The Darkest Hour Is Just Before the Dawn

it’s hard to talk to the cosmos.
my concrete universe, as bare as it could ever be,
remains as a wall between myself
and the immeasurable.
often times, I stared at it way too long
my mellow eyes are desperate
to nibble themselves out of the seams
of these vicious entities
stitched around the corners of my shrivelled mind,
but they lost and I’m sleep deprived.
consumed by the void,
I can no longer tell which is myself
and my disguise.

my mind back then wasn’t as complex,
rather it was its own rarity, a simplicity-
I loved how the ascending glory
cast a glow onto my face like a spotlight
or when the ebony shrouded the sky,
the crickets click in the quietude,
reminding me that I am not alone.
I used to soak in the ineffable
in exchange for scintillas of delight.
now my mind is battered by trains of thoughts
that continue to run over me
again and again
and again.
killing me on repeat.

I thought I would be endowed with ease.
I gave my condolences to my brain,
but it hasn’t rested in peace.
sometimes I imagine the child I used to be,
I was everything impossible,
the underlying truth
that we’re too mundane
never bothered me.
I guess one way to keep me intact
is by slipping in snippets of her
in my art and my poetry,
giving her breath and a playground
for her to roam this quilted world
and shield her from the trials of maturity.

I know it’s hard to talk to the cosmos
when they are flooded by the gloom.
my voice can’t reach the infinite distance,
so what’s the point of them hearing?
I’m just part of a cluster with no importance.
like him, like her, like them, we all
shared the same pair of deadbeat eyes.

I bet little me would have thought otherwise,
that the stars are just as human as us,
stuck in the vacuum, staring down
at these beams of light brighter than themselves.
I bet she thinks they have dreams too,
and that shooting stars have their own wishes
whenever they see cars passing through.

so I got out of the cranny,
my shivering feet settled on the balcony;
my eyes focused on the freckles of the welkin,
admiring how they slumber under the dim
and somehow,
these pretty things
got her running back to my skin.
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I Can’t Write

I love writing.
I used to anyways.
I had a pocket-sized notepad
for me to seize a dribble of phrases,
to flow out an ocean of words,
to reminisce teenage phases.
In between classes,
a ship awaits me,
all the things I’ve once brood,
became islands I ought to intrude.
The metaphors turn into their own isle,
the inhabitants are as fury, as hostile.
I had explored these places.
My journey was marked with a dot
and I ended up with thousands of traces
of the things I had jot.

Now,
My fingertips couldn’t bear to write for long
and the words in my palace
stayed concealed; almost gone.
I had lost these sentiments
that filled in the vacancy, the gaps.
I’m questioning my sentience
and my ship has collapsed.

Oh, how I missed the seas,
The world I’ve built
was more vivid than it could ever be
and it only takes a pen
to be a God,
to be me.

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so on and so forth

“Why don’t you tell us –
everything,

we can help you, don’t fuss,
say anything, but nothing.”

Well,
I feel like Atlas,
though I’m not a leader.
The whole world and the mass
are just weighing on my shoulders.

I feel like a soldier,
though I’m not determined to win the war.
every fortnight gets deadlier
and the mist from the bombs
had lost me my stars.

I feel like I had dived into submission,
but my offense is my selfishness, my blindness
and my mission
to hold on to lifeless bodies,
emotionless oddities,
from there on you can see the best
and the worst of me.

I feel like I don’t know me,
I was everyone they like me to be.
Being free
was never an option,
I bet it was just an ideology
to at least have a little sense of
me.

I feel like an impersonator,
I am the master of disguise,
I imitate happiness from others,
their will and their empowerment,
I am a trophy full of lies.

But
please do help me
(i can handle it on my own)
i can’t find my way
(i’m on top of the world)
my thoughts are—

“Well, I just had a bad day,

so on and so forth.”

Adieu

It was the summer of twenty-fifteen.
I had to take extra classes
to fill in the gaps of my naivety.

Basic education needs, I mean.
When I started freshmen year,
I was lacking five months of hell.
My high school starter pack
wasn’t fully wielded.
Those five months were secondhand days,
those became hand-me-downs–
I’ll never come back to it anyways.

This was when I realised
I had to throw away the bliss of my childhood
to take a swift dive into the realms of
catching teenage hormones
and all those juvenile shenanigans.

You see, when I was disbanded from my home soil,
I was the new girl, the shy-type,
but never “the girl next door”.
That cliché never suited me.
I’ve moved in many apartments,
I rarely saw my neighbours.
This time, I finally live in a proper house
like a suburban mom’s dream.
Still, my new neighbours were
a bunch of lanky grasses and greens.

Though,
how could–
of all the places we could have bumped in,
my fairytale started in my Filipino class.
I was the only one there,
I was the class’ only student, present.
This wasn’t destiny, really.
I just really sucked at that language.

So, I had my nose pointing each word
coming from a romantic paperback
I got from the airport’s bookstore.
I was ignoring time
and when the teacher will arrive.
The writing had me so engrossed,
I couldn’t hear the footsteps
of him entering in.

“You’re an introvert,” he said.

And so the rest begins there.

He was scrawny, chocolate-skinned
and his hair goes in a hurricane direction,
as I had noticed.
He wears clothes
that can piss off a weatherman.
He wears his eccentricity like a crown,
he talks too much, reads too much,
knows too much–
and I somehow like him.

Every time my head were to hid behind
strange universes,
he would come to the class and grab me away
by letting out a subtle whistle
(I wish to hear it every day)

Then, we would talk. Well, he talked,
you could call him a pseudo-intellectual
or straight out pretentious.
He’s like a Wikipedia page,
constantly refining and re-editing.
I thought he’s everything I need
until I found out
that I can’t decide whether or not
I should trust him.
His sources had me confused
with greed.

Somehow, I still like him.

He wrote me two letters,
four pages in total.
The first one, he mimicked
Beethoven’s love letter.
The second, he blabbers about
Tchaikovsky’s sweet melodies.
In return, I wrote a hundred of poems,
(that I never shared with him),
I called him “the Person,”
cause his name was too sacred for me.
I could be the patron saint
of helpless teenage girls,
because this is what I think
love is supposed to be.
being naive always does
these little things to me.

He had a bag full of flaws,
but he wrote beautifully,
he likes politics and the flaws,
but he wrote beautifully.
He’s never good at keeping promises,
but he wrote beautifully.
Thick-skinned, sugar-coated, outspoken,
He had always been my favourite book.
More of a short story, I’d say.

I know him long enough
to see him everywhere,
I could catch his aroma anywhere
from the school’s premises.
I could catch a glimpse of him
even from meters away.
I know the way he walks,
his gestures and his ungraceful charms
by heart.
he was my favourite advertisement,
but I usually skipped them.
he was my favourite kind of vandalism
until it got out of hand.
he was my favourite art
until you discover that there are
places that needed to be fixed.
(but you can’t)

There can be a time where his silence
seems like he never existed
in the first place.
That was the worst kind of torture
for the summer of twenty-sixteen,
for a hopeless girl like me.
He came back eventually
and we played pretend that it never happened.
We talked over at text messaging
and I was all giddy.
A few days later, I erupted out a “Fuck you.”
And I had to call out his name.

But what the fuck, I still like him.
I just had to ignore him.

It was then our school’s Christmas play
came to a quick end.
I lacked five months of him,
thought I’ll never come back to it anyway.
I was alone on the steps, this time,
reading a book on my phone.
Then he came,
that same subtle whisper
flow through my ears
and all of his faults became strangers.
Our petty fights turned into fluffs.
All the things I knew,
they became myths.
and these missing bits
continue to pile up my naivety.

That was enough to convince me
that it was love.
(Surely, it never is)

I remember someone told me
that he would always take a bow
and blurt out the word, “Adieu.”
Whenever he finished reciting.
“It was weird but amusing,” they say.
Like him.
Adieu.
I said that once to him as a tease
but I never fully mean it.

⠀⠀⠀

(Addendum I.)
⠀⠀⠀
Our love was never divine.
I was seen as a fragile china;
the world could have smashed me up by now.
He had been haughty and masked,
the world could have killed him by now.
To me, he was the comma,
I wish he could go on and on.
To him, I could be the period.
I always come to an abrupt stop
and the quiet would fill us.
Though
I’m familiar with his hopes and dreams,
I bet he knew mine too.
The seam came clean
but the patches were overdue.

Our love goes like this:
I still kept his books.
He handed me James Joyce,
I never returned it for a year or so.
He wanted Joyce back,
so in return, he let me decide
on two books I could borrow.
I grabbed both, left
and we never brought that up ever again.

“You two just never seem to understand
each others’ feelings,” my friend once said.
The truth is,
we knew them all along.
But what’s the point of building
on a fundamental flaw?

⠀⠀⠀

(Addendum II.)
⠀⠀⠀
It was near the summer of twenty-eighteen,
we had a year of on-and-off colloquies.
No more inquiries, no whistles.
Suddenly, he became that first person
that I bumped into
during my first summer class.
Except, he stayed that way.
Only those subtle glances
at one another
reminded me of our folded past
of mishaps, misunderstandings
and all the mushy things.

I hope you do too.

At that graduation ceremony,
you took your one last bow
together with your batch,
and I mumbled, “Adieu.”
Adieu
Adieu
Adieu.

(Thanks,
it was a whole journey
meeting you)

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You Met Me at a Very Strange Time in My Life

⠀⠀⠀

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*  ♡  *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
there i was, standing next to you
in a skyscraper fumed with gloom and dew.
you were limping, this wasn’t a pas de deux.
your face bred shades of purple,
crimson poured out from a hallowed mark below.
obituaries soon to be written all over you.
you were almost on the verge of doom.
yet, your face claimed a triumph.
soon, orange sparks from our view
turn into a tumult of imploding rooms.
it’s like the fourth of july,
but those weren’t fireworks.
it’s like he gave me a bouquet of dubium
that prosper and popped by itself.
all was left was the cloud of industry’s ashes
and i could see the clearance of the vast midnight.
one last time, i stared at him in awestruck.
we have never felt so alive that night.
✧・゚: *✧・゚:*  ♡  *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
⠀⠀⠀

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Loners

(Bukowski Jr. – Revised)
*+:。.。 - 。.。:+*

i don’t get loneliness.
is it a sickness
way worse than sickle-cell anemia?
perhaps, it is as daunting as
short-term goldfish amnesia
or whatever medical jargon that is
i keep forgetting how alone i am,
i’m bothered by this vague disease-
a nostalgia i once crave,
but was never there in the first place.
i never liked that feeling at all.

i created a playlist
and picked out sappy indie songs
to arouse my room with whiffs of solitary.
slowly, i can’t recognise the familiarity-
the stacks of paperbacks, cluttered posters
and sentiments that i have hoarded,
all seem to dive down into a deep descent.
my only comfort is a book,
about a 17-year-old boy who wore
a stupid red hunter’s cap and likes to smoke weed
in his crappy cheap hotel room
on either the second or third floor.
he carries his luggage of angst
and left pieces of them
in places, he never ought to be.
he tried pursuing a casual conversation
with a whore
and likes calling everything a phony.
i never thought i’d give away
all of my empathy.

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Bukowski Jr.

i’ll tell you what it’s like to be lonely

i flip through pages of my favourite book-
about a 17-year-old boy who wore
a stupid red hunter’s cap and likes to smoke weed
in his crappy cheap hotel room
on either the second or third floor.
he carries his luggage of angst
and left pieces of them
in places, he never ought to be.
he tried pursuing a casual conversation
with a whore
and likes calling everything a phony.
i never thought i’d give away
all of my empathy.

how about creating a playlist
of sappy indie songs i have picked.
i’ll stay in the four corners of my own universe;
my humble abode
with stacks of paperbacks, cluttered posters
and sentiments that i have hoarded.
whilst tuning into the missing mush,
i would be stifled
by the whiffs of solitary.
other scents, i hardly remember them.
yet the familiarity
always finds a way to catch me
before a deep descent.

maybe i’m sick.
i do have sickle-cell anemia,
no wonder why i’m so fatigued as always,
but that’s not the only reason why.
maybe i have goldfish short-term amnesia
or whatever medical jargon that is,
i keep forgetting i’m too alone,
even in a school of floppy fishes.
i don’t know this vague disease
that has been bothering me,
it turned me into an all-nighter.
sometimes, i crave
for a nostalgia that isn’t there.

i really hate that feeling.

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Spilled Milk

i.

i walked; people stared,

i stared back at those

with crumbling homes,

rotten habits and defiance

among the dewy-eyed.

ii.

i walked,

imitable power pumps

the gullible, the soft mould

into a mere impression

of our shadows.

no one is recognised.

iii.

i walked,

with bottomless revelations

of human exploration,

had our angsts carried

inside of suitcases

and erroneous decisions

inside of unzipped backpacks.

let there be traces

of us.

iv.

i walked,

repetitive in circles.

thoughts collides

with our turmoil of emotions.

like an implacable tsunami

that will wipe out the infrastructure

of our rationality.

animals, as we had always been.

v.

i stopped,

too exhausted

to extinguish the flame

of yesterday’s havoc.

to scream in silent agony

is to simply yawn

and let slumber turn off

my conscience, my sense of time

and everything that makes me human.

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Good Feeling

where do emotions go

when they became animals?

emotions of college dropout blues,

emotions of getting a midnight flu

emotions of a dysfunctional love,

resulting in getting papercuts

while writing divorce papers.

remember, the worst thorns of cuts,

will never be just a cut.

there’s a difference between being stabbed

and an accidental slice to the back.

but emotions can’t tell.

they are people too.

⠀⠀⠀
emotions of having a papercut,

emotions of petty political debates

between the corrupted and the cynic,

emotions of destroyed destiny,

emotions of the urge to kill.

but conscience made us the nicest people

when misanthropy hid behind heavens.

emotions of emotions of emotions

layered on top of one another

resembling sugar-coated thoughts,

dripped in blood and salty tears.
⠀⠀⠀

i hate everyone,

i hate everyone.

that feeling will disappear.

good feelings like this

are a spoonful of apathy

in endless conversation pieces

stained with spilt coffee.

i just hate everyone,

what a good feeling.

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