jornales

for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

‘Where has it all gone?’ (excerpt from “Lovers of the Interior”, my novella-in-progress for OSP)

At the far end of the tunnel, a dull roaring begins. The iron tracks tinkle in their trembling. He twitches then bolts up wide-eyed. A shadow looms ahead and a pair of white light pierces through. A ruckus has risen. The scream of steel grating against steel draws near. But what pulls him up panting from disbelief is the empty pit inside of him.

Where has the memory gone? He silently cries out through the maddening screech of the train slithering to a stop. The dazed crowd has massed up. Flexed limbs now aim at the door. He lingers on the rim of the crowd magnetized by the door, smarting from the pangs of a lost memory.

He now feels a bump from behind. The girl has stepped behind him without a word. He turns toward her. She stares at him as if he were a stranger.

The door heaves and gulps the mass. He gets pushed to the end of the aisle, into a crook between the door of the conductor’s booth and the swaying rear of the coach. He glances at the exposed limbs of the train, and then, shifting his eyes he catches Nini’s head three-arms-clutching-the-hand rail away. She seems stilled, not a hint of her missing him. He has finally lost her, he thought holding down a pent-up glee.
An excerpt from Chapter 26 of my novella-in-progress “Lovers of the Interior” posted for One Stop and the Arts–Elements of Writing at One Stop Poetry, the gathering place for poets and artists, sharing both their love for theirs and those of others’ works, and nurturing each other. Come check us out!

June 23, 2011 Posted by | excerpt, novella | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Penumbra: an epistolary diary entry (for One Shot Wednesday)

A mi Caro,

Another week slips into
the inevitable: the end of
a string of days. What is to
unravel or recall determines the
weight of this week’s end.
On your first weekend
evening, dusk I hope
descends grace on its brow
instead of thorns on its
fingers as it props you up
struggling to haul your fatigue
onto a train.

Where is your stop, Caro?
Is it to silent windows
across where budding twigs
brood over unborn flowers, while
on a chair your back to
a dear old man’s cranks
you fidget, regretting the
time unspent loving. Time
mirrors him and you against
a chasm of ages, life lived and
unlived—what’s behind
embanked on walls, your youth
surrounding his and what’s
ahead as in that boundless
span of sky your seat by the
window unleashed.

Or is it to the waiting
muneca? Her seas tonight
I hope had ceased roiling and
holds a quiet bed of words
she wreaths you with, scented
lily-calm or cherry silken-ed
What awaits you bounding
on Madrid streets, love
in your instep to her door I hope
not sour drops littered behind
the door-click, mouth-
hurting pebbles that her thoughts
had become when thinking of
you ‘living your life as your life’
not ‘life with her as your life’.

Loving and un-loving
that have for fifteen moons
tossed and battered you–
even if at times washed you
kissed and brilliant in suns,
interminable moving suns, that
dip and set then rise
unrecognizable even to you who
has a sun for a heart—I wish
soon ends this fin de semaine. A
new moon rising unseen as yet
I wish grips the seesaw lever
and balancing you on pole-ends
pulls you upright from the
ribs, coaxes a deep breath,
gifts you a glass-clear sense
not so much to know what’s right
but what you want from loving
or un-loving.

Sadness spells both ways
for you, Caro. Sadness we share.
Your in suite contradictions
your inner battles play out in my heart
as focused-sharp as in scenes
of mythic wars but isn’t love an
ancient battle still to end? Sadly
not me but you wield the sword
both as defender and enemy,
swishing in both camps. You
weary the skies. I watch
steadying the ground you
handed me to hold lest after
each battle no even ground
remains.

Don Quixote and his Sancho:
in spirit is who we are, embattled
by sorrows and dreams. But I,
Sancho have sieved reality
from dream. So I, Sancho
can trudge behind nodding, Si, Senor,
to each stratagem, and each defeat,
and each triumph. For I, Sancho
though I can tell loving and un-loving
is not the battle—windmills and Dulcinea
exist only in the eye—I cannot drag
you off Rosinante, knowing on
your perch your power soars
but on the ground battle-less you
crumple.

The fruit not the tree, you say,
Caro, seems to rot in your hands when it
finally falls. I say, it does, if your
desire ends in your hands—in it
a fruit unmasked shows hairs, dimples
or scars. Its essence is in its fruit-ness
not in that weight on your hands. A
woman like a fruit has her essence
hidden. More than a fruit, a woman
rots not. To want to hold her it is her
spirit you must bridle and if you could
you must sip and swallow or if not,
sip and spew. One other
secret: you have to let her imbibe
your spirit as you do hers. If to this
you demure, then turn away
for ends of weeks may not turn around
and loving will remain un-loving.

But
I, Sancho, steadfast on my ground
remain knowing how another string
of days unravel this inevitable
fin de semaine:
I turn to a half moon
invoke its penumbra
as I scrape my mask, unclasp my girdle
let loose my braids and wipe my lips
off the bitter wine I sipped
where your lips kissed
your dream.

(c) Copyright by Alegria Imperial 2011

Posted for One Shot Wednesday at One Stop Poetry, winner of the 2011 Shorty Awards for the Arts, an inimitable gathering place for artists and poets. Check us out or better yet, join in!

April 13, 2011 Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Butterfly in the winter? Wrong kigo! (12th for NaHaiWriMo)

butterfly sleeves—
she sway-balances her arms
against the breeze

Butterfly in the winter? Wrong kigo!

No, this haiku comes from memory, from the way we wear and dance with our terno or patadyong, the Filipina formal dress. I suppose you’ve seen them. Patterned after European 18th century women’s fashion but made of sheer fabric woven out of pineapple fiber, its main feature is a pair of stiffened sleeves made to look like folded butterfly wings. It’s a hassle to don it on because the bodice, which is entirely made of pina can only be fastened with pins, and for a woman like me, who wore it only once or twice, it makes her feels boxed in the first time. But because it has to fit perfectly, it can look absolutely elegant.

And we wear it not only to socialize but also to dance! Sway-balancing, twirling on its long skirt, while gathering its train so we don’t get snagged on it and fall on our faces. We can’t wear shoes with it as well—it has to be a beaded ‘zapatilla’ (slippers) that covers only the toes…but this is going too far for my haiku and why or how this came about. So…

I pulled out this conversation from comments of Rick Daddario (19 planets) and my reply on my post two days ago (Nine for NaHaiWrimo) because it’s about butterflies, to put it simply. And I’d like to pass it off as my 12th for ‘daily-haiku-write’.

Wrick:

island trail
in the back yard today
butterflies

yeah. that was today – feb. 9, 2011.
in some ways this has become curious to me… when the concept of kigo originated it must have been in one area – so the season was probably basically the same for everyone writing ku. now that ku is planet wide it seems it’s hard to say when a kigo matches the season. the butterfly trail in my back yard has become active in the last week or two – yeah, in January/February. it’s not a major trail but it’s been there since i’ve been here – 20 plus years or so. normally i wouldnt think of butterfly trails as a winter season indicator – i think it does start up about this time of year tho. may be late january… sometimes i think all we can do is write what is around us and let others decide if that’s right or not. i like this butterfly season. cool on the month of haiku. and cool on you revisiting your haiku each day. bwahahahahaaha – i see WP thinks i wrote this on Feb. 10, 2011. my case exactly – it’s still Feb. 9, 2011 for me. okay okay, it’s 11:54 PM on Feb, 9, 2011 – but that’s still today for me.

Me:

We got the same problem though I think we’re earlier on this side of the Pacific!

First off, I love your haiku, Wrick! It could well be mine if I weren’t consciously trailing about in my new country, taking note of the season’s imprints and non-prints. I still find myself looking as if through a fractured glass though, where the sun, for example, shines in hues so like yet unlike what I recognize. And yes, butterflies! Back home in the Philippine archipelago, they flit around amost all year. I loved the tiny yellow species, which flutter like disembodied petals. Did you know that when a butterfly just suddenly bursts into sight, we believe it is a soul?

butterfly
oh, on my shoulder–
name long an epitaph

A ‘season indicator’ aka ‘kigo’ is intrinsic by tradition in haiku, is what I understand. And a kigo to my mind is nothing else but life’s details. If it’s possible to simplify it in these terms, it’s quite easy to understand why haiku thrives anywhere and up to now. It’s an art form that could never fade or die because its womb is the spirit. Reading more and more of its history, I’ve come to believe that it aims at nothing but truth and joy that comes with its flash, ‘aha’! Joy from uncovering a secret–life’s or nature’s secret, that is. And that is infinite, right? Aren’t we lucky to have stumbled on haiku? (I caught it on the internet years ago.) At least with it we can be certain of finding bits of truth and ‘joy’ everyday or as I had set out in this blog, a ‘jornal’! Cool on you for your thoughts and your butterfly! Thanks to you for finding my revisits cool!

February 11, 2011 Posted by | haiku, language views, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments