Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bliss of summer

And so my summer wasn't so cruel after all. Well, good things came one after the other: my five day-leave from work got approved, my subtitling gig for a-very-important-Filipino-film-which-should-have-been-in-Cannes paid me extra, my sick cousin in the hospital is hanging on to dear life, and my brother is back at work...

then I had the most awesome summer adventure in Magalawa Island, Palauig, Zambales:

...and while I was busy (lonely-ly) living by the beach, our bitch Tentay gave birth to three uber-healthy pups:

And although I missed another Palanca deadline (because having read the book Six Poetry Formats and the Transforming Image by Edith Tiempo while I was alone by the beach made me realise I hadn't been writing most of my poetry "properly"), and that, practically, I haven't done anything productive and creative in the last couple of weeks, and that now I'm good (or bad?) as broke (after having had to pay for four days in the white-sand-beach far far away)--(and finally, didn't I promise not to talk about heartbreak?)--summer definitely has been so kind to me.

The scorching sunny season is not yet over, and I have high hopes for more good things to come, to me and to everyone. Happy summer, guys!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Regina Spektor's "Laughing With God"

Regina Spektor is a music goddess, and I figure that my favorite "non-romantic" song of hers is just so apt for my favorite hol(y)day: this Lenten season. Great vocals, great poetry, great message:

"No one laughs at God
When their airplane starts
to uncontrollably shake

No one’s laughing at God
When they see the one they love,
hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken..."

Watch the official music video here.
The full lyrics are here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

(The beginnings of my) Cruel Summer

by E Wong

And so this doesn’t appear to be the bright sunshiny summer I wished it would be—for me. My brother had just lost his job, hence our expenses at home will definitely be tighter. We had already cut our internet connection months ago; I think we have to give up the cable subscription, too. Our cat had given birth to three kittens, and our dog will be giving birth soon. It'll be so heartbreaking to give up—give away—some of our pets eventually. Then even more ill-timed is the need to transfer to another house in the province next month, just one block away, anyway, but the moving and the costs it will entail is huge headache already.

There’s also some “domestic uncertainty” back here in our apartment in Manila, and I really wish things will turn out fine for my dear housemates. My own “certainty” depends on it. Then, my mother had her recent checkup for diabetes, and she is advised of stricter monitoring, thus there’ll be more medications than what she is already on. Worse news is one I just learned this morning: my cousin, who barely made it after her tragic pregnancy “poisoned” by her severe goiter, is back in the ICU, and now the doctors and the family are on the verge of giving up…

This is how my summer appears to be: gloomy despite all this sun. I am keeping the optimism, of course, but I’m really sad, and scared, about how things will turn out. Well, for one, I’m glad that my personal life—the affairs of the heart—has just wrapped up its last consuming chapter. Yes, I am moving on. It was a great experience, but one which has to conclude now. I'm glad I will not be writing so much about heartbreak and unrequited love soon. And I’m glad I ended it with a creative, thesis-like thing, like a student’s final paper deserving a 1.0. Which brings to mind… oh no, I guess I have to postpone (again) my going back to school, given these predicaments…

And my summer plans most likely will remain plans. The Vigan or Baguio trip, the annual beach getaway, the concert I wanted to attend. And the writing “retreat” I’ve been looking forward to. I guess I’ll be spending the rest of the summer just at home, in the hospital, and in the office. I don’t think I’ll have time left to write poetry, or to do some art, which I just recently got back into. That is really sad. I don’t even have the energy to edit and polish this blog post. Here comes the stream of consciousness… Here comes the inevitable ellipses… and the grunts... hmpf... aargh... and the shouts… aaahhh… aaahhh…

So I guess I may not be blogging as often as I want to, and my Facebook addiction will have to be greatly tempered as well. Because summer seems to be extra tough this time. Because I have just lost my licence for procrastination. Now I have to move, move, move! Because I will have to face life once again… in the face! We’ve been through much more difficult times before, that kind of drama which you’d only see in the movies or in MMK, (God I don’t even want to recall them!), but now, why am I so scared of the days ahead? Because I fear poverty striking us again? Because I don't want any more deaths in my family, amongst my relatives? Anyone dying, for that matter!

But so strange it is that when things go awfully rough, it seems easier to accept tragedy or tribulation in the rainy days. Is it because, as the cliched metaphor goes, the rain washes away our tears? Whilst summer, this time of the year, means being happy and youthful and festive, and we should be singing now, dancing now, and having some summer lovin’? Because in this season of sun, we’re supposed to celebrate the dryness of our eyes, we should bask in the utter brightness of our ephemeral lives?

I wish I knew the answer. I wish life would be easier. I hope things will still be sunshiny for me, for everyone… O summer, please don’t be so cruel to me now. You’re my favorite season, you know that. Shine on me, O sweet sun. Shine on me now—

just don’t get me burnt.


Monday, April 11, 2011

The summer sky of April 11, 2011

by E Wong

the noontime summer sky of April 11 is blue
and pure, it is a holiday for the painter
of nature, though bright as it is

she cannot tell whether it is inviting
her out to play or warning
her against the glare

the noontime summer sky is clear
to her, now, so clear it is blinding,
it compels her to sing, but then—

the late afternoon summer sky of April 11 is bleeding
smoke: it paints the screams of people running
rushing crying for help crying for life

somewhere else someone else needs to be running
rushing crying for help crying for love, but how
can she cry with all this charcoal in the sky?

the painter cannot stand this fullness of colour,
she confesses: smoke is that black of that red
that after too much longing had clotted

the late afternoon summer sky of April 11 is burning
still: the smoke may have been extinguished,
but the fire stays within

(Photo: 1 PM sky over Susana Heights exit, SLEX)
(Photo: 5 PM sky over Tandang Sora, Quezon City)

Friday, April 8, 2011

The (electric) bill to kill all bills

Just when we thought five pesos was the ultimate amount (read A bill so electric you'd feel the spark), we were electrified... no, 'twas more like being struck by divine lightning, when my neighbor's bill arrived last week:

Now this one's got to be a killer-bill. And so, let's all chant:

To receive
this kind of bill,
we will...
we will...
we will...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

On why there's no exact word for male mistress

by E Wong

[Click on image to view poetry]
written sometime in April 2010