Like Yesterday

Hey
What happened to us?

I just want to be
Happy with you
Again

Like yesterday
When you said
That your life
Depended on me
Like mine
Took shelter in
Your arms

Talk to me?

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Demons and Daggers II

He took a small folder from his backpack and, from it, he took out sheets of gray paper cut lengthwise. He handed one sheet with a smile to a fellow jeepney passenger, an old lady with a faintly worried face in deep contemplation. The lady took the sheet of paper he handed and squinted on the bold print.

“How to Build a Happy Family?” she muttered.

“Yes,“ he immediately said back, thrilled with the slight interest the lady took in his leaflet, keeping his smile sweet.

“It’s a campaign by our church to help open up each family member’s eyes to the key to having a happy family,” he continued. The lady was focused on him. “Which is the church’s teachings,” he couldn’t help but giggle. His heart was full of excitement.

The lady let out an “uh, huh.”

“Oh, our church has a website too! It’s written at the back.”

“I don’t do computers, but thank you so much, boy.”

And the lady hailed the jeepney to stop and she disembarked. He was quite pleased with himself about making a conversation with someone about his church service. He peeked into his folder and roughly counted the thick heap of leaflets left to give away. He enjoyed volunteering for their church’s cause, and this month’s campaign was about building families and binding them with the infinite love of God through the church’s teachings. Tomorrow, he would gladly give the leaflets away to those needful people and create awareness about building a happy family. He loved changing people’s lives.

He got off the jeepney, hurried past the stop lights with only three seconds to go.

He walked through a street paving their neighborhood. He was immediately greeted by the foul smell emanating from the nearby estero. People were in their usual routines; mothers were intimately huddled, arms crossed to their chest, some are talking in hushed voices, some are laughing their guts out. Men were at their usual low tables, topless and loudly making love with bottles of cheap liquor. Many had the product they sold laid on tables and carts, mostly hastily prepared snacks, or used clothing sold typically at twenty to fifty pesos each. The noise made by raucous children on the street annoyed him as he passed through a scatter of them playing volleyball. At the background, you could hear the sound of someone pouring their heart out on karaoke.

He went in their house, the rusty hinges sang their screechy weeping as he passed through the half-beaten door. On the nearby table he found a plate of what seemed like delicious food if not for its foul smell. It must have been sitting for at least two days. The house was dark, empty, and the smell of molds and spoiled stuff. He heaved out the leaflet folder from his bag and placed it on the table.

He went in front of a small table where an image of the dark Sto. Niño stood. After lighting a candle, he touched holy child’s face and made the sign of the cross. He said a silent prayer for about a minute, lifted his head, and blew the candle off.

Where is mother? He suddenly remembered to ask.

He walked slowly into the room, though a thin white curtain and turned the light on. He found a figure, sitting at one corner of the room. He slowly approached the figure and whispered, “mother”.

He bent down to pull her up but she would not move. He resolved to bracing his arms around her thin frame.

His mother turned to him, her face, covered with inexplicably dark green and purple patches. Her nose was broken; dried blood the color of earth ran down to her upper lip.

He delicately observed how grave it was this time.

He was suddenly startled by a series of knocks that hit the door. He could tell he was drunk again. His chest throbbed incredibly fast but he remained calm.

“Open the door, you fucking useless whore!”

A thin smirk appeared on his face. He listened intently to the angry rhythm of the knocks like it was music to his ears. He looked into his mother’s blank eyes and said in a hushed voice,

“Kaunting tiis nalang.”

He stood up and walked out of the room and to the kitchen. He took out something from a cupboard. He held it carefully to his back and slowly made for the door, his face, firm and focused. The knocks had gone louder, more violent. For a moment, he thought the door was going to fly in. He tried not to stir.

“What the fuck is taking you so long? Open the goddamned door!”

He opened the door, light peeked, washing over his face.

“Hello, Father.”

He stood by door, his hands tightly holding a knife.

In the morning, he would pray for his father’s soul in front of Sto. Niño’s knowing face.

Flawed

Walk on, you
deeply flawed
your soul is
in shreds
you skinned your
every bit
with your
self indulgence
in night time
and in
dread
your curiosity
never killed you
yet left you
deeply
marred
you tried
and failed
it broke you
from the inside
it had you
scarred
your hair falls
loosely
one strand
after another
your skin
sticks
to our bones tightly
like maggots
to a cadaver
your feet are
sinking
slowly
every step
as heavy
as the other
your eyes are
bulging fully
consciousness
waning
no one bothers
you clearly
are a dying
menace
your death
awaits in
lonesome stillness
your stench disrupts
like a hungry sword
but in your
blood runs
a tinge of gold
as another second
is a terrible waste
around eyes
yearning
to cause you pain
and words
working
to defile
your grave
take my hand
Let’s walk away.

Image

The Good Wife

The Good Wife

Image

Forget

© Jano Boscher Photography

Cast your fears onto the night, as when darkness breaks into glorious light, all is but a memory.

Unbearable

Arms wide
Side to side
Bound
To a long, iron rod
Tightly by a rusty chain
Stabbed from my
Back through
Chest
By a hundred
Flaming nails
While two
Greedy beasts
Feed of my feet
Hungrily up
Towards my neck
Until every inch of me
Becomes nothing
Anyone could
Stomach to look at

I guess I haven’t told you
How much it hurts me to see you cry.
Now I just did.

Mindless words

go out of mouth
dancing to the air
irristable
foolishness
running off, wandered
the devil’s lair
unafraid
and daunting
unwilling to listen
or care
sounds heard
only
from a grave
demons wouldn’t bear
calling from lurid
darkness
and weeping
hardly scared
faith
and trust are a hell
of a waste
to even fucking
dare

Dragged me across a lot

and pinned me down
the ground
my hands
soft and sweaty
stretched across, bound
Your foot at back of my head
I couldn’t hear a sound
pushed your feet
even harder
my vision, forming clouds
hauled me up
from the insult
with hands hard and cold
numbing, trembling,
pulsing
like a raging running horse
stared at me as if I’m an
illness
spit on my face with distinct force
your eyes to mine, piercing
it was the most
hurtful thing
of all

contempt
disgust
indifference

You will never cure the sore.

A world doomed to die

is where I dwell
people profusely tumble
down from the top
of the pile
of each others’ foul
naked bodies
as tall as the sky
sweat, tears, blood mix
creating a thick
bond that hold them all
together

A man
stood on the top
with a lash
in one hand
an indisputable rage
on the other
ensuring suffering
for every soul

From
where I lied
his eyes pierced
profoundly
making me bleed
even more than my body could
and right then I knew
my time was over

As I waited for my final tumble
along with other pathetic souls
my mind could not bear to think
how one could self-righteously
inflict so much pain
and how one could be so deserving
of such

Screaming
voices echoed
people fell
towards the pit of foggy darkness
the sound of pain wounded my senses
unbearably
it made me want to go
fall next
and end it

Inside me
was an angry screaming voice
contesting I didn’t deserve this
but also
a squeaky little hopeful one
begging for mercy
the man’s
focus was immobile
as if oblivion had
shielded all of his senses
and my turn
got closer
by the

second.

Soaked

underwater
sunken
cold
submerged
diluted
hearing nothing
but heavy
far away
nauseous
sounds
blurry sights
from above
the surface
flashed
uncertainty
and paranoia
eyes sore from
harshness of the water
lips, skin, wrinkled and numb
whole body
tensed
and uneasy
struggling to
avoid
an undertow
of horrid
thoughts
every minute
took away
air from lungs
chest hardened
from the incapability to breathe
wouldn’t feel a living heart
in it anymore
sight, whole mind failed
robbed of any sense
and the instinct
to go on
but
where
I floated
felt
somewhat safe
free
and
a few feet
distant
from
disregard
humbly
waiting
hoping
begging
to drown
and disappear
I never
wanted to
surface
back up

Far away

keeping a distance
decent and safe
a meter or two
away from where they stand
secrets
hidden in point
unreachable
afraid
ashamed
to be seen
holding a sin
with hands
filthy
and ignorant
trembling in consciousness
abhorring every second
it pushes in
and heaves out
but
beneath the pit
within the layers
a
piece
of innocent
honesty
lurks

Street fogged

hands clasped
together
by his chest
cold air mixed with
heat of his breath
knees slightly
trembling
hunger
surged
weak
borrowing
strength
from forces
unknown
coming forth
head swirling
hurricane trapped inside
wildly wanting
to come out
he stops
looks
at her
directly
at her eyes
from where
he stands
four or five feet
away from where
she does
he whispers
love me

So he sleeps

with eyes closed but all other senses open his ears to noises forcing their way in and out through every hole of his body as he lays on the bed full of sharp objects his skin bleeds insanely his whole body soaked in thick carnal blood he reeks of rotten flesh of his own dead soul pitiful and guilty he couldn’t stand the smell and vomits his guts out from time to time his tongue tastes like bile bitter and hard and sick now his whole head spins like crazy he wishes he can die at the time but simply never could he’s meant to rot alive

Have you been

Enslaved
By love so strong
It breaks you
As it hits you
Scarring you
To the bones
Have you been
Caught
In a cage so cruel
Suffocating, strangulating
From ceiling
To the floor
Have you been
Numbed
By a thousand
Unlawful lashes
Skin after skin
Drops after sad
Pitiful drops of blood
I had no choice too
As I succumbed
To the feat of
My fear
It seems endless
and you just want to let go
but you can’t
but you sure are held
helpless
enslaved
caught
numbed
and no matter
how painful
You just want to go on

Wouldn’t it be nice

if the world ended today

we’d be stuck in a place

a room, for example

we hold hands

pray to some god

then earth would suddenly open

and all of us would just fall in its endless darkness

along with it’s soil and everything man built on top of it

wouldn’t it be nice

if it rained purely of lightning

no waters, not even wind

just good old dancing lights

and electrification

waking up every man’s senses

before fully exterminating them

or hey, wouldn’t it be nice too

if fire and ice struck everywhere

hitting every bodies small and big

crushing and burning all sorts of bones

until not even crumbles, but dusts

dance with the air

wouldn’t it be nice if this world died today

along with its hideousness brought upon

by people it nurtured

but did everything to make turn it into such

hostile place

then those who struggled would be some place else

far more more promising

and intact

just thought it’d be nice

Sadness’ Sides

Misery is deceitful
Disguised as a mocking fleet
Of one thousand glorious chances
Of denial and defeat
Loneliness is good company
An ever faithful friend
It breaks you as it makes you
From beginning and towards end
Sorrow remains a promise
Of sunshine after night
Something you hold on to
When all is out of sight
Regret is what it all is
When the sky loses light
It’s easy to succumb to darkness
And scurry a lifeless flight
Sadness lurks everywhere
Luring your every piece
Hypnotizing you into falling
Into its superficial bliss
Some find comfort in misery
Loneliness sets them free
With sorrow comes peace
In regret, a light to seek

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Dear You,

Remember the day
When I first had the idea
When I first thought of this plan
A pretty elaborate one
That from then and on
I’d pour every effort
To have a better look at this life
Well, I am still holding onto that word
It’s become a promise
I decided to make
For me, for you
You can call it a dream
An illusion if you want to be harsh
But it sure is something I still haven’t given up on
If I really was sleeping, now’s not the time to snap out of it just yet
I’ve been lonely
Very lonely, I’m sure you know that
But I get tired
This time I’ll try being OK
And have a good taste
Of this fondness people have for life
If you see me sad
I assure you it’s just an episode
If you see me angry
I ask you to understand
And hug me and tell me I can go on
And remind me that sometimes forgetting is a tool I can use at my disposal
It’s not the end,
I refuse to think that it is
And yes, that’s a flip of how I would say it before I started this dream
Weakness is a funny thing
During hours of its strength
Its existence seems to make so much sense
It had always been something I’d turn to
But no, not anymore
It’s hard though
And I thank you for helping me.

Yours,
You

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Today I decided

To not speak

Of how I feel

The deepest

Hardest seating

Thoughts

Bleeding through

Gushing

No matter how

Hard I

Tried to clog

These holes

They leaked

Out sadness

No one could bear

Crying should not

Be an option

Weakness was defeat

Frailty was my condemnation

Of this soul

I bore

Pitiful

The eventful show

Of burning body parts

Severed and

Defenselessly being blown

Into small, fine dark ashes

By a miserably angry

Wind

Eyes stared

As judgmental as ever

Indulging themselves

With the sight

Of fiery

Mixing of life and death

My scream of pain

Was a sweet

Melody harmonized

By a thousand symphonic

Evil laughter

Adding ache after ache

Melting flesh

And tendering bones to the fullest

I could stop it

Run away from it

Forget,

Start over

But I wouldn’t

It’s a much deserved suffering

I could not resist

Everyone did not

Want to take on

Anything

But I did

If it’s one last thing I’d do

Before dusk

Good bye was all I could say

To a world I struggled to look at

Differently

Couldn’t say I didn’t try

As I know I did

But things

Run deceitfully

And often times

In ways you wouldn’t

Expect to survive

Today as I decided

To not speak

I’d keep these words

In a secluded spot

No one would ever find a way

To break in

He took a walk

He had to
To clear his mind up
Of things
Different things
Problems
Perhaps
He doesn’t know really
But his impulse told him
As clear as crystal
Go out
You needed time
So the voice inside his head won
He took his word for it
he did go out of the room
Full of emptiness
In the hopes for finding
simplicity
Calmness
Strength to hold his tears up
And keep it together
He’s not one to conceal sadness
But another form of embarassment – not an option
He had sheltered misery
For too long
A chain of time
With a beginning none would talk about or remember
And so he walked and walked
He walked away and fast
The air
Against his face
started to make him feel better
He thanked the heavens
Half-talking to himself
At first
He didn’t know where to go
But
At the end of the long street he walked
Was a building
An old one
He entered without caution
The smell told him
Right away
What the building contained
Books
The fragrance of the old
Sheets of stalked papers
Lingered
And he had to continue on to the insides
It was a library
Or so he thought it was
A house of voices waiting to be heared
Scenes from different minds awaiting
Ears that listen
Pleas, everywhere
Longing, adventure, thrill
Mystery, happiness
Love
He took one from one of the shelves taller than him
He opened it
Scanned it
Read a line or two
It was a story as promising as the ocean
But saddening
He had to put it back
He knew what he came there for
And the truth of it was he wanted to not go out
Back to a world that dismissed
Should he need to leave the place
He promised he’ll be back
Everyday if he must
The place was a solitary shelter
Of nothingness
But not emptiness
As the walls spoke with words
He never heard before
He knew
They longed for him
The place was one that needed him
Finally
A confinement of peace
His peace
As he roamed the place
He found himself going through
All the books
And realizing he’s finishing all of them
When he fell asleep
He dreamt
A voice waking him up
He opened his eyes
A face from the past
Spoke the kindest words
You will not be alone
Not anymore
You will never have to feel that way again
We promise
He looked beyond the face
And people
Dressed in many different clothing
Stood in the background
They were smiling
Smiling back
It was then when he notice he had that happy look in his face
They were ones he got to know and admired and loved
From the books he read
In the place that housed him
And took him for what he was
A soul
Maybe empty
But hopeful and whole
And they came out to say hi
Welcomed him with their smile
What happened in the past
Did not matter
One bit
Not anymore
The sadness, he forgot
He chose to
A thousand years could’ve passed
But he wouldn’t know
Or care
He’s safe and free
And finally,
Home.

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Today I knew

I disappointed you

with my actions

intentions

or lack thereof

today I knew

everyday

my numbness hit you

and left

you,

us,

a scar

immeasurable

and thick

it laid

between

what used to be you and me

the innocence

affection

I feared and more so

regret

that nothing

would ever conceal it

let alone

heal it

not me

or some miracle

my weakness had only

yielded indifference from you

something I might deserve

but would pain me more than a thousand

burning iron rods on my skin

I wish I could disappear

somewhere I could take another

chance at things

somewhere

sins

were forgiven

imperfections were

accepted, understood,

swallowed

somewhere people

are taken for who they

truly were

and not for what they

poorly tried to become

in the efforts to be let in

and to know,

feel,

what true acceptance

meant

but if that’s too much to ask

I wish I could just

start over

and make it up for the lost chance

could you take me in.

could you take me back in.

Nobody knew it would rain

Not as hard, at least. The day before was a sunny one. I remembered myself taking photos of the clouds from the bus window, admiring their beauty and serenity.

“Here we go,” she said, rather excitedly. My thought was startled by her loud voice. It’s always been that loud ever since I could remember. Some found it angry-sounding; she’s always thought to be a cruel woman. But she wasn’t. that’s just how she naturally spoke. And people kept on judging her, and not only on the sound of her voice. We disembarked the bus we sat in for almost two hours and headed to her sister’s home where everyone was excitedly waiting for our arrival. It was no ordinary day after all. There were food (lots of them), happy people, and a promise of a good day.

The town was lively. People were everywhere, go to and fro places, busy greeting one another. The air around people celebrating fiestas was refreshing. And her eyes showed excitement she would always have over visiting people she loved. She brought a friend with us. They planned to take a tour to the famous perya and have a little bit of fun. That’s what she’d long for – fun, after long weeks of working in and out of the house in an urban, dirty place she called home.

The day progressed and all went as expected. She was smiling, showing the gaps on her teeth. here eyes had a glow different from what she’d have. She enjoyed her day very much. At night, we had to go home and say so long to the place that brought her joy even for just a day.

The next day, we woke up, at home, and the rain was pouring. The air was cold and was a relief from the humid air we’d normally have. I told her the good news – I got the job I’ve been wanting for so, so long. She put down her cup of coffee to cry tears of happiness. It’s been more of her dream than mine and whatever excitement I felt when my boss officially told me I got it was no match from the immeasurable joy I felt seeing her happy. She kissed me on both cheeks and right then I promised myself that I’d do all I could to keep the job and make her prouder.

No one knew though her cat would die minutes after. A car drove by the font of our house and hit the poor cat while hurried crossing. Scene was disgusting. I gagged when I say the animal’s head crushed and missing an eye ball.

She hurriedly ran to confront the driver who killed the cat. Her tears mixed with rain drops on her face.

“I loved her, didn’t you see she was pregnant?”

I had to pull her off of the driver’s face to have her come back into our house.

I flashed the driver an look that could have killed him. As we walked away I wished him death for what he did – making my mother cry.

Days can be cruel

You won’t see the sun

shining

it’s blocked by thick

clouds

dark and outpouring

waters

unforgivingly

the rain can be harsh

especially on a little grasses

growing

it can drown

and kill

and devalue life

for what it is worth

the winds can brutal

aiming to destroy

everything it passes through

on the skin of this

frail earth

big or small

it is unjust

and resentful

unkind

I stand alone watching

every bit of creation

go down pieces by

sad pieces

I am helpless

and numb

and unwilling to move

trembling

afraid for dear life

but some days can be cruel

and I am nothing

but a witness

awaiting his turn

to die

Losing it

200px-Descartes mind and body
René Descartes’s illustration of dualism. Inputs are passed on by the sensory organs to the epiphysis in the brain and from there to the immaterial spirit. (Image via Wikipedia)

Talking to one’s self is more so listening than talking. Talking to one’s self in public, however, is creepy and potentially dangerous.

It gets more frequent everyday – I more often catch myself speaking alone and it freaks me out. I know my mind can be so active at times and that my brain could not shut up especially after an overwhelming situation. But everything to me is overwhelming and I am just a thin hair away from being out of control.

Speaking to myself, for the longest time, seems a bit normal to me. I’ve been doing it, consciously or not, since childhood. I was not the active type – I was quiet, timid, and alone-in-the-corner kind of kid. I did not have many friends. I dislike (or fear) people. Every day I made it a point that I’d made the most minimum contact to people possible. I was the only child, having no one but my mom to grow up with. My everyday routine consisted of waking up for school, going home after school, finishing my homework on my own and watching TV alone in between. It’s not that anybody forced me to be a loaner; some people thought I grew up that way because my mom never wanted me out of the house and of her sight. It’s been more so a choice since I was ignorant of the whole world and did not have to think of anything serious. And I just did not want to play tag and get all sweaty and stinky, and likewise, I did not get bullied or hurt by any stupid kid whatsoever. Reading and TV-watching were two of the activities that let me use my imagination. Since then, I loved making up stories, and have to say that it was difficult for me to draw a thin line between creatively making up stories for the purpose of making art, and actually lying. I did not have too many fellow kids to share my stories with so I tended to share to the most faithful companion that I had – myself.

OK, so I have forgiven my juvenile and seemingly deranged self who grew up (or at least tried to) fairly normal. But now that I’m on my early adulthood, I felt so compelled to set standards for how myself should act. I only have one rule anyway: everything my whole body does should be something I know and approve of. I know that, naturally, the whole body and mind should work as one unit, a system of complicated components but is naturally capable of functioning harmoniously. But I find this notion hard to carry out a lot of times – it becomes more ideal to me than natural. Over time, I’m finding my mind and body so apart from each other that they both have their own sets of interests. I feel like being in between situations when I am chasing one part of me crossing a dangerous street while grabbing the other by the arm as it attempts to roll down a bushy cliff. And one clear sign of this problem is me speaking alone, not only to myself when I am alone, but also, and it’s becoming more frequent, when I am out and with the company of several people. Sleeping is also an avenue for me to speak to myself. My mom, and Joan (my wife-to-be) would make fun of me when I wake up, showing me how  I had been as I was sleep-talking, and I would laugh with them at the situation, but deep in me, I am scared. Joan calls it paranoia; I call it an honest-to-goodness fear of losing control.

When your body does something your mind does not know of, it scares you. I remember catching a documentary on the Crime Investigation channel about this woman who was violently killed by her significantly younger fiancé subconsciously while they were making love. The intercourse was a bit violent; they wanted it a bit sadomasochistic so to speak as it gave them the thrill; but at the night of the murder, the violence had gone way too far. The woman was strangulated to death. The young man, her fiancé, came to the police saying, “I might have killed my wife.” It was later found, through the medical investigation the young man went through, that he killed his fiancée while he was sleeping. This scared me a bit as I have been found doing something else too while sleeping. I only did as much as speaking while sleeping but I this had me thinking: if speaking is a physical activity and it’s something that I often do while asleep, then It’s not impossible for me to learn to do other things while asleep; and what those things could be is something I’m afraid to know.

I have a book or two that talk about psychological imbalances and psychiatric diseases, or whatever the right terms are; the topic always fascinated me, and it’s more than about learning the matter, it’s more so about wanting to know and understand myself. I never finished reading them, perhaps because I am depriving myself of the idea that would confirm my thoughts of me being potentially a basket case. I kept on considering the idea of getting professional help, from a therapist perhaps, but I am embarrassed to do so, or maybe it’s just a bit early to seek help from one when the signs are just too insignificant for other people. For now, I’m finding comfort in the thought of having a companion, who I can always rely to in times of feeling irrationally needy and the one who would always listen to me when I need to speak. Joan is my unpaid therapist and a very patient one. Many times, when I get stressed and upset, she goes to me with the desire to make me feel better in any way she can and I could not be more thankful. A hug, most of the time, suffice. A warm talk often brings me back to my senses, reminds me that I am alive. She never fails to make me find the connection between the seemingly insurmountable gaps my mind and body separate themselves with. I think a guy like me, (the not-quite-crazy-but-getting-there type) only needs somebody to talk to and help us get out of whatever kind of cage our childhood or whatever the situation we had to go through built to surround us forever. And for now, having Joan’s company, her selfless care that became a refuge at my disposal is reassurance enough for me. Losing that refuge, however, is the fear that I reserve for tomorrow.

I called just to tell you

that I didn’t really have anything to say
I just found myself dialing your number
and talking to you now
In any case that you
would want to hear me speak
here I am now speaking
letting you hear me
with my voice all throaty
from hours of sleeping
and longer hours of thinking
If you wondered why I’d gone
missing
away
unreachable
cold
for a time so long
I just wanted to say
I was looking for a long lost soul
which I thought I knew but I didn’t
that didn’t want to be found
by all means
if you had any question at all
as to why the soul became lost
please do ask
while you have me on the phone
I was sort of busy, you see
balancing me, searching
and stuff in between
If you had nothing to say now
I better hang up
or I might end up repeating
that I didn’t really have anything to say
if after this call you felt
a need to reach me
I’m sorry but you won’t
by then I’d be busy
and I’d appreciate a little space
time
of my own

© Jano Boscher
Jul 15th, 2010 11:02 pm