i work as a copyeditor in a (royal and pontifical) university which means i go to school every morning and go home in the afternoon and in between the sun’s rising and setting i read the stuff of reading lists: palanca-winning poetry, literary criticism a little too humanist a little too anti-theory, local color novels, or whatever it is in between the blank white covers of the bound manuscripts given me which i deface with symbols i learned from scholastic, a word which if you think about it, describes aptly what i do, the job so reminiscent of college, the workplace so reminiscent of high school (that, too, had crucifixes and saints everywhere), though i said i wanted to get out of the academe (for a little while, for a little space, for things undone, for situations unexplored), i find myself thinking about it, coming back to it, in what i read and what i write and what i think about—for all that—still within it.
then again it’s hard to be away from where you know you’re supposed to be.
the park is nice.
the trees are nice.
the statues are nice.
the buildings are nice.
the people are nice.
the pay is nice.
the work is nice.
but, see, nice—
i kinda, you know, feel sad for kule
because they don’t have a roomy, fully
air-conditioned office/home boasting
a pantry and a refectory,
a kitchen with a sink, a microwave, a coffeemaker, and a fridge
a conference room passably corporate,
leather couches, web-linked computers,
clean toilets, working showers
unlike, you know, the school organ here.
then again who needs
broadsheets of glossy paper
full-color pictures (with gradients!)
when the writing is
the writing is—
oh no, i don’t mean to insult.
i only tell what i see.
from the dust, the heat, the long long wait
along commonwealth, quezon ave., espanya
to flop to lounge to wheeze in the 20 *C room
and watch my fingernails turn blue