Wednesday, February 15


You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment.

You Who Never Arrived
Rainer Maria Rilke

How did I spend my Valentine's Day, dear reader? I will tell you. To make sure the poems in the Collegian's mush issue were properly formatted and laid out (for there is no greater ire than from a poet with erroneously cut and indented lines), I stayed the night at the office. I woke up at around 8, and went down to buy something to munch on. I wasn't really hungry since we had food delivered at around 4; I had a bottle of C2 (apple) and Skyflakes. I sat on the stone bench in front of Vinzons for around 30 minutes, just watching the Early Morning People, wondering if I will ever belong to that group again. I went home at around noon and slept until 7 p.m., after which I decided to procrastinate (by watching cheerleading videos on YouTube, playing with Sophia, etc) on my poetics paper.

The above clip had been in loop the entire time, by the way, in solemn appreciation of, and perhaps surrender to, the day, because truth be told, while I still do crave, "I have given up trying / to recognize you in the surging wave of / the next moment."

I feel so terribly alone right now. And the fact that finishing a passable 4,000-word paper (and a column about Adele I almost titled "Mga Tala sa Pagtaba") did not in any way uplift my mood tells me this is probably more than the run-of-the-mill bout of sadness. Who was it who said that there was a way to tell if a man had been alone for a long time; in the way he walks, the way he looks at people. Well, I worry that I am starting to recognize it in my own languid movements, in stirring a cup of coffee, for instance, and clutching the cup's warm cheeks, cheeks that were perhaps "lost / from the start."

Friday, February 10


Sometimes, I have the presence of mind to consciously invoke memorializing. To say, Glenn, I want you to remember this. Stick it somewhere. Do not forget. This has happened / I made it happen in the following instances: 1) Eating empanada in Vigan's town plaza while watching skateboarding teenagers, 2) Traipsing along the rice terraces in Banaue half-naked after bathing in a hot spring, 3) Listening to Roger and Philline belt Separate Lives after bathing in a nice, little tub on a verdant mountainside in Bukidnon, 4) Walking around downtown Bacolod during sunset with my companion's arm around my shoulders, and 5) Riding a rickety Olongapo-bound bus from San Narciso in Zambales with a mountain in the horizon on a rainy Sunday.

I have no photos of these moments, but once summoned, I'd like to think I can I remember them.

Many years ago, I had a Valentine's Day date. We went to the UP Fair. We bought food and sat on the ground facing the stage. Bored with the performances, we walked around. He stepped on a barbecue stick. I brought him to the Red Cross tent, where he was given first aid. He gave me a book and told me to read it. I did; on page 100, scribbled in ugly guy penmanship, "To Glenn. A blog today, a novel tomorrow." The following day, I told him it wasn't working. I found out years later that he started working out because he thought I found him too skinny. He would send me pictures of him flexing his newfound biceps and pecs. Needless to say, I felt special.

There are those days. And there's today.