I like to think of them
as motes aloft
in afternoon
and not
silica and lime,
shed skin,
and soot.

I like to think of them
as alive:
pixies in dance
by wind and wheels
from sluggish trance,
some torpor spell.
They bathe
the city
in golden


2015: My year in books

Here’s the list of books that I’ve read for 2015 (in the order that I read them):

  1. Hamlet (William Shakespeare)
  2. Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson)
  3. The Well of Ascension (Brandon Sanderson)
  4. The Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson)
  5. The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson)
  6. Words of Radiance (Brandon Sanderson)
  7. Clariel (Garth Nix)
  8. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Haruki Murakami)
  9. The Eye of the World (Robert Jordan)
  10. The Great Hunt (Robert Jordan)
  11. The Dragon Reborn (Robert Jordan)
  12. Tales From Earthsea (Ursula K. Le Guin)
  13. Einstein’s Dreams (Alan Lightman)
  14. Titus Groan (Mervyn Peake)
  15. Gulp (Mary Roach)

I resolved to read fifty books for 2015 but I never got close to reading even half of it. I put the blame on Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I knew (from reviews) they were bad but I gave it a try just so I could read those that Brandon Sanderson wrote. In the end, I read up to the third book only because the books were really bad (it was a LOTR-wannabe, with neurotic characters and unnecessary plot twists). All the reading exhausted me so I decided to take a break. That, and then one of my other hobbies, drawing, began to occupy me instead.

Some months after that, I picked up Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan. It was beautiful, no doubt, but it was also weighty. Reading it was akin to plodding through the tortuous passages within Gormeghast itself. It was only a few weeks ago that I actually managed to finish it.

Anyhow, my favorites from among those I read would be:

  • Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson)
  • The Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson)
  • The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson)
  • Words of Radiance (Brandon Sanderson)

This year, I am once again taking the challenge of reading fifty books. Huzzah! I do hope I will be able to accomplish it or at least come close.


a shadow, a rustle,
a flutter, a crack
in the doorway.

in that tiny space,
you dance
only to those who seek,
only to those who listens.

in that tiny space,
the cosmos
the sublime
the infinite

2014: My year in books

Last year, I became friends with a guy who also enjoys reading. He introduced me to Goodreads which is a social cataloging website for booklovers. So I created an account and I participated in the yearly reading challenge. I resolved to read 25 books for 2014. Here’s the list of books that I’ve read (in the order that I read them):

  1. Prince of Thorns (Mark Lawrence)
  2. King of Thorns (Mark Lawrence)
  3. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
  4. The Orphan Master’s Son (Adam Johnson)
  5. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
  6. Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
  7. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (Alexander McCall Smith)
  8. Tears of the Giraffe (Alexander McCall Smith)
  9. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Susanna Clarke)
  10. Kafka on the Shore (Haruki Murakami)
  11. Emperor of Thorns (Mark Lawrence)
  12. Strange Tales (Rudyard Kipling)
  13. Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)
  14. Abstract City (Christoph Niemann)
  15. 100 Years From Now (Steve Murrell)
  16. The Next Generation Leader (Andy Stanley)
  17. The Wandering Fire (Guy Gavriel Kay)
  18. The Darkest Road (Guy Gavriel Kay)
  19. The Great Gatsby (F.Scott Fitzgerald)

As you can see, I only listed 19 books. I have actually read 25 (perhaps a little more) but I didn’t include the others because I didn’t own a copy of those books.

My favorites from among those I read last year would be:

  • The Orphan Master’s Son (Adam Johnson)
  • Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)
  • The Great Gatsby (F.Scott Fitzgerald)

For this year, I am challenging myself to read fifty books. That would be like four books a month or a book every week. And to start the year, I am reading William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. So, here’s to another year of reading!

Here’s to twelve years of blogging

I was creating a different blog and then I thought of changing this blog’s appearance. So I did and then the perfectionist part of me decided to update every entry to make sure they were all consistent in style, such as using the ellipsis character instead of three dots or using the em dash instead of triple en dashes and the like.

I’ve realized that my blog is already around twelve years old! I started blogging in 2002 using GeoCities. I moved to WordPress (long before YaHoo! scrapped GeoCities) but I migrated the posts here. I have made the old posts private but I decided just recently to make some of them visible again.

This blog used to be an online journal of sorts, an account of some mundane and some significant events of my life, with musings on various subjects here and there. At some point, the updates became intermittent and it was partly because I felt there wasn’t anything remarkable to write about. I guess, for the most part, it was because I have found different avenues to express myself. Eventually, this blog transformed into a platform for my artistic and poetic undertakings.

I have also noticed that through the years my blogroll has shrunk. Most of my friends’ blogs have remained un-updated for years. Some have simply disappeared. And yet there are a few that persist. I have developed a respect for bloggers, who, through all the years, have continued to write, to chronicle the minutiae, to ramble about random topics, despite the potential absence of readers.

After all, as Rebecca Solnit, in her book The Faraway Nearby, wrote:

Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone. Or rather writing is saying to the no one who may eventually be the reader those things one has no someone to whom to say them.

This blog is my “conversation with the absent, the faraway, the not-yet-born, the unknown and the long-gone” and hopefully, will remain so. Well, here’s to twelve years of blogging!


hands clasped, as habit,
he’d wiggle his fingers:
a beetle unravelling
fragile wings
to flight

and off he flies,
hurtling through space
and stars and time
to lands known only
in his mind


“Today’s a perfect day for a watermelon,” she thought as she fished for a slice from the cellophane packaging and broke off a chunk. She took a bite, red liquid dripping on her chin, and stared at the remaining piece in her hand. “If I were a watermelon, I’d be round. Red inside. And juicy.”

To a friend

It was a “fortuitous happenstance” that you were at the mall a few weeks ago. You were planning to watch a movie with your friends and you were looking at the movie posters when I spotted you. I couldn’t recall the movies that were showing then but I do recall they were mostly crap.

You brought a book with you to pass time: The Zombie Survival Guide. I asked if you were preparing for a zombie apocalypse and you laughed. You said a friend gave you the book and you found it entertaining.

We talked about med school and how you wanted to be a neurosurgeon. I told you I couldn’t imagine your sausage-y fingers fiddling on someone’s brain.

Then your friends came and you had to go to buy tickets. I invited you to drop by at church if you have time. Sure, you said.

I didn’t know which movie you and your friends picked.

I didn’t realize that would be the last time I’d see you.

You will be missed…