give ‘em the old razzle dazzle

i’ve been wondering how to put into words my random thoughts now that my birthday’s here. i’ve always tried writing thoughts down to mark this day. past entries include one about gifts, another one about my distaste towards my previous company and yet another for my fascination towards red umbrellas.

and what hit me while i was washing dishes was a line from the musical Chicago — give ‘em the old razzle dazzle, razzle them. it then amazed me how i razzle dazzled my way last year and this year. i quit a deadweight of a job, i fell in love, i’ve met different types of people, i volunteer for a gender advocacy, i write for a radio show, i manage a magazine and i’ve re-evaluated ties with some people. i’ve even started taking up ballet lessons for adults. i know they’re not much but these are what make me grounded.

speaking of grounded, i’ve been humbled by works and people i’ve been encountering. and as if on cue, my good friend drakulits posted a poem by louise glück on the day i was composing this blog entry. incidentally, glück’s birthday is april 22. don’t you just love April? it celebrates the births of william shakespeare, hans christian andersen, mark russell, joseph pulitzer, liz phair, charlotte bronte, daniel johns, and oh! adolf hitler and saddam Hussein (what an equalizer). i am reposting the poem below.


Amazingly, I can look back
fifty years. And there, at the end of the gaze,
a human being already entirely recognizable,
the hands clutched in the lap, the eyes
staring into the future with the combined
terror and hopelessness of a soul expecting annihilation.

Entirely familiar, though still, of course, very young.
Staring blindly ahead, the expression of someone staring into utter
And thinking—which meant, I remember, the attempts of the mind
to prevent change.

Familiar, recognizable, but much more deeply alone, more despondent.
She does not, in her view, meet the definition
of child, a person with everything to look forward to.

This is how the others look; this is, therefore, what they are.
Constantly making friends
with the camera, many of them actually
smiling with real conviction—

I remember that age. Riddled with self-doubt, self-loathing,
and at the same time suffused
with contempt for the communal, the ordinary; forever
consigned to solitude, the bleak solace of perception, to a future
completely dominated by the tragic, with no use for the immense will
but to fend it off—

That is the problem of silence:
one cannot test one’s ideas.
Because they are not ideas, they are the truth.

All the defenses, the spiritual rigidity, the insistent
unmasking of the ordinary to reveal the tragic,
were actually innocence of the world.

Meaning the partial, the shifting, the mutable—
all that the absolute excludes. I sat in the dark, in the living room.
The birthday was over. I was thinking, naturally, about time.
I remember how, in almost the same instant,
my heart would leap up exultant and collapse
in desolate anguish. The leaping up—the half I didn’t count—
that was happiness; that is what the word meant.

i am 28 years old this 26th of April. 28 has a defining ring to it. granted i still feel sad over some very old issues, but i’ve committed to give some new razzle dazzle, be it in words, in deeds or in ideation.

to razzle dazzle them? nope. to razzle dazzle myself. “and they’ll never catch wise”.


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2 thoughts on “give ‘em the old razzle dazzle

  1. […] out, I present to you the links to past birthday entries I wrote for your sheer torture: 2009, 2010, and […]

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