Homes

There is nothing beside the familiar
doormat to get excited about, yet when one goes out in loose weather
the change is akin to choirs singing in a distance nebulous with fear
and love. Sometimes one’s own hopes are realized
and life becomes a description of every second of the time it took;
conversely, some are put off by the sound of legions milling about.
One cultivates certain smells, is afraid to leave the charmed circle
of the anxious room lest uncommitted atmosphere befall
                                                    and the oaks
are seen to be girdled with ivy.

For ten pesos at Booksale Calamba I went home clutching John Ashbery's Flow Chart in a brown bag. I liked the fact that it was challenging enough to discourage me from finishing it. It needed patience. It needed a pencil, a cup of coffee and cigarettes. An afternoon. It needed to be whispered, read aloud, mulled over. It needed to be read and reread. I'm ninety percent sure I haven't gone past fifty pages, and a hundred percent sure I've read the first ten pages about ten times already. A lot of words and phrases stick: "mitred, glint"; "the sky milk-blue and astringent"; "oh my friend that knew me before I knew you"; "I never knew such happiness. I never knew such happiness could exist". A phrase even made it as one of those pretentious personal email signatures:

the world’s colored paths all lead
to my mouth, and I drop, humbled, eating from the red-clay floor.
And only then does inspiration come: late, yet never too late.