love

November 30, 2007 - One Response

we are refined
smooth around the edges
with fewer expectations
and a clarity that both comforts and disappoints

we look at the painted faces in the photo
limbs clumsy inlove
broken promises wet on our lips
cheeks flushed; drunk off the sweetness of our youth

we look at the reflection
eyes that use to seek acceptance
now dissect cellophane idols and ancestral illusions

we used to grasp desperately for a hand to hold
but somewhere between happily-ever-after & yesterday
sleeping alone became a gift
Rejection a patient teacher
and Time; an honest companion

the lines have blurred
and after past lifetimes of doing it for the wrong reasons
we can finally do it for the right one.

canvas

November 28, 2007 - Leave a Response

stained
erased
redrawn
rubbed out

each time the canvas waits
for him to tell her
what it is he wants to see

brand her with his rubber stamp
validate her arrogance
increase her net worth over her misguided sisters
and their delusional faith in the System

she anticipates the approval of his touch
the satisfaction in his smile
the twitch in his pants

suspend her on time
like some cotton bedsheet
blowing between innocence and depravity
plunge inside her
her warm bath
a retreat from the constant nagging of his
failures and inadequacies

she waits
planted in her awkward shoes
and rehearsed pose
killing time until his next inspired cliche

a fantasy
an illusion
a puzzle
a shell.

So what’s the deal with God??

November 28, 2007 - Leave a Response

I’ve had a few friends ask me how I became religious and more specifically, how did I settle upon a Christian God considering all the other great deities out there. To some degree, I take my personal journey for granted and sharing it actually pokes and prods me to question myself.

” Do i still have faith or am I just going through the motions?”

First off, my father is a devout athiest. So much so it’s almost to the point of a religion in itself. My dad took whatever occasion he could to point out that it wasn’t God that put food on the table or paid for our new clothes but my father’s devotion to his family. A devotion so strong that it made him get up at 7 am 5 days a week for most of his life and drag his very unhappy self to a job he hated but accepted that it made a “good living”.

My mother was a wanna be catholic. She viewed the Church for the most part as a social organization and kept her opinions on God to herself. Usually we only heard her address God when she was upset and even then she spoke in Tagalog so we had no clue whether she was begging for help or cursing the powers that be.

In elementary school, I was a pretty rotten kid. I stole from other kids. I was jealous of other kids. I had no friends. Even the unpopular girl that picked her nose refused to hang out with me. I’m not sure what my problem was. I just seemed to hate everyone but I loved receiving attention from my teachers. One of my favorite teachers was Ms. Duck. She was tall, well-dressed, sharp elegant features and a voice that reminded me of butter on popcorn. She was regal, almost. In my head, she was too perfect to be married. The kind of woman that didn’t need a husband to complete her.

One day Ms. Duck found out that I had stolen from the other kids. She never came out and told me or the rest of my classmates but I could tell by the way she ignored me in class and sent me out to eat lunch by myself that she must have found out somehow. I was heartbroken. My favorite teacher hated me. I could take all the other kids hating me but not Ms. Duck. She was my Bionic Woman.

In class, she used to start off the day reading passages from the Bible. Definatly a no-no by today’s practices but I guess back in the 80’s it wasn’t such a big deal. I had heard about this big thick book with the thin crisp pages. Some of the other kids brought their Bibles to class so they could read along. I remember the sound of all the pages flicking back and forth, back and forth while trying to find the right passages. I assumed if I had a Bible that maybe Ms. Duck would lighten up a little since obviously this thick book meant a lot to her. How bad could I be if I read the same book as Ms. Duck?

I didn’t have a Bible at home. I wasn’t about to ask my Dad for one. Not unless I wanted him to smack me upside the head with it. So I grabbed a book off the shelf at home that sorta seemed to have the same look as the Bible. It was the Merck Manual Medical Book. It detailed all sorts of various diseases, the symptoms and their treatments. The pages had that same thin crispness to it. A perfect decoy.

So I started pretending to read from the Bible like some of the other kids in class. Only I would pay extra attention to the stories that Ms. Duck read since I couldn’t actually read along. She spoke about this entity called God that loved everyone. That forgave everyone. And I mean everyone. Even rotten little kids that Ms. Duck herself couldn’t forgive? Even me??? A kid whose parents wished she wasn’t born, a teacher that knew she was a thief and classmates that couldn’t stand me? No way!

Eventually eating alone at lunch didn’t seem so lonely, I outgrew stealing from the other kids and Ms. Duck even lightened up a year later. Something about being “forgiven” even when I didn’t necessarily ask for it or realized it was what I wanted had melted away alot of the anger I had towards those around me. I didn’t feel like it was me vs them. Them being my parents, my teachers and my classmates.

That’s how it started. Since then I’ve struggled on and off with faith. I’ve definately done my fair share of things that I’m sure did not exactly fit into the Christian agenda. Some of them I don’t regret. Some of them I do. Whether I decide to be a Christian or not..whether or not I chose to go to Church..whether or not I decide to pray ..I feel God is there.

Even if I decide not to follow Him and never speak His name again. I know it wouldn’t mean He doesn’t exist. Just that I have decided to live without Him. He’s there. That’s what Faith is. Not having to have it there in your face but knowing it exists. Like the love from your parent, you don’t doubt it. You just know. And that’s what makes religion..whether it be Christianity or not…a powerful and sometimes frightening thing. The ability to believe in something even though there is no tangible proof that you can bring up when you begin to doubt.

I remember going to a Church where my peers asked me if I remembered the exact moment God entered my life. I said I didn’t. That it was more of a growth process for me. They told me that I had not really accepted God since I didn’t have that moment. Personally, I thought it was crap. Each person has their own reasons to believe and of course, to not believe. Each person has their own journey and that journey may be similar or unique to others’ but it is necessary and not one that should be rushed. Whether it happens in a moment or over many years or throughout one’s lifetime.

It may be a horrible analogy but it’s like love. For some, they feel a connection with someone instanteously. Just by looking into their eyes or feeling the touch of their skin in a handshake. For me, my closest friends have come out of years of building memories together, helping each other even when it may have been easier to walk away, letting each other down but being able to forgive and work things out. (Not forget but forgive.)

This is the kind of relationship I have with God.

I think back on that angry little girl in elementary school and wonder if I would have turned out all that differantly if I hadn’t brought the Merck Manual to Ms. Duck’s class. Maybe things would have worked out fine either way. Maybe the point isn’t that the Christian God is what saved me but rather acceptance and forgiveness was what saved me. In whatever form it took. Maybe that’s the bigger picture??

Like I said, we each have our own reasons to believe or not to. But that’s something we have to confront on our own. Never asking questions or facing the issue of “God” isn’t necessarily making a decision. That’s just putting off a discussion for another time.

rain

November 28, 2007 - Leave a Response

it’s the sunshine that pushes you forward
and the rain that holds you still
time holds it’s breath in the rain
just long enough for you to reflect on yesterday’s misadventures
just long enough for you to anticipate the sting of the inevitable.

rain sings a lullaby in the afternoon
whispers a secret at twilight
offers comfort when sweet relief refuses
to step out from the corner.

rain becomes the blanket you crawl under
when the tangled web of everyday leaves you
praying for time
i need more time
just a little more time.

and once the solace becomes suffocating
we turn our back on the friend
that disguised our disappointments
washed away the salt from our cheeks
and gave us a softer place to land.


			

termination letter

November 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

move over, lord!
i have some work to do
rolling up my sleeves to clean up the mess
you’ve left us in
tired of the beep beep of the busy signal
and the silence of dropped prayers

don’t forget to take down your pictures, lord!
poloroids of memories from your golden days
tacked up in your immaculate cubicle
abraham, isaac, jacob, mary, moses,
you’ll want to keep those in your backpocket
for a rainy day

i don’t want to hear any excuses, lord!
you know how we are
you made us in your likeness
but not like you
just aware enough to realize we fall short everytime

we don’t need to be saved from the devil, lord!
i’m pretty sure satan has nightmares of us
entering his den
uniformed in our “i love porn” tshirts
sewn by children with jaundiced tans from fluorescent lights
munching on sugar-free, fat-free
genetically altered and modified
vitamin -enriched plastic by-products
a stack of tabloid magazines under one arm
and self-help books under the other

you can’t scare us straight, lord!
we’ve created monsters in our likeness
antibiotic-resistant bacteria
cigarettes
toxic land
global warming
genocide
colonization
pedophilia
slavery
ignorance
disneyland

we’re paying our angels minimum wage, lord!
clipping their wings so they don’t stray too far
melting down those shiny halos
into gold

now it’s time, lord!
put on your sandals
take down the cross
pack up the good book

we can take it from here, lord
we both know how the story ends.

traditions

November 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

i’d like to crawl into your lap
wrap your sunny disposition and delusions of fidelity
around me,
rest my cloudy head against your chest
and have your breathing lull me to sleep.

i’d like to shake your foundation
chip away at your tower of comfortable upbringing and middle class values
i want to stain your walls with my dirty genes
and leave my fingerprints all over your skin.

but i won’t
because you play the game better than i
you’ve played it your whole life
my mirror projects the rage, insecurities and shame from the past
your mirror reveals only the gifts your parents gave you.

you will try to share everything with me
i will try to destroy it
i will deny everything i’ve ever said
you will stay a little bit longer
and then you’ll leave
and i’ll hate you for doing exactly what i predicted all along
and i’ll hate me for doing exactly what i predicted i would do all along.

i will beg you to save me then resent your intentions
you will promise not to let me fall then find the weight unbareable
i will adorn you with the failures of previous affairs
you will try to find redemption by making me the one that didn’t get away

reunion

November 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

let’s put it out
i’ll show you mine
you show me yours
tonight we bet like fools
tossing out the kingdom, buried treasures
and whatever else we keep tucked away
in the secret pockets of our heart

under a canvas of black
wrapped in vanilla and salt
floating on red wine and nostalgia
we will trip over yesterday
laugh at our insecurities
expose our lies
dissect our intentions
and confess our failed coups

as each light overhead flicks on and off
we will replay moments of significance
forced declarations of loyalty and fidelity
moments trapped in frames imprisoned in a rubbermaid tub
in the back of my closet
but its the seconds caught off film
the thoughts caught off print
the times you walked past me and didn’t touch my back
the times i fell asleep and didn’t wonder what time you’d be home
the afternoons we used to come home early
replaced by evenings late at the office

somewhere in the times between
birthdays, valentine’s, anniversaries
tangled among family gatherings,
business lunches, summer roadtrips
you became an annoyance
i became a burden
we became work

the canvas begins to lift
two damaged romantics desperately trying to find a formula
if we can just pinpoint where it all began to unravel
together we travelled forward
and when it ended
we took separate paths into the past;
to the time before
when it was just
you
and
me

******************************************************************************

i think i wrote this one back in march..a couple of months after a nearly 3 year relationship ended ..i imagined what it would be like to bump into him somewhere down the road..we grab a few drinks and after the small talk is over, we move onto dissecting why and how our relationship fell apart…sometimes complete honesty is hard in a relationship but once it’s over..we really have nothing to lose by telling the other all the “thoughts” that were censored…its like 2 opponents coming together after a match and revealing the strengths/weaknesses of the other…the only problem is that we are such multi-dimensional creatures that the character we may have been in relationship X may not be the same character we assume in relationship Y…oh well..it’s worth a shot, right?

Hello world!

November 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

i love the rrrrroll of a word on my tongue, the w-e-i-g-h-t of a phrase as i speak it and the pop and shake as a sentence dances around in my mouth…

lately relationships…whether it’s between lovers, best friends, family or even one’s self…fascinates me..we are complicated but really we don’t need to be..we have the tools to communicate..we have awareness…we know better…situations can be sticky and confusing but more often than not we and our family of “issues” make things far more complicated than they actually are…

i’ll admit i am drawn to imperfections and the weary soldiers that battle their self-doubt, weaknesses, paranoia and fears everyday ….refusing to become bitter and cruel to the world..well…to me..that’s an amazing thing.

i don’t even know what i’m rambling about now..so ..uhh…yeah….