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Joie de Vivre

Celebrating the UP Portia Sorority's 81st year with my lovely fellow 2nd-year sisses :)


Photograph by Arcade Fire

"I'm just looking at the world and writing a new piano piece."

"Can I hear it? What's this one about?"

"Well, I was thinking, we don't really have photographs of us. I thought this song could be, like, a photograph that captures us in this moment in our lives together."

"I like this photograph. I can see you in it."

"I am."

This was such a beautiful, poignant piece in my (our) favorite scene in the movie, Her. Funny, because we weren't able to take pictures today. So here's this song instead. It perfectly captures how today was, and how everyday has been since things fell into place.

Happy February 14th :)


Love Poem Medley

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by Rudy Francisco

I want you to bite my lip until I can no longer speak
And then suck my ex-girlfriend’s name out of my mouth just to make sure she never comes up in our conversations
I’m going to be honest, I’m not really a love poet
In fact, every time I try to write about love my hands cramp
Just to show me how painful love can be
And sometimes my pencils break, just to prove to me that every now and then love takes a little more work than you planned
See I heard that love is blind so, I write all my poems in Braille
And my poems are never actually finished because true love is endless
I always believed that real love is kind of like a super model before she’s air brushed;
It’s pure and imperfect, just the way that God intended
See I’m going to be honest, I’m not a love poet
But if I was to wake up tomorrow morning and decide that I really wanted to write about love I swear that my first poem…
It would be about you

About how I loved you the same way that I learned how to ride a bike: Scared
But reckless with no training wheels or elbow pads so my scars can tell the story of how I fell for you
You see, I’m not really a love poet
But if I was I’d write about how I see your face in every cloud and your reflection in every window
You see I’ve written like a million poems hoping that somehow maybe someway you’ll jump out of the page and be closer to me
Because if you were here, right now
I would massage your back until your skin sings songs that your lips don’t even know the words to

Until your heartbeat sounds like my last name and you smile like the Pacific Ocean
I want to drink the sunlight in your skin
If I was a love poet
I’d write about how you have the audacity to be beautiful
Even on days when everything around you is ugly
You see I’d write about your eyelashes and how they are like violin strings that play symphonies every time you blink

If I was a love poet
I’d write about how I melt in front of you like an ice sculpture
Every time I hear the vibration in your voice so whenever I see your name on the caller ID my heart
It plays hopscotch inside of my chest
Yo it climbs onto my ribs like monkey bars and I feel like a child all over again
I know this sounds strange but every now and then I pray that God somehow turns you back in to one of my ribs
Just so that I would never have to spend an entire day without you

I swear, I’m not a love poet
But if I was to wake up tomorrow morning and decide that I really wanted to write about love
My first poem it would be about you
And after all of that she was like, so how do you feel about me?
And I said, put it like this:
I want to be your ex boyfriend’s stunt man.
I want to do everything that he never had the courage to do, like trust you

I swear that when our lips touch I can taste the next sixty years of my life
And some days I want to swallow stacks of your pictures just so you can be a part of me for a little bit longer
If I could I would sample your smile and then I would let my heart beat
Do the bass line, we would create the greatest love song of all time
Whenever, we stand next to each other, love I was the only one made for you and you can be at last my Etta James
I’ll be oh child when you’re in pain or you could be candy coated drops of rain
Even though it never rains in Southern California
And together, we could be music

And when my friends ask if you’re my girlfriend
I’ll say no
She is my musician
And me...
I’m her favorite song




Mouthful of Forevers

by Clementine Von Radics

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.

And I will not be afraid
of your scars.

I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.




A Man Who Transforms You Into Poetry

by Nizar Kabbani

When you find a man
Who transforms
Every part of you
Into poetry,
Who makes each one of your hairs
Into a poem,
When you find a man,
As I am
Of bathing and adorning you
With poetry,
I will beg you
To follow him without hesitation,
It is not important
That you belong to me or him
But that you belong to poetry.


Just an excuse to post lovely poetry on my blog, because it's the week of Valentine's, and because our block is going to be spending that weekend studying for our Civ Pro midterms on Sunday evening instead.

Here's to love, literature, and everything else in between.



Friends and lovers

A week ago my parents celebrated their 23rd wedding anniversary. They've been together for 30 years, including the seven-year relationship they had before getting married. Crazy.

I guess it's safe to say that almost everything I know about love I learned from them. I grew up in a home of only three people: mom, papa, and myself. We lived in a compound, and almost all our relatives were just streets away, but inside our house it was just the three of us. It wasn't at all a story-book set-up -- both my parents worked the whole day, and most of the time I was left with my lolas (or yayas). Sometimes I didn't see my papa when he gets home. I cried every time my mom left in the morning. But it was a happy, simple set-up. We shared our food, we told each other stories, we kissed each other good night.

If there's one thing I'm incredibly grateful for, it's this: my parents taught me that loving someone is being their friend. I can never stress how happy I am that they both raised me not only as their daughter but also as their best friend. I grew up listening to Sergio Mendes, The Carpenters, and The Beegees playing over breakfast on Sunday mornings. I knew all about their friends and more-than-friends. Likewise, I shared my secrets with them, and told them all about my days, both good and bad. I couldn't let a day or week go by without telling them a random anecdote about anything, from a professor's advice to a movie I just saw. I think deep down, despite our quirks and idiosyncrasies, we genuinely like each other enough to treat each other as very good friends.

Perhaps that really is the secret -- to love someone, you have to really like them. You'd be surprised at how difficult that can be for some people. Some people fall in love with people they don't even like - strip away the tension and they're left with nothing to make them want to say they're actually okay with being with that person. But I guess, when you like each other enough, when a person is more than just an object of your affection, but a person you share everything with and like being around, it's not so hard to choose to stay and love them even more. It's more fulfilling, even, to know that at the end of the day, all you need is a this person and a good chat, and everything will be okay.

(Belated) Happy anniversary, Mommy and Papa! Thank you for being the best set of friends - to each other, and to me.