for him

how in the world did I lose six pounds?
it could not be walking up the stairs every morning
it’s only two flights to the office
neither is it with lifting weights twice a week
I should have gained more muscle than lose weight
it could not be walking less than a kilometre home
all I got for it every time is a sweaty back
now I remember
it’s from thinking of you the entire time
I do these other activities
thinking too much translates into

nervous energy that burns

[Disclaimer: I’m NOT a poet. Poetry is a huge personal Waterloo. In fact, a few years ago, I was traumatized from writing poetry (THAT would probably be in another post…someday). It’s only a few weeks ago that I’ve tried my hand again in this genre, and this is one of them. I’m still not confident, though. Any feedback on this particular piece? I’m certainly looking at this one as a work-in-progress.]

on the edge

“Go, my lovely doe. Run.” I glared at him again, but he met my anger with a smile. Then, I turned.

And ran like hell was at my heels. By the looks of it, there WAS a demon chasing after me.

I grunted when I pushed the heavy oak door wide enough to let myself through. Outside, my legs brought heavy thuds on the ground as I ran as fast as I could. My breaths clouded up as I ran, swirling with the slight fog that was still around. ‘Punyeta siya‘ I cussed in my head, thinking of a flying mace hitting the bastard’s forehead. How the hell did he know that I was on the track team during my high school? That memory felt such like a lifetime ago and almost literally a world away that I even had forgotten about it until he mentioned it.

‘The guy’s a shit-crazy stalker’ I thought. I couldn’t let my energy burn out so quickly, though. I needed to make my way around the castle and back inside before he could catch me. My anger with him will not help me at this time. I didn’t hear anything else, only my panting and the stillness of the air. He must be far behind. I didn’t think he could even easily run with the muscled bulk he had. I risked a glance behind me.

He was only a few yards away. I could actually the movement of his thigh muscles as he ran towards me. He even had a grin on his face – the bastard wasn’t even panting!

Putangina!” I cried and turned to run away again. I was gasping in panic. He could NOT reach me! I made my way among some shrubbery, and I could hear him call out but couldn’t make out the words. All I could think of was to get away from him. Away from his glances. Away from his grins. Away from the heat that he generated in me.

The sudden emptiness of space in spite of the near-blinding fog was the only clue. I abruptly skidded to a stop and heard the rattle of stones and dirt as I stepped on a cliff’s edge. I looked down to see only grey mist and a sob escaped my throat. I REALLY hate heights.

“Marie!”

I slowly turned around to see him just a few paces away. The thought of seeing his chest finally heaving was satisfying to me, but there was something different in his eyes. They were wide and he was staring at me differently. He did not have that intense, burning look he wore awhile ago.

Was it…fear?

He held out his hand to me. “Marie, come to me,” he commanded, his voice low and firm. “Step away from there slowly and hold me hand.”

I wanted to, but I couldn’t. My phobia with heights nailed my feet to the ground. And I didn’t want to hold his hand. If I did, then that meant that he caught me and I’d lose the bet. I never lose. I WILL never lose. I felt my head slowly shaking to refuse him, to refuse his anchor. I took a step.

And I felt the ground disappear from me.

I was going to drown in the soupy, airy sea of misty grey.

 

[Gee, I’m in a bit of a roll here. Remember what came before this? Well, this is obviously the continuation. Let’s have a bit of a…cliffhanger, shall we? Man, I suck at puns…]

feather-born

The scream that tore out of me was just as painful as the wings pushing out of my back. The skin tore open like a wet envelope flap that let go as something heavy fell out. Blood and bits of flesh splattered all over my back, the bedsheets, the floor. There was a strange, wet ripping sound that went on and on until the wings extended to their full 10-feet span.

I pressed my face to the pillow, my tears soaking through the fabric. I needed to take deep breaths, but even those were like hot knives searing into my lungs. There were other whining, high-pitched noises. I was to realize later that I was doing those noises while crying.

“Silver steel,” a dispassionate voice said, and I knew Dr. Martins was still there. She will always be there to observe the changes happening to me, perhaps even until my moment of death. “This is a new color, but fitting for you, Lyr. It fits your personality completely.”

Even as my chest was heaving, I could actually feel the lab assistants’ swabbing against my feathers. My eyes went wide. “Positive for poison,” one said.

“Be careful then,” Dr. Martins said. “We don’t want to have any accidents. Don’t we, Lyr?”

shine

[Note: play the song first and read this while the song is playing.]

 

“Does it hurt?”

“No. It’s just like sleeping.”

“I’m scared.”

“I know. But I’ve done it before, so you can see I’m fine.”

“I guess so.”

“That’s a good girl. Now, let the shadows wrap around you, take a deep breath and close your eyes.”

“Okay.”

“Then, allow yourself to die.”

[That’s not the English shine you’re seeing in the title there. It’s actually pronounced shee-ne, the Japanese word for death. I’ve always liked creepy songs like this one; it makes the imagination run wilder. And since I’m a closet Goth, this piece actually makes me happy. It’s actually matching the frustration I’ve been having since early this morning. What’s your take on music like the one playing now? Send me your thoughts! :)]

 

Lucifer’s Key

“When will you return?” she asked. Her eyes were wide, shiny pools of trust and love. Hah, love. For me. I still couldn’t believe it even after all these years.

“Soon,” I said. I kissed her lips lightly, yet I wanted more. But, no. There’s still so much to do. I walked away.

“Lucifer?”

I paused, turned my head. I couldn’t…mustn’t turn back.

She smiled gently. “Take care.” I nodded and left.

Outside, though, I smirked. She was my anchor, my answer.
She was my key at returning to Heaven and taking what was rightfully mine. Yes, a lot indeed.

 

 

The 50 Shit Deal

The Deal with the 50 Shades Debate (or, a misanthrope’s rant)

I create this post with a sense of utmost urgency, even paranoia, for something has pushed me into taking up arms and deliberately placing myself in harm’s way.  For several days now, I have seen FB posts from a high school classmate “gushing” over 50 Shades, or more particularly, the male protagonist.  Immediately I felt despair and panic, as though what she has said was akin to a proclamation of world’s end, or much worse, admiration and adulation for a piece that more “learned,” “sensible” individuals would see it more fit for mouse nesting.  I tried to dissuade such delusion by giving her posts that dispute the work, or even suggest better (and more deserving, I believe) pieces.  Yet, for the second time another FB post reveals that I have failed, and all the more I strove to talk her out of it.

Yet, even as I take these actions, I am forced to consider my own position as well.  Why am I so adamant, so insistent, to persuade someone that a certain “book” is not even worthy of public accolades and attention?  What is it about this “book” that makes such arguments so heated, particularly in the media?  I have to see what the arguments really are, to see whether or not such arguments counter each other or are merely just another case of the chicken and the egg.  Moreover, even if a just slightly get a better picture of the debate, will my own opinions about the “book” change and even (gulp) read it?

First, the pro’s.  A search into Google with the words, “positive about 50 shades of grey” returned “about” 161,000,000 hits, which coincidentally is the same number with the words “negative about 50 shades of grey” (the numbers may change when you try it on Google, depending on the algorithms involved in your own computer).  A Wikipedia article has more or less given a comprehensive view of the “books” but it’s also pertinent to look at how other sites talk about it in a positive light.

The “books” are a good example of “online marketing”. Jason Boog from the GalleyCat site traced the origins of the “books” as first being an x-rated Twilight fan fiction before disappearing from most of the internet ether and evolving into the “book” familiar today.  What is particular about this is that the “popularity” of the “book” came first not through the usual avenues of agent, editor, copyeditor, proofreader, publisher, but through word-of-mouth, usually from Twilight’s own fans/readers of Twilight fan fiction.  And fans being fans, such people would do what it takes to promote/express their fandom, and this is particularly strong in digital/ebook publishing, as proclaimed by Aja Romano in themarysue.com.

Fans claim to love the “story”. This is also the “reason” my high school classmate insisted on why she gushes over the “book”, which is also what Anna North discovered in her article in BuzzFeed.  And more to it is the seeming dynamics of the relationship the two protagonists have, particularly in how the male protagonist treats the female protagonist.  The article says it succinctly with the words, “fans who called in were captivated by the fantasy of a man who does everything his lover needs — and does it without being asked.”

It’s a feminine “escapist” story.  Abiola Adams in her Yahoo! article mentions that women’s sexual desires are not as expressed (prolific?) as that of men’s in media, or even in society in general, and that the “book” is a positive step forward into that.  An indiewire blog by Emilie Spiegel affirms that thought, proclaiming that “any series whose very existence attests to the fact that women also have desires (desires that deserve to be serviced, no less!) is a step in the right direction”.  This seems to be the most vocal point that a lot of fans, and even as a springboard note to another article in BuzzFeed where Amy Odell and Anna North discuss women’s (and may men’s too) need to communicate in terms of sex.

Looking at these arguments for the “book,” it seems to be that the lauding of the book is more based on how the main characters interact (very much interact) with each other, the “heat” between them, so to speak.  There may be others, but looking around at different sites, such arguments look like a variant or sub-variant of these three.  Some have bristled against the term “mommy porn,” most especially the author herself, but it is exactly why the book enjoys its success – it may have become one of the sounding horns for women’s sexuality.

Next are the cons.  Provided that we have these previous arguments, I want to see if these can be countered point by point.

The “books” are a good example of “online marketing”.

Counter: It’s a good example of “herd mentality”. By mere virtue of the fact (and a lot of fans have admitted to this) that the “books” were bought due to a friend’s recommendation, they then fell into the trap of popularity regardless of quality.  In short, it’s a mere jumping into the bandwagon cliche.  This is actually mentioned in a MenHealth’s article and this is probably gives credence to the phrase “mommy porn,” whether you want to take it positively or negatively.  Mommy porn is just another phrase of porn for married women with kids who, at some level, are actually pissed/wanting/frustrated with their own sexual lives, or their lives in general.

Fans claim to love the “story”.

Counter: A story shouldn’t sacrifice quality, or at least competency, for the sake of being just readable.  One major criticism for this “book” is its blatant disregard for proper grammar or technical conventions.  Enjoying a story is actually not bad, it’s in fact one of the factors why a story is read in the first place, but it’s something else when such story is not even presented in a clean manner.  It is not really a good read when you would be faced with a glaring error like a hiccup, or worse a series of hiccups, when one is eating a meal.  One possible danger is the misconception that just because such a “book” was able to push into the mainstream public gives the idea that others can do the same, even if the person may not actually have even competent skills, as one book agent lamented in her blog.

Even for those some who have read the book, and were sensible enough to notice, would bewail such poor writing that the enjoyment of the story is diminished or removed entirely.  Grace Lavigne and Lazycatfish are just some examples who showed their disdain in their blogs for the “books” right after reading

Another is just how characterization is developed, or rather the lack of it.  The blog entries of Reelgoddess and Sarah show that the main characters are mostly sophomoric and lacking of substance, as though drawn only fit for the sexually incensed imagination, like 2-D hentai (although I’ve watched pretty substantial hentai, so probably this would be a poor analogy).  Also deplorable are the repetitions of several expressions that do not really contribute much to the substantiation of the plot or the characters.  There is even a blog post where the number 50 is actually used to lambast the entire series, showing just how one-dimensional (and in some items, no such dimension at all) the details and characters are.  I mean, really – would you really want to have a man who comes to you and demands to have sex only to ask for a contract of silence?  What is this, the mafia?  Wait, no.  That is a poor analogy – at least the mafia operates with a unique sense of honour and trust within and among its members, no matter how delinquent it may be to society.

It’s a feminine “escapist” story.

Counter 1: All stories are “escapist” in some level, but should not sacrifice believability and validity of details.  Probably the biggest criticism is the way BDSM is portrayed in the “books” – wrongly.  The argument that the story gives the chance for readers to just “simply relax and be lulled along” with the “books” will actually find themselves hurled along the jagged rocks of misinformation and misrepresentation of what BDSM actually is and involves.  This has been discussed further in a blog by hidingfromsomeone in tumblr and the reiterated in prestigious Huffington UK site with Kyrsty Hazell’s article.  Supporters for the “books” may argue that readers will not try such activities, but like Ate Vi famously quoted, “You can never can tell” (and yeah, that’s deliberate :P).  The fact that the sex scenes are situated in the BDSM context already provides a thrill factor for the uninitiated and uninformed, and therefore provides also an incorrect image of such sexual varieties, even if it will not be acted out in real life.  And if one does not even make the effort to educate oneself regarding these, it will actually be for the detriment of those actually practising these activities and put them in an even more negative light, as unfortunately they already have been marginalized for their “unconventional” sexual views and activities by general society.  In fact, in an article in The Guardian by Pamela Stephenson Connolly, those in the BDSM community are not the so-called “freaks” or “weirdos” that society wrongly portrays them to be, but rather just as psychologically and mentally healthy as those who may not be necessarily in such a community. BDSM, as a friend would insist, is not just about the kinky, strange accessories used to “heighten” sexual activity, but rather an awareness of one’s and one partner’s own body with an increased respect for the other. It’s not just the play of dominance and submission, but the build up of trust and companionship. This was not clearly shown in the characters, with the female lead’s hesitant vacillating and the male lead’s own personal shit giving him a false sense of dominance towards her.

Counter 2: There are other, more substantial erotica to be found.  The boy-meets-girl scenario is probably one of the oldest stories to be used, re-used, abused, misused, rehashed and bashed throughout the centuries, but it’s actually one of the hardest to pull off.  That hasn’t stopped countless of authors from making their erotic/romance novels.  One should merely look at the aisles of Powerbooks, Fully Booked and National Bookstore to know this is true.  In fact, Dr. Isagani Cruz in his book, The Other Other, claims that local romance novels are said to get sold by 40,000 copies per week, several thousands more than purchases for foreign romance titles.  What’s important to note about erotica, far from getting titillated from apparent gynaecological details is the growth of the partnered characters, not just as a couple, but as individuals themselves – so much so that they do not come together because they complete each other, but rather they complement each other, which the protagonists seem to not have developed, or developed in an unrealistic direction.  In short, erotica goes beyond the smut, which sadly a lot of readers today, with our instant gratification worldview, do not really look for.  Some books that have at least become competent, if not actually succeeded, are visible in this list by Heidi Maier of thevine.com.au, though definitely there are others out there.

 

From all these, where do we go then?  Let me perhaps go back to the questions I raised in the beginning of this post, “a very good place to start,” as the song goes.

Why am I so adamant, so insistent, to persuade someone that a certain “book” is not even worthy of public accolades and attention? 

Why, indeed?  Perhaps I wanted to let her see that such a “book” is not what the hype is all cracked up to be.  I felt, and still feel, like I’m Jaina Solo trying to get her twin, Jaden Solo, “to return to the Force”.  Looking at the last counter-argument, there are definitely titles out there more worthy of attention.  I myself read romance novels (I actually prefer the male protagonist in the “Highlander theme” :P) but my attraction to them is quieter, more meditative.  This is maybe because of my current direction of goals that I see books (novels, poetry, nonfiction) as more than just pieces of paper stuck together.

What is it about this “book” that makes such arguments so heated, particularly in the media? 

Maybe because that it is a book, it is a story, which makes it so controversial.  Controversial books are not new in history, either in other countries or in ours.  Maybe in the future when there will be new generations to look back at this time, opinions may change regarding it, as did the current generation has when looking at books published hundreds, tens of years before us.  Maybe.

Moreover, even if a just slightly get a better picture of the debate, will my own opinions about the “book” change and even (gulp) read it?

This demands two differing answers.

Looking at the other side of the debate now, my opinions do not really change, but I do concede to the points supporting this work.  No matter how many lambast it or poke fun at it, you cannot deny that there is support for it.  A fan base is a fan base, after all.  I probably won’t put the fans of FSoG in high regard, personally, but I would of course respect their choice.

Read it?  Not even after a million lifetimes.  After researching the positives and negatives about it has actually convinced me to work even harder NOT to fall into such a trap.  If I am to be a writer (even if I am never to be published in either the traditional or digital manner), I must hold on to my principles of craft and art.  Entertainment in literature after all is not its SOLE, END-ALL-BE-ALL function.

One last thing, I saw this blog that proclaims annoyance towards the “books,” and the author’s subsequent sarcastic responses.  It is an amusing read (even by not looking at her profile, you can tell she’s a writer :P), but I will only highlight some of them:

“I wasn’t going to read it but all my friends are.”

(I hope all of your friends don’t decide to jump off a bridge.)

“Okay, so the writing is bad, but I don’t read books for the writing.”

(So you also date people you don’t like and eat things that make you puke.)

“I just read it for the sex. It’s not easy to find a book with a lot of sex in it.”

(Anaïs Nin is rolling in her grave.)

 

I leave you with this video with Gottfried doing a very special task, probably an honour for an actor of his level to do.  Enjoy! 😀

 

[This is a re-hashed edition from one of my posts in another blog, but I’d like to bring this up again. Why? Just because. And just to show that the sentiment I have presented here before is just as strong now, or perhaps even stronger. So, which ever your deal is with this particular 50 shit, call out! :)]

An Afternoon Dream

In the dream, we were in a strange old house. It was one of those houses that looked like it came from a poor family in those telenovelas, the walls made of thin plywood and such, but actually they were stronger than they first seemed. You were sleeping on a low table with a blue runner when someone roughly woke you up (you WERE sleeping in a strange place, after all). So, I offered to take you to a better place to sleep in and led you to an unused room in a higher floor. It was dusty, covered with cobwebs and the pillow I held while leading you in had some dirt on it, but I guess it was serviceable enough for you didn’t complain. I went to the window to avoid looking at you and asked, “Would you like to sleep somewhere else?” I could see the street below with a car in my sights, and the curtain slowly swayed from a soft breeze that came in. You came up behind me and whispered in my ear, “No, this is just fine.”

You tilted my chin closer and we kissed, our tongues dancing with each other like a snake mating ritual. I sighed in bliss as your arms wrapped around my waist. We slowly slid to the floor.

Then, your tongue started to delve deeper in my mouth. Too deep. I gasped in alarm. Can a tongue be THAT LONG?! I yanked my head back to see a green-skinned, insect-headed alien head staring at me. You were on the floor, gasping and covered in thick slime. The thing had actually possessed your body and was now trying to get into mine!

Without thinking, I grabbed the thing by its eyes and pulled it towards the floor. A knife was at my back, and I yanked it out to stab the thing’s head repeatedly. Only then that I noticed another one. Upon seeing its companion dead, it turned and ran off, jumping off the window and scampering away like the forefront-half of a horse. I tried to follow, but I could not just leave you on the floor. You were severely weakened, but thankfully not dead. I went back to you and tried to lift you up and dragged you near the window for some air. Your chest was heaving with laboured breaths while I stood up to scan for the second alien, but it was long gone.

Then, I woke up.

 

[I had this dream while having an afternoon siesta, a remarkable feat considering it was warm again. When I woke up, I was immediately curious about it. It was different from my “typical” dreams wherein I am either chasing something/someone, fighting against something/someone or escaping from something/someone. This dream made me stop chasing after my quarry and go back to the other person and help. At least it still had a bit of action. I wonder what this dream would mean.]

The Bet

“Here’s the new deal,” he continued, “if you win this time, the money’s yours. But if I win…” His lips curled into a smile as a chill just went down my spine. I growled low with a deep frown. The next words that came out of his mouth froze me.

“…you’ll be mine.”

I almost bit my lower lip again, but I still tasted blood. Turned out, I bit the inside of my cheek. The arrogant prick! Never mind that he had it bulging awhile ago, and never mind that I managed a glance, but…

“Fine,” I grated. I don’t need his arrogance, but I needed his money. The sooner I got it, the sooner I can get back to my life.

I stood my ground as he stepped closer to me. He had some poker chips in his hand and he was shaking them. The noise tinkled as though they were made of crystal. And from the looks of his opulent house, I’d say they would be. “I heard you were in the track and field team in your high school,” he drawled. His eyes never left mine. His look was casual, but there was a burning in them. Mine just burned; they burned in anger. How the hell did this guy know about me? I never said anything about my past life.

He gave a chuckle when I said nothing; he’d knew he wasn’t wrong anyway. Have I already mentioned that he was an arrogant prick? “Very well then,” he said, “here are the rules. Use your strengths against mine.” He smiled like a lion waiting to pounce on his prey as soon as it was in his sights. “I’ll chase you around this castle. Run around and get back here. You can run anywhere in the grounds, but don’t let me catch you.”

“What is this? Cat and mouse?” I blurted out. Running in an oval track is one thing, but to run around the rocky grounds of this damned castle? There was even a fog outside! He gave a low chuckle, and another chill wrapped around me. “My dear, it has been like that ever since I saw you,” he said. Suddenly, he was right up in front of me.

Only then did I step back. How the frack did he do that? He was just beside the table awhile ago! I froze as he leaned in against the side of my head, my breath clogging in my throat. “You have the entire day,” he crooned. I could smell the vanilla-infused tobacco smoke in his breath. “Go, my lovely doe. Run.” I glared at him again, but he met my anger with a smile. Then, I turned.

And ran like hell was at my heels. By the looks of it, there WAS a demon chasing after me.

 

[And there. Here’s the continuation from the last post. Just to let you guys know that I wrote these because of an irritated feeling. I figured I’d twist my irritation into something…productive. Why was I irritated, you ask? Well, the clue somewhere in this flash fic piece. This is still not yet done, though. I want to see whether the woman manages to get away from the guy or not. Stay tuned. :D]

A Plan of Seduction

“That’s cheating!” I cried. My voice was shrill with indignation as I glared at the man who was sitting in front of me.

“It’s called strategy,” he answered with a faint smile on his lips. He made a move to take the remaining chips, but he paused and looked up when I slammed my hand on top of his. Even his sardonic look irked me; my slap on his hand didn’t even faze him!

“Oh no,” I said. “That wasn’t part of the rules.”

“Well then,” he began. He slowly slid his hand away from mine and stood up. It was like watching a puma stretch to its full length – all power and sensuality.

“Here’s the new deal,” he continued, “if you win this time, the money’s yours. But if -I- win…” His lips curled into a smile as a chill just went down my spine. I growled low with a deep frown. The next words that came out of his mouth froze me.

“…you’ll be mine.”

[This just percolated around my head for a while last week, and then I had to let it out as it was distracting me. I’ve always wondered how I could do as a romance author. It has a huge market for it, so it might be a feasible thing for me to do. This is just a play of words, though. Part 2 coming soon. :P]

Peeking in…

Allo. Hola. Kamusta. Hey. Konnichiwa.

Guess I’m here again.

Allow me to present myself a bit. I go and answer to the name Teina. Of course, this is an avatar name, but being that I’m quite the paranoid one when it comes to having my “identity” discovered, I’ll stick with this for a while, thank you very much.

I’m into science fiction and fantasy, and make no qualms of me being a geek, though not as informed as the more die-hard ones. I delve mostly into fiction, though recently I’ve tried my hand at poetry again after several years of trauma (que horror!). I’ve sometimes wished that the ancient aliens would return in their feathered serpent spaceship to bring most of us into Rapture, but then again, it might be that they’re tired of us already.

I’m an unabashed Potter head and an even more unabashed gushy girl for Severus Snape, mainly because I love Alan Rickman. I’m also into horror movies, or mostly just weird, macabre, out-of-the-way films that most people don’t even realize exist.

As you’ve noticed in my blog title, my favourite colours are green, black and silver (not necessarily in that order) just because I’m Slytherin and a closet Goth. I mostly listen to heavy metal/rock, Jpop, Celtic and chillout music (necessarily in that order). I’m only just learning to wear dresses and skirts for the last handful of years. What do you know, I’m woman after all.

Right now, I’m on the way to getting my master’s degree in creative writing in one of the major universities in the metro, but my ever-lovable thesis proposal is still eluding me. I try to distract myself with little tidbits of word gorging and reading.

Now, that we’ve all set that aside, welcome all to my world. It may be weird, it may be boring, it may be utterly confusing, but this is a part of me.

You’ve been warned.