I sat down on a chair, puzzled and confused. I poked around the platter of chicharon bulaklak and wondered if they served beer in the place. Mmmm, beer and chicharon bulaklak. Nothing did change. It’s not like I’m the first and only of anything or anywhere. It’s not like attending a workshop divorced the threesome marriage between myself, beer and chicharon bulaklak.
Then we moved to another place, and a friend recognized me. “Wow, akala ko kanina kung sino ‘tong artist na ‘to, ikaw pala.” I don’t know if it was my girly-looking ponytail – Steven Seagal perfected the man-version – or if the writerly-ness of attending the National Writers Workshop at Dumaguete was arising naturally from me. It oozes out of me.
Then again, I was still very comfortable with my pants. I doubt it was my mild tan, either; I resisted the urge to drop my pants to check if I’ve tanned myself enough.
I no longer have the problem of people asking me if I have a band; the quandary becomes if I’m an “artist.” I say “writer,” and then everyone goes gaga over it, without a poker face in the room:
Q: Do you write poetry?
A: No, I don’t, sorry.
Q: What about fiction?
A: I’m working on a couple of stories here and there, thank you.
Q: Oh, what kind of stories, Twilight? (Acquaintance calls her husband and children… oooh, here’s a genuine writer!)
A: No, I’m working on non-fiction. I’m writing about call center agents.
Q: (With that “sayang” look that becomes poker-faced) Oh… I see.
Twilight… what the fuck was that? Must I insist on my writerly cred? Don’t make me do it! Now you’re leaving me all alone here? COME BACK HERE WOMAN, I’M A FUCKIN’ WRITER!
I guess they’re right: I might as well play to my ego. Hmmm… fuzzy.
Here I am: an inspired, idealistic young writer. I am writing My Big Thick Novel, my Poems With Poetics You Can’t Understand Vol. 1. I’m ready to write Palanca’s Next Short Story Awardee (But Will Get Screwed Over Because the Literary Establishment Doesn’t Know Real Talent): a magic realist-inspired exercise in erotica, where a a whole group of tikbalang performs bukkake on a voluptuous mermaid. Futanari siyokoy then look on, penetrating themselves. A lot of meanings and symbolisms thrown in all throughout. You don’t, you aren’t, and you shouldn’t even try, getting the point of it.
I’m so into this whole literary thing that I’m ready to criticize Nick Joaquin for all he’s worth, and invoke Jose Garcia Villa’s name at every opportunity, down to the last comma. The project in my head is a critical essay – 412 pages – that deconstructs “In the heart of a seed / Buried deep so deep / A dear little plant / Lay fast asleep.” I will start name-dropping: Derrida, différance, and how I will openly mock people for their intellectual aporia for failing to understand the deeper meaning of the neologism.
There’s that urge to roll my own tobacco as I sit by the seawall, drinking a very hot cup of coffee as I ruminate (in a cow-like fashion) on what I’ll write about next. I am beyond senses; see, I write about senses. I drink coffee hotter than sex scandals. Guess what, I’ll drink more of it. Arabica, barako, the perfect blend, with civet cat poop thrown in. Unlike ordinary people, I can put words into the literal taste of shit. I’ll drink that from my writerly mug.
Ah, the sea; sonnets, free verse, structural poems made he waves described in anapestic tetrameter:
To the bay, the Sun’s rays, inching closer by the day
Moves away, a sea so gray, to shimmering bales of hay
Come play, just for today, before storms at the end of May
I pray, that you’ll stay, I wait for Summer’s replay.
Then I will argue with anyone and everyone who will dispute my poetics and whether or not what I made was written in anapestic tetrameter. Should I be proven wrong, I will introduce a new kind of poetics to the world. I’m going to drop every concept I learned from the workshop in an intimidating fashion. Forget being “intellectual,” as an artist, it’s not my business to dabble in these self-proclaimed “erudite” deductions to the human imagination. The articulation of these abstract forms are inadequate. I’ll just start every reply that has something to do with “content” with references to concepts appropriated from every panelist I had, including Mom Edith. I drank beer with Gémino Abad; you are a plebian struggling with the literary.
I have the urge to bloghop just to show my superiority in the continuum of artistic and creative license. I have bitchin’ credentials now, so I’ll use that at every opportunity. I have no time or patience for these poorly-constructed, incomprehensible, incoherent, rambling responses that are devoid of themes and structure… “comments,” completely beneath me. I’ll set an example for comments written as ars poetica. Then I’ll proceed to diss people who earn from their blogs because my art is beyond compensation. I am beyond money. You have SEO, I have ISBN. You have Alexa, I have Palanca. You have Technorati, I am literati. You have hits, I have bestsellers. My compensation is the writer’s Truth. You compensate for your inadequacies with calling cards and gimmicky P300 t-shirts.
I’m a writer. You’re not. Evaporate.
I can see it now:
National Writers Workshop Alumnus for Creative Nonfiction
Essayist, Poet, Fictionist, Social Commentator
* * *
“Make your own Experiment, bitch.”
Yes, Måröchárîm: I am so writerly now that I should use accents, diareses, and umlauts to write my writerly name. I have more letters after my name than you do.
I juxtapose between the abstract and the concrete. I do more juxtapositions between prose and poetry. I juxtapose even further until I come to what is true. You wallow in your reality, I am enlightened by the Truth. In a few seconds, I become that Truth. Tomorrow, I will enlighten that Truth. You can’t handle that. I’m Måröchárîm, that’s why. Don’t bother pronouncing it. You don’t know the difference between diaresis and diarrhea.
Goddammit, I am Måröchárîm and you are crap! CRAP, I say! You are the tonsilitis to the voice of my subject! You will respect me! Your children will buy my expensive books until your bank accounts are empty! Your children’s children will get their books autographed by me and I’ll give you one for free! I live for, breathe in, eat with, sleep on, and crap out literature! You are not worth my juxtapositions! YOUR MODIFIERS DANGLE! DANGLE, I SAY!
YOU WILL WORSHIP ME! BOW DOWN AND KNEEL BEFORE ME! TREMBLE BEFORE MY GREATNESS! TREMBLE…
(Fast-forward one hour later…)
Today’s practice session is satire. Fail. LOL. – Marocharim (PS: too lazy to use the accents)