Monday, April 30, 2012

Promises to Break


I will remember every moment between us.

(my heart beating loud as we held hands)
(you made me feel giddy with joy)

(sitting beside you in class)
(filling a notebook's worth
of dreams about you)

(that time you sang a song for me)
(every song you sang seemed like

it was for me)
(some songs I can never listen
without thinking of you)

(the letters we wrote each other
that summer and after, passed
from class to class, friend to friend

for years)

I will remember every moment.

(the heartbreak of finding out
you had someone else

again and again; anyone else
but me)

I will remember.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: use "I remember..." three times; dedicated to the greatest romance of my life, which never started.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

every poem


every poem
I write
is a poem
about writing
poems
(even this)

as if
this act
is enough
to explain
it all
(not even
close)

will my scope
ever widen
like pupils
in the dark?

will I ever
step out
of the known
into the
mysterious universe?

or maybe merely
into another person's
animal flesh
unpeeled layer by layer
to hit bone.

all my longings
to pin down
experience
stand
on the shaky legs
of a poet
at the cusp
of foolishness
and courage

every poem
I write
is a prologue
to the poet
I'll become

til then
these words
can fill
the gap

Christine Fojas

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ruin


the house is made
of shadows and shivers
hiding in dusty corners

noises that scrape
tendrils creeping
from the grate

small creatures
peeping from cracks
in the walls

sharing space with ghosts
that flicker in and out
on the broken mirror

the drape of cloth
over rotting wood
the whisper of stories

from treasures abandoned
to rust or tarnish
to groan and crumble

all memories fade
this house dismayed
this ruin, this shade

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: space

Friday, April 27, 2012

at the margins


do you write the best poems
when you let sense fall through
your fingers

like sand? does it form
its own shapes within
the abitrary confines
you have made?

do you link together two images
and dance on the thread between?

do you run roughshod over words
relying on imprints and intuition
as you skate perilously close
to the edges?

here at the margins of literature,
I'm not sure what there is to see.

or is it just another vanishing point
on the receding horizon of time?

they say we can only write
with the words our society has armed us.
does the poet ever travel
beyond the boundaries?

are questions moot? are answers folly?

is poetry still a beating, living thing
cupped in our hands, ready to wing away?

Christine Fojas

Dilang Limot


Lahat ng tinuro sa'kin
Burado na ng panahon.
Ang dila ko parang balon
Na sa init ng araw
Sa kakulangan ng ulan
Nauubusan ng laman.

Ang aking dinadamdam
Sa minamahal o kinamumuhian
Di na kayang maitulay.

Para kong lobo na kulang ng hangin.

Ang lahat ng makata,
At kanilang nagniningning na salita
Hindi na rin mabasa.
Para kong naputulan ng paa.
Naging pipi na, pati't bulag at tanga

Itong dila ko, limot na
Sa tagal na nakabaon sa dibib.

Lahat ng tinuro sa akin
Burado na sa layo
Mula sa bayang kinagisnan,
Iniwan ng katawan at isipan.

Tila ibon o isda
Na di na kayang lumipad o lumangoy.

At sa lahat, itong tulang ito
Ang pinakamahirap kong sinulat.

Christine Fojas
---
note: I promised myself I'd write a poem in Filipino. 

My very literal English translation

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mind, Body, Dream


it's just synapses
firing

it won't leave
a mark on flesh

but you still
feel it dissolve
when you wake

and you reach for it
but you never catch it

and you mourn
the world within
the dream

the selves you've lost
when your body settles back
into this mistake

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: elegy, which I really feel unequipped to write, so this...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

re: cento

An interesting exercise.

I browsed through a lot of anthologies that I have barely cracked open, and I culled line after line, but some of them just wouldn't fit. (Whether because of pronouns or subject matter.) So even  though they felt like amazing discoveries, I had to discard them.

And there's a bit with wrong grammar, I think, that makes me wince, but I left it in anyway. And I had to change the punctuation of the lines so it flows together.

I read in an interview one poet wanting to say that she had arranged the poem, like a composer arranges music, and this feels a bit like that.

The Unmappable End

For this ripening, you are
Tossed up like flotsam from a former passion
As, dazed, you enter to escape

Destruction riding over the seven hills.
In cartography, maps are devices for forgetting
Each syllable uttered clear: your name

A hazy conception of rhythms and patterns
Around the perimeters
In circles and figure eights, and kept the world moving

In the quick outline of a gesture, of a lover's,
Traced in the shadow
The same sequence as the night before:

Spirals turned by an incessant wind.
Whatever expires in this here vice of season, fire
Ends and lays out a map

On the edge of nothing, like a prayer
To keep our metaphysics warm
And unmake the day. Your heart

Covers the world's murderous noise;
Ruins your life.
Everything appears in a different light, absolutely everything

And your lives from your unfinished reach
Makes for haphazard punctuation. Later works
Turn where the stairs bend

Appear, by contrast pale, though some, vivid as the sky above them
Act as if from tomorrow on
Time would soon part with the air

Where earth and air unnerve, divide
Yet yielding toehold to buds
Between gnarled roots and rotting boards

Before the deluge, before the parting.
You take a piece of wood in your hand and say:
"The end is blast of ancient rage."

And maybe it is. It has always been this way
It is part of the constellation:
Quadrants without inhabitants, the coordinates pair

Spiralling to an unmapped end.

Arranged by Christine Fojas
---
Prompt: cento: poem composed of other poets' lines.

Poets in order of appearance:
Marjorie Evasco, Elizabeth Jennings, Charles Tomlinson, John Heath-Stubbs, Marie Bismonte, Merlie Alunan, Henning Kramer Dahl, Fatima Lim, Oystein Wingaard Wolf, Luis Cabalquinto, Wallace Stevens, Bink Noll, Liana Langa, Edel Garcellano, George Hitchcock, Knute Skinner, T.S. Eliot, Rosa Alice Branco, Andre Velter, Valerie Rouzeau, Helena Sinervo, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ariel Gordon, Brian Jones, Hugh MacDiarmid, Daniel Banulescu, Gabrielle Althen, Maria Luisa Aguilar-Carino, Abbie Huston Evans, Robyn Sarah, Mariano Kilates, Peter Waterhouse, Edgardo Maranan, EJ Galang, Michael McLure, Helwig Brunner, Jon Stallworthy

Bibliography: 
NORTH AMERICAN
A Geography of Poets
CV2: The Keystone of Canadian Poetry Turns 35

EUROPEAN
British Poetry since 1945
New European Poets
Norton Anthology of Poetry: 3rd Edition
Selected Poems by Tomas Transtromer

FILIPINO
A Habit of Shores
Crowns and Oranges
Don Carlos Palanca Awards: 1980s Poetry

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Three Hypothet(i)cal Sonnets among Many

1. 
The Godless Poem
Just came to be
An object made by absence
Nobody at the helm
Of an empty vessel
Nobody to tell a story
Around a flame
There are gaps between words 
And phrases
That act as space 
For a thought to leap from
For a reader to enter
And make up the rest
And nobody can tell them 
That they are wrong
2. 
Here and Gone
The Hand was at work 
The poem shown as proof
But the moment somehow erased
Or rearranged to delude
To make the poem seem 
A spontaneous result
That evolved effortlessly
From the blank page
And now the poem must be abandoned
To stand alone 
Under the hard gaze of many suns
The Hand was here and then gone
And the poem soon shall weather 
Even sooner shall fade away
3. 
The Poem as Prayer
God made us and God wrote
Poems through us
The angels play songs 
That break through bare hearts
And we take what we can
And make what we may and we pray
Phrase after phrase
To be deemed worthy of such grace
And beauty that penetrates us
And leaves our souls aglow
Beacons that gleam among the stars
God shaped us and God wrote us
And every word on the page turns 
To sacred hymns that echo on and on 


Christine Fojas
---
Prompt: Lipogram, defined as a poem that explicitly refrains from using certain letters.
Notes: They're only sonnets in that they're 14 lines and present some form of an argument. As you may have guessed from the title, the missing letter is "I" which was the trigger for writing about absences and presences. This is pretty tongue-in-cheek and all POVs make fun of the idea they supposedly argue for, because the basic metaphor (creation of poem as creation of man) is obviously flawed. Interesting exercise I've never tried before.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Stumbling towards Myself


On days like this
The poet has to trick himself
Into speaking--

The tongue unfurls like Spring's hand
In the garden.
But everywhere weeds abound.

What is a weed, but an unwanted flower?

My poetry is full of surfaces,
Mirrors that deflect and distract
From the emptiness,

A moebius strip that lacks
A dimension or two.

Maybe that's why I keep coming back
To the ocean, writing of waves
Rising and falling, trying to dive

Deeper, and touch ground down
Among mollusks and sea stars
In the unexplored black.

Maybe there, I can find meaning
Or whatever it is that poets
Spend lifetimes looking for.

Some poets write in cryptic
Hints woven between words
That carry like a boulder the history
Of this imperfect world.

And some poets splash around
In sheer delight
Leaping from images vivid and vivacious,
In a long, exhuberant chain.

I am somewhere in between,
A little lost stumbling towards poetry
And towards myself.

Here is a garden of weeds carefully-tended.
Here is the ocean full of survivors.
And here is a poem pieced together
From fragments of a broken mirror.

It still glimmers; it still cuts deep.

Christine Fojas

Sunday, April 22, 2012

To My Parents,


Born on this day, X years ago:
I know you've stopped counting,
But it's still another year's
Worth of T.V. and movies,

Hospital check-ups and hot meals,
Shopping and Skype conversations,
Dishes and laundry, and all other bits
And pieces that comprise your life.

Hair fades to gray, and skin folds
Into wrinkles. We will all grow old.
But to be happy sometimes, most days,
Is enough. (Sometimes. Most days.)

And if there remains something
That you need to do, you can do it
Together. There's time.
And time enough for us to spend

Beneath your wing. Here's to us
Shifting shapes to fit each other;
Here's to moving hand in hand
Towards the year to come.

Christine Fojas
---
Today X years ago, both my parents were born. I find Occasional poems a little tricky, and I'm aware it comes across a little trite, but I hope my parents feel my sincerity.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Again the Season

Spring:
wildflowers growing
in empty fields.
Again
the season.
Again the joy
of birds dancing
in skies
filled
to the brim
with breathless
longing--
songs
we sing
or live by,
songs
that rise
season after season.

Green
flows back
to leaves' veins;
rain
sweeps, falters,
comes and goes
like
the wings
of flirtatious birds
like
the advent
of another Spring.

Christine Fojas
---

prompt: hay(na)ku--which I actually planned on doing at least once this month, so it works out well. The form is a take on the haiku, and is three lines, with 1, 2, and 3 words per line, or the reverse. It was coined by Filipino poet Eileen Tabios.

note: I wrote this at work, because we were unbelievably not busy today. So special thanks to W, my cheerleader! I only changed one bit...

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Motions


The bus comes
mostly on time
and you pick the window seat
to watch the sun dip
in and out of buildings.

You will never get used
to the motions.
It's like you feel
the planet's spinning
and you follow
in ballerina tiptoes
round and round.

If you can, pick something
to stare at
(a bridge, a tower)
to hold you in place
even though it changes every time
you pass by.

Will this journey change you?

Good poems
build to a point,
lead the reader
down the labyrinth
to center of the maze.
But you can only find it
if you're open enough.

Journeys require
an equal amount
of attention;
that's the toll you pay
to be alive.

Christine Fojas
prompt: traveling

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tame Swans

You have to be evil.
You have to stumble on your feet
For a couple of kilometers through the forest, exulting.
You never have to let the hard mineral of your mind
hate what it hates.
Keep silent about joy, yours, and I will keep silent about mine.
Meanwhile the world stops in place.
Meanwhile the moon and the murky boulders of  hail
are suspended across the seascapes,
over the waves and the shallow shores,
the ocean depths and the waterfalls.
Meanwhile the tame swans, low in the dirty green water,
are heading out again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lively,
the world mostly keeps to itself, unknowable,
holds its tongue like the tame swans, gentle and boring --
only once whispering your absence
in the crowd of thoughts.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: opposite day: on favorite poem "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

otherness

we always love what we can't do
        -charles wright

would you like to slide
behind my eyes? see what I see?
reading is always
a voyeuristic act
and writing a revelation.

but we love it: the chance
to step in and out
of someone else's dream,
and the words seep in
like ink on skin
and we inhabit
this whole other life
for a while, just to try it on.

we always love what we can't do,
or make, or take.
either that or we hate.

Christine Fojas

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gestalt

Disconnection is death
and those who leave
the cradle blink their eyes
to take in details further
than the screen,
unmediated traps
of a blind universe.

We chose to carry
this cul-de-sac alienation
and days pass in a daze.
And our brains sedated,
we flicker in and out
of reality: a dream
made of accumulated puzzle
pieces, pixels, particles
all dancing to this
synaptic song of light.

The world out there exists,
(dull and desperate
in equal measure)
but so does the world here
in our dim cave full
of glowing wonders.
We are safe and sanitized.

Death is a surrender
to this susurration,
a loss of cells
and flashing neurons
but also a gain:
eternity within
the great gestalt.

And even then, 
we would be ghosts
transposed in old photographs
existing byte by byte 
before one hand
sweeps us clean
and we are overwritten.

The abyss will gaze back.

Christine Fojas

---

prompt from PAD Challenge: science fiction poem

note: inspired by book I am reading called "technogenesis" by Syne Mitchell, although the book's idea of 'gestalt' is a bit different from this. Not what I am used to writing, but experimentation is part of the process.

Monday, April 16, 2012

mixtape: ode to a long-distance friendship

You never bother
writing liner notes
so I dive into each song,
trying to divine from title
or each individual line
some hidden message.
Don't worry. I am fine.

Are you fine? Or do you still
wake up to excruciating days?
Do you still read books
or spin hallucinations
into tall tales?

If I could discover a secret
sun to light you up in a blaze
I'd sent it to you in the mail.

And I will wait for word,
or better yet, a happier song.
Please, Roel, stay strong.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt from PAD challenge: mixed up poem
This may be a little too personal, and if he ever stumbles onto this site, he can tell me to take off his name from my poem. :P

Sunday, April 15, 2012

somewhere beyond understanding

what is it about you which (very skilfully,
beautifully) compels me,opens and closes eyes.
i never touch if we are too near;
your eyes enclose silence

somewhere beyond gesture.
they are always descending:
rendering nothing of me
not even the rain.

your breathing is deeper than all
such hands easily unclose the texture of its countries:
frail snow to small roses whose color has travelled
everywhere the heart imagines.

you have your first look
of intense fragility
that i experience in your fingers
i have closed myself.

with each slightest touching
my life gladly opens
as most things which suddenly close.

mysteriously nobody understands
your power ;something in the voice
will shut petal by petal
as this flower equals death

and Spring cannot open forever
in the world i perceive
because i do not know
your wish to me or to myself.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: parody: e.e. cummings' "somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond."
notes: The words are from the original, which is not exactly a parody, but I thought it would make an interesting exercise. Cummings is one of my favorite poets, but I find him a little difficult to read.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Struggling Sonnet

Oft-repeated words plow grooves in the dirt
of our minds; some songs torment.
But a poet struggles against the comfort
of a routine, like a closed garment
that fits us well and yet lets us move
in one direction, one predictable path.
Like words that rhyme, like love
or gestures of love over-choreographed.
Yet in verses freed from stiff cliches,
in lines that lead to never-beens,
a poet's work still betrays
(like a wave returns) his favored themes.
We are all bound by rules said or unsaid
even poets who think rhyme is dead.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: sonnet
note: I am amazed that I have written this. Maybe tomorrow it will horrify me, but today I love it. :P

Friday, April 13, 2012

Shallow Ground

Stand in the shoals,
in the overlap of sand
and slowing wave,
where the mud clings
to your feet.

This is the stairwell
leading down into the sea.
This is where waves break
or diffract, and tide turns.

This is where man
makes his choice to leap
or to let the waters
push him back.

I heard a widespread rumor
that poets must steep
in despair
before they can sing.

I think shallow waters
could be enough
to teach us about depth.
The rest we can imagine.

In our heads, questions build
their own connections
and stories elaborate themselves.

And joys and sadness
are but pebbles a child plays with
here in the mix of currents,
in this shallow ground.

Christine Fojas
---
second poem of the day; written from words randomly culled from a book and from the wikipedia entry for "shoals."

Mid-month Thoughts

It's not that I feel like I'm improving as a poet.

Whenever we do something like this, this enforced daily creation, we all end up pushed to the limits of our comfort zone, digging into reserves we never knew we had.

And this chance to post something I barely finished every single day... is a chance to be a little braver.

Now if only I make myself stop apologizing for the uncertain quality of my work.

Someday I will write much better poems than these. Meanwhile, here are my flawed treasures, chipped shells culled from the surf.

Thank you for reading and sharing in my journey.

yet another ought to

they keep saying you ought to
or else they warn you not to

and you try to range a little freer
and this is what you are brought to

with one foot mired in the dirt
(you can't escape what you're taught to)

another stumbling to find a path:
self-actualization, there's a lot to

it than that. these are all I have:
here's a what-for and a now-what-to.

let us ask them til our minds unfold.
as living people we have got to.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: ghazal. 
note: I'm really weak when it comes to rhyme.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Albularyo

Beware what is converging

In the dripping wax
Over a bowl of holy water:
A missed attack.

He pricks your middle finger
With a heated knife.
The blood gathers to a point.

Men can get bespelled to be dull,
To work harder without wonder,
Lulled to a life half-lived

Unless the local healer breaks
A crystal and the curse inverts.
He looks into the glazed mirror

Under yourself and myself.
Poets open doors to a deluge.
The albularyo does the same.

Be gracious as you touch his hand.
He will take risks to bring you back.
The cosmos is his hour.

Listen to your loss and take note:
Your task is to pray (and pay)
And oblivion will make your enemies moot

They will be hung in a dark room
Blasted with heat dripping blood.
They will die daft

In molten shudders like vermin.
But beware the albularyo's price.
Pain begets pain and hell

Always requires a sacrifice.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: homophonic translation of Jacob Groot's "Lokaal Heelal." Albularyo is a Filipino term for local healer. Let's just say the original is a hundred times better than this.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Moment of Stillness

I had to stop
in the middle of the sidewalk
and unplug my ears
and let the tinny music fade
as I gazed up
at the flowering trees
where starlings had come
to sing of love.

Beauty was tap-tap-tapping
like a curtain of rain.
It gathered at the tip of a leaf
and soaked in my hair
and followed the shape of the earth.

We all secretly hunger for such offerings.
We wish to be one star
in a glorious constellation,
to be a knot in a living net
that hauls in all these treasures,
to hold the world
and be held riveted in place.

Our place, where feet touch ground
and skin meets sky
and we will know the part we play
in this unfolding universe.

Christine Fojas

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Part of a Whole

There was no sleight-of-hand here, only tools
to fit each joint to joint.
They are a comforting weight in my palm,
as I grip and clasp together
the disparate parts of this poem.

It could be a single broken metaphor
that needs replacing,
but sometimes it all falls apart
and no amount of spit or grease can save it:
the words themselves have eroded,
their edges dulled by overuse.

After a complete overhaul,
an exhaustive remaking,
my muscles ache
but it is a good pain.
So it is with better poems.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: steal a first line; from Alfredo Navarro Salanga's Voices Prompted by the News, a Staple Food.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Katipunero

This knife parts another willing flesh
and blood soaks into the cheap rag
that holds our deepest oaths.

Soon the red banner shall cover the sky
and we shall rise
from under the grinding heels
of old conquerors
with our swords in hand,
and we shall triumph,
a nation, a people united.

Such a beautiful dream, Emilio.
But what went wrong?
Our troops are divided,
our men lost,
and the end in sight
is a new conqueror,
buying the earth under our feet.

Another war, and I'm not there to fight it.
My back was turned
as my comrade cut my willing flesh
one last time.

Christine Fojas
---
Prompt: dramatic monologue, point of view of Andres Bonifacio, talking to Emilio Aguinaldo.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Game

Your cracked hands catch
What the poet throws you:
A matter-of-fact measured line,

A primitive impulse,
A sound loosed
From a sense
Of structures

And marks the end of margins
That evoke
Each encounter.
Some tender oh.

You may miss more than once
But come to it
By different trains at night,
At the poet's arrangement.

Get entangled in the tossing waves,
Underlining the slight pauses
Of a damaged text
With details that support
Rather than define.

Does subsequent readings reveal
Our own rhythmic screams?
This is a poetry splintering spread.

Listen for the words
That hang from my head
In badly organized chains.

Eventually
You can fill in the missing faces.

But poems are not to be mounted.
They come alive
In the cadence of pleasure.

Allow yourself this vividness.
Now this particular phrase.
And whatever makes itself apparent
In sweet revelation
And bursts from my navel.
The game is clear enough. 

And we'll inhabit
A mythical world of Tuesdays
That the poet creates for the fool
And that the fool performs
For the poet.

This is an unfamiliar circle.
The center in mind
Is you.

Christine Fojas
---
Another found poem, based on materials in a found poetry kit, from Found Poetry Project.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

[ ]

Today I am empty
Bleached white
Of things to say.

Where are my words?
The ink on this page
Is disappearing.

I am hollowed out
In stillness
Covered in a spiderweb

Made out of whispers
Filaments that evade
And resist all attempts

To be written down.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: color: white

Friday, April 6, 2012

Stray Dog

he negotiates the streets
by lampposts and car wheels
lit up with scent.
mine, not mine
the world is his domain,
the little of it
he can defend.

he does not fear the leash.
and humans with their cunning hands
friend, not friend


he is wild enough
and tame enough
to survive in the cracks
of this indifferent city.

Christine Fojas
---
prompt: animal

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bibliopath

I came awake to the world
on hand-me-down books
from my mother's shelf--
romance, mysteries
and self-help.

That's how I organize time:
the moment I discovered fantasy,
the moment I discovered poetry.
(As if it had never existed before.)

I passed books down to my sister.
And the day I thought of her
separate,
an individual self-contained,
was the day she started reading books
that I wouldn't and couldn't.

Is this something
all human beings pass through?
A needle's eye
that judges your soul's worth?
Do we read books to test ourselves
against truths couched in lies
and lies woven into truths?

I never understand those who would not read,
and illiteracy I imagine
is the horror of waking up blind
to a world speaking in tongues.

I live on the pleasure of books.
And all of human greatness
(and even heaven)
is as Borges' library,
infinite and eternal.

Let us slip between the pages
forever and ever.

Christine Fojas
---

Not entirely happy with this. (But then again, when am I?)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Love

I handed you the knife
that fits exactly
between ribs two and three.

Long after we ran out
(of excuses, of joy)
it's still bleeding
right there.

And I wonder if you
had slid it in
knowingly or not
and if it makes a difference
in the hurting.

Maybe it does.
Because if you had hurt me
without even trying
(without even knowing)
then maybe what we had
wasn't love.

Christine Fojas
---
Note: I wonder at what point I'll start writing happy poems?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Composition

Even plants require death
to feed on. They bloom
with their thousand eyes
staring at the sun
while their roots are mired
in soft decay.

History is full
of bloodied fields
and rivers bloated
with bodies.
Who is to say which deaths
have led me here?

I imagine Genghis Khan
as one who carried
a killing wind
with every ride.
He also sired
a whole nation's worth
of men, just like that:
the future overwritten
in living code.

Life and death seem
the same some days.
Every beginning holds
a promise of the end.
And we still sleep
in the same beds
as the dead. Someday,

we shall decompose
our songs, in hopes
that other ears
will ring resonant
for a moment more
before the deepest silence
claims us at last.

Christine Fojas
---
(Because I wasn't happy with the first one.)

Confess-O-Rama

Title and idea from YA book of same name by Ron Koertge
Found poem from Post Secret, and different confessions on Tumblr

I.
It could have been better
if I were like the ocean
in library books,
letter by letter.
People have no idea how far
is another chance.

Some days are just like this:
completely remarkable.

II.
I can't dance
for attention.
They ignore it.
I love dancing.
She told me to stop.

If they hate me now
I'll survive.
Don't forget you know who I am.

III.
Please save me now.
I can't stand beside someone
who can stand beside that.
Are you joking up there?
I'm not laughing anymore.
It's not fair; in your shadow,
you leave the world broken.
I don't know who you are.

I'm terrified it could never happen.
I've been throwing them away.
You're poison to me.

There was nothing
that could have fixed what you broke.
I am one of your mistakes.

Christine Fojas

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back to the Future

I won't know until I jump.

I've got my back against the break
of dawn with orders to identify
each new impulse that rises
like a red balloon, to guard
against the worst of the war to come.
There is something here, can't you see?
And there is something gone.

I've got my back to the future,
armed with sharp fears,
armoured safe and bound.

Everyone's trying to prove
they were in the world.
Ninety-nine dreams I've had:
might as well set them free
floating in this dust
that used to be the oceans deep,
now dried and petrified.

And when I get to the sharpest edge
and look over the great divide
I won't know until I make the leap
whether I'd have tried.

Christine Fojas
Napowrimo 2012
---
Prompt: #1 song on your birthday: Van Halen's "Jump" and Nena's "99 Red Balloons."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

De Die in Diem

Between them, the gulls stir the sky.

Below them, a girl walks to work
Thinking of hands
As dancers barely tethered,
As birds.

Another day of making,
And these hands give and give
Until they're scraped bare.

And she walks home
With hands in her pockets
Rough and unvarnished
Like rocks.

They weigh down her arms.

---
Title means "from day to day"; prompt is seize the day.