The scorching sun, perturbed tidal waves beat like marching drums across the horizon. Leaf-lace, bottle bits, open wounds — newfound discoveries. This is the summer song, a cadet’s call for a voyage towards ubiquity. Yet the soldier is always so fragile — and home was never quite red brick and polished acacia floors; but the barefoot tread into the entrenches of a million little blades culling themselves in the midnight breeze. I feel like our rooftop was always meant to be the broad expanse of a million glowing torches, floating and beaming in little stardust trails. We find them so enticing we mouth little sounds and depress chapbooks with intonations until we find them tranquil enough to deem them as the ‘galaxies’; and in this way the solstice was born. An army spread about a million little shrivels of greenery stare at the droplets tracing their skin – they fall in love with the way their spine tingles at the ray’s fluid kisses; how the breeze comes every now and then and how the sky never seems to darken or give in. Summer is born and in its very birth it has been condemned to die.
A summer solstice is supposed to mark the onset of summer. In the underside of the world where it seems like the heat makes its mark on us every single hour and never leaves nor skips a beat — it marks the beginning of rain. How the day opens itself to us and let’s us relish in resplendent glory while only returning to us the rain. How we expect for summer to be a time for change and renewal; we kiss our metal lockets and reminisce on the tinge of blood is just like old steel, the midday sun greets us as we can only help to stare without a single rush — and we promise ourselves over and over again, that this is the day – as the sun flourishes and ticks along with the wavering clouds.
And I don’t know why — but I’ve never been a fan of summer nor the premise of changing in the course of a little under three months. Not the lack of air and how hard it gets to breathe when the humidity starts palpitations and I struggle to not look out of place, not the loneliness and contempt I feel out of nowhere while walking down marble cigarette butt-laden pathways that loop around endlessly.I uphold the solstice that is a beginning to some yet an end to others — and how it is both for me. When the sun reaches its highest there is no place to go but down, and with that another shall reign as the leader of the skies and the matriarch of all heavens and terrenes. As the sun bows its head; I somehow feel that it lingers within, urging for me to come out.
I guess I am only radiant during the rainstorms.
Solstice is a congregation of thoughts, afterthoughts, wishes, dreams and everything that can conceive itself and die in a mind — or perhaps live on even further. End of summer thoughts, the beginning of the after-summer thoughts; we linger on the morose hatred for the sunlight yet accept that there are things brought from it yet a multitude of complexities and complications that follow afterwards. To put it less pretentiously: some diary/journal-like entries and whatnot about summer, the end of it, and what could follow.
I am endlessly trying to search for the defining moment of this summer. Shrug off each day and just complain about the heat – akin to how everyone else does it. Sometimes the blisters feel better than the foamy salvation, and oftentimes it’s more sound to stay forever selfsame with the concrete as a sea and the termite formations, rigid black enveloping corners and all. I don’t know if I’ve ever regarded loneliness as a friend, it’s more of an uninvited visitor that comes in again and again. But I’ve never even done anything to let it leave.
I don’t think I’ve been a good person; or so it seems. But all their shouts are definitely unrivaled to an accumulation of christening self-made scars. No one wants to kiss those wounds but everyone would love a good long story where they seem like a savior; tantamount to a miniature white knight syndrome that rides high in every single person — just further latent in some ghosts. No one wants to kiss the wounds if they’re self-inflicted. No one wants to grasp your wrists and whisper to you — tell you, “no more.” Not that I would ever listen, nor would I ever do it for anyone – but the thought of being acknowledged is nice. Being here, knowing that others see you – studying yourself in glances and long hard gazes; crystalline estuaries and warm-brushed half-sunken smiles.
Forevermore I am destined to be the quiet one. Slip toxicity and clandestine laughter amidst shadow-figures — there’s no making a name for myself when the name has been engraved long ago. There is no denying that I am more than scared because doubt simply overtakes me again and again, fear and rapid desire to claw out of the grave idles around until my bones are so hollow that an embrace may just shatter. I am so tired of the existential crisis that I face every day, I am so tired of the fact that my favorite words are summarized neatly and on-point with three-letter acronyms. I am so tired of the messages they send and the numbers they give me, as if they are so gloriously pulling me back from a treacherous death with a hotline that I know I will never call. If only the world knew that honey, I know what I need and I am not a charity case that is so fragile and broken — perhaps I am those things but there is no loss of my mind or the words that continue to flow out no matter how unrivaled the tears are. To the darling — ever-spinning mortal world, you will not save me with a telephone dial or a long talk. You are not a champion for making my tears run and making me think twice when I’ve beat you to thinking about it a thousand or so times. But of course — I can never be the hero for people like me because I am but a single voice; the words I emit mean nothing even though to I they mean something — a single cry that goes unheard out of all the suppressed, curbed clamor.
Today marks two days left before the sun finally begins to rise for me at the dawn of five – my naked skin will grow accustomed to fancied cloth and embroidered name patches. Again and again, for ten or so months I’d walk underneath the boiling hot sun in trialed and timed lulls with people around me who know so much yet so little. My faculties – all my apperceptions, they will run through the same chorus and skim over me to make sure I am there, roll their eyes and brush their fingers across the walls when I am insufficient.
I am still trying to search for the defining moment of this summer. I am still trying to search for so many things and nothing – all at once.
- There’s something about the way my door capriciously instills itself and quakes in time with the pummeling knuckles. I memorize the sound and have grown a fear to it — the very first vibration so easily enlivens me. So I lie down as still as I can be, turn if I have to with all the gentleness in the world though the blankets around me absorb nearly everything. “One, two, three, four; one, two, three; voice rattles,” I have begun memorizing the reverb and how it commensurates itself depending on the person. The way I know them by their footsteps and the patterns and tugs of their breathing throughout the guard rail. “One, two, three, four – one,” and of course it shifts endlessly – because perhaps they are more undecided and tumult than I am – if that was even possible. But all it takes is a similar pattern that resounds itself at least once, and the way the volume and intensity of their knuckles shift when striking every now and then. I’ve turned it into some sort of game — it isn’t one anymore since I always win and they don’t even know about it. I am still scared of it every time, “one, two, one — two, three.” But it helps knowing that in this little way, I overpower them and herald an insignificant caliber over them. “One, two,” but I noticed that I only ever win the minuscule crusades.
- Eschewed vitamin tablets that seethe the incense of bitter pangs, rugous and corrugated polyster crumpled and creased – locked in unlatched yellowing closet doors. One time I got to walk through the riverbed and drench myself in renewal, and in another I saw the sky through rifts in topiary and overhead canopies. I counted the petals and bracts on the mezzanine verdure and spun them into makeshift diadems. Unchartable wishes that for this sole regime I would be viewed as something more than a monstrosity. I want to be of constellations and stardust. I want to sway in the wind and whisper across the streams of flourishing riverbeds. I want to be the waves that hit the rocks in a serene little battle. I want to be more than the dusk-daughter benedecite of the lunas.
- In my mind I like to say that I’m good at the piano. I am not – I don’t think I practice enough, either. I go to review class and stay longer than I should. I think my entire existence can be summarized in the word ‘smart’. Fuck that word. That’s not who I am, nor what I want to be. Is it bad to think that I could possibly be more? I don’t know what summer has been doing for me. I don’t know what I’ve done for summer. I think it’s a fair exchange.
- Patterns overrun the days of my life. I count down the times I run decrepit and despondent; the times I tell myself that it’s going to get better when it never really does. We hold ourselves close to the clench of a morrow when we never know that the decadence of our day shall come. I wish so badly to break free of this system — but, how boldly it is for a child who supposedly knows nothing to try and place herself out of it, and how darkened and obfuscated do the days seem when you finally breakaway. I was told that freedom is supposed to be some sort of bright, glorious light that shows that you have prevailed through it all and fought against all odds — but I find that freedom in the vicissitudes we face is nothing that is radiant or beaming. We are made to conform and attune to the way the river flows; to follow the rhythmic methodical lockstep. Perhaps I am not meant for patterns, not meant to solidify myself in half-stepped cutthroat figments nor hue-imbued rays and arcs that govern the ceilings.
Textures collected from various DeviantArt users and collaged by me.
“Slow burn waits”
I want to be a lot of things, I want to create a lot of things — I want to change the world. But what can a kid like me do when I already feel like the clock has spun its time. Shit, do I feel jealous when I hear that someone else can do what I can do – but better. And shit, do I feel utterly useless in those midnights where I just space out from the clacking of my fingers and the turmoil of my sight and realize that I don’t really do anything for the world. I want to do something. I want to be someone.
But the way I act as a seer of the world — there is already so much yet so little that I can do. There’s only a few things that I can say when the world seems against anyone who hasn’t lived past a couple more fortnights. I immerse myself in the solemn blue lights, the only things that I have ever called home. Every waking hour is a battle with my age, maturity, integrity — fuck the scanlines and the broken lenses. I don’t think anyone understands how hard it is when I can’t even tread footsteps on the wooden groundworks outside of my room — they leave marks, shadows and tiny little remnants of who I am when they want me to be hidden from all sight. Sometimes I can’t just handle tracing the way the light hits the balcony with my fingertip, some days the bell flickers and I tell you in the coming days it will – again and again. I’ve answered so many papers that ask me, “what is your greatest accomplishment?” and I can’t fucking write that it’s because I am still alive today, despite of it all. Then my eyes glance over, “what are your talents?” and there’s nothing that I can really think of because everyone tells me that I am good at something and decent then I see them walk away and sneer and god I really don’t know what I’m doing sometimes. I don’t like the labels ‘mediocre’ or ‘decent’ because it’s lacking of everything that I could be — and I always linger on the fact that there will never be a ‘potential’ or a ‘possibility’ since I am stuck on the foothold that is my existence at this very captivating moment. I swear to god I want to get better, for you — but sometimes I don’t know how much time I have left and I count my fingers and realize that my voice doesn’t really matter in the scheme of all things — no matter how desperately I tell them that hello, I have poetry and I think I weaved it with a lot of heart they brush over and say that it’s nice and I run out of things to write besides self-loathing and deprecation since there’s nothing else to see or be.
The upper-right reads 1:39 AM and in technicality tomorrow marks the first day of school, the nth of countless firsts. I wonder if tomorrow is also going to mark any lasts — be it significant or not. I wonder if tomorrow is going to make me look like another nothing and if I am going to continue wandering on this earth (or to be more precise, sulking) and trying to make and create and doing so for the sake of nothing and no one (but one). Maybe I am an artist, self-proclaimed and self-made; you know how the value of their art spikes in price once they pass away. An artist is an individual, an artist is an extraordinaire and there is no one else that will share the same visions. They’ll hold the brush and mark it in ways that will never be the same — they will be looked upon and marked as visionaries; powder, cheekstains, tears and lacerations left on cloth. I don’t know if I am an artist, I don’t know if I should keep proclaiming myself as one. I don’t know if people will know me when I’m dead.
“When the roof was on fire”
At the start of the year, I thought there were only a few things that I wanted. They were so banal and stereotypical that I clutched them all into a tiny list on a notebook that I keep on my second shelf. One of the things listed down was a certain pen — my favorite pen of the type; the others were canvases (and I’ve run out of them for now, what a bother) and binder refills. If I were to rewrite that list; I have no idea how many more would be added on. Definitely none of them would be stricken away — it’s not like I am stripping myself down and restricting myself to needs instead of wants. Needs are basic and everyone knows what they entail.
I want time, to feel needed, to be able to crawl into bed and be greeted with the warmth of someone who has always called for me. I want to be needed and to have the sense that somehow, I am making a change. That is of course — all up to me. But I don’t know, I still want it. I wanted braces, got them, and now I want them off. I still want time, infinite more time, I want to see the beauty in things and to actually smile without forcing myself to. I want to immerse myself in people who I can be myself with, to find things that would make me lose myself in rather than count their flaws and mistakes. I want to be more open and friendly, I want to glance at people and know what to say – when I need to say it. I want to count the stars at night – I think it would be more possible because the light pollution brings them down a lot. Whenever it rains, I try to step out and embrace it – feeling the droplets, the scent and all – though it doesn’t do much when I can barely take heed of the doorframe and sting myself on the rust. I want to run free, to invigorate myself along the downpour, to get better at entwining myself in art — I really don’t know. Maybe films, collages, artwork, doodles, messy poetry, the jumble of thoughts that I spill out when I can’t fully concentrate on all the prose. I want medium-rare steak – which I pretty much long for every single moment. I want to watch the sunset with hands intertwined, attend slam poetry events in lonely little bars filled with drunken dilettantes and scholarly odists, go through museums and spend half of the time taking pictures of art and then the other half taking pictures of the canvases on the walls. I want to reap the language and punctuation in the books you read out to me, and I want to engross myself in ink and quill – take over the parchment and loose leafs, leave a bit of myself — just the smallest of fragments in each. I want the world to see me through a fogged-up view of how I see myself, and I want you to know fully how much my heart aches and how all my veins simmer down into the my fingertips and trace back and forth, circulation and all. I want to decorate the walls and pillars of my lodge with polaroids and fairy lights — vintage newspaper clippings tacked unto corkboards. My name in cardboard letters painted over and varnished standing on shelves, a moonlight dance through the pastel pink curtains and the remnants of pages and countless bookmarks strewn — glass-stained highlights, glitter trays, watercolor-soaked brushes, flower crowns and dainty ribbons left in bed graves. I want to hold your hand and let our legs find each other over and over, cold on full blast and the scent of conditioner in your hair overtaking me like reverse nausea. I want to look at all the things we’ve made and everything that we will, I want to find myself in things — the way I have never seen myself in mirrors and glass shards or in the ripples of sanctuary coastlands. I want to get rid of the defining terms that I can list off the top of my head with ease — anxiety, sadness, gloom, everything beyond and in between.
That is just scraping the tiny parcel of its surface. There’s probably more. How pretentious of me to want so much and be so little.
- To begin with school, my major concern is that I have no idea what to wear without looking like a complete nutcase. Never have I been so thankful of regular uniforms, plaid skirts and little tight blouses — black oxford shoes and all.
- I think that sleeping for countless hours each summer day is enough compensation for all the months to follow where I will most likely be a darling to the sunlight and shield myself against the glow with the brink of crinkly eyes and bit-breath sighs. How I will miss sleeping past countless alarm clocks and being susceptible to countless knocks that I’ve timed and tested. Throw on things that make me feel like a stranger and wish for nothing more than my feet pushing against the decor on the wall – surrounded by dust raglan cotton-laden balls of colorful branded marketing.
- I am so isolated.
- Our country is pretty fucked. I was pretty right with everything I had expected of our president — he isn’t just on the course to do nothing but has already been hellbent on burning everything to the ground. And I am still filled with rage and unforgiveness since everyone was content with the president that had been elected, yet was still distraught over Bongbong’s lead. Those events will never forget me and the utter lack of power I felt in those moments will forever ring in my head. God, I can write everything I want and all my rage will be expedited but still — no one will ever be able to share my sentiments and words. And damn — do I want to be a martyr but you can’t exactly make yourself to be one. I can’t escape anymore but I can burn with everyone silently. It will be a conflagration for the ages and all the centuries to come.
- There were so many movies, shows — that I wanted to watch. I watched like, two shows – and one of them was a Japanese animation, no surprise. That’s kind of good — isn’t it? Instead, I waste time on making mediocre programming projects so I can feel good about my dream to sit in a cubicle in casualwear every single day on a 9-5 job to try and make a difference in a company that I have no say in.
- I have lost so many things that I still feel a longing for. Not people, things. I guess I fill in the nullness with a need for tiny redemptions in covering up myself with the physical.
- Holy shit — I know what I want yet I still can’t hold onto it because of the people around me. I did not ask to be brought into everything. I am asking for this. Let me have one thing — but that’s the only thing I can do – beg. Nothing will be granted to me, when there’s one single thing that I want. Not all stories have happy endings, not all stories will steer themselves into a rollercoaster of ups-and-downs – not all stories run themselves around with a compelling ending. It’s a good thing that I’m not a story.
- What am I doing what am I doing what am I doing what am I doing what am I doing.
- My bedroom floor is filled with lost promises, achings and swollen eyes. Bruised canvases, holes on notebooks, ink stains, paint running down pale tender skin. I want the keyboard to be brought into my room but we all know that I’m never going to be taken off of it. Winter’s wind, moonlight sonata, your lie; a million more songs that I wish I could play – yet I lack all the touches and the seconds for it to run. I’m probably going to talk forever about how magical the piano sounds; and all I listen to is piano covers that sound so much better than the complex originals and the songs – a trillion more combinations that I have yet to discover. I’ll find them all out — though. No matter how long it takes. And I swear, even if it’s just a fraction — I’ll figure it out.
summer / untitled.txt
summer sonnets, harps and gold marks
longing, desire, yearning, want —
a million words that can’t define the pounding
of the wakeboard against the brittle seafoam
the clouds only blow themselves over because
they know they’ll always be renewed
we’re so mortal, we fall in love
under the perceptions of the same skies,
same feelings, the lavender hues and marmalade-laced kisses
spiked drinks, you’re so high on pheromones and acid
you’ve lost sight of the ground, and how i wish i could be the same
bring myself over to the serenity of the shore — i’ve lied all this time
i sing of an ode, bring me to broken glass shards and
mixes of fragments and scars, pierced hearts and loose tops
tunnels throughout the sand; i found your memories so lost
in the horizon i still can’t seem to find.
i can describe to you all the colors and outlines of the sea
and you’d still never be able to quite picture it.
skies have never been your ally and you’ve always been petrified
of stones and anemone flying in the brinks of the seaway
“i’ve always wanted to be like you.” and i have always loved
the way you can be broken down in fragments
reach the bottom, swim deep and sink when you are above
prove them wrong when their heart goes frail and races
just when yours stops.
i don’t think summer is strawberry-scented color on skin
i don’t think the clouds live because they want to
i don’t think sonnets are written by those who want to sing
swim deep, sink afloat. you’ll always be one with the
graveyard’s tune. i turned into foam when the clock struck
june and you’ll run in the sunlight until you can’t find the dark
you’ll always come back to the salmon facade of love
stone in lone homes, fragility in the workings of hand
sandcastles in your bath — papercuts run over your spine
there’s an elixir underneath, if you just go deep enough
strawberry runs through your veins. pull out, breathe clear
you’ll find yourself in the foam and they’ll find you
again and again; replaying in their minds – sit on a chair
tell me all about it. the words will escape them,
and their memories will flood as you have done.
there’s always rebirth in the water, you’ll find yourself
in its clutch whenever you have the time
swim deep, and deeper, until the aroma fills your mind
breathe clear in the hot water, relax yourself
and the veins will run dry — it just takes
some time. the bottom of the ocean
will always forgive, and so will the pale flesh
reincarnate – ceramic tiled masterpiece
self-propped spine; they’ll find you in the
seafoam when the water has bled dry.
If you ask me how my summer went — I’ll probably say alright. But as all alright‘s go we all know that it hides an array of things better off left unsaid. This is the tip of it all, barely scratching the surface as they might say. I’ll tell you all if you promise me that through crystal surfaces you’ll skim my being. The summer solstice has defined me into words and into words I shall fall – in the solstice I find rain and skies and so many things better off never here. Through the water I shall bleed myself dry and through water we will reawaken ourselves amidst the tiles and patterns.
The solstice shall flash and return when it is called. I’m left to the future and the calling of the rain. For now, the constellations and plastic stars glued onto ceilings will bring about the glow.
Everything was alright, but it could have been better. But sometimes, ‘alright’ is the best we’ll ever have.