Tuesday, March 31, 2009


it's the beginning of the international poetry month (i'd like to think the US has no monopoly on this). can we do it again this year? a poem a day is the idea, but since that's really a herculean task to do individually, maybe we can instead begin an elaborate Renga and contribute a few lines which we can then collate and put together for posting in this blog at the end of each day? for those interested, just put your lines in the comment box and i'll post the full Renga at the end of the day.

so who's with me? :)

*many thanks to Ivy Alvarez and Maureen Thorson who are the original proponents of this project.

"Poems present their testimony as circumstantial evidences, not as closing argument." -- Denise Levertov

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Mondays XLIX

featured readers for the 49th installment of the Happy Mondays Poetry Nights tomorrow, March 30 @ mag:net cafe Katipunan re as follows:

1. Angelo Suarez
2. Adam David
3. Leigh Reyes
4. IƱigo de Paula
5. Yol Jamendang
6. Pancho Alvarez
7. Lawrence Bernabe
8. JC Casimiro
9. Pocholo Goitia
10. Carl Clemente
11. Lourd De Veyra

*plus other regular and surprise guest readers.

*readings start promptly at 730 pm followed by the Open Mic sessions @ 930pm-10pm.

*for those interested in reading during the open mic, we will leave a sign-up sheet with Rogel, the bar tender of mag:net cafe. please feel free to sign up and read your work. :)

10pm onwards, Happy Mondays BayaWazakZoundz courtesy of:

1. Johnoy Danao
2. Spastic Children (featuring Lourd De Veyra vs. Jay Gapasin)
3. Valet Parking

FREE ADMISSION the whole evening! Kitakits po tayo. :)

photos below from the second year anniversary of the readings last March 16

Friday, March 27, 2009

Apo Lakay

"Who is your grandfather to you?" - Pancho Villanueva

He taught me about stillness. One afternoon when I was five, he embraced me all throughout my parents' worst fight. Years later at the onset of Parkinson's, he called out for me all afternoon. I sat by him and talked about my day. I wondered if his hardened body could still comprehend tenderness. As when reason fails us, that is all we can strive for. He accomplished much in his ninety-six years. Got four orphaned brothers through school, and the war. Winning over Grandma, which is no easy feat. Becoming a man of the Law. Some time ago I promised myself I'd live by his example, but so far I haven't done much. I can only hold on to those short hours when I was certain we came from the same place. Wonder if I will end the same way. Surrounded by love, and grief, and greatfulness. I watched his embalming and noticed how they had to force his knees to lie straight down. I remember his empty face and mine full of tears. I remember his faint gravel voice mumbling my name, as though it were something important he had forgotten. I remember his cold hands and my arms around him. I remember his quiet demeanor and from where I got mine.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hunger Strike: A '90s Alternative Music Tribute

reliving the glory daze of the '90s rock and alternative music scene. from the college anthems of the Gin Blossoms, The Lemonheads, and Ash to the Seattle grunge movement of Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. we'll even include rare one-hit wonders and, well, a little bit of Bush.

tomorrow, march 27, Friday, 9pm onwards. an all-cover night of '90s pop ditties and rarities. featuring:

1. Patience, Dear Juggernaut
2. Virgin Hunters
3. Broken Sauce
4. Shotgun Lola
5. Fat Acid Drop
6. Dissent

Entrance P150 (P50 consumable).


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Earth and Sky

The Sunsets of Joel

We see a church from afar
and a bell, tolling the meek
into recollection, announcing

the hour. A plant grows
stedily by the sill with
a little care and some light.

And I wonder what it would
dream of, if it could dream.
Distance is paraphrased into

the strange formations of clouds,
none of them ever the same.
And while my friend begins playing

an old song, I forget why I am
heavy with loss. It must be the view
from that window. It must be

the weak red arcs of heat that
reach me and form soft-edged
tiles of sunlight in the room.

Wherever we are, we are home
at the end of the day. Each end
something good and old, announcing

that it is time you stare out into that great
dome, its billion feathers wiping blue away,
transcending body, lifting up the night.



Every day, come summer, I fear for
the limitations of our two-toned seasons

and for my garden. And I hate leaving
the house for vacations. Because

the equation is simple enough:
the tragedy of wailing afternoons

filled with fire trucks and heated
news about weather, or wilting

flowers. These tropical depressions,
they attend to the greenhouse

like a crowded congregation
waiting for glorious homilies,

that assuring voice of the pastor
who loves greenery and God

yet offering nothing more than
coming months of restless clouds

finally obeying, some holy water
for cleansing, or warm wine. Also,

another garden teeming with
just the right amount of rain-

fallen apples: fiery red, fresh,
and sinless come harvest time.


The Maningning Miclat Awards 2009

The Maningning Miclat Art Foundation is calling on young poets aged 28 and below to submit entries to the 2009 Maningning Miclat Trilingual Poetry Competition in three divisions: Filipino, English and Chinese.

An entry must have at least eight but not more than 15 poems. Authors may join all the divisions but can submit only one entry in each division. All entries should be original in any of the three languages and not a translation of another entry.

Four copies should be submitted, with the poems printed double-spaced on regular bond paper with one-inch margins on all sides, using Arial or Times New Roman size-12 font. Only a pen name must be printed on an entry, with the real name and pen name submitted in a separate sealed envelope together with the entrant’s biodata, birth certificate copy, and a notarized declaration of originality and authenticity of authorship.

Entries must be addressed to the Maningning Miclat Art Foundation, Inc. (MMAFI), 2nd Floor, Mile Long Building, Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City (Tel No. 816-7490 to 91) not later than 5:00 p.m. of April 15, 2009. Entries sent by mail should be postmarked/invoiced not later than April 1, 2009.

The Maningning Award, handed out yearly since 2003, honors China-born Maningning Miclat, a poet in three languages, a published essayist, and a prizewinning visual artist who was also a teacher, translator and interpreter. Her collection Voice from the Underworld (Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2000) is the first book of poetry in the world in Filipino, English and Chinese written solely by one author. Some of her poems were included in a book of top international women poets in Chinese published in China. She passed away in September 2000.

The Maningning Miclat Art Foundation was formed in 2001 to carry on the artist/poet’s legacy, encourage creativity, and support outstanding young poets and artists. The trilingual poetry competition is held during odd-numbered years, while the painting competition is held during even-numbered years.

Grand winners in the divisions of the Poetry Competition will each receive P28,000 together with a Julie Lluch trophy and the special collector’s edition of the books Voice from the Underworld, Beauty for Ashes: Remembering Maningning and Beyond the Great Wall: A Family Journal, which won a 2006 National Book Award for biography.

Past winners of the Maningning Poetry Awards are Naya Valdellon and Joselito delos Reyes in 2003; Allan Pastrana, Joseph Saguid and Ye Cai-sheng in 2005; and Raymond John de Borja, Erica Clariz delos Reyes and Chen Si-yuan in 2007.

For more information on the 2009 Maningning Miclat Art Competition, e-mail maningningfoundation@gmail.com or amiclat2008@yahoo.com. You may also log in to www.maningning.com.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Mondays XLVIII: The 2nd Year Anniversary Edition

featured readers for TONIGHT's 48th, SECOND YEAR ANNIVERSARY installment of the long-running, bi-weekly Happy Mondays Poetry Nights @ mag:net cafe Katipunan Katipunan are as follows:

1. J. Neil Garcia
2. Aldus Santos
3. Marne Kilates
4. Arnold Molina Azurin
5. Larry Ypil
6. Adam David
7. Jonar Sabilano
8. Jimmy Abad
9. Gabe Mercado
10. Ramil Gulle
11. Vim Nadera
12. Krip Yuson
13. Kash Avena
14. Lourd De Veyra
15. Jun Cruz Reyes
16. Keith Cortez
17. Pancho Villanueva
18. Angelo Suarez
19. Inigo De Paula
20. Leigh Reyes
21. Mikael Co
22. Joseph Saguid
23. Sasha Martinez
24. Rafael San Diego
*plus other surprise guest readers.
*as there would be a lot of readers celebrating with us tonight, kindly be in magnet cafe by 7 so we can start promptly at 730 pm.

Happy Mondays Bayawazakzoundz for the evening courtesy of:
1. Los Chupacabras!
2. The Purple Chickens!
FREE ADMISSION this whole, celebratory evening! Kitakits po tayo. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Finally received word from University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of New Hampshire: Rejected.


Still waiting for word from Guelph and Syracuse, but at this point, it feels like a long shot. Guess I'll just have to reapply next year. Damn, sumakit ang dibdib ko ah. If anyone wants to have beer, lemme know.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good or A Bad Mail?

hahaha! laughing my ass off. what a friggin' nice invite!

the sky

i think of peace as the most expansive
wound cleft by schools of fish, and the memory
of tropical rain, and kissing under a tree.
a wound that can only be thought about.
because you do not feel the sting of silence
or the grazing of stillness against your
body. you only recall the mother of all
shits after eight hours on the road. and
the satisfying smell of your own excrement,
something as personal as the design around
your irises or how each day's sky is shaped.
nobody can love it as much as you. no one
will handle it the way you will. flushing
all the clouds away, standing up again,
ready to go back outside and smash your face
against the tireless all-encompassing blue air.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bird Watching

Because the eagle, by itself,
is beautiful and allows
the whole expanse of its body
to span across the high air as it

gazes down on our awkward gestures
and flailing and failures. But
I for one, value instinct over
intelligence. Or the devotion

of penguins, the delirious flutter
of a mockingbird. There is no
loneliness in them, no noticing
of the splendor of sunsets. Also,

those little sonnets doves make,
their endless preening, these are not
done out of love. Their fleeting presence
on the thin wires of trees or behind

windowsills--these do not concern us
as much as we’d hope. They are
the given observers, and they never
look too close nor care enough.

And while we continue primping
in front of our mirrors, they simply
watch as new leaves sprout above
and heighten the canopies, notice

the new antenna installed above
some rooftop. And if you manage
to get some bird to eat from your hands,
it does so out of necessity. So we go on

taking pictures of such encounters.
We study their feathers and try to measure
the true importance of color. We feel,
we fall, we stumble. And they continue

flying in perfect formations, rising
and soaring and seeing everything, oblivious
to our daily want for grandeur, these dull,
imperfect limbs bristling with all-too-human

commotion. Every day I lose a potential
feather. Then I find another by the roadside.
And holding it up, wonder how the wind
animates it, this bodiless thing. I guess

there are just too many mistakes to atone for.
And so wide and high a sky to elevate to.