Thursday, April 16, 2009

workshop update

Yesterday morning, we took up Gelo's poetics and had his workshop session back to back (oddly enough, the sessions are structured such that the poetics presentation and the workshop session for each fellow is, by default, not taken in sequence - I think mas mabuti na tuhugin nalang ito, with generous ciggie breaks, of course).

Gelo's conceptual writing truly challenged my notions on what poetry is (and can be). For now, he has moved into spheres beyond the printed page, engaging his audience in so many different ways. His poetry goes beyond mere shock. One of the things I picked up from him I shall present here right now (nagpaalam ako sa kanya at sabi niya okay lang dahil hiniram din niya ito):

This sentence is speculative fiction if I say so.

My workshop followed next, and as expected parts of it became predictive critique (how can you critique an incomplete novel?). But there were good questions on my process and a little drama (oo naman). The resistance to spec fic is still there, as the critical frameworks used are looking for things that spec fic does not prioritize. Pero (and this is me talking to myself) tama na itong gritted teeth thingie, haha!

During the tailend of Kael's workshop session, an interesting point came up. One of the fellows commented that she used to like these particular poems. But after listening to Kael's poetics, she found herself questioning/maybe not liking them anymore. I agreed with how Kael framed his response - basically, nasa iyo na yun. Poetics are not published next to our work, and the author cannot explain everything to each reader - the text must stand by itself, and if the reader brings something/reads something sa text, then good. If not, well, yun na yun.

Later, we had our Fellows Night. Compared to stressing about our poetics, this was a non-issue. We were tasked to entertain the panelists and guests. Early on, we decided just to go with music (as opposed to anything literary, like reading stuff) so we agreed on 4 numbers, all revolving the single guitar that was miraculously acquired. As things began, tinopak ako and I asked to sing a capella, "Bring Him Home". Masaya naman (and I hope I didn't embarrass myself too much - all in the spirit of conviviality naman kasi) - to the point that Charlson Ong tapped me for an impromptu duet with him, more Les Miserables, this time "I Dreamed A Dream" with me in English and him in Filipino (sabi ko nga sa kanya, "I guess I found my mentor" haha). It was hilarious - and it felt good to just have some fun (halata bang sabik sa Red Box?). Jimmy Abad blew me away with recitations of poems from memory (in particular, "The Flying Monk") and some of our guests gamely got up and performed too (mahirap maging audience sa ganito, haha). Everything was hosted wonderfully by Butch G. and we afterwards, we hung out with beer and whiskey. I stayed up until bumigay na ang mata ko. Masaya, masaya - pero ngayon back to the grind.

There are pictures and other cool stuff over here.

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