On The Tip Of My Tongue
I. They say it feels like flames licking the salt
of your skin, the fire selfish and unforgiving in its
voyage to the curves and lines of your body, devouring
the buoys that keep you afloat and the fishes that
roamed your waters until you are the
nothing that your sister said you were.
They say it feels like you’re breathing in water instead of air,
and all you see are the dark blots and shadows of the corals and
the flurry of bubbles that escape your mouth as the salt
water becomes you.
Then darkness because
here you are.
Here you are: a part of the sea.
Here they are: on the tip of my tongue, the words
that’d say it is not destruction, it is not the killer of self.
It is not the guide to being lost, not the notches on your
wrist that reminded you you were in pain and it’s too
much, too much. I want to say it’s not too much. It’s
never too much.
I want to say:
It feels like toes digging into white sand,
the soft caress of the gentle breeze, the gentle kisses
on the cheek that’d remind you of kids running
wildly in open fields.
It feels like falling with
wings that’d let you fly but still falling ceaselessly into
an abyss of light.
You’ll want to be in that state of
lt sounds like the lulling of the
waves to your soul, the light tinkle of wind chimes
at your grandmother’s house and the quiet whispering of,
"I like you. I like you. I like you," at 2 am, when you feel like
turning back and going back to be enslaved
by the sadness that has consumed you all your life.
And sometimes, all I see is white.
Not the blaring red
that forces you to look at it, that screams, “I am
the color of passion. I am the color of love. Now,
look at me.”
All I see is the innocence of white,
the white flag of surrender
as the captain says, “I can no longer do this alone. Come
and be with me.”
Sometimes, all I want to say is that.
Darling, come and be with me.
It doesn’t feel like hurricanes and cyclones
ravaging within you, all the things hidden and
tucked away just to be safe, as everything
tumbles down and gets swept away by the rushing of the tide.
It is never the nothing that overcomes you when you are numb.
On the tip of my tongue: don’t listen to
anyone that alludes love to destruction.
Listen to me: love is the wings that would let
So, learn. Learn to accept that he would lift
you up to safety. Learn to fly. Or learn to just
let yourself fall.
II. On the tip of my tongue: he feels like campfire.
I am cold and alone in a dying forest but he is the
campfire that keeps me warm always as my stories
fill the air. I imagine words making tendrils
of smoke in the air as I learn how to become a campfire myself.
I am no longer the wounded being that I have been for years.
He makes me believe that I could be everything.
Yet I am eternally cursed by my own thoughts, and when
I think I’m nothing, he is the sculptor that molds me
into a human being.
He is the fisherman with the light as I drown
in my own waters. He is the echo in caves
that makes me feel like I could be heard.
He is so many of the things I am not, and I want to
say: you are my guide. I’ll follow you
wherever you go. Lead me to safety. Lead me to you.
He tastes like resolve and, “I’ll be with you
forever,” on the tip of my tongue. He tastes
like summer air on my skin, when
euphoria and living is all that I am. He
tastes like cliff-diving and tasting the
salt water. He tastes like
cotton candy when I was 8 years
old and unknowing. He’s like the budding
of flowers in spring. He tastes
like future and open doors. And
these aren’t things you taste but my
mind dips in them anyway, and I
see them. I live in them, and
I say I’ve tasted them.
I want to say: you are the alcohol that makes
me forget my past and makes me live in the now,
you are the flowers wilting in my closet (because
you are hope, you are memory), you are
the sea that beckons me (because I believe I
was a mermaid in my past life, and I still
long for the my tail), you are safety and comfort
and coffee that keeps me awake, that reminds
me I have to live.
I want to say: you are you, and that is enough.
III. On the tip of my tongue: three words.
Yet, I fill the void with more silence.
Because not now. Not now
when I am mending. Not now
when I remember the slowness of time.
But I forget to remember, and there it is:
on the tip of my tongue.
Change and All That It Brings
I’ve forgotten how to mold images with words. I don’t know if I could still string words, spaces and punctuation marks together like beads on white wires. I don’t know if they end up beautiful or if they make you feel alive enough to curl up on the floor and let the tears surge in your chest like the waves that chase land. But I do know this: I’m starting to forget why I have always had ink-stained fingers. When I cut myself open, words don’t come pouring out, it’s all alcohol and hurt and none of the words that could lead me to recovery. Look, I have turned to human biology. I bleed blood. I have transitioned to being human, no more the ethereal being of a writer. Dust gathers on my journal covers while I take things in and bring nothing out. My hands are clean. My hands are clean. My hands are clean.
But enough about my inability to make pretty sentences and realistic worlds or how it’s been a month since I last picked up a pen to write. I want to talk about change. I want to talk about passion and all the things that would make me remember how it feels to live and be crazy about something instead of the monotonous cycle of facts and logic and the numbers that could only add up to one answer. Let me tell you how I’ve learned to accept leaving. Let me tell you this: I am no longer willing to study the complexities and basics of engineering.
I go to my majors late, my minors on time. My majors plummet while my minors rise. I can no longer find it in me to care about my course. Consequently, it is only now that I’m nervous about how my grades would turn out. I’m almost completely sure I’d fail all my majors, as I have never tried to open a book to study for my quizzes or have passed my assignments on time. I’ve become a failure of a student, a disgrace to my family, yet this is all me. This life of mine is hidden from my family. I go home and I am quiet. When they ask me about school, about grades, I say, “I still try,” but I know I’m not. I’m not trying at all.
I shy away from the thought of shifting courses. I constantly try to look into the world of communications. My hand turns the knob but I am afraid to open the door. I turn the idea again and again in my mind like the tumbling of dryers. I think of taking up Development Communication. Then I think of my father, who has always adored the idea of me studying Industrial Engineering, who knows I would have a safe job to fall into when I graduate. And somehow I think of unsafe jobs, of living a hard life but a fully-lived one all the same. The thought runs all throughout the second semester.
I tell my dad on my birthday (as I have always planned to do so, so as to soften my father’s opinion of me and to more easily get the approval I seek to shift courses), as he eats the last strip of chicken on his plate. I fiddle with my phone. I stare at my father’s plate. I am stone, I am paralyzed, I am cold. I consider not saying anything but goddamn it I need to leave engineering. I didn’t talk much in the restaurant, as my nervousness had reached its peak, where I felt faint and jittery at the same time. I say it. I say, quietly, tentatively, “Is it okay if I shift to DevCom?”
My sister reprimands me. My brother tells me it’s not easy, that a lot of people like Industrial Engineering. He reminds me of the abundant job opportunities that scatter the world if I continue with Industrial Engineering. Between all this negativity, my father asks me about myself. He asks me if I want it enough, if he has wasted his money on an education that I would not continue, if I am willing to work hard to get it.
I’ve had months to prepare my script and I present it as I have always presented it in my mind. I say the first year in college almost always consists of minors, just a sprinkling of majors here and there sometimes, so none of it was a waste. I say I’ve always wanted to take up Communication Arts and the only thing closest to it here in our city is Development Communication but I’ll take it. I’ll take it, so long as I become a communication major.
I am surprised by the sudden twists and turns of life and my idea of the predictability of the chaos that would ensue. I asked for change and I expected normalcy. I expected my father’s tries to persuade me to stay, as I lay a slave to his logic. But, no, life gets funny sometimes, and would not accept to be conformed to my perception of it. It begs to be different.
So, here I am. Change is at play, and for once I am happy for it because the girl with clean hands, with only faint traces of ink found under her fingernails, could finally study something she loves.
Look at me. Look at the future Development Communication student.
Let Me Tell You Something
I’m thinking of leaving
but I’m also thinking of staying.
The decision wavers from here to there,
my answer getting swept by the tide
of present day.
Let me tell you something:
I’m still thinking about it.
There’s no dramatic confrontation,
no screaming fights, no walk-outs,
just a choice to leave to somewhere
I would feel safe.
I don’t know
what I feel there anymore.
I’m piling story after story, dripping tears
and soul on crumpled papers. I take
them to my sister, expect her to be my
Oh, the poems I’ve written for her, all
done out of recklessness and hurt, screaming
to the world the kindness I have
never had, wishing better, asking for more,
hoping for change.
She steals my secrets and throws them
at me in the dark.
She yanks them from her pocket and holds
them to my throat. She tears the skin, watches
the blood gush from my neck, and walks
I am tired of being bare to the people
who will never care.
Let me tell you something:
I am tired of opening myself up. I am
tired of pretenses and masks. I am tired
of having to care about what the neighbors
think. How about what I think? Should
I always live a life following the perfect projection
My sister talks to me in that casual, menacing
tone of hers, “You’re weak. You’re
hardly a crowd-pleaser. You bring people
down. Leaving that place for all
the jokes they’ve done? Don’t you have
the guts to suck it up?”
I explain to her, over and over, but she’ll
never get it. She’ll never understand
that I was bullied in high school, and I’ll
never again let myself get less than I should.
Fuck what the neighbors think, I care about
what I think of myself, and I think of myself
highly. I think myself able to get out of
a situation that’s making me uncomfortable,
a situation that has the potential of being worse,
and, damn everyone, I’d never let anyone do
that to me.
She’s not saying it but I know it’s what she’s
thinking. She expects me to stay there and suck
it up, just for the sake of pleasing everyone, just
so I won’t be a kill joy.
Don’t you get it?
She’s telling me to allow myself to get bullied.
She’s telling me to fucking stay in a place
that’s making me feel horrible of who I am.
Let me tell you something:
I’m stubborn and I don’t care. I’m embarrassing
myself but I don’t care. I’m saying
things I shouldn’t say but
Let me tell you something:
Don’t you ever do anything you don’t
like. Don’t you ever settle for anything
less than you should. Get away from
the people who put you down.
Stop doing anything that makes
Darling, who cares what they think?
We have minds of our own, bodies we can
clothe in whatever (or none, if that’s your thing),
lives we can change.
If people hate what you do, listen to me,
it’s not their life, it’s yours, and you
better live it your way.
My sister is plagued by the thoughts
of her friends. She uses my own
secrets against me, ones I’ve said in confidence.
She tells me to stay in a place
that’s going to make me cry, that’s
going to make me write depressing poems
again, that’s going to make me doubt myself.
Perhaps, I am locked in my own opinion of the world
but I live it the way I have never been able to do so
in fifteen years. I’m sixteen years old
and it is only now I live by my own standards, by
my own choices.
I have laid myself bare to the people who could
never love. I have surrounded myself
in toxic environment. I have drowned
in my own tears and doubt. But
I rise from that acidic mess and live.
Let me tell you something:
You have wings. Everyone would tell you
you don’t but
From Pessimism to Optimism
I don’t understand my overwhelming urge to dramatize every single aspect of my life in my blog. Long ago I’ve envisioned jotting down all the happy, even disappointing moments of my life, the memories blending together into something reminiscent of the light, hazy cloud, that is the inside of my head. But, really, I don’t dramatize, as in to change the details, change the whole thing, rather I make it bigger than it is. Cliche is what I am right now, but I’ve realized things do seem bigger when you’re in that moment, so un like how it is right now when I look—none too fondly (okay, maybe a little bit)—-back at all the things I’ve written, all the things I’ve done.
I haven’t been writing much. I’ve been trying to write that story that I’ve always wanted to write but I still think I’m too young to write it, much too inexperienced to handle it with care.
I’m fearful of the sadness that seems to emanate from me but I’m imagining it, I think I am. I’m sitting in a Monobloc chair, browsing my newsfeed because twitter was slow and my dashboard just white squares, when my friend turned to me and asked me, “Are you okay? You look sad. You look like you’re about to cry.” But, my God, I was just browsing my damn newsfeed that hardly showed anything of interest at all, why would I be sad? I tell you, it’s like it’s become a part of me, taking over me, showing in my eyes, in my book tastes, in my favorite songs.
But, no, I refuse to be sad. I’m tired of making myself my own enemy. I guess this is my promise to myself, the new year’s resolution I failed to make.
I want my poems to be happy, all of them are just depressing and almost seemingly suicidal. Oh God stop making my emotions polarities. Give me something mundane please. I don’t know why I get so concerned over my poems but I’ve had this urge to write about wanting to happy just to cheer my blog up. My poems have always been an extension of myself, the most expressive medium I can find for my thoughts and emotions.
I want so many things to happen in 2014. 2013 was an eh, s’alright year. This year I just want to live. I want to experience so many things. If I have to be courageous to do it, I’d be courageous or at least try to be.
Man, we all need at least a little happiness to get by. I don’t care an avalanche of Horrible Things come barging in. I just want there to be a glimmer of hope, a tiny break in the darkness for light.
I guess what I’m saying is I want to be an optimist.
Empty Rooms and Dark Closets
My mouth is full of unfinished sentences and
dangling promises. Flowers don’t grow on my lips
anymore, the leaves long ago falling to the ground,
brown and crisp on healthy grass.
Rain and thunder and wind; chaos and screams;
happiness and laughter in playgrounds; I stand in
the middle of it all like the broken treehouse that
no one seems to fix.
I am lost in the sea of my own destruction. I build myself
my own barriers and scrapes. I make my own wounds, knife
to skin, words to head.
I will never be first, never be the prettiest, never the
smartest, never the life of the party.
But, darling, you already know that,
I’m starting to become nothing.
The spark in my eyes dim to black-outs in
typhoon-savaged cities, my friends water in scorching
desserts, the life of me, the joy I hold, gone gone gone
like what? Like what?
I don’t know. (But I know, and I know you know.
Just like me. Gone like the sphere of light that
emanates from me, gone like the
colors that make me worthy.)
Everyone’s leaving and I’m used to it, I am.
But everyone’s forgetting me, everyone’s forgetting
the 5’4 girl that puts paperbacks in her bag, who’ll listen
to anyone who tells stories. Say hello to the girl
that’s sitting alone in the corner.
Why don’t you say hello to me?
I’m wind, here and then gone again. I’m losing
everything and nobody wants the nothing that I have and
I am sad and disappointed at all the things that I am and not
and no one is noticing anything and there’s only
me, there’s only me in my world.
I know only of silence.
Everyone leaves. There’s nothing to love
in me and there’s nothing to save. There’s
nothing worthy of staying, of seeing in me.
I am empty rooms and dark closets. People
open doors and close them again, saying
'Nothing to see here, folks, there's nothing
I’m sorry I’m empty. But there are empty seats
beside me, all my friends have left.
Come and be with me. I’ll never forget you but you
could always forget me, right? Right?
You can just use me when you can, when you remember,
and I’d pretend it’s all okay and I’d take care of you because
that’s who I am, right?
I’m also wings. I could pull you up and make you stand.
But you can’t call me when you need me and forget
I ever existed.
What a beautiful life you have. All those friends you’ve always
wanted, the fame and gold that lavish your name, and for art,
always for art, you’ll say you’re sad,
then laugh the next minute.
Say you feel terrible. The
tortured, depressed artist.
I know the lies you speak for art and fame.
Go live with your paintings and words and music, I won’t
be your second choice.
I’m tired of you looking at me like I would fix
Stitch those tears in your skin. We all need
to learn how to
I will always try.
Darling, sit here with me.