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Showing posts from April, 2007

A Curse

You with your bright eyes
blazing, can you see
the wreakage behind
your swift coming?

Blissfully you promised
and I consented, fooled
by the love burned
and consumed.

Lured merely by the
possibility, abandoning home
and its tranquility.
For what? A veiled tragedy.

You taught me to believe
in your inability
to receive. I hate you
and your sanity. I left you

and shall forget you
as you walk blind, deaf and dumb:
never to know another great love,
unable to reach the happiness you seek.


Curious thing when we look back.
For me, at least, I relish it. Not
that I live behind my self's lack or
die in the present. It is just that--
looking back. Feet planted here, eyes
drifting there; neither here nor there.
Then where? Never betwixt. I know
what it means to be in what isn't
and see what is but miss it. But they
never did say how it won't go away.
Nay, the mind just obsesses what the
heart always transgresses. If only I may
fill up this moment in the way
that matter occupies space. Perhaps
another happiness, sadness or
mere madness? It is no matter.
Time's march will be the same.
That which allows love to stay
is the very hand that takes it away.


I am waiting for the sun.
The worst of the black night
has come and gone. Let begin
the passing of a new light.

This is the twilight,
where things that emerge are seen
but never to be touched still.
Delayed substance. I have been

patient. Led by the hand
of an other, I have been
blind. Eyes slowly opening,
relearning being. Can

you see that this is new
to me who never knew what
suffering was supposed to do?
Remember, remember?

She killed me last summer.
No one expects the dead
to walk again. But the slumber
has--it has to--come to an end.

What the light will show
the night did know.
Blessed are those who believe
what they still could not receive.

This is the taint in the blood
I was given. Part melancholy,
part insanity. But still wholly:

the cross on which I am crucified,
the height from which I fly.

On Touching and Being Touched

What happens if my hand is held by the other, the beloved?

Nothing, really, if all that I feel is the touch of another thing. The world offers enough objects which resist my touch; in fact, all that things offer is that very resistance. When I hold any old object, it goes against my hand and does not allow me to intrude its space. Hence, I am located vis-a-vis the location of objects which resist me, inversely, I am only where they allow me to stay without occupying their space. That is why I am always alienated from the world of things; everywhere, I encounter that which is not-me, that is, that which cannot give me to myself or, which comes to the same thing, that which only lets me feel myself negatively through restraint. All I experience is their prohibition, that I cannot pass and cross their space and extension. Forever a stranger to the world, how am I to make a home?

When I touch a thing, the thing never feels itself touched. Nor do I really touch the thing. So what happens? I …

On Coping

One day soon it’s going to happen to you
and when it does it won’t be pretty.
One day soon it’s going to happen to you
and when it does… I won’t be there

Moonpools and Catterpillars, "Soon"

Interesting thing, how we cope. It tries us like nothing else because everything is left up to you. Nothing else isolates the individual than an anguish that permeates every moment and aspect of his existence. Thus, even if negatively, one feels being alive again, knowing what it means for the body to give up and acquire the status of a weight, for the mind to suspend itself in front of the absurdity of the world, and for the spirit to evaporate from the now dead flesh. Grief, like joy, gathers the fragmented self to a solitary mood, focusing itself into a single lens through which the world is (newly) seen. Either the world appears as gift or is disqualified as vain. Either way, in front of a world that stays silent, the individual is alienated from everything and finds himself alone. He find…

The Clearing of Belief

Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed"

John 20:29

Absence offers the space and brings about the possibility of belief. For if I already see with my own eyes, touch with my own hand, and feel with my own flesh, I would not have the chance to doubt its reality or existence. But in order for faith to be made possible, I would have to find myself in a situation which does not offer me any palpable certainty or visible proof of the reality that I profess to believe in. To see does not mean to believe for seeing already disqualifies the possibility of belief in that I do not need to have faith anymore for it is already there, proven to be true without a shadow of a doubt. But it is that chasm between the inability of seeing it and its reality which allows me to believe and possibly have faith. Without this distance which I cannot bridge by force or might, I would not be able to wager my faith. Wi…

The Pain With No Name V (Seeing and Being Seen)

By loving the other first once and for all, the stage is set for the advance of the beloved. By setting aside the requirement that the natural attitude imposes on the lover--that he know the other first in order to love, or, which comes to the same thing, to know who it is that he loves--the lover clears up the horizon within which the lover may be admitted and accommodated. Without this clearing, much like making room for the arrival of the guest, the other cannot come to the fore and become a phenomenon, that is, be seen and be loved. Much of the environment that surrounds me is of my own making and my own domain; within these bounds my rule reigns according to my rights, passions and persuasions. Within this sphere, the ego controls as a king any and all phenomenality in that whatever may appear can only do so with my permission and my conditions for its possibility. Hence, the object--that which could not appear before me if it were not for me, that which can only appear before a …

On Absence

For Katrina
whose presence filled my days

She has left. The room is now empty of her beautiful clutter; the shopping bags I had carried for her, the endless vanity kits, the clothes I had admired, her expensive jewelry, and bits and pieces of a life that is happily but absurdly lived. A real woman who had graced and made a home in this simple space for a while has gone without a reminder or a token, anything to look at or possibly hold onto, nothing to keep.

I didn't take a photograph of her this time around whereas I went home two years ago with pictures I had treasured and would stare at all day. This year, I couldn't ask her to smile in front of my lens; I had been camera-shy. The camera can never take her in, or reduce her to a frozen frame, or try to capture her to an eternal moment. I do not know why but, without exaggerating, she is that kind of being whose presence is always sought for but always m…

The Pain With No Name IV (The Ignorance of Love)

That I am a lover can only reward me infinitely more than being just a being, an existing thing. And this assurance is the only certainty that the lover can grasp, which paradoxically remains in his hands as long as he gives it away continuously to the other. By loving, I receive my individuated, and thus, whole self in reference to the other who grants me the horizon of possibilities--in space and time, that I would have never on my own brought about being a finite and limited being. This spectrum of possibilities that I receive from the fact and act of being a lover comes solely from this side of the relation of loving, from my innermost conviction which gathers my otherwise bifurcated self into a wholeness, into an identity, into an actual person. I do not as yet count on the beloved's advance toward me, as this does not yet matter (and should it ever matter?), for I become a lover not by being loved but by deciding to be so, I love not because she loves me--loves me first or m…

The Pain With No Name III (Self-Gathering)

This gift of an assurance of being and (more importantly) remaining a lover can only exceed any other certainty that I may ever receive. Not that this assurance is the originary reason for loving first, for as we have said, love loves because of love--it is its own ratio sui. But this assurance, initiated by my self and aimed at the other, far outweighs any other certainty that I can muster up on my own or receive from the outside. That I am able to think, and that this establishes my right and place in the realm of being or in the metaphysics of existence, can never compare to the assurance that the certainty of my love can give me. I can forget to think, or that I exist, as I lose myself to the ways and workings of the world; ordinary experience shows me being lost in the world, forgetting myself, losing myself in the constant transactions that the workaday world requires of me. Lost, alone and buried in the world--how can I still say without betraying myself that I still truly am o…

The Pain With No Name II (The Assurance)

The lover then can only be assured by the certainty of his decision, by the surety of his every step in his approach towards the other. And the assurance of loving, of obtaining the status of being a lover, can only be ratified with the continuous decision to love and love still; my advance to the lover only remains certain if I continue to take leave of every moment and every present location in which I find myself, and thus approach and bear the distance to where and when she is. In more vulgar terms, I can only say I truly love by always loving anew; I have to re-start by taking a new step, even if by taking another step means fumbling anew, just as anytime I walk I lift my feet in order to fall on the ground, knowing well that in my pursuit I may at anytime hurt myself. By re-starting love, by making it ever new, I continue projecting myself toward her, as if I never tried to reach her already just a moment ago, and by promising that I shall still go near her later, tomorrow, or f…

The Pain With No Name (The Difficulty)

In the movie Little Manhattan, a mother consoles her crying ten-year old son, Gabe, who, after falling in love for the first time--and for a while, finds himself losing out in the end. Exasperated and in anguish, Gabe provokes his fate by asking out loud, "Why did she have to walk into my life?" Why have a taste of what blissfully calls out, and intensifies, a desire, up till then unknown, only to leave yourself longing for it in the trail of its retreat and eventual absence? Why say hello when with it comes the eventual goodbye? Why love if only to lose it and be lost by its loss?

The mother, with good intention, answers her son thus:
Maybe not everything is supposed to last forever. Certain things are like sky writing, like a really beautiful thing, which only lasts for a few moments.
To this, Gabe replied, "Love sucks."

And love cannot but "suck." For when I profess to love the other, I expose myself to the rule of his or her alterity--without remainder, a…

Waiting, Staying, Leaving

I am still waiting.

And I have been doing so for a long time already. It's not that I am just passing the time. Actually, there is no time for somebody who waits. Time stops for a heart that longs the arrival of the event, the coming of that which it anticipates. Everything is postponed for there is no present to speak of. There is no "now" in which I can feel at home nor dwell as I am delivered to inhabit in a future which has not yet come. I am no longer "here," as I have long ago displaced myself to a there which has not been found. And the one that is left here and now is just a ghost of myself. This is why I have been stuck in the moment.

But not without reason. I continue to stay because this is what is asked of me. I have to dwell on this path even if it has long come to an end. But I have to be faithful. I have to stick it out in order to know the destiny this path chose for me. There is reason in this. And it can only be seen if I stay long enough for it…

Paths That Lead Nowhere

Heidegger says:
"Wood" is an old name for forest. In the wood there are paths, mostly overgrown, that come to an abrupt stop where the wood is untrodden. They are called Holzwege.Each goes its separate way, though within the same forest. It often appears as if one is identical to another. But it only appears so. Woodcutters and forest keepers know these paths. They know what it means to be on a Holzweg."Most of the time, since such paths have been covered over with time, the uninitiated will find themselves losing their tracks. They try to trace their path back, to see where they took a wrong step, but only to find out again that the path suddenly disappears. The path unknowingly ends. There seems to be no next step. This is where the path comes to a stop and where the sojourner has to decide. Shall he turn around and head back or shall he go on off the beaten track? For sometimes, when he is patient, he may find new paths. But he knows. He knows that the danger of movin…