the DECEPtions of Beckett and Burroughs and vIenna


And there she was, eating on the possibility that tomorrow, she will be easier to handle, easier to walk with, easier to go along with. There is nothing special in her childhood. Everyone knows Daddy Long Legs and Pacman and Battle City and Sailor Moon and Nokia 3210s. She is yet to know how to cook seemingly complex things like kare-kare, she is yet to read David Foster Wallace, she is yet to shake hands with Mookie Katigbak. Yet: people find it hard to come with her, come to her, observe the skins on her mouth and gaze at her innermost doubtfulness.

Someone writes a letter to her, but would keep it forever in her big box of unforwarded letters. She has read Zizek perhaps, saying that the unsent letter is the best letter, the most faithful letter, for in the act of not sending the letter, it maintained its original message, untainted by the receivers’ likely misreadings, or overreadings.

Someone else said he wanted her,  but was discouraged because “she knows too much and he cannot keep up with her” and that “she likes someone else.” What if, what if. She just knows how  to read inside jeepneys; she just knows how to nab a Beckett or a Burroughs without paying too much;

(Burroughs is buried deep on the ocean; Beckett is still beckoning Godot and Molloy)

He thought he saw me.

Do not fade like him.

she just knows how to look at herself in the mirror and sometimes see the future of Philippine poetry; she just knows how to drink coffee stolidly and seemingly without care but actually ruminating on the possibility of interaction; she just knows some Greek thought and european landmarks; she just knows she cannot know herself. Even in the torpor of energetic chaoses in Vienna.

Get all the more lost here.

And when she suspire for  another person’s breath and cannot have it right away, she just knows how to write and make-believe. She knows that beliefs are cheap, and more than anything else, there should be faith.

Sins are not us.


You just have to understand that in the anatomy of sin, there was you, there was you all over; in every crevice, every knack, every fidgeting bone marrow, every rickety cell, every thinning hairline, every languishing penis, every pinking clitoris, every snide of a bone, every tanning skin, there, was, you.

It was September holy 17 — we were nearing  exhaustion, we were raining with confidence in a night that has seemed too young for us. We can see all the vehicles passing by the road, where we also stood with each other, side by side, your face smelling the air just above my head. But can all the people riding the vehicles see us? Where were we really? They called the place Marcos Highway. Perhaps we wanted to call it ours, perhaps we wanted to call it the boulevard of sacred desires.

We won’t kiss. We won’t, we just cannot. There lies the sin. We violated what we truly wanted, what we truly wanted. All sin was in every corner of your neck, all sin was in the slenderness of my fingers. We retire in the face of the night perhaps muttering all the longer prayers, forgive us holy mother, we violated our desires.

How to put a final mark


OKAY! I will finish editing my last column before I hit the boring sack. I am not used to sleeping as late as this, when lateness had already verged on the early (see: it IS 05:30 in the morning). But, but. Last column drafts need all my attention. Like season finales of series with no promise of having another season premiere.

Bye column,


The question, I believe, is not whether there is a torch to be passed, but rather: is there someone to receive the torch?

Hell week, the one that places itself near an endpoint – for me, this is high time to make drama. A little bit. Because for the past 14, 15 issues of this paper, I have been here, ogling at the ridiculous, mocking the reserved, floundering and making sort of love confessions, feigning political inclinations, and tacitly wondering: would I ever be replaced here? Next sem, when all Fitzgerald and a thesis proposal on indie films end, I would call myself a “graduating student.” And as early as now, I am not cringing. Else, I am most certain that the time has come to step out of this corner of your official student publication, and the only publication that has been the smartest, most honest, most pro-student offered to all of you. When I first approached the lanky guy that used to be an editor here two years ago, I was saying, “Hey, ahm, I think I write good enough to deserve a column here.” That was too confident, if not egotistic, but they were thinking about lightening the hefty politics the paper contains, enwrapped in articles about peace talks and the global crisis, so perhaps that made them accept my rather forward proposal; so that someone who is interestingly self-anointing and boastful would lament her woes, from academics, to infatuations, to Student councils that are only nominal, in their monthly paper.

This time is the time to move on. First, shut the fuck off the yabang. Second, concentrate on thesis and the remaining academic units. Third, go where others seem to be heading, joyously or otherwise. A guy seen by others as Jimmy Neutron outgrows this publication, this UP Baguio gradually after graduation. He is now busy looking first-hand at the plight of indigenous people constantly harassed by the military. The current External Associate Editor has shed off some modesty and begun putting some special hands in hers. The Internal Associate Editor has swallowed what was once a bitter idea: those who remain had to do things on their own. The former Internal Associate Editor has slightly put off her fairy tales in favor of Dostoevsky and Conrad. The former EIC is staying at his momentary postmodern haven. And the one that succeeded him, she has learned first to be more visible, then to preside during meetings where once she was mostly mum, then learned the trick of juggling readings and reports and publication and some fun lest she dreamt of being eaten alive by her circumstances.

Move on and leave that comfort zone, these seem to be telling me. For I would admit, in the vaguest of ways, these red letters have symbolized a comfort zone for me: a place where I am just a name, a 600-word composition, letters to a number of readers.

So while I’m still here, and while I still have this last piece, I’ll fire away the usual Kitty manner, not much drama, not much pretentiousness: to those who will replace me, I am praying you won’t be too nerved to emulate my eloquence and ahem, plain, cute brilliance.

Salita lang ang pag-ibig sa post na ‘to


If only encountering “love” is like hearing “Yes, I do” from marriage proposals, I would have been already holding a record for accidental adultery.

Let us prolong the trending, today is still, well, Valentine’s week. And I have been looking at Close-up commercials, restaurants’ and cafes’ “Valentines” designs, greeting cards in National Book Store which can confuse the child on the real anatomical structure of that things inside her skin.  

People are heeding The Beatles: all we need is love, and sometimes, Mariah Carey, too, because they want to know what love is. Pop songs sell and venues for Valentines concerts became the zones for display of affection, somewhere else, there is neither Brian McKnight or Nina on the background.

 

***

What happens when hecklings, and the all-we-know mudslinging resurface in an event that is supposed to be uniting, more than anything else. On top the rostrums, there can only be smelly rhetorics, thanks to the repugnant fakeness by which the nice-sounding words were delivered. “Para sa estudyante” is a common denominator, but that seems to be the only terrain where they meet, those candidates that are sadly turning into the Aquinos and Marcoses of the campus.

Because if someone claims “No to Partisan Politics” but himself swims in it, thrives in it, then we are not only confronting hypocrisy, we are confronting its more wicked sibling – deception. And in my three years of relative peace in UP Baguio, Wednesday was the most perturbing, Thursday the most alarming. If my candidates for the student council are cracked, and much more, if the winning candidates know how to do heckling, and marauding someone’s own peace, then I do now know how un-student, the “student” in student council will be in the coming months.

***

Because as far as I know, you stay in the Student Council to represent the students, not his or her party.

Now where is the love in this month of, puking foretold, cherry blossoms and pumpkin pies and used rubbers?

***

My housemates arrived, joyous with Thursday’s results:

“Hey, Kitty, let’s think we are in a sitcom. What did you to last Valentines?”

It was him, horrible.

“Nag-isaw kami ng mga kaibigan ko tapos nanood ng Kubrador.”

“Uy, speak in English naman, we’re in an American sitcom.”

“I haven’t watched a sitcom where someone says at the beginning, “Hey, lets think  we’re in a sitcom.”

***

Who told you gambling is bad for the world? Lovers have been gambling as much as I listen to Rose Melberg in 3:53ams and it persists as the most tangible, the only real universal phenomenon in this cube of racism and crippling Nazism, and fascinating jews and commercialization, not equality, not justice, not growth, not peace, not commitment, not solidarity, not dedication.

When Panagbenga begun, I flew


What happened yesterday when there is an increased traffic in this blog, a barrage of text messages in my phone and a bashful torrent of posts in Facebook? Nineteen years ago, yesterday, people were contemplating on the image of Mary and what are her contributions on Feminism, judges are being indicted to expose the flaws of how humans do justice, and perhaps the Philippines is watching Fidel Ramos make a speech or two about tobacco and embracing foreign investments. All the while, my sister was young yet frenetic, anticipating a younger sibling whom she can share her Barbie dolls with, whom she would teach Humpty Dumpty to. At six, I wondered how she took the sight of our mother bleeding up to her feet, contesting pain and redefining endurance as she brought out on earth a future precocious little girl holding sand in her palm to have a fine handwriting.

Then in Chinese General Hospital in Quezon City, some mothers are perhaps relieved after having just gave birth, to a son, a future botanist, a daughter, a future fighter of women’s rights, a future drag, a future scavenger, and street player. But if we are talking about the arrival of dusk just yet, I was not yet here. I was just about to erupt from my mother’s womb, out to her vagina, out to the world with its invitations of sadomasochism. My mother said the operation nearly took two hours. “Mabilis bay un Ma o hindi?” It was pretty normal, and she noted, “At least hindi ako sinecaesarian.” Mom, at most, I breathe here, right now, typing this down and about to introduce this next subhead where for all my intents, I hope to be a winding elocution of “Thank you.”  

 

Happy birthday to me, so thank you Ma

To all who greeted, I am slightly nodding my head and smiling, but this day is cheers to my mom. Thanks to you but more thanks to my mom, who, nineteen years ago yesterday mustered enough respiration and will to get me out, and allowed me to see Dexter and Didi and Pocahontas and listen to the loneliness of Feist and the rudeness of Lourd de Veyra. So don’t give gifts to me; give them to my mom, or at least, give her a tap in the back, or oversay “thank you” to her for sending that modest genius daughter of yours to earth, and allowing her to enroll at UP Baguio and smite the security guards and the curious passersby.

I texted her, last night, at the near end of my birthday, “Ma! Birthday ko, thank you, for bringing me here. And for the greetings and the love, and for the allowance, hehe. Treat kita pagbaba ko. I lab you. J” is that cheesy? Can you tell me if so, as in, make a reply below, say to me that was cheesy and it made you puke. Since entering UP Baguio, I became this more expressive daughter kissing my mom in her shoulders or something, giving her personalized cards when it’s her birthday. I said you should be celebrating right now, because nineteen years ago, you bore a child; you added not just another statistic on the population, but another person who would think about the world but continuing to give love to you, and respect to you despite the misunderstandings.

And the rats are coming after me.

So I ended gulping this cola.

There is Friday in Wednesday

First, I was a bit saddened when they said that only elementary and high school students won’t have classes yesterday. I was giggling at the idea of having some early quest for joyfulness starting Tuesday night, whisking the light drinks on the tabletop and mentioning poetries with some friends, but the official announcements made me delay its fulfillment. So what happened? It was nothing but routine, 7am for thesis proposal and more of western literature. But that is definitely a routine worth gorging at. Someone mentioned Sylvia Plath in passing in his blog and I reckoned the chance that I will meet him personally in the future, touch elbows with him and face him with his thin eyeglass on a coffee shop table. And can I mention The Great Gasby, and how it would not let me sleep because Diasy Buchanan refuses to make me cry when I was already wishing for myself to do so. For your February 01 when people are expecting you to go out and own the day like all the others would stop on Session to give you an easy stroll, there is no need for wine and sweet cakes. There is sufficiency in encountering the warriors in old literatures, seeing their eternal frustrations, smelling the wisdom in their pithy pronouncements.

And so I did well with a liter of coke last night and some Mars and a good dinner. Friday would wait and I texted Ma already, to complete this day. Someone else is dying of hunger and others are wondering if they can still get up to work for the next day, how about the medicine bills and the water bill and the food in the table? Let us throw the clichés away. It is not happy birthday, it is “I am very happy to hear your stomach grunt, and to listen to your absent-minded hummings, and to feel your crashing chuckles, Katrina.” 

 

 

 

How to start the new year with a loss


On New Year’s Eve, people were crying in excruciating pain, having lost an arm, or a leg, or a lover’s fingers, curtailing all chances of holding hands moments in the future. In the more placid neighborhood where I happened to drive away the evil spirits for 2012, something similar occurred. Someone from a few blocks away exhibited clumsiness in the wrongest of instance, when the Sinturon ni Hudas is already on fire. Until it became difficult to distinguish his right arm from the firecracker.

Is not that a very fitting way to welcome the New Year, a fitting way to mark the loss of a time frame we called “2011” and begin our wish lists and fancy hopes for a touted beginning? If you happen to feel like sarcasm has been missing recently, you can locate it in somewhere in this article. When something is lost, the hopefuls, mostly the old ones, will say that a replacement is about to come, usually for the better. We have to thank science sometimes, there is the miracle of prosthetics. Then I wonder, what needs to happen for the miracle of change to push through? What losses are we still waiting for us to seethe with hardened teeth and erupting veins in arms and call for a replacement of everything that is in place. I wish, just for the fancy of it, that there would also be prosthetic justice, prosthetic equality, prosthetic social justice. If there would be, I’d summon all the gods so we can altogether wear those prosthetic ones, pronto!

Before 2011 killed itself, we witnessed a lot more losses. Gloria, the favorite president of this generation, lost status, even only a bit, when she was prevented from leaving the country, and then mistaken to be part of the new Naruto series, and then house arrested. Perhaps Pnoy wished he would suddenly get rid of some of the soundest brickbats thrown at him by his critics, for having arrested his notorious predecessor, perpetrator of countless crimes against the people, her constituents, and her conscience. But Gloria’s arrest, however petty it looked and however transitory it would be, is not Pnoy’s triumph, it is the people’s. What we should guard against now is for losses to be recovered and be replaced with more evil vindications.

 

Corona lost the judiciary crown, almost. And if that would mean the loss of an Arroyo court, my fingers are crossed, and I hope yours as well, that it would not be replaced by an Aquino court.

Palparan lost some status, but his laughable pluck and confidence remains. Why laughable? Hehe, who won’t laugh at someone who claims confidence despite the obvious crimes he has committed? And then we wonder, the retired old man may have already lost his military stature, but his network and bosses’ nod may have still remained.

And then one might chastise me. Hell kitty, what happened to your New Year opener? Why proceed on some lousy, and not to say, downgrading politics in the midst of your essay after a cute start? I am just basking at my own discussions of loss, my neighbor will most likely lost an arm, so why don’t we see all the trifles and superficially merry lost outright and start the year right by asking the more relevant questions, pondering on the more relevant matters? And to Gloria and Jovito, I say, get lost!