Only Lyrically

Month: February, 2010

x? (only because i don’t know what else to call this and I have to scoot already)

Been sleeping over at the places of friends and officemates a lot lately. It may be attributed to my growing alienation from the room I’m renting. Let’s just say it’s not as homey anymore. I can’t even remember the last time I slept there and had a good dream.

On the other hand, while sleeping over at the house of a friend last Sunday, I actually had a dream. I wouldn’t call it a good dream, or a nightmare, but it was bizarre.

Here’s the dream:

I dreamt that Billy Joe of Green Day and Patti Smith were making love. But no one was lying on top of the other. They were seated, on the floor, face to face of course, like they were seated Indian-seat style but Patti was on Billy’s lap. Get it? And Patti’s legs were wrapped around Billy ass, and Billy’s legs were folded sort of Indian-seat style where Patti’s ass is sort of cradled. Get it?

You better, stranger, because I just don’t know how else to describe it.

Anyhoo, I think it’s what they call the lotus position.

And the dream was in black and white. And I was seeing everything from the top, in just the right distance, just enough for me to take note of Patti’s face looking up and Billy’s face just below Patti’s and how they were entangled inside each other’s limbs.

And – how else am I gonna put it?

Let’s just say that while the two were at it in the dream, Billy was doing all the necessary, requisite moves, and Patti was responding accordingly, and the two seemed to be sincerely having a mutually worthwhile experience.

There.

Maybe it was in black in white because most Patti Smith pictures I’ve seen so far are in black and white. Even the one video I’ve seen of her, for the R.E.M. song E-bow The Letter, is in black and white.

The thing is I don’t really listen to Patti Smith. Nor have I been into any Green Day recently — no Green Day actually at least for the past two, three years? I can’t even remember the last time I listened to punk. And the two are punk icons.

And the last song I heard before sleeping and having that dream was Amy MacDonald’s This Is The Life, which I heard for the first time, and which she was playing live at the Ellen Degeneres show, which was what the t.v. was showing before I turned the t.v. off, after the song. And the song’s not a punk song, it’s folksy. And Amy didn’t at all look like Patti.

Maybe I’m not supposed to make anything out of it. Neither could my host make anything out of it. It was just a nice thing to watch while it was happening. And that’s all there is to it.

Right? Right.

Patti and Billy. Pretty good.

There, I’m already sleepy. Marching off now. Good night!

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[27/52]

halfway

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I was about to go home already after that last post, when I suddenly thought about counting all my posts for this project. I already have 25! I knew it, I knew I was close to half. That means one more and I’m already halfway through. So I might as well get it over and done with, eh?

So, without any fanfare, and as nobody else reads this blog anyway, this is my 26th post for Project 52.

I am typing it to the tune of Paul McCartney. My Love was on a while ago — now it’s already Silly Love Songs.

Alright, might as well make this as relevant as I could.

Okay. I’ll try.

You know that line in Blackbird that goes “into the light of the dark black night”? You should. Not knowing your Beatles is like not knowing your Shakespeare.

Anyhoo, as to that line, I have a question: is it a paradox, oxymoron, antithesis, or irony?

I tried asking it to the kids I work with, they don’t know either.

Silly Love Song’s through, silly question pending, up in the silly air.

And right now, Only Love Remains is playing.

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[26/52]

backlog

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I had to come to Metro Walk a few days ago to meet a friend.

She pointed me to some of ’em candy stores, out of which I got:

1) Do The Right Thing (the Spike Lee classic – gangsters and mafiosos galore! at last! at last! thank you Lord!)

2) The Usual Suspects (anybody still remembers that line? “Who’s Keyser Soze?” did I spell that right? oh, and that killer line: “The biggest trick that the devil ever pulled…”, I can’t exactly remember the rest…)

3) Amelie (again! which I instantly gave to my friend, because the good word of our salvation must be spread!)

4) Bright Star (don’t really know if it’s good — but it’s John Keats’ life story, by Jane Campion, so it should be)

5) Dogma (this is the third time that I got a copy of this, on account of my two previous copies from Q only having Chinese and French audio; I got to test it in my friend’s player this time, and it’s finally gooooooood)

6) My Sassy Girl (in its much maligned Hollywood version, which I actually like – I need my dose of stuff like this every once in a while so excuse my mushy ass)

There was no way of bargaining in the damn place. Damn.

Oh well, all those treats should keep me wide awake for the next few nights.

Dogma, where God is a girl doing headstands on the lawn. Nice!

Aw, sh*t, I should’ve asked if they got My Blueberry Nights! The copy a kid made for me wouldn’t play. Oh, well.

So how do we end this?

Relax? See a movie?

Bleh.

*cartwheeling away*

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[25/52]

good mall, good notes

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Finally found that little notebook in the other nomad bag.

Yep, the handwriting was that of my friend’s.

This was the Greenbelt poem:

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Let There Be No More

(Gemino Abad)

Let there be no more

Legends on the  moon.

Why play children’s games

With an explained fact?

The moon is dead, and cold,

As any dragon fact.

To explain is to fix

Even the orbit of change.

The way moonbeams fall

Must respect or discipline;

And as we wake, submit

To interpretation of dreams.

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There.

But I will still always love moon legends.

And in my rock of a heart, the moon is never dead.

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[24/52]

love letter

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I found it! I found it! Waaaaaaa!!!

Googled “berso sa metro” images, and after a few pages, it just revealed itself to me.

And how couldn’t the Divine Dude lead me to it again? Like I said, it can be read as a love song for Him:

“Alam kong bilanggo mo ako habang panahon”

There is no escaping God, and His love. It finds its way to everyone. Even to ungrateful nomads missing the Sunday mass, looking up at poems in trains.

thank You thank You thank You my beautiful Lord I love You too

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[23/52]

good trains

Whoever are the people behind the Berso Sa Metro campaign each deserve a –

what do you call those leafy things they put on the heads of poets in ancient times? –

Those leafy things, they should be placed as crowns on the heads of those noble people who thought up the Berso Sa Metro campaign.

Last Sunday, as I was on my way to meet a friend, and since the LRT-MRT route has always been the quickest way to get around, I had another treat of these little masterpieces.

I tried my best to memorize one during the ride but my phone kept ringing and had to be answered.

All I could remember about those four lines that kept me from looking down and kept me looking up instead was that it was one of those double-purpose pieces which you could read as a romantic poem or as a love poem to God.

It didn’t only keep me looking up, it made me look through the window, and at cloud formations. For one brief moment, I felt completely like dear ol’ Amelie again, seeing teddy bears and rabbits in the sky while clicking away at her instamatic.

God, I have to find those four lines somewhere here in the echo chamber… Let me try…

I really can’t find it. But it was really good.

That’s it, next time, I’m taking down notes.

* * *

I do remember one that’s posted somewhere in Greenbelt. It goes, “namumukadkad ng umaga ang pinakamadilim na gabi”.

Did I get that right? Jesus. I should be sharp in retaining things like these.

Ah, wait, one time me and another friend were walking around Greenbelt, she actually made me take down notes on the poems scattered all around the mall. Well, actually, since I was too slow, she borrowed my notebook from me and copied the poems herself.

Let me get that notebook. It’s somewhere here in my nomad bag…

Aw, shit, it’s in the other nomad bag.

Wait, maybe the echo chamber has it somewhere here… Googling…

They were Jimmmy Abad poems, as far as I can remember…

I can’t find it either.

I’m bringing that notebook tomorrow.

* * *

I guess Anne Sexton really got it right when she said that music remembers better. I do not ever have a problem remembering songs and recalling them.

Last week, on my way to work, I happened to ride a pink bus where a song was playing on the radio: “where the moon disappears forever, and the sun shines electric blue”.

I sang it as soon as I sat here on my desk, and one of the kids I work with got it instantly.

See, that kid wasn’t probably even born yet when the song came out. But she knows.

I remember one of my teachers say one time that in Russia, people really took poetry to heart that audiences actually would recite along during public poetry presentations. Yeah, they had those, like concerts. And people knew poems like they knew songs.

We can get there. Well, actually, we’ve been there – I remember my grandmother telling me how balagtasan was such a big thing during her youth, and how those who competed were their stars. It was their age’s rap.

We can get back there again. I really believe that. Poetry and music are kin, afterall, and our nation has always had music in its blood.

I love my train rides. And Greenbelt. And all their poems, reaching out to me.

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[22/52]

“i’m doing cartwheels”

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Yeah!

Because I just discovered that the powers that be have put it back!

Kinda symbolic, I guess, no? IT has put IT back.

😛 😉 😀

Or is this a test?

Perhaps, it was put back to test us if we’d touch it.

I am touching it now.

And as this big girl sings, I feel like wearing it out

the way a three year old would do.

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[21/52]

“bright are the stars that shine”

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I do not adhere to horoscopes, but they sure could arouse one’s curiosity every once in a while.

Like this Breszny guy I learned about from a friend. I read him primarily because he amazes me. Because he never assumes the doomsday tone and is, actually, inspiring.

Since last week was the Valentine week, he issued a series of forecasts that ended with him quoting a poet or philosopher or some wise guy for each of the signs.

As soon as I read Rumi and Barrett Browning and Neruda and Shaw from his site, I just went “That’s it!” – I just felt like I had to share it here, so that those who would understandably rather not read horoscopes would not miss out on the poetry:

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“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning for Aries

“Be my ruckus, my perfect non-sequitur. Be my circuit-breaker, my lengthening shadows at dusk, my nest of pine needles, my second-story window. Be my if-you-stare-long-enough-you’ll-see. Be my subatomic particle. Be my backbeat, my key of C minor, my surly apostle, my scandalous reparté, my maximum payload. Be my simmering, seething, flickering, radiating, shimmering, and undulating.” – Andrew Varnon for Taurus

“I love you between shadow and soul. I love you as the plant that hasn’t bloomed yet, and carries hidden within itself the light of flowers. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. Because of you, the dense fragrance that rises from the earth lives in my body, rioting with hunger for the eternity of our victorious kisses.” – Pablo Neruda for Gemini

“Let’s heat up the night to a boil. Let’s cook every drop of liquid out of our flesh till we sizzle, not a drop of come left. We are pots on too high a flame. Our insides char and flake dark like sinister snow idling down. We breathe out smoke. We die out and sleep covers us in ashes. We lie without dreaming, empty as clean grates. Yet we wake rebuilt, clattering and hungry as waterfalls leaping off, rushing into the day, roaring our bright intentions. It is the old riddle in the Yiddish song, what can burn and not burn up, a passion that gives birth to itself every day.” – Marge Piercy for Cancer

“You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallionly fellow vagabond, my tempter and star. I want you.” – George Bernard Shaw for Leo

“The air I breathe in a room empty of you is unhealthy. The merest whisper of your name awakes in me a shuddering sixth sense. I am longing for a kiss that makes time stand still.” – Edgar Allan Poe for Virgo

“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.” – Erica Jong for Libra

“We are pain and what cures pain, both. We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours. I want to hold you close like a lute, so that we can cry out with loving. Would you rather throw stones at a mirror? I am your mirror and here are the stones.” – Rumi  for Scorpio

“I love you more than it’s possible to love anyone. I love you more than love itself. I love you more than you love yourself. I love you more than God loves you. I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone in the history of the universe. In fact, I love you *more* than I love you.” – Anonymous for Sagittarius

“For a relationship to stay alive, love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining.” – James Hillman for Capricorn

“Our love is like a well in the wilderness where time watches over the wandering lightning. Our sleep is a secret tunnel that leads to the scent of apples carried on the wind. When I hold you, I hold everything that is–swans, volcanoes, river rocks, maple trees drinking the fragrance of the moon, bread that the fire adores. In your life I see everything that lives.” – Pablo Neruda for Aquarius

“Your body needs to be held and to hold, to be touched and to touch. None of these needs is to be despised, denied, or repressed. But you have to keep searching for your body’s deeper need, the need for genuine love. Every time you are able to go beyond the body’s superficial desires for love, you are bringing your body home and moving toward integration and unity.” – Henri Nouwen for Pisces

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For me he quoted “million nameless joys”.

Amazing!

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[20/52]

On My Blueberry Nights

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What can I say about My Blueberry Nights – with me apparently being three years late in discovering it, and with most critics having already beaten it up?

When I first read last month about Wong Kar Wai having made this film (which I actually thought was his latest), I wasn’t really excited about seeing it. It did get me curious, since it has Norah Jones in it, but even that curiosity wasn’t enough. And I did not run to the great Q to seek it, as I usually would –

because 2046 hurt really bad. And so did In The Mood For Love. And I haven’t recovered from both. And I haven’t forgiven Wong Kar Wai for that –

until, last night, I saw My Blueberry Nights. Yes, his trademark elements are all in, and they all delivered. Atmospherics all in place. Moody cinematography, moodier music. But this time, he makes it all work without the pain.

Ennui, weariness, is what the film broods on, and he takes it out for a road trip across America, marked by voice-overs of readings of postcards, and memorable stopovers in diners and bars and sidewalks and street corners.

And by the time it got back to where it started, I just found myself smiling. Smiling at a Wong Kar Wai movie. Smiling with delight, joyful delight, at a Wong Kar Wai movie. For the first time.

And that is just about all I can say about My Blueberry Nights without gushing (if I haven’t) and giving it all away. Nevermind that it’s three years late.

And if you haven’t seen it, don’t wait for three years. Go. See. Hear.

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[19/52]

kids, alcohol, & a recipe for fun

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My homemade baileys is foolproof: kids love it.

No kidding. And I mean real kids here. No-older-than-kindergartener kids. Not childlike or childish adults. Kids. Real kids.

The recipe, if followed accurately, guarantees a fine, smooth mix, with almost no odor of the infernal gin bilog ingredient. Real chocolatey you’ll want more and more and more, until you just find yourself just wanting to sit down, or lie down and nap, not knowing what struck you.

I remember, five or four years ago, one Christmas morning, while I faced the onslaught of nephews, nieces, godchildren and grandchildren (yes, I don’t mind, call me impo), I had all the kiddies drink the concoction, and voila! Everyone behaved like the good boys and good girls that they should. No more pressing all the buttons of my CD player while it sang carols. No more chasing me all the way to the kitchen then playing with the knobs of the stove. No more going down and up and down the stairs and running to the street. No more jumping up and down the rickety floor and annoying the neighbors below. No more entering the bathroom and soaking their hands wet in God-knows-what.

It’s not like I lined them all down and forced them to drink, no, I would never do that. What happened was in the middle of all the kiddie holiday mayhem, I thought about drinking some of the baileys which I made during Christmas eve, then stored in the ref. One whole pitcher all for myself, of course I did not consume it in one sitting during the night, had to save some for the big day.

As I was taking out the pitcher from the ref, one of the kids approached me and asked the magical question each kid will never pass through childhood without asking: ano yan?

I could not remember my answer anymore, but I’m guessing I must’ve said masarap, and probably with a big wide grin, because I remember that the next thing I heard was pahingi. Kids love saying that, too. It’s the adventurer in each one of them, I guess, wanting to have a taste of things always. Just think about how kids, especially the really young ones, love putting things in their mouth, taste-testing everything. I think Freud calls that the oral stage, actually.

Anyhoo, how could I turn down a curious kid? He just wanted a taste, not the whole pitcher, had he asked for the whole pitcher the big bad girl who made the juice would have given him the glare.

I got the kid a little glass, put in it some ice, and poured him some – maybe what was equal to three shots. It was a quite a big little glass.

Then, carrying the glass with the liquor, he went back to his fellow kiddies, who, after seeing him carry the thing, also had to ask ano yan?

So I had to face everyone of them telling me pahingi. My mistake was giving in to the first kid. After him, how could I say no to the others? It wouldn’t be fair, right? Besides, it came to a point when I was already surrounded and could not even return the pitcher to the ref which they have also been previously playing close-open with. I had to be holding it up high while they gathered around my waist, asking, pleading, ano yan? masarap? pahingi! It can’t be helped anymore, they really really wanted it.

It’s basically just chocolate, afterall. Chocolate that they can drink. Don’t kids love chocolate?

Besides, sometimes, one just has to let kids be so they could figure out stuff on their own. Like how to handle being tipsy.

I counted the kids and gave each one a glass, put ice cubes in each, then poured away.

Next thing I know, I could hear my CD player caroling again.

And the kids were all seated, holding either emptied or half-drank glasses, looking at each other, or on the floor, or simply spaced out, zen as hell.

I guess that marks the time when I first realized that sometimes, it’s more fun watching kids get drunk than partake in the drinking. There’s a different pleasure when you’re simply watching them have fun.

And there’s also fun in watching over them, making sure that everything’s alright.

I guess those nephews and nieces and godchildren and grandchildren of mine had fun at the time. And they could always claim they had their first taste of alcohol even before they got into high school, eh?

I had fun.

And so, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients: one Ginebra gin bilog, one liter Magnolia Chocolait, five pieces of Storck menthol candy, four to six tablespoonfuls of Nestle Coffeemate, three tablespoonfuls of Nestle Classic instant coffee, half cup or mug of hot water, lots of ice cubes.

Materials: a pitcher with a cover, a ladle, short cocktail glasses, coffee cup or mug, spoon, mortar and pestle

Reminders: 1. use only the ingredients as stated above, especially the Chocolait thingy, because all the other choco tetra drinks are either too sweet or too milky. 2. don’t use fruit flavored menthol candies. 3. follow the directions in sequence, to avoid a lumpy mix. 4. never put ice in the pitcher. 5. don’t exceed the measurements on the non-alcoholic ingredients – the allowances are enough already, believe me, and if you still find the mix too strong for your taste, forget about the recipe and just drink you coffee and coco instead. 😛

Directions: 1. dissolve the coffee and coffee creamer in very hot water in a mug or cup, stirring it very well until it is free of lumps, then set aside to cool. 2. crush the menthol candies, but no need to pound until they are powdery, though it would be nice to crush them fine, then set aside too. 3. in a pitcher, mix the dissolved coffee-creamer and the crushed menthol candies together and stir, then pour in the Chocolait, then the gin, and stir well again, then cover the pitcher and set aside. 4. put some ice cubes in each of the cocktail glasses, then pour the mix in the glasses. 5. drink up! bottoms up!

Cheers!

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[18/52]