Something Worth Trying

Mikael de Lara Co blogs. Tumbls. Whatever.
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We found this Jesse a little less than two years ago, cowering under the hood of a pickup truck. We named him for three other Jesses: One played by Ethan Hawke, another who cooks meth, and most importantly another Jesse, truly respected and sorely missed. Dios mabalos, Sec. Jesse Manalastas Robredo.

I’ve an essay out in this month’s edition if Esquire. Para sa bayang karerista. Go grab a copy, guyz— good reading here, sulit fiction edition w/ Sasha Martinez, Butch Dalisay, and a bunch of other stories from great writers.

Asker ropheka Asks:
hello again sir. So relieved that Ateneo Press ships online. Do you have a list of your own recommendations, po? I'll check what titles are available in Ateneo Press. Para masulit ko po ang shipping. Hehehe. But I'd love to read from foreign authors din po. Short stories, etc. So any will really do. Thank you so much, sir!
kaelco kaelco Said:

Oy, musta. Di ako sigurado kung nagshi-ship online ang Ateneo Press, ha, pero kung ganu’n nga ang lagay, apir. Sa mga titles ng Ateneo Press, top of mind lang, okey sina Alwynn Javier, Allan Popa, Kristian Cordero. Baka trip mo ring sumilip sa UP at UST Press para humanap ng kopya ng aklat nina Rafael San Diego (wapswashere dito sa Tumblr), Joel Toledo, at Mookie Katigbak. Ilan din sa mga mahuhusay na makata, na lagi kong inaabangan kung may bagong labas, sina Conchitina Cruz, Vincenz Serrano, at Eliza Victoria— collapsingsun dito sa Tumblr. Sa mga naunang henerasyon, naging formative sina Eric Gamalinda at Ricardo de Ungria sa panulaan ko; baka magustuhan mo rin. Sa ibang mga makata, pinakanag-eenjoy akong basahin ang mga Eastern European tulad nina Ales Debeljak at Adam Zagajewski. Sa mga Amerikano, Dean Young, Robert Hass, Carolyn Forche ang madalas kong i-recommend. Dito sa Tumblr, puwede mong halughugin ang fuckyeahpoetry at grammatolatry, marami ka ring mapupulot doon.

Maraming marami ka pang mahahanap, halu-halungkat lang. Kung nag-aaral ka ring tumula, isa sa mga pinakasimple (pero epektibong) payo ko: Tuwing may magustuhan kang bagong tula, basahin mo nang paulit-ulit, tukuyin mo kung ano ang meron sa mga linya, bali ng linya, pagtatabi ng salita, ng tunog, ng imahen, katahimikan, diinan mo lang nang paululit-ulit hangga’t matukoy mo kung bakit ganu’n ang epekto niya, kung bakit mo siya gusto. Sa ganitong paraan, matutukoy at marerefine mo rin kung ano ang magandang tula, o kung ano ang ikinatula ng tula, para sa iyo. Tapos i-incorporate mo ‘yung natutuhan mong mga mekanismo sa mga sarili mong panulat. At, huli: Huwag kang mahihiyang maging marahas sa sarili mong mga tula.

Good luck, parekoy!

Asker ropheka Asks:
good evening sir! i read your blogspot and it led me here. i love your poems although to be honest, i don't understand most of it. i'm young in literature. haven't even read the classics. but your poems intrigue me. is there a way I can share those on blogspot here on tumblr? Thank you so much for your time sir! --tiny
kaelco kaelco Said:

Those are really old poems— I think I stopped posting on blogspot around six or seven years ago. I normally wouldn’t mind, but a lot of the poems over there had already been revised or rewritten, and I’m not too proud of the older ones. Many of them I didn’t even touch at all while I was putting my manuscript together. I treat them as part of the growing up process, haha.

If you’d really like to spread the word (I’d be grateful for that, actually,) you can get a copy of my book and post a pic of a page or two from there. “What Passes for Answers” is available thru the Ateneo de Manila University Press. Not sure which particular bookstores carry a copy, but some friends tell me they saw a few at Powerbooks Trinoma and at Popular Bookstore at Tomas Morato. The Press, for sure— at the ground floor of Bellarmine Hall in campus— has copies of it on stock. If that’s too far for you, then I’ve been known to send copies thru post; we can iron out details of the transaction if that works better for you.

Hey, by the way— thanks, for reading the poems. I don’t mind if you don’t understand most of them; I don’t think poems are meant to be understood, anyway. Not in the usual understanding of understanding, anyway. Just let ‘em wash over you. If you’re intrigued, then I’m happy.

- Kael

Here’s the entire thing- chess pieces from nuts and bolts, plus board fixed on a stand with compartments below. Woodwork is insanely precise- had to tell him to leave it a bit rough around the edges, the way I like. Designed and crafted by my brother, who has zero presence in social media. High five?