Sotto Voce | Michael Balili

There is a table between us (please imagine) and we are vectored in chairs like in one-act plays where conversation about anything is possible. Isn’t this bunch of artificially colored mums lovely? The vase’s strong dingbat relief? Let me count how many are upside-down. Let me tell you why four is a funny number.

There is a window and there is curtain heavy with drapery, there is an outside. Have we just gone there? Immaculate delay, what wind has contained us here? Lord what coincidences, incidences. Can we return to our former intercepts: do we want to return: where. Words scuttle and the surface’s last second is now nostalgia: I kept an instant solitude.

Help me answer fourteen across that this irony begones. Please soak the paintbrush, please make it a confession. Please arrange your thoughts autobiographically. I had an unhappy childhood. Can you die for me, I’ve died for you. I’ve seen enough  trees my life (please believe). Come in.

First published in 2005 by the UP Quill in Sitting Amok XIV

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Salt | Carlos Quijon, Jr.

1.     The beginning, dirt: the distance between time and matter. There is the specific obsolescence that the sea requires. Talk of fish and memory, of the infinite erasures of the sea.

2.     Despite the wind blowing and memories lodged in your throat, speak of the first boat ride, the necessity of the finitude of experience, of time.

3.     Ask why the sea is always a metaphor, what do you see?—the discovery of landscape, the perfect time to remember. The sea always trying to lose what is in it: a vehicle, a thought, what you ate the hour before, the hour which you will also forget, the lessons how to float.

4.     Let the word dirt be a metaphor for someone the sea took, mistaken as salt. Someone you remember saying the sea is beautiful. Say, would it make any difference?

5.     Despite the wind and the loss and the metaphor.

6.     When people discovered salt, like what they did when they saw the landscape and the sea, they wanted to know who left it. They wanted someone to thank, someone to blame when they discovered its taste and how it felt in an open wound.

7.     After the metaphor is the fact, the experience. The sea losing even itself and time. You left home and wanted to be lost.

8.     The sea is calm because it forgets. The dirt is calm because it is forgotten.

9.     Ask your mother, who married again after a year, After the discovery of salt, how much has the sea changed?

10.    The sea and its infinite erasures, the sea and the infinity and depth of loss.

First published by the UP Writers Club and Vibal Foundation, Inc. in The Literary Apprentice 2010


Ang Pinaglahuan | Camsy Ocumen

[Tunghayan dito.]


Baptism Two Point Zero | Xenia-Chloé H. Villanueva


New Year | Ellaine Beronio

Five billion years from now

When the sun
Pulling closer
Sticks its tongue
To the roof
Of the world
And sheathes
It

I will remember

Those Chinese
Lanterns flowering
Fire in the loam
Of the sky

Your reflection
In the windshield.

There were twelve of them.

We were nineteen.


No. 104 | Irma Lacorte

Exhibited as part of the Akat series at The Drawing Room Contemporary Art from 31 January to 21 February 2012


Amag | LJ Raza

Ang amag mas mabilis dumami kapag ibinilad mo sa hangin. Huwag kang mainip. Tingnan mo itong kanin, tinubuan na ng mga daliri. Kaunti na lang at maaari ko na kayong iwan.

Mula sa in-situ, isang zine na inilunsad ng may-akda noong 2-3 Marso 2012 sa Better Living Through Xeroxography 2