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Posts Tagged ‘frame’

I hate my photograph,

it is not me-who stare

at you behind the mirror.

That false reflection

with curved lips,

chinkee-eyed to greet

a hello. To whom?

 

I don’t want witnesses

to frame me in that split-second

prison cell of disguise.

I buckle down, and sweating

my bones, electrocuted,

dead nervous of strangers’

gaze into my inner being.

 

I hate questions.

I hate it when you whitewash

a harsh reality with a soft answer.

It’s a scalpel dissecting

an organ, trying to find

hidden tumor that metastasized

blood flowing a river

and then you drowned

along with drowning the negative

until it sinked in.

 

Please,  tell the doctor.

He is not welcome here.

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I sense a dark storm is looming over.

Someone told me that I should not be afraid

of all the tragedy impending.  Even if the winds

blow me empty at will, I should not cower.

There are intruders- those unwelcomed visitors

breaking and entering the skin I lived in.

 

I forgot the keys, my memory slips

down in the labyrinth of forgetting.

I search for clues, deciphering a code

among the pages in the book of days.

 

I misplaced the sign- “don’t disturb”

among the shards of broken plates,

of broken glasses in the kitchen.

Where did I put our picture frame?

 

I can only hear whispers from strangers

whose faces I have seen for the first time.

Ruling my house as if they’re kings and queens

breaching  a territory, our serfdom of privacy.

 

I blame these disrespectful marauders

for letting me swim deeper into the pool.

I got tangled in the maze,  finding myself.

Don’t they know it’s an abyss down here?

 

Don’t they know how it feels to get lost

sinking deeper among piles and boxes

of photographs, of letters, searching-

a faint remembrance of the two of us.

 

They keep on robbing me of something.

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These wasteful hours

in the museum hall

exhibiting the exploits,

critics alike

are flocking over,

in desperate attempt

unlocking

digesting

the meaning of a mystery

to which is none.

Blabber-mouthing platitudes

and bloated praises.

The body of work.

 

You will see how

this culture of patronage

drains the penniless,

being subjects

fallen prey-

caged

framed

to a prisoned canvas

of posing nude.

 

In a night enveloped

by a faked light.

Revealing,

showing

some fleshly delight

while acting out

a cheap scene ripped 

from the page

of a slut magazine.

 

An art nouveau.

A magnum opus

on which they praise

the painter,

and not the one

whose eyes

are staring back

from the canvas

like a muted witness-

mocking,

despising

the cultured whims

of the bourgeoisie.

 

They call it art.

And you shudder

at a thought, when

you know it is

a meaningless,

empty accolade.

Worth a few

hundred bucks

reclining,

staring

blankly to a space-

being still

and have nothing

to hide.

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Be still. Please focus. Would you wait

until my iris capture you of snapshots? I am here.

Don’t notice. Your portrait on my mind, I dodged

and burned. Don’t worry. I won’t

over-expose the sequences of the memory

fleshed out from my canister, the last strip of film.

 

On my negative- your wavelength of light escapes

through my lenses, I would carefully unfold and record.

Don’t look. Deeper. While single color vanishes

with intensity into highlights and into shadows.

Frame by frame, I would filter the black against

the white. Your reality becomes my abstraction.

 

Would you mind, if I convert the colors of the spectrum,

your seemingly pixilated illusion to just shades of gray?

Tracing back the images in a locomotion, so slow.

My camera obscura. Clear and sharp, as you illuminate

a world forgotten just for once. A neutral silhouette

Don’t notice. Keep focus. Don’t cry. I am here.

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I came from the east

And you from the west.

The space between us

is an empty canvas.

 

Our footsteps were

unsure scribbling of lines.

 

Our lives were

charcoal grey sketches.

 

Our beings were

liquid pigments, pressed

out of  tube-like existence.

 

Paint the words

written by fate.

Our union pre-destined.

 

Our spirits would soon

penetrate this world,

transforming our bond

from this obscure surface.

 

Like criss-crossing layers

of texture and dimension.

 

Your blood. And my blood.

A  miscegeny of colors

gradually  revealing

order and balance,

forms and figures,

sizes and shapes.

 

Blending fragiled fibers

of our soul, framed into

a work of art.

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I once had the chance to swim the Pasig River when I was just about five or six, I guess.  An uncle, who was a robust teenager that time, invited by his friends, tagged me along with him one afternoon.  We walked across J.P Rizal street and descended some flight of steps going to the not-so-murky water.

Uncle led my hand and told me not to be afraid. And when we dipped ourselves into the water, I felt the river current slowly pushing its force against my fragile frame. Suddenly uncle let go of his hand, and I was left wading by myself. He just laughed and laughed, along with his friends to see me panicking and gasping for breath. When I was just about to submerge into the water, he just snatched my hand in time and landed me safely back to the steps.

I was panting heavily as I watched amazingly to uncle and his friends vigorously swimming against the river current. Hoping that I could grow instantly  and have the strength to swim as long as I wish. 

But when aunt, uncle’s big sister, learned of our little river escapade, she scolded uncle for taking me down to the river, saying that the polluted water could make me more sick.  And aunt blares her disappointment at the two of us and told  me that it is too dangerous to swim in Pasig River, and I could get myself drowned.  My mother has allowed me to stay at aunt’s home for the summer to have my routinary medical EENT checkups. 

I just kept on listening to my aunt’s endless rant to uncle and heard her say that she was really disappointed with me and could send me right away back home. But I just  smiled  and throw a toothy grin to uncle, silently thanking him for taking me down the river.

I am thanking him for expanding the fragiled radius of my being. A new-found freedom, to allay fear of not sizing up to what other boys of my age can do. I don’t want my being sickly hamper the extent of what I can do. To belong and be accepted to a fraternal brotherhood like uncle’s.  And it is a feat that begins my tearing down of the walls of my sheltered existence.  A youthful independence. 

I am thanking him, because that’s when I have learned to stand up and defend myself when I am being wronged. To keep up heading on even when the circumstances are getting against me like a fierce river current drowning all the strength I could muster.  To exceed the limitations of what my mind tells me that I can only achieve that much.

As a child then, I believe, most of us, have become warriors against our own. When we have learned how to be brave even when we were afraid and often get discouraged.  When we  are walking out there in the world,  somewhere, winning our inner battles and living uncertainly day by day, and never giving up. 

Pasig River is my Rubicon,  where a warrior child in me has been borne out of the mighty rush of the river current while bailing myself out for survival. An invisible force pushing me to edge out and discover frontiers I have never been to before, now possible and within reach.    

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Pensive as I was in this lazy afternoon.  Looking out in the window and the hazy light filtered through. Sending dust like a strobe of crystals. I stared. Just stared for the longest time.

The muse didn’t come as I expected.  Like an acrylic tube on the verge of squeezing out  of its contents, I just stared coldly. Nothing spectacular. The portrait on this blank canvas are just collections of imaginary lines and some vague illusions on my mind. And build a colony of dots. Like Van Gogh.

I could paint of scribblings out of nothingness. And my thoughts wander  into wide spaces. And wanders still. I see only spatters of red, black and white against this concrete grayness. Of anger splashing buckets of paint into surface. Like Pollack. 

I could paint the sky blue if I want to.  I can make the leaves of the trees rustle and sway with the winds.  I can make a brook  serenely flow through underneath a little wooden bridge. I can make distant hills fade into indigo. Like Monet.

I could paint a man without a face. And apples falling like raindrops. And doves flying.  The tragedy, the pessimism and idiosyncrasy of a human being. And a dark world encapsuled into an umbrella, black and mysterious. Like Magritte.

I could paint a typewriter with keypads of pain. And some melted clocks. Of swans reflecting elephants. And the gory details of death. Of treachery of reason. Of denouncing fascism. And bizarre existence of realities.  Like Dali.

I could use color yellow and orange interspersed with black squares, sharp angles, cubes and rectilinear forms in human subjects. Of some gothic revivals. Of somber shades of blue and blue green. I can use pink painted into some circus scenes. Of collages with pieces of everyday things. Like Picasso.

The brush is waiting to be lifted.  The easel is upright and ready.  The mixing palette is parched. The canvas is already stretched out to its frame. The sketchbook is laden with unfinished illustrations and  images, waiting to come alive. Where freedom is knocking on this soul’s threshold. 

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