Posts Tagged ‘karl de mesa


now playing.

Radio silence courtesy of Greendot DSL. Been netless since Thursday last week, and it’s given me a chance to catch up with my reading, and also, to listen to a couple of albums. Here’s my current playlist: (and a bunch of crossed fingers hoping that the net’s up by the time I get home)

A Long Way Down / Nick Hornby


The Tale of Genji / Murasaki Shikibu


Jolography / Paolo Manalo


Damaged People / Karl De Mesa


We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank / Modest Mouse


It’s a Bit Complicated / Art Brut


The Crane Wife / The Decemberists


Back to Black / Amy Winehouse


Introducing Joss Stone / Joss Stone


Neon Bible / The Arcade Fire


Ang Madyik Silya ni Titoy / Russel Molina, Marcus Nada


a state of urban decay.

“Pao, remember the guy you talked with last week? Karl? He’s Karl De Mesa, he’s the editor of this column, ‘Damaged People,’ and he has a published book with the same name. He’s looking for contributors for his new book, short stories/fiction that border on non-mediocre/urban decay blah. I think you should submit something.”

I have a big green notebook filled with short stories from my “angsty” (they call it ’emo’ nowadays) years. And yes, there’s nothing like being haunted by your own work. They still elicit the prerequisite piloerection (that’s goosebumps, whee) each line I read. “Did I really write this?,” and before I could answer the question, flashbacks of the span of a midnight kung-fu film in solar, a campy b-movie in cinema1 and episodes of The Jetsons (boomerang) at 4 am was usually enough time to give birth to a body of work. So my answer would be yes, I did write all of this. (If this is my version of writing about writing, then you should seriously pick-up The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Kundera — that book details writing in a sort-of commentary-story way, plus, it’s a lot more subtle.)

Although I must admit, I’m contemplating on it — if only American-Splendor-esque (and I do love American Splendor) type of work was accepted, then going gonzo on the keys might cut it.

“yoo-choob is yoo-toob in the US”

That Gretchen thing in TV Patrol.

Thank you tv! Hahaha!


paolo and poerty.

(Yeah, the sign was misspelled. Somebody pulled a switch-a-roo.)

Tackling the unknown should be part of everyone’s daily regimen. When you go face to face with the unknown, you find out who you really are. You get to answer questions like, “how do I deal with the unknown?,” “what am I doing here?,” and “is this the bathroom?”

Last Monday, I did just that. I (finally) went to my friend’s poetry reading. Alone. Check. Place-I’ve-never-been-to. Check. Uncertainty what time the gig would start. (Optional, but check.)

Happy Mondays happens at mag:net cafe in Katipunan during the first and third of the month. The fourth of June, 2007 happened to be a first Monday, so there was one scheduled. (P.S. Six years ago, senior year of highschool started. P.P.S. Two days before that, I got the scar on my back, which also celebrated it’s sixth year anniversary.) Unfortunately, when you’re sicker than Christmas and you arrive too early, you find out that the waiting-in-between the unknown bores you out of your skull, and rubs your steadily declining fever the wrong way.

Two mango crêpes, a banana/peanut shake and an hour later, people started arriving. Going one-man-army, I had to find allies. I started talking to the people beside me. Israfel(?), Karl(?) and Tanya. I told them how that was my first venture into the realm of poetry-reading-spectatorship. They assure me that I was gonna get my socks blown off. (I tug at my socks.) It turns out, Tanya was a poet-band-aid, she’s Karl’s girlfriend, and as far as I know, it helps when your moral support is a tall, shapely lady with a pout that won’t quit.

A little later on, a guy in a black The Smiths shirt and a backwards cap declares on the microphone that indeed, the reading was to begin. I spot my friend and her sister. (Hello surprise.) I excuse myself from the trio’s company to join them. My friend leaves to prepare for her reading. A little while later, she’s giving a thumbs-up sign from across the room while a waiter serves me a beer. (Hello, fever!)

And, over sips of beer and puffs of smoke, me and my friend’s little sister listened to poetry (when we could, as sometimes the added instruments make it hard to distinguish a ‘twang’ from a twang) and discussed in the most minute details, why I chose to show up, fever and all.

To note, I did like a few readings, by Karl, Israfel, Kris Lacaba, Nerissa Del Carmen Guevarra and Lourd De Veyra’s (he was sitting next to us). And yeah, in some sick twisted way, I did enjoy the performance with the guy going impromptu while his friend rips apart a book page per page. As for the other poems, it’s either I didn’t hear or didn’t understand. (Mostly the latter, thank you.) For the intermission, Karl played along with his band, Tabloid Lite. (Surprise, he didn’t mention this earlier.) And just after the last reading, the band Los Chupacabras played a few songs. (Surprise, the other guy I met earlier is the vocalist.) Which kicked ass — mainly for lyrics like, “saging na vibrator,” “ever gotesco,” and “sakristan.” (don’t ask. — although I do believe they upload gigs in youtubery)

After five hours in, me, my friend, my friend’s sister and my friend’s sister’s friend step out. While deciding on the next destination, a buff middle-aged man walks up to my friend and asked her how her reading went. Turns out he’s the owner of mag:net.

After showing signs of itching thanks to forgotten medicine, my friend’s sister drove me home.

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February 2020
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