Monthly Archives: November 2016

i hope you know more to love

this is my ode to tequila… all from imagination, of course…

i hope you know more to love
than you seem to hate.
nights without winds,
vacuous tunnels,
unescaped,
and how you inhabit
these empty cells where
me mate to rehabilitate
this irrepressible intoxication…
and i drink you more and more
out of principle when i am
a hopeless drunk refining
my gluttonous need to burn,
burn, burn my esophagus
and tear my liver up!
i break for no rehab
nor stop the frequency
of tequila pouring
over shot glasses—
bully me all you want…
ain’t letting cherished
gold go to waste

poem©mrg 9/14/16

A Lesson Behind Mupsy the Dog

Mupsy. Photo©mrg 2016

Mupsy. Photo©mrg 2016

He’s my borrowed dog. Mupsy. A pup I get to appreciate on weekends when I spend time at my sister’s house. I never really had a dog. In the Philippines, there were a ton of stray dogs in and out of our household, but never lasting more than their pup stages. My father didn’t believe in dogs staying indoors, and the only dog we had at one point I never connected to. But Mupsy is a different experience altogether. For the first time in my life, I am given the opportunity to observe a dog’s intelligence and unwavering loyalty. I admire how quickly he learns, how easily he forgives… qualities often I fall short on, sometimes. Seeing Mupsy greet me at the door and jump on my designated bed over at my sister’s house to bid me his brand of Good Morning is quite precious. Mupsy and I are two different beings, but he is much more advanced in the regions of love because he has the ability to show so much love and forgiveness at the same time. It’s quite humbling to be in his presence. To have no pride and simply give love… Mupsy masters it all in one lifetime.

more than fluff,
you simply are
a dog incongruous
to none, and the
uplift behind your
bark and, strangely,
how you raise me
to inconceivable
heights is a godliness
i can’t possibly
achieve if not
through you—
your prideless eyes
peering through me
as though i am
deserving of
your love

poem©mrg 11/29/16

The Spirit of Don Julio

Sounds like a short story, but it isn’t. Is it horror? Well, no. More of a deviation from food. This post is about the liquor… the spirits. Honestly, I never thought about spirits until I became spiritual. That’s just a timeline, it just happened to coincide.

I had an aversion to liquor for the longest time. All before ten. The very reason I didn’t drink in college nor did I try to sneak it in to my system before when all my curious high school mates around me managed to break into their parents’ liquor cabinets and overdose on it. I may have suffered socially because of it, not wanting to drink. The bitterness… it was just appalling.

I know this aversion dates back to my childhood days in the Philippines, when my father invited his drinking buddies over. And it must have been during this time when I tasted a scant amount of Jim Beam Bourbon from an un-watched glass and hated it! The scent was something of a warning against it, but I tasted it anyway. There are countless foods I won’t allow through my digestive system, and alcohol was something unforgettable. It tasted of disobedience, rebellion and, as a young Catholic girl, it was a taste of sin. Tasting liquor at that age impacted my life in such a way I abstained from it voluntarily until my culinary studies.

During culinary school, pairing wines became part of my training and this really paved the way to opening me up to liquor again. It was at this time I understood that Bourbon, Whiskey, Grand Marnier and those certain varieties of tequila of the golden kind can impart certain flavors to food, desserts specifically. This was mind-blowing in itself. Cooking with liquor, tasting it on the side, one has to appreciate the craftsmanship behind it. I’m not an expert on this, but I do appreciate the smoothness as it goes down once throat and the diffusion of its warmth well-distributed at the back of one’s throat. That’s the test for me and if it passes this test, then it’s the right kind liquor for me.

Don Julio. Photo©mrg 2016.

Don Julio. Photo©mrg 2016.

Which brings me to Don Julio. My first bottle of tequila imported all the way from Tijuana via some great contacts who sold it to me at a good price. My naiveté during the pour made me paranoid about the deal I struck, but it was naiveté nonetheless. But when it finally poured, Don Julio emitted an almost crystal color and a faint alcohol scent… so clean and clear that it gave truth serum new meaning. Don Julio is a liquor without pretense, no lies. It simply is— divine!

cresscors, clamshells and box tubs

cresscors, clamshells and box tubs;
blue non-latex gloves; red buckets
filled halfway with sanitation water;
unpolished non-slip shoes, checkered
pants and a white chef coat—
i immersed myself for you,
learned a second language
just to speak to you.
sunsets, breaking waves,
birthdays, holidays… often
times i missed because of you.
non existent sick days when
a cold persists is remedied
with scalding water fused
with lemon and ginger—
i drink what my tongue permits
to convince myself i am
still in love with you

poem©mrg 10/17/16

Three Cresscors In A Row. Photo©mrg 2016

Three Cresscors In A Row. Photo©mrg 2016.

Love And Delaney

I can hear the sirens. She must have called an ambulance. The sound approaches. It is loud. She is nearby. I feel her much closer than usual. Her heartbeat is audible. I can hear her heart racing above me. It feels like a dream. Simultaneously, her tears drip onto my forehead. They are warm. I want to wipe them away, but the metal holds me down and it feels heavier than her weight on top of me. She sobs. She calls my name. It sounds like she is singing it, my name, Pablo. I still remember the first time she greeted me “Good Morning.” They feel more like lyrics to a song than an actual greeting. I can’t imagine why she is crying. It feels unnecessary. Only those who experience the most severe pain or the worst kind of heartache cry. I don’t know why she isn’t elated now that I’ve confessed.

“Stay with me, Pablo,” I can hear her say. Faintly. The siren seems like a heavy guitar solo cranked up louder with her voice juxtaposed against it. She is amidst composition. Her heart is on drums. My heart is on bass.

Her band is called The NekTors. She is lead vocals and guitars. She is a rock star to a band I never knew who started playing in a garage next door to a friend who I went to junior college with. Adam and I are both literature majors. She, Delaney, is Adam’s neighbor. Adam’s kindergarten classmate. Adam’s high school sweetheart. Adam’s first love. Adam’s first heartbreak. Adam’s eventual enemy. Delaney. Delaney who has been playing the guitar since five years old, who also plays the violin, but quickly switched over to drums because she always wanted to be in a rock band; who went to school with Adam, but never considered Adam her first love. Adam, who was both heartache and pain, fuels her rock lyrics. She can’t make up her mind between kissing him or getting back with him again. But Delaney appalls Adam and Delaney doesn’t care because she only wants to be a rock star.

She is rock star by night and nerd by day. She fixes computers. When she is not singing, she is tinkering with electrical equipment. Things I am inept in, she fixes. My laptop didn’t start and she fixed it for me. She didn’t charge me, I don’t know why. She asked me to lunch instead. We had a sausage and pineapple pizza and two Cokes. I paid. I gave her gas money for coming to fix my computer, but she refused; she took a kiss instead. Adam isn’t her first love. I think I am hers. It is uncomfortable. I don’t know how to be anybody’s first love. There’s a pair for everyone, they say. I am not prepared for her. A pair is reserved for those who are deserving. I never thought to find a pair in this vast, vast universe. And Delaney… I really. Don’t. Deserve. Her.

Delaney is a rock goddess. She is ideal. In time, she will be followed by hoards of men who have stocks to their name and gold in their briefcases. Who will fly her to Spain and back just so she can have Tapas and a glass of red wine. I’m a pizza guy and two Cokes kind of guy. I can’t compete. I keep her at a distance, but she keeps knocking at my door. I dodge her, but she makes herself so unavoidable. I finally tell Delaney I’m no good for her. And Delaney tells me I’m the only one who looks at her like she matters. Like the way I hand a straw to a kid who can’t reach from the shelf above, like the way I talk to strangers in my best broken Spanish so I can bridge the communication barrier, like the way I held her when her friend passed away. How everything matters to me. I have no idea. I have no idea at all this is what she thinks of me.

It takes me time. Three years and two months. She is patient with me. I know Delaney waits for me. After her concert, I tell her. She stands on the pavement and she glows even in her black leather pants and her white Ramones t-shirt. She is beautiful. Her long hair glistens under the light. I run to her because I can’t wait to see the three lines on her forehead when she squints to see it is me; she doesn’t know I have named each line after God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three aspects of God. I want to kiss her on her forehead first, that place right above her eyes because this is where she sees all of me. And I’m going to tell her. Out loud. I. Love. You. Delaney.

The words are at the tip of my tongue. It won’t spill. I cry. I don’t know why. I am becoming aware of the pain. It is severe, my heartache worse. “Stay with me,” she whispers. I can see her forehead clear and closing in on me, the lines granting me a blessing. And she feels light, suddenly, the metal from the speeding car unclench from me. I panic… “I love you, I love you, I love you.” I hope Delaney hears me.