Tuesday, July 24, 2007

time for a drink

Poetry is not something I can write. I'll be the first to admit that. I guess my mind just doesn't work that way. I'm happier reading poetry and listening to it.

Last night, a number of poets, some celebrated, some not that well-known, took the microphone and read, sang or performed their works (or those of others). I especially enjoyed Joel Toledo (refined but truthful), Gabe Mercado (who read Yoyoy Villame's Diklamasyon:Magellan vs. Lapu-Lapu) and another male poet in Filipino whose name I wasn't able to write down (he read about a view in Davao and his words were beautiful). But the true stars of the show were the members of the De la Cruz combo, headed by Khavn (whose talent is astounding, and whose song selections made the LitCritters offer to buy non-existent CDs of then and there), the guy on the cello (I wasn't able to ask his name, but I want to him when I grow up haha) and the guy on percussions (I was seated right in front of him and was impressed by the dazzling variety of instruments he had).

I was happy to meet Karl de Mesa face-to-face (where before it was just an exchange of emails) so I can invite him to this year's antho. And I got a copy of Katipunan magazine, with Sasha Martinez's interview of me (with my *ahem* boy next door smile - and here I thought the Muslim in me was vaguely threatening haha). And I got to see BC (to demand science fiction from) and later, Mia Tijam and I became spirits in the stairway, hurriedly and hushedly exchanging news and views about Dumaguete and spec fic. The LitCritters (we all came) had a great time.

In fact, everything at mag:net was a blast - except for the stunning bill we had when it was time to go (over P600 for me and Nikki), which goes to show that while words are cheap, drinks and adobong pugo are not.

As for my reading, well I was right - I was the lone fictionist who read in something billed as an evening of love poetry. I read anyway, sweltering under the hot lights, hoping I didn't bore people to tears.

I must confess, when I got up onstage and heard Khavn ask what music I wanted, I was this close to dropping my story and belting out a love song, a power ballad, instead.

I'll just have to wait until Charlson Ong agrees to my videoke challenge.

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