I did some really interesting stories for Upvoted, Reddit’s feature-y news site, toward the end of 2015, right after I gave birth to Kaya papaya. I still miss that outlet. I also did a ton of fun stories for OC Weekly, namely — pimped out Kaya for a Sublime feature! How OC.


moment #1:
When I was a kid we used to hang out in the open attic of my friend’s house in Baguio. It was called the pugad — bird’s nest — because it was a warm safe haven, yet we could see all the way down through pine trees and street lights, and all the way up–branches and falling stars. In Tuding, we counted 637 falling stars in one night.
moment #2:
I met C in Palawan because he owned the dive shop we were diving with. And I guess it was an artificial love affair — how could you think with a straight head when you’re diving off limestone cliffs and drinking beer under a full moon, kissing sweetly in a pink purple blue sunset haze?
moment #3:
The secret of a good gig is that you never remember it, because you’re having such a good time playing the music that it all just whizzes past you. So yeah, I remember that when we played at the Roxy for my birthday Barb dyed my hair purple, glued fake glitter eyelashes on and adjusted my knee high boots. And I signed CDs and drank rum diet cokes. But the “is this thing on?” buzz from the amplifier, the guitar sustain, the driving beat, the 10 foot stage, my booming voice–it seemed like it just lasted for a second. A good second. No, a great second.
moment #4
I’ve gone bungy-jumping in Bali, parasailing in Chamonix, SCUBA diving in Malaysia, spelunking in Sagada. But when I think of great, heart-gripping moments, nothing gets my adrenaline going faster than an airport. A tarmac, a moving walkway, conveyor belts, the snap of your suitcase handle, the roar of rushing engines. The idea that you’re going somewhere–anywhere else. Or the idea that you’re coming home.
moment #5
My Boni apartment was red, black and white. It was like a Japanese Zen poster. We had parties in it and once I saw alligators drawn on the walls. I liked listening to my French Berlitz CDs in my room when the weekends rolled around. I liked turning the airconditioner on and I liked dreaming of my future. Then I started living my future and realized I liked dreaming about it better.

From Lilledeshan Bose <>
to M*** P*** <mp****>
date Sun, Apr 5, 2009 at 10:13 AM
subject ReMIX: my poim

A Death in the MP Braintrust, Co.

A thief bites his upper lip
Trying to melt in the shadows
while delivering a night stand decorated with 72 red roses
into the funeral parlor where I lie.

It’s a guerilla mission,
dropped onto his lap by my fearful lover,
one who knows that big gestures, no matter how phony,
will eventually get told as myth
by someone who will worry
about the need
for love and loss.

The thief’s next mission
will be bigger, grander.
Ghosts will watch
as he scales walls, zipline furiously across buildings and trees
Miss windows for chimneys, tunnels and air vents
Sneak in love letters of forgiveness on stationary;
Jewelry encrusted slippers from China;
A magician capable of making a casket
(with a body in it) disappear.

If I were alive, I would applaud:
the thief tiptoes
across pools of Manila scenesters
Fake Prada bags housing yeyo and half-roaches,
fiddling with their iPhones, texting their drivers to pick them up.

Unseen, he passes sycophants and third cousins,
who’ve all come to pay their respects
to a woman they barely knew,
and only remember in vague terms:
lipad, hardcore, writer.

But I am cold and dead. And the blooms,
dysmenorrhea-red and heavily scented,
are delivered unnoticed by no one,
not even ghosts.

On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 1:04 PM, M*** P*** <mp****> wrote:

to the chairman of my brain trust,

thief in shadows
drop guerilla
big fear
someone tell
no need worry
next wall
missed window
alive, still

For our 58th fight, we holed up in the library in your grandmother’s house.

I forget what the fight was about — American politics, drugs, an ex-boyfriend — but the end result was this: you refused to let me talk you out of your bad mood, so I, impatient and pissed, decided to leave.

As I let myself out the door you handed me an umbrella.

Rain, you said. Wait for it to stop.

Three things happened when I walked away: my blouse got wet, my shorts dripped, and my sandals flooded.

But I forged on, past the block of drug addicts, the empty lot where that 10-year-old was raped. I was not scared.

I am only brave enough for little things. Death never quite scared me; not airplane crashes or snake venom. A knife to my back, bare hands on my neck, threatening whispers in my ear — that’s stuff newspapers and movies are made of.

But you embryo me in sleep, sweaty like a day before the rain. My body curves to yours.

It changes me, this love. I start to fear earthquakes, the same way I do car accidents and other women. I start looking for scars on your back. I want to stay at home and say nothing to strangers I meet, because they understand nothing.

I curl up inside your stomach, even while I bang my head against your chest repeatedly. I am a coward in fights. I am just brave enough to walk Manila’s flooded streets, just brave enough to look back, to see you there.

Moonlight over Milwaukee River
(apologies to Easy Fagela)

Moonlight over Milwaukee River

Negotiating the last call for alcohol past 2 a.m.,
Post-drunken ramblings in a bar in Riverwest
I take your hand, tucked into a jacket, through a walkway
Of latent shrubs and marked up fences
Until we face an opening above the city,
A full moon cracking the skyline open like an egg.
Buildings short and long, stopping and starting
in streets that begin and end on Water.
In this hour, only cars and headlights are moving
Drunks are falling down evenly on their beds
Drug dealers thumping out fading beats as
Police cars patrol the streets into an illusion of safety.
If we could get into your car and drive west to the ocean
Morning would find us welcomed by freeways to Santa Monica
The sun beating down bright onto our faces
While we wiggle our toes into the heat of the sand
All to the tune of a pop-punk cliche.
Maybe if I tell you all this you’d come with me.
A truck pushes inches of snow to the side of the road.
There are mountains of white to clamber over
One might lead another to Los Angeles.