Intermission: [delayed] workshop appreciation post

Hi guys. Don’t mind me I just got weirdly sentimental & a wee bit bored.


10th IYAS:


50th SUNWW:


No, I didn’t take them photos.

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Going at lengths attempting to explain the year that was

You find it difficult to come back to the year that was. Slumped on your bed, knitted wool blanket covering your legs, listening to the hum of the air-conditioning unit and the loop of Explosions In The Sky’s Your Hand In Mine, which you set on repeat, you start the initial draft with “I”. Three minutes later, you stop. You highlight everything. Delete. You start again.

And wasn’t that the point of this year for you? Starting again.

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Traces of Sand (Part 1)

Just a little erasures project. From things my friends wrote.

After Shane Carreon’s From Tales From The Village

The dead were found from nowhere,
a dark swarm cautiously opening, listening:

disturbed, last night at the dead end
a girl was wrapped in her room: out of season.

(Re)vision After Tin V. Lao

He looks
with longing thrust

in his frail notebook, a spider lives
to know that a child could destroy

the universe. In love’s afterglow,
after a long pause, “a bit

cruel.” How I loved
his story.

The Slow Road After Philline Donggay

Somewhere, somehow, you survive.
Forgive yourself. How people deal with falling:

your long-time friend makes sure
it helps. Your illusions fight

against alcohol. You had stopped yourself
from writing. He takes

a bite. You work and work.
We shouldn’t ruin ourselves.

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Necessary Losses [or, My Dumaguete Hangover]

Still we foster

The acquiescent shape

By our rejection,

Giving voice, blood, name

To the random breath;

Love is many and truth is just:

And so we are: Both

What we choose,

And we refuse.

– Edith L. Tiempo (Afternoon Of A Sea Faun)

You returned home yesterday.

You just finished fixing your closet, emptying the valise that contained the clothes. Some of them now rest in the hamper beside the dog, waiting to be picked by the house help (you note how her hands didn’t seem to change all those three weeks you were gone; still, they scrape and soak clothes, patiently without complaint). Your room is still a mess. Piles of books and envelopes and notes and pens litter your desk. Some of them managed to crawl their way to your bed, competing with your pillows. Dust lies sleeping on the shelves.

You woke up this morning to complete quiet.

You realize your mother has left with your youngest sister for that day trip they were talking about. You recall the conversation with your mother while she drove you from the airport. You both laughed at your mother’s updates of Life While You Were Away (your younger sister’s stone-like dance moves to endless repeats of Lady GaGa’s songs, how the cat spends all day asleep – lazily shifting through various positions, your youngest sister’s sudden weight gain, and so on). She tells you of the three or four movies the family has watched while you were being all “writerly” in the mountains of Valencia. You remember mustering enough strength to tell your mother of how you plan to take writing seriously this time. “It’s going to be difficult,” you remember the sound of your own voice, parsing some words “but I want to make this one work.” You remember her reply “Remember what your priorities are.” And you do, of course you do. You always have. You remembered telling someone in the workshop that our minds have the same containment area for fear and memory.

You look at your fingertips.

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