Writing Exercises

Exercise 1:

pointed graphite,
sharpened until you are short-ended
from your constant scratching on the surface
while your marks 
leave a hint of gray traces
only to be smudged away
only to leave behind ghosts 
on the page
and shavings on the floor.
you leave no permanence here. 


Exercise 2:

While the scorching ever-present humidity stroked my skin
While the Daragang Mayon - a cone pierced through the skies -eyed down below me,
While the tanglad, the makahiya, buganvilla, santan bushes - untamed natives- waved back through the wind...

(I hated journal writing because every word is an easy tourist attraction)

As I walked adjacent to the tricycles, jeepneys, pajacks - masses of machines -  moved along in formation
As I walked by displays of fruits, slippers, plastic copies, woven souvenirs
As I walked by the beach, children swimming with their clothes, heaps of trash and a dead dog washed ashore

(Entries felt liked a packaged pasulubong for family and friends, something to look back on.)

I am still living with the ornament collections, the dust patterned carpets, hanging ancestral portraits 
I am still living with the makatulong - hands diligently feeding, washing, cleaning-
I am still living with lolo and lola - their two story house standing in grandeur but slowly emptied

(I wanted to stay longer just to embrace the uncomfortable sentimentality that came with home.
It did not welcome me on new soil but it lingered  like the smoke from burning trash.
My eyes watered and I don’t want to breath the air in, the same way when I heard
“your lolo and lola saw you one last time, and now they feel ready to go.”)