Monthly Archives: October 2016

even through the noise

even through the noise
i believe i can retrieve
you beyond the clamor,
the caustic whimper,
the tremor of cries
shall i find you through
the seismic sounds where
you descend into this
frozen tundra, slipped
you so silently away
from me— and all i
really want to do is
wrangle you inside my
headphones, rhyme you
back to my beats, hold
the microphone close,
never let you go

poem©mrg 9/20/16

Photo©mrg 10/28/16

Photo©mrg 10/28/16

Chef John, His Sriracha Sauce and Pickle Relish

Sriracha and pickle relish… this is the extent of his culinary knowledge. Squeeze in Sriracha for spice, pickle relish for sweetened tartness. An oxymoron of flavors Chef John tries to achieve in the kitchen. Like a chef who doesn’t wash his hands. Is that oxymoronic or is it just moronic? Everyday, the sink waits for Chef John to wash his hands, but he doesn’t. As though this part of the lesson plan was bypassed during class, basic preparation 101.

Chef John stuns everyone with lavish displays… from salads to sandwiches, from cheeses to amenities, from all the sushi and sashimi he slices under his palm over the years, his hands, no doubt, give each piece of ingredient a unique kind of treatment. Those who photograph his food label his work a Matisse laid out across the buffet table. The executive chef and his legion of men swarm over his sushi tastings because Chef John has the ability to mimic colors of paint on an artist’s palette with his food. They swallow each blue fin, salmon, unagi rolls like mad starving men who have never eaten sushi before. Chef John, at times, offer his crew a taste out of courtesy, but none of them bite, not the Sous or the rest of the cooks because they all know how dry his hands remain, worse than the California drought.

They’ve all learned to decline politely with finesse. “Thank you, Chef, but I’m full.” Or “not right now chef, I’m in the middle of a rush.” Or simply, “Chef, I’m on a diet!” They refrain because there are a million microbes underneath his fingers, wedged between the creases of his hands. They have all been victimized at some point by a taste of his food, the discomfort biting them in the butt because they didn’t find a way to refuse. And the day would be long, sea sickness on an ark waiting for the storm to pass. So now they time restroom breaks and scouring ingredients in other kitchens when he offers to share a piece of his creation. Poke salad, tuna rolls, kobe rolls. Enticing, but no. None for the crew. They’ve tried in some way to confront Chef John with his habit, but this often led to denied vacation requests, shortened working hours, no overtime pay or fluctuating days off. Chef John is man who can’t take criticism and there’s no alternative but to refrain from saying anything at all.

His wrath is heavier than his hands. For as much beauty he can arrange with his hands, he can also lay devastation, conduct great sabotage upon those who do better and can do better than he can. Because he has been honored with the Chef’s whip, everyone bows at his command. And those who don’t follow or submit are left in the margins, pushed further into the desert and left to dry. Only those who know Chef John’s secrets, who know to stroke his ego escape his tyranny. They are offered champagne from an oasis where no man should morally drink from.

Note: Fictional characterization, a short story in progress…

God removed you

God removed you,
still, i disobeyed and
followed your tracks—
remnants of thoughts
left behind, scattered
poems drifting along
a staircase where
memory reminded me
when last i saw you
with a solitary chord
entwined around your
hands and you
endeavored stare
anywhere but my eyes…

i tried to guess
for some time now
you must’ve felt
the same defiance,
conflicted by your
disobedience— the
tracks you followed
and the places you
arrived with your
infinite thoughts
of possibilities;
in your sincerest
refrain, the stance
you took… so obstinate
in your most damned silence!
this, you’ve must’ve
thought, was why God
removed me away
from you

poem©mrg 9/20/16

The poem on paper. Photo©mrg 10/26/16

The poem on paper. Photo©mrg 10/26/16

For Everything I Am Grateful

Gratitude… in everyday I take the time to pause and meditate, give thanks to God who pulls me away from faithlessness and makes me believe beyond all my doubts I am capable of what I dream. I dream to become a good writer. I wrote poems nobody saw for a long time. Kept it between myself and God. To keep writing alive, I found work in a place with little appreciation for words. I know this is no place for poets, but I forge on because it pays the bills.

Every poet wreaks of their own intelligence, no matter how hard they try to hide it. And I still do hide this part of me, only few know I write. The backlash does not compare to those whose precious voices entered prisons for truths they pursued and relayed to the world. No, I’m not that kind of poet… not just yet. However, because I represent the individual trying to spread positivity and love in their immediate surrounding, I struggle. Because I go against the grain and refuse to kiss ass to gain advancement, I struggle. Never mind the hard work, effort and mastership I bring into this non-poet’s world, I struggle because I don’t conform. I don’t think like they do. And thank God. I’m a poet/writer. I don’t want to think like anyone else but myself.

Regardless the sabotage or the constant manipulation encountered, I am grateful. This setting gives me the opportunity to strengthen myself— to raise myself from the dust no matter how hard I am knocked down. I stand up because I am Filipina… I am a woman who embodies the spirit of my country…, the love and strength of my family behind me, and if they want to come at me even more, know that I am fueled by the same inspiration Pacquiao has inside him. (Pacquiao vs. Vargas… Go Pacquiao!) As far as I’m concerned, they can do whatever they want to try to keep me down, truth always finds a way to surface to the top. They can take away recognition and promotions, but they will never take the heart of me. This part belongs to God. This is where God keeps His trusted gift of words. It is my responsibility to protect it with everything I have. Because the contents of my heart is what God means for me to share with this world. Through the words… the poems, a love and a joy is reserved for you.

"grateful for everything"

“grateful for everything”

in Your Grace are flowers
i cannot touch
and, yet, You would have
me wear them stringed
around my neck, leid as
You would have my faith—
the fragrance which permeates
my senses and propels me
towards a galaxy where
there is no concept of sky,
only the white of Your
distinct light draped
about Your feet

poem©mrg 10/25/16

A Morsel in Imitation Game

So there’s this movie called Imitation Game I came across Netflix. Part of the early banter between characters involves getting sandwiches for lunch. It becomes this repartee that concludes with the main character not liking sandwiches at all, but soup. He likes soup.

Sandwiches ©mrg

Sandwiches mrg©2015 

I know  this is so far from a Food Friday topic (or, in this case, Food Sunday), but Imitation Game leaves quite an impression which makes it impossible for me to leave alone. The movie focuses on Alan Turing, a Mathematics professor from Cambridge who leads a team of cryptographers to break Nazi intelligence codes during World War II. The film, directed by Morten Tyldum which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, brings to light Alan Turing’s awesome and far-reaching contribution to the world all the while being shadowed by his homosexuality. The machine Turing builds to outsmart Enigma, the German coding machine, is the precursor to our computers, our laptops as we speak. It was Turing’s goal to build an intelligent machine that could think like a human and the opportunity presented itself through the war when he succeeded with Christopher, his decoding machine. Turing typified that outside-of-the-box thinker, but because he was considered a deviant at a time in a society which outlawed homosexuality, his contribution remained concealed from the world. Until recently, of course.

What I love about Imitation Game is that Alan Turing reflects every individual who has been tortured by society because of a uniqueness they bring to the playing field. Alan Turing was gifted with great intelligence. He helped save human lives and alter the course of World War II, but the one thing constantly held over him was the fact that he was gay. To this I say… so what? So what? So what? It doesn’t matter what gender a human being is, so long as he or she loves, so long as he or she is governed by kindness and compassion. Because we are all humans first, we are all God’s children and God gifted us all with the ability to love, to express kindness and compassion for one another. How else are we all supposed to get along on this planet? Overcrowded as it is?

I understand not everyone thinks this way and there will always be those who will strive to bring people down, using gender, color or some form of characteristic difference to justify their sabotage. But we all know that insecurity is at the heart of such a person and what becomes important is what we gather about ourselves and the strength we cultivate from such painful, ungodly acts. Revenge is never an option nor is it a responsibility. Leave it to the universe to restore balance for us. And if that seems too mild, there’s always Karma and we all know not to contend with her.

Whether this post qualifies for Food Friday or not, there is that morsel of inspiration I derive from it. Throughout the movie, the line “sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine” is often used to refer to Turing. This is the genius thought which resounds so boldly as it precisely captures the underdog’s characteristics. Which then compels me to ask, “am I such a no one who will do what no one can imagine?” Only God knows. Time will only tell.