2 new poem drafts! (I’m on a semi-roll here!)

Hi everyone. Thanks for the feedback with the last poems. It always helps to have extra eyes look over your work and give you good advice (and to catch any un-intended grammatical mistakes).

This week’s poems are both responses to works I’ve encountered recently either directly or indirectly through Prof. Dungy’s classes. The first one is in response to Sarah Messer’s Bandit Letters. I highly recommend reading this book if you are in any way interested in contemporary historical poetry set in the West. Her work is simply sublime!

My response poem tried to combine the south, steam punk and pirates (because pirates rock). Hope the poem does some just to Messer’s work.

You’ll be Rewarded Within a Month

The second poem is in response to Barbara Jane Reyes’s poem,“Where Did Your Mother Live?”

Prof. Dungy introduced me to Reyes’s work last year, recommending that I read her books because of my interest in Filipino-American poetry. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet read any of her books but I did get a chance, recently, to visit her site. She is a CAL alumni who graduated from SFSU with a MFA in creative writing and has published nervous books of poetry related to identity, the Filipino-American experience, and living in the SF Bay Area. In short, she is what I aspire to be! Her poetry also hits home for me, as a mixed American with Filipino roots. I borrowed heavily from here in this next piece, especially where form is concerned. However, I tired to vary the theme through the type of repetition (instead of “in” I use “the,” because my emphasis is on identity as apposed to place) and images I used. Hopefully I was able to capture the same kind of emotion. I’ll let you be the judge:

What are you

Hope you enjoy the poems. As always feel free to comment and critique.

Thanks a bunch.



A treat for you all: Two new poems (drafts)

Hi everyone,

This is your writer-in-training Rose here. Just finished two new drafts of some poems. One is from another course I’m taking, called Contemporary US Poetry and History. It is in response to Afflicted Girls, a poetry book by Nicole Cooley.

My poem’s working title is “The Rosary Revisited”. Here it is:

Rosary Revisited

The second is from the workshop class. It is much smaller than the other poems because I placed a limit of about seven lines. After last week’s workshop, I decided that this week’s poem should be about facing your anxieties head on . . . well in this case, I did it through a persona poem. Hope you enjoy it:

Loquat Tree

Also, FYI, Loquat trees are flipping awesome in their weirdness.

As always, critiques are welcome. Thank you.

All the best,


3rd poem (draft)

The following poem isn’t entitled math, but that’s the basic assignment/prompt related to this poem. You see, two weeks ago (when the assignment was given) Prof. Dungy told us, her wide-eyed pupils, to think hard about the scaffolding, the architecture, of our poems. Poems need structure and rules. These may be something the poet comes up with, or things based on past traditions, or both.  For the assignment, I decided to go with past style/forms of poetry. This poem is technically a villanelle. One of my many strange attempts to hearken back to an era where poetry could pay the bills. The poem’s title is “Zodiac Tattoo.” Hope you enjoy.


(Note: Boreal Owls ROCK!)

As always, if you have any constructive critiques, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.

1st poem of the New Year (Draft)

The following is the first poem of the new year. It is also the first poem written for Camile Dungy’s Advanced Poetry class at SFSU. This poem mixes Tagalog with English. It is one of my many attempts to do this well. It is also a poem for my mother. I hope you enjoy it. All constructive criticism is more than welcomed. Thank you.  (o^_^o)

A Prayer on a Ying Yang Rosary

The Rose has Spoken!

14 Hills Issue 17.1

Two post in one day?!?! <insert le gasp!>

What I’ve been up to during the past few weeks has largely been centered around work, school, family and friends. Not necessarily in that order, but I degress.

This past semester, I have worked with and on 14 Hills: SFSU Literary Magazine. Currently as a member of the PR team it is my duty and my pleasure to announce the release of Issue 17.1

The party that will kick off the release is on next Thursday, December 16, 2010. 7pm at:

1890 Bryant Street, San Francisco
(entrance at Mariposa and Florida)

For more on this, please see the links below:



Will Rose be there? Yes. Will there we dancing? Also yes. Will Rose come dressed as a anime character? No, but that is a good idea.

So come on down to have fun, see what we’ve accomplished, and to celebrate finishing off another new year with something spectacular.


First an apology

I must apologize for not updating the blog during NaNoWriMo. Sorry, but I was not able to finish any story this time around. Instead, I outlined about 2 novel length stories and one short story during this time.

CPU’s basic story plot has been outline and just needs to have me sit down and put some meat on the bones, so to speak.

Dragon’s Lair is a tricky one, though. I have the Prologue outlined, down to where I know how many main characters will take center stage, but I have yet to begin finishing it up. The issue is a simple one really: I lack a conflict for the MC.

Within the prologue there is Baloo the bugbear, who acts as the MC for the prologue. His conflict is easy to get to and one that is familiar to most people. Once it is resolved though, the root of the conflict is still there. I suppose the easiest thing to do about the novel’s MC would be to have her (yahoo for gender identification — took me two months before November to decide on gender . . . a boy would have been good only if … well … you’ll see) deal with the root of the original conflict, which itself speaks to the larger issue of the story which I will give away now.

Dragon’s Lair will be deal with the question of What do we do, as a society, with the “Other?”

The Other is, of course, subjective. If you are an English major walking through a Science convention, you may be considered other, and visa versa.

The question applies to society as a whole when the definitions of the Other become more general. Obviously, the Mystics are the Other but for the particular MC I have in mind, she will be an Other among Others among Others. So she is triple removed from the larger society.

Twist is simple and it is the reason for the mental block: SHE DOESN’T CARE . . . in the beginning.

The large conflict has yet to be established through smaller ones . . . which make up the big one. So, in a sense, I am stuck with the image of a pie and the recipe but no ingredients and my oven blew up due to over-use and lack of care.

Hence the lack of a finished novel.

Lame excuse but an excuse it is.

The point of me writing all this down and posting it, however, is because this “failure” is also a part of the writing process.

If you don’t fall flat on your face a couple of times, you will never be able to know where the ground is in relation to the sky.

It’s also a humbling process — you become less incline to judge a piece of art, literary, visual, musical, etc, harshly when you know what went into making the finished product. On the flip-side, when a poorly crafted piece of what-some-call-art becomes popular to the point that you cannot walk into Church without seeing somewhere totting the image of the art around, well . . . then you begin to feel cheated. . .

But it takes years to know the difference between fluff and substance.

As for the stories that I am working on, I WILL continue to post updates on them as sections of the stories are main. Yes they will be first drafts and yes I will edit them later. The edits however will not be posted because by the time the stories are edited down, I plan on sending them to publication of some sort.

This is the writing business from start to finish, and I plan to take you through the journey by example.

On a personal note, I plan to take Advance Poetry Writing next semester at SFSU. It is being taught by Camile Dungy (http://www.camilledungy.com/). She is an amazing poet, whose work I highly admire.

What poems I create will probably be seen here throughout the semester, so stay tuned for new works.

See you online!


Dragon’s Lair (post 1)

PROLOGUE: Throw Away Treasure

Thousands of beginnings exist within every single solitary second. How then should I begin my tale? I suppose, for simplicity’s sake, I will begin way back when, about twenty so years ago, on the night after the Monsoons ravaged the Bay.

The skyscrapers and the storms were doing battle over who would have supremacy over the city — who would loom over the small lives that dance undertow? The storms had been winning the war; thrashing the mirrored glass of countless windows asunder, bending the steel framework of the new and old until they cracked under their own weight. These storms were putting human architecture to the test. Many buildings collapsed during the Monsoons, but these were mostly the newer ones; those built by profit-driven businessmen from the Lower Heights district.

The safest buildings were the low-lying, older mansions, shacks, and homes of various designs. These were buildings created with respect, or a patronizing sense of respect, to the storms and in honor of the Earth from whence we came and to where most of us aspire to return.

When the storms had past, the wreckage lay splatted across in all directions of the city. Of all the tall buildings erected to stab the sky, only the old clock tower remained swaying in the evening breeze. It’s foundation, untouched by the storms, sparkled crimson under the remains of the fallen buildings. Above the wreckage the tower stretched high into the sky, it’s weathered stone thicker than the height of a man and twice as strong as his soul gleamed like the scales on a Black Dragon’s neck.  The onyx stone gradually gave way to pure white marbled that shined mother-of-pearl when hit by the eastern sun. A single silver bell hang high onto of the bell tower, under a roof-top laced with bronze and gold. As the sun rose, the bell rang out over the once glorious city of Kenae (note to writer: Mykenae = greek city-state).

Most of the citizens, this day, were mourning the dead, counting their loses, and asking WHY in one continuous howl. However, there were those who not only lacked the time, patience, or luxury of sorrow — they lacked the sense of lost all together. For them, Kenae was never theirs to begin with. Separated by politics from family and friends, forced to work by for those who think less of them for little to no pay, suffering various indiginities until they begin to forget that they too are human. No. These poor souls could not mourn for a city that was never theirs to begin with, for they are and will forever be Mystics.

Due to the politics of the day, Mystics were herded into three large groups: the Crafters, Operatives, and Laboreres. The largest group was the Laborers and on the day of September 29, they were out in full force cleaning up the debris, lifting the carcasses of fallen metallic giants off the ground and into large green steel trucks known as Turtles. The Turtles carry the remains into the processing plants on the outskirts of town where Mystics rummage through the trash and extract anything of value before the rest is sent to the incinerator deep below the ground.  The treasures are usually sent to recycling once they reach the processing plant and are sorted out. But where there’s treasure there will always  be treasure hunters. Or as those who possess the fortune to be righteous call them, vultures.

But Mystics by nature do an efficient clean-up job. They began restoring order before it was even lost. They did not do it for home or country — they did it to survive on their daily wages — comforted in the knowledge that their pay checks came from the tax surplus drenched in their forefathers’ blood.

They own no one anything and thus can take whatever throw-away treasure comes their way.

One in particular knew no family at all. Well, no family beyond the forgotten scraps that were once important for a particular task. He collected tin cans, rusted nails, gears, cogs, pistons, panels, sockets, tools, antique trinkets, jewelry, and what ever else he found in the trash of the wealthy.These were kind and kin to Baloo the Bugbear of Trash-Heap Hallows (as he would famously boast in pubs until it finally stick).  His flat roofed, aluminum clad  shack sat a mile east of the processing plant, right in between the plant and the city landfill. It was no bigger than 4800 square feet wide and 7 feet  tall. On the outside, it looked like a very large aluminum crate with an outrageously ornate elm door set into the right corner facing the road. Ply wood steps lead to the door and formed a small porch where tin cans were gathered, standing like sentries to a castle. The earth around the shack seemed to be more mud than earth, but despite appearances formed a strong foundation for the shack and hid the true nature of it fairly well from would-be tax collectors.

You see, Baloo was a treasure hunter and he built his small isolated castle out of the treasures he found before they reached the plant.

He was the best.


This is a quick update on the progress on both stories:

I’ve outlined the prologue of Dragon’s Lair a bit.
Need a name for the city where the story takes place. Perferably Greecian.
CPU has been put on backburner.
A new story idea has taken up my brain-space and for now the working title is Suicide Box.
The basic permise of this story is that there is a Main character (MC) whose life story is reflected on while walking towards the Golden Gate bridge. It is clear that this person has been suffering and/or is suffering from sucidal tendencies. It is unclear whether or not MC will commit suicide as the story unfolds.
This story is inspired by personal life traumas, Iricdescent by Linkin Park, Several songs by the Fray, One Republic, Josh Groban, and other musicians.
This story is very personal and may even be acted out by yours truly.
Don’t worry.
There is a happy ending in the works.
As far as word count goes, until I type up everything I don’t have a word count. If I had a scanner I would simply scan all my handwritten work but alas, I do not have one as of it.
Hope this update suffices.
Talk to you on the Cyber-side.
Peace, love, and Pancakes,