Friday, January 30, 2009

Lyrics that stick #4

"...Fly the ocean in a silver plane
See the jungle when it's wet with rain
Just remember 'til you're home again you belong to me."

("You Belong To Me" by Sue Thompson)


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lyrics that stick #3

"It's a sweet, sweet dream
Sometimes I'm almost there..."

("Looking For Space" by John Denver)


"An Old Grudge"

Exactly two years after she disappeared,
A serious rebound and
two unsolicited calls later,
She paid and turned around
and there I was,
In a shop where she bought tea.

"...How's your mother?"
She just stared,
Looking for rescue that wasn't there...

Two years ago I would have bought
anything she said -
If she would only lie to me
I'd forgive her...

"I lied about my mother..."

"I've forgiven you."


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Says who #2

A man is most miserable when he is finally acquainted with the truth. For he now sees what he wants and the shackles that inhibit him from attaining it.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lyrics that stick #2

"In the silence of the garden
Moss arising on the wind
And the beast is pondering love, love, love
Till the rusty nail grow dim..."

("I Can't Seem To Make You Mine" by The Clientele)


Monday, January 19, 2009

Lyrics that stick #1

"Ya follow me when I tell some old story
You're Pied Piper's dream to the core...
I'll follow you even though I know there's danger
I'll follow you no matter what's in store..."

("Follow" by John Pizzarelli)


Says who #1

Poetry-making is for people too lazy to write a novel.


Some thoughts on writing

I never gave much thought to the act of writing until I took up a different practice and made comparisons.

Photography (a recently acquired interest of mine) is, I think, not that much different in nature from writing - the word literally means writing with light. Except writing is more entrenched to the human experience than taking photographs, in that the artist's equipment to form his art is built-in. Photography is more like working with a very smart partner compared to writing, which is a sole proprietorship for better or worse.

But we tend to believe that anyone could just pick up a camera and take a decent photo (just as we believe anyone could write a book), it still doesn't discount the fact that a captivating image, like a coherent sentence, involves some thoughts that went on behind its creation.

Because the art is born through the artist himself (vs. a lens-mounted camera), it is easy to mistake writing as more elemental than photography. A photographer plays around with light, shadow, composition, etc. to define his artistic choices. To assist his expression he needs the knowledge of, say, the relationships between aperture, shutter speed and ISO value. But the amazing thing about the mind is that its workings - what we generally call instincts - are so ingrained in our experience that we give no conscious thought to subjects, predicates or any such sentence constructs. You would have thought it doesn't take any more to form a thought than it does clicking the shutter release to snap a photo. You don't normally see the things going on in the black box, as Chase Jarvis calls the photographic process.

If an association has to be made somewhere, then the writer has more in equivalence with the camera than with the photographer. For a person writing is essentially a camera taking off its lens cap and deciding which combination of aperture/shutter speed/ISO to engage before pressing the shutter release - all by itself. Maybe put in another way, a photographer without his camera is like a writer losing his mind!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009


The Thursday he was screening
He saw her in the crowd
avoiding eye contact.
Somewhere else
A waiter slipped him a note
and a courtesy:
"She heard you tonight."
She handed him a picturebook when they met,
Declared it "the only thing I didn't
pack up from his room."
Two days later she was
sunning in the park
with a man -
looked on.

Thursday after that firefighters prepared
To leave the scene of a misdemeanor -
A reel had caught fire and
set off sprinklers
That wrecked the machines...
As he recouped himself, a boy nudged him
holding a picturebook -
and asked for autograph.

In a hushed corner of the city
Among gravestones
A visitor leans back against a
marble cherub
Preparing himself to
But sobs
under his breaths instead.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

My silly season

I did a pretty silly thing. I've finally forgiven someone but that's not what's silly.

The person who said sorry to me two months ago had left my life without waiting to hear what I have to say. Even if she did wait long enough I don't think I would have been able to utter the appropriate words right then—well... appropriate as for now, not then. I still can't ascertain what could have been an appropriate response then given the circumstances.

So I wrote her a letter that was never read—and perhaps never will be. And that's a bit silly. The original draft was, believe it or not, penned the very night she plummeted me to my death. To be fair: it was a very long night. And what came out was probably not the most forgiving thing anyone could manage on paper. Luckily that wasn't the version that got signed and sealed.

Appropriate as this gesture is a thing to do, appropriateness isn't the reason behind it. I could have held my peace about it for the rest of my life without ever willing to forgive. But then what rights have I to deny someone her pardon, even if she wasn't looking for it, when I was undeniably grateful for what immense beauty I was left with, just in as equal an extent as I was nicked by the sting?

There's this little hope that she would somehow know that she's been forgiven and could go on living the life she chose without the slightest trail of guilt. That would in turn help me to forgive myself.