Tag Archives: creative writing

Decades in Her Hands*

Someday, I might just drop everything, wave goodbye to everyone, and leave for India to find the one who holds decades in her hands.

I’ll fly across the world, jettisoning my worries into the ocean where they’ll feed mermaids and the magical creatures of the deep–and they’ll be no more.

I’ll plant my feet on that ancient land and breathe in the mysteries breathed out by its elaborate temples as old as the gods whose holy names still reverberate through the silent jungles and deserts and in the corners of iron cities drowning in the noise of humanity’s tongues.

I’ll touch the earth and feel the dust of fallen empires in my palms, thinking about my insignificance in the endless river of time and in the vastness of life, sweat dripping as my pale skin bakes in the sun.

Immortal secrets will tear me away from the transient troubles that plague my soul, and the wind–wiser than the wizened shaman in the street–will blow away the worldly whims of my mind.

Into the sea of humanity I’ll dive, riding a whirlpool of saris worn by women whose deep-set eyes peel away at shallow hearts.

I’ll be a foreigner in a strange land that has seen foreigners come and go for centuries and even older times that men can’t possibly remember anymore. And the land will know me more than I do myself, unraveling my trivialities like a scroll.

Yet somehow I won’t care and won’t look back one glance homeward until I find you. Continue reading

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Old Dogs Don’t Play No Games

Dog sunset

Ruff!

Been lying here under the car since forever, bugs carelessly flying above my drooping ears, a busy community of ticks underneath my thinning fur, my belly warming the road and vice-versa.

Ruff!

Used to race back and forth along this dusty street, chasing cars, bikes, and strange people with unfamiliar scents. I never got tired even when my tongue was flapping out my snout, leaving a trail of drool in the rushing wind. Life was a never-ending chase then and I was the four-legged speedster behind it, unrelenting, hungry. I never got tired and realized I was spent until now…

Now I just lie here like a log long broken down by poison mushrooms. I watch the road, the cars, the bikes, and the people but the fire in my gut has been extinguished. They’re all begging to be chased screaming from one corner to another but my legs just won’t move like they used to. And so I watch them overrun this street–my street soaked in my sour pee–and I watch them helplessly.

These days, I am a pretty useless “pet”–if you can still call me that. Can’t even protect my home no more should a man with an evil intent climbs over the wall one of these humid nights. If I’m lucky enough to spot his shadow with my bloodshot eyes almost shut by sticky green grit, then I might let out a bark though my owners shouldn’t really count on it since I lost the demon in my voice years ago when a nasty piece of chicken bone got stuck in my throat. Sure, I’ll force myself to run after him and try my best to bite his leg but don’t count on it. Nobody should ever count on it anymore.

*Scratches ears*

Look at these people with the smirk on their faces–how I long to wipe it off with a good growl. Men are arrogant–they think they know life because they live longer than us. A wise, old dog once told me that men live seven of our lifetime, and that makes them proud beings. What fools. If one has seven lifetimes, then that means it takes them seven times longer to commit life’s mistakes and to learn from those mistakes–seven bouts of the same pain from the same wound, which would never close even when it was licked to heal years ago. And from such an unimaginably protracted existence, you may be seven times the wiser but you’re also seven times the fool.

How many lifetimes does it take to learn what to eat? What to put in your snout and be part of your body? Do you really need such a lengthy life to know that your nose tells the truth? The food that nurtures smells good even if may not always look nice, and what’s rotten smells bad even if it’s often a feast for the eyes. The nose doesn’t lie–for it’s an extension of your heart.

How many lifetimes does it take to learn to establish your territory, to pee on the right wheels and scratch at the right trees? Surely once is enough? The independence and insolence of youth might drive you once or twice to cross the invisible boundaries that cut this space of earth but you learn from your first teeth-and-claw fight to respect others, to stay away from the sacred shrines they diligently guard.

In the same way, seven lives are too many to understand that you can never understand cats. Some things are better left misunderstood–and that’s a sign of respect, too, for cats similarly can never understand you.

You don’t need seven lifetimes to realize that the greatest kind of loyalty comes from humility–that there are things bigger than you and you owe your life to them. You bow your head in service to their greatness and transcendence, and when you’ve learned to bow your head low enough, you become great, too, for you have transcended yourself.

It is often said that freedom is overrated but it is more often misinterpreted. Gnash your fangs and howl all you want at cages and collars but nothing teaches the essence of true freedom as bitingly as limits.

And then there’s love–that primeval force that sends you scrambling desperately out the gates at night when all the unwanted eyes are closed or looking somewhere else dark. The unbearable heat of it, the madness that comes rushing through your veins! You can never rest and crawl in a comfortable corner until you’ve smelled her lovely scent and felt her warmest secrets. But you’ll never learn her secrets no matter how deeply you fall–and that perhaps is the greatest limit of all. For no matter how fast you run, love still runs faster–an unchasable car. And because your paws and claws can never even scratch it, you keep running like a rabid canine–irrational, insane, untamed, wild, honest.

Ruff!

Another kid throws a ball at me. I don’t even flinch. I’m tired and lazy like a young cat. The world now has to forgive me for every little thing I can’t do for I’ve paid my dues, barked my blues, and done them all before. People have this saying that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. They’re wrong. We can learn new tricks anytime–but old dogs don’t play no games. Not anymore.

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Turn Around

Step on a pile of dog shit on the street. It’ll get stuck in the grooves of your sole.

And your soul witnesses a pedo at work. What even led you to that porn site? So deprived, and dried, and dead of you to do so.

So you give a few coins to the beggar on the foot bridge. She’ll pocket ’em. Buy with ’em. And they’ll ride the silent hand of economics but may not show on the statistics. Most good deeds don’t show on official papers. But you hope they’ll turn around and they will.

Work on a file of work sheets. You’ll get stuck in your chair ’til Saturday.

And your gray day hinges on a core of hot, steaming love that radiates warmth to the littlest corners of your ageing being.

So you send a few sweet messages over cyberspace. She’ll receive ’em. Hope with ’em and dream with ’em. And that love will ride the frantic hands of time but may not show on her replies. Much of love doesn’t show on instant messengers. But you hope it’ll turn around and it will.

Celebrate a day on Christmas Day. You want to be stuck in the stupid, raucous party ’til next year.

But in your heart thrives a fear for the future doesn’t recognize man’s celebrations. The future ignores them. Goes on and on and on, riding the merciless hands of history with you helplessly dangling on its tail. The future doesn’t reveal itself, not even its cruel eyelashes, on Christmas Day. But you hope things will turn around and they will.

Dig on a pile of spaghetti.  Ground beef will get stuck in the grooves of your teeth, which you should’ve taken care of with more consideration for when you’re 50.

So you suck that succulent, spicy sauce all night long–what a sucker you are. Sucking on that tangly spaghetti, putting it in your intestines and putting on the weight. Intestines threaded with noodles.

Happiness is over.

Your gray day hinges on a core of hot, steaming love that radiates warmth to the littlest corners of your ageing being.

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Mr. Jackknife

1

Mr. Jackknife was a regular Jack, doing dirty jobs in a Japanese factory. Everybody who knew him knew him to be a jolly good fella. And Mr. Jackknife was–until his daughter, fair Jackie, came along.

2

See, Mr. Jackknife was indeed a jolly good fella even before he moved his family on a jet to Japan. He was a jeweler in his homeland, respected by every average Joe. For Mr. Jackknife was always giving, jovially giving his money to every average Joe. And so every average Joe was jam-packed in debt with Mr. Jackknife. But he didn’t mind as long as he pleased Jesus in his heart. And everything would have been all right until his daughter, fair Jackie, came along.

‘Cause Mr. Jackknife was a jack of all trades but he was best in giving and pleasing Jesus in his heart. Jolly as he was however, everyone would jump in fear whenever he’s jittery mad. For the truth was that no one could really jest at Jackknife since he could hire just about anybody to do what’s bloody just. And to this jack of all trades, only Jesus was the judge.

3

But there was Jackie.

Jackie used to be the joy of the family for she was the fairest among the babies. So baby Jackie turned into a lady, and, as was expected, became the fairest among the ladies. Oh, you’ll never guess how many John, Jacob and Jude fell in deep love for this gem of a woman named Jackie.

But fair Jackie had the heart of a free jay, always seeking the bluest skies for the most joyful of joys. And so it was that fair Jackie, quite amusingly, fell in love with no John, Jacob or Jude–but with a bottle of gin that we all know can be really, really, really good. Continue reading

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Her Station

She’s there
in my burger

telling me how heavenly
this is,
this cheesy cheeseburger is,
when our bodies are already dried
from the liquor
and the blabber
of the night.

She lives
in the sooty streets
asking me how come I sing
every morning and
I won’t let up ’til we part

in the train station
where I kiss her cheek
a single
stolen
time.

She waits
still at the same spot
in the mall
where we used to wait
without any guarantee
that the other one will arrive
saying their sorrys,
prodding to hurry
to catch the evening TV.

She’s there.

I know

that she dreams of me
half a world away
as I live to sleep
and take my turn
come dark
to dream of her.

I see
her in every bare wall
and each busy page,
in all things the calendar
throws my way,
and in the nothingness
my eyelids and my bed
conspire to envelope me with;

and in my fingers she used to hold,
and in my feet she still adore,
in my face she used to measure,
and my eyes that used to behold

her. She’s there. She’s everywhere

there’s nothing and something and anything!
I lie and I walk and run in circles
along her planetary rings,
hopping and skipping in our dreams,
wishing and watching our favorite films,

making it to the next stop,
checking myself if I should laugh,
hoping we wouldn’t

drop

it.

‘Cause while she’s always a step ahead,
a safe distance where I can’t
smell her hair,
I know I have to keep on going,
keep on eating my cheeseburgers,
walk my way down busy streets
across malls, over calendars
and ’round planetary rings
once more.
And I know I have to keep on humming
the silent song in my chest
for I can’t rest
’til she’s back
in the train station
where I used to kiss her cheek
a single
stolen
time.

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The Eye Shutter

In the future, when people can’t close their eyes anymore without the external services of a professional, Mac dreamed of becoming the best Eye Shutter in the world.***

His older brother was a licensed Toothbrusher. His sister was a Belly Scratcher living with a man who was a Burp Inducer. Mac’s mom and dad were really proud of them all but more so with Mac since he dreamed of pursuing such a high-profile career.

Being an Eye Shutter requires tremendous passion and skill for people simply can’t close their eyes through normal means anymore, not even with the anesthetics and tranquilizers of olden days. The career requires a 4-year college course plus 4 more years in an Eye Shutting Institute to learn all the technical skills to shut a person’s eye tight. Even the best Eye Shutters who had attained celebrity status like Brandon E. McDonald sometimes encountered almost insurmountable challenges in their field. There was this time when McDonald bashed a patient’s head against a wall to make him fall asleep, resulting in the patient’s skull and jaw cracking in 54 different places and his left eye permanently going blind. The case was much publicized until the patient–waking up quite sadly from a 23-day coma–finally corroborated McDonald’s statement that the “therapeutic” move was done with consent.

But none of those kinds of stories had ever deterred Mac from studying rigorously to become the person of his dreams. And so he became a legend in his Eye Shutting Institution for raking in honors and prestigious recognitions from organizations like the Neo-Insomniacs Club and government agencies like The Commission on Forced Unconsciousness.

Time passed and Mac graduated as the most promising student in his Alma mater. In 2 years time, his genius successfully transferred from his campus to his clinic and to the TV screens of people all over the country and the world over. Continue reading

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A Philosophical Rat

There was once a rat who tried to understand the world. It was a philosophical rat, a rare kind of rat for its issues were not limited to when the folks around the kitchen table would leave. So this rat, coming to the conclusion that their little scrappy hole couldn’t foster deep thinking, scurried along the rusty water pipes and finally came out on the roof. It was above the neighborhood blanketed in darkness. It was below the glowing yellow ball in the sky and the tiny lights that always looked down.

And the rat asked, “Why do we rats suffer?” But it couldn’t answer its own question because it didn’t know why the folks around the table used a cane (caked in the blood of its relatives) whenever its rat family would go out to get their share of food.

It looked up at the clouds and wondered, “Is there really such a thing as love?” But it couldn’t answer its own question for it couldn’t delve into female rats’ minds and, were it a gay rat, it also couldn’t know what male rats thought. In fact, when it pondered the question more, it didn’t know what love consisted at all. Continue reading

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