Monthly Archives: June 2007

marked for life

Breathe on Me, Breath of God

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what thou dost love,
And do what thou wouldst do.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Until my heart is pure:
Until with thee I have one will
To do and to endure.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Till I am wholly thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with thy fire divine.
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with thee the perfect life
Of thine eternity.

Edwin Hatch (1835-1889)

there are things in my life that i have to do, that when stopped, would scar me for posterity. like write poetry. love children. be amazed over wishing feathers. swim. collect stones and shells. sleep with my books. hoard and keep specific people in my poetic memory. listen to music. stare at the moon. go crazy once a day.

ever since i was in high school, i wanted to get a tattoo. i thought of different designs, even sketched a few. you should have seen my sketches. a four-year old’s was better than mine.

fast forward to years of boyfriendhood with my ex. he didn’t want me to have any markings on my body. i think he couldn’t accept some of my (crazy) inclinations. he would close the subject whenever i would raise it. one time, i made a deal with him so that he could allow me to get tattooed. when i kept my end, he didn’t keep his end. that made me really really really sad.

fast forward again to my newfound singlehood, and to a moment when i talked a colleague into making a design for me. originally, i wanted the design to be the following: a ferris wheel, a lighthouse and a fallen angel, and several phrases about poetry. i narrowed it down to two elements, plus this one phrase from a hymn i fell in love with: breathe on me, breath of God.

let me get the accolades first. thank you to my trainor who inflicted pain on me to heighten my pain threshold. i know you found it irresistible stabbing my back several times with that trusty (but never to be confirmed if it were indeed sanitized) safety pin. but remember, those stabs were nothing compared to the real deal. but thank you for the boost. thank you to my instant photographer who shot these photos with a K750i. thank you to my illustrator who listened to my demands and who drew a miracle out of my ideas. thank you to mark lavin for the original fallen angel image. i will apologize to you profusely if and when we meet, but please note that this is not plagiarism. you are the real deal when it comes to drawing fallen angels. thank you to alex, my tattoo artist. thank you for letting me curse you when the pain became almost unbearable. thank you for the beautiful piece of work. thank you to my siblings who are loyal in applying petroleum jelly on my tattoo for the past days. and to my mom, i hope you get over the shock. i would have loved to photograph that look on your face when i showed my tatoo to you. i would never forget your exclamation: “ano, nakita nila butt mo!?’ and to my dad, please don’t shout at me when i get to show you my tattoo. (wow. oscar moment.)

the real deal
i went to the shop last monday, june 11. i got there while another girl was being tattooed on her upper thigh. she would sometimes shout, which didn’t help my frazzled state. i gave my design to ryan, who started haggling for the right price. two koreanos arrived. when alex was through, he traced my design on wax paper. he then applied the design onto my back and made me straddle the couch. he then excused himself for a bathroom break. that wait was excruciating.

when he came back, he gave me tips on how to handle the pain and told me to breathe and try not to collapse. he was very helpful, telling me what the next step was. i saw his tools, i saw the needle, i saw the ink. and then i faced front and saw the two koreanos smirking at my bare back. a$$holes.

the first cut is always the most memorable, which is very apt in this case. i got all pale, and my hands got clammy during the first five minutes of the session for the outlining. not to mention i was nursing a fever, my nose was all runny, and my throat all dry and itchy.


you know how a sewing machine works? getting tattooed is like that—your skin is the fabric, and the needle pounds your skin to imprint ink. that’s only for the outline.

the pain is nothing to what i could ever have imagined. it’s 90% painful, 10% ticklish.

note that being tattooed on the lower back near your butt is f*cking, oh so f*cking painful.

for the shading, here’s how it went:

friend: wow, how many needles do you use for the shading?
alex: 7. pabilog sila. tingnan mo.
friend: and then the needles just bear down on the skin, right?
alex: yes
(imagine me rolling my eyes at how insensitive they were about my mental condition.)

so the shading was again painful. when alex was shading the lower part of my back, there were times i would tell him, “shit, alex, wag mo nang gandahan diyan!”

all’s well
when alex took off his surgical gloves, i was elated. it meant the pain was over. he covered the wound with gauze and told me not to swim for one month, since he knew i love to swim. the realization that i couldn’t swim for one month was again painful. he then took photos of my tattoo. the people in the shop were all amazed and congratulated me. the two koreanos were out of sight. one koreano was being tattooed, enduring the extra pressure of the artist’s hand (since all the artists in the shop were vocal koreano haters). i shook alex’s hands and thanked him profusely. he took care of me, he tried his best to minimize the pain, and that was very sweet of him.

i couldn’t sleep on my back for two nights. i also have to apply petroleum jelly before and after baths. my jeans are a torture to wear, and i have to choose tops that don’t cling to my back. tattoos first swell, throb a bit, and then go all itchy when the ink really dries up. skin comes off in bits, too. this is when you know that the healing part is starting.

the fallen angel’s name is luna, and she has broken her wings by the lighthouse. if you want to hear her story, you have to come nearer, and place your lips by her bruised back. that’s when you’ll know the sound of “angels falling like rain.”

luna by the lighthouse

poem_the good boy

The Good Boy
Julio Cortázar

I’ll never learn how to take off my shoes and let the city

bite my feet

I won’t get drunk under bridges, I won’t make mistakes

of style.

I accept this destiny of ironed shirts,

I get to the movies on time, I give up my seat to old ladies.

Extended derangement of the senses make me sick, I prefer

toothpaste and towels. I have my vaccinations.

Look at this lousy lover, incapable of jumping into a


to catch you a little red fish

in front of the outraged eyes of cops and nannies.

poem_please bring strange things

Please bring strange things
Ursula K. Le Guin

Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
And the ways you go be the lines of your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
And your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well-loved one,
Walk mindfully, well-loved one,
Walk fearlessly, well-loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
Be always coming home.


the proliferation of mp3 players in people’s lives is nothing short of amazing. so once in a while, i checked out a person’s player. it’s like opening his closet and realizing he has a pink, fur-lined coat or she has a set of whips and cuffs stashed in the corner of her wardrobe. i know a girl who looks like an angel but has numerous system of the down tracks stored in her player. i know a guy who looks like a convict but who loves damien rice and coldplay.

what a nice surprise to scroll a playlist and see a beautiful title like “nine million bicycles.” there are only a few who can think up phrases like this one. and there are only a few who can sing like katie melua. the owner of the player i was tinkering noticed that i stopped on this track, and he went, “that’s a very beautiful song.” and i said to myself, “it better be, with its riveting title.” i listened to it, and it just made my spirit lilt, it was a soulful moment that i just wanted to hug every person i meet and give him or her a peck on the cheek. i suggest you download this track; my posting the lyrics here doesn’t do the song justice.

Nine Million Bicycles
Katie Melua

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing
That’s a fact,
It’s a thing we can’t deny
Like the fact that I will love you till I die.

We are twelve billion light years from the edge,
That’s a guess,
No-one can ever say it’s true
But I know that I will always be with you.

I’m warmed by the fire of your love everyday
So don’t call me a liar,
Just believe everything that I say

There are six BILLION people in the world
More or less
and it makes me feel quite small
But you’re the one I love the most of all

We’re high on the wire
With the world in our sight
And I’ll never tire,
Of the love that you give me every night

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing
That’s a Fact,
it’s a thing we can’t deny
Like the fact that I will love you till I die

And there are nine million bicycles in Beijing
And you know that I will love you till I die!

cannes 2007!

every film addict’s wet dream includes attending the cannes festival, or simply collecting a bulk of the movies acclaimed in this illustrious event. need i say more? tell me if you have a copy, and i’ll gladly rip it. sweet wet dreams everyone! yeah! 🙂

Palme d’Or for Best Film — “4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days” by Cristian Mungiu (Romania)

Grand Jury Prize — “The Mourning Forest” by Naomi Kawase (Japan)

Jury Prize — “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (Iran) & “Silent Light” by Carlos Reygadas (Mexico)

Best Director — Julian Schnabel for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”

Best Screenplay — “The Edge of Heaven” by Fatih Akin (Turkey/Germany)

Best Actor — Konstantin Lavronenko for “The Banishment” by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia)

Best Actress — Jeon Do-Yeon for “Secret Sunshine” by Lee Chang-Dong
(South Korea)

60th Anniversary Prize — “Paranoid Park” by Gus Van Sant (USA)

Camera d’Or — “Jellyfish” by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen (Israel)

Camera d’Or Special Mention — “Control” by Anton Corbijn

Ecumenical Jury Prize — “The Edge of Heaven”

FIPRESCI — “4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days”

Palme d’Or for Short Film — “Watching It Rain” by Elisa Miller (Mexico)

poem_not waving but drowning

Not Waving But Drowning
Stevie Smith

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

a very beautiful oil painting by john millais

wordpress-hopping led me to this


be it a present lover or an unrequited love, you better grab this chance.

or else, the universe will grab him or her from you and will make alternate

plans for you. quoting one of the sweetest and most sensible teachers

i know, “nobody has forever.” so go ahead, before you lose

your “still point in the turning world.”

el che

It’s a sad thing not to have friends, but it is even sadder not to have enemies. — Ernesto “Che” Guevara

in homage