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Viva Virginia! (an excerpt from the essay CRAFTSMANSHIP)


Words, English words, are full of echoes, of memories, of associations. They have been out and about, on people's lips, in their houses, in the streets, in the fields, for so many centuries. And that is one of the chief difficulties in writing them today--that they are so stored with other meanings, with other memories, that they have contracted so many famous marriages in the past. The splendid word "incarnadine, “for example--who can use it without remembering also "multitudinous seas"? In the old days, of course, when English was a new language, writers could invent new words and use them. Nowadays, it is easy enough to invent new words--they spring to the lips whenever we see a new sight or feel anew sensation--but we cannot use them because the language is old. You cannot use a brand new word in an old language because of the very obvious yet always mysterious fact that a word is not a single and separate entity, but part of other words. Indeed It is not a word until it is part of a sentence. Words belong to each other, although, of course, only a great poet knows that the word "incarnadine" belongs to "multitudinous seas." To combine new words with old words is fatal to the constitution of the sentence. In order to use new words properly you would have to invent a whole new language; and that, though no doubt we shall come to it, is not at the moment our business. Our business is to see what we can do with the old English language as it is. How can we combine the old words in new orders so they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell the truth? That is the question. And the person who could answer that question would deserve whatever crown of glory the world has to offer. Think what it would mean if you could teach, or if you could learn, the art of writing. Why, every book, every newspaper you pick up would tell the truth, would create beauty. But there is, it would appear, some obstacle in the way, some hindrance to the teaching of words. For though at this moment at least a hundred professors are lecturing upon the literature of the past, at least a thousand critics are reviewing the literature of the present, and hundreds upon hundreds of young men and women are passing examinations in English literature with the utmost credit, still--do we write better, do we read better than we read and wrote four hundred years ago when we were unlectured, uncriticized, untaught? Is our modern Georgian literature a patch on the Elizabethan? Where then are we to lay the blame? Not on our professors; not on our reviewers; not on our writers; but on words. It is words that are to blame. They are the wildest, freest, most irresponsible, most unteachable of all things. Of course, you can catch them and sort them and place them in alphabetical order in dictionaries. But words do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. If you want proof of this, consider how often in moments of emotion when we most need words we find none. Yet there isthe dictionary; there at our disposal are some half-a-million words all in alphabetical order. But can we use them? No, because words do not live in dictionaries, they live in the mind. Look once more at the dictionary. There beyond a doubt lie plays more splendid than ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA; poems more lovely than the ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE; novels beside which PRIDE AND PREJUDICE or DAVID COPPERFIELD are the crude bungling of amateurs. It is only a question of finding the right words and putting them in the right order. But we cannot do it because they do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. And how do they live in the mind? Variously and strangely, much as human beings live, by ranging hither and thither, by falling in love, and mating together. It is true that they are much less bound by ceremony and convention than we are. Royal words mate with commoners. English words marry French words, German words, Indian words, Negro words, if they have a fancy. Indeed, the less we enquire into the past of our dear Mother English the better it will be for that lady’s reputation. For she has gone a-roving, a-roving fair maid. Thus to lay down any laws for such irreclaimable vagabonds is worse than useless. A few trifling rules of grammar and spelling are all the constraint we can put on them. All we can say about them, as we peer at them over the edge of that deep, dark and only fitfully illuminated cavern in which they live--the mind--all we can say about them is that they seem to like people to think and to feel before they use them, but to think and to feel not about them, but about something different. They are highly sensitive, easily made self-conscious. They do not like to have their purity or their impurity discussed. If you start a Society for Pure English, they will show their resentment by starting another for impure English--hence the un natural violence of much modern speech; it is a protest against the puritans. They are highly democratic, too; they believe that one word is as good as another; uneducated words are as good as educated words, uncultivated words as good as cultivated words, there are no ranks or titles in their society. Nor do they like being lifted out on the point of a pen and examined separately. They hang together, in sentences, in paragraphs, sometimes for whole pages at a time. They hate being useful; they hate making money; they hate being lectured about in public. In short, they hate anything that stamps them with one meaning or confines them to one attitude, for it is their nature to change. Perhaps that is their most striking peculiarity--their need of change. It is because the truth they try to catch is many-sided, and they convey it by being themselves many-sided, flashing this way, then that. Thus they mean one thing to one person, another thing to another person; they are unintelligible to one generation, plain as a pikestaff to the next. And it is because of this complexity that they survive. Perhaps then one reason why we have no great poet, novelist or critic writing to-day is that we refuse words their liberty. We pin them down to one meaning, their useful meaning, the meaning which makes us catch the train, the meaning which makes us pass examinations.

Transcribed by Damsel

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Figurative Non-sense*


(If you smash into Something Good,
you should hold on until it's time to let go)**


like a cloud-

like a speckle

like a dot



like a hair

like promises

you tear.


* Words from a dear friend of mine
** From the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun"

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The Smell of Jasmine

Dear X,

twice this time,
the smell of jasmine perfumed the air last night

i wonder how it was able to envelope our bodies
like a sheath
or a shroud perhaps
that shield us against the cold
it was the smell of our bodies
and the fullness of things against me
that made me shiver before the flame flickered

it Was our conscience that chided us
away from the very fruit of IT
exploring around the corner,
sucking the very core
along the edges of heaven that sang
and brought us to the holy
sanctuary of sin

if it wasn't because of the smell of jasmine
i would have thought of it as an act of acknowledgement
where every gesture was but an earmarked salutation
and your eyes were
only cronies of the gods
witnessing every bit of me
like a tamed lioness

but it was not an Ordinary gesture
as it was an aphrodisiac-
the sweet arousing smell of jasmine
the petals,
the stem and the bud
smelled a kiss of Sin-
a consuming purpose

now
as i'm trying
to forget the smell
i'm also Vindicating
the sensation
of what was once
a bitter taste
of The Past.

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9th Ateneo National Writers’ Workshop


The Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) is accepting applicants for the 9th Ateneo National Writers’ Workshop (ANWW) to be held from Oct. 19-22, 2009.


Each applicant should submit a portfolio in triplicate of any of the following: five poems, three short stories written in Filipino or English with a title page bearing the author’s pseudonym and a table of contents.


The portfolio must also be accompanied be a CD containing a file of the documents saved in MSWord or Rich Text format.


All submissions must include a sealed envelope containing the author’s name, address, contact number, e-mail address and a one-page resume including a literary CV with a 1X1 ID picture.


Eight fellows will be chosen from all over the country. Food and accommodations will be provided. Please address entries to ailap.admu.edu.ph or AILAP c/o Department of Filipino, School of Humanities, 3rd Flr. Dela Costa Bldg. Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108.


Deadline of submission will be on Aug. 30, 2009. For more information, visit www.ailap.org, or call 426-6001 loc. 5320 or e-mail ailap@admu.edu.ph.



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From The Netherlands with Love (?)*

Finally,after thirty-one days!
A Birthday card from the Biology guy

Indeed, it's the thought that counts!

One of the windmills of The Netherlands
Thank you so much to you who-must-not-be-named!

*June 23, 2009

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Alibangbang

Di nako magmahay
kung inig ugma wa na ka-
usa ka alibangbang
nga mawad-an ug kinabuhi
pag human sa usa ka semana.

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Do(UGH)nuts!

Yipee!
Father bought us three boxes of doughnuts
the day before HIS day.

Simple gesture brings PLEASURE!

He knows that his kids really love doughnuts!!!
(YUMYUM)


We Love You Pap super duper to the nth!

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This consideration moved me to hasten my departure somewhat sooner than I intended*





Booksale KCC Mall of Gensan
June 17, 2009

* Gulliver's Travels Part one: A Voyage to Liliput

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An "excess" of Love is not an excuse to do Wrong*1


Please read from right to left



click on images to enlarge

These comic strips were randomly arranged and were taken from Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl (Chapters 18-29) . Any similarities in existing persons (living or dead), places, icons or institutions are purely incidental, or were used in the pursuit of creative excellence. :)

*from the Manga Series Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl ~

I am finally done reading the series. Well, I enjoyed it (a lot). So, Why not give it a try? :)

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An "excess" of Love is not an excuse to do Wrong*2



Please read from right to left



click on images to enlarge

These comic strips were randomly arranged and were taken from Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl (Chapter 18-29) . Any similarities in existing persons (living or dead), places, icons or institutions are purely incidental, or were used in the pursuit of creative excellence. :)

*from the Manga Series Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl ~

COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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An "excess" of Love is not an excuse to do Wrong*3


Please read from right to left

Please read from left to right
click on images to enlarge

These comic strips were randomly arranged and were taken from Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl (Chapters 18-29) . Any similarities in existing persons (living or dead), places, icons or institutions are purely incidental, or were used in the pursuit of creative excellence. :)

*from the Manga Series Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl ~

COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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Indeed, Forever Doesn't Exist


please read from left to right




please click on images to enlarge

These comic strips were randomly arranged and were taken from Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl (Chapter 29-35) . Any similarities in existing persons (living or dead), places, icons or institutions are purely incidental, or were used in the pursuit of creative excellence. :)


COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008


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Laughing it out loud





COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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Pleasure is Pain*


Short Fiction by Hispanic Writers
20 php

Family Business
selected letters (Allen Ginsberg & Louis Ginsberg)
20 php

*In the end, I decided to purchase Kanellos'
over Ginsberg's selected letters :(

Booksale KCC Mall of Gensan
June 13, 2009

COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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Must Turn Left





paved road
between 
white and black

I must return
home
before darkness
takes over

i will travel
to the other road

(with less physical chaos
but crammed with
emotional dilemmas)



photo taken along the street of San Pedro, Davao City
November 22, 2007


COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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Synergy


it is the symbiosis of the sea and the shore that I love

not the divergence of their character
not the sadness of the heaving waves
not even the song that they cry

not the footprints that mark the shore
for they know no persistence to endure

not the brawn of the bellowing winds
that knows how to bend a tree

not the sand dunes,
not the melancholy starfishes
(not those invisible tears)
that dwell along the shore
not even their vibrant colors,
none of their kind

not the promises
or marriage vows that lovers cast
not their underhanded oaths
sworn to the wind
and to the other gods in between

but it is the relentless longing
of the ocean waves
curling over
and falling
as they reach
the cold
and embracing shore.

Photo taken at Fernandez Beach Resort last June 5, 2009

COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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I didn't even know the true meaning of the word loneliness...*


please read from right to left



click on images to enlarge

These comic strips were randomly arranged and were taken from Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl (Chapter 14) . Any similarities in existing persons (living or dead), places, icons or institutions are purely incidental, or were used in the pursuit of creative excellence. :)


COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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The Human Society is So Complicated*

Please read from right to left




click on images to enlarge

These comic strips were randomly arranged and were taken from Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl (Chapters 10-13) Any similarities in existing persons (living or dead), places, icons or institutions are purely incidental, or were used in the pursuit of creative excellence. :)

*from the Manga Series Wolf and Spice (Chapters 5-8)

COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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In life, no matter what happens we have to look forward and keep on living*


Please click on images to enlarge



These comic strips were randomly arranged and were taken from Kashimashi ~ Girl Meets Girl (chapters 1-10) . Any similarities in existing persons (living or dead), places, icons or institutions are purely incidental, or were used in the pursuit of creative excellence. :)

*from the Manga Series Wolf and Spice

COPYRIGHTED MARCH 2008

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