Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Day's Eve Redux

a malty Nick Joaquin toast to all who've contributed to our little Renga series! one last hurrah for the last day of IntPoWriMo, shall we?

Renga Que Rico April 27 2009

There is beer and there are secrets
and we are not scared: real men
write poetry. I should have brought
a fucking pen. I should have brought my wits.
But neither pen nor wits can take away the crisp
taste of Pale Pilsen on a cool night
Now back to regular programming. I am
in the business of drinking, of real men
who need pens, who dream of realness--
the concrete, something graspable, like bottles
and paper, like this. What I mean to say is
I am struggling with the concept in reverse.
Wars are turning into children. Trace the warm
return to the womb. To the atom.
Then back to the wet cunt of motherhood
who said the owl is a beer, gray.
Anybody thinking otherwise remembers not
the initial wince from that first swig, most likely
in high school, and how most experimentations
lead to habit. I am smoking, drinking, recalling
what I shouldn't remember: kicking inside
my mother's womb and eager for life, breath,
beer and a birthday. Then more birthdays.

kael, waps, john, khavn, pancho, ramblingsoul, doug

Renga # 30

Soulward at high noon,
moon pools and slumbers
toward midnight, yesterday's end
and May's awakening.

kuwabatake, ramblingsoul

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

IntPoWrimo: Day 29

With its swift
flick and plummet
through the chrism
of these first hours
after the rain
spraying droplets
off its wingtips then
scissoring past
the phone lines
into the blue
distance of roofs
and freeways
how not see it as
diving past
all we slather
onto the world
diving past it
the same way
we survive
our happiness
and also: sorrow.


The Lions

from Poetry Daily

Renga # 29

i want to be
anonymous, but it seems
that that's just not possible
when language is the thumbprint
when language is the culprit
that feeds the thumbprint
when the words outweigh
meaning. i do not matter.
i am no one. and many more.

h, lawrence, ramblingsoul

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle
The celebrated windows flamed with light
directly pouring north across the Seine;
we rustled into place. Then violins
vaunting Vivaldi's strident strength, then Brahms,
seemed to suck with their passionate sweetness,
bit by bit, the vigor from the red,
the blazing blue, so that the listening eye
saw suddenly the thick black lines, in shapes
of shield and cross and strut and brace, that held
the holy glowing fantasy together.
The music surged; the glow became a milk,
a whisper to the eye, a glimmer ebbed
until our beating hearts, our violins
were cased in thin but solid sheets of lead.


Endpoint and Other Poems
Alfred A. Knopf

from Poetry Daily

Renga # 28 = 0 (boo!)

Poem # 1

have you been carrying that mirror long?

because you are not here i have been

scheming. the scale surges before us, is wide

and so very often drafty. remind me

of vertigo's trusty cures.

(was it the feet missing a safe perch

or the eyes reeling earthward?)

but with my arm, crooked,under my head

i am snug and parallel to the ground

and yes, i have been waiting

PS Eliot

Monday, April 27, 2009

Interrogating Poetry

Summer Storm

We stood on the rented patio
While the party went on inside.
You knew the groom from college.
I was a friend of the bride.

We hugged the brownstone wall behind us
To keep our dress clothes dry
And watched the sudden summer storm
Floodlit against the sky.

The rain was like a waterfall
Of brilliant beaded light,
Cool and silent as the stars
The storm hid from the night.

To my surprise, you took my arm–
A gesture you didn't explain–
And we spoke in whispers, as if we two
Might imitate the rain.

Then suddenly the storm receded
As swiftly as it came.
The doors behind us opened up.
The hostess called your name.

I watched you merge into the group,
Aloof and yet polite.
We didn't speak another word
Except to say goodnight.

Why does that evening's memory
Return with this night's storm–
A party twenty years ago,
Its disappointments warm?

There are so many might have beens,
What ifs that won't stay buried,
Other cities, other jobs,
Strangers we might have married.

And memory insists on pining
For places it never went,
As if life would be happier
Just by being different.

from Interrogations at Noon

© 2001 Dana Gioia

Gioia's poem above was mentioned as a good beginning place to start getting students interested in poetry. this was taken from an essay titled "Why Students Don't Like Poetry" by Mark Bauerlein. Here are some of his interesting thoughts on this matter:

"More and more, they groan when it comes to poetry days...They like the fiction — standards such as “A & P,” “Lost in the Funhouse,” “Good Country People” — but lines such as these by John Ashbery leave them cold:

“. . . The sky calls To the deaf earth. The proverbial disarray Of morning corrects itself as you stand up. You are wearing a text.”

What’s a “proverbial disarray?” they wonder. And how can you wear a text? Yeah, yeah, we can interpret all kinds of ways, but it doesn’t seem right when you have to work so hard to get a grip on the basic meaning."


"And what does this opening from Levertov mean to them?

“Who’d believe me if
I said, ‘They took and

split me open from
scalp to crotch, and

still I’m alive, and
walk around pleased with

the sun and all
the world’s bounty.’ Honesty

isn’t so simple:
a simple honesty is

nothing but a lie.”

What the heck do you mean when you say that simple honesty is a lie? asks the young man or woman who wants clarity and straightforwardness from adults.

Or this from Anne Sexton:

“My friend, my friend, I was born
doing reference work in sin, and born
confessing it. This is what poems are:
with mercy
for the greedy,
they are the tongue’s wrangle,
the world’s pottage, the rat’s star.”

When 19-year-olds they read those lines, they think, “Huh?” Or, “Rat’s star?” Plus, when poets write poems about poetry and texts, teachers may find it intriguing, but kids who don’t plan to major in literature couldn’t care less. They can’t relate."


and after the students' positive reaction to Gioia's poem, Bauerlein ended with this:

"The occasion was a lesson in poetry teaching. Don’t choose poems so difficult and remote from young students, especially the non-humanities majors. They may be brilliant and powerful, but if their brilliance and power requires too much guidance and contextualization on the teacher’s part, they won’t work.

And don’t assume that because a poem has regular cadences and rhyme, tells a recognizable story, and is accessible to the 19-year-old sensibility that it doesn’t achieve the brilliance and power of the difficult, oblique, intense poetry of the anthology pieces."

Renga # 27

train wreck the arch of her back

as she turns and heads for the exit

staggering in the darkness

towards a window of light

that suddenly explodes

the way all light explodes.

And further, there, the dark

tunnel pushing on toward sunburst.

the curator, kuwabatake, ramblingsoul

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Bad Abad

hehe. got the above email yesterday from a fake sir Jimmy (click it for the funny details) and we (myself and the real Jimmy Abad) were talking about it the whole afternoon yesterday. apparently, his email had been hacked. mea culpa, kaibigan, he said. the reason's because he got fooled by a supposed Yahoo spam saying his email account will be deleted if he would not fill in his password. well, we're never too old for bad ol' spam. anyway, do not email him using his old account. for any future correspondence with sir Jimmy, use his new email address: ayuz! wasak!

it's terrible, guy!


Renga # 26

We are in danger of losing
the ability to look up,
to the old ceiling and its sighs,

or, outside, to the tree
we first climbed at nine.
And to the sky,
of course, how could we forget

the sky?

Rain. Summer's silent spell penetrating the concrete.

And we stare, inspecting fallen things.

There's a halo somewhere.
Or angeldust. Even in the hollow of church bells, where

we often hear whispers
of prayer, we will never find
it, never remember

the high sky.

sasha, ramblingsoul

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Days of Book

today's the last leg of the three-day Dia del Libro 2009 celebration, made possible by Instituto Cervantes. we've been invited to read some poems at 4pm at the Patio area, along with Sir Jimmy Abad, Ricky de Ungria, Ed Maranan, Ma'am Marj Evasco, and Mookie Katigbak. there are a lot of other events scheduled for the day. hope you can drop by. :)

Renga # 25

Lately, I am turning into a dust nova.

Other things go tweet throughout the day--

A speck, a dart, a beep. Twittering

and permanent then dissolving

back into firmament.

kuwabatake, lawrence, ramblingsoul

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thought Parade


Let me be the first to say
that I know the name for everything
and if I don't I'll make them up:
dukkha, naufragio, talinhaga.
Just like the young
whose hearts give no shame,
I love the excesses of beauty,
there is never enough sunlight
in the world I will live in,
never enough room for love.

I fear none of us will last long enough
to prove what I've always suspected,
that the sky is a membrane
in an angel's skull,
trees talk to each other at night,
ice is water in a state of silence,
the embryo listens to everything we say.

I am afraid for the child skipping rope
on the corner of my street,
the girl on the train with flowers in her hair,
the man whose memory is entirely
in Spanish. I am more afraid of losing consciousness
when I go to sleep, or that in my sleep
I will grow old and forget how desire
once drove me mad with wakefulness.

Just like the perfect seasons
they will die
and I will die
and you will die also;
no one knows who will go first,
and this is the source
of all my grief.

Eric Gamalinda

Zero Gravity


mga prends, tuloy n'yo naman IntPoWriMo Renga natin. Thought Parade naman d'yan, o. :)

Renga # 24

When you were taught about veins,
you noticed how they mimicked

the roots of trees.

Delivering silent stories,

pages falling, myths.

Once, there throbbed within
the twisted body of the Balete tree

living fire.

This much I know:
this world was made for keening:

heart water leaping
through body's hearth

smoke seeks earth seeks sky

Fire's ghost can never be held
but how it dances

the slow waltz into fading wisps of ash,
into smoke faintly holding into silhouettes

of bodies now gone.

martin, ria, ramblingsoul, PS Eliot, kuwabatake

Thursday, April 23, 2009


It's not happiness, but something else; waiting
for the light to change; a bakery.
It's a lake. It emerges from darkness into the next day surrounded by pines.
There's a couple.
It's a living room. The upholstery is yellow and the furniture is walnut.
They used to lie down on the carpet
between the sofa and the coffee table, after the guests had left.
The cups and saucers were still.
Their memories of everything that occurred took place
with the other's face as a backdrop and sometimes
the air was grainy like a movie about evening, and sometimes there was an ending
in the air that looked like a scene from a different beginning,
in which they are walking.
It took place alongside a scene in which one of them looks up at a brown rooftop
early in March. The ground hadn't softened.
One walked in front of the other breathing.
The other saw a small house as they passed and breathed. The
reflections in the windows
made them hear the sounds on the hill: a crow, a dog, and branches—
and they bent into the hour that started just then, like bending to
walk under branches.
It Is Daylight
Renga # 23 = 0
Haiku # 2
Afternoon swallows
tailing the new horizon:
straight trails of jet clouds.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Designer Music

"everywhere i go...lightflash!"

below's the "fashion statement" of up and coming designer Yol Jamendang for his Summer Collection 2009:

Hi! Ako po si Yol. Isa po akong underwear designer. Ngayong tag-araw, maglalabas ako ng collection na pinamagatan kong Urbanidad. Binubuo ito ng mga underwear na binurdahan ng mga slogan at street sign na matatagpuan sa minamahal nating lungsod. So far, ito po ang mga slogan at street sign na maari niyong pagpilian, sakaling gusto niyong umorder:

Keep off the grass

Slippery when wet

Accident prone area

Please use the other door

Do not disturb

Please fall in line

Watch your head

Not for hire

No trespassing

No pets allowed

Capacity:15 persons

Hard hat area

Beware of falling debris

What you eat is what you are

Thank you, please come again

Baggage Counter

Handle with care

Caution: Hot Filling

AC/DC outlet

Please don’t leave my valuable unattended

Please feed on the animal

Keep ticket for infection

Baby on board

For clients only

Deep excavation

Mag-ingat sa so

No blowing of Horn


Now showing

This bank is equipped with a time delay device

Isipin ang susunod na gagamit

Bawal tumawad

Huwag magtulakan

Salamat, doktor

Isang sawsaw lang po

Bawal omehi

Batak mo, stuff ko

Think positive ka lang

Nice to look at, lovely to hold, but if you break it, consider it sold

Sit like a queen, don’t sit like a frog



Renga # 22 = 0

since no one contributed (and it's already quite late in the day), i just tried to finish the poem.

it is is it the dyslexic
quixotic lyric it is

or is it? the critic tickles
the twine, thick spine,

the line it is is it
problematic (sic)