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

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

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

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. 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. The black. and ergonomic. 11 .Ordinary Words Puppet What if gestures incline a word. It could be w__ i___ d ____ e______ r. purely arbitrary. Reach out to that knob. inclined _______________word ___________is a puppet controlled by key-strokes. The ground offers no affinity. 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.

the laptop powered down. The screen blanked. that a young boy found after riding a tuktuk whose driver charges fast forward. 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. Is it definable by numerical positions relative to base 10? How distant can spaces be from each other? So. what's after forever lingering is a question mark. with bumpy DVD presentation. old math counts in whole numbers much simpler than algebra. a media player on Windows. all Lego. 12 . Regardless. What is after forever? The precision of a caliper is not in question.Ordinary Words Seminar Notes A lecture is the music in the room.

Ordinary Words About Poems 13 .

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

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

Love & Marriage 16 .Ordinary Words Sex.

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

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

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

if you just say so. 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. black against an earth. what is felt under this different sky. I fear the rains took away whatever is left between us. if you let me. browned by lack of grass and trees. to superimpose images against what is seen. Before us are rocks. its past and present will be one.Ordinary Words To return To return is to shuffle recollections. Where we stood has been altered. This side of the mountain can return its color once again.

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

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

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

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

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

holding it firmly. 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. you. her eyes lingering in mine. There you are with eyes rapidly moving. 26 . dark. quiet. both of us anxious to be satisfied. tight. The entrée is served as I glanced down her thighs. Were you conserving whatever remained of your love's heat? I slide back into our marriage to exchange body heat with you.Ordinary Words Cold weather I whispered. 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 blanket parried against the cold. Her lips lighter than the cabernet sauvignon. were you dreaming of someone else keeping you warm? After Dinner I caught her gaze across the table. curled up into a fetal posture. "The cold weather is upon us. as her eyes remain fully-locked on mine." The cold breeze breathed to my face when I opened the fridge's door.

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. I sit here with the wailing tunes listening to a lady bawl her lines as if they were mine. overloads my nervous system. then back as I drink the wine. He is playing Mangione like a broken-heart’s groan. I tried the shower to wash away bites of longing for you. But your absence left its marks all over my mind. The saxophone moans. to cool it down. its cry lingering filling me up with notes. painful and itchy. When the saxophone moans Melancholy fills the wine glass. 27 . while despair hogs the seats around me. agile fingers would caress me. The longing lingers in every synapse where you used to be.Ordinary Words Your absence bites Your absence bites like ants that swarm on my skin. low. drifting high. holding it captive. If I were the saxophone. drain it off from consciousness like water to the sink. Instead.

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

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

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

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

32 . I recall. fallen on the pier. Your eyes were drained of tears long before by countless wounds from tripping over unsteady hearts. then free falls. Something else dies when wounds heal. It doesn't feel anything. you noted. I sighed. The moment flashes back: First out of the boat. now bloodied. 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.Ordinary Words When wounds heal Do you recall? you asked pointing to the scar on your knee. You didn't cry nor wince. I hear people raise their voices: Turning around I seeyou. 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. lost your balance when the boat moved and all your weight was carried by your knee. Yes. Internal Fracture I thought denials would not wear me down like metals straining against load but their repetition pressed my endurance to its limit.

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

The distinct sound of her wings. 34 . 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. whistling. confirms her reprise. she will choose to land.Ordinary Words On Valentine’s Day* He returns the card to its display row as if letting go a spent balloon. then shakes his head. he studies it like a pretty face in a coffee-drinking crowd. Parousia* He waits by the table like a disciple. His eyes did sparkle like a soda drink before the acid strikes a hungry stomach. her shadow sliding underneath the wooden door until a knock ruptures his silence-she calling out his name. Picking up another one. keeping watch for signs of her arrivalher feet shuffling.

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

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

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

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

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

a complex set of algebraic equations. Don't be distracted by her voluptuous data in long-winded clauses. April Fool’s Day I laughed when you said good-bye on April Fool's day. Plot on paper what you foundpoints of tangency. 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. as sunlight broke through the trees dotting the expressway. 40 .Ordinary Words A worded math problem She is a worded math problem. and break her down like a puzzle. simplify her complex polynomials. Go ahead.

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

Ordinary Words Death 42 .

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

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

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

the sun eclipsed by clouds. what is up next?' As he lays out what to expect.Ordinary Words Lost* He confides 'She only has a few days left. W(Age)s* "Stipendia enim peccati mors gratia autem. Where before the bride wears white. Soon. now black is the motif. 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." Breath-deprived. we'll reach the terminal (si non sola mors me et te separaverit) but the road is still bumpy up ahead. The day you leave I will be somewhere else looking for you in places we have been. I lost you in the details of many new morningsmourning.' Fighting the loss of breath I ask. the marriage is given up like doves let go on wedding day. 46 . 'So.

recalling times I rested my head on your slim shoulders. who will cut off the fly from a spider's fiber. and broke your heart. I miss you mom whenever I felt like saying 'thank you' for standing up beside me. I did run to you. You know I would but you left before i could.Ordinary Words Threads If life were measured like a thread. You know I would but you left before I could. made you sigh. 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. 47 . for the choices I made that differed from yours. I miss you whenever I am sad or lonely. the rain digs on the earth a shallow grave. You left before I could I miss you mom whenever I am happy. I miss you mom whenever I felt returning all the love you gave and shared. and wasted your time with my crazy lines. sought your warm embrace.

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

on this sunny day with the grass all green. disappearances are just too far away from us. 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. his physical laws. 49 . 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. In this vacuum. like nebulas signing off above our night sky beyond my span of attention as your dust is dispersed in this air.Ordinary Words No Better Time* It was a matter of bad timing. In a purposeless universe. but the earth's embrace keeps you from us. there is no room for the sound of your agony. Death happens here regularly. demonstrating Einstein.

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

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

Ordinary Words Images 52 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ordinary Words Others 59 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ordinary Words 67 .

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