Terry Eagleton and us meeting and copulating in the vacuous streets

I know, too. I am staying here because I am sometimes a fathefucking weirdo with seventyeight personalities, several abominations and resignations to Others and laws and expectations that make me brittle; that I am weak on my knees despite all my wordly brouhahas and lenghty rejoinders to an angst-ridden, yet collapsing civilization. 

But recognize too, no one can fall in love with words. No one. No, we do not have everything but words.Damn Jessica Zafra, damn cynically optimistic poets on the streets. We fall in love with materialities that chase even when we are silly awake and doing nothing but contemplating about empty vastnesses; we fall in love with sweaty palms we still nurture with our own; we fall in love with shadows whose contours whose forthcoming smell we recognize and die for to put in our chests. So, let us not make a fuss out of seeing each other in the spaces in this world wide web. Let us learn to dance with each other, in the roughness of roads, in the calmness of 2:33ams, in the ridiculous plasticity of everyday. Let us do away with our mantras of personal care and individual ethics, Terry Eagleton, in After Theory, sharpened my view of the objective. It is madness, almost mushy mendication for another aside from the subject, the self:

“To be concerned for another is to be present to them in the form of an absence, a certain self-forgetful attentiveness. If one is loved or trusted in return, it is largely this which gives one the self-confidence to forget about oneself, a perilous matter otherwise. (2003, 131)”

So we can always come to one another and lose ourselves, neither in dreams nor in rather crass-sounding ideological mystifications, but in the distantly familiar whom we just crave to touch, to touch with our sickness, or with our placidity. So come. Outside.



Do not die at thirty, you pimple-faced

there is a piece of amethyst here

You have to get through what I would like to communicate. As always, this could not come crystal-clear to you; we can do nothing else but settle at what comes to us.

We are not wayward lovers, but sometimes, even though I do not want to guess that way, I guess we are falling down on Dimalanta’s words, “hapless lovers” Because. Because, for instance now, we are distant not only with our bodies but with what we intend for us, what we wish for us, what we work for us.

Soon, someone will say sorry, for being unable to stick with the other’s tongue, for choosing to fly away and search for new songs and new circles, for being not enough to contain what the others seem to intently profess.

Soon. Could not be happening, but it always threaten at the distance, hovering like a skylark forebodes a storm. I want to believe I will do things to keep the skylark away, and to cover your youth when the storm takes away all your sense of security. Yes, we are young, very right of you to say. But I will keep this. I want. to. really. believe. we. we will.

Happy holidays, cynics!

Of course, this is the merry season. And we, perhaps, will not help but to beam with unfettered giggliness and giddiness and joyfulness. The lights are all set, at the onset of December, at the death of November, at the time when tv stations are premiering their Christmas station ids. Sales are occupying the malls, the tiangges ans commercial bazaars; first, reminding us that ‘tis is the season for shopping, for spending, for expressing our love and gratitude to everyone who has made our year a happy one, as if to glorify the idea of spending for gifts at the big businesses’ favor. We all know the hidden message: capitalism and its evils still lurk, and more notable so during this season. But who cares? That is part of the Christmas tradition.

Corona strikes back and Mindanao got hit by the storm, this time reminding us that this is not picture perfect a season. Gloria remains in jail, but with duly accorded amenities, thanks to her status as policy-maker and being the erstwhile president. Again, we know these, we very well know these, and news clips should only serve as reminders: the sick out of the world continues even if it’s Christmas time.

Always, this is a fitting ending for the year, usually capped by the welcoming of a new year with roar and fireworks and kitchen utensils-turned-pampaingay. All gloominess, all depressions, al failures and sense of shame brought by the previous 11 months, leave them all, happily, with a gorgeous smile, without a heavy heart. Christmas will purge them all, bring them into oblivion, turn them into stone just like all the heroes after their heroics. What a way to end the year, and start the succeeding one.

Academics will most probably try to distance themselves from the merriness, eluding emotion and joy by writing treatises, proving to the world and to themselves that their sort of cynicism about the holidays is a well-justified one by researching on the origin of this event and analyzing them as tied to networks of power and domination. That this is Christianity attempting to firm its grip on its automatic minions, the church-goers, the rosary-holders. That this is capitalism’s most shining moment, reeking million after million, thanks to the high demand for new stilettos, round fruits, ham and pla pla and sinturon ni hudas, new bags, items to give in exchange gifts, books and gadgets, cards and mugs, leathers and kilos of meat.

The well-offs are trooping to the malls, exploiting Christmas sales, letting themselves be exploited by the so-called system. Canvassing, scrutinizing, ogling at new cars, new ipod models, new iphone features, new ways to spend money, new ways to subconsciously justify that a money-centered society is not bad after all.

The beggars are feasting on left-overs, as usual, only that the left-overs seem to be more special this season: palabok, other pasta, cola and meat, hotdogs and marshmallows. The toiling worker will rejoice more on the non-working holidays than Christmas bonuses, as if they can really take a vacation and working overtime is not tempting for its promise of more pay. Perhaps they will be content, very much content in fact, with some adobo and unusually plenty of rice on the 24th, and some pancit on the 31st. Everyone is spending the holidays with a heightened spirit, however genuine or forced. Point is: it centrifugates on all of us: the tacit command to be merry because that is the point of the season. With money or not, with lots of gifts or not, with luxurious food or not.

In the name of the season, of Christ being born or the mere passing of December 25, let us make this a merry one. Kindness, generosity, empathy, honest tries at equality and humility, they are all the truest, and hence, fakest, at this time. Let us make the most out of it.

Merry Christmas, in-denial cynics.

Fiction 100.5 and a conglomerate of near-truths

One day, I will also bring flowers for you, like it’s a normalcy, like I just passed through a floral shop earlier after I went to the grocery and I remember you in their scent. This came, amidst digressions from Andre DubusHouse of Sand and Fog, like what the Persian, ex-officer did to his wife, after he bought a new bungalow for the family.

Then we will have a bungalow too, the neatest, the brightest as it faces the sunrise at 05:55, and the placid sea all time of the day. There will be countless chances to walk through the warm sand, and evening bonfires with curtailed smoke and redefined daydreaming, and wondering about mice and hippopotamus and the coconut trees’ alignment. And I will write your name in the sand, the way I won’t write them here, because you know, we are all cowards, utilizing poetry and metaphors and tv screens and jokes and alibis to shroud the things we will not tell right here.

There will be a cafeteria nearby and I will bring you there every Sunday morning, every fragrant, pleasant 7:04 Sunday mornings. We will have a car, a Beatle, a light green Beatle with a good jazz music playing inside it every time, and we will listen to it, for twenty minutes or so, before we reach the cafeteria, before we meet good, old and mild-natured Granny again. That is what we call the old lady selling coffee, making coffee, heartily smiling at every customer perhaps because that is the only thing she can do well with her age. We will sit on the corner, the one nearest to a Rivermaya poster, oh the good, old days, the late 90s when we were still stuck at school pants and bulky backpacks. You will glance at the old four who perhaps sang to you when you got depressed in 2005 or something, and you will do that like for a minute, until I call you and say uy, kape mo.

You are good at coffee that is pure coffee, proving to Zizek, the old guy our friends used to love in college, that there are still people who are after the substance of the substance, the thing that makes the thing itself. You will stir your coffee, very, very lazily, while still looking at Japs Sergio; like in the old days when you will lazily stay in bed because Mondays are commonly lazy, and you will prod me to hit the bathroom first. And mine, mine would be the perfect combination of liberal sugar and a morsel of creamer, coffee ought to be sweet for me, unless I am planning to read Shakespeare or Dante in the night. And I will look around the cafeteria, and will see no one familiar; in universes that we have been through, it seldom happens that we were strangers to them, only two people who happen to like to stroll and smell polluted air and share breaths with tens of others, sightsee 7/11’s new products, or vintage shirts sold in the street.

In the end of fiction, what is next? Murakami killed Toru in page 607, or did he, really? Perhaps he went on waiting for Kumiko, perhaps he went on drinking beer at 8pms, perhaps he went on playing idly with Mackerel before lunch. Fictions live in us, my teacher once said that she would read fictions several times at different points in time, the first during 1999 and the next on February 2003, the next on July 2003, and every reading will give her something new. Is fiction hermetic as empty jelly containers that kill flies trapped in them? I look back at the cafeteria and the Beatle and the bungalow and without having to cross my fingers, I know we will still live, and outside fictions, and I, sometimes will want to come to you to make real things happen.

A rut in a rut. For I

4pm is lost, my zeal, your soft pouch, my pillow for long travels, “us” in the sea of fragile, but violent circumstances

But i am fragile too, as i speak, I gasp for breathe, as I type this down, I can’t look at the mirror

My palms are dry, as soap and detergent mix, and danced with my own soil

My hands dry, and the bread is losing her curve, and its 4:21

PM. pm me, please, if you want to. only if you want to. if you don’t,

I’ll stay quiet, in my own, almost-decrepit motel of boring white walls

and friend’s used dress that will stink, in a month.

It’s 4:52 for me, and for you,  your last class perhaps. And the many more to go

as I traveled more universes, with you.

5pm. time flies and we are yet to slide away.

there’s wonderwall most of the time.

thank you, you have saved me. im dead.

A date with the 21st century Freud

I dreamt last night that dreams don’t happen. That everything is, just is. That philosophy did not prod Heidegger to write books about it and language is absolutely denotative. The dream almost did not end, or so I thought. But when I woke up, I knew the dream has ended.

Freud was well-known for his Interpretation of Dreams, revolutionary or mere-fictitious-on-the-surface, it unquestionably shook the currencies: what we repress when we are awake, they found themselves in our dreams, either condensed or displaced, they come out in the open in our dreams, and perhaps making us feel better when we wake up.

But those were just theories, and theories are always arguable. Years will generate new theories, making modifications, making adjustments, destroying establishments. Many have reworked Freud but today I seemed to have gathered enough pluck to ponder on him and his work, and write them here.

Everyday is like a dream. While in Freud’s time, the need for repressions are said to arise because of the society’s codes, today, the tricky permissiveness of the society changed repression into selective denial. When I wake up for my 7am class, the world Freud describes seems to end on one hand, yet seem to continue on the other. I wake up and drag myself to the dream-like world of Harry Potter, Chowking Lauriat and teenage crushes where the beautiful seems to be the only choice since we deny its opposite. Everything is bearable because this is a dream-like world and it will console us, make us forgetful of all our worries and failures.

And in analogy, or in other words, the dream-likeness of things, our need for consolation and the miseries of life, they are also our jokes and pretensions, our need to buffer reality, and our real thoughts, feelings, predicaments. We just find them unbearable but we want to make ourselves believe that we can bear them somehow. The misery is that we can never fathom the world, or other people, even ourselves. And what constitutes that small parcel of a thin line that we can fathom but the concrete miseries of life. They are not hard to arrest because we experience them right in our every walking and waking hour.

So we dream the days away. And dreams no longer go with sleeping, but in the vastness of everyday, everywhere – awake and alive, in the market or in a motel. I won’t tell you I’m mad at you, I’ll just say I don’t feel well today. I won’t tell you are annoying me, I’ll just tell you you’re jokes are not funny anymore. I won’t call you a janitor; I’ll call you a sanitary engineer. We won’t call ourselves exploited Third World countries, but developing countries.

That is amusing at first, then frustrating when it starts getting into your vulnerable sensibilities. We consciously create these dreams because we want to relegate the shouting miseries in our midst into our subconscious, if not the unconscious. We want to forget them, even only for a while, an hour or two. And oh, it would be better if we do not knew them at all – but this is close to Ignorance is Bliss.

And so hooray to the blissful life: Bieber singing “That should be me” and making us feel that we are not alone in our heartbreaks, SM reinventing carnivals so that air-conditioning and a shot at the glamour of life is achievable even without spending, and SM sales somehow making the glamour of life more buy-able.

There have been a lot of words created to designate this phenomenon: escapism, apathy, false consciousness. There could be more to come, going farther from what is being signified, but names, we do not need them. Especially if they name our persistent/voluntary/conscious turning away from and refusing to confront the realities in our eyeballs.

Jokes, sarcasm, they are the most honest

We both pan the flames of our sarcasm, in chilly nights for instance since we fear of outcomes we don’t want to happen. Sarcasm is slanted irony, the dictionary defines and which I tailored for the purposes of this note, for the description of the way we would elude our inner truths just to get by riverside walks.

You see, sarcasm can be romantic after all. The way I would deflate malice in my meanings because they are just malice after all, nothing more. When I talk to you, I tried to be the sincerest of all, the most honest of all. Like I want to hold your hands and call the moon as witness to our dance with the night. Or I want to sit beside you in the tensions of everyday, and assure you journeys along tribulations will never be made alone again. Or I want to hear you talk about rooftops that nearly dilapidate because of the storm or the wind, or the clutter in your room from Monday to Sunday, or Samuel Beckett and persistently waiting and hoping despite the hopelessness fate designates.

But there are times, there are several times when I need to resort to sarcasm. I am sorry I have to make already partial truths more divided, farther from what I truly want to say. I am sorry I have to downplay my emotions, distort my messages, turn to euphemisms. I am often selfish, wary of misinterpretations. In other times, I underestimate you. You might not be able to confront the things I want to say, their weight that can pull off your feet and drag you to a terrifying netherworld. I might not be able to share hours with you again, if that happens. So I turn to sarcasm.

We could agree on the never-changing weight of the world, always obliging us to bear them and not fall to the ground. And in carrying a weight we will never ponder, we only have the slightest assurance that we will stay, flanking each other all the way. We turn to sarcasm to buffer the weight of the world; and on each other, we turn to sarcasm to protect the thinnest of strings that bind us, neither entertaining the idea of departure nor slacking off and merely enjoying the connection. I like to be with you is happiness and trust in one statement. But happiness and trust are not stable, and to keep us from falling apart from each other, I know we’ll eventually master the use of jokes and sarcasm to ultimately pan the flame that burns between us and keeps us happy and trusting.