Sunday, December 2, 2007

Somethings and Nothings

I wrote this more than two years ago... it's amazing to see how much I've grown since then, and the natural style of my writing, without any influence from CHID. At the time I was growing spiritually, which accounts for the allusions to God. It's strange how I can marvel at a little of my naivete and yet at the same time be inspired right now at what came out of that 17-year old girl.

What is life? Life is making something out of nothing. Life is never really reaching that something because no matter how much we try, we never change. We are nothing. If we stopped doing something, we'd be nothing. And that is our biggest fear. To be nothing. To have no meaning, no significance; to be a piece of dust in the universe, a speck of light whose luminescence was never to be appreciated, because it never existed. It was nothing.

But if I stop. If I stop doing something, I may be nothing. So I keep on doing something, and they become so many somethings that I lose myself, and realize that I still am, after all that, nothing.

So I say nothing. And I stop. I stop doing something. Will I stop being nothing after this? Should I just give up and give in to my biggest fear?

But I hear something. Something I've never heard when I was doing something. Voices in the back of my head. A being over my shoulder. He tells me that I used to be nothing. Before time and before the universe, I was nothing. But because He is perfect, and full of love and grace, he shaped nothing into something. Only He can do that. Even before I was born, I was something. And even if I stopped being something in this world, I'd never stop being something to Him. And because I'm something to Him, I can be something to someone else. And make them feel like they are something.

If I never stopped doing something, I wouldn't have heard Him say that I *am* something. And that's all I need to hear. That's all I need to know.

Because in this universe of dark matter, black holes, and mysterious gaps of nothingness, physics tells us that we are nothing. But in another city, there is light, the complete opposite of this black universe; and matter is not nothing, but something. And my existence is something. That 'something' is going to have a destiny that means something.

So maybe I do walk and exist in this world trying to do so many somethings, trying to make a something of myself. But I never heard His voice until I stopped. Because He says that I only need to feel it within myself the light I was made of that came from Him.

I did so many somethings that ultimately meant nothing. So maybe being nothing may be my biggest fear. But to do all those somethings that amount up to nothing is the biggest waste of time. It means nothing to me, and nothing to Him.

So don't make something out of nothing. Because the truest 'nothing,' the truest definition of the word 'nothing' is anything that exists in this universe, in this earth we live in. The world is nothing. He tells us this all the time, to not tie ourselves with nothing, but tie ourselves with something. With a purpose, with a destiny he has created out of light, out of something --- he loves us, he gave us this something out of love.

So what is this something?

This something is the promise. He is part of that promise. I am part of that promise. And everything else made out of the light from the Almighty is a part of that promise.

I don't rightly know what that promise looks like. But I know that promise will last for eternity. Because, like light, it exists everywhere, and it never stops shining, never stops glowing. I am of the light. I am of the promise. I am something. I always was, and always will be.

So when I feel like nothing, I'll remember that it was nothing that made me feel like nothing. The world made me feel like nothing. He put me in this world to make me realize that I am something, even when I am surrounded by nothing. I call it faith.

The world means nothing. The realization is my faith. And that something is love. I was placed in a world of nothing so that I could realize that I am something. I am light. I am love. I always was, and always will be.

So what do I do while I'm here in this world?

The answer is easy, once I come to realize it.

I, after all, was always something.

I'll be light. I'll be love. And give so much to another person who feels like they are nothing, or is doing too many somethings that mean nothing --- I'll make them realize that we are made of the same thing. That we can combine exponentially, and exude more light. Shine more with love. Then pass it on. Until it can no longer be contained. Until this world of nothingness becomes charged with so much light and love, so much of the true something, that it begins to change.

Then we become like Him. We make something out of nothing.

So out of this world will come the kingdom of light. The kingdom of love. Out of nothing, we'll make something. And He'll surround us, because He is of the light. And most of all, He is love.

So what is life?

Friday, August 17, 2007

untitled, part I

start /

My mother grew up in a far more humid town somewhere in the Tropics, with pigs, cows, and over-grown water buffalos. Everyday was like summer days there, except in late July and August, when the air began to smell like rain. And it was rain accompanied by lightning, thunder and strong winds that howled and made the windowsills creek. The house she lived in was built on dirt and gravel, the walls were concrete that had slim and curved lines drawn in them as the cement was settling in. Whereas the first floor had concrete walls, the second had walls made out of strong tree wood. They provided a sharp contrast with the dryness of the concrete, as if to describe the people that lived within them—a family of eight children, all have diverse and conflicting personalities. She had a wonderful childhood, filled with summers lying on riverbanks, splashing cool water against hot flesh, stolen kisses, and other forgotten memories now etched in her face.

An aspiring writer paints a portrait of an unknown past. She discovers both the challenge and the excitement of feeling the edges of a finished novel. Until she reaches the last period on the last page, she anticipates a future of blank sheets.
For Selene Montoya, blank sheets signified new beginnings and so she welcomed them with uninhibited ease. She preferred the color white, naturally, and so she chooses to decorate her one-bedroom apartment with clean lines of white, solid pastel colors, and beige tones. When she first saw the apartment she had been apprehensive—though it was located in a questionable district in the city, the flamboyant district as they described it, she fell in love with its wooden floors, granite kitchen tops, and its classic white bathtub that stood on four legs. Her mother had been completely against it based on its location, while her father only smiled, white teeth exposed and all. He said, “Whatever makes you happy.” And happy she had been. Right away, she drew a long, hot bubble bath on her bathtub, the first of many.
She spends most of her time staring out her balcony, watching raindrops and lovers hop on puddles. On days that she worked on her novel, she would drink coffee from an oversized and round mug she bought from a novelty shop in San Francisco. It was her thinking mug. Armed with this mug, a pair of white Chanel glasses she would feel the mood to write—it was necessary to have all three, and she preferred it because it worked. There was something about their presence that made her feel up to the task.
Today was not one of those days.
On her hand was a lukewarm cappuccino that she had purchased from the Starbucks downstairs. Over her years at the university, she had developed an affinity for over-priced coffee drinks: white mocha, caramel macchiato, vanilla bean frappucino, and her favorite, non-fat, extra hot, chai latte. Their overrated novelty undermined her ‘fix’ for anything caffeinated. Easy ‘fixes’ would expedite and fuel her work ethic. She’d type furiously on her laptop, only blinking once, and breathing quick and uneasy. But as she discovered later, the caffeine rush went as quickly as it came. Now, her eyes wandered to the couple outside her window, kissing under the rain before she hesitantly went back to work.

My mother met a young lawyer in the capital. He was tall, and he carried a briefcase as easily as he carried a smile. She had just graduated from the college and was then teaching at the nearby high school. It was not love-at-first-sight. The moment they met, my mother instantly singled him out as a brownnoser, while the lawyer saw my mother as a bore as well as prude and he was not about to spend more than a few dates to be in bed with her. They saw each other more than once, to each of their annoyance, for he worked as an assistant to the mayor at City Hall, which was only two blocks away from the high school she taught at.

“How fucking convenient,” she put her cup down, staring out of her laptop screen and out the window, only to find her muses absent from the scene. Even though she had heard this story a billion times, she still could not believe how her parents eventually married, let alone separate after so many years. The convenience of their first jobs should have been a clue as to how fate worked in their lives. They had separated two years ago after thirty-five years of marriage, but not a step closer to a divorce, for they were both strictly Catholic.

“So what are you going to do, sleep on separate beds?” Selene remembers asking her father. “Just get a fucking divorce and get it over with.”
“Watch your language, when you’re talking to your Papa.” Her mother stood next to him as she spoke to Selene. “Where did you learn how to speak like that? Just because you’re in college—“
“But Ma, why are you separating in the first place?” Junior, Selene’s younger brother, interjected, who was clearly uncomfortable with the news. Of the three siblings, he spent the least with their parents, having been raised by grandparents who lived in San Francisco. The reason behind this arrangement was unknown to Selene, although she did not mind it at all. She had the freedom to do as she wished, ask for everything (and she often did), and she got it. Junior, on the other hand, had been independent as a result of this arrangement. Even at nineteen, he had already saved up enough money to buy a car and pay it in cash. He always asked questions, though saying very little, and would contribute less once he pieced together the answers.
“You two have been together for so many years, so I just do not understand why. All of a sudden, you just got tired of each other?”
“Just don’t do it!” Selene and Junior’s younger sister was crying. Andrea seemed to be the only one who approached the situation with emotion, and it put Selene at ease. Her parents, Junior and herself approached the situation with obvious constraint. Andrea’s sobbing gave the room its livelihood, no matter how somber. “What’s going to happen to our family? It’s going to fall apart!”
“Like it hasn’t already,” Selene earned a reprimanding look from her mother that she nonchalantly ignored.
“We just need time apart,” Selene’s father spoke, “nothing is going to change between us because we love each other very much.” He looked at their mother as if to prove the point.

Now that she looked back on it, Selene would never admit the news had been a surprise to her. Growing up, she prided herself for being aware of her surroundings: she knew everything and about everyone. Whether the surprise, or a numbness she tried to supplant within her, became the cause of her bitterness, she did not know. She took pride in her ability to brush it off so easily to avoid Junior’s concerned looks, to show courage for Andrea, but most of all, to preserve her own sanity.



Saturday, July 28, 2007




Tuesday, May 29, 2007

from april 2005

you've got sensual and delicate lips
like you've got something to say but dare not say it
as if you're some pompous ass who thinks highly of yourself
but you're not at all

they're fun to kiss
the way they press against my lips and you tilt your head like this to deepen it
and explore the recesses of my mouth
and i've kissed you so many times before but none feel like this

i have no room to vocalize the way i feel because
you've got my lips captured into a searing lock
and you've thrown the key into the high seas
nowhere to be found, just like my voice
so my only way to show it is to pull you closer
and enjoy you taking all of me

and i won't protest
and i won't regret
and i won't stop until each of us runs out of breath,
my vision gets cloudy from the lack of air,
but you breathe some life in me like no other person has done before

so i let you
whatever wherever whenever
the sooner the better
coz i can't hold this feeling of anxiety
of wanting to hold you inside of me
exploring the recesses of my soul as
walls collide
and friction emanates between us
pushing us to that limit
the furthest level reaching
higher and higher in a heart-stopping crescendo
making beautiful music
that i can sing on my own when you're not looking

and you're watching me from less than an inch
so move a bit and let me stare at your lips one more time
before it disappears again as we turn off the lights

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tongues, Teeth, and Treason

The character finds herself in a dangerous guerilla faction in the southern Philippines after heading down there to find her sister. She disguises herself as a man (since it's not too hard for her) but her identity is accidentally revealed later. This scene is one of the ones that follow as she is taken prisoner.

She experienced a moment's shock when she felt his tongue dart into her mouth savagely, sluicing the tip of its tongue across the cavern of her mouth. It excitedly rolled from the backs of her molars to tangle with her own stiff tongue, and felt very much like a large, slimy worm was struggling its way into her throat.

Despite the scorching heat of the sun, a cold shock wave penetrated her bones and rendered her stiff as she stared at the man. Somewhere in the back of her mind a raving conscience shrieked indignation and downright outrage. Before Jamie could stop herself, her teeth clamped down on the man's roving tongue with the unforgiving speed of a guillotine and with no less force.

Jamie knew a moment's pause as she felt the gummy yet hard tongue grate against her teeth and she let go just as quickly. Bile rose up her throat as she stared wide-eyed at the man, as his scream in her ears sounded strangely tangled as his tongue hung limp over his lips, blood steadily trickling down from the dark pinpricks where her teeth had just been.

A large, blunt force across her cheek knocked her flat on the ground, sharp as marble and just as hard. The world dissolved in a dull blur.

"Bitch!" a voice yelled hoarsely above her after he backhanded her. "Puta!" Another sharp kick attacked her right rib and she rolled to find her heaving face against the dirt.

Gasping for breath and choking on dust and gravel, she shoved her hands upon the ground and lifted herself to breathe. Slowly, she drew herself up on her knees and sat on her heels, still clutching her ribs tightly, with her head bowed down in pain. She could hear the man breathing a few feet away from her right.

Her hair lifted slightly as a coarse breeze flowed past. Suddenly, a large glob of spit caught her across her red cheeks to drip slowly down her chin to mingle with a single tear. The corners of her mouth dripped with a blood not her own.

A spray of dirt hit her face and she heard the man turn around and stomp away. And in the relative silence of the dusty clearing, her body heaved and shook powerfully, almost as if she were sobbing. And she felt acute remorse --- not because she was thoroughly humiliated --- but because despite the vulgarity of it, that had been her first kiss.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"spoiled" (inspired by harry potter)

I'm spoiled
By your love boy
No matter how I try to change my mind
What's the point it's just a waste of time
I'm spoiled by your touch boy
The love you give is just too hard to find
Don't want to live without you in my life
I'm spoiled

"Spoiled" - Joss Stone

She couldn't keep the ghost of his smile away from her mind. That all-knowing grin, which seemed to show the world how he owns it, or in other cases seemed to show how he carried it. She noticed how he raked his thoughts the way he raked away flakes of worry from the mop that is his head -- the way black shadows of doubt seemed to fly away from his face. This was the moment where, as hard as she fought the will to smile at him when he wasn't looking, or when he was just talking animatedly as the world is drawn to him, she was losing.

Utterly and completely losing ... her mind?

Or was she lost, and now she was being found?

She has fought the instances when she found herself staring at him at dinners or when he's studying intently. There was something about the way he seemed to make the words stand out of their pages like leaves fall in autumn, only to be swallowed by his focused gaze, the way she seemed to fall into his eyes, hypnotized before she even realized it.

She bit her lip. The more she resisted, the stronger her feelings were aflamed, the more she tried to avoid him, the more she was afraid she'd never see him again. What was wrong with her? Resisting James' perusal had been proven valuable in the past two years; the walls she had built up in defence had given her immense satisfaction and his constant rejection -- something he had shaken lightly in her opinion. How ironic it is now that the same walls have crushed down without her victorious Joshua not knowing.

For some boy who was the most intelligent one in her year, he surely was the most oblivious one when it came to her.

And she was just as clueless when it came to him.

She scoffed, momentarily shaking James' concentration.

"All right, Lily?"

She blushed at the sound of his voice, shaking her too. Had he caught her staring? "What the hell is it to you?"

He raised a brow, lips itching to rise in mock annoyance. "You can tone it down you know," he scratched the bridge of his nose while he shrugged, "I've never met a girl who swears more than you do. You must be a dirty-talker in bed." And he grinned, mischief dancing in his hazel eyes.

"And what if I am?" She breezed, challenging his gaze.

"Prove it."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

introducing jamie (still unedited)

Jamie read the tick marks on the measuring tape. 29 in… 31 in… 32 in.

Her breasts were getting bigger. Shit.

Jamie sighed heavily and dropped the measuring tape in the sink. At this rate, by next year her breasts were going to grow as big as her head and she’d have to give them names. She looked down. The left would be Lewis, and the other Clark.

Because she’d hope they’d go away as soon as possible to explore the world, never to be seen again.

She huffed loudly and it sent her short hair flying. She was in agony.

Well… at least she wasn’t a David and Goliath, she thought. God forbid.

She looked down again, and stifled a giggle, which instead came out in a very loud snort.

And then Jamie’s body jerked all of a sudden when the wooden door banged loudly and rattled against its flimsy frame.

“Jamie!” The singsong voiced called out, sounding muffled at the other side of the door. It was Ate Sophia. “We’re going now! Marilyn is outside already.”

“Er…” Jamie looked at the mirror. She was stark naked except for her panties. “I’m almost done.” She swore softly as she grabbed the wide elastic band and strung it around her breasts.

“What did you say?” Ate Sophia demanded.

“Nothing,” Jamie replied as she made several more rotations and secured the band tightly. Good God. She’d worked a sweat over that. She gazed at her breasts forlornly. She’d probably lose at least an inch or two with the bindings.

“Jamie, come on!”

“Okay, okay! Sorry.” Man! All this fuss for church. She quickly grabbed the flowery, oversized blouse and shoved it over her head. She buttoned the blouse while she yanked the long plain skirt over her legs, then thrust her feet into her slippers and stepped out.

Ate Sophia was outside waiting.

“Dear God, Jamie,” she said slowly. “You do go out of your way to look plain.”

“It’s… humble,” Jamie mumbled as she patted her short, thick hair down neatly.

Ate Sophia continued to stare at her for a moment, looking almost concerned. Jamie didn’t want to see it. “Come on, let’s go,” she said as she walked out the screen door. She stepped out and squinted under the bright, hot rays of the sun.

Friday, May 18, 2007


find that inner strength
that core where the pillars stand
that breeze where the bamboos sway
that music in your ears that tingles your senses
find that sadness you're willing to subside
for a happiness than only you can provide
find that swell with a beat up surfboard
and ride until you hit the sand without getting caught in the undertow
find the lines of age on your father's face
and trace it with a finger to your heart
find your mother's face in a clouded mirror
when you look at your reflection in the morning after a shower
the trees rustle at night on your bedroom window
as the moon shines and peaks into the cubicle
of dreams of aspirations of failed attempts and passion
the white walls speak the language of your ancestors in each picture
raising questions and those answers
find them

find that moment when you close those brown eyes
and the world turns from different hues of red brown and black
so you can breathe
so you can sleep
so you can finally find peace

the beginning of the 'novel' unedited

[written july 19, 2006]


It was dark. He knew he was somewhere, somehow floating in the deep recesses of an unseen world. The darkness, the silence, the floating would have unsettled him in another place and time, but for some reason, right now he felt strangely relieved, and blissfully content.

All of a sudden, he felt a sharp, piercing pain shoot across his forehead, and his body jerked. His eyes wrenched open of their own accord, and he found himself staring at a multitude of sweaty, dark heads bobbing up and down a few feet in front of him. He tried to move his mouth, and winced. His cheek was lodged heavily against the stone beneath him. He blinked again. The tiniest of breezes blew over him, and he felt the cool outline of drool --- thankfully, his own --- and the thick wetness of the stone beneath, where it had trailed down towards.

“Hoy. You’re awake.” The voice was not his. Somewhere above him, behind him, he didn’t know. But, strangely enough, without him sending any mental commands, his body refused to move, and his heart dropped a little at the sound of the voice. For a moment, the man sleepily marveled at how his body could already respond to the environment around it while his brain was still trying to figure out where it was.

“Hey. Look. Here. Here’s a book.” The voice came back again. This time, he registered its tone. Quiet, condescending. Mocking, even. “Read it. I think you’ll like it.”

He groaned softly. His own groan was music to his ears. He smiled stupidly.

He’d been lying on his side, and he leaned on his forearm to get himself to a sitting position on the warm, slimy stone floor. He absently laid his head on a long, rusty band of metal.

That’s when he really opened his eyes. The sweaty, bobbing heads suddenly veered into focus, and the fluorescent light from the ceiling above shone sharper, stinging his eyes. Jail. Prison. Death.


He lifted his head and in awakened clarity, looked around at the prisoners resting and snoring around him. A pitiful sea of humanity, drifting and floating in their own little worlds, faces covered in grime and sweat, clothes whose colors have long faded away. The bodies literally surrounded him, from the men sitting sleepily in front of him to the boards on top of his head, which held even more sleeping prisoners.

This was the Philippines he knew.

Because despite those white pristine beaches he’d never visited, and the
pictures of wide-eyed tarsiers he knew would be staring back at him once he opened that tourist book, nothing could change the fact that he was now looking at the shameful, the guilty, and the hopeless people of the Philippines in the face. Faces with histories a tourist book wouldn’t necessarily want to elaborate on. Faces like his own.

He just thanked God he wasn’t in Building One. He knew the numbers.

More than a thousand dead men walking.

Welcome to the Philippines, he thought grimly. The next death-penalty capital of the world.

three forty in the morny

three forty in the morny
the fuchsia hued liquid of my evian bottle
lies dormant yet potent
the elixir runs through my veins like a desperate madman
thrusting itself into the multitude of brain cells
making me feel driven to mania... maybe
and the freshly cut sandwich lies to my right
carbohydrates, cellulose fiber, protein, and triglycerides
all enmeshed in a healthy concoction
a recipe
for individuals that torture themselves
by seeking production and passion
at three forty in the morny

we stare fixedly at our laptops
the glare of the screen illuminating our faces
in this already bright, fluorescent world
high ceilings and victorian brick
reminiscent of a castle
supported by the beams
of compiled signifiers.
and we are
reminiscent of children
supported by the dreams
of compiled blankets.
he. he. he. he.

transient & love

filling in blocks of hours in a day for your education
filling in 8 glasses of water to hydrate
filling in moments of time slipping away
feeling movement and pressure build up in a week

and that is your life
wasted beneath the sheets
miracle happens when you're asleep

filling in 12 hours on the dot w/o a minute being paid
filling in shots of liquid waste to wash off the dirt, hands off inhibitions late
filling breaths of air to the drone that's become your everyday face

and that is your life wasted beneath the sheets

now put it on repeat.

we give, we give, and we give
until our nothings become something precious.
and that is the beauty and curse of sacrifice.

i give, i give, and i give
not because i have material riches to spare
but because i love, i love, i love

and i am loved in return.