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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.
Was reading the papers earlier; inilabas na ang list of fellows for the Dumaguete Workshop. At sa lahat ng mga pangalan ng kakilala/ kaibigan na nandu'n, one stood out.
I've always been a big fan of his. Sa henerasyon natin-- and maybe, kasama pa ang mga matatanda-- naniniwala akong siya ang pinakatalentadong Pilipinong makata ngayon. Sa wakas, bumubukas na ang pinto. Pasok si Arkaye Kierulf sa Dumaguete National Writers Workshop 2009.
Enjoy ka, bok. (Congrats din kina Keith, Mo, Petra, at Phillip.)
National Artist for Literature and National Writers Workshop Director Emeritus Edith Lopez Tiempo, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and Silliman University are pleased to announce that the following young writers have been accepted as fellows for the 48th National Writers Workshop scheduled on 4-15 May 2009:
• Mariane Amor Romina T. Abuan (University of Santo Tomas)
• Jonathan S. Gonzales (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Arkaye V. Keirulf (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Patricia Angela F. Magno (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Niño S. Manaog (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Keith Bryan T. Cortez (University of Santo Tomas)
• Ana Margarita Stuart del Rosario (De La Salle University)
• Monique S. Francisco (University of the Philippines - Diliman)
• Russell Stanley Geronimo (De La Salale University)
• Aleck E. Maramag (De La Salle University)
• Gabriel Millado (University of the Philippines – Mindanao)
• Gabrielle L. Nakpil (Ateneo de Manila University)
• Joy C. Rodriguez (University of the Philippines – Mindanao)
For Creative Non-Fiction
• Philip Y. Kimpo Jr. (University of the Philippines - Diliman)
• Marck Ronald Rimorin (University of the Philippines - Baguio)
This year’s panel of critics is composed of Dumaguete-based writers Ernesto Superal Yee, Myrna Peña Reyes, and Cesar Ruiz Aquino, as well as guest panelists Gemino H. Abad, Juaniyo Arcellana, J. Neil C. Garcia, Susan Lara, Rosario Cruz Lucero, DM Reyes, and Alfred Yuson.
The workshop, which is the longest running Writers Workshop in Asia, is coordinated by the Silliman University Department of English and Literature.
11:02: Workshop starts. Jing Hidalgo moderating. Carl's folio, part of his forthcoming "And the Geeks shall Inherit the Earth" (Milflores), to be discussed after his poetics earlier, titled "Things I Worry About: The Poetics of Insecurity." (Na hindi ko nalive-blog dahil hung over pa ako.)
11:03: Dean and Iwa agree: No need to be insecure. But I think 'yun mismo 'yung ugat ng humor, di ba-- 'yung sinasabi ni Carl na incongruence na ugat ng inability niya to navigate social situations.
11:06: Everyone agrees that humor is there. Craft-wise, Ma'am Jing thinks that there needs to be a bit more bang in the closures. Carlomar Daoana: Element of surprise important; good handling of introductions.
11:08: Butch Dalisay: Dramatization is important-- "most successful" piece comes closest to what we expect from story. Big, dramatic moments need to be, well, kailangang babaran.
Interesting workshop legend about "dessicated prunes." Inside shit na lang namin 'yun.
11:14: Sorry medyo choppy nga ang connection. Pero anyway, craftwork pa rin ang usapan. Vlad Gonzales talking about greater rendering/ detail to add to depth of persona.
11:15: Stories abound. Funny shit about dessicated prunes earlier, and now former students shit. Sin is excitement, says Ma'am Jing: "You always expect some kind of perversion... but if the persona is a nice guy, does he pretend? This is a problem that fictionists that do not face."
11:17: Carljoe's persona in his work described as a "man-boy." Jing Panganiban-Mendoza comments-- "E parang ganu'n naman talaga ang geek, di ba?" Butch Dalisay: "He can pull out all the stops here (re: perversion) without being nasty, because you're setting yourself up for the fall." This of course is the root of Carl's poetics.
11:21: Tinanong ko si Carl how he sequenced the work in his forthcoming book. Generally daw longer pieces were interspersed w/ shorter ones; geeky stuff interspersed with family or macho stuff. Basically variety ang guiding logic, para nga naman hindi nakakaumay.
11:23: Carl talks about other pieces in the book-- one, he feels, "sticks out like a sore thumb," where he has to explain to his sister "kung bakit (sila) hindi mayaman."
11:25: This is the third time Ichi Batacan was asked to speak a little louder. Funny thing is, may microphone naman na umiikot. Sabi ko sa inyo, para kang sinusubuan ng lugaw kapag nagsalita, mehn.
11:26: Talking about viscerality (-ness?) vs. cognitive leap in physical vs. verbal comedy.
11:30: Jumping into stuff about non-fiction na, hindi na lang sa akda ni Carljoe. And literature and institutions in general.
11:32: Talk about Palancas: Jing P-M: "Kapag sumali ka, huwag mong gawing gauge kung maganda 'yung akda mo o hindi."
11:35: Ayer Arguelles: "Gaano ka kalaya bilang non-fiction writer sa pagpapahayag ng mga karanasan mo? Magsi-stick ka lang ba sa mga karanasan na dinanas mo, o puwede bang mag-imbento?" Ma'am Jing H. and I were talking about this earlier, how the biggest difference bet. fiction and non-fiction is the contract of the writer with the reader: "Nangyari ito, paniwalaan mo." Nag-iiba ang dating sa mambabasa if he/she takes the work as truth.
11:36: Carljoe: "Lahat nang ito talagang nangyari..." I think ang point niya, hindi niya concern ang invention, kasi at this point in his life ang daming nangyayaring weird sa kanya. Rich ang material ng buhay niya.
11:39: Question about self-indulgence in nonfic vs. relatibility: "How do you make your own personal experience relatable?"
11:40: Good point by Neil Garcia: Putting information in tones down self-indulgence. "Tha panty piece can be an occassion to put in material on panties. Why not do research on panties?" Oo nga naman, Carljoe, 'no. Why not? Hehehehe.
11:44: Jing H: Challenge is in blending of information and narrative; minsan, ang peligro, kapag naoverload ng information nawawalan ng interes ang mambabasa. Butch D: Skill is in how you insert the factoids without making them stick out like a footnote in the middle of the thing? Says Vanity Fair and old Playboy mags the best in doing this. Adds, may kinalaman sa word-count na target mo.
11:47: Good suggestion by Sir Butch: Before writing, give yourself a word-count. Masarap paglaruan; you practice economy and vision.
11: 53: Jimmy Abad: "One way of deciding whether factual information is necessary would be for the author to ask himself or herself what particular effect he or she wants for the whole piece... There seems to be too much anxiety about making the piece relateable or universal. The essays, comic as they are, are already relatable... One need not ask 'what's the point,' because you're asking for insight." I think what he means is that you're asking for the insight to be expositionally rendered. Pero in Carl's stuff, nasa narrative 'yung insight, e.
11:54: Rio Alma talks about variety in length of each piece, in book form. Naghahanap ng angkla ang reader sa isang libro.
11:55: Carljoe talks about joining a reality show once, re: research in his work. The essay turned in for it reached more than 20 pages. Back to balancing information with narrative. Neil Garcia: "And, of course, research is in keeping with the geek persona." Funny moment about Carljoe identifying with Boy George when he was younger.
11:57: Vlad Gonzales: Baka 'yung pagka-Pilipino nandu'n sa essay na 'yung kapatid mo kinakausap mo. Kasi di ba hindi ka naman mayaman enough para maging geek, e. I think, oo nga, nandu'n ang tension dapat nu'ng libro.
12:02: Butch Dalisay on geek culture and where it's going: "In geekdom, you don't just think of the guy with all the toys... that's too easy; any guy can do that. This is the way the little guy gets back at the guy with everything, using just his wits and skills. It goes back to the underdog figure, except na dito, technology ang ginagamit mo." Galing, di ba; resistance pa rin. The geek as subversive.
12:06: Neil Garcia: "You're aware that your life is interesting. You're self-aware." And that's what makes this interesting material. Differences between geek and nerd. Do geeks have some sort of secret handshake, parang mga Mason?
12:09: Question by Gelo Suarez: "How do you negotiate between this 'connector' who enjoys length, teka, ang pangit pakinggan, extremeties, teka, I mean, extrems, with the earnest storyteller in you who wants to achieve balance." Laughter there. Sobrang repressed yata ng mga tao dito. "Our long extremeties?" Ichi mutters.
12:12: Carljoe: Sees himself as a spokesperson of the geek. Sir Butch: Iniintindi pa rin ang audience.
12:13: Question posed to Vlad: What accounts for your book's success? Do you have an idea?
12:14: Vlad: Awareness ng bagahe, pero hindi pagpapadrag-down dito. Honesty. Inalis ko 'yung mga bagahe ng duda... regardless kung anuman ang nangyari, may sense ng sigurado ako dito... Or baka lang po 'yung physical beauty ko ang trip nila.
12:16: Jing H: I posed the question kasi, you as writers, if you want to be read, necessarily have to think about that.
12:19: Jing H: "So in being true to themselves they're actually being true to their generation." I forget kung ano ang ugat ng quote na 'yan, pero it sounds cool, 'no? Sige, sige, lunch.
1:19: Will be liveblogging Jing Panganiban's workshop of her work-in-progress. Starts at 1:30. Need to plug this in, medyo paubos na ang baterya. Ang problema parang walang outlet. Hmm.
1:20: Jing's essay "Literary Social Butterfly" up for workshop, moderated by Vim Nadera. Post kayo ng questions sa comments box kung trip ninyo.
1:32: Starting. Vim Nadera begins by harking back to Jing's poetics of "Akology." Cites rootedness in tradition of Abadilla-- siyempre ang daling maalala nu'ng "Ako ang Daigdig," di ba.
1:34: "Lalung-lalo na ng talaba..." sounds so funny coming from Vim Nadera.
1:38: Vim: Akology not really akology but "nanayology," "tatayology," etc-- cites "paglabas sa sarili," bilang "sign of maturity." Medyo inulit 'yung quote ni Rica Bolipata-Santos from last year's workshop: "I believe that the search for truth is dignified." All writing-- even seemingly "akological" ones-- is a search for answers, for truth.
1:42: The challenge is to achieve irony of an impersonal personal essay.
1:44: Medyo controversial ang essay ni Jing, e. Vim doing a nice job of trying to bring up matters outside of the essay's subject matter. For now.
1:46: Isa sa mga tanong na dapat sagutin, I think-- personally malabo sa akin, e-- bakit mo gugustuhing magsulat tungkol sa manunulat at sa mga ginagalawan nilang circles? "Hindi ito gossip column... at hindi ko intensyong manira ng sinumang tao," she says in her poetics paper. Kung ano talaga ang proyekto, hindi ko yata makita du'n sa paper. Mukhang kailangang dito i-flesh-out sa workshop 'yun.
1:50: Jun Cruz Reyes says structure is "postmodern." I disagree, and I think so would some of the people here.
1:52: Iwa: "Nabibitin ako na hindi siya nagpapangalan. Di ko ma-gets kung bakit 'yung iba pinapangalanan mo, 'yung iba, hindi."
1:54: Neil Garcia is extremely pleased. "Necessary labor at this time in our literary history... The underlying message seems to be this (literary) world seems pathetic... and yet she persists in this world." The question, to him, then, (or the missing part,) is why she persists.
1:59: Suggestion of "stating the thesis" somewhere, and answer the question of why she would want to stay in this world.
2:05: Comparisons with Kitty Go, although explicitly stated sa poetics paper ni Jing na hindi na proyekto na maging ganu'n. Question persists: so ano ang proyekto?
2:06: Quote from Gluck (sorry di ko makita ang umlaut): Art begins with the real, but in ends in illumination or truth. Or something like that.
2:09: Heto na. Jing Hidalgo: Fairness: When people who are not alluded to feel alluded to, because they are not named, they cannot defend themselves. But, Neil: But how else could it have been done? Ma'am Jing: Maybe Investigative Journalism.
2:14: Mainit na. Nagsalita ako, sabi ko, parang madaling isipan na malisyoso dahil hindi malinaw ang proyekto. At self-indulgent. Hinihintay natin ang tugon ng mga tao.
2:16: Vlad Gonzales: Hindi na yata dapat iproblematize kung bakit walang tiyak na pangalan ang mga persons alluded-to. Isa pa: Kailangan bang i-articulate ito? Oo, kasi experience natin ito, e. "From time to time, para umusad 'yung institution, irereasses mo 'yung merits niya." On masa: Part naman tayo ng masa, e. Siguro nasa ideya rin ng target audience.
2:18: Carl Javier: What do we consider fair? Where do we draw the lines of fairness and how rigid must the non-fiction writer be in terms of abiding by these lines?
2:21: Jun Cruz Reyes: How could you question the author, e construct niya nga 'yan, appraisal niya nga 'yan-- not yours? Ang tanong ng manunulat dito, "Is my truth fiction then?"
2:23: Kailangang linawin ang internal framework mo para malinaw kung saan ka nanggagaling. You're telling me something, ang tanong ko, why are you telling it to me?
2:25: JCR: Hindi ako interested sa who's who. Interested ako sa why.
2:27: Ichi Batacan: Bilang reader, may sari-sarili tayong bagahe. Pero 'yung desisyon palagi nang kung ano ang sasabihin, nasa manunulat. Gusto lang na linawin kung paano nakararating sa mga desisyon na 'yun.
2:29: Jimmy Abad talks about satire; "Any generalization, even if well-thought, may hold water, but not the ocean."
2:31: Back to issue of responsibility. Jing Hidalgo: There is a tremendous amount of responsibility in creative non-fiction that goes beyond talking about your personal life.
2:35: Jing Hidalgo: Western non-fictionists problematizing responsibility. The point is you can't wash your hands when you're actually talking about real people and presenting it in the non-fiction form.
2:37: Jing Panganiban, final word: Sa lahat ng nasulat ko, ito lang ang nasulat ko na alam ko kung sino ang magbabasa, at kayo (writers) iyon. Ang proyekto: "Ang papel ng pakikitalamitam." Ano ang role ng socialization? Gusto ring talakayin din: May vicious cycle, at gusto kong tingnan itong vicious cycle na ito. Hindi ko layunin na manuligsa; kung ilalagay ko 'yung mga pangalan, e di du'n na lang napunta ang core ng sanaysay, who's who na lang. Isa pang gustong gawin: matutunan kung paanong magbalanse. Kung pangalanan sila, makabubuti ba sa sanaysay? Sa ngayon, sa akin, ito ang pagtataya. Ang ayaw kong mangyari, 'yung paingayin ko ang akda sa paggamit ng pangalan. 'Yun ang malisyoso...
Certain ambivalence here: "Things I hate are the things I love." Addresses self-mockery: kita ninyo, ako 'yung Literary Social Butterfly.
10:59: Norman "Iwa" Wilwayco poetics presentation to start in a few minutes. Moderated by Amang Jun Cruz Reyes. Mukhang interesante ang trip nila-- imbis na power point, mukhang dialogue/interview ang gagawin nila.
11:02: Amang Jun: "Iwa = I: Intelligent; W: Writer; A: Altered Consciousness." I'd say W = Wasaaaaaaak.
11:04: Gelo nudges me, says, "He put the 'iwa' in 'diwa'"
11:05: Amang Jun: First question posed, quite vague: "Ano ang poetics ayon sa isang rockstar?"
11:06: Iwa: "Bakit ko nasulat ang mga sinusulat ko? Kailangan ko siyang purgahin para hindi ko na iniisip palagi."
11:08: On (upcoming novel) Pinoy Bastos: "'Yung mga uso ngayon, mga FHM, panay pictures. Gusto ko 'yung may kuwento, 'yung madadala sa banyo. Gusto kong ilabas lahat ng kabastusan ko, lahat ng namimiss ko sa mga magasin dati."
11:10: Iwa: "Di ko kayang i-break-it-down intellectually. Di ko alam kung bakit ang galing kong magsulat, ganu'n lang." Tangina wasak ang tawanan dito.
11:11: "Grabe na-starstruck ako sa inyong lahat. Jing is the man, pare... Ay si Ichi pala, Ichi is the man." Vim Nadera asks: "Si Cris, paano?" Iwa: "Sino si Cris?" Hahahahahaaha.
11:12: I think that's about it. Mukhang magbubukas na sa tanong. May tanong kayo para kay Iwa? Iwan sa comments box, plis.
11:15: I ask, gaano ka kasipag? Gaano ka kadisiplinado? Iwa answers: "Habang dinaranas ko ang isang bagay, iniisip ko na, 'Kung ikukuwento ko ito, paano?"
11:17: Butch Dalisay asks about the erotica that he reads. Iwa answers: "Wala na ako sa age na nagbabasa ako ng erotika, e. Ba't ka pa magbabasa, puwede ka namang mag-experimento na aktuwal, di ba?"
11:20: Vim Nadera: "1. Hanggang kailan mo gagawin ito? 2. 'Yun bang mga karkter, hinango sa totoong tao? 2. Isyu ng publikasyon."
11:21: On character: "Dito sa Pinoy Bastos, kalakhang bahagi ng mga karakter, inimagine ko lang." On publication: "Nagtataka 'ko kasi ni isang publisher walang kumontak sa amin. Kaya kami na lang ang naglalabas."
11:23: Amang Jun: "Mayroon ka bang mga inspirasyon sa text?" Iwa: "Idol ko siyempre talaga si George Estregan, walang duda... Idol ko rin ang sarili ko siyempre."
11:25: Ichi Batacan talks about her own experience, about trying to publish "brave work." Hindi nakikita iyon sa karamihan ng mga lumalabas ngayon.
11:27: Sex/ violence in the work is only the packaging. "It's an extreme reaction to the death we see all around us," says Ichi. I guess in-articulate na niya 'yung transgressive poetics ni Iwa.
11:28: Iwa: "Alam mo pare, in the end, sex ang magse-save sa lahat ng peeps."
11:30: Iwa now talking about transgressive fiction. Check out wikipedia. "Parang ayaw ko ring sabihin transgressive, kasi marketing shit lang 'yun, e."
11:31: Iwa: "Masyadong maingat ang lipunan."
11:32: Dean: "In the case of your treatment of sex, if you have a line you want to cross-- hanggang saan ka tatakbo doon sa kabila?" In other words, I think, gaano kalayo ang transgression. Dean: "How do you balance the sense of the erotic and outright hardcore porn? Or is that even a concern?"
11:36: Iwa: "Pare nasa atay 'yan... kani-kaniyang diskarte. Hanggang saan ko ginagawa? Hanggang puwede. Pero in this case (Pinoy Bastos,) mahirap ding sabihin, e."
11:40: Jing Hidalgo: "Do you also do erotica that is not comic?" Iwa: "Actually, seryoso ako dito. Hindi ko intensyon na patawanin kayo. Pero yes, Ma'am, nagsusulat in ako ng ibang klase."
11:42: Butch Dalisay says, "Pinoy homeboy. Bayaw." Hindi ko mapigilang bumingisngis sa term.
11:46: A few minutes on the use of flashback and motivation. Minsan sinisisi ang nanay kapag sira ang ulo ng karakter.
11:50: Gelo brings up crafting, asks: "Deliberate ba ang inconsistencies, sa grammar, kunwari. Bahagi ba ito ng function ng akda bilang transgression?"
11:51: Iwa: "Pare ang point ng communication is understanding. Kung nagets mo, ba't natin pag-uusapan 'yung grammar. Cool na 'yun."
11:54: Hehe, medyo nagbukas ng usapan ang hirit ni Iwa tungkol sa grammar.
11:57: Surreal kapag humihirit si Iwa ng "Digs mo?" kay Ma'am Jing Hidalgo.
11:59: Iwa: "Ngayon lang may magsasalita na National Artist tungkol sa gawa ko. Rio Alma in the house!"
12:03: Rio Alma: "Nakakasawa minsan (kung panay transgression.)" Cites Laro sa Baga ni Edgardo M. Reyes-- "pinakaseksi na nobela na walang bulgar na lengguwahe."
12:09: Iwa: "Dude, salamat sa lahat ng shit. Mag-eenjoy kayo dito talaga (kapag natapos.) Di ba ngayon pa lang enjoy na kayo sa sex scene?" Lunch.
1:02: Done with lunch, back from a short walk to buy cigs. Hinihingal ako. Alfar's work-in-progress workshop starts at 1:30 pm, but I'm not sure if it'd be appropriate to liveblog about it, since you guys haven't yet read the text. I'll maybe keep this sparse, just keep an eye (ear) out for interesting soundbites. Rakenrol. (Oh, and naligo na ako.)
1:29: All set. Sir Butch Dalisay moderating.
1:34: New lesson learned: May convention pala sa fantasy, a sort of map for the narrative, which goes, Separation, Initiation, Return. Cool, when taken in relation to the structure of pre-colonial epics, 'no? Anyway, Alfar says he'll diverge from it. I'm really apprehensive about giving out spoilers here, so bear with me, bok. At least may sense of suspense kayo sa paglabas ng nobelang ito, a.
1:42: A few statements about novelistic space, and its expansiveness. Sense of excitement for the novelist-- ang sarap laruin, ang lawak.
1:47: Discussion re: naming of characters. Echoes of discussion yesterday re: Ichi Batacan's characters. Sir Butch mentioned something about our apparent attachment to Spanish names. As for Dean, hindi pa fixed ang names; he just "needs to put as much as he can down, before he polishes." Part of polishing is revising some names.
1:50: Sir Butch's practice: go out of his way to find as nondescript a name as possible. Para 'yung character maaalala lang because of, well, the way he was characterized. This in context of realist fiction: symbolic, charged names are "unearned mileage."
1:59: Dean draws map of narrative structure. Interesting device for fictionists, novelists, to allow for a better anchorhold on the use of time, as it moves forward in the story.
2:03: Problematic of having young protagonists coming across as, well, automatically Young Adult ang genre. In this case, though, may mga details na inappropriate for such a genre. The general sense I get is that it, of course, is a publishing concern.
2:04: Ichi Batacan: Question re: strikingness of details/images. Mentions me-- because this is a question she'd like to ask me later, pag ako na ang nakasalang sa workshop: Where do these come from? Sir Rio nudges me and say, "Speculative ka rin pala, e," then laughs. In a more serious tone, he adds, "It just comes."
2:12: Alfar still "coming to terms with (his) identity as a novelist." Perhaps because of the expansiveness of the form.
2:13: Also, like Ichi Batacan, mentions uneasiness about his earlier novel, which in some parts makes him cringe. "Looking back, I could've written it a lot better."
2:15: Vim Yapan comments about uneasiness with specfic: Parang lahat device lang na kailangang nasa loob nu'ng mundo nu'ng novel. Tanong: Gaano mo kalayang inaappropriate yung culture mo sa loob ng specfic na piyesa? Interesting point re: the absence of parallel universes dito sa Pilipinas. Wala tayong Hogwarts. Ang patay nakalibing lang sa tabi ng bahay, kasi pinapaniwalaan na nandiyan lang siya sa paligid.
2:17: Alfar: Cultural exploitation akin to pillaging, but also appropriation. "Specfic has every right to invent." Ang pagkakagets ko, parang lunsaran lang ang kultura for the imagining.
2:19: Sir Ricky: "If you give specfic that much space, then what are the constraints?"
2:20: "The things I do for the story need to be useful to the story. Whatever liberties I take must be of service to the story." Hindi siya arbitrary; back to yesterday's discussion on his poetics: Story takes primacy.
2:22: Talking about design. A bit of uneasiness dahil may kaunting reference sa workshop process.
2:25: Sir Butch: "Everything is a negotiable here, pero bahala kayo kung gusto ninyong tanggapin o balewalain 'yung sinasabi. There is nothing prescriptive here."
2:26: Talk about fiction as "diskarte ng writer 'yan." All writing is diskarte, bok, di ba?
2:29: About to close na. Back to specfic writing. Carljoe Javier: "Hindi naman porke't wala tayong space program, hindi na tayo puwedeng magkuwento tungkol sa space." Story is king pa rin daw.
9:02: Will be liveblogging Gelo Suarez' poetics presentation, which starts at 9:30. Ligo muna ako. Ayos ang breakfast, mehn-- itlog na pula't kamatis, espadang daing, garlic tapa, sinangag. Balik ako, mehn, bubuhay lang ng dugo. Ligo. 'Sak.
9:25: Sitting in between Rio Alma and Chingbee Cruz. Everyone gearing for Gelo's presentation, which reads in the manuscript (in full) as:
Some Things I've Sworn Not to Do in Poetry, for the Next Few Years or So, in Alphabetical Order
Aim for emotive resonance.
End the poem w/ lyrical flourish
Find my voice.
Make up a believable, cohesive persona.
Provide an insight into the Human Condition.
9:31: Chingbee Cruz introducing Suarez now. Says pertinent questions include "What kind of poetry is this a response to, and why this response."
9:42: Shit ang dami nang nangyari. Gelo now talking about genesis of this view of his-- Gertrude Stein's "Five words" poem. Also said, earlier, "At the heart of what I do is defamiliarization." Now showing various slides and video clips showing works that show how message loops into form. And also, "form as medium."
9:44: Suarez: A page poet is one that makes maximum use of the page as form.
UPDATE: Gelo's poetics presentation done. Ngayon lang ako nakaconnect sa internet ulit, fuck. Anyway: Some interesting points by Gelo:
"What I'm trying to do, some call "conceptual art."
It's also art that talks about what art is, na nakapaloob ang message du'n sa form.
Nagsimula [itong gawin ng mga pioneers nito] as response to the commodification of art; as resistance to the market.
Forces of production are also put into the fore.
One of the main concerns: laruin ang tension between the concrete and abstract.
"It's about substance. It's about form."
Internet still choppy. Ricardo de Ungria moderating Suarez workshop discussion now.
10:44: de Ungria calls this kind of art as "literalism," concerned with the very materiality of art. Cites Dadaists and Surrealists as progenitors. Asks Suarez, "Bakit hindi mo sila binanggit?"
10:46: Suarez answers, "Marami pa akong gusto sanang banggitin." Cites facebook comment: "Don't commit suicide by saying that what you're doing is new." Cites particular Dadaist influences. Hindi ko ma-spell, e, tanungin na lang n'yo siya. Cites Situationists din.
10:48: Vlad Gonzales comment/ question: "Kitang-kita ko na matalas ang pulitika dito sa pinoproyekto mo. Medyo nagtataka ako na at some points, may nararamdaman akong denial sa pulitika. Parang tinatago. Tanong, to rephraase: Anong klaseng pulitika ba 'yung hinaharap mo dito?" Also cites presence of Filipino tradition re: this form.
10:51: "Gusto kong isipin na kahit hindi ko i-call attention, napapansin. Mas gustong i-imply na lang. Wala akong illusion na magpatigil ng tangke gamit 'yung akda. Kung gusto kong mag-organize ng movement, mag-oorganize ako ng movement, hindi ako tutula." Malumanay ang pagkakasabi niya, ha, walang away. Cites George Oppen. "Puwede kang maglabas ng sentimiento sa tula, pero wala du'n ang laban." Cites micro-politics, "Sa araw-araw na pamumuhay, may ganyang nagaganap na struggle with power structures... Siguro puwedeng sabihin na 'yung mismong form ang pinopoliticize."
10:58: Suarez asked about his performances in English. "Meron, sa Dissonant Umbrellas," Rio Alma butts in. Gelo cites hybridity and bilinguality: "Nasa iisang spektrum lang ang English at Filipino." Binanggit pa ako, re: 'yung hirit ko kahapon na non-issue na sa akin 'yun.
11:03: Batacan states feeling of discomfort re: conceptual art, plays in form as resistance to intellectual lethargy. But, she asks, "Don't audiences already know that?" States, "To me it comes across as a kind of false humility... Isn't it actually operating from a position of let me jar/jog/ shock you into thinking?" Cites tyranny of giving everything, re: tyranny of giving nothing..." Medyo malabo hehehe. But Gelo gets it. Ichi is easily the most soft-spoken person in this workshop, whatever she says, parang pinapakain ka niya ng lugaw at inaalagaan habang sinasabi 'yun.
11:07: Suarez says, "Sa akin, sa akin mas kupal 'yung pupunta ka sa isang lugar na may assumption na alam mo kung ano ang maiintindihan o hindi ng audience..." Putcha masyadong mabilis ang pangyayari, ang daming ideas na lumilipad dito. Medyo nahihirapan akong sundan. I guess he's saying na hindi niya concern 'yung tyrannies na 'yun; articulation siya, and that's it.
11:10: Gonzales cites tension between the implied and explicit politics. And also states that, yes, sometimes there is a need to tell people that a performance is a performance. "Ang nagagawa ng teksto na aware sa merits at flaws nu'ng form, hinahayaan niya 'yung nagpepresent at ang audience na mag-respond informed ng kung-anong background ang meron siya." Cites street art groups from UP. Paghaya, kung baga, sa kung paanong magrerespond ang audience mo. At marami pang iba.
11:20: Suarez cites elders as rebels in their own time-- particularly Rio Alma and Ricky de Ungria. Growth is in evolution of work. Light moment, hirit kami ng "kissss" dahil katabi si Sir Ricky.
11:23 Interesting point: de Ungria: Maraming na-etsa-puwera na aesthetics dati, sa generation nila. Stiff, rigid ang nangibabaw na aesthetics. Natutuwa siya na may lumilitaw ngayon na handang mag-ingay. Asks Gelo: "Bakit mo sinasabing kailangan ito ng panahon?"
11:25: Suarez: "Parang ang kapal ng mukha nu'ng sinabi kong kailangan ito ng panahon." Rio Alma rebutts: "Kailangang maniwala ka du'n." Gelo's point: Lyric ang dominant mode. Kailangan kong lumugar against it kung gusto kong panindigan ang poetics ko. Cites protest poetry as example: 'Yung gustong sabihin protest, pero 'yung form, nasa dominant mode pa rin. Gusto kong lumagpas sa ganu'n.
11:32 Suarez cites discomfort and ambivalence re: nomination of Dissonant Umbrellas for National Book Award for design. On one hand, astig, napansin ang materiality nung libro. On the other, tangina, design lang 'yun? Parang bad trip na tiningnan siya bilang poetry book lang, tapos 'yung visual aspect, nakita ng iba bilang palamuti lang. Cites idea of intermedia as another driving force behind his work.
11:40 Discussion on visuality and minimalism re: Gelo's work-in-progress. Interesting suggestion by Roland Tolentino: baka may paraan para gawing performance din 'yung pag-approach ng reader du'n sa form niya as book.
11:47: Discussion on "Criticism is Hard Work" performance sa CCP dati. Hardcore 'yun. Importance of deliberateness in moving towards margins. "I still believe in systems." Cites aporia and inner conflict of artists. Aporia, now google that, hehehe.
11:52: Chingbee Cruz lauds inextricability of form and content in Suarez' work. "Maganda 'yung idea na kunwari, even boredom can be a site for statement." Poses question: "Is it really possible to put these kinds of poems in a book?" in relation to static-ness of page. "The very physical page may not necessarily be the venue for this work."
11:55: Suarez: "Hindi ko sigurado kung dapat ko siyang hayaan bilang ephemeral na text (performance,) kasi gusto ko rin 'yung tension na mismong 'yung pag-transcribe, may micro-politics din siya."
11:57 Suarez re: his poetics paper: "Gusto ko 'yung irony na, talaga bang nagagawa ko ito?" Funny moment: says, "I've always been a fan of overreading."
11:59: Rio Alma: "May espasyo ka ba para sa failure? Kunwari sa performance, at walang reaksyon, nakakaramdam ka bang, sablay?"
12:00 Suarez: "'Yun din ang nagtutulang sa akin na gumawa ng iba, 'yung ideya na pumalpak ako."
12:00 Rio Alma: "Ibig sabihin may framework for analysis ka."
12:01 Suarez: "Natatakot ako na baka pag nahanap ko 'yun, iwan ko na itong proyektong ito."
12:02: Putangina tama na ang haba na nakakahilo na. Lunch, mehn.
taking a break from ermitanyo mode to clear something up
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Basketball buddy and good friend James had something to say about Mar Roxas' TV spot, the one with the pedicabs, and I'd have to admit that I've been hearing much the same thing from friends. So I'm taking a short break from my poetry-obsessed-ermitanyo mode to repost my reply to James' entry-- because I'm thinking that a lot of you might share his sentiments, and that you'd appreciate it if you heard something from me (or Kapi or anyone else from our camp) about this matter.
James had this to say about it:
"So it is with a tinge of disappointment that I now have to bear with his TV ad, Padyakeros. Firstly, because it is way too early for political ads. Secondly, because it is almost a blatant pandering to the poor. There are dignified ways to make a statement, and this is not one of them. It almost insults the intelligence. I say almost only because I want to believe this is a temporary setback."
And here's my comment to his post:
"hey james. i work for mar too-- and yeah we've been getting some flak because of the ad. we could get a beer or something so we (kapi and myself and the rest of the beer-loving cluster of our team) could explain things to you more clearly, but really, man, kami na nga ang nahuli na magkaroon ng ganitong media push. so it's not too early, actually-- some would say that it's a bit late.
"and about the blatant pandering to the poor, well, i'd have to say it's only pandering if the guy didn't really feel that way, if he didn't realy sympathize with them. and who's to say what pandering is, anyway? the ad was really just a more affective way of saying that all the issues and programs that mar has fought for-- cheaper medicines, educational reform, tax relief, transparency and accountability in government-- all of these mean one thing: mar wants to fix the system so that the poor have an equal chance at upward mobility as the rest of us have. i.e., it means that mar cares for the poor. it's not an insult to anyone's intelligence, not if we come to terms with the idea that there is no such thing as "a more intelligent way of looking at things." some people-- the more educated (i.e., those who can afford an education, i.e., the not-so-poor, i.e., us) -- would want bullet points of laws passed, programs of government, etc, while others subscribe to a more affective mode of rationality. meaning-- and i'd have to say this even at the risk of being accused of pandering and insulting the intelligence of the poor-- they really do look at things differently, and in terms of communications, they really do search for different things from candidates-- character and heart more than platforms and level of intellect, actually.
my point is that "may puso" counts as much-- more, actually, in terms of the sheer number of voters who look for it-- as "competent" and "not corrupt." mar has proven his competence. he's just about the straightest arrow in the business. having an ad that shows he has heart wouldn't take anything away from those qualities of his. so maybe it's about time that that "may puso" aspect is played up.
still, beer. nasa cubao lang kami. mogwai sometime?
I've been revising some old poems of mine, and I like how this one turned out:
“…They throw them on their backs, stick a gag in their months to keep it open, then proceed to fill them with water till they cannot hold more. Then they get on them, and a sudden pressure on the stomach and chest forces the water out again. I guess it must cause excruciating agony.”
- from a statement of an American officer
published in the Springfield Republican, 25 April 1900
In search of secrets, you imagine them
tearing his chest open and finding
only water. On the page his eyes
are a century apart from yours.
You imagine his lungs swollen, pale as if bleached.
They poured and poured until the native
--until when? Until he was cured of his secrets?
They heard nothing but some animal, howling.
Sinunog nila ang parang. Ginapas nila nang tila
--stalks. They cut his brothers down like stalks.
There is so much time to search for words.
So much water in your country.
Dalawang gabi akong hindi nakatulog
nang una akong nakapatay ng kaaway.
Marahil dahil sa tuwa. This is the truth.
His body lying on the page like a puddle
of secrets, the names of his spies
pouring unto the soil, the strength
of his numbers dissolving into his blood.
You imagine yourself cleansed,
as if betrayed by thirst, or maybe
the weightlessness of drowning.
There is nothing more to say.
You are only some animal, howling.
Rushing some deadlines before Sunday-- off to Baguio for the workshop. It promises to be a very interesting week, I can tell you that. Back to ermitanyo mode muna.