“The heat inside the human body
grows, it does not know where to throw itself—for a while it knots
into will, heavy, burning, sweet, then into generosity, that longs
to take on the burdens of others, and then into mad love.”—From “Walking Swiftly,” a poem in Robert Bly’s Stealing Sugar From The Castle: Selected Poems 1950 – 2013. Damon Ferrell Marbut reviews it at The Rumpus. (via therumpus)
I’ve always sort of secretly thought of feelings as a weakness. I think growing up I always wanted to be someone tougher than I am, and so when I first started not having feelings anymore I thought, “I’m finally this person who doesn’t react. I’m not sensitive anymore.” I enjoyed that for a short time, especially when I hadn’t lost my feelings completely, where I just felt like I was emotionally very strong. And then once all of my emotions disappeared, I very quickly realized that emotions are the only thing that provide variation in your life.
I think there’s a common misconception that depression is about something or depression is sadness or some form of negativity. It can represent a sadness or a self-loathing, as the first half of my depression did. It sort of circled back on itself and made me dislike myself more because I was so sad, and I didn’t know why, and I felt like I needed a reason. … It took me a long time to figure out that something was broken on a fundamental level. There was no reason behind it; it was just the way things were.
“Thanks very much for your compliments on my [writing/illustration/whatever thing you do]. I’m flattered by your invitation to [do whatever it is they want you to do for nothing]. But [thing you do] is work, it takes time, it’s how I make my living, and in this economy I can’t afford to do it for free. I’m sorry to decline, but thanks again, sincerely, for your kind words about my work.”—
At the end of his must-read New York Times op-ed on why we shouldn’t devalue our work by indulging all the requests to give it away for free (so that it can be sold for advertising), Tim Kreider, author of We Learn Nothing, offers this perfect reply-template for responding to such requests respectfully but resolutely.
He adds an infinitely necessary note on how referring to creative work as “content” commodifies it and exposes the greatest tragedy of mainstream media – the vendorship of advertising for which all else is a mere vehicle:
This is partly a side effect of our information economy, in which “paying for things” is a quaint, discredited old 20th-century custom, like calling people after having sex with them. The first time I ever heard the word “content” used in its current context, I understood that all my artist friends and I — henceforth, “content providers” — were essentially extinct. This contemptuous coinage is predicated on the assumption that it’s the delivery system that matters, relegating what used to be called “art” — writing, music, film, photography, illustration — to the status of filler, stuff to stick between banner ads.
I’ve always likes the idea of completely mundane places being sacred spaces—-and only to the devoted or to those who need.
What if purgatory was a perfect dunkin donuts in the back streets of makati? Only 3 tables and without a bathroom. Obviously a place you can’t spend a whole day in (my bladder wouldn’t allow me)
But there was something so exact about three people seated in three separate tables reading or staring out with a cup of coffee and a doughnut. Is it too much to read benevolence in the lone guy at thw counter, his lazy eye blinking just half a second too late while he rings up your order or dunks the munchkins in a plastic tray of confectioners sugar?
With a life so small lately, my words feel too big in my social media mouths.
Am slightly embarrassed, but I’m not sure why. It’s either that I’ve revealed how desperate I am for emotion that the simplest mundane things produce such exclamations or that I realize that words will always be too big and my life just exceedingly plain. Or worse yet, how I can see through my own lies to myself.
The patriarchy told me that woman were the hormonal harpies who use their emotions instead of their brains even as it told me that men rape because they have “uncontrollable needs” and that the mere glimpse of a woman’s body is enough to make him lost control of all his mental faculties.
“The truth is that life is sad, for lack of a better word, but it’s also something else: a sensation we rarely feel because as adults we spend most of out time and effort trying to figure out how to dull and tamp down: it’s sort of a combination of tenderness, empathy, vulnerability and anger. We probably feel this most intensely as children and especially as adolescents, but the sensation is still always there humming underneath everything, and in moments of extreme emotion comes to the fore; these are the times as adults when we feel “life” most deeply.”—Chris Ware on a live webchat for the Guardian.
1. The immediacy, intimacy, and illicitness of reading an epistolary novel provides a head start in terms of caring about the characters.
It didn’t work here. And I’m the girl who cares about Xian Lim’s characters, because well, he is just so damn beautiful.
It might have been a matter of familiarity, or fear even. (mainly, ohmygawd this must be how my long-winded emails to friends sound like.)
2. Historical and cultural references are like a good bass line. They provide a pleasurable measure of time. Until it feels like a jackhammer of pretentious shit.
Then again, I just might not know enough.
3. Diyosmio diction. Every word has its place.
4. I should have taken the florid prose of the introduction from a big name author as a sign. That the author is known for having a ghostwriter, is known for being known should have been my first sign.
I think I was just hoping for entertaining chick lit. And I do want to want to say, o sige na you finished a whole novel, mabuhay ka.
but puta pare, thank god the book was free on amazon.
We’re Metro Serye, a literary publication that aims to promote new art, poetry and fiction. Our publication is a middle ground—it provides a sampler of work, not a dissertation; a few poems, and not a seventy-page compendium of break-ups, make-ups, and everything in between.
Given the contemporary reader’s needs in the age of fast information, our format is foldable, our content readable at a glance, and our cost student-friendly(PhP100!). Metro Serye is a serial folio that that takes the form of a map, meaning you can take it with you, tuck it in a book, stuff it in a pocket. And we’re trying to get out there to you!
The series is edited by Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta, illustrated by renowned cartoonist Manix Abrera and currently published by UST Press.
Think of it as a map of words set to the urban illustrations of Abrera that directs the harried urbanite and helps him discover new voices in Philippine culture. Or even a brief flirtation that tempts you into a long haul love affair with art and literature, in fold-out form.
Contact us through email@example.com or leave us a message here.
We do a much greater disservice to girls, because we raise them to cater to the fragile egos of men. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man. If you are the breadwinner in your relationship with a man, you have to pretend that you’re not, especially in public otherwise you will ‘emasculate’ him.’
But what if we questioned the premise itself— why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man? What if we decide to simply dispose of that word? And I don’t think there’s an English word I despise more than ‘emasculation.’