Ordinary Words

(DRAFT)

Ordinary Words
By Regino Joel B. Josol
Compiled 2012

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Ordinary Words

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Ordinary Words
INTRODUCTION

I have never considered myself a poet, just someone who writes poems. My first try was in my teen years. It was more like an outlet for me – to release anger or love bottled up inside. I would later discover such exercises were more cathartic rather than art. Then, the world of the web came. I chose to “meet” with other people who write poems. The online workshop helped me mature my writing from what it was until then cathartic. I associated online and offline with the PinoyPoet® Yahoo! group who cared about their writing and whose individual members received recognition for their writing. It was this association that help defined what I wanted to do with my writing. I consider my pieces as work in progress. I tried to write about anything that provoked me. But mostly they were just exercises. I wrote them for what I felt then was the beauty I found in it. There were many times I was lazy and did not have anything specific to say or wanted to say in a poem. They ended up in the trash bin. In fact, a lot did. Of the pieces I felt were worthy to be compiled, these were mostly experiences that had some significance in my life. For ease of recognition by readers, I categorized the compilation into categories. I don’t have formal education in this. But I did educate myself from books of several authors and critics of anthologies, and history and philosophy of writing in literature.

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...........................................13 Sex..............................16 Death .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................63 4 .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5 Word Play .........59 Index............................................................................................Ordinary Words Contents Sections .......................................................................................................................52 Others................................................................................................................................... Love & Marriage ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................42 Images ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 6 About Poems ..................................

Ordinary Words Sections Word play About poems Sex. love and marriage Death Images Others 5 .

Ordinary Words Word Play 6 .

Ordinary Words
A Matter of Fact*
Waking up is greater than walking up, if and only if the length of arms else reach out to get ration. What if they were reduced to fractionsarms, legs, eyes, heads- can blood drops re-assemble the whole from a pool? Fool! It is the number that counts. To kill or keel over is just semantics. Watch closely the substitutions. Sorry, the final answer has been rigged. The equation was just to distract from the matter of fact.

Straight Lines*
But the shortest path between any two points is not the point. A straight path does not exist for all surfaces. Sour faces are not attractive. In fact, no face exists for the humiliated But that is pointless despite the pores. The bottom line is a collection of points under the table, a flat surface generous with straight lines. Are there gay lines?

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Ordinary Words
No Rule of Three
To get a message across a screen using bullets, follow the rule of three. The rule of thirds keeps subjects in focus too. But, there are supposed to be exceptions. A riddle may not subscribe to rules. A bullet-riddled body violates this rule. To count is a basic skill. Can you reach beyond 56? What is the sound of 100 guns each firing three bullets? and more? You would have discovered no new rules. There are no women or children to isolate. There are only objectives. Even in peace time, the earth is wet with bloodied bodies.

Intersection
Not wanting to lose his way in the labyrinth of lines, an intersection offers a distraction from semantics and antics, of word picks complying with rules, assuming roles coerced on them, as symbols or signs isolated from this and that. But, how does one move away off the fringes of a Venn diagram?

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Ordinary Words
Your exit
You are here. There is no site map as guide to find the nearest exit. A scan for the familiar (I am no liar) will not yield the path. Stay and check each word instead. Get drenched in the meaninglessness. Don't look at your watch wondering when will I point the way out. How much time do you have? I only have one period left.

Fly*
There are lies and there are flies. These will not take you to the moon or flay you before the stars. Interestingly, like parent-birds, the instinct is to fight back, kamikaze-like: fly to the depths and crash. But, the advertised phytochemicals aren't scraping the fat off my veins: Come on, burn, baby, burn. What do I do with you now and how? Look, the plate left unfinished, has a fly feasting on it.

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irritating your inability to fill in between the sound from lips that wishes to open up. in that skyscraper. by night.a coffee-table book. 10 . That window glass cleaner is blocking my sight. If the power goes out while in a lift. of the printer's being out of paper. blackened by smog. don't panic. I will enjoy the drift. the shield of yellow light where I am. she does not care.Ordinary Words Black Sky* There is no visible city crow circling this sky. But I am here. Are the little wings crippled or is this the loneliness of my pillows? I demand your daily tribute of smiles when the sun is up high. to send v i and jar br a t ion s. closed. Silence surrounds me. Who knows? This could be my black sky. Yet.

Insight The enlightenment desired when reading lines lies in control. turn it clockwise and see the brightness rise and pupils dilate in search of meanings in b ______ r _______o ____ken lines. 11 . Reach out to that knob.Ordinary Words Puppet What if gestures incline a word. inclined _______________word ___________is a puppet controlled by key-strokes. The only li__ m____ i_ t__ a___ t i o n is not in the ___________depth but the w_ i__ d_ t h of your screen. It could be w__ i___ d ____ e______ r. and ergonomic. The ground offers no affinity. how much weight is there before dropping out of view? Saliva drips ________________over ________________the _______f ________a __________l ____________ling _____________word but gravity is a separate influence. The black. purely arbitrary.

old math counts in whole numbers much simpler than algebra. Regardless. with bumpy DVD presentation. but it is neither time for ringing alarms nor for the pop-up window offering a view of friends asking questions about lunch on the Chinese restaurant five blocks. what's after forever lingering is a question mark. What is after forever? The precision of a caliper is not in question. the laptop powered down. The screen blanked. a media player on Windows. Is it definable by numerical positions relative to base 10? How distant can spaces be from each other? So.Ordinary Words Seminar Notes A lecture is the music in the room. all Lego. that a young boy found after riding a tuktuk whose driver charges fast forward. 12 .

Ordinary Words About Poems 13 .

Homecoming The dinner is cold. But the owner is not around. as fortune would have it. held by a lanyard on its neck. The readers are like passers-by. to spill like seeds. watching the immobile body hang quietly. and the house is sealed. tonight. and so they wait until its neck gets broken and leave. 14 . Perhaps. I wait like a wife for a knock on the door of my thoughts. a seat remains vacant. until the dog wags itself and wails. the writer pulls back the poem out of view. No one feels it right to make the climb. But. its entire length suspends from the edge.Ordinary Words Like a dog The poem hangs like a dog. like a husband words will come. the entry is only by climbing to the front porch.

the paper murkier than the road. With every word frostbitten. overhead lights. lines fall apart. from where his lines hang down to expose a body. But it was silent about the freezing rain over piled up snow. the sort that makes people fall asleep or warm themselves up with books. twisted. words give up their spirit while coffee and melatonin deliver their coup de grace. leaving the TV set on all night. 15 . and colored blankets. A dead poem His poem lifted my eyes to the ceiling of his ambition. breathless.Ordinary Words Zero degrees Celsius The weather forecast for the city is below zero degrees Celsius. My poem chills in the cold. I try to lead it somewhere but it didn't have winter clothes to bear with the rain and wind.

Love & Marriage 16 .Ordinary Words Sex.

But. its weight. You might chance to catch a glance. Your conversation recently has turned to therapies. You'll be puzzled. disappointed and confused: lovelorn. to raise the hope that it is here somewhere.haste makes waste. quick. its texture. Maybe if the wonder remains. Run it through a search engine but you will not find a lover's vocabulary in it. I only took notice of your hand. but I do recall the only wild thought I kept: to run away with you. You enjoyed the mountain hikes. The lines are deliberate to lead you on. but I only looked to the glow of your eyes. give me a second look.Ordinary Words A love poem* I will not give away that this is a love poem. I only see a bride's face fair and unblemished as the day we said our vows. Stare at it long. and the thick crown canopy. the sound of water falling from a height. You worried too much about the cold air inside malls when strolling along its wide corridors. of bottles and pills but hey. Be smitten with written words promising bonding with page. it is like courtship where the thrill is in the chase. The rule remains. elusive. intermittent. 17 . Still Clear* It's not exactly clear which words became the vow we made before God and men.

anything I touch is too warm. but the air turbulence will shake me awake instead. I miss the coolness of your skinmy fingers wrapped around your arms. spot lit on the laptop. The airplane's ceiling lamps are all turned-off but you are my reading light.Ordinary Words So Dry and Still* In this summer heat. 18 . may appear to shake you off my thoughts. my fingers busy on the keys. on a long haul flight. I wish for your shade-like presence in this air so dry and still. Maybe. Distracted To fall asleep on this seat. it's the best way to ride this disturbance: youdistracting me.

with words. In the shadows* To where shadows and road wind as one. looking back at you. and not sure how to end. but never letting go of the rain. simple and sweet. It's like that nimbus hovering in your sky. I descend. It doesn't know how to start. 19 . those parts of you and me unenlightened. It doesn't come with a bouquet either wrapped with eucalyptus or rosemary’s. testing my resolve against the steepness of the mountains. with nice colors and illustrations. It doesn't have a dried rose petal with leaves and stem on the page. the sun gone leaving what we have between us obscured.Ordinary Words This is not a love poem (again) The sort you'll find in bookstores and greeting card racks.

black against an earth. Before us are rocks. to superimpose images against what is seen. Have you seen love? Is it something we can speak about or pass over in silence? Is it warm like a poem on paper lying on the pavement at noon? Can it be contained in a bottle and instructed how to spring from it? Can it be measured like a meter in rhythmic pulses along a line? If I say 'I love you' is there a picture in your mind? Is it the same as mine? 20 . I can plant seeds here and there. its past and present will be one. if you let me.Ordinary Words To return To return is to shuffle recollections. Where we stood has been altered. I fear the rains took away whatever is left between us. if you just say so. browned by lack of grass and trees. what is felt under this different sky. This side of the mountain can return its color once again.

I studied you with maps. 'i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)'. A poet wrote. and integrity. I will carry yours in mine so you can fill up all the space. into love's unmeasured depths. So. will. Your reflection starboard side. 21 . You fell onto this orbit. declare to me thisDilectus meus mihi et ego illi qui. on this starry night. I promise this as God demands of me to love you with all my mind. So. but by it our love we pledged. your star's glow just above the horizon of this plain heart. A Promise to Keep The heart is treacherous. to predict your journey across my sky while sleep agreed to let me be intoxicated by your sight. wary of its fickleness unraveling what we held. my love's weight denting space where you spin. made me grip the railings lest I fall.Ordinary Words Starboard* Tonight my eyes chance upon.

Soon. The breeze is still cold. The breeze has gotten stronger. I tried again. Were those points eyes I would have believed him. slapping me outright. clean but stiff like your eyes. you can close the door. So. as if demanding why I had not moved on instead of lingering by the half-open door. The shortest distance between you and me I once read a poet who wrote a brief poem he said something like the shortest distance between two points is love. 22 . Your welcome is only for the pet dog. it is going to rain and I am still here looking at you. and leaves of my memory are no longer here. one more time approaching the water crashing by the boat's side with its thousand moving points. I will leave. I can still see some trees left from my childhood but without fruit. Do I see an end-point in your eyes? I think I like what I see. Tap my shoulder and turn my face towards you. It's alright. on what is now a paved road. But mathematicians will disagree.Ordinary Words Half-Open Door I do not know what to expect standing before this old house. The dust. rocks. citing Euclid's axiom number one.

Instead. The warmth from my omelet did not reach you to thaw the icy silence from your lips.Ordinary Words After the rain* While the downpour blurs the colors outside the window pane. Cold breakfast With half-engaged brain. I let you cling to me as if to drench my shirt. I wished I had remained in some dream scape where stories can be altered to bring up better endings. you alone appear like a torrent washing down my face. the sky breaking out in blue and here I am still soaking from you. I have a pair of shoulders served cold for breakfast. I woke up to this day. 23 . The cup of hot coffee can't sip away the cold space between you and me. but you left so soon.

you were gazing at the Powerpoint slide. You have my respect. a different Cupid but as sharp. 24 . Your fingers keep sweeping through your black hair. beautiful lotus flower afloat in the waters of Lumphuni. Like black smoke ascending from the military jeep. his target within range. your accent Thai. Your lips squint like your eyes. tapping my shoulder for each visual lapse.Ordinary Words Bleeding wound Like a bleeding wound from bullet holes of the ambushed soldier in the street of Mogadishu. leaving behind scars. Your Chinese skin was the only bright thing next to the white coffee cup. burning. You will remember even after wounds heal. love can scorch your heart with passion. passion pours out from love. I smile recalling the laughter in your eyes as rain drops drip on the jumbo jet's window pane. with rebels dancing around him. firing his rifle at the right moment. light rain was falling on Ploenchit Road. Lumphuni Lotus Flower It was overcast in Bangkok the day we met. love knows when to claim victory. Your eyes seemed brown as they studied mine but really. The black Mogadishu boy smiled. Your eyes were sharper than my glasses. Like burns from explosives.

in the bed sheet. overflowing with sensual sounds. well-arranged. exposing our skin to the moon. in the pillows. The blanket is not as warm as you. from where you would have been staring at me with the moon in your eyes. Let us fill it with groans mixing with the embers of your passion heating up mine. as she outlines your desirable curves. with each space locking your scent. perhaps wondering what we are up to. I prefer that you fill it with your sound bite in every corner. as we ignite a brilliant glow. I am not used to space draped with loneliness. so that she may envy us. while the full moon peeks through our curtain.Ordinary Words This bed* This bed is different without you. This bed is different without you. 25 . My body sinking into it is not the same as yours sinking into it too. I prefer it to be disorderly when we play love's games. I prefer it to be creaking. your laughter. inactivity nor to its bed sheets and pillows over it. the blanket removed. I'm not used to its silence.

were you dreaming of someone else keeping you warm? After Dinner I caught her gaze across the table. tight. Her lips lighter than the cabernet sauvignon. Can chocolates really make me happy? But what if they are cold and stiff like a wife? Can my palms melt her? I went back up the stairs into a room." The cold breeze breathed to my face when I opened the fridge's door. The blanket parried against the cold. you. The entrée is served as I glanced down her thighs. curled up into a fetal posture. Were you conserving whatever remained of your love's heat? I slide back into our marriage to exchange body heat with you. dark. both of us anxious to be satisfied. as her eyes remain fully-locked on mine. bringing it close to her breasts. I wished I were the glass she sips from and that she would sip from it often while her hands envelop the glass.Ordinary Words Cold weather I whispered. quiet. her eyes lingering in mine. There you are with eyes rapidly moving. "The cold weather is upon us. holding it firmly. 26 .

27 . The longing lingers in every synapse where you used to be. Instead. while despair hogs the seats around me. agile fingers would caress me. If I were the saxophone. holding it captive.Ordinary Words Your absence bites Your absence bites like ants that swarm on my skin. painful and itchy. overloads my nervous system. I tried the shower to wash away bites of longing for you. then back as I drink the wine. The saxophone moans. But your absence left its marks all over my mind. When the saxophone moans Melancholy fills the wine glass. He is playing Mangione like a broken-heart’s groan. to cool it down. its cry lingering filling me up with notes. drain it off from consciousness like water to the sink. I sit here with the wailing tunes listening to a lady bawl her lines as if they were mine. echoing ripples of rhythm across my length And I would not let go of passionate lips blowing solitude away from me until the sax and I groan as one. drifting high. low.

our very own endurance race. artfully hiding the complexities and compromises of our lives. Twenty-one years is a long journey from 'I do' to I still do. unadorned vow. one rose for each year. asking for my order of twenty-one roses.Ordinary Words Worth more than twenty-one roses The flower vendor called up today. sprinkled with little white flowers. You went from lovely to lovelier. I thanked the vendor for remembering: our twenty-one years is worth more than twenty-one roses. We were bound together like a bouquet of twenty-one roses. I will join you to loveliest with this hand and eyes for you to hold and behold. I learned to evade the thorns of life while I held you. my red rose. deep green stalkmy simple. The first rose came with a promise of longevity in its long. 28 . like children and mother.

the sun is unhindered. Up here. Ten hours in heaven did not do me good. blue skies stretch all over. The wine didn't weaken the threads weaving in my head about you. the isolation kept me anxious of our fragile link that held on like sunlight to the window.000 feetif these were ordinary strings they would have snapped.Ordinary Words This heaven This morning I was lifted up to heaven at a speed of 500 miles an hour. my heart's thoughts with yours. piercing the massive clouds to where the sun shines with clarity at 31. but they remained tied up to you. 29 .

grey and black fabric hiding the strength of steel partly exposed underneath its structure. But unlike me. it doesn't care for your absence nor for the silence of the space where you once were. nor a squeak from the metal support whenever you turned around my way. is undiminished by the checkered. No sound from the rollers pressing on the carpet every time you shifted your weight. It remained still. touching the stiff black arms. stowed under your desk. 30 .Ordinary Words Empty Space The sensuality of the curve flowing downward. on its two sides.

to dislodge the loneliness draping my heart. to let go. I unlock the belt that held my thoughts that could stagger in the corridor while the safety-belt warning sign flashes in the ceiling. The featured movie played. 31 . to boom myself. The blanket did not warm me the way her smiles or the light from her eyes would have.Ordinary Words Vanishing point The jet engines' increasing decibels fill up the runway while the body of the plane shakes.where she probably hides. the earth expelling it into the air. to tell her my good-bye. Sleep came over to turn off the lights while all my thoughts scampered away into its own skycloudy and black. like the earth the plane. Above the clouds I see stars appearing. I want to roar. I look down at earthly objects vanishing to a point. but my attachments stall my lift. I waited for a star to look into my eyes. ended but I didn't care.

32 . then free falls. Something else dies when wounds heal. The moment flashes back: First out of the boat. the view distracted mea green sea of shrubs and grass mixing with blue of mountains while ocean waves break up into white foam stumbling on the beach. It fractured me in ways invisible to you spreading like a crack until we are pulled apart like metals tired of each other where the sex hurts like the weight of a jet engine sheared from the wing. now bloodied. You didn't cry nor wince. Internal Fracture I thought denials would not wear me down like metals straining against load but their repetition pressed my endurance to its limit. you noted.Ordinary Words When wounds heal Do you recall? you asked pointing to the scar on your knee. Your eyes were drained of tears long before by countless wounds from tripping over unsteady hearts. lost your balance when the boat moved and all your weight was carried by your knee. It doesn't feel anything. I recall. I sighed. fallen on the pier. I hear people raise their voices: Turning around I seeyou. Yes.

pretending to rush to dinner and meet a friend. The window offered only blurs of colors and shapes for distraction. That turn. a mild jolt. I went ahead like other tourists to Orchard Road. Arriving in the new station. You either move forward across this haze or watch her diminishing in importance. doors open again. I crossed Orchard Road in the rain without my rain coat. Raining in Orchard Road* Though an alien to Singapore weather. finally moved the train away from her. left behind like someone I wished should have been here. while everyone else hurried to MRT or a bus terminal as the rain poured. anchored in the past with eyes still legible despite the tears and rain. But your sigh is too far from the window to smear it with doors now closed to any afterthought. If only one's heart could quickly do the same.Ordinary Words In the New Station The transit time was brief as promised. 33 .

His eyes did sparkle like a soda drink before the acid strikes a hungry stomach. she will choose to land. whistling. 34 . Picking up another one. he studies it like a pretty face in a coffee-drinking crowd. The distinct sound of her wings. then shakes his head.Ordinary Words On Valentine’s Day* He returns the card to its display row as if letting go a spent balloon. her shadow sliding underneath the wooden door until a knock ruptures his silence-she calling out his name. keeping watch for signs of her arrivalher feet shuffling. Home* He has never done thistrust her memory that when her wings get tired from wandering and looking down she sees the houses and recognize this nest. confirms her reprise. Parousia* He waits by the table like a disciple.

At the pier's platform. Starting Over Like a thick smoke. Miniloc Waters* She is the dawn striking tent off the waters leaving behind the crags. reduced. breaking up his thoughts. unable to find a high ground from her good-bye. determined to find an image of herself in the centerfold of his mind. Her stay is quickly dispersed but her blue cast on his face lingers. withdrawn like a lamp's glow. Its flood waters take him away. the horizon remains sunless. His image appearing before wind-sent rains splash on its pane. each one aloof.Ordinary Words Centerfold She is not done yet browsing his thoughts like she does his magazines. scanning each one from his eyes. But he knew this storm could drench him. 35 . the clouds dim the tinted window glass.

Detox You don't come home to my embrace. After all. the taste of your love on my lips made me swerve on this road I thought I knew wellits curves. opening access to depths where breaths are pushed like rapids among rocks. face down. fasting sheds weight of anxieties. foot on brake pedal. the detox will complete purging us of each other. unwavering: I know when to stop. While car in full speed. sinking into it like a cut-down log.Ordinary Words Unrestrained The warm fluid swirls. surrounds like a tight knot breaking into. Tired to say hello or share an evening meal. wanting instead the bed. and humpsunafraid of a little hassle on the wheel. speech still smooth. The new clarity is as striking as the gap between us in the bed. euphoric and red-faced yet my vision is still clear. you know I don't mind missing another one. you disappeared like a headlight failing on an unlit road- 36 . In a couple more weeks. But I am past the fog induced by your abstention. My craving disappeared. pot holes. Tipsy. Unlit Road Unable to hold my quench after the first sip.

river. But this I rememberyou on my camera viewfinder: your dew-glazed skin shimmering under autumn light. with mountains and snow to complete the photograph. pouting against the sun's red-purple light. your long. I don't miss Boston looking at your photograph: Not its coffee shops. ebony hair quietly fastened on your exposed shoulders. wet with rain. 37 . You are far more beautiful than all the maple or birch trees here ablaze in reds and oranges. the brilliance of lamp posts reflected on the pavement. arms. nor the shade of trees.Ordinary Words You Are as quiet as a city street after the evening rains of September but prettier than this scene in black and white. your lips.

sad. Come.Ordinary Words Our Skies As a pair. The Train Ride is Over The train ride is over like a love song slowing down. and you are its sun but in yours. the time to part has drawn near. I feel unsure if we see the same sky. I mean to say good-bye like friends but you would not let me catch your eyes. Outside the train car I stand to gaze at you as the doors snap back: just like a refrain ending. sweet. Mine is full of blue. see your roses appear vibrant in this light if only you would leave your cloudful sky for mine. 38 . sunlight concedes its space to grey.

This new year’s eve it reads like an expired claim stub. said hello to raise body heat or kept her hair as cover for his armsthe things he needed to unlearn. This New Year’s Eve You used my pants' pocket as drop box. It was New year’s eve when I pulled it out. signed with your name. The metal remains cold while daylight struggles to break out. in time for the fireworks. slipping into it a note (a raffle entry to win your heart?). She would have smiled across to him.Ordinary Words Cold Seat The day's first rain restrains the morning light but the cold from the waiting area's metal bench. I bet. 39 . is amplified by faces and voices unfamiliar. The PA announces boarding time. distracting.

April Fool’s Day I laughed when you said good-bye on April Fool's day. as sunlight broke through the trees dotting the expressway. 40 . Plot on paper what you foundpoints of tangency. simplify her complex polynomials.Ordinary Words A worded math problem She is a worded math problem. Don't be distracted by her voluptuous data in long-winded clauses. and break her down like a puzzle. Go ahead. a complex set of algebraic equations. I replied that I myself was leaving just biding my time expecting a screen full of smileys from your reply but all I got was you insistent like the sunlight flashing against my eyes on not being there when I get home tonight.

Ordinary Words Epilogue She will let him go like a book. She had moved on past his breadth. ____________the monsoon rains drenched them. will she miss nights of him laying on her breasts. ____________to undefined depths of insanity. from where anguish ____________does not rise to be heard. It is a heavy log to carry ____________whose weight will plunge it down my mental chasm. but muted by ____________a thick air of uncertainty where love like a flame ____________ can only glow faintly. There is no reminder. Pieces There is no bridge____________ nor causeway between your absence ____________and my desire. nor smoke that can rise ____________to advertise my longing or traces of it in ____________burnt ashes or embers for you to look upon. his laughter’s consumed. their time together flipping over like scanned pages towards the end. 41 . exhausted. pushing them onto our gap. ____________nor signal. With her reading done. its pages once held down her gaze. ____________crashing down on sharp surfaces to break up _________________________like pieces of myself. whose cover once attracted her. under a lamp's glow? She takes note of what's left of his borrowed time.

Ordinary Words Death 42 .

is a false hope once overcast gets here. 43 . Today. I've got a box I can't get myself to start filling up. I kept peering at the ceiling for no reason. sunlight flashes on and off while clouds assemble overhead. Signs of you were in every corner: that small picture frame that kept your smile. one afternoon. But. and the laptop full of logs of our chat. streaming through the curtains. Daylight. It is likely too soon for a thunderstorm.Ordinary Words Not Being Here* On the window panes. that graffiti you wrote on the wall with your lipstick. while rain water dripped on the window glass. those magazines you asked me to buy regularly. A Box to Fill Up* Once in this room. and the room was deprived of daylight. It was a downpour. There is no breeze to cool the skin. at 36 degrees Centigrade. the rains came. what do I know? Your cancer spread like clouds in what had been a blue sky. At 8pm this evening.

Ripped Apart This is a perilous season. falls the first rain showers mixing you. 44 . Why count bodies in peace time? Something about parts and whole.Ordinary Words This summer has ended When reds. and the lake's deep blue has turned into shades of grey While on this ground. earth and tearsa good-bye to many shared summers. while watching early morning TVHave you found a newspaper to cover them? In the calm morning flexing his two arms. Today. father lifts from the flood waters his dead son. I asks. they are still dead. yellows and greens have lost their brilliance. Some content may not be suitableIn color or black-and-white. brown and dry. This is more than just an inconvenient fact: keeping your feet wet in disease-infested waters. I agree.

There never will be a good time ever. 45 . To nurse loneliness like a wound. no longer gasping for air. can now rest. that my pain like skin scratched by thorns ignored when running away from hunters. As clouds keep shifting. the color of the bed sheet. but love is not bound by them or any other. Jonathan* 'Tis not when a heart beat goes full stop and eyes then lose the power of its stare. your body still warm.Ordinary Words To my brother. and dress it every day until it dries. Rainy August A sunny 8am did not come true. bleed and cry for attention. to finally say my good-byeWe have few words for each other. a gust hits the window pane just when I looked away. The weatherman did forecast lots of rain for August. Nor when the sheet is stretched to cover up your full length. after the doctor said you are gone. the sky looking grayish white. is to hope a healing can be found.

46 . We haven't paid ours but the debt collector will soon find our address and he might not care about the house or the old car.' Fighting the loss of breath I ask. we'll reach the terminal (si non sola mors me et te separaverit) but the road is still bumpy up ahead. now black is the motif.Ordinary Words Lost* He confides 'She only has a few days left." Breath-deprived. The day you leave I will be somewhere else looking for you in places we have been. the marriage is given up like doves let go on wedding day. what is up next?' As he lays out what to expect. W(Age)s* "Stipendia enim peccati mors gratia autem. the sun eclipsed by clouds. Where before the bride wears white. I lost you in the details of many new morningsmourning. Soon. 'So.

Ordinary Words Threads If life were measured like a thread. I did run to you. sought your warm embrace. I miss you whenever I am sad or lonely. for the choices I made that differed from yours. You left before I could I miss you mom whenever I am happy. You know I would but you left before I could. 47 . who will cut off the fly from a spider's fiber. You know I would but you left before i could. recalling times I rested my head on your slim shoulders. made you sigh. the rain digs on the earth a shallow grave. and broke your heart. dead and swinging like a pendulum? How many threads can bury a spider with legs dismembered by soldier ants crawling over his upside-down body? Stirring the mud. and wasted your time with my crazy lines. I miss you mom whenever I felt returning all the love you gave and shared. I miss you mom whenever I felt like saying 'thank you' for standing up beside me.

Where now is the "aplaya" that was green far and wide. The old river carrying the motor bancas lost its pride. the gasping for breath as if drowning. the warm sensation of finality. Macabebe The landscape has changed after Apo Omeng died. frustrations took residence. crowding out the life-force until choked. Lahar came to bury the memories in mud. Where will the "anaks" play under the watchful guide of an apo calling each back when the day is done? The landscape has changed after Apo Omeng died. in his morning ride? It used to be the day's call. sun-dried. sun-dried. Where is the "magtitinapay's" honking horn. a summer morn' has begun. The landscape has changed after Apo Omeng died. heartaches. 48 . The landscape has changed after Apo Omeng died. sun-dried. In the mud. the opening encloses an anger that has ruptured as violent as the blood filling up my lungs to an overflow. all doors opening to life locked. all entry points sealed.Ordinary Words Knife in my throat The sharp knife pierces through as it were my malfunctioning mind where once inside. both in bloom? Lahar came to bury the memories in mud. Lahar came to bury the memories in mud. as the full blade goes through my throat. and the lass with her lad.

like nebulas signing off above our night sky beyond my span of attention as your dust is dispersed in this air. but the earth's embrace keeps you from us. In a purposeless universe. Death happens here regularly. there is no room for the sound of your agony.Ordinary Words No Better Time* It was a matter of bad timing. 49 . disappearances are just too far away from us. his physical laws. demonstrating Einstein. Einstein asserted enough about spaces and for you it meant no vacancy. There is no better time for gravity to bring you back to me. In this vacuum. Green Grass I watch the flowers fall between the small spaces of earth surrounding your new home before my tears blur my sight as I look down. on this sunny day with the grass all green.

Today.' So you went on like husbands and wives do. their weight. how they dragged you away from your routine. a brief statement was sent out to all of us friends. 'It has not reached Stage 1.' I looked at you then. calculating my words.Ordinary Words Simple Statements It started with your simple disclosure: 'I have a tumor in my lymph nodes. except from this you couldn't divorce. only the agent of coercionthe one who bored a hole into your head. who tried to make your blood spill to the right instead of leftwill remember this place. Rightist Burial When you're dead and grass has sprouted off your grave with flash flood rushing to pile mud over you again.a search for hope. echoing the pain I never knew. that you passed away 8:30 amthe moment when death did us part. a different life. I heard your violent coughing. their tone. to match yours. One gallon of liquid was taken out of my lungs. 'The chemo is not working.' I thought I saw something in your eyes that reminded me of mornings after my wife and I had quarreled. 50 . When the earth dries up and the grass over you withers then perhaps one stray dog's nose will help us find your skull with a hole that the bullet pierced.

displayed in the bodies destroyed. and keeps him warm. holds him tight.Ordinary Words Instructions for Timothy She lifts him up. Thoughts of another morning make her cry. the cold advancing to this moment. before complying with doctor's orders to remove him from equipment. Grease. She kisses him as morphine flows. His tongue was cut. stormed through doors as it were to expose her vagina. slit her throat. The clouds came like a blanket over him. for their collection. His tormentors fried up his brain. The young man is the look of a city destroyed. They pulled down her underwear like walls. and leave blood under her nape. his wide-open eyes confirm. dirt stuck on his skin like ruins of a fallen city. the cold completing its embrace. finger nails pulled. The stars come out in the autumn sky to be her witnesses when the nurse pulls away the tubes from him. The old man is like a tower fallen on the pavement. teeth broken. 51 . His head was severed off. an eye bored through. daylight fading. Craftsmanship Violence has levels of craftsmanship. She was like a fortress broken through.

Ordinary Words Images 52 .

in his thoughts.Ordinary Words New Year Fragments Darkness breaks up into colors then black. Violent waters Her finger met the steam half-way. leaked by rain clouds above the garden where I stood. then the blast. You are still here. 53 . as it plunges into the cup. The ears catch first the silence. the shrill bouncing on the walls. like a New Year's eve fireworks. It could break an ear drum. A red rose A red rose held in my hand caught my tears on its petals like dew shimmering from the sunlight's kiss. blinking off and on in his memory. He carries on between the presence and absence.

lips locked with another Sucking life in from each other. whose door was used for his makeshift bed. after clearing debris off him. found him curled. and a Chinese textbook over his face. Every morning exposed by the window light are bodies littering the floor from another night of revelryBare and unmasked. as if running away stillwith white rubber shoes. Morning after Halloween The masks last night worn under the Halloween full moon Were kissing each other on the floor unmindful of the beer cans and confetti lying around them. Strange masks. gore When the wearers meant to enjoy life to catch a glimpse of wandering eyes that may find themselves locked in yours. each one celebrating death. 54 . In this side of town. every night is Halloween As hands catch another. His friend later found him among the rows of the dead. stumbled over the shaking earth and the tumbling concrete. fallen like a house collapsed by a great quake. jogging suit in red and blue. The tremor sprinted past him.Ordinary Words The Chinese sprinter He lies on the ground. as his legs failed to deliver more. blood.

touching the stars? Starlight trapped within the circles of the night. 55 . rain down through a powder-dense air.Ordinary Words Starry Nights There is sadness in the midnight sky Starlight trapped within the circles of the night. Why so much red and green inside a cafe with roomful of folks. its pieces fall. upright. Were you the lone. black tree on the canvas Strong. There is sadness in the midnight sky. estranged under the stars? There is sadness in the midnight sky. You love stars to decorate your canvas White and blue against the orange lamp light. Fireworks Fireworks rip this black sky to shreds of multi-colored streaks. Have I seen a bird fly on your canvas across the coarseness of your strokes? There is sadness in your midnight sky. Starlight trapped within the circles of the night. only to recollect and repair itself anew.

Another thing placed there for a reasonthat pink slip. a chair turned away from skyscrapers. From left to rightthe job. 56 . proud of their white teeth. But. for example. the friendships. a work space is neither home nor family. despite the long hours. smooth. the customer. the deadline and a few other things placed there for a reasona framed family photograph. the thousand meals. matte-yellow. where everyone smiles. a fixture sitting there for years beside the clock.Ordinary Words Work space He will miss this work space: a laminated desk.

jabbed deep by a spear. Each clawed itself into skin. blood. These ribs. dried. poured forth water of forgiveness. masked his face. this open fissure.Ordinary Words Sacrilege The children break out into laughter at the dining table turning his skin blood-red who holds sacred quiet communion meals as he raises his hand to break a bottle of ketchup on the nearest child's fair head. his crown for his head. streaming to cleanse an earth. sank death closer to the bones. blood-soaked. These bruises came from lies so wicked enveloped in fists whose blows spared neither body nor limbs. their pillars immovable like trash stuck in the river bed by Malacanan. His time of death3 pm. into flesh with every flagellum's whip. This back was disfigured. This skin. 57 . and torn open by sheep bones of hate. Typhoons and earthquakes have not displaced them. Friday. Old Quezon Bridge The network of steel trusses embed themselves on concrete like shadows of barbed wires and fences on protesters’ skin. This man These punctures on the head. lacerated. these lesions. was pierced by mockery and thousand insults weaved like spikes in thorn branches.

glazed in this early light. dew-washed. sketching the shape of your flesh like fruits.Ordinary Words Sketch The sea water stumbles. in a glossy spread. the linen clinging tightly on your skin. The waves pound your thighs. falls on your thighs. 58 .

Ordinary Words Others 59 .

he looks up at the Christ gazing down on those seated. his stern look. and its consequences. When his service ends. put up for his convenience. a poor boy serves like a sacristan. He leaves but another passenger gets in with his own Bible and pouch. where the next thing you see is a policeman's hand waving. 60 . Before his altar. Mobile Church The jeepney has an entry way and corridor leading to an image of Christ above the windshield. It can distract you like a high beam from an approaching car or much worse misread a Right-Turn traffic sign on the asphalt road. Faulty Exegesis Without a map. Here. a fair warning of an approaching discourse of a supposed error starting with definitions. the next best thing when evening driving is to learn fast how to read signs. then exegesis. to etymology of words. and even here critical thinking is key or be misled by false and make-shift signs some self-imposed authority.Ordinary Words Siesta in the afternoon's siesta. he raises his palms not to pray but to collect for alms. He cleans the passenger shoes as if to make them holy. head bowed and silentbreeze flips the book's pages.

dropping them on the floor. I watched him get close to me. 'I will take care of you' as he undressed. his weight pressing heavily. 'Buy yourself some candy. That Seemed Good He found me wandering in Quiapo* and offered to take me home.' That seemed good. rushing past the throat full of indigestible vocabulary others made me eat. Leaving a twenty-peso bill he told me.Ordinary Words My friend’s ear My friend's ear is my kitchen sink of stainless steel where I puke. he got up. That seemed good. Then. He said. My friend knows when to press the lever down on the pop-up drain.' He led me into a room where there was water and a bucket. he let go of the pants then underwear. I use it as my toilet bowl to defecate on.' That seemed good. He laid me down. My hair still wet. He said. 'You need a good bath to remove all that grease off your body. my bowels unable to halt fluid like secretion crashing against the white-glazed porcelain. 61 . First. when spasms and cramps contract my abdomen. He cleaned me up with soap. His hands polished parts of me to his satisfaction. He led me to a bed and said. bitter words pushing up like acid on my esophagus. to clear himself of all my stains. 'You need rest.

62 . beams severed when I disclosed my need to move on from all these manuals. The letter is left unopened on his desk like metal-bending waters that stayed. row of thick books. Gantt chart and calendars on the white board. chords.Ordinary Words Resignation Letter He's browsing some papers on the table where I extended my hand last unacknowledged hanging like a bridge fracturedties.

.........................................23 April Fool’s Day .......26 After the rain* ................................................................................................................................30 Epilogue ......................................................41 Faulty Exegesis ........................................51 Detox .................................................................................................................................43 A dead poem..........................................................................................................39 Cold weather .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................60 Fireworks .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................53 A worded math problem .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................35 Cold breakfast ...............................................21 A red rose .....Ordinary Words Index A Box to Fill Up* ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................15 A love poem* .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................36 Distracted .......................................................................40 After Dinner ....................................................................................................................................................................................................18 Empty Space .......................23 Cold Seat....26 Craftsmanship ..........................................................................................................24 Centerfold......................................................................55 63 ....................................................................................17 A Matter of Fact* .......................................................... 7 A Promise to Keep.....10 Bleeding wound ...................................................................40 Black Sky* .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................24 Macabebe .....................................................................................................53 No Better Time*...........................................................................................................................................................................................................14 Lost* .....................................................................................................................................................................................20 Home* .....................46 Lumphuni Lotus Flower ............................................................................19 Insight .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................54 My friend’s ear .......................Ordinary Words Fly* ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................14 In the calm morning ..............................................................................................................................................................................................22 Have you seen love? ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................34 Our Skies .................................................................11 Instructions for Timothy .................................51 Internal Fracture ............................48 Like a dog ........................57 On Valentine’s Day* .....................................................................................49 No Rule of Three .........................................43 Old Quezon Bridge ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................35 Mobile Church ........................................................................................................................................................41 Puppet .49 Half-Open Door ................................................. 9 Green Grass .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................33 In the shadows* ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................38 Parousia* ..............................11 64 ...........34 Pieces .........................................................60 Morning after Halloween ..............................................................................................................................................................................................34 Homecoming..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Knife in my throat .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 8 Not Being Here*................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 New Year Fragments ....................................................................44 In the New Station .................................................................................................................................................................................48 Miniloc Waters*........................................................................................32 Intersection......................................

.................................................................................................................................................................29 This is not a love poem (again) ........19 This man ..................................................................................................58 So Dry and Still* .................57 Seminar Notes .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 The Chinese sprinter ..................................................................................................................................................................................18 Starboard* ...............................................................21 Starry Nights ..............................57 This New Year’s Eve ..................................................................................................................44 Sacrilege .............................35 Still Clear* ............................................45 Resignation Letter ..................................... Jonathan* ..........................55 Starting Over .........................................................................................................................................................22 The Train Ride is Over .......................................10 Simple Statements .............................20 Unlit Road ..........................45 To return ......................................................................36 Unrestrained .......................................................................17 Straight Lines* .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................60 Silence ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................54 The shortest distance between you and me ...............................50 Sketch .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................38 This bed* ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................36 65 ..............................33 Rainy August ................................................................................................................. 7 That Seemed Good................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................62 Rightist Burial..........................................................................................................39 This summer has ended .................................................................................................................50 Ripped Apart ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................Ordinary Words Raining in Orchard Road* .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................44 Threads ...........................................................................................................................................................................47 To my brother...................................25 This heaven ....................12 Siesta ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

.......................31 Violent waters.......................................46 What is after forever? .37 Your absence bites .........................................................................................................12 When the saxophone moans ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................27 When wounds heal ..........................................................56 Worth more than twenty-one roses ............................................................................27 Your exit ......32 Work space ........................................................................................................................................................47 You ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................15 66 ............................................................. 9 Zero degrees Celsius .......................28 You left before I could ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................53 W(Age)s* .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Ordinary Words Vanishing point ...................................................................................................

Ordinary Words 67 .

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