Stage is for acting
and I consider it life.
I’m not actually an actress
but it is the way I caress

every day I put on makeup
to cover my face
and wear different costumes
depending on dramas and audiences,

then I perform
on the stages of the theaters
named house, office, and school.

See me dancing, laughing, loving

in this staged life,

forever putting on a show,
forever playing a persona.


Speaking Poems

Saying straightforward—
misread and misery.

Forget about the fictions
and instead let us speak
and then love.

For the truth is lying
behind the words of desires
for burning and rising

so let us speak
only as poets.

Another piece regarding the art of poetry that I attempted to write. But this time, I connect poetry as a craft to the utterance of affection. Because this should be our way of communication—like a poem, by not necessarily being poets.

In fact, I find the art of poetry interesting, which thus explains why I write about it several times and even apply it in day-to-day life, even to us. In a paper that I wrote for a class, I notice that some Filipino poets talk about ars poetica through their poems by considering it as an avenue where truth should be expressed but in an indirect manner. “For poetry never says; it unsays” according to Ophelia Dimalanta, a favorite poet of mine (and whose poem “Love, Lie Still…” is the inspiration of the piece shown above; I recommend you to search for it).

So through the craft of poetry, I realized that that was how we should speak to each other. Hence, I wrote the poem above, which I have also sent to your inbox.

You admitted that you could not grasp the point of this poem. You even begged for me to expound. But I did not unravel it to you—and I would never. Because that is the point of the poem.

I do not usually explain my side as you know, and you despise that trait of mine. (Perhaps I was already being a poet since then.) At the same time, you rarely share your personal stories. Therfore, I can say that we never really have a true conversation. We may have asked each other where to eat or where to hang out, and we may have shared a few stories from our day, but have we ever asked each other how we feel? What we really want? Or what’s going on with us? Even if we answer, would we say the truth?

Obviously, not. That is why there is the art of poetry. As I have stated, forget about the fictions and instead let us speak poems and then love. Let us utter those abovementioned questions, and then let us answer as poets. Let us not fool each other with those “fictions” concerning our affection. We should state the truth, but in an indirect way.

We should talk about how we keep on returning to the fast food chain where we had our first date. We should remember that we got to know each other when the cocktails hit and the lights began to whirl. We should discuss on why our rendezvous was always at 11 p.m. We should interrogate on why we keep on accompanying each other despite the clashes with our attitudes.

Do not forget that speaking is only applicable through words. Thus, we should remember that our eyes and touches speak. And they are speaking poetry.

In that way, somehow we will be true to each other.

Perhaps it is because we cannot take the truth, which most people are inclined of doing. If we will be honest, we are aware that we know the truth. And yes, it will hurt and make us angry. I know it, which is why I suggest that we express it through poems. At least our touches and words will continue on providing us warmth, though we know that abhorrence and heartbreak flare underneath.

I wish I can believe that someday we can talk while looking straight into each other’s eyes, that we do not have to rely on the art of poetry in order for us to speak. But as I have said, every time we say our feelings forthright, we tend to misinterpret and down one another. Because we all know that truth hurts most of the time.

So we use flowery words and loving actions to utter the truth that we are not supposed to carry on, like how a poem incorporates figures of speech to conceal its actual meaning.

And the fact that we speak poems, we know that another unspeakable truth lies within.


A Portrait

a living paradox
breathing and dying,
she who’s an ocean
who likes small spaces
where she finds the ocean—
blackening of day:
now she’s somebody
rowing and diving
listening to soundless noise
of the addled and despondent
prompting to choose
soar or stay,
yet the decision’s to depart
by the train, bus, plane, boat;
roam now and never return
for nothing
they need to know.


Break Time

She finally faces the morning
of her old dimensions.
Bittersweet thoughts and tongue,
and a notebook of some poems
meant to be sung.

It was the morning before
clocks commenced to gallop hastily.
Yet gratefully time pauses,
pulls her away
from the current—
the grey nebulous air and
long queues and ringing bells
and unmoved manuscripts.

Time is the enemy,
but today she is thankful
for time transports her back
to the morning before
time moves in a hurry once more.



Only when a heart ruptures
do we hear the rending sound.

—Doris Trinidad, Breakup

It begins with a booming sound
inside us, some machines,
a part of us
The reason, we can never understood
despite the time we engineered
our ship before
going to the sea.
And it wasn’t the sea’s fault.
Because we chose the sea
for us to cruise on.
And even it is the raging sea
that engulfed us,
it is still chiefly because of a failure
of our engines
(which made us believe
we’re unsinkable).
But here we are in a trench
taking a look at our ship
wrecked, submerging,
wretched, devoured
by the too much water inside.

Our ship touches the bottom,
but it will remain there

Soon it will be another ruin
we will stare and remember
and we will sink in the sea again.
Yet someday, though our
ship is under the sea,
the water will never get inside us anymore.



Sincerely, I remember this.

We selected similar trajectory, but we had our own ways of treading. And then our footprints somehow—or rather unintentionally—meet and match. So we walk together, happily.

Admittedly, I say this.

While we traipse, I wanted my footprint to left standout among the rest of us. And I was eager to walk faster.

Eventually, I came to a realization.

Walking would not wholly show that I would win—for this was not a race. We move in our own pace and learn along the way.

Honestly, for that, I have never said sorry.

For wanting to leave and get ahead, for not helping when one of us fall, for saying you slow my speed, for seriously wishing to walk on my own.

Yet, truly, I am grateful for this, for you.

You hold my arm as we walk to let me know I should not be alone. You help me every time I stumble.

Yes, I really remember everything.

I may always looking straight to the end of the pathway, but I never forget the footprints we made, our falls and runs, and our hands never loosening its grip no matter the obstructions or the variance of our pace.

I know this.

We have our own trajectories now, but I also know, soon we will share the trace of our footprints when our trail intersect and reach the destination.


to be named

her mind whispering
hatred, cling,
and wanting
for erasures.
she tried to correct
the lies laid in
long monologues,
even herself.
leaving her now with
no name. each time
her mind
or someone
murmurs madness,
without words
her body also urging
to say
i want to be loved.
so say it in a seemingly way
she will be named.