abo sa dila

May iniisip ka? Oo. Ano? Ayaw kong sabihin. Baka magkatotoo.

Dahil makulit ka
Kilala kita. Oo, ikaw 'yun: Nagkasalubong na tayo minsan, sa LRT, sa Gotohan, sa kanto ng Aurora at Katipunan. Nagkatinginan tayo. Hindi mo ako kinausap, pero alam ko, nakilala mo rin ako. Kaya ka narito, di ba? Para sabihing, Oo, oo, ikaw nga 'yun. Naaalala kita.
O, ha, Plurk, o, ha!
Radyo? Radyo?
Libreng humirit

Mag-exercise tayo tuwing umaga
Tambay ka muna
Lokal Kolor
Ano'ng hanap mo?
Basa lang nang basa
Tropa ko

    na, mula noong 24 Enero, 2006, ang nakitambay dito

chico dam all over again?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Nakuha ang mensaheng ito sa Facebook, galing sa isang kaibigan:

...May grupo dito ng mga dati kong kababayan sa isang town ng Camarines Sur, na nagpapaabot ng hinaing dahil may dumating na notice sa kanila na madidisplace sila dahil sa dam project ni Dato Arroyo/GMA.

I have learned that the project has no ECC or EIA. And many of the processes were not disclosed to the public all throughout.

This is a 1.9B Dam project na maglulubog sa maraming barangay, kasama ang kabayanan ng dati kong hometown. I'm Naga-based now, so hindi ako updated ng mga nangyayari diyan.

Sige muna, tol, salamat.

A quick google-search yielded the following article-- which, noticeably, e wala ni isang quote galing sa madidisplace na residente:

300 Bicol families to be relocated

NAGA City – A ranking official of the Bicol River Basin and Watershed Management Project has confirmed that the local governments of five towns in Camarines Sur and the major implementing government agencies have approved the relocation of some 300 families to be displaced by the P1.9-billion Malaguico Dam project in Sipocot which is expected to be completed next year.

BRBWMP project director and Bicol Presidential Assistant Tomasito Monzon said the 300 families are residents from barangays Malaguico and Manangle along the Sipocot River banks and Lupi Nuevo, Lupi Viejo, San Pedro, San Isidro and Barera in Lupi town.

Their relocation has been approved by the municipalities of Lupi, Sipocot, Libmanan and Cabusao towns in Camarines Sur and the National Irrigation Administration, the Departments of Public Works and Highways and Environment and Natural Resources.

Monzon said the relocation site is expected to be completed in less than two years to be funded by the Office of the President and the National Housing Authority.

A.M. Oreta Construction is undertaking the construction of Malaguico Dam which is expected to benefit some 3,000 farmers.

Now I thought, hmm, Dato, Dato-- saan ko ba huling nabasa 'yun? Ah. Dito:

NAGA CITY – The bill that creates a new district in Camarines Sur, increasing to five the existing four districts in the province, has been approved by the Senate and the House, a lawmaker here has said.

Representative Luis R. Villafuerte, Camarines Sur second district representative, said the bill that creates an additional district, which would be carved out from the 10-town first district here, had been passed in the House without opposition.

Villafuerte said the Senate version had been met with opposition but when it was submitted for voting, 15 senators voted in its favor.

“That’s more than the majority of the senators,” he added...

...Formerly the political turf of former congressman and now Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr., whose hometown is the neighboring Ragay, the first district of Camarines Sur has been handed to Arroyo after Andaya was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to head the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) four years ago.

But critics here see political accommodation for Andaya after his term as budget secretary ends when Ms Arroyo bows out of office in 2010.

With his political turf already occupied by Dato Arroyo, the additional district would secure him a seat in the House next year.

You do the math, mga bok.

Marami akong kaibigang taga-Naga. Matagal na akong niyaya ng ilang manunulat na bumisita doon. Hindi pa ako nakakatapak sa lupain ng Bikol, pero hindi ibig sabihin noon na tutunganga lang ako-- na tutunganga lang tayo-- habang nangyayari itong putanginang shit na ito.

Pakikalat, kung may pakialam ka.

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posted by mdlc @ 4:32 PM   5 comments
Two Poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

A Prison Evening

Each star a rung,
night comes down the spiral
staircase of the evening.
The breeze passes by so very close
as if someone just happened to speak of love.
In the courtyard,
the trees are absorbed refugees
embroidering maps of return on the sky.
On the roof,
the moon - lovingly, generously -
is turning the stars
into a dust of sheen.
From every corner, dark-green shadows,
in ripples, come towards me.
At any moment they may break over me,
like the waves of pain each time I remember
this separation from my lover.

This thought keeps consoling me:
though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed
in rooms where lovers are destined to meet,
they cannot snuff out the moon, so today,
nor tomorrow, no tyranny will succeed,
no poison of torture make me bitter,
if just one evening in prison
can be so strangely sweet,
if just one moment anywhere on this earth.

English Translation By Agha Shahid Ali


When Autumn Came

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:
it stripped them down to the skin,
left their ebony bodies naked.
It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,
scattered them over the ground.
Anyone could trample them out of shape
undisturbed by a single moan of protest.

The birds that herald dreams
were exiled from their song,
each voice torn out of its throat.
They dropped into the dust
even before the hunter strung his bow.

Oh, God of May have mercy.
Bless these withered bodies
with the passion of your resurrection;
make their dead veins flow with blood again.

Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.

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posted by mdlc @ 12:57 AM   0 comments
Four Poems by Jack Gilbert
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tear It Down

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of raccoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within that body.



Suddenly this defeat.
This rain.
The blues gone gray
And the browns gone gray
And yellow
A terrible amber.
In the cold streets
Your warm body.
In whatever room
Your warm body.
Among all the people
Your absence
The people who are always
Not you.


Failing and Flying

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph


The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.


And an excerpt from an interview:

"...Much of postmodern poetry has no significance at all. Unless you like puzzles. Unless you can figure out what the thing is about. The point is not to mystify the reader but to trick the reader into feeling something, knowing something. And this whole absurdity about doubting the "I" in poetry I don't understand at all. The "I" is the source of communication of things that matter. At least, that's what I feel. I want to trust the speaker of the poem. It's like biting into gold, to see if it's true metal. Poets work by insight, not by cleverness. If not through inspiration, then through intuition. Not by mechanics or examining the nature of the way someone seeing something encounters something. In much postmodern poetry the eyeball follows a certain little trail and then translates what it sees back into something else, proclaiming then, "Yes that is a dog." What the hell good is that? If you're scientifically inclined, it's wonderful. It's an extraordinary science of cognition, but it's nothing that has anything to do with my life emotionally, and if it's not emotional what does it offer? It can offer beauty, perhaps, if you're interested in that. It's nice, but it's not going to change your life. Telling a story is very nice, but unless the thing, the novel, the short story does something to you as a person, then it's just another artifact....

"I believe we are made by art, art that matters. Not what's ingenious, clever, or hard to read. Not a mystery puzzle. I think if a poem doesn't put emotional pressure on me, I don't feel uncomfortable in the sense of feeling more than I can feel, understanding more than I can understand, loving more than I am able to be in love. Real poetry enables me for that."

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posted by mdlc @ 4:27 PM   2 comments
on failure, and sacrifice, and the sad task of a speechwriter
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
I am Mar Roxas' speechwriter, and let me be the first to say that I failed my country.

I failed my country by not working hard enough; by not being a better speechwriter; by failing to show the people how good a person my boss was. Is.

My friends laughed at me for being too much of a believer. And I failed my country by believing that it would believe along with me.

I am Mar Roxas' speechwriter. All throughout my year and half in the organization, I denied that title; I played it down. Not really wrote the speeches, not per se, I said. I wrote down what I was told to write down, I said. Others thought of it, and all I had to do was type it down. I drafted the speeches, but never really wrote them. I shied away from that name: Speechwriter. In the same manner that I shy away from being called a poet.

The least I could do now is to show the same courage that my boss did. I am Mar Roxas' speechwriter. I am a poet. As speechwriter, one of my tasks is tell you how good a person my boss is. As poet, my only task is to say to you the truest thing I can.

My boss is one of the smartest people I have ever known. My boss has one of the purest hearts I have ever been in touch with. All my boss ever wanted was to serve the people in the best way he can. I failed my country by not saying these things well enough.

Yesterday evening my boss declared his support for the candidacy of Senator Noynoy Aquino for President in 2010. He said: It is within my power to preside over a potentially divisive process or to make the party a bridge for the forces of change. He said: I choose to lead unity, not division. He said: Country above self. And I typed it down.

This country I failed is the same country that my boss puts above himself. My country was smart enough to see what was wrong with the campaign. But it was also too cynical to not see through it. The same people who dismissed the ads as mere gimmicks were the same people who lauded how brilliant this opponent's ad campaign was, or how good a rhetorician this other opponent was. I used to ask, if you're so smart as to see through everything as posturing, as political play, then doesn't the question boil down to who you think can best move this country forward?

I failed my country by not asking that well enough, or often enough.

When I was nine years old, my parents voted for Jovito Salonga. He became known as the best president my country never had. When I was fifteen, they voted, along with my siblings, for Raul Roco. When I was twenty-one, they voted again for Roco, and I voted with them. Roco, too, became known as the best president my country never had. Now I am twenty-six, and I tell you now, in the truest way I can: Mar Roxas is the best president this country never had.

I have failed my country, and all I hope for now is that the people realize what it has lost, and what it has gained. The country asked for sacrifice, and he gave them sacrifice. The country asked for unity. He has given them the door to unity; all that is left is for them to step through.

The country asked for someone to believe in; in Noynoy they have found someone to believe in. And Mar has offered himself as someone to believe with.

In tears, I ask this country that I have failed: Is there anything more you would like to ask of my boss?

He has given everything, and he will continue to give. And I will type everything down for him. Because I am Mar Roxas' speechwriter. And he is my boss. He is my president. The best president this country never had.


posted by mdlc @ 4:21 AM   31 comments
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Tony Hoagland

If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to help your enemy
the way I got to help my mother
when she was weakened past the point of saying no.

Into the big enamel tub
half-filled with water
which I had made just right,
I lowered the childish skeleton
she had become.

Her eyelids fluttered as I soaped and rinsed
her belly and her chest,
the sorry ruin of her flanks
and the frayed gray cloud
between her legs.

Some nights, sitting by her bed
book open in my lap
while I listened to the air
move thickly in and out of her dark lungs,
my mind filled up with praise
as lush as music,

amazed at the symmetry and luck
that would offer me the chance to pay
my heavy debt of punishment and love
with love and punishment.

And once I held her dripping wet
in the uncomfortable air
between the wheelchair and the tub,
until she begged me like a child

to stop,
an act of cruelty which we both understood
was the ancient irresistible rejoicing
of power over weakness.

If you are lucky in this life,
you will get to raise the spoon
of pristine, frosty ice cream
to the trusting creature mouth
of your old enemy

because the tastebuds at least are not broken
because there is a bond between you
and sweet is sweet in any language.

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posted by mdlc @ 2:00 AM   0 comments
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