Monthly Archives: August 2006

unboxed, relieved

i had to search myself via Yahoo search engine for the first time, not out of vanity, but out of curiosity. i can’t expound on it, but i wanted to try something. and then i discovered, apart from the usual name-drops i get from our mag blogs, articles about me. one is from a pr agency thanking me for the interview i did for one of their talents. another is a feature in Varsitarian about our exhibit. light years ago, i was part of a visual arts exhibit organized by really talented people.

i was the hanger-on. i just wanted to commune with them. thanks to karen capco, i had my work exhibited in big sky mind. i was so busy i was only able to submit my work. i wasn’t even able to view my work in big sky mind. i was by my lonesome, having no artist-kabarkada there. but jay pacena was really helpful, and made me feel welcome. it had been an altogether fun adventure discovering where he lives when i had to drop off my work.

in the varsitarian feature, it was said there that two poets had their works exhibited. i quote: “Poets Angelo Suarez and [my name here] also dabbled in the visual arts. Suarez, who read one of his pieces during the opening night, displayed a Dada (an art movement that ridicules artistic principles) piece, enigmatically titled “Magritte and Ernst Collaborating on Breakfast.” His artwork is made of paper tubes wrapped in black electrical tape and mounted on a plastic square, and how these two “magic realists” became associated with his work might only be interpreted by his metaphors. Atenean [my surname here]’s “Training,” on the other hand, is a photograph of a naked woman with poetry written on her skin and tacked to the wall where a chalk outline is drawn, perhaps to illustrate her “box.””

how endearing and gripping, to see my name acknowledged as a poet. i suddenly remembered my mantra, “to write with fever in my hands.”

i feel the onslaught of heat again, as if my hiatus from a very cold place only lasted for a few seconds. oh, rilke, how right you are. if you were alive today, i would have built an entire library of praises for you.

i find myself slowly reclamoring to write.

the moon hasn’t forgotten me at all.

draft of a poem


You send me postcards
of things we love to draw:
lighthouses amidst bleak skies,
shells sleeping under a spread of sand,
I can see you making postcards, 
a hint of a smile
on your face, and sad songs bearing
down on your back.

It’s been this way—mails counting
the distance between us,
and nights blinding our thoughts.
You never asked me what you are
to me, how you fit into my plans,
how I wedge you in my life.
When I look at your postcards,
I feel a tug, a tiny break latches
onto my breathing as I cross the street

lost souls

“sa akin lang naman, inaanyayahan ko kayong tumaliwas kay gloria.” Fred L. Rebadulla II, Lispong Terorista

How refreshing. After months of mundane days, i was able to bathe in the rain, so to speak. i was so thirsty for something beautiful to break my days. thank god for indie films. i visited this NGO for indie films, and watched their series of shorts, plus that one main film.

the place is housed in a humble building, and it also houses a congregation of nuns. when i went there, the lobby had an exhibit commemorating the victims in the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings. i sat there, reading poems and looking at illustrations.
i wanted to read a Murakami book i borrowed, but i wasn’t able to bring it. it was breaktime, and i wasn’t in the mood to socialize with other indie film buffs. all i thought of were my grade school days when we had to write about the Hiroshima  bombing. i remembered i was in the library, reading a composition of this girl about doves. white in the midst of dark grit, i thought.

i fell in love with two movies: the ballad of mimiong’s minion, and lispong terorista.
the first is similar to the last film in akira kurosawa’s Dreams entitled “Village of the Watermills“. The Ballad of Mimiong’s Minion shows the male, young protagonist losing his passion for music. formerly an activist singing in bars for freedom, he is now besieged by loneliness caused by people’s apathy. he gets thrown out from the bar which is also his residence. he sleeps in the park, with only his guitar as his companion. in the morning, he finds his guitar stolen by a poor, blind man. the blind man says the guitar is his, and continues playing a ballad. almost crying bloody murder, the young man followed the blind man to his home, and there begins the reawakening of the young man’s passion for life. i wouldn’t want to give any major spoilers for film buffs out there, but the texture of this film is similar to kurosawa’s film. i had goosebumps on my arms when the credits rolled in.

lispong terorista tells the story of a wife of a policeman. seized by personal and social tragedies, she lets go of her sanity, and lives in days of sadness, anger, and nostalgia. the director of this film is an activist, using his short film to shout to the world his hatred towards Gloria Arroyo. at the end of the directors’ interview, he shares the following message: “sa akin lang naman, inaanyayahan ko kayong tumaliwas kay gloria.” he made it sound so easy and so light, with his feather-like voice and soft hands, that i saw him as a lost angel with a hungry army waiting for him by the gate.

we weren’t able to finish the main film, since it was rudely interrupted by brownout. i was itching to end the film, but as i was walking past the stairs, i heard someone say in a serious tone to his friend: “di kaya kudeta na?” i was waiting for a chuckle, but all he got in response was silence. it would have been out-of-this-world if we were raided, and i’d be part of those accused of inciting rebellion. i’d be photographed with a lost look on my face, and an imaginary grin. but the only thing that happened was this: i walked out of the building, committed its location by heart, and walked under the lampposts. two streets away, the lights were ablaze, no signs of any brownouts. i would have wondered about it, but i was busy weighing  words and images from the shorts i watched, i wouldn’t have noticed if stars collected at my feet.


“i could tell from the minute i woke up it was gonna be a lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely day…”

 The sun didn’t warn me. it was as if i was a passerby, and i suddenly got hit by a speeding cab. and boy, did it hurt.


Today is the launch of Imago’s third (?) album at Mugen. Man, I should be there. But hell, what to do, what to do. Lyrics are enough as of the moment. Here goes: “Permiso sa isang araw na makasama ka. Abiso ng pusong bulag na humahanga. Tama bang aminin na nating may taning tong pag-ibig natin, dakila man walang kasaysayang kakapit sa bulag na pag-ibig.”

I remember Pyramus and Thisbe, also featured in a burlesque manner in Shakepeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They fell in love, even if their parents forbade romance to blossom. Their houses were separated by a wall. Thankfully, the wall had a chink which allowed the exchange of messages of love and desire between Pyramus and Thisbe:  “Cruel wall,” they said, “why do you keep two lovers apart? But we will not be ungrateful. We owe you, we confess, the privilege of transmitting loving words to willing ears.”   They agreed to meet at the Tomb of Ninus, under the white mulberry tree, to elope. Thisbe just had to meet a ferocious lion for her to drop her veil. The lion played with the veil, soiling it with blood from the lion’s previous kill. Pyramus saw the veil, thought that Thisbe was dead, and stabbed himself in grief. Thisbe saw her dead lover, and killed herself. Death to them. Love is such a tyrant. Also lions.

 “Tama bang aminin na nating may taning tong pag-ibig natin….”


“God is so crazy about you. He sends you sunrise every morning, flowers year round, rainbow after rain. He owns the universe but prefers to live in your heart.”