Thursday, May 28, 2009


The winds blow my sails
Toward seas of uncertainty,
Where swells beckon and swallow
Hope and pride, like sailors fall prey
To the songs of sirens.
I am enveloped in suspense,
As I taste the saltiness of fear from
Tears and sea water.
I watch the skies grow damp like
Paper towels.

I am in the middle of nowhere,
And headed everywhere.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Swept off my feet

mango-peeling heat strikes my pale skin
while i whistle for the breeze--
the cool but sticky
humid air clings,
my body tastes the sliver of perspiration.

mama beckons me to her,
standing on a clearing,
sheltered by tall bamboo trees.
she squints while she waits,
eyes exposed by the glaring sun.
on her face: patterns that move with the breeze,
dancing pictures from shadows of leaves.

she takes me into her arms with a sweep,
leaving my feet to dangle near her side.
i grasp shadows and watch little fingers
make ducks, rabbits, and birds on her cheek.
her dimples deepen with a smile.
as did mine, pearly teeth showing little,
and gaps where age comes shy of three.

"tatang is waiting," she whispers.

he stood tall and lean, peering towards me
an indentation on his cheek too,
i noticed, just like me.
he smelled like the sun, age, and comfort.
i reached for his hair,
grasped at curling black strands near his temple.

then he picked me off my mama's arms,
in the same fluid, quick but gentle sweep.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No Space For Titles

Drunk nights, two, three, four
Splash a little of that sunshine into the cup
These are the chiming of our hours

Tell that silence to shut up
Peep-toe heels and shoeboxes of wit
The rise of the eyebrow at night

Cross your arms to the music of the drift
Lyrics bang: “I like you? Sike!”
Sure you’re a winner.

I could never tell if I was angry or glad
When my strength was a dying song
And being “A Woman” was a fad

They never suggest you be alone
But I sit by myself and wonder
If it will ever be the same

Or if I will find myself getting stronger
Getcha back to the rhythm of the game
Shrug a bye, and go write a poem.

You should never allow it to roam
An armory of lies and breathing
On a neck in broken baritones

Like the touch of butterflies seething.
I would like to dedicate this tea
To a frantic lullaby. I’m tired.

Leave the soil to the seed
Let me work because I’m wired
This will someday leave me alone.

Friday, June 27, 2008

II. Puppies

Part of a series of 10 shorts aptly titled "Ten Years" which, as the title implies, happens within a 10-year time span (to the past, present, or future).

She always had a “thing” for his voice. Deep, slightly harsh, but had a boyish tone. Sometimes she imagined hearing it close to her neck, ragged and hoarse. It made her shiver.

“So my sister and I threw eggs at this house. Then my brother tripped on their lawnmower. It made so much noise…”

Their conversations were mostly about families—her’s and his, separately. At times she talked about her friends or about mutual friends she still kept contact with. Then, when it’s late at night, she talks about big boats while half-asleep, he’d talk about puppies. They made fun of each other. They had fun altogether.

“Wait, why did you decide to egg this guy’s house?”

“Were you falling asleep again? Dreaming about yachts?”

“No! Unlike you I have more sophisticated things to dream about, let alone talk about.”

“Tell me, because I want to laugh at your answer.”

“I want to laugh when you ask.”

He laughs.

She always had a thing for his laugh. Honest and genuine, it makes her smile. It was the type of laughter that rumbles from your core, feel it throughout your body as it leaves your throat, and when you hear it coming out of your mouth. The type that echoes happiness or amusement on her behalf. It didn’t really matter.

At that time, nothing ever did.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New York City

Part of a series of 10 shorts aptly titled "Ten Years" which, as the title implies, happens within a 10-year time span (to the past, present, or future).

They stood in the rain for what seemed like ten years, on repeat. He stared at her, wide-eyed, holding a blue and yellow umbrella, almost afraid to blink. She shrieked at god’s blessing and invoked a curse before giving him a hug. Ouch, he said, oh, when she clumsily stepped on his brown loafers. Some things never changed.

The first thing he noticed was her eyes, naked in amusement. She always wore glasses. She now wears her hair short with bangs, slightly damp from the showers. He could tell she was hurrying to find cover when she ran into him the first time. Slightly taller, slimmer than what he imagined. He still felt a lot taller like last time, even now when she’s wearing three-inch heels.

Their meeting seemed coincidental. He was there visiting his dad, she was meeting her friends for lunch. New York City seems to be that place for people. A place to meet, to lose, and to find each other once again.

He shook his head, apologizing for his awkwardness. She laughed refusing to accept his apology and began to walk. They surfaced the usual questions, falling into step, as if picking up from where they left off years ago. She teased him about his clothes, he lightly nudged her on the shoulders. No awkwardness, just playful banter.





Filled with one-liners, their conversation fueled on. From seventeen and fourteen, to twenty-two and eighteen, to thirty-six and thirty-two. He talked about his daughter and the ex-girlfriend that ran on him, she talked about her Master’s degree program for Visual Communication Arts. She laughed when he asked about her hiding behind fruit stands when there was a boy she liked.

She wanted to ask, but of course he’d remember. All these years, she thought, he always remembers.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


How do you write a poem?
How do you write a poem
When sunsets are merely oblivious particles in the sky
Emanating wavelengths according to the laws of physics
When the stroke of a finger
Is just nerve endings sounding off
In a tight, chemical cascade
Refined by the metal chisel of evolution
When God no longer is your mirror
But a flat picture on the wall, a manufactured statue on the altar
Unmoving, unsmiling, emanating a light
Whose warmth and brilliance you know will never reach you

How do you write a poem
When you already know exactly what you want to say
When words are no longer vehicles for metaphors
Because you’ve deliberately chosen the words that will carry
That exactness, with a clarity of elaboration
That makes you speak exactly like this
Because this poem is just a pretentious collage
Of all the essays and entries I’ve put in my blog
All I really had to do
Was take out the periods.

And now all those periods are nicely arranged in an unending ellipsis
Located at the beginning of this poem
Because it took me so long to figure out what I really wanted to say

If writing is an attempt
To create a mirror of the soul
Then maybe this poem is a hint
Of how I can no longer handle the ambiguity
That comes with creating a work of art
I have abandoned that sparkling iridescence
Just so I can see the world exactly the way it is
To mirror how I want to be seen
Exactly the way I am
There is a harmony that resonates within this world
That allows you to make words rhyme
With terms like pantomime
So your audience can clap, because you tied them together beautifully
And made them sound the so similar. Like twins!
There is a melody that softened the harsh angles of your late grandfather
A melody that stirs the soul of your reader
When you write lines in iambic pentameter

But all I hear, most of the time
Is a distant cacophony that scoffs at a rhythm, a design
A screeching note
That makes you long to head ram yourself
Into one of Jack Pollock’s canvases
To erupt into a splatter of in-your-face nonsense
Just so
You could make something
Of yourself

And just so
You could mean something
For that one stranger that passes you by
And gazes at you for the longest time

That stranger and I
We will echo at each other for all eternity

The lilt of that singer’s ballad from another country
Will never make sense to you
But you listen to it anyway
Because maybe you can catch that phantom
Who holds the sway to words of wisdom and clarity
Within lyrics you don’t understand

We deceive ourselves willfully.

How do you write a poem
When the world is no longer a mystery
Armed with a dry, cold arrogance
You can sum up the entirety of human existence
Within a period.
And Nietzsche would be proud of you

What used to be a suede pouch full of sacred dreams
Is now an arid sack of sand hanging on that hot air balloon of yours
And all you want to do is toss it away
And just rise
So you can continue on that journey
To a place so high, so distant its size can be summed up
Within a period.

But here’s the truth:
I have written more than fifty lines
For something I could say in four words:
“I’m really only scared”

That same suede pouch of sacred dreams
I can’t shake the damned thing off
Because that same sac covers me and turns my skin to suede
It’s my body that is sacred
And full of dreams, scattered across the contours
Nestled along the curve of my skin
A marred, imperfect exterior
Pierced by the shards of brilliance
From the diamonds in the suede pouch of this April baby
Twenty years of intense pressure forced onto this pouch
In the hopes of creating a life
So raw, precious, so graceful, so rough
So complete

I’m really only scared

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Oh Odegaard
You pass a smooth river of warm soy chai down my throat
My screen is on negative, my thoughts are on positive
Algae reeking from the pdf file last opened four weeks ago
For an exam coming up
Doomsday in 2 days and decreasing
Caffeine in 2 minutes and increasing
Waaaaaah I'm screwed
And now, I freak out in the middle of the library