Celebrating the first poem I have ever published

Although I studied Creative Writing in college, I never got to practice it after I graduated. I semi-purposefully stopped writing fiction because I began questioning why I was doing it (but now I’m Writing Fiction Again). I stopped writing poetry because I got so intimidated by how beautiful it was. Recently though, I started writing poetry again, and I’m doing it in the way that I can, even though it’s against what I studied in class. I wasn’t expecting anything when I sent my poem to Ani last October, so now it’s such a pleasant surprise that it got accepted.

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Bakit walang mga putang ama?

Bakit walang mga putang ama? Meron putang ina pero walang putang ama. At kung paniniwalaan natin ang mga No Other Woman sa pelikula’t telebisyon at hello, si Erap lang, please lang, at ang statistics na mas marami daw lalaking nangangaliwa kaysa sa babaeng nangangaliwa, e di sa totoo lang, mas maraming mga putang ama kaysa sa putang ina. So bakit walang mga salitang putang ama?

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Sometimes Love Feels Like a Dark Alley

Sometimes love feels like a dark alley–

We have to live defensively or else we’ll be abused,

And it’s never the abuser’s fault for taking advantage of our vulnerabilities,

But it’s our fault for being “stupid enough” to assume that the people we meet aren’t monsters.

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The Allegory: The Most Powerful Parinig of All Time

When I was young, I couldn’t understand why people wrote allegories. I thought, if you wanted to talk about the Stalin era, why do you have to talk about pigs that are more equal than others? Then you grow up and realize, it’s because oppressive authorities who are on a witch hunt for dissenters are ready to take what you’ve said and use it as a tool to justify why you don’t have the right to speak.

Despite such suppression, people still find ways to tell their stories, and they discover it in creative crevices where they are free to be honest—in poems, in songs, and in fiction. If anyone complains, they can always defend themselves with Oh come on, I just invented that. That was just a figment of my imagination.

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Dear Mr. Street Harasser

Do you know that I am more than a pair of legs?
Do you know that I am a writer?
Do you know that in college my favorite subjects were English and Math?
Do you know that I joined the debate team?
Do you know that I love reading books?
Do you know that I watch How I Met Your Mother?
Do you know that I just learned how to cook tacos?
Do you know I’m taking singing lessons?
Do you know I love my friends?
Do you know I collect bus tickets and turn them into craft projects?
You should know that I’m not just a pair of legs.

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Spending Time With You (The Ava Edit)

(Note: My friend Ava taught me about line cuts, and she made some edits to this poem which I posted here before)

Spending time with you subtracts, creates
a hole, as though I had spent no time
with you, or instead had a negative number of life-
times spent

with you. Spending time
with you makes me feel like I’m moving
backwards, as though the more time I spend
with you, the emptier
of you my life is.

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