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.”

Noodles

It’s almost 1:30 AM, and you may have guessed it- I can’t sleep.

It’s as if there’s a hidden agenda that blocks me out from slumbering into the night. I always like to believe that every sleeper had to cease through their daily hindrances to accomplish their triumphant sleep. But how about the insomniacs and those who force to gain their feat by intaking sleeping pills? Well, I don’t know much and I can’t blame them- life was already an obstacle to begin with anyways.

Still, I haven’t figured out what’s bothering my inconsistent, perfect dose of sleep. I’m too numb to look into my thoughts and collect all of the nits; I’ll just leave them to breed for tomorrow’s morning angst. Perhaps, I will forget them altogether- at least that’s what I’m hoping for. I wouldn’t want to spend my divine time contemplating personal petty issues. Heck, I should get used to them by now. After all these years of teenage heartaches and typical dejection, I need to step up in my game; bring up the barrier and just enjoy life to the fullest.

(Sheesh, I’m even using corny statements to come out blunt.)

Apparently, it’s past 2AM now and my eyelids aren’t heavy enough to be drifting off. I think it’s the adrenaline rushing; I got excited for a brief while after I entertain the idea of cooking pasta tomorrow, with my special and “I haven’t experimented it yet” sauce. It’s all thanks to the endless amount of cooking videos that got me all hyped up. It’s not that I’m craving for pasta, it’s more of the pride that I could entitle myself right after the outcome. I’m only an amateur cook who is still doubting whether or not cooking is part of my hobby. I mean, I hoard hobbies to grease and flex out my creativity, so this is just a good creative outlet with an edible reward.

Hm, thinking about all of this makes me want to sleep. Or preferably, hasten the night to a whole new beginning of– pasta.

I seriously need to sleep.

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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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Nothing Is Certain but Death and Taxes

⠀⠀⠀ I can’t do this anymore, fuck. I want to get out of here and dwindle myself among the snowflakes. Today was suppose to be a helluva great winter’s night- I had my turkey thawed and ready to be cooked, but the oven became an inferno. So I was left with blackened meat and charcoal-like residues- that was my disaster dinner. Luckily, I’m my own visitor that I had to please, at least I’m fucking thankful to taste a forty-dollar worth of turkey shit.

⠀⠀⠀ I wander around my confined space, lost and seemingly a drunkard among the aroma of burned carcasses and scattered overdue bills. I don’t drink at all, being maudlin is already embedded in my nervous system; same goes for being the most inept at adulting. There are times in my life where I don’t feel like doing shit, and when I do, it’s mostly an excuse to stop going overboard with thinking too much. I’ll admit, I’m a complete chaos; bubbles of emotions are starting to pop- I feel weird as if I’m born again with brand new chemicals in my body. I know my thoughts, they just don’t know my sentiments. Like how I know how to cook a turkey, time was just being an ass to me.

⠀⠀⠀ In all rationality, I want to stop feeling.

⠀⠀⠀ I grabbed my coat and headed outside into the flaky abyss. I was wearing my silky long sleeves, so these tiny particles are turning me into a popsicle. I was cold and pleasantly numb, it’s not that I give a fuck anyways.

⠀⠀⠀ I hastily strolled my way to the park, our local park, where squatters leave trails of their hard-earned, cheapass alcohol and haggard teenagers sleeping through their hangovers. Police would usually report them to the station the next day. Most of the time, their bodies wouldn’t flinch and they never seem to wake up. That’s how it goes in my town, a teen’s life expectancy was all chugged down with bottles of vodka.

⠀⠀⠀ But I didn’t come here to drink nor subconsciously die.

⠀⠀⠀ My hands numbly shelter themselves in my pant pockets- I was freezing like hell as I take a couple of steps. If I were to die from the cold, the townspeople would stick to the assumption that I got killed by my drunkness. It’s a repetitive death and everyone likes to state the obvious. I’d like to sadly think that no one cares about these teenagers. Though, at least they have their honourable places in the obituary section of the newspapers. I’m not here to make fun of death, I mean no disrespect, but these obituaries seemed like they were computer-generated.

⠀⠀⠀ “Elliot Bungshy passed away on June 12, 2012, at the age of 18. He was loved by everyone- his friends, families and even strangers he hasn’t met. They say that he was a diligent student, a great role-model and an innocent kid. He was everyone’s friend, a brother, a sister and even their family’s dog. Sadly, he left his mark on Comebury’s Park, laying on pits of grass with his “Smoke Weeds for Lyfe” t-shirt and his blue ripped jeans, smiling for the very last time. His death was a surprise, nobody knew how he died. Everyone thinks that maybe God has a plan for him-“

⠀⠀⠀ Bullshit. I’m rather too nihilistic to believe in the God-has-a-plan-for-you ideology. I’m not condemning any religions, I’d like to stick to my own skin, but it annoys the heck out of me to see them appear in every death statement I’ve read.

⠀⠀⠀ Now, I’m actually scared.

⠀⠀⠀ With all these thoughts of stupid obituaries, I switched to distracting myself by staring into the lonesome twilight. I noticed the Christmas decorations hanging loosely around the streetlamps; there was also a superficial gingerbread house on display, it was obviously made out of recycled cardboard and other miscellaneous you can find in a D.I.Y. kit.

⠀⠀⠀ I went closer to further inspect the insides. Before I could do so, it tumbled onto the ground, mixing with the snow. It was like witnessing an avalanche. I kind of felt bad since the gingerbread man must be suffocating inside. I’m empathetic enough to see my life being squashed by own edible home. If it was entirely made out of grandma’s delicious oatmeal cookies, I would rather die, thanks.

⠀⠀⠀ Before my burdensome thoughts were about to hop into my brain, I heard a raspy voice behind me.

⠀⠀⠀ “Hey, dude.” I turned around to see that it had belonged to some young guy- he’s lanky and he’s wearing a hunter’s coat. He reminds me of what Holden Caulfield would look like, especially the fact that he’s smoking while sitting on a crate that says Cumbury’s Sex Toys.

⠀⠀⠀ “Hi,” I replied.

⠀⠀⠀ He handed out his cigarette pack, “Need a smoke?”

⠀⠀⠀ I hesitated for a while, I’ve never smoked in my life. He threw both the lighter and the cigarette without waiting for my replying. The lighter had unicorn designs- how cute is that. I flicked the lighter and watched the flames engulfed the butt, I was like the modern-day of the little match girl.

⠀⠀⠀ Then, I make my way towards him to give back his lighter. The closer I got, the more his features became distinguishable. I’m not gonna lie, he’s a good-looking kid.

⠀⠀⠀  “You must be feeling the blues, eh?” I coughed as I took a puff.

⠀⠀⠀ “Yeah, I dropout outta college from a political science degree and I got kicked out of my dad’s house for snucking in some good shit.”

⠀⠀⠀ “Good shit?”

⠀⠀⠀ “Drugs- well, cocaine, basically.”

⠀⠀⠀ “Ah, I see,” I said.

⠀⠀⠀ He looked at me with his sinful eyes. “What about you? What’s up?”

⠀⠀⠀ I’m not good when the conversation spotlight turned to me. My thoughts are in charge of my mind- my comfort country, but they aren’t good at keeping a democracy with me.

⠀⠀⠀ “Um, I feel like killing myself.” I thought it out of nowhere. Fuck.

⠀⠀⠀ He gazed at me with a skeptical look and nodded, “Why?”

⠀⠀⠀ I thought of my depressing turkey dinner, my thoughts, the obituaries, the gingerbread man, my thoughts, my thoughts.

⠀⠀⠀ I simply let out a shrug.

⠀⠀⠀ “Depression?”

⠀⠀⠀ “Way worse than that, I feel like the world is killing me. I can’t stand being here.”

⠀⠀⠀ The silence stood there, creating a boundary between us- he felt like miles away from me.

⠀⠀⠀ But I chimed in, anyways. “Perhaps– God has other plans for me.”

⠀⠀⠀ “Dude, you must be fucking high.”

⠀⠀⠀ “I’m not, I’m sober and my drug tests always comes out clean. What I mean by that is, I could probably be His janitor. I’ll be mopping the floors around Heaven. Sounds holy and therapeutic to me.”

⠀⠀⠀ “Heaven’s already clean, dummy. I don’t even think Heaven has floors, fuck that. I bet everyone could fly there. Wouldn’t that be better?”

⠀⠀⠀ “Yeah, I guess.” And I puffed again.

⠀⠀⠀ How strange that is, I’ve been told, when I was little, that I can overcome anything. But it’s tough to see where my life will stop and when it will begin. I can’t even tell if my skin is my own skin, I’m drowning in bodies of waters when I should be sailing freely into the seas. Even when I tried many ways to fall down, I couldn’t, ’cause I already hit the grounds.

⠀⠀⠀ Maybe it’ll be better in Heaven. Or maybe it’s better if the night won’t rob me away, but I know He’ll come for me and other people like me.

⠀⠀⠀ However, this random, helpless stranger reminded me that I don’t actually mind being on the ground. The world has so many floors, I just have to learn to pick myself up and continue walking.

⠀⠀⠀ Wouldn’t that be better?

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Sleepy & Shallow

My fingers are hesitating as I’m typing this, I barely shed a sweat from the tip of my fingers. My hands are pleasantly groggy, same goes for the palms, resting against the heat of my laptop like a crappy cheap furnace. I could be the modern-day version of the little match girl, except, I’m being comforted by the warmth of some technology. That sounded millennial to my ears.

Then, there are my eyes, wandering around the gloomy four corners I called home. The main focal point is my laptop’s dimly lit screen, but my eyes seem to space out into the abyss. When I snapped out of my dooze, my eyelids felt heavy- it was doing so many push-ups in a row, that’s how fucking exhausted I am. So, what’s the solution? Go grab a cup of coffee or some energy drink? Well, it’s practically useless, I’m picky about what caffeine goes into my system. Basically, I’m not a coffee person.

Still, I’m sleepy and it’s a pretty feeling. You give no absolute fucks about anything. Your thoughts, memories and conscience are sleepy, they are enclosed in a box, only to be open when you’re fully awake. The world will feel new and hazy like you’ve just been born. Wouldn’t it be peaceful to forever be sleepy? Strange, it makes me want to relive the days of preschool napping sessions.

It’s 4 AM, I seriously need to sleep.

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