3:59 in the early morning trying to explain my depression like,
in between bouts of: “Have you tried running everyday?”
“Tell me about it.”
As if I haven’t, as if this was a challenge he was certain I would fail.
6 months does not tell the story of the multitude of tries I spent
biking to the gym, running at the gym, running circles at my old school track
trying to forget about going home,
euphoric nights spent at the treadmill because I thought self-improvement was the answer
to my otherwise, dying brain.

That eating quinoa and pinning “healthy vegan recipes” on my pinterest accounts
and then going home from a 9 to 5 job and singing in a sunlit kitchen while cooking delicacies
will somehow
prevent the lump in my throat from forming at 9:30 in the morning,
afraid that the man who calls himself my boss suddenly transforms into
another man who called himself my friend and then took me without my say
as soon as the wrong song comes on the radio and triggers me –
until I am left with the memories I tried so hard to bury inside
and I lose track of time.

Is exercise and a healthy diet the magical cure that will wipe my slate clean off trauma?

I clung to that idea a long time ago, nurtured it so obsessively
that it ran rampant in my brain and cultivated blind faith.
I am getting better, each incline higher on the treadmill.
I am getting better, each kg added to the weight.
I am getting better, each less serving of salt in every meal.

And then it happens –
a dark monster clad in black tar nicotine that stains everything it touches –
it curdles your meals, brittles your bones
and creates a haven in your only prison – your bed, your mind, my dear.

This is something you can’t comprehend unless you’ve experienced it:
When you start seeing what they think is a permanent solution to a temporary problem
As your one, and only moment of agency –
as the one night when your body decided to take action against your villainous,
ever agonizing mind,
when you’ve finally turned off the endless background noise of a world you have never fully understood,
and welcomed the purifying powers of silence,
and let it lay down on the palm of your hands
that are at long last, still,
un-shaking, un-nervous,

at peace.

Day to Day Poetry


Wish I could still be pre-drinking,
and make it to a crowded place, limping
from high heels that tipple, short skirts riding
up to lace thongs worn proudly for a night,
lost in the morning,
fog in the mirror, birds singing, sunlight streaming
through a stranger’s window,
chaotic events memorialized in poetry
a few days later, smudged eyeliner
in an empty coffee house, amidst broken leather chairs,
torn out pages from a book with highlighted passages
meant for re-reading and then never re-used again –
to be happily snuggling into my blankets,
and take out my phone to capture a selfie worth posting,
assured people are scrolling through their feed and pausing,
what I put out for them –
wishful thinking, endless wanting
for validation from
people I don’t even care about,
to be working a 9 to 5 job and doing things I despise
just so I can come home to an apartment I can undoubtedly pay for –
and not worry about making ends meet or living
from paycheque to paycheque –
give up passion for a steady stream of breakfast, lunch, dinner
without having to compromise on health,
not having to rely on chemicals to ease that monster anxiety, peacekeeping,
serenity achieved through the purest of means,
instead of this day to day surviving,
battling every morning  when it’s the last thing I ever want to do,

Day to Day Poetry


It’s the sword of Damocles,
waiting at every mountaintop,
camouflaged within the tempting, seductive,
clear blue sky.

It waits for me,
in every corner of every dark alley I live in,
from Manila to Toronto,
an inescapable cage made
especially for me.

Whether I’m performing magic,
teaching Shakespeare,
or selling ice-cream –

A leather collar for every world I live in,
bonded helplessly to
my own

Day to Day Poetry

Day to Day Poetry #60

My the Day is Mighty Angry – revisited,
Roxies keeping my spine tinglin’, hands shakin’,
crystal blue, orange spheres or white powder –
every lie to tell your beautiful face in the morning
that you’re progressing.

Because you’ve come full circle, dear,
the only difference now
is a change of
and a different cast of


How many more blood-marked eyelids
are you going to smother in make-up
so no one notices
your pupils as wide as the beating sun?

Those vibrating pulsations rolling down
the wrinkles on your skin
will someday break,
rupture in cadaverous flesh
revealing the chemical ecstasy carved
underneath your
numb nerves.

Get down on your knees and realize
this face bears no resemblance
to who you once were –
now just a slave
to this in-betweening life,
recycled poetry,
stretched out lips that vomits
hollow, empty smiles –

Insanity is your only way out, dear,
Madness is your emergency exit.

What the hell is the point
of this whole goddamn joint


Day to Day Poetry #45

I wonder what it’s like to be hopelessly,
desperately afraid,
to be told by all the adults around me at fourteen,
that I’m afraid –
incredibly, lugubriously afraid,
so fearful, my child, it had to be medicated –
as if these million dollar pills can quench this fear
and turn it into that mundane void, the in-between
of dysphoria and euphoria.

I wonder what it’s like to have fear
govern all my decisions,
for anxiety to immobilize my every ambition,
assassinate my every adventure,
to want endlessly to be loved and cared for
to dream the terror away,
to wake up in the middle of a silent night
to bury my face in a three-month old pillow,
to imagine other people into saviours
that rises me into action, declares me free from
my nightmare paralysis,
to reach out and beckon, to lay out an open invitation
despite the nagging, monstrous dread of rejection –

to cross that barrier, anyway –

only to realize,
inside empty, barren rooms,
that I can never take you,
wherever you want to go,
because I’m afraid,
so incredibly, lugubriously afraid,
a fear so tantamount, so real,
that it’s become a part of daily living,
it’s become all of who I am.