Two Cities

I.

I used to like Murakami. Especially After Dark and the quality of silence only a well-written book can ever achieve.

Ever since I've read Sleep, my take on Murakami's stories changed from reverence to indifference. The economy of words used to strike me as noteworthy, but I reached the point where I could no longer bear his writing style. It's flat and mundane. It's anticlimactic. It banks only on cinematic moments that can be insightful, but sappy at the same time. It's lonely--and now that I'm thinking hard about it, his writing isn't the good kind of loneliness. It's unproductive. It's bored.

I mean, I have nothing against cats--but can he be self-aware? 

II.

Two months ago I've finished reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. Most of it were interstitial reading: at the bus, at the sala of our aparment--or whenever there's spare time. I instantly warmed to his writing: dream-like, surreal, and yet still historical, ground to his context. The characters live in a world that's unbelievably absurd it must have been written by someone who lived life without any pretention or verbal masturbation. 

Finally: a normal writer, a writer who falsifies, who sins, who takes advantage of fiction's capacity to make worlds, and who believes that fiction can mimic life's quality as something that thrives in noise and silence, and that can only be told as an absurd truth.

Blue Lemonade

I told my wife two things to do with my ash after cremation: to smear it on a canvas and to throw it to the ocean. With the first one, I told her to do anything with it: make a square, paint a figure, anything--on the canvas; with the second one, I reminded her to throw it in an ocean, not a lake, or a river nearby. Somewhere open, somewhere moving, somewhere with waves, air.

***

Can man ever summon the courage to say what he wanted in life?

If I won't be an important writer... Maybe I'm doomed.

No, I can travel. I read about this Somali man who left his life in London (together with wife and two kids) to establish restaurants in Mogadishu. It seems selfish, but inside him he feels the urgency to do it, like the ticking of a time bomb.

I can't be an entrepreneur. I know myself. I don't like money. I want to be affluent, but handling the finances shouldn't be my worry.

I know a Facebook friend who had a career for ten years in Human Resources and turned out to be a great writer. Maybe it's not too late.

Lullaby

Lulling son to sleep
after She and Him song. Wife:
"Play this if son forgets."

Queue

A curious thing happened: from the Window 4 queue for MRT cards a burly Middle Eastern man with thick eyelashes wearing a tucked-in Lacoste stares at a Filipina on the queue across him, at Windows 3. Her hair was pulled back, pony-tailed, a face with high cheekbones and a defined chin, her body slim with blazer and pencil skirt. A few minutes the man gave the lady a pamphlet of some sort, a fourth of a bond paper with black print depicting an airplane, squiggly lines for movement, and the word Billionaire in serifed font. The woman read it and nonchalantly checked her smartphone. The man stared at her longer, begging for any response.

Dear Summer


Ciprian Muresan - Untitled (Potato Peelers)


Giovanni Segantini - Bad Mothers


Gustave Caillebotte - The Floor Scrapers


Eugene Boudin - Bathers on the Beach at Trouville

Twitter almost-haikus

Hashtags at the bus:
one-hour film, weekend swim--fold
bus ticket, Instagrammed.


Reading's a promise:
don't sleep, pull an all-nighter
drown--don't you wake up.


Some sense or semblance
of order, escalators--
a woman half-smiling.


What does it mean, this
"decline of culture?" should we
be sorry? Pack our bags?


Your palms outstretched, feel.
The sky is sick of meaning.
Look at the leaking roof.


How "pax" is "persons"
shortened, stuck to resto walls
promos, ladies' nights.


"Drabber than ever"
desktops, skies, weekdays, doorknobs
then compose new tweet.


"A lack of color"
I'm unusually happy
for no known reason.


Chinese film on air
ridiculously spot-on
Eng subs tonight.


Today, realized
Marina Abramovic
looks like Fanny S.

Photos Never Taken

This is the title of a short story collection I will be making.

Koch and Fiction

Lying on my chest I leaned on my son's arms as he flips the book before us: a Kenneth Koch collection of fiction. I scan a little and flip it fast, to Perry's delight. I told him to kiss Kenneth Koch's portrait at the back, which he did, his chubby cheeks smothering the page, now wet with what a parent considers as a child's kiss.

My dream last night (I rarely dream these days) doesn't have anything to do with Koch: two booksellers, one of them Matazlan (not Mazatlan), Latin American, asked me if I can predict, among his titles, which books are going to die. In the dream I reasoned that no book will die, there will be a great revival of print...

I've said it to a friend recently: how having a son makes me feel accomplished, as if I've made one of my purposes in life (if there really is such). It's an assurance that someone else will follow suit, and will once and for all do the right thing.