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Posts Tagged ‘gift’

His past smells of a ditch

drying up its putrid stink

as stale as the street air.

It belongs to a smoggy neighborhood.

In the memory of tattered rags

flapping like flags on the clothesline.

As if dreams can be scavenged

out of the hilly mounds

of garbage, dumping its gifts

of someone else’s trash turning

into someone else’s fortune.

 

No one cared about armpits

getting wet and sour for hours,

as long as the bad odors

can promise him little money

to buy fish sauce for rice.

Sniffing heaven on earth-

little angel never complaining

about life, about the linger-

of those occasional whiffs

from the broken sewer.

Nor the rising sting of steam

emanating from his broken skin

pierced by the cruel sun.

 

Nor inhaling the dry cough of cars

and buses farted poison.

The way he exhaled yesterday

walking on a pavement slow,

feeling the throbbing locomotion

churn on his empty stomach.

A street urchin squeezing the crowd

like a fly hopping on a hope

above the grease and grime

that smeared a childhood.

 

He won’t cover the past

with today’s perfume

nor sanitize its images

in suds of detergent.

He’s not ashamed

of the scent of his past-

the smell of poverty

that swarmed his innocence

and have walked

the muddy line across

the nook and cranny

of his every bones.

He survived them all.

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Don’t upset the mainstream, he’d say.

Art for art’s sake, I think out loud.

 

Unless I end up whoring

at the art house

with rusted springs

at cushioned seat poking

scooped up gossips.

Eavesdropping 

some private lives.

 

I let his copulation of idea

with tried and tested formula

stink like the stench of urine

of those who had chewed

and vomited yesterday’s

mulch of cinematic nostalgia.

 

And feces too. And fetuses

aborted prematurely

at the conference table.

That goddamn scriptwriter!

 

He wants a Truman show

for peeping Toms’ and Marilyns’

who think life can fit in a box. Squared

wrapped in a gift, 24/7 in public

with the world half sleeping

and half awake. Eyes wide shut.

 

Well, everybody wants to be

porn stars. And millionaires too.

Sixty seconds to fame. Or shame.

 

I twist fate and turn some coincidence.

Making them laugh. Making them cry.

People love some happy ending

but of course, I knew the bitter score.

I’ll reveal on a one-on-one interview.

 

Facts gyrate around a pole dance.

Truth hides in darkness, so dim the lights.

 

I clip a scene here and there,

sanitized some bits

like clean sequences of plot

I trim into fairytales-

reality cloaked in dreams.

 

Then, there’s the director’s cut.

I have hidden something

here in a draft, unpublished.

I create an imaginary character

of the self I would never be.

I plagiarize someone else’s life.

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Musically Challenged

I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano.  It is one of the things in my bucket list that I am compelled to do, fulfilling the goals I have set several years ago, but so elusive that I never found the proper time and place to learn it.  Even if I tried planning to pursue a piano class, it was set aside due to my regular work schedules.  A couple of musician and keyboardist friends tried to convince me to study piano and even told me that they can pitch in to teach me, but I was left waiting and wondering when will be the time they had the energy to do so.

It is a good thing that out of their kindness, they promised.  But that is enough already, and it has led me to nothing.  I have progressed to nothing when it comes to learning piano.  And for now, the eagerness and my determination to learn how to play the piano grew stronger and stronger everyday.  I am so excited imagining how many piano pieces I could be able to play, leisurely at ease.  Of symphonies, orchestra pieces, musical pieces, overtures, preludes and many more waiting there for me to explore.  A daunting challenge for me to know musicology.  I am not contented of merely being purely vocal.  I have an inner need to express more my musicality even further, realizing the inner melodies I have kept humming throughout all these years.

Some maybe surprised to know that I have the ability to compose songs of my own, while riding a cab or a bus.  I am getting inspirations straight from the vibratory rhythms of the car wheels and infusion of surrounding background noises from the street.  The melodies are still fresh on my mind, even if it was long, long time ago, since its very inception. A germination of the musical idea derived through the exploration of our senses.

They say, when a song has been born out from you through your everyday experiences and you still remember them, they are meant to be revealed, creatively shared and exposed for public enjoyment.  Artists had their unique lifestyle – a life of producing and honing their art for expression.  They have also a need for expressing their sublime thoughts, may it be in the form of music, visual art or creative writing.

I don’t believe, when somebody says that a person has a gift for so and so.  In my personal opinion, art can be learned. Talents can be  nurtured gradually through the influences in the environment, or  an individual’s ingrained perceptiveness to their environment and a by-product, or a consequence of an individual’s current life situations, circumstances and past influences. 

I also don’t believe in the notion that one has to spend a considerable amount of time in actually learning an art. Although it might have some merits. The length of time is not a measure how one can evolve eligibly to be called an artist.  Everyone, no matter what their ages may be, have the chance to become artists of their own right, for as long as they have the determination to decode their abilities to express themselves through art. There is no doubt that they will eventually succeed.

Artists are governed by the inner satisfaction they get while genuinely expressing their thoughts through their art.  Artists are governed by the truthfulness of their artistic expression sans the dictates of the prevailing trends,  norm or standards.  Having said that,  most of the celebrated pseudo-artists are merely egotistically bloated and widely publicized musical figures, just for the sake of personal advertisement and cheap breed of entertainment for profit.

True artists of our time are the ones who are hiding away from the spotlight and have chosen to disassociate themselves from the commercialization of the art. True artists, therefore, are the ones who are sticking their hands to the originality and authenticity of their artistic output. In one way or the other, they  might find themselves in the future, being hailed as originators of a new art movement,  a paradigm shift to the art scene.

So, don’t be surprised. I actually mapped it out, this time. I have listed down the things that I will do when I  have learned how to play the piano. Possibilities are endless.  I might have a new song for the choir to sing.  I might have a new song that I can play when celebrating an occasion, and the need for some light music arises.  I might have a recital to be witnessed in a concert hall by a selected few.  The grandest of these plans, might be penning an opera or a musical play to the likes of Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Chess etc.

These lingering thoughts, get me so excited as I imagine my fingers traversing piano keys and weaving some beautiful melodies.  It is a fulfillment that I think, would go beyond compare and can possibly exceed my limitations. It is a lifelong dream, bordering reality.  Soon,  and positively achievable.

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Sylvia, you struggled with the night, they don’t see you.  And the madness you have kept along since your youth, stand watch to the agony of your desire, I feel you, even if Ted fades away. They seem to like you and your outbursts of anger, unmindful of the things you are so capable of destroying; your fragility, your womanhood.  They had made you as faceless like girls of Kabul wearing burqa. 

But I must admit, Sylvia, that beyond with your innocence, beyond with the frailty and your true self repressed by layers and layers of hate and uncertainties, you will rise like a phoenix redeeming its immortality.  Like a golden lotus emerging from the fiery flames, and a thousand death might come but it will never win its argument against your indomitable spirit. Yet Sylvia, you left the world with a scar that won’t heal in time, putting a strong voice to silence unheard of, in decades past.

Have you ever met Frida Kahlo? Your fate runs almost parallel to hers and through your gift of art, the pangs of pain are shifted through the bittersweet beauty of your words, though they say it was staid and conventional.  But I don’t believe them.  Yours an endless laughter like the one you made with Ted when you first met him at the party in Cambridge. Yours a happiness since the first time you have published “The Colossus”.

How could you keep as perfectly as it was to squeeze in the time breathing life to a poetry waiting there at the dining table and lay you sleepless in the night?  How could you tear yourself apart open and shed the light withholding nothing and the truthfulness of the turmoil you’re going through?  The days that lingers almost unbearable, in between the soiled dishes in the sink, in the soapy suds of the dirty linen and in the keeping of your children who are innocent of the struggles your dealing with Ted. 

In the night, that you have sealed the doors by wet rags, have you thought of just keeping on, pressing on- to deal with your pervading loneliness and disillusion? When you precisely turned on the ignition of the cooker, as you inhale the gas, Sylvia, did you think of finally  avenging your fractured self against Ted?  Of how your  jealousy could have made you insanely and sweetly surrendering to impending death?  How intense is your longing for Ted to reconcile with you, knowing that he is just a man, and you are so afraid of losing him?

Sylvia, if you only have known that after forty years have past since your death, your son Nicholas might have taken his life, too; maybe because he might be carrying the gravity of questions left unanswered since the day you died.  Would you keep on existing? Would you be strong enough to let go of Ted and spend the rest of your lifetime for your children? And see them of what they have become in the twilight of your years?

But the time has run out.  And you have to choose between life and death.  But you chose the latter. Sylvia, you have chosen to end the sad stories in your life, cutting away Ted and his chains around you.  You have chosen freedom.

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