NaPoWriMo 2013 Days 01 & 02

Day 01: prompt- get the first line from someone else’s poem.

Wreckage

If only bodies weren’t so beautiful- said the waves to the shore moments before sipping all sand and ships into its bowels of seaweed and sirens sharpening their pearl teeth on stone, a song of desire stirring in their throats, tongues ready for the feast- a taste of human flesh following all those years spent scavenging for morsels of meat on skeletons; seashells shivering from the water’s embrace, insides all dried up, bearing nothing but fruits of dust; palm trees pulled into the deep like paintbrushes flung across a painting that failed to fly; limbs fighting against currents, fingers curling into claws, makeshift anchors grasping at nothing but the light slithering through folds of liquid and coral and fish, illuminating all things beautiful before they breathe their last: bubbles blooming from the bottom of the sea.

Got the first line from Dean Young’s Red Glove Thrown in Rosebush.

Day 02: Lie.

The World According To Water

I was born minutes after sunlight, a century
before nitrogen knew its name, bare

seconds short of the arrival
of valence electrons, light-

years prior to the discovery of the skeleton. I knew
the sun was my only friend – a plate broken, affixed

to the sky’s face; its hair all kelp and algae
constructed from heat, caressing the pores

of my waves- all that warmth led me to bleed
fish and fossil alike. At a young age I learned to speak

less. I yearned to play with the ground that grew
pterodactyls on its elbows, mammoths

from its fingernails. In that age gods were but balls
of mud yet to be made holy, yet to take

shape. I longed for the land yet it responded to my song
by splitting itself into continents, masses that crumbled

at the slightest touch. It called upon lightning
to ward me off. Lifting my body, I struck

a bargain with the sky- granted it the ability to breathe life
into man in exchange for an extra organ, wielding

rain and hurricanes, cloistering the soil
with clouds aching to pour, flood

the firmament with its love. I howled
and banshees were born. Elsewhere,

the advent of mankind: all meat and calcium, a net
of nerves and arteries – an atlas

of smallness, susceptible to virions
and the common cold, lives

so short that death loomed
as though an angel. They invented boats, breezing

through my skin, charted stories that could dance
down to my deepest trenches, driving whales mad and mute,

built cities with arms arching towards the sky; bred bombs
from windowless rooms – seeds that singed

everything in sight, shrapnel
brighter than supernovas,

so warm, bleeding
all fish into fossils.

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Souvenirs

 On my shelf rests a bottle recently emptied of its contents. In the following days I intend to send the bottle over to my friend F who was with me on a recent trip to The Most In/Famous Beach/Port/Sandpile in my Archipelago (i.e., Boracay, or as prepubescent tweenster twerps call it, “Bora”). Anyhoo, friend F had the sand we stole from Station 2 (where we were staying), at the crack of dawn before taking a speedy little tricycle to the port, taking us back to Caticlan, where we took an hour’s ride in H’s van to get G and F’s remaining stuff in Culasi, then off to the pseudo-mosh pit of doom AKA Kalibo airport.

Inside my planner are some tickets from the same trip (the plane, the boat, et cetera). Somehow I wonder if this matters as I took photographs of the same tickets (much to M’s insistence, mostly).

In my notebook parading as journal parading as idea notebook parading as poetry notebook, I used bits of the foil insides of a cigarette pack as a makeshift tag for the pages I consumed during the trip. Part of me thinks this is a reminder for the 30something cigarettes I smoked in a single night. On the other days it was a toss between what M or H had to offer, what my sadness would decide. Whatever. It was raining on the beach. For the second day we were gloom, doom, and beer at night. M had RUQ pain, H was acting like a dad (i.e., not getting drunk but smoking an entire sandbox), F&G got lost, and I just moped around. The third day was better, surprising – considering we were stranded due to a nearby storm.

I’m not good with keeping souvenirs. Most of them end up on my shelf (the lucky albeit soon-to-be-dustier ones) while others end up in boxes or between the flapping pages of books (usually origami or postcards). A rare kind ends up on the insides of my shelves (post-its and othersuch nonsense from friends). Gifts from previous lovers suffer the worst fate (i.e., the trash bin or donation box, for stuffed toys). Once, I attempted to press a flower a boy gave me for valentines. A week later I ended up tossing it into the garbage bin because my pressing process was pretty fucked up.

I really don’t get souvenirs. Another proof that you were where you were? Yes I know we grow old and memory can only do so much.

Guess the question isn’t about what you keep, what’s handed to you, what you buy, or what are the chances you’ll get another chance like this again –

It’s this:

If I take something will it really be mine?

Why I think I’m a better person when I’m not thinking of you

Because once upon a time, the world was flat. Or it stood on the backs of elephants stacked on turtles. Some giant, here or there. Excuse me while I recall my mythology library from my youngest sister. For all we know, everything we believe in resides in a sleeping beast’s toenail.

I’m still struggling with my faith in God (or gods for that matter) but I’d like to say I believe in the good. By that I mean any random day when a random person imparts a present or a pretty secret story is pretty nice.

It rains way too much these days, soaking my shoes to the soul of their soles. I bought  rainboots and rainbows after a strange flood but all they do is lounge around in the car. I believe catastrophe tells people a lot about who they really are. For example: a friend who chose to frolic and swim in the high rise pool while floods ravaged streets below. Or, others who moved in X’s home despite how they spun around rumors about X. X never asked why.

What I mean is, I would have called you when you were stranded but I wasn’t sure you’d answer. The world didn’t change so much. We’re both still alive and still not happening. Maybe somewhere else, as someone else. I saw a starfish along the street back then. What would that mean for us?

 

 

 

Three movements, typhoons, and being thankful

I guess this month is sort of surprisingly productive for me.

My poem “Three Movements on Anatomy” is up in Stone Telling Magazine.

Many thanks to editors Rose Lemberg and Shweta Narayan for this opportunity and their feedback. Thanks as well to friends and mentors alike who took their time to help me with this piece. Do check the poem out and let me know what you think.

Other news (if you still didn’t know): recently Typhoon Sendong hit Mindanao and as of this afternoon, death tolls have hit more than 1,000. You can help and donate goods and othersuch supplies to those in need.

 —

It’s so surreal that all of this is happening. I mean, halfway across the archipelago people have lost their homes and loved ones and just this afternoon I had a nice time hanging out with my friends. I don’t even know why I find this weird because this sort of thing happens all the time: people suffer while others are happy; sometimes we can tie it to an apparent cause, sometimes it just happens. But it’s not how things should be, you know? I feel idealistic for thinking this way.

I’ve spent a hefty amount of the past few months feeling sad and cranky about my life (depressive episodes, et al) but the past few days catching up with people and just laying back have eased a lot of myself back in. And I guess I just wish for more of that in the world, you know? Like, just more times with people we love and those we can sit down with for hours talking about Stuff, et al, not worrying about Everything Else That Makes Us Sad, Stressed, and/or Uptight.

Christmas is about to roll in and I am broke (I spent my mother’s Christmas money present buying people gifts and I didn’t even get to buy things for all the people I wanted to give presents to) and this is the season I got the least amount of presents (because almost all my friends are broke too haha) but somehow it feels like one of the best holidays so far. Just hanging out, meeting up with people I haven’t seen in 100 years. Pretty much that simple to be happy, surprisingly. Right now I’m thankful for a lot of the things and people I have, the things I’ve achieved up to this point. Life. I’m thankful life is being good, despite all the setbacks, and I wish it kept getting better.

Season’s Greetings to you all.

Song

You are the hand resting quietly
on my shoulder. You are the slight push
waking me from a dream
of waves and the absence
of sky. You are the words hiding
inside an old book. You are the smile
wedged within memory
and smoke, wafting
its weightless body
across a continent of things
lost. You are the time I spent making
my way from point A to B. You are surprise,
slowly making its exit, slinging
your backpack on your shoulders,
slouched and ready to rest. You are the door swinging
open. You are the taste of alcohol and a quiet night
I keep conjuring before sleep. You are the words I rearrange
into another poem about sadness. You are song
in place of a poem. You are fire
lit all alone in the wilderness. You are the sun,
condemned to consume its own brightness, bringing
with it everything that ever dared love
light. You are gravity, pulling
the weight of stars from your backpack, easing
out a mobile for the blind and wingless, bringing
tumbleweeds and angels alike into dancing.
You are the feet that will never touch
the ground. You are an old telephone gathering messages
of dust. You are giraffes and elephants, limbs leading
a slew of animals into new landscapes. You are the zygote dividing
with certainty in someone’s womb. You are the skeletons
of dinosaurs who died, turning
into a song no one sings. You are the question I threw
to the wind. You are a ship housing
the voices of mermaids, everything the sea refuses
to say. You are the rain, leaving
the softest of kisses on my cheeks as my body breaks
through a wave of people, making
my way home. You are the hand
resting quietly on my shoulder.