#30DayWritingChallenge: An inanimate object that’s important to me.

Day Five: An inanimate object that’s important to me.

My ex-boyfriend, Rodj, joked about writing something about him for this 30-day writing challenge.

It so happened that I was already planning to write about Geronimo, the sea turtle stuffed toy he gave me after he came back from a vacation in Palawan. This was before we became a couple, but were already sort-of dating.

I also thought of writing the entry as a villanelle; don’t ask me why. I’ve never written that kind of poem before, but I’ve always wanted to give it a try. So here we go.

Villanelle Tungkol sa Isang Laruang Pawikan

Saan na ang susunod, Geronimo,
kapag natapos na? Walang namang napala.
Balik tayo sa simula, Geronimo.

Ikaw ang naisip niyang regalo
para sa lalaking naiwan sa Maynila.
Saan na ang susunod, Geronimo?

Kunwari ay narating din kahit paano
ang dagat. Sa ngayon, ikaw muna.
Balik tayo sa simula, Geronimo.

Nasa isip niya ako kahit sa malayo,
noong bago pa kami nagsimula.
Saan na ang susunod, Geronimo?

Maikling panahon, nahiwalay pareho.
Unawaan na nauwi din sa wala.
Balik tayo sa simula, Geronimo.

Sandaling nilagi; parang ang layo
nang mararating namin sana.
Saan na ang susunod, Geronimo?
Balik tayo sa simula, Geronimo.

A villanelle about a toy sea turtle.

Fragment: Transition

We have to unlearn
the affectionate gestures done in reflex,
habits we built. These little
boundaries we will set, moving from “we are”
to “no longer”.

explodingdog - Separate Together

This has been languishing in my drafts for about a month now. Maybe I’ll finish it, maybe I won’t.

I’m kind of wishing I don’t need to anymore.

Ang spoken word gig na walang title: Poetry and coffee on Saturday at The Collective.

The last time I joined a poetry reading was one year ago, give or take a few days. It was fun, but it doesn’t happen often even though poetry readings, in theory, are easy to organize. Get a group of friends, look for a suitable place, and agree on a date where you could meet.

So I figured, hey why not organize one?

So for this Saturday, I’ve invited some friends (and they could also invite their friends) over at Kanto in The Collective for an afternoon poetry reading/spoken word gig. Which does not have a title, because it’s often difficult for me to come up with catchy titles. Not that we really needed one.

But we sort of need a theme. So I asked friends to read poems (or personal essays) about sex. Sex as an act. Sex as a function. Sex as power. Sex as violence. Lusty. Romantic. Casual. Humorous. Serious. Tragic. There are so many ways sex could be interpreted.

So if you’re not doing anything this Saturday afternoon (April 28th), feel free to join us in Kanto at The Collective. We’ll be there at 4pm. If you want to read in front of everyone, that’s cool. If you want to just hang out and listen, that’s cool too. We could have coffee or beer and maybe some afternoon snacks. Kanto will also provide amplifiers, if you’d like to play music.

The Collective, Malugay Street, Makati

Poem: This Is Just To Say, by William Carlos Williams.


This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Image source: Catch the Spoon.

Dammit, I will have my poet-rockstar-wannabe moment.

“JD,” PJ greeted me when he saw me near the Conspiracy bar area, “you’re next!”


I nearly threw up my dinner. I thought I was scheduled much, much later so I still have an hour to watch the other performers before I hit the stage. PJ explained the other bands have not yet arrived, so they already asked those performers who are present to go on stage earlier than scheduled.

“Oh man,” I groaned as I turned to Bern. “I need a beer.”

Red Alert: Cervesa Negra

This was when I read for Red Alert, a music and poetry performance/fund-raiser for LGBT hate crime research, two weeks ago.

I got my usual Cervesa Negra and it was freezing. The suddenly released pressure after the bottle was opened caused the semi-frozen beer to gush out. Even before I went onstage, my beer was already coming.

Earlier, while we had dinner, I was playing with an idea for a third poem for my set. It didn’t work, so I was left with just two poems. I only met Ayi, the drummer, and Jmar, the guitarist, that same afternoon to “practice” for the evening, and it was only just then when worked out the arrangements for the accompanying music for the poem. It was great luck how Bern knows several talented musicians. (Actually, it was not so much luck; Bern used to manage a band.)

When I got onstage, more than half of my beer was gone. That was mostly because it spilled on a nearby table, leaving me with slightly sticky fingers.

The first poem was “There will be no poetry section today” by Jonar Sabilano. I knew Jonar through my old poetry group, Pinoypoets; his poem was published in the literary folio of Guniguni, another local poetry group.

“There will be no poetry…” is typical of Jonar’s poems: angry and passionate. Jmar (playing a bass guitar) and Ayi adapted Bjork’s “Hunter” to accompany the reading. I chose that particular poem to open my set partly because of its subject, and partly because of its fiery delivery. If there was one poem that could help me fight stage fright, it was that poem. I feel bad I wasn’t able to invite Jonar to see my reading of his poem.

Red Alert: Performance poetry

The second poem was “Sabang”, also from the same Guniguni folio. It was one of my favorites, partly because it narrated a eyeball (EB, to you kids) between two men (I think). When I read it, I imagine the music from The Cardigan’s “Deuce” playing along: slow and languid. Jmar was able to replicate the jangly, laid-back guitar playing perfectly.

I planned to do a third poem, reading an original work, but I guess it will be some time before I could write a new poem fit to be read in public. Or write a poem at all.

But we didn’t suck. The UP SAMASKOM guys (whose performance I sadly missed) cheered me after I got off the stage; that was really sweet of them. The performance went better than I imagined. And that was the only thing I was after.