Ago 29, 2007

Beautiful Girl

(Sean Kingston)

Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do you dirt
They'll have you suicidal, suicidal
When they say it's over

JR! Sean Kingston!

You're way too beautiful girl
That's why it will never work
You had me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it's over
Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do you dirt
They'll have you suicidal suicidal
When they say it's over

See it started at the park, used to chill after dark
Oh, when you took my heart, that's when we fell apart
Cuz we both thought, that love last forever
They say we're too young, to get ourselves sprung
Oh we didn't care, we made it very clear
And they also said, that we couldn't last together
See it's very define, you're one of a kind
But you're much on my mind, you often get decline
Oh lord my baby you're driving me crazy

You're way too beautiful girl
That's why it will never work
You had me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it's over
Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do you dirt
They'll have you suicidal, suicidal
When they say it's over

It was back in 99, watching movies all the time
Oh when I went away for doing my first crime
And I never thought, that we was gonna see each other
And then I came out, mommy move me down south
Oh I with my girl who I thought was my world
It came out to be, that she wasn't the girl for me
See it's very define, you're one of a kind
But you're much on my mind, you often get decline
Oh lord my baby you're driving me crazy

You're way too beautiful girl
That's why it will never work
You had me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it's over
Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do you dirt
They'll have you suicidal suicidal
When they say it's over

Now we are fussing and now we are fighting
Please tell me why, I'm feeling slighted
And I don't know, how to make it better
You're dating other guys, you're telling me lies
Oh I can't believe what I'm seeing with my eyes
I'm losing my mind, and I don't think it's clever

You're way too beautiful girl
That's why it will never work
You had me suicidal, suicidal
When you say it's over
Damn all these beautiful girls
They only wanna do you dirt
They'll have you suicidal suicidal

Half a Theory

That things aren't free, loader. That some names are just too common like Mark and Mica and Dennis. How's your black prop going?

Ago 26, 2007

God Bless the Child

(Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr.)

Them that's got shall get,
Them that's not shall lose,
So the Bible says, and it still is news.
Mama may have,
Papa may have,
But God bless the the child that's got his own!
That's got his own.

Yes, the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade.
Empty pockets don't ever make the grade.
Mama may have,
Papa may have,
But God bless the the child that's got his own!
That's got his own.

Money, you got lots o'friends
Crowdin' round the door.
When you're gone and spendin' ends,
They don't come no more.

Rich relations give,
crust of bread and such,
You can help yourself, but don't take too much!
Mama may have,
Papa may have,
But God bless the the child that's got his own!
That's got his own.

Ago 25, 2007

Office Against Sexual Harassment

One thing to wish to understand better, another to work hard for the knowledge. Hard enough, that is, so that no time remains for wishing. It was noontime at the school when I was guilty of taking a break, one of those absent-minded instants when the sudden sight of an empty bench steals you from the plans of the day. It looked like such a fine solid as the shade of the leaves compressed its lowly entirety into a cool dullness to the eye. Impossible for noon to tolerate such a presence. It was a bench that the sun forgot. I took a seat. I arranged my bag and books beside me. These could share the bench. It was an impervious moment. It must have been a minute. Maybe it was three or five. Maybe more. Nobody cared. Then I noticed one of my students sitting on the far end, reading something in a violet folder. I had no idea how long she had been sitting there. The folder had some glitter, but what annoyed me about it was the fact that it was plastic. The student herself was diligent and handsome and enough to ruin a perfect bench. A plastic folder was overkill. I opened my bag and tried to fit the books in. Each of my books whispered to me in terms of page quotas and schedules, the student’s papers groaned their need for criticism, and the empty notebooks hissed what must have been accusations in a dead language. My phone had zero messages. My student initiated small talk. She was already talking about her family and her plans to teach at the university when I said “oh hello.” She said, “you know, sir, I usually recite a lot in my classes. But you’re intimidating. We’re afraid of you. When you ask your questions, we all just wait for the activists to answer.” I said, “when you say we, don’t you really mean I?” She nodded. It was a series of nods that trailed off into defeat country. There was no activist to the rescue. “Do lighten up,” I said, “hey, here’s what you can do: next time you find me intimidating, think that all I am is someone insecure – I need to eat your fear to gain a sense of worth – okay?” She did not nod. Despite professorial enmity against redundancy, I asked again “will you please think that? For me?” She stared into her folder. Her body had fallen silent. There was no touching her. “Please?” There was no activist around. I kicked that folder off her hands, grabbed my things, and ran the whole way up to the Department of Humanities where I kept pages under lock and key.

Ago 11, 2007

By Rote

Visit to Jane Austen’s house... I put my hand down on Jane’s desk and bring it up covered with dust. Oh that some of her genius might rub off on me! One would have imagined the devoted female custodian going round with her duster at least every other day.

Barbara Pym
August 11, 2007
Diary entry


This is the method. I read the diary entry. I imagine how your voice would have wrapped itself around each word.

How would your tongue carry ‘desk’? Would it hiss out ‘genius’, would it settle with ‘female’? In a flash, I see how your tongue clicks up female, and this sets off a crystal bell where I never thought I kept any.

I read the entry again and again, trying to get your tone right, hoping to catch the rise and fall of your breath. It disappoints me that I cannot recall you ever saying the word ‘rub’ or ‘custodian’. I have not heard enough from you. I console myself with the clarity of your pronunciation of ‘imagine’, for I hear it as if you were whispering it to the back of my ear, a place which is mine and I cannot see.

You have that chewing mannerism. Have you noticed? I do not know if anyone called it to your attention. It is not a knowledge that would save the world. This is just something I recall, a digression from the method of course, yet excusably, something in the same province. Anyway, it is just a manner of yours that I am glad to remark before my death. One thing – like a peculiar burp or the accident of a dimple – a quick thing, for which one requires neither dream nor logic to push up and again into the light of memory.

Do you care if I pull myself up from the digression? Do you hear me? Do you hear me listening to you? Do you hear how I tried to eat your voice so I could write my words on the strength of your tongue? But then, I find some difficulty. A common enough phrase – ‘at least every other day,’ ‘at least every other day’ – a slow phrase, yes, but one with which I shall never allow you to help me.

Ago 10, 2007

Raintaker

A fat wind out, and I began by noting how dryly it budged me, how my hair rose along the contours of its skin. Wind: what’s left of a week pockmarked with rain. I know little of the weather except that we’ve got us some distorted climate. It’s not all nature’s fault either, I’ve been told. Myself, I’ve been spoiling for rains two months going. My family knows it, my editors know it, and my friends know it. Only people around me who’ve not heard my wet wish were my students. The week’s blessed rain ended with them. Last week, when they defeated me with malice or neglect, my retaliatory sermons ventured toward the climate: how the distension of the Russian novels may be due to the searing cold of their country, how the English concept of “gentleman” may have sprouted from a wet calendar, and how Filipino disposition may be as famously sunny as it is exactly because of tropical displacement. I asked if the shock of the cold triggered their chemical melancholia and, through some convoluted reasoning or other, the winds caused them to forget the one sheet of paper I asked them to bring. A light object. Malice or neglect? So I marked them absent, told them they’re better off home writing novels. Then the rains stopped. Wind or no wind, I’d be happy a bit more rain. Rain to go with the coffee. Rain to raise the dam levels. Rain, maybe to splash, hopefully to reveal the invisibles – those who were taken, perhaps forever. Our dear disappeared, youth too principled for their own good, too damned diligent. How should I ask them to come home? Or how to court skywater to mourn for them? The wind that ended the week was still too small to have a voice.

Ago 5, 2007

Philippine Fiction in English

Twice last year I was asked why I insisted on telling my stories in the English tongue. Twice, they compelled me to taste honesty from my own throat. The first time, an activist asked. I answered, perhaps to her satisfaction: I had no choice; I’m about as sorry as you are, but the stories come to me in English. Second time, a journalist. I replied to him: What do you expect of me? I know little Portuguese and much less Khmer. But he wore follow-up questions that bulked up his sleeves, so I invited him into my mind. He lunged into it and bounced off the truth: I reserved Filipino for matters of greater significance than fiction. For example, curses. No, not cusses: please! I mean curses. I mean, when you have a singular harm brewing in your heart and your palms dance thinly over each other, every finger erect, none ever touching, just dancing, one palm facing the other, right over left then left over right, rolling the in-between incense thick into a spectral pancake. Then with the precise pangungusap, you let loose the disc of incense to wheel all the way to the intended soul. I wished him well, that much I recall. I still don’t know if the journalist understood what I meant by a curse because we never got to talking again. I see him around, but he seems keen on keeping his questions out of reach. And, it’s true. Ever since he left my mind. He seemed keener.

Ago 3, 2007

Corpus Festum

Those people? Believe me, you’ll find it easy to detest those who claim to be above Hate. And I don’t mean the Christs. Not at all. They’ve got it good, and you can like them even if they go around kissing enemies, dying one day, living another, throwing words like “thirst” and “foreslake” up their mommas and their poppas. No. The Christs are fine by me. They can trash around temples, heal the blind, and curse the million generations of an innocently bystanding Ficus religiosa like there’s no tomorrow. Oh yes, the Christs can hate. And with style. They’re fine by me. What I meant to despise are those who emulate their messiahs without surpassing them. Those little winemen and handmaidens. Those who’d rather answer What Would Iesu Do? because they’d no spine enough to ask What Would I Do? Bless their puny hearts, those Christalettes. They hate Hate so much that they fail to comprehend the role of enmity in Love. Brother, when the rule was laid to Love Thy Enemy, you clearly had to get your hands on some foe or other to qualify for the faith. Find an enemy. Or make one. When Judas kissed his Jesus, the entirety of Christ was expressly sealed into the fabric of Hell. When Jesus partook of his star apostle’s tongue, Judas was assured a gleaming place in the savior’s very Heaven. Oh, it’s all there in that fine scene, that coupling gesture: love, sacrifice, abhorrence, redemption, death. It’s all in the kiss - that pure, wet package. Yet the Christalettes, so devoted to their blindness, prefer to stand in their prayerful lobbies and singing corridors than take wisdom from the banquet of the Body. If you find them blocking your way with fish and bread and leaflets, a prudent thing to do is to hate them politely. Tell them you’re a sinner on the way to more sin. Ask them if they’d like to join you. Watch as that Herd Sea parts before you. Then proceed on your Myrrhy Way.