as Augie Rivera pointed out to me just now, the song above by Bob Geldof and the rest of the Boomtown Rats was also about a school shooting in London. and yep, on a monday.

"The pre-Littleton school shootings, the one that that sticks in people's minds best, is recalled primarily because of its impact on pop culture — it inspired the popular Boomtown Rats song "I Don't Like Mondays." Released in October 1979, this song captured the insanity of the moment by working the killer's chilling utterance into its lyrics.

Of course fallible memory being what it is, folks now remember the shooting spree behind the song in only the most haphazard of fashions. They recall that there was a shooting at a school, that lives were lost, that the shooter was female, and that by way of explanation for her actions she said "I don't like Mondays," but some have her as a high school student gunning down students at her own school, while others remember her as a high school teacher who turned a gun on some of her pupils."

well, they're likely to remember it now.


no poem today. just mourning for the departed,
those poor, suffered children and teachers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Read the News

and all the natural and human mixture of beauty, wreckage, violence, and loss just disarmed me.

one, there's the awarding of the Pulitzer prizes. the Pulitzer for Poetry was awarded to
Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey, winning over the other finalists The Republic of Poetry by Martin Espada and Interrogation Palace: New & Selected Poems 1982-2004 by David Wojahn. Ms. Trethewey's bio here.

and oh, one of my favorite writers, Ray Bradbury, was given the special citation "for (Bradbury's) distinguished, prolific, and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy." He shared this year's citation with the late jazz genius, John Coltrane.


the other news is the harrowing shooting in Virginia Tech yesterday that left 33 people dead, including the gunman, who allegedly killed himself after. this is by far the worst shooting in modern US history, and more than doubles the body count of the infamous Columbine shooting. stumbled across this in paolo's blog.

the identity of the lone gunman is yet to be revealed. students who witnessed and survived the shooting said that the gunman was around 19 years old, wearing a boy scout's uniform, and is apparently asian.

the entire US is reeling from the tragedy, as much as it is smarting from one of the most violent storms to hit the country, now currently lashing the east coast, including, of all places, Virginia.

wasak talaga.


much thanks to those who read and supported the second installment of the Happy Mondays poetry nights in mag:net katipunan last night. salamat kina Ramil Gulle, Kris Lacaba, Marc Gaba, Marie La Vina, Arkaye Kierulf, Pancho Villanueva, Waps San Diego, Javie Bengzon, Mikael De Lara Co, and the "late" Angelo Suarez. hehe.

the next reading will be on May 7, with Los Chupacabras playing after. punta kayo!

photo below is of bayaw adam's new and equally disarming arm tattoo and is courtesy of corin, who likewise read last night during the open mic. more photos in her blog. will update when other photos of the actual reading come in. (hehe. sa sobrang lasing yata ni corin, pagkatapos na lang nang reading nakakuha ng piktyurs)

wasak talaga.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Mondays

thanks a heap to editor Michael Wells for accepting two poems I wrote ("Architecture" and "Craft") for the winter issue of online poetry journal Rogue PR.

btw, see you guys in a while for the poetry reading in mag:net. starts at 8.



Kicking leaves on the way home,
the rain pouring, the lover speaks of
the brokenness of history, how it keeps
forgetting the tragedies of small people,
their constant abandonment, says this aloud
to himself, to this perfect evening of his loss,
breezing past him now with such celerity,
he risks looking back, shuffling his feet
in the process, and falling once again,
imagining his beloved equally drenched,
her hair dripping, that very same fall, standing up
and the focusing on, to some other direction
in his mind, toward day, sunlight, this need
to divine change, master it in a way, rip open
the aging tomes and include his little story,
write of the rain, his recovery, his waking to mist,
his time with clouds, that white union with space.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I Like Chopin (and Munchin')

basa d'yan chopan at moonchan. hehe.

picture from an old post by Cos. just celebrating another triumph by the Pacman. never did get to see it; no tv. woke up 1pm, plus no tv. knockout na si solis, knocked out pa rin akows. and have i mentioned i've no tv?

*speaking of chopan, update lang: nakapasa si pancho sa dumaguete workshop. complete list of fellows posted in ian's blog. congrats, pards! wasak ka!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


here's the list of readers for the happy mondays poetry nights in mag:net katipunan this 16th.

1. Javie Bengzon
2. Marc Gaba
3. Ramil Gulle
4. Marne Kilates
5. Arkaye Kierulf
6. Kris Lacaba
7. Marie La Vina
8. Issy Reyes
9. Waps San Diego
10. Angelo Suarez

reading starts at 8pm sharp and runs till 930. please do come and bring your 1 to 2 poems if you want to read your stuff for the open mic. thanks!


my wife april's birthday today. and i'm reminded of the first poem i gave her 'nung nagpapakyut pa ako. haha..


Walking out of the apartment
on a midsummer day
heavy with abandonment,
like a lost cause,
like the passing of love,
like the burning asphalt you endure
for that terrible fear of thirst,
the strange human need
that drives you out,

you feel the world
stopping in the middle of things:
the half hour, the recurring joke
of endless time, the great resting place
between to and fro, here and there,
leave and arrive. Now

you question the point of movement,
choosing the standstill, the deadlock,
the tie. Quiet and loud,
in the halfway of things,
you drink deeply,
from the very heart of time.

happy, happy birthday, be. tumatanda na tayo.



I am not repeating this. There is betrayal
in the repetition, in the required need to repeat,
your voice too low, too whispery, answered
with I’m sorry, left with that certain static
that floods the radio, late nights, repeats
then repeats back to the old dial, forcing fingers
to a steady and gentle prodding that should allow
for reception, recognition, as you settle back
in your chair, leaving the rocking to itself, the stone
alone, underfoot, unturned and convinced
that you are who you say you are, skipping it,
moving on to other concerns, like how to establish
your presence without hitting anything, without
colliding with anything and nothing, loud enough
to be just there, with none of the talk, enduring.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Matrix Reloaded

this news arrived quicker than yesterday's update. and is almost as tragic.

just changed my browser to Firefox, as my IE was corrupted by that friggin' quick news virus. my anti-virus quickly detected about 7 trojans/worms corrupting my PC; the moment i clicked on my IE icon to browse, my home page had moved to a porno site. wasak!

btw, i got it from Yahoo Messenger, when a friend whose status message was infected and linked to a website that allowed her name to be used in making spam links. clicking the link--as ones assumes he/she trusts the person sending it--spawns this whole he/shebang. if you are among my ym links who got a view-a-link message from me, pasensya na. i hope you knew better and not opened it.

anyway, if your ym status message did get infected, just type in new status messages until the link gets overrun by the newer ones. and please do check your PC by running an anti-virus program. thanks to Palanca-winning tech support bayaw paul for the help in the tweaking and hipag corin for convincing me to convert to "firefoxism". hehe.

late update: apparently, flooding the virus status message is not enough. i ended up doing a system restore of my windows. thanks again, paul. that took care of every bad luck this day had offered.

found lots of helpful and informative sites as to the benefits of using firefox. here is one.

and, just in case you also encounter the quicknews virus, here are the steps to follow in order to nurse your computer back to full health:

How to remove malware virus worm

1. Disconnect your computer from the Internet.

2. Restart your computer.

3. Open IE browser. Go to Tools>Internet Option>Programs. Click "Reset Web Setting">Yes.

3. Go to Tools>Internet Option, Click Delete files, Delete Cookies, and Clear History.

4. Go to Drive C > Document and Setting > ( the administrator folder). Clean the folders named Cookies, My Recent Document.

5. Under the folder open in #4, go to folder "Local Setting". If you cannot see any local setting, click Search (fond in the toolbar)>All Files and Folders then type Local Setting. Make sure that under the "More Advance Option", found below,the "Search Hidden Files and Folders" is checked before searching.

6. Under Local Setting folder, clean the folder Temp, Temporary Internet Files and History.

7. Delete the IEXPLORER icon found in your Desktop. This logo is different from the original IExplorer Logo. Also Delete the IEXPLORER found in your desktop with EXE function.

8. Restart Your computer. Run an anti-virus for more clean up.

Note: If other threats are found and your anti virus is not working, follow the location folder where the threats are. Delete any recognized threat. Make sure to delete the exact name of the threat because you might delete some important components.

*and if i may add, after following these simple eight steps, delete your corrupted IE shortcuts and Migrate to Firefox!



It happens that one arrives home
to find another country, the flowers
speaking of another happiness.
Here the roses are ridiculously yellow,
and the sheen of architecture strange yet,
because of history, familiar, meaningful.

Why things persist, you’ve almost forgotten.
Now you are whispering to a rose, saying softly,
you look better in red. And everything blushes
past you, nursing secrets. You, however, know better.
So while the foreigners sit down for pasta tonight,
you will relive history, give in to older claims.

You walk with the gait of a tourist, of course,
and you are. Roses are red, you begin, taking pride
in the given. Now everyone’s looking away.
They are all guilty and blushing. And you are
saying these things because you are wounded.
The roses lie crushed and your hands are bleeding.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, 84

quick update, in memoriam. will surely be missed yet whose works have already immortalized him long before as one of the most important writers of the past century.

from the New York Times: Kurt Vonnegut, Writer of Classics of the American Counterculture, Dies at 84
and the Houston Chronicle

from BBC News, the news and obituary

in pace requiescat

Nouvelle Vague: Sweet and Tender Hooligans

pronounced (i think) “no-vel vag,” this french band is a recent obsession for moi. the phrase translates to (surprise, surprise) ”new wave”. and you might as well guess where all this is leading to. again.

i just got myself a copy of the band’s second “studio” album (meaning not a remix), Bande à Part which, much like their equally dedicated and eponymous first album, features all covers of hit songs from the ‘80s new wave and punk scene. while the highlights and personal favorites from the first were covers of Joy Division's “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” “Guns of Brixton” by The Clash, and, from the wild-haired band A Flock of Seagulls, “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You),” Bande à Part (released just last year) offers lotsa the same bossa nova riffs and renditions and reworking, from Echo and the Bunnymen's “The Killing Moon” and U2’s “(Pride) In The Name of Love” to Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” and “Blue Monday” by New Order. and while I do hate much of the covers being made of ‘80s punk and post-punk material, this one i like.


The band’s “philosophy” and “artful” concepts are, of course, rooted in the french new wave movement in cinema during the ‘60s. wikipedia explains:

“The New Wave (French: la Nouvelle Vague) was a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s, influenced (in part) by Italian Neorealism. Although never a formally organized movement, the New Wave filmmakers were linked by their self-conscious rejection of classical cinematic form and their spirit of youthful iconoclasm. Many also engaged in their work with the social and political upheavals of the era, making their radical experiments with editing, visual style, and narrative part of a general break with the conservative paradigm.”

a scene from François Truffaut's New Wave film Jules et Jim (wikipedia)

funny that “bossa nova” itself translates to “new beat” or “new wave” in portuguese. and it’s kinda disturbing that the recent “rekindling” of the bossa nova movement has a lot to do with over-covers. i’m thinking of those “chillout” albums where some bands cover literally everything from “At 17” to “Lost in Space” which have become “elevator music” of sorts in certain “quiet” cafés and restaurants, mainly catering to late sleepers who need a caffeine fix for forthcoming exams in medicine and law. ya know…

the thing with this band is their seeming loyalty to the ‘80s new wave scene and their devotion to the tenets of this supposedly by now by-gone music genre—back to basics, stripped down, and a return to good lyricism. outside Nouvelle Vague’s frontmen Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, all of the band’s guest singers (mostly established, female crooners from france) are invited to sing songs the original versions of which they are not that “familiar” with, so as to give a newer feel, musically speaking, to the renditions.

and you’ve probably heard them, too. they did that version of “I Melt With You” (originally by Modern English) if you’d seen that Hollywood flick, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

and yes, they did cover The Smiths (the title of this blog entry being the very song they resurrected). hehe.

ah, the perfect summer music, together with the mixed CD paul handed me last tuesday (thanks, bayaw!). the old with the new, the faraway beaches and looming mountains in my head, this no-work and no-pay summer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Was Happy In The Haze

huge thanks to judges Sir Jimmy Abad, Sir Rayvi Sunico, and Ma'am Marj Evasco for, as bayaw Ken Ishikawa would say, "honoring my poems" The Ascension and New Century, With Dragon during the free press awarding last night. maraming, maraming salamat po!

Congratulations are in order for Ken's Wife Anna Sanchez, hipag Sandra Roldan, and bayaw Doug Candano, who shared his first award with literary biggies Dean and Sir Tim Montes.

the complete list of winners is posted in Ian's blog. at oo, Ian, pipilitin ko talagang makauwi dyan. :)

update: pootcha. talaga palang "haze". haha. this photo just emailed by douglas:

and congrats Mookie for bagging the top prize for poetry for As Far As Cho-fu-sa, a take on and re-imagining of Ezra Pound's classic, sarap kabisaduhin translation of a poem by the 8th century Chinese poet Li (T'ai-)Po entitled:

The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.

At fourteen I married My Lord, you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the lookout?

At sixteen you departed,
You went into far Ku-to-yen, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Cho-fu-Sa.



Whatever lives can evaporate
must have loved water once

or is at least missing it
riverbed bone root you ask

time pleads stop though it persists on
refusing exhausted from waiting all season

having gone out again to the fields
eager for the bead of its first dew listening

for the straining of voices in the air
all the life discussed quietly and solely

by plants as again moisture pools
on the drooping leaves, coats the grass

and the sleeping grasshopper, that grand process
eluding human presence nor participation

again as the sun comes out with its given rituals
blazing and embarrassed because it is summer

and there is but a slim chance of raincloud
slow shipbuilding no long voyages

sails folded and put away as you continue
calling out to the long months—drowning, period

of dissolving and drunkenness, when water impresses
on leaves, slides persistently down the trunk of trees,

into the deep and sunken roots, soaking the permanent
remains of your old selves, the flowing down the hollow

where an eye, a voice used to be; you are summoning
time breathing the words bumping into the manifold arms

of trees collecting your frail human summons constant
human weeping as the river returns, now rushing, gushing,

brimming with newfound love