Manila, Its Surreal Glory (Courtesy of Linmark)

Self is so spoiled.  She got to listen to Zack read, two nights in a row:  last night at Skyline College, tonight at Yerba Buena.  It rained buckets while self was driving to the City this evening.  In spite of the nasty weather, there was a good-sized crowd.

Yerba Buena is such a great space. Sort of like the Negros Museum, only modern. Self means: a great place to hang out in, to let ideas formulate. But she knows she only feels that way because Joel is there! Joel, you do such a great job as Director of Community Engagement (Did self get your title right?)

During Q & A, self discovered that Zack and Joel T call Manila “Paris.”

Self got to see a short by a young Filipino film-maker by the name of Jet Leyco.  Film goes beyond culture.  She wished there hadn’t been any sub-titles so that she could have concentrated exclusively on the images.  Whoever that girl was, who was looking so sadly out a window, lighting candles, and hugging a framed picture to her chest, her face was perfect.  She could even cry without making it look staged. And her only spoken line is: “I’m sorry.”

Here’s something from Zack’s latest collection, Drive-By Vigils  , which Marie of Arkipelago Books was selling this evening:


Bored with the rain boring holes in rooftops
crammed with antennas, bras and the memory
of this morning’s stroll to the slaughterhouse
for markdowns on piglets, I was contemplating
a fourth-story balcony dive straight into
the tattooed back of a meth addict stacking crates
of empty Coca-Cola bottles, when the maid,
semi-recovered from swine flu she claimed
came from the communion line broke
out of her Sunday-old quarantine to spit out
that the president’s breast implants were leaking
all over the country.

Facebook verified it: “Macapagal-Arroyo busted
by boosted boobs.” Messages flooded
my inbox with subject headings. “Tater Tits.”
“Her boob jobs make ironing boards voluptuous.”
“To gel or not to gel.” “Oompa Loompa Strikes
Again!” “No wonder the pork barrel is empty!”
“Out: Swine Flu; In: Gloria’s mosquito-
bite-size implants.”

Vandals invaded my Facebook wall, a thread
of comments longer than last week’s
rally. “Did she use the mole on her cheek?”
“Super Glo gets the botched job
done.” “Silicon sorrows.” “Sneaky cheeky
gets injected, and the country can’t tell?”
“Bad booboo on boob job.”
“Like they say, leak what you sow.”

(Two more verses remain in the poem, dear blog readers. Alas, alas, it’s late, self has to catch up on so many things. Order the book from the publisher, Hanging Loose Press. Or buy from Marie at Arkipelago Books. Stay tuned)

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