Monday, August 18, 2014

FOR REGINA (BIRTHDAY)

By Invictus


They say the body is made out of dust, but no one has ever told me the flesh could also erode from the body like a mudslide. A hug can warm the heart, but tell me other ways how I could warm your heart without crushing what is left in that body of yours. Those bones were reaching out to me like branches, and I could only hope I was a bluebird singing in the vast forest of your lost faith. Unwilling to let go of my memory of that girl you once had been, I held you in that embrace like a remnant of an artifact whose real form had gotten lost in time; you, whose body is now a collateral damage to the bloodshedding of your own hopes.

But that day I saw you, I was engulfed by your stillness. Heaven knows how deep your ocean was, yet you came back up to the surface resilient, sending ripples across the water with your smiles and whispers. Don’t hold back the tears, Love… It’s okay to cry a river sometimes, for every river flows to the ocean, and every ocean sends tides to the shore, to place a kiss on that one lost bird, waking it up to go back home. I know you came back home. 

I know some wounds are as deep as that ocean, but I've been told that in order to allow healing, we have to remind ourselves over and over that other people are wounded too, that we are not alone. Sometimes, our optimism is borderline MADNESS, so sometimes, we have this habit of turning decay into a fertilizer and wounds into a treasure map. Once, I was sitting at CafĂ© by the Ruins. I couldn’t help but admire those shattered bricks. And at that moment I had this sadomasochistic realization that we have to break a part of ourselves in order to see beauty. Sometimes, we have to swing the hammer against a wall and to look straight through the rubble to see how breath-taking the sunrise is. That day, when I saw you and your mom loosen your grip on old grudges just to hold each other, I chose to see the sunrise and not the wreckage.

I can never take away your pain, no one can. I can only share my dose of INSANE OPTIMISM to make you sane enough to believe that it is not yet over, that you are still here. So hear me when I say,

"Just because your heart feels heavy doesn't mean you're weak. The next time you lose count of the times you have come undone, remind yourself that every person, in his most battered state, wears a cape. The fact that you are still here shows the kind of super power it takes to carry boulders of grief and shame in the chambers of your heart. You may not stop the forest from burning, but it takes guts to rescue every cinder of your own faith. May you always find comfort in the fortress of your strength. May you always look up to see the chandelier of your hope and remember that the only thing you should hang is your dreams."

I have stuck my head way up there with the clouds since the day I have accepted the fact that the world is not always rainbows and butterflies. I have stopped cajoling myself for mistaking a missile for a shooting star. I know it's hard to blow the candles on our birthday cake unsure how many breaths are left. But we still have to call it a birthday, right? We wear bracelets even though they don’t have flesh on both wrists to latch on and even though the wrists are now all skin and bones because there are just too many things in those bracelets to hold on to. We still mark our calendars even though we know our hopes and prayers outnumber our remaining days. 

When I told you, everything’s going to be alright, I was not lying, and neither was I giving you false hopes… because that day, I saw past that delicate body. I saw your unyielding spirit.
---------------------------

"In the middle of all these troubles
He is always there
Hold on to the hope of eternity
That all these things shall come to pass
But we will see the wonders
The wonders of our God."

~III-Green of S.Y. 2013-2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WHITE FLAG

By Invictus

Words sometimes do not stay true to form. When used skillfully, they can squeeze out the sweetest of juice and throw away the bitter peel. I use metaphors to hide the forbidding shape of grief and unload my depression out of my chest forcing you to read every writing I post about how messed up life has been. But this isn't mere writing anymore.These words are the aftermath of a battle. This is a war cry, a sound of loss and victory and betrayal. This is me throwing grenades and dodging bullets hoping to see Life plant a white flag on the battlefield. 

Laughter must be the best tool for a masquerade. We conceal that face (the one that we use when we choose to watch Miracle in cell No. 7 alone in the fortress of our bedroom) because it is never fun to be in the company of a person who whispers words of love to his own misery every night.

The face of hardship is the one that is revealed when the Chinese old woman lifts the head of her Micky Mouse costume after a day of parading as a mascot to earn money for her son. Hardship is the texture of rough and callous hands that grip the hoe in the farm digging the battered roots of his spirit in the soil.

Sadness sprouts from decay. They say it gets worse before it gets better. Biology says decomposition is necessary for the cycle of life. But it does not explain the macabre of unrelenting massacre of dreams, the extermination of every hopeful cell in your body, how the liquid of life passes through the funnel of relentless annihilation. No, this is not mere writing anymore. It has not been for a long time.

Getting a grip is sometimes as simple as gripping a piece of chalk. Sometimes, I forklift my own frustration through these literary pieces I teach. I identify with Beowulf's over-the-top confidence because I, too, know the taste of victory only to get choked by my own narcissism. My heart goes out to Queen Guinevere because, I, at some point, was torn between what I needed to be and what I wanted to be. But you're still going to call my tears a visual aid, something that helps you understand other people's situations but not mine. No, this is not mere teaching anymore. This is me leaving my heart right there, for everyone to see, for I am the person who attempts to see through people's hearts but never actually understanding how my own skips like a broken CD every time I reach an episode of rejection, of fear,of paranoia. I drink every ounce of numbness to feel the feeling of not feeling just like how Romeo takes a swig of that poison. No, this is not a lecture on literature anymore.

Still, there are days when I feel the urge to collect the residue of lost dreams, but even a child is taught not to pick up crumbs of bread on the floor. At night, I howl at the moon in hopes of reclaiming that voice that is now an echo from a distant place. It is never a bad idea to grab a souvenir from the beach, but when I stopped hearing the sound of the ocean, I broke the seashell. It is quite tempting to let go of the kite's string to see how far it can go. But life is a bully. The moment you unclench your fist, it starts beating you to a pulp. And all you can do is to bleed yourself dry. No, this is not poetry anymore. It has not been for a long time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Anime Review: Mind Game(2004)

By Aby Yba



It is easy to mash colors together and call it "art". It is also easy to mash words and scenes together and call it a "story" or a "film". Mind Game if anything is an art film, an art anime. I won't stop there. For while it is too easy to call anything art, it is not too easy to answer the question of technique and craft and more importantly the experience.

How was this mashing up done? How was the experience?

Mind Game is a feast for the mind, the eye and the ear. It will leave you wondering: what is happening? What happened? What am I looking at? and yet it is like a painting that though challenges your imagination, does not go overboard, it still leaves room for meaning. If you find no meaning then it is a song, a beat, that while it leaves guessing, leaves you dancing.

Most Anime offer epic battles, epic love stories, weird characters and their counterparts, all of which depend on the advancing of the plot, or the series of connected scenes. And you will judge the whole film on how a clear scene transpired. You will watch most anime/films to know what happened, what will happen.

Mind Game is different. Yes, it has a love story(between the loser and the  usual big boobed girl), it has the adventure narrative, it has car chases, but it is different. Trying to describe the film now is hard. Which means that no words can describe the experience of watching a series of scenes that at first might appear unconnected, but in time appear to be or not? The experience of watching scenes that play out like an MTV. Or of how fantasies/myths and beliefs are squashed together to portray what is possible, how narrative time is bent, is this a flashback? A future event? An imagined event? A dream? Or what?

Sit back, allow the sounds and colors to take care of the rest.


(Myon)

I admit that the movie might just be noise for the casual viewer, the story might prove too simplistic (un lang?) too chaotic (ewan?) but art is the excuse, technique is the reason and experience is the pleasure.

AND if you can watch and appreciate Adventure Time and Spirited Away(said to be the best animated film) then Mind Game should be on your watch list.

It doesn't hurt that the film has a wickedly fine sense of humor.

Some Awards(from wiki): Best Director, Best Film, Best Script and "Visual Accomplishment" (Fantasia Festival Canada)
Further viewing: Spirited Away(2001), Adventure Time(TV Series), Mirror Mask

SPOILER ALERT!

-Has the best portrayal of what could be God.

-Imagine dying by having a gun blast on your butt with the bullet passing thru your rectum until said bullet exits thru your head blasting away your brain.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

I MAKE my own Destiny and I AM the Master of my own Universe...

By Karlo Weygan Kokoi Ravanera

I MAKE my own Destiny and I AM the Master of my own Universe...

I MAKE
Therefore,
I AM...

I am Destiny
I am Universe...

DESTINATION: UNIVERSE

Nation...

Verse...

Nation...

Verse...

National Destination
Universal Verse...

DESTINATION: UNIVERSE

I MAKE my own Destiny and I AM the Master of my own Universe...

I MAKE
Therefore,
I AM...

I make Destiny
I am Universe...

I MAKE
Therefore,
I AM...

I make Destiny
I am Universe...

I MAKE
Therefore,
I AM...

I
Make
Destiny...

I AM UNIVERSE...

Karlo dG. Weygan
13 March 2014
Thursday

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Marco 485

7 year old Marco woke up hard at breath. His unschooled mind did not yet know if he woke up from a terrible nightmare, a pointless dream, or if he ever dreamed at all. He woke when he heard from inside his own ear- his heavy breathing"huffff.. hufff".  He woke, when in the silence of his room, the brown door opened with a "crriiik", the kind of sound heavy doors often make "criik" and closed. He woke, when in the absence of siblings and he was the only child at home, he heard his name being called "Mac, mac, mac" must be from his mother... she always gets up early to cook.

That was the first time he woke up.

Marco, age 7, woke up perspiring. His kid's mind did not yet know if he woke up from a terrible nightmare or a pointless dream... BUT he was asleep awhile ago, this he knew. He was sweating, and his face was wet.. tears and sweat.  Wet was his shirt, wet underneath and even his pillows were soaked. As if the bed was turning into a large sponge. And Marco ,like water, was being sucked deeper and deeper.

That was the second time Marco woke up.

In a lamp lit room, a 7 year-old boy is sleeping. The sound of a doorknob turning. A large and heavy door opening. And then "Marco... mac... mac..." coming from outside . The boy opens his eyes, breaths heavily,  reaches for his mother at his side(absent), gets up, looks at door that just opened...expects his Mama, but sees only hair...leaving the room.

Hair..long black hair.. just like his mom's hair...
Must be her. It is her.

Third time.

Marco, in all his innocence did not know that he was NOT yet awake. But he got up from his bed, noticed the absence of his Mother's side, he got up still groggy, wet  and found himself turning the doorknob to open the door-the heavy wooden brown Narra door. "Criiik" (Thought he saw it open).

He saw nothing. Not even the sala which should have been there.

He stood a moment when the voice resumed.. "Marco..mac..mac" this time the voice did not come from  outside of his room but inside..  - he turned to see someone asleep on the bed...someone with long black hair.

Now he remembers the absence, he remembers asking his grandfather where his mother is. And Marco is elated. With open arms ready for a hug, he rushes to "her" side.

"your mother went to see saint peter" says his grandfather
"I want to follow her"
"you can't follow her, and she is not coming back, she will be happy there as you will be in here"
"where is the house of saint peter? I will go there
I will
go there"

Perhaps there is a shaver in that "house" for it is a wonder how Saint Peter judges stories cut too short.

How would you?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

WALKING

By Karlo Weygan Kokoi Ravanera

Through the iridescent lamppost-lined humid streets
Of what I now call home
Breathing
Feeling
And looking Life straight in the eye
LIFE—
Both beautiful and festering
Help
I could not,
But have
This terrible
Terrible
Terrible yearning…

To awake
To cold
Crisp
Foggy mornings
With diamond-like dew drops
Sparkling lavishly on sayote leaves
Just outside my jalousied-window,
The fresh aromatic scent of pinewood sap
Tainting the cool breeze
With old woolen Navy Pea coat and faded blues—
Worn like second skin
For days on end…

Sidewalk beer and Ginebra binges right in front
Of La Azotea atop Session Road
Evening bonfires and barbecues right in your own
Backyard (or even, a friend’s)
Anytime you’d like,
Anytime you’d wish…

To rejuvenate spent mind and body on top of a mountain
With sleep—
So tranquil…
River flowing in your midst…

Why pack—
When you could stay?
Why go,
When Right Here is where
You could meditate and be away?
The (sick) desire for something Better?
Are you truly happy, or are you Bitter?

GUINEA PIG!
In a bizarre experiment in Living—
A revolting desire for the Good Life?
Want more?
What for?!?

Smoggy boulevards and busy avenues
Eyes—
Could not help but haze
From tears that’s yours—
And yours ALONE…

Alone
In this place I now call HOME
I walk,
Through the iridescent lamppost-lined humid
Uncaring streets—
FACELESS to the faceless people I pass
My window—
Still OPEN to their Closed Doors…

Alone,
In this place I now call My Home
I walk…

I WALK ALONE…

26 April 2002

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Review: Anonymous Lawyer by Jeremy Blachman


Anonymous Lawyer by Jeremy Blachman

(from my goodreads review)
Featuring one of the best anti-heroes you might find yourself rooting for, the novel is written in the frame of blog entries and e-mails. As I find it always refreshing to read shifting viewpoints, much less shifting frames, I enjoyed and breezed thru this hilarious novel. More so since the focus of which is the sarcastic and nihilistic anonymous lawyer who does not fail in coming up with brutal ways to treat and talk about his colleagues in the anonymous firm. And yet this was done with enough humor and a dash of humanism which, makes you realize that this is a novel, and a damn funny one at that. I am not lawyer nor a student of law and yet this book made me laugh. I was able to relate.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Solving Metamorphosis Chapter 2 (Prison E-mails of Juan Del Valle Juan et al. )

Linguistic and legal notes are available upon request.
18 years prior to the ODA interview of Inspector Javier T.
(1st of 4 compilations)

From Juan Del Valle Juan
To Pahn Tene

April 18, 2008

Pahn, My Love,

        These walls, these unpainted walls. And the silence. They're nothing. This cell, its emptiness, its exactitude(no escape) its solitude (no cell mate), It too is nothing. These are nothing I couldn't endure. BUT give me a second to realize your absence and I shudder. I struggle to endure, I do not know how long I can.  It's only been four days and as soon as I found I could (though I tried not too ), here I am writing to you.

              Pahn. I miss you. I really really miss you.

              There is no remorse for every pandesal I stole, no regret that I was captured by those Two Dozen Tanods, and no pain after they beat me up. Only after 42 fists did I fall and after 24 boot stomps I still rose. BUT this longing for you and this holding on to the memories of our stolen moments, bring me down faster and longer than the Two Dozen Tanods(with their 42 fists and 24 stomps). You are the only reason I regret my life as a Pandesal thief.

              Enough of pain.  Enough. I do not want you to worry, for it is not your worried look that I cherish the most, it is your dimpled smile.

              Let me tell you three things to smile about

            1. I am getting out of this prison, that much is certain.

            2.  This cylindrical prison is one of the three prisons of Bagu City,  It is called The Pit. It is built downwards much like a mine, each floor from the highest to the lowest segregates the criminals by how severe or light their crimes are. The lower the floor, the more heinous the crime.
               
           The first floor(the highest) houses common thieves and other thieves of higher profile.
       
       While indeed maintaining that they offer no special treatment, the wardens did want to maintain goodwill with big time prisoners (for the rich get out sooner or later). I believe that to solve this, they improved "accommodations" for the first two floors. So here I am with internet access (as is my right but with no social networking), with clean comfort rooms and balanced meals and pampered and physically safe co-prisoners.
          
         But people here are boring:  common thieves, guards, rich prisoners. They are all about status,  or money or property. Their fears and desires make them so predictable. I wonder if the people below my floor are more interesting.
              
        There is, however, one person here on my own floor who is different from the rest. And already I consider him a friend. He seems to want something else.
              
           3.  That person is not a fellow prisoner but a young officer about my age. He was assigned to this prison the same day that I "checked" in. And while our friendship is still limited to four conversations(during routine cell checks), I know he and I are going to be good friends. Already just awhile ago I started talking to him about you.  He is SPO1 Javier T.
              
            I will get out. Please smile for me Pahn, smile for us.
              
          Know that You Are My Dream, my panaginip when I sleep and my pangarap when I wake. I will serve my penance . I will get out of this prison. Wait for me Pahn, wait for me. I love you.

Your only one,

Juan Del Valle Juan

From Pahn Tene
to Juan Del Valle Juan
                                                                                                                                                April 18, 2008

My One and Only,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cogito Interruptus: An abSuRdisT? Essay?

"Mahal kita" that is how we say "I love you" in Tagalog. "Mahal" which means love comes first then "kita" encompassed in one word refers to a movement from me to you--- Really?

On the other hand, it is a fact that many Filipinos want to go abroad hoping to have a better life-to earn more.

What is the connection?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Solving Metamorphosis part 1.5: The Interviewer's Intermission


Hope and fear.  I Hope that the inspector never finds out what I have been doing inside his spotlessly clean comfort room.  I fear what will happen to me if he does, when he does.

I Fear and I hope.  Fear that the interview will never be published. Hope that I won't care if it doesn't.

Like a cheating lover, I made this C.R. my phone booth, risking the skull under my thick and curly hair just so you and I could talk my dear reader - to listen to each other's stories-my story first.

I am a writer. I am married to the word and everybody else, including Inspector Javier T. is my mistress, my momentary muse, or my unwilling victim. No, my reader, you are an exception of course...

That is why (contrary to his command) those three Kape Barako breaks of the interview will never be off the record. For me, nothing is.

And if I die (I fear)  because I spoke. I will die in fashion (I hope) because I spoke. Remember that Words live longer than the ones who spoke them.

This is what happened:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Incomplete



I spoke to you, in the smoky room with the windows closed

And we could barely breathe but we were alive.

I looked in the mirror and saw someone that could be me

That I didn’t want to be me.

I’ve lived so long behind smokescreens and walls

They’re cold cocoon has become my comfort, my home.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Symposium

I. "him" (waiter) Expounds on The Absurd

“All we do is wait. In the morning we wait for a ride and in traffic, we wait to arrive. And so we wait for the text message to be sent and we wait for the reply, we wait for the pages to load then they ask us to wait as the photos upload,"

---uploading photos please wait--

Friday, June 21, 2013

Holy Serpent

Oh that venom that plants the seed
of sweet rotten fruits on the rich
soil of unsuspecting minds.

That serpent intends to live on that
tree of knowledge forever, For knowledge
is power, and power is everything.
It feeds on others' misfortunes and
feasts on their trespasses. It hisses
your sins and seals your fate.

Oh hail the judge of all transgressors.
Holy serpent, creature of God, pray
for us sinners now and at the hour
of our death. Amen!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Coffee

Since you’ve left, coffee tastes just like coffee; however I mask its taste with sugar and creamer.

Starbucks tastes no different, only a million times sadder.

I tried drinking coffee with pan de sal, but it only tasted a lot worse than it used to. It was like drinking coffee that tastes like tears.

I once had coffee with a stranger I met from god knows where and the coffee was as bland as the conversation. It got cold so fast.

Coffee may have lost its essence to me now.

I have been drinking coffee with you in the worst of times but it never tasted bad.

When you left, coffee has turned into cum—it just has to be ejected. That if from another, it’s something you want to taste but never want to swallow.

I still have not given up on brewing the best coffee. Tea is just too tiring and beer is just too, well, I like beer, but you don’t.

So, just please.

Please.

Make my coffee taste good again.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Into A Scar



Tonight, the red sun set on my face

and I sit here still, in the darkness

wondering why my need for light made no difference.

The bed lies smooth, untouched,

my mind is warped from lost slumber

brought by your punctuating absence

I eagerly await the end of this chapter

for the day when I fear twilight no more.