Summertime blues

Am I the only sucker out here who thinks it might take YEARS to revise a piece?

Ages ago, I wrote this poem about my great-grandfather [the one from India] and it’s totally flawed, but it had some kick to it [I’m being thankful for small things here], but I wrote it at the point of my life where everything came in autobiographical chunks and I’m not sure if I’ve I haven’t learned enough to actually revise it. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m a.) insecure, b.) indecisive, c.) a fucking perfectionist, or d.) lazy when it comes to these things.

Actually, I think I’m going to wait for the day when I can go visit India before I get to touching that piece.

I just had to write that down. Personal stuffs, hee.

Last night, I got down to making a reading list (!!!) for myself for the summer. Here it is – I’m going to give the poetry collections more attention since I write in poetry, but I hope I have enough I’m also going to try to make time to read the ones in fiction.

Poetry [in preferred order]

  • Bolo by Simeon Dumdum, Jr.
  • Zero Gravity by Eric Gamalinda
  • The City in Which I Love You by Li-Young-Lee
  • The Seven Ages by Louise Glück
  • Different Hours by Stephen Dunn
  • Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges [yes, I know they’re mostly works of fiction, but this evil, smart man is probably going to be a good influence for my poetry; I think he already is]

*Special request: if anyone knows where I can locally find Jorie Graham’s Erosion or The End Of Beauty, I would be happier than a spring chikin if you told me. 🙂 I swear. Spring chikin.

Fiction [no particular order]

  • No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July [I started on this 2 weeks ago, haven’t gotten to finishing it]
  • Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell [the copy I have actually isn’t mine – it belongs to my former boss, Walt, and I fear I might never return it if I don’t get to read this soon. Hi Walt, if by the strangest chance you are reading this, your book is safely nestled in my shelf!]
  • Bluebeard’s Egg and Moral Disorder by Margaret Atwood
  • The Woman Who Had Two Navels by Nick Joaquin [Pepito gave this as a Christmas gift, sorry dudeparetsong, di ko pa nababasa >_>’]
  • I Am a Cat by Soseki Natsume [this belongs to a friend’s sister whom I do not know. I don’t even think the said sister even knows the book is with me. I’m such a book thief.]

Comics [yes, they deserve a different category just because]

  • Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli [reading it the first time blew me away. I’m determined to read this thing seven times, at least. It is that awesome, my dear ladies and gentiles.]
  • Greek Street [I am a fan of re-tellings, although Vertigo’s doing a good job of stunting my momentum by releasing so sloooow. Ok, once a month, I know. I am an impatient pirate.]
  • House of Mystery [because the stories within stories within stories thing never gets old]

Other Stuff

  • Things my friends write [I actually read this more than I do my supposed serious reading]

Suddenly, I have so much to do!

I actually like it. 🙂 Haha, masochist.

PS I only realized now that you can actually justify wordpress entries. What a stupid fuckwit of a thing to find out just now. I fail. Pffff. time to edit those proems.

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86 Beautiful Book Covers

Look at ’em here.

See, ladies and gentlemen, I think that generally, the kinds of covers that normally “grace” the books of writers (at least those who do not make textbooks) in the Philippines are fug – there are a few exceptions, yes (Larry Ypil’s The Highest Hiding Place and Joel Toledo’s The Long Lost Startle top my pretty covers list right now)- but most are at best, mediocre.

If we had prettier-looking books, it would totally attract more attention (and garner more readers – I speak from experience that yes, people DO judge books by their covers; it’s the first thing you see). People are visual, after all – I wish more Philippine book designers and publishers considered this.

Fiction

I dream of writing
a poem that will lead you to create
the greatest story.

The poem will meet you
when you least expect it: I will leave

the poem carelessly arranged on the floor
a few moments before you enter the room.

I will pretend to busy myself. I will pretend
I am not waiting for you to read it.
When you enter, it will hit
the edge of your shoe, dried ink quietly nudging
with certainty. Like some domesticated animal

welcoming its master home.
You will pick it up, squinting. Your eyes will move
along the roads between its letters.
Already my words latch on to your throat, already
my words become your words.

You will never know that it was written
for you. Instead you will sit, forget
the room, forget the table, forget
the chair that supports your spine.
Forget that I am there.

Already the poem is a memory;
what remains is the story that calls to be written.

You will grab a pen like a knife,
turn to the nearest blank surface.

Already you are writing,
in my dream. The poem creates
the greatest story.