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Love Letters
Feature by: Tiffany Limsico



HARD LIFE, POOR LIFE

This Is Not A Love Letter

From Khavn De La Cruz

thanks man

i’m about to cry

but that’s not true


what do you say again to a corpse?

what about two corpses

that a while ago were two living friends?  


fuckyou alexis fuckyou  

i don’t have anyone to greet along with lourd’s birthday while i’m in berlin  

and you’re never here on my birthday but in canada every christmas  

 
you’re lucky you’re dead  

we’re still living  

working for a living, looking for life  

hard-life, poor-life, you often utter


you’re always facedown in your pictures  

sleeping  

slumber  

as if you were always meant to be the first to rest  

that’s all there is to it right? who goes first  

who goes last


long live the dead  

because living can kill you


many are dying  

in the world of the living


how many live  

in the world of the dead?


 in a few days, it will be the day of the dead  

the living will light candles


for the dead! for the dead!  

they’ll cry  


until their throats die  

and silence comes back to life


sometimes something wraps around you  

like the embrace of a ghost  

you feel as if you were a gift  

but for whom, you ask?  

no one answers  

you are still alone in the room  


i’ve been writing this letter for a few days now  

it’s been two weeks  

and I still haven’t finished it  


cyco said, i should just write about your drumming  

how we argued about kicking you out of the band  

my father, who’s the namesake of your father who passed away first, was laughing  

we were playing under their room  

you were more out of tempo than my nephew  

we were playing the same song when we began  

but you slowly drifted off into your own world  

your own rhythm  

a beat ahead of all of us  

than headless, than cyco, than me  

who would have guessed that you’ll be going before all of us?  


last year, we gave a tribute to kidlat, rox, and lav  

because they were the three old men of  philippine cinema whom we respect  

one foot in the grave, as they say  

if i knew you’d be gone before them  

we would have paid tribute to you  


who would have guessed?  

who would have guessed?


(September 2009)


---
HIRAP-BUHAY  

This Is Not A Love Letter


salamat pre  

naiiyak ako  

pero hindi ito totoo  


ano nga ba’ng sasabihin mo sa bangkay?  

paano kung dalawang bangkay  

na kamakailan lang ay dalawang kaibigang buhay?  


tanginamo alexis tanginamo  

wala na kong babatiin kasabay ng kaarawan ni lourd habang nasa berlin ako  

at madalas ka ring wala sa kaarawan ko dahil papunta kang canada pag pasko


mabuti ka pa, patay ka na  

kami buhay pa rin  

naghahanap-buhay  

hirap-buhay, madalas mo ngang sambitin  


lagi kang nakatungo sa litrato  

natutulog  

himbing  

para bang nakaplano talagang mauuna kang hihimlay  

yun lang naman yun di ba, unahan  

hulihan  


mabuhay ang patay  

dahil mahirap ang buhay  


maraming namamatay  

sa mundo ng buhay  


ilan ang nabubuhay  

sa mundo ng patay?  


ilang araw na lang, araw na ng patay  

magtitirik ng kandila ang mga buhay  


para sa patay! para sa patay!  

isisigaw ng mga buhay  


hanggang sa mamatay ang lalamunan  

at muling mabuhay ang katahimikan  


minsan may babalot sa iyo  

parang yakap ng multo  

pakiramdam mo isa kang regalo  

para kangino?  

walang sasagot  

nag-iisa ka pa rin sa kwarto  


ilang araw ko nang sinusulat ang liham na ito  

pumalo na ang dalawang linggo  

hindi pa rin nabubuo  


sabi ni cyco, ikwento ko na lang daw ang pagtatambol mo  

kung paano namin pinagdebatehan na tanggalin ka sa kombo  

natatawa ang tatay ko na kapangalan ng tatay mong naunang yumao  

nasa ilalim kasi ng kwarto nila ang tugtugan natin  

mas wala ka pa sa tiyempo sa paslit kong pamangkin  

sa simula ng kanta, nakakasabay ka pa  

pero unti-unti kang tutuloy sa sarili mong mundo  

ibang-ibang tiyempo  

nauuna ka sa lahat sa amin  

kay pugot, kay cyco, sa akin  

sino nga bang mag-aakalang mauuna ka talaga sa amin?  


noong nakaraang taon, binigyang pugay natin sina kidlat, rox, at lav  

dahil sila ang tatlong matatanda na nirerespeto natin sa pelikulang pilipino  

mas malapit sa hukay, ika nga  

kung alam ko lang na mauuna ka  

e di ikaw na lang sana ang pinag-alayan


sino’ng mag-aakala?  

sino’ng mag-aakala?


(Setyembre 2009)


---
Khavn is not a film-maker.
---

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