Posts Tagged travel
“I felt the beginning of a passion, hopeless in the long run, but very nourishing, for identifying myself with people who were not my own, and whose lives were governed by ideas alien to mine.” V. S. Pritchett in A Midnight Oil
In-between, there’s always a space. Whether between places, words, and people. Everything has its own space, even water is being divided with water bubbles, and nights including its dense darkness is littered with glitters. These spaces allowed us to breathe, and think, and do things in transition.
A couple of months ago, i lost more than images of childhood, memories of summer, and time spent uncaringly putting rolled tobacco on my young and succulent lips. Those secret travels i made with cousins, friends, and acquaintances, hunting for spiders, fishes, and monsters that came alive one dreamy afternoon, when every kitchen in the neighbourhood blackened with soot and festivities become pregnant with cooked sweet potatoes, bananas, and laughter.
Most of these memories were interspersed with finding love on a bicycle i used to pedal around the city- in quaint streets, in hidden passages, and in secret lairs where fierce red ants and psychotic bees reign supreme, this is where love are tested waging little wars of attrition. The love i found, i share it with the sweetness of banana cue and curled-up sugarcane molasses. It was long ago, where everything is about adventure, where the world is a big playground, and our poetics rhyme with sweets peddled in the streets.
Sweets are important to remembering.
On all souls day, sticky rice cooked with coconut milk and brown sugar is our way to remember the lives of those who left us, differently, or Dad said so. This manner of cooking to summon memory left me together with the departure of my father.
I only have a few important leavings – September 2010 and February 2011, in-betweens are trysts.
October is a good promise, your eyes they disappear when they are delighted with the idea of drifting, but still you are a puzzle. Today, i no longer have the patience to solve puzzles or anything that has similarity to finding solutions to a puzzle, i don’t want to think too much. i would want to think of things outside puzzles, as it is the planet is a puzzle.
Tonight it’s going to be different. Something else blared from the beat-box
It’s ahum, hoo, ahum haa, aho ahoooooo, hooooo, howew.
it’s a soft jumpy and jittery music playing in the background.
Let me tell you a story of a horse, that most people mistook for a lot of things. Last week my neighbours’ child who came home late with all the dried-up puddle on his face, cried out loud even during meals, the kid who developed the talent to cry and cry while chewing his dinner gained the ire of the horse, whom the child called the greatest living painter ever for solving the class assignment the boy took from school, as a punishment for singing without any reasons and continuously after the flag ceremony. The assignment known as the greatest punishment since, is a conversation in colors that varies in tones and hues.
Or as how the village gossip got hold of the conversation.
The horse became a cow for plowing the wind as if it’s a ricefield, anticipating the coming of hunger. jumping, running as a melody – tom tom toom, tooom tom tom tom, pam poom taam. Paaa paaa pa pa ra pa pa paaaaa..
Last night somebody died, the horse became a holy person – an intercessor of God, a holy lawyer, a spoke-person of the recent dead, collecting money in bundles from the pockets of believers, the starry eyed redemption of the heavens.
It became a pusher for the chemically loaded, a gun on the temple of the head of the desperate.
Like a horse, our state in transition will assume names, weathers, and phenomenon, we will gallop. The horse is a story of transition, a story in transition, transient stories, the space between here and there, the significant pause before we continue our conversations, it’s the nose-bridge between our eyes. It’s the wrinkle that divides your palm in many chambers
Boom booooom booooom boom bombooom booooom.
One day the horse disappeared, and we dive into forgetting. What is color? what is distance? what are lies.
We became pure. No more music or the pounding of melodies. We lost everything.
How will i retell our stories?
A couple of months ago, i went on running hoping to catch the past the left me suddenly, i rode my bike and got lost in corners, i went after the breathing that left you. I went after the stories.
A couple of months ago is in-between, a stone i nibbled on my waking.
“The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” Thomas Paine
It was exactly on a day like this when you came down from the sky. The clouds were grey, with a hint of orange, and some streaks of blue. There were pocket storms all over you, there were small circles for thunder, lightning, torrid rains, and raging winds. Your body is littered with leaves, broken branches of unknown trees. On your feet is a swollen river. Your knees assumed landslides, between your legs a typhoon slowly gathers strength, and gave havoc immediately above your hips. Strangely you hand summoned a different season, winter in an unprecedented coldness.
I’m trying to re-imagine you. Your hair brown as a river, with curls like open-sea-waves has metallic yellow ribbon, with a real yellow butterfly roosting on it, desperately seeking succulence. Your hair like rain, fell down until a few inches below your shoulder. The bag you carry on your back carried your burden in return. You told me the half-moon under your eyes were not borne from lunacy, sleeplessness has its own way of claiming your body, that’s why that moon, you say, is in constant eclipse.
I looked down on your palm, it looked like it has been ravaged by wars, the lines were scarred, it has wounds, it doesn’t close easily, and is wet with tears. Your palm looked like a different continent altogether, forced to surrender, a broken republic.
I heard your heart caved-in.
You went to the bathroom, and cleaned the floor like you always do, i’m sure you were smirking in front of the mirror after seeing those little green molds silently starting a colony.
I’ve been away for 7 years. In those years i am always in some places that most of the times i didn’t bother to share. I almost died in one of the hospitals in an island across where you’ve been, those were psychedelic days, in high experiment, as if my budget is limitless as the string that held the kite back from reaching the blue above.
I’ve been communing with the sea, but never told you of the secrets i gathered from hermit crabs, from fireflies inhabiting mangrove nations. The wind has its own evening secrets, when the waters glow, the air around assembles to impregnate the churning below.
I never told you what happened when i went up there where guns grew wings. Time moved around in slow-motion, in mud-pace. I spoke of the trees, one night my voice rustled like thousand leaves, and trembled as if i’m a coconut tree about to give-up the bulging greens and oranges up my bosom. Sometimes i croaked like the frog under the rain, demanding reforms for the land that i’ve been skipping. Above, in that place, the earth becomes liquid under my feet.
I ate lamb stew i found under the stairs of your dreams.
Did i tell about my moving closer to piers of different countries? How i just shook my hand like a preacher, and moved my eyes to wink, to get my fair share of love near train stations, airports, and movie houses?
I didn’t get the chance to tell all of these, because i can’t be still. The familiar became unfamiliar.
I saw you again surrounded by loss, tubes going in and out of your mouth, machines musically disturbing beside you, and i touch your hands, your feet, your shoulder, and your forehead. You never opened your eyes again, nor your mouth, and something in me choked.
Then the coldness came.
Then i silently recalled our stories together as if they are photographs, slowly flipping through pages, from black and white to colors.
Pa, i spoke to you.
My breathing clots on my chest.
The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably.
Listen to me.
Who have been walking with their shoes, bloodied and soiled by the faith of redemption. Who plunged themselves to the labels of excesses, and cry in silent for the hunger you felt is more than what is being sold in street corners.
Didn’t you lament on romances that got wasted by love in the vegetable kingdoms, where rats infests to feed their young somewhere hidden in the stench of the sewers.
Didn’t you talked about silence, and threw every single watches you own to the roof of houses you passed by every night you got yourself in one of those situations, that getting drunk is not just because of alcohol but by the smell of bodies charging against each other? swear that you will submit to the eternity of time. Aren’t you noisy with this kind of silence? and your songs are gibberish.
Aren’t your knees became callous because you kneel in every chance there’s a cathedral in your mind and in every body else’s mind, and then you get shoved from behind, because all of these are prescribed by the preachers in glossy suits, and gel elated hairs.
I am with you if you’ll jump up from the 10th floor of your dreaming and fall splendidly voiceless.
I am with you when you murder the language that will creep from the shadows of your wants.
I am with you when you berate the tv for misleading us with cartoon shows and write speeches to flood newsrooms of naked skeletons.
I will be with you when we will shove down our poetics to the throats and asses of those who have been wielding their names as if they own every mad house of the cities that we’ve been to.
This is where i will settle, in my dreams where i saw you with skinny legions, with eyes stretched back as far as china, and breathe-in, deep like it’s an unending well, without the bonanzas of wealth.
We will settle here, and we will kiss until we are drown in our own embrace, under the Technicolor evening, we will walk around and name every nameless, we will knock on their doors and sleep on their beds.
Soon we will fade in discontent.
After several days of contempt the clouds finally revealed its watery secrets.
I haven’t been musing for a long time, fates have been conspiring to prevent me from taking note of how people in real life interacts. Gestures have become mere gestures, it doesn’t have motives, it doesn’t have history. I don’t even know what a specific color a person is wearing represents.
Today it came back in deluge. rain makers are done.
A garden suddenly appeared before me, it has all sort of flowers, vines, and spices. The aroma stings my eyes and made me think of heaven. At the center is the chico tree of my youth, it is where i curved myself when breathing becomes heavy in anticipation of a juvenile meet-up, while the rain etched it’s tattoo on my back, like maps of lost treasures, overlapping each other trying to misled those who are on a long and short hunt.
I will then start to unlock meanings, and i will create new meanings from situations, events, and conversations. I will also share naming the world in half, one for me – a continent founded on rivers, where houses will rise on books, stories as stilts, and one for your dreaming and drifting one that has wheels on it and a pedal attached to it so you can roam around with the world you will name, when and where ever you want. Our world will be translated over and over.
Has hairs of summer
With delicate sorrow on her eyes
And communed in songs
To those that inhabit the underground
Bursting from nowhere like a sudden river, the tortured nights before me will stop, i will not grind my teeth to sleep, and i will not be as reckless as evenings induced in rhum, brandy, and all that’s bitter sweet. I will looked at my toes, and delight on the mud under my nails – i’ve been trailing foot paths without my slippers i only want comfort negotiated between my feet and the earth. I will linger in the sensation between my fingers every time they are about to clasp your frail hands. You should know your palm has lines that measures distance in touch.
I will murmur degrees of colors
To harvest the offerings
Of the street clinched
In our fists
It will snake like roads
To where dreams are relocated
Between our eyes.
Our quarrel is abundant as our questions that we would want to ask each other. example our coming together is a conspiracy of the universe – our vocabularies are subservient to the wishes of the stars.
These are protracted speculations, that cannot be settled anytime we are eternally distant and dislocated.
Last week i let go of my possessions, i let go of stories hidden between book pages. i concealed fragrances, and stench in papers and neatly placed them in my collection of fictions and intellectual ranting of dead poets, disturbed intellectuals, the cynical geniuses, brillian junkies and the freaks.
Las week i let go of myself, in whim. then i center a storm in this country that i also call my own.
Tomorrow, we will call on those who were absent, those who have been pushed to forgetfulness. We will remind them that after all that our revisionism is nothing but ordinary, of orders going against the tyranny of comfort.
To end this, i will slowly fold the envelope where you hide letters, i will delete numbers, i will clear my browser history. i will forget, how one evening i saw you surrendering laughter to strangers, as you whistle by the stairs, and click and click and click.
i will write on papers and send them out slowly.
I will take flight and fall like stones from the sky when i am old.
I am not done yet.
Inside me is like a room with dark drapes drawn across a bright day, it’s a sealed place where creatures who crawl, and fly cannot enter. In the middle is a coffee table, with books half consumed by fire, litters the left edge, then there’s a pencil over papers crowded with scribbles and other manuscripts. There’s supposed to be an ashtray not to catch what is left from cigarettes but to contain the ashes of burnt leftover love.
On the left is a small wardrobe, five steps from the coffee table a red rug starts to lead you to where my clothes are being kept, in snaking diagonal formation is a sentence “here meals are rehearsed from your memory”. You’ll just have to acquaint yourself to seeing things in the dark and you’ll see shirts, long sleeves, jeans, socks, under wears, pants, slippers, bags, bed sheets, towels, notebooks, pens, shoes, pillow cases, and to the delight of the gloomy-weather-worshipper is a sun block, mascara, tanning lotion, and lip balms – sometimes these are essential, who would know the ozone would want to open itself bigger and bigger? Tacked on the wardrobe is the list of things that are sent out for laundry, and some little instructions how to wash them. Standing on top encased in glass is a battery powered latex laser sword with an instruction “for alien invasion only”. Think, but don’t think too much, i don’t want you to get any idea, how things started and how it will move from here.
Perpendicular to this is a little bed, big enough to accommodate strangers that are lost, this may be a quaint room but it still needs company. The sheets covering my bed is soft, with pillows that allows you to bury your head every night when dreams are too much to contain, when you grind your teeth, and talk before going deeper to dreamscapes.
Littering around my room are luggage; all sort of cases, and mountain bags, you know i can leave anytime i want. On the ceiling are lizards, made me think that they are couples, i always think of them as collectors of stories that happened inside my room. The stories might be too much for them, as yesterday i found a third one, and another spider on the corner. They need to have more and more allies, now they need cobwebs to capture despair that the lovely reptiles failed to catch. They capture dreams and re-dreamed them.
Outside is a veranda overlooking the river village, and where the river village looked back. the veranda made of wood creaks in protest every time i’m out to survey possible escape routes. A few meters below, before reaching the river is a minefield of sadness, you can see wilting flowers, dead animals among them, soiled clothes sticking out of the earth, a punctured tire, rotting boats, a broken tv, a spectacle, a wig, a colony of rats, the stench of decay, and a butterfly. it came to me one night and settled in my stomach, that every time we converse and every time i hear your stilettos echoing in the alley outside my door, the butterfly would convulse inside and i am reduced to worldlessness in your presence, everything in me crumbled like a poorly baked chiffon cake.
i saw you and then i think of delayed breakfast, fried eggs, toast cut in neat little squares, salt and pepper, cinnamon, coffee with milk and brown sugar, delectable morning, and i think of hunger, because i am of the world that doesn’t have words for everything, my mouth doesn’t open to received gifts of nourishment, the joys of nibbling your crisp laughter, the glory of tasting the saltiness of your sweat, and the earth on your body. the high-heels calling my attention, the feet, the map before reaching the knees, and the hem of your dress, a curtain call for archers to bend their body, and words to keep the hollow of your form. That tiny curving nails set to abolish the repetition of verses coming from all direction, that tender arm is capable of doing all that is violent, tearing all that intrudes your territory, sending to martyrdom thirst and hunger, the vagabond distraction becoming still. You open roads against the shadow.
Directly under my bed is a secret passageway, where exit is the only thing allowed.
We must speak of loss first
Let us examine how the ebbing left
You with fermented songs
How one morning you searched
And plundered the widening heaven
With stories of abandoning
Etched clearly when you stretched
Your mouth like a river
I went up at the arrivals lounge full of resentment other than my own, the couple on my right side complained in silence why the sun is so searing today close to being unforgiving. my left-side lovers are cool about the whole thing perhaps they took the weather as a premonition how their day would end. I am caught in-between, this is exactly the kind of scenario that i dread – finding myself in the middle of two loves. Outside, the sky threatens to pour out it’s long overdue discontent to all the widespread dryness. These are the things i cannot undo.
Oh well come on, hit me hard and low.
I just came from an island and instead of going around and loiter on its beaches, i decided that i will just sit down, take my pen, and started to waste away in a different world where inanimate become animated, and the animated become stiff, sturdy, rigid, and not to mention frigid. Like how i want to proceed these days, i went incognito.
Out of nowhere the phone screen stared at me and shouted ‘travel is the saddest of all pleasures.
Let me argue with myself first, In travel you’ll have to bear with absence, but then again, you will have to open yourself with a new kind of presence, no matter how you want it, you have the island for yourself. What sort of absence are we articulating ? The long blank trail between people that doesn’t end somewhere? The peculiar absence of the pushing and pounding of machines against machines, and the frightening bliss of silence traversing your bones? There is only mud on my feet, they’re thick, slippery, and earthy. The water buffaloes behind me rise in agony as the rain came like an infant’s embrace – very unforgiving.
The emptiness of the road and all it’s bareness is a strong metaphor of vulnerability, it is an endless stretch of longing.
However travel allows me to outgrow all of those things that has been bothering me for so long. Every time i press my ears on unfamiliar walls, every time i turn doorknobs – i open places, i open new, distant, constellations – cobwebs, windows, sheets, and faces. Every time i pay for bus tickets, i do not just send away money, or coins, i also shooed away nightmares, restlessness, sleeplessness, and all that pushed me deeper in my bed.
Travelling is relative to remembering and forgetting
We have different manners in travelling, we have all sorts of rituals and other beliefs. Some dwell with how they fold their shirts making sure that the scent of their love ones who left before dawn is intact in the cloth. Some chew their food incessantly and in precise rhythm of their lovers laughter. Some take photos, some simple and some as elaborate as metal puzzles.
You shall not forget. Dusk will peer into your
Window, tragic-eyed and still,
And unbidden startle you into remembrance
With its hand upon the sill.
Travelling for me is a pilgrimage, just like writing, it is sacred as it is trivial, it is of both worlds. I set out to darkness waiting for somebody to arrive. It is also the art of bringing together elements to form civilizations – guava, chico, pomelo, durian, jackfruit, mixed with milk, breath, and gun powder to make mother wombs as valiantly explosive, bursting in spectacular colors. A race made of rainbows on your wrists, lips, breasts, and hips.
After a long travel, the long haul, the longest sleep, i will fall deeply like a stone, tenants will even moved under me – like millipedes, centipedes, rats, and other creatures of the crevices. They will use my body as a foundation, they will have Ferris wheel, clowns, food joints, and even governments complete with fascism to strike down dissent of people questioning their exploits over my body.
I came back today – i catapulted myself to the familiar chaos, of people cheering mistresses and philanderers, while jeering those who profess love in the open, i came back to unknowing. I’m back to all that is familiar.
My hand is that of alloy, with fingertips made of chrysanthemums, sunflowers, and thorns. My feet, they’re flightless birds, that only glide in short distances, but i have more elastic frog legs, i can leap higher then glide, they may be wingless, but it will bring me again to travel. My arms are horses they speed up to race with time and hunger, my heart is a kitten it can only purr, but my mind is hawksbill diving to nothingness.
ang imong palad
aron mobukhad usab
ang ubang palad
sa panganod sa dagat
ug sa langit
hangad ug ihapyod kini
sa imong dagway
lakip tanang suok
ang tanan nga
sa mga anino
unya inata imong kaugalingon
aron matul-id ang tanan
nga nahiwi u gang tanan
nga nasaag miliko
sa karaan nga dalan
Imong mata ug baba
Idungan sa tunglo
Sa subang sa adlaw
Ug mga bituon
Tawga ang mga bato sapa
Bukid lapok panganod kahoy
Ang yuta ug uban pa
tan-awa ang tabanog
tulin kayo nga mipauli
“Imagine a world in which there is no time. Only images.”
-Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams
Today, i’ve been limping, i envy amphibious living, i mean frogs can go hopping between stones agily, while i can only muster calculated steps, every time i stretched my feet after the other. you can see pain spelled on my face, like a misplaced stigmata. Unlike frogs, like other cold blooded animals they can go in and out of water as they please without effort. I also envy water, they can go low when it is necessary. Water also assume shapes, contours, and edges, it can freeze not as they please but only when temperature tells it to, it can murmur when at it’s boiling point. Today in my mute-land , i can only limp, turtle pacing to where the noise are roosting.
This is my tale, it is meaningless as other tales before this, the good thing about all of these meaninglessness is nobody asks questions, or else they will suffer the same fate as the tales it questioned. It’s utterly useless as well, why would you question something that is meaningless in the first place? For the sake of becoming align with the weight of being non-relevant? Wait – meaningless, useless, and irrelevant all in their glorious affirmative-negative state.
Haha. This is actually nsfw.
Last night, i’ve been with some of the kindred souls i’ve known in the 2 decades of my existence ;p i enjoyed listening to their stories, how most of their lives changed overnight waking up one morning and their hang-over never left, throbbing until today, an echo roaming inside their head that kept them puzzled what happened the night before, the kind of buzz that kept on buzzing long after they abandoned drinking on the same glass of wine.
One friend of mine stopped wearing socks out of guilt, another chose to retreat in corners and wait for random conversations, one decided to wear sleeveless shirts to show how tattoos become more define whenever he flexes, another one decided to hover above everyone else, becoming light as balloons. another one felt like an out of time wine merchant during the wedding at canaan, most became entertainers performing magic, belting out sonnets, love peddlers, seeking what ever cause they can make out of nothing, but, come to think of it, they are as disconnected as they are more inclined to talk to their gadgets, passionately.
In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective. – Alan Lightman
Unlike most of them, i decided to become an observer participating only among the shadows. A token for everybody else.
Unlike others i don’t have to fake it.
I’m saying all of these because the limp disallowed me to dance and entertain others like those in the circus, i hate it when my pick-up line opens with –
- hi, ive got an infection
- you know what my psychiatrist said?
- Let’s share something aside the moon
- So, what’s your favourite chaser?
- Do you know there’s a shampoo called gee you hair smells terrific, too bad you don’t know it?
- What is the square root of 3,789,987.987?
- You wan’t to disappear?
- I’m so cheap, you don’t have to bargain
- I need to measure the steps from your gate to your bedroom for feng shui
- I’ll call your ob gyne
The other day, a girl with an eye-shaped-coming-all-the-way-from-china, prompted me to reconsider writing again – in random. How exactly random is random? Does randomness have a criteria ? Or does a criteria in itself contradicts randomness? I am always at ease with all things that is random. apparently the concept of tenure is now bigger than the idea of randomness. Don’t you think that the moment we invoke the idea of randomness, we are already limiting the possibilities? The what ifs? Is it dearth instead?
Thank you so much, you made me write again.
In this era of dis-association, in this era of persistent ironies, the need to connect becomes greater, and the necessity to ignore all misgivings is in no way correct, anyway let me write about this separately.
Limping for me is an excuse, secretly i’ve been praying that the heavens will inflict me with some sort of sickness aside from what i have right now straight in the head.
I would have wanted to become unproductive and see how the world will bid it’s time, in this harsh world where everything is random, everything done on impulse, my adoration will remain the same, sincere and erratic. Haha.
to her who showed me images and words in mixed commotion. salamat!
I shall not allure you
With dangling adornments
Nor entice you
With painted face
Nor dazzle you
With natty garments
I shall not please you
With a veneer belying my thoughts
No, i shall not come to you cloaked in false beauty
Only to disillusiones you later
I shall come bald