exhaustion

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the opposite of dynamite
is what I am at night.

creative spices, secreted
through hushed voices
and steady murmurs.

make implosions stop
with every single teardrop,
dropped while I caress you
lying on the bathroom floor.

I am tired of being tired
of not trying hard enough
when solutions keep appearing
and my eyesight blurs, lips concealing
what I meant to say before you left.

 

Part I.

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1.

The things left unsaid gnaw away at my insides every single day, but I feel fine. I’m happy with this back-and-forth. Your presences makes me feel like the world’s gray shade got a tad lighter.

For that, I am thankful.

2.

If this is what love is, let me have none of it. Let me wallow away in isolation, never to be heard from again.

If this is what love is, let me have all of it. Let me take it in the palm of my hand and wonder at how fragile something so beautiful can be.

If this is what love is, let me let you let us in our letting. Let it pour over me, drown me like a thousand seas, but never let me go.

(It is, after all, the most wondrous of all phenomena.)

If this is what love is, let me question it until my knuckles are raw from punching imaginary walls where they should not be. Let me keep doubting, lest I become content and stop loving altogether.

If this is what love is, let me be angry at fate, even just for a moment. Let me blame the stars, who mock me in my sorrow but keep me hoping all the same.

If this is what love is, let me be consoled with what may still be. Let me hope against all hope, to never falter in troubled times.

If this is what love is, let it not be what love is not. Let it be as it should, as painful, as ugly, as difficult as it may be.

If this is what love is, let her be the beloved. Let it be as simple as that.

3.

Ang makita kang nasasaktan at umiiyak ay hindi isang imaheng dapat makasanayan.

4.

Kung ang mundong nabubuksan mo sa iisang salita lamang ay napakaganda’t napakaligaya, nais kong kausapin ka sa bawat sandali, hinihiling sa langit na kailanman wari’y hindi mabingi.

5.

Nagsusulat ako para sa lahat at sa wala. Nagsusulat ako para sa iyo at para sa sarili ko. Nagsusulat ako para marinig ng mundo ang mga bulong ng pusong naghihinagpis at nagkakandagulo sapagkat ito’y nakakulong ng isang isipang nagmamarunong at nagpapakatama. Nagsusulat ako dahil alam kong ito lang ang nararapat at naaayon. Nagsusulat ako kahit na hindi sapat ang siguro at baka sakali, kahit na hindi sapat ang mga saglit at teka lang, at kahit hindi kailanman magiging sapat ang walang katiyakan.

Nagsusulat ako dahil minsan ito lang ang kaya kong ibigay. Nagsusulat ako dahil sa kabila ng lahat, ang puno’t dulo ng mga simpleng katha ay ang totoo at nananatiling ikaw. Nagsusulat ako dahil sa pagkakataon, at dahil sa pagtataya.

ngayon

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Pinagtagpo tayo ng Diyos, ng panahon, ng
tadhana
at nagpapasalamat ako para dito sapagkat
ang mga huling araw
na ito
ang isa sa pinakamaligayang araw
na naranasan ko sa sobrang tagal na panahon.

Ang makapiling at makasama ka
ang tahimik na sandali
ang usapang nakakapagpalinaw sa aking
pagkalabo-labong pananaw;
nagpapasalamat ako para sa lahat ng ito,
nagpapasalamat ako para sa iyo.

Ngunit ang minsan ang tadhana’y malupit,
hindi agad-agad nagpapatawad
at kahit ang damdamin man ay nariyan
ang pagkakataon ay hindi tumutugma rito.

Hindi ako nararapat para sa iyo
ngayon.
Hindi nararapat na nakatali ka sa akin.
Hindi pa ako handa.

Hindi ko na hihilingin ang pag-ibig
o kahit ang pagkakaibigan.
Hindi ko hihilingin ang maging masaya
sapagkat ang bawat salitang lumabas sa aking bibig
nang may kaalaman na
hindi naman tayo nararapat para sa isa’t isa
ay parang pag-ikot
sa kutsilyong nakabaon sa puso ko.

Wala akong maaaring hilingin sa iyo
dahil kasalanan ko ito.

Pasensya na.

On Thought, and Action

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*Disclaimer: I won’t be editing this piece that much, so I apologize if my thoughts are underdeveloped, unpolished, pretentious, or even outright stupid. Feel free to dispute or argue against anything I say in this piece, because at this point I can’t sleep and I feel like rambling on about whatever it is that’s currently on my mind. In the spirit of the development of ideas and the noble pursuit of truth, commentary is welcome.

12:00 am thought bubble:

“Thoughts matter not if not put to action.”

Academic ivory towers churn out ideas on a daily, hourly basis. At times these thoughts create only more thoughts without influencing how we go about our existences, and how we relate to other people, or how we go about our lives in this common plane of existence. These are hollow and must be reevaluated accordingly, with these revisitations catering more to praxis rather than pointless theory. Words left unspoken have their effect, but only to those who prevent them from giving life to conversations. Those who withhold words have a tendency to create discursive environments that are not in line with how they believe the environment should be shaped, mostly by virtue of the lack of communication. This further influences what they think, which further shapes the discourse, whether it be for better or for worse (usually for worse).

However, is there really such a thing as thought which does not coerce, oblige, or even slightly influence our decisions? Is thought in itself devoid of action? Is thought itself worthy of being called an “action”? Is there such a thing as a totally detached, floating ivory tower, then, one that is fully divorced from reality?

I would like to think not, and that any idea spurs some sort of response, whether it be from one’s own self or from someone else. This response fuels the exchange of ideas, scrutinizing seemingly misplaced ideas and furthering the development of good ones. Thought begets action, and similarly, action begets thought. The play at work between thought and action makes possible the very dynamic functioning of our lives, allowing us to act upon ideas and think of new things based on previous doings. I do not believe that either is servile to the other, in that thought must be at the service of action, or that action must be because ideas demand it, but rather that both of them are necessarily constitutive of our existences. Phenomenologically speaking, thoughts and actions are necessarily there, and are mutually causative of each other, neither being clearly dominant to the other.

Where does the problem of the ivory tower lie, then? It must then be in our disposition towards ideas and actions, both in our reception and our generation of new thoughts, processes, and systems. An unwillingness or inability to be transformed or at least be engaged in discourse with ideas and actions prevents people from recognizing that ideas already do incite action, and are never just ideas for the sake of ideas. This very unwillingness or inability is a response in itself to the ideas, and in turns shapes further ideas. There is a thought-action dynamic that affects our very existences, and an engaging disposition to this dynamic may allow for the co-governance of our existences.

I make music. I think.

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(This is the latest song that I’ve made, listen to it if you have time. It’s a really chill track, and I hope you find it to be chill. You can find the rest of my uploaded songs on that SoundCloud account.)

I’ve had Ableton Live on my laptop for a while now (a little over a year if I remember correctly), but I’ve only started taking it seriously for the past few months. It all properly started one late afternoon while I was in a relative’s condo near the Mall of Asia with my mom and our maid, waiting for my aunt and cousin to arrive. It was the weekend, and we were planning to throw a little surprise birthday celebration for my other cousin, who was in MOA going to a music festival or something (it was Jacko Wacko, I think?).

Anyway, we’ve been holed up in this condo since the morning, and I was bored. We still had until around midnight because the music festival ended at around that time, so I had a lot of free time to myself. The internet connection there was horrible, but I had my laptop with me because I had a paper due that next Monday and I’d barely started on it. I was feeling lazy because it was a long day, and by the time it was 5pm I already had two pages written, so I thought I’d watch a movie. After that was done (I watched Predestination which is AMAZING by the way), I was still bored, with no stable internet connection so I couldn’t browse Reddit or Facebook properly. I also didn’t want to watch another movie or do my paper.

Out of my boredom, I decided to open up Ableton Live 9. Prior to this I’ve had multiple attempts at making tracks, but all of those were terrible. I took a crack at making a drum beat that wasn’t bad, and voila, a few hours later I had an inkling of a track with a rhythm section that did not totally suck. I kept on working on it, and after a few weeks, I had a “complete” song on my hands. Great!

Soon after finishing that, I had some friends listen to my song, and to my surprise, they actually liked it. One of my friends told me that this track had vibes that were similar to CRWN, who was and still is one of my favorite producers. This made me really motivated to pursue this, so I did my research on Ableton Live – the technicalities, how to manipulate sound, effects, arrangement, sampling music – all of those, and to this day I’m still learning.

I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’d like to think that I’m on the right track. My friend and I are regularly collaborating, and we’re planning to release an EP soon (tentative titles are “Run QMC” or “The HamKok Project”). I try to put in some time every day to make music, and I’m currently working on this EP which to be frank, I don’t quite understand. It’s something like “ambientcore” according to my friend who’s heard one of the songs which I plan to re-release as part of it, but judging from the rest of the EP, I don’t think that’ll be sufficient. Then again, I still believe that genre isn’t as important as the music itself, so whatevs.

So yeah. Check out my stuff if you’re interested, and thank you for reading this. You’re great for staying this long.

A slightly edited memo.

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I remember writing this a few months ago while drinking with my ninong at this nice bar in Lagro, Route 21. I highly recommend that place because they have decent sisig and a live band that does old-school covers.

For some reason I felt really lonely that night, and as I didn’t really want to sing (they allowed eager customers to jam along with them), I decided to write this in my phone. This poem was only edited when I started typing it for this post, and even then I didn’t change it a lot, so this version will be very close to how I wrote it while tipsy (minus the typos, of course).


A slightly edited memo.
By Koko Quilatan

I miss feeling remotely human, like
An ignorant little idiot standing
Unsuspecting
To the rest of the world, suspended
In naivete
That would make a straight A schoolgirl
Put in detention blush.

I miss the feeling of being stupid
And not giving two
Rat’s asses about what happened to Korea
Or about what the word “pretentious” meant
And why it was so important to know what it meant,
Especially in the presence of smart acquaintances.
I mean people.

I was told once that being an artist meant
Baring your soul to the rest of the world
And slashing up your heart,
And letting
Aspiration,
Inspiration,
And perspiration flow freely
Between
The pores of your skin.
I only found out recently that you could
Do nothing, absolutely nothing
And it would be considered art.
What would that mean, then, for the rest of us
Meager underlings
To those known as that upper caste system known as
“Artists”?
It meant pissing on the walls of your own home,
And I’m not talking about the bathroom either,
I’m talking
Full-blown
Golden
Showers
Spraying the sides of your so-called postmodern minimalist living room
Complete with wallpaper that came from a Papemelroti store.

I once told a man of my age that he was getting pretty old.
He told me that I was insane for taking to someone of my own age,
Of my own social stature and achievement,
For giving him advice.
My superego interrupted me in the midst of my speech,
And told me
I was being stupid
For handing out advice to a
Reflection
In the mirror.

I once joined a rap music collective and we called ourselves
Ilustrados
Like Rizal and Luna and all those cowards-slash-geniuses
Who left this hellhole.
It was like escaping the
Deadened
Local scene, and it was pretty fun.
We performed at a Christmas party
Where one of us made
The best non-“yo momma” joke of all time.

I took a piss a few seconds after having seen a janitor fish
And a Manny Pacquiao poster
On the way to the restroom.
A room of rest would be nice, and I don’t mean a room to pee in.
I want an actual
Room where to rest.
I want to wake up tomorrow to happiness.

I feel tired of talking in the first person,
But will make to inkling of an attempt to correct my grammaer and sslpegin.
I talk to the ghost of
Hitler’s mustache and it feels bad
After all those years,
So it’s trying to make it up to everyone else through this
Elaborate,
Deeply convoluted
Metaphor about
Nothing in
Particular.

I watched an episode of
Shingeki no Kyojin
Earlier, and I felt disappointed.
I expected more death and destruction
From a series where people are killed with
Gigantic, hyperbolic, clown-faced versions of themsel–
Oh wait no I was watching Japanese cartoons,
(It’s called anime, plebeian.)
How could I not know that?

I realized that you can’t make lemonade from life’s lemons
Because they don’t exist growupandgetarealjob

I experienced a lot of weird responses to me telling people
That I’m a philosophy major,
Ranging from
“Oh, interesting,” to
“Wow what’s it like?” to
“Oh so you’ll be going to law school.” to
“Wow what’s it like facing unemployment?” to
“Oh wow nothing has any meaning, how are you still
Alive?”

I’m in a beerhouse, a house of beer
And that’s not as amazing as you think it is because of all those solicitors.
Believe me, you’d enjoy your cheap beer a lot more
If drinking it didn’t involve a guy with very dirtily-dyed blonde hair
And oversized clothes
Trying to get money from you
And asking your uncle for money.

I got a bit taller recently, I don’t know
If it’s true of it everyone just got shorter because
I can still pee in a urinal from five feet away in the morning after
I wake up.

I remember that I got drunk
For the first time
At my friend’s eighteenth birthday party
And it involved filling up
Two bags of donuts with vomit
And it was really gross.

I’m currently hearing a cover band that doesn’t suck.
The only problem is that they only cover
Easy songs.
I like them a lot though.

I heard the song
“You’re so vain”
And I thought it was about me.

I thought of the phrase
“Different vibes”
And instantly saw a piece of graffiti that said,
“Vibes.”