filipino/mexican open mic
i sneak out of work for a moment that turned into two and a half hours of away from the office. ahahaha. i went to this month's open mic event that i only learned about earlier this week. no regrets. i always love being with young filipinos intent on their art. later, je walks in with four really cute guys, i mean, they look ok, decent, yanno, ahaha, she walks in with these four and like always marches to the back of the room. raven and i wave hi to her from our seats in the back. ramon and ciso are playing, and i am intent on their duet, so later when je hugs me from behind, i'm reminded of real human contact. i totally just should have called in sick today. ramon and ciso are melding their voices and the four really cute guys merge with the crowd. the two give way to a female poet. i take a pix of her and swing my camera to the back. the four cute guys are captured. one of them looks warily at my camera, knowing that it will be posted online somewhere. ahahahaha.

but not yet coz i haven't yet uploaded pix and i'm still here at work. i'll have to find time for that this weekend.

i snuck out of work today, and boy did time fly by. ciso called a break, and i asked him if i can go next, and he said yes, i can go next, with a concerned look on his face. ha. i am in such huge trouble. andy goes up to me, and asks, "are you on break?"

"yes, but it's passed."

i call work. there is nothing going on. i look at a poster but don't recognize any of the people in it. i go back inside. the only time that raven is giving a reading is the one time i am not hearing it. he says he hasn't finished his piece yet. ha!

we resume open mic. we share it this month with mexican-americans, and i didn't even remember that until i entered sala cafe two and a half hours earlier and sat down.

I am driving through the storm, listening to the patter of leaves and the lightning drops mingled with the rain.

On the radio a serious guitar band struggles to contain a crowd enthusiastically singing their memories of driving far, far away at 120 mph.

Last weekend Sandra Cisneros read about a woman who used to be the first and only love of a man - or so he claims. "I was someone then," she lamented, eyes lost in bliss, her neice transfixed, there is no one else in the world but her aunt and her story. Her aunt said he came home later and later until she lifted his shirt and found the scratches on his back.

An incoming car shines his brights at me.

I swerve slightly and continue.

In high school, we figured out how to play "Fast Car" on the guitar in our spare time. We figured we'd do that someday, and eventually I did get my fast car and my deserted highway, but somehow I've never been blessed with the broken heart, the unravelled dreams.

I drive my car through the storm and arrive at the campsite cabin. A retreat, music and laughter everywhere. I extricate my things and trudge to the site. With a perpetual audience like this, I know I will never need to know whether I exist or not. I look back, just to be sure the world is still out there.

ciso was nice enough to mention who i was, where i worked, how long i've been reading in front of crowds (since february). but the fear never leaves you. ahahaha. so i read "visibility" and i hope it appealed to everyone, calling out sandra, calling out silent guitar strings and how long travel time and how $3 per gallon gas adds up when you peddle your craft.

i read "visibility" and another poem and "The Map of Light" by eric gamalinda, and the girl mexican poet and raven and je and the four really cute guys were listening in the room. i love blankets of silence.

four really cute guys. i used to play guitar.

bamboo heard me play. ;-)

july open mic
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.

The Map of Light
by Eric Gamalinda

Because you are indifferent, I can offer each morning
only to starlings and not face their ridicule.
They know the map of light is a burden shared
in poverty. They know that every syllable is defiance,
an act of survival.

Mercy looks for moving targets.
Those who have just been born don't know what it's like
to spend an eternity searching. I will let them sleep quietly,
and hope when they wake we'd have left
enough of the world to live in.

And as the hours pass I will speak in codes again.
In the fisted cold. In the warm evenings that weaken
my resolve. So that those who listen
will keep asking, until all our questions
have navigated the earth.

Someone will release the borders from their tyranny.
When I die this body, a cargo of memories,
will disperse and be air. Birds will fly through me,
breathing the words
I no longer remember.
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