Oh wow. I’m actually keeping my word and blogging this bad boy lol. Anyway this is page 2 & 3. I’m not sure if I should just stick to a page spread or shoot them individually so you can see the detail and read it better. Though I am including in the post what the actual words are. Hmm. Let me know how you’d like to see them.
The 2nd page (on the left) is my ode to the Artichoke Pizza from uhh Artichoke Basille Pizza lol. It’s from the East Village location. I think I took this in November. And it’s been that long since I had that luscious, divine slice. It’s so rich and creamy and *homer drool* Here’s the poem:
When I’m in New York City, I want you.
And when I’m not in your area, I still
You’re decadent and rich in flavor.
You ooze with a cheese that melts my
Your first name belies good for you,
But your last name proves how hearty,
sinful, and badass you truly are.
How can I resist you?
You have such luscious heft that it
takes two paper plates to hold you
You may even be too much for one
But darling, never me.
So come inside my mouth
…is it sad that the last two lines are the most sexually explicit in the entire sketchbook and it’s meant for pizza? But artichoke pizza can’t do you wrong. Okay maybe it’ll make you gain weight but that’s really the only downside, while boys will make you gain black eyes, stress headaches, scars, trust issues, anxiety, temper tantrums, self defense classes, restraining orders, back aches, jumpiness, death threats, patriarchy bullshit, low self-esteem, salty cheeks, hangovers, submission, PTSD, jealousy, hair fall out, emotional fall out, lost friends, pepper spray, clenched eyes, empty pockets, isolation, blackmail, deceit, sweet nothings, broken promises, and it only goes downhill from there.
Yeah i went overboard but I got a lil angst in me right now. Soz. Whoops I forgot angst in that list, write that down.
But yes, I love this pizza so much and I’m due for another, hopefully soon. This love runs purer than any affection I’ve held for… any guy really lol. Lust complicates things, jealousy and pettiness as well. But my adoration for artichoke pizza? That runs deep and true.
As for the 3rd page on the right, here’s what it says:
I barely know you, but you’re everywhere in my home. On the screens, on paper, the telephone lines, on the lips of those I love. But you’re in the way, all I hear are tones and volume.
I can’t differ between “You are the world to me” and “The salmon was on sale today.” I can’t tell if my parents are arguing or if it’s how they show their love for each other. I can’t tell if I am Filipino or if my surname is a lie.
What’s the point of knowing “mahal kita” (I love you) if I can’t tell him why he’s so beautiful or ask why I couldn’t be her? What’s the point of being in love when I can’t detect the sarcasm in his voice, fight with all my heart, or explain why he has to stay. I don’t know how to tell him how it’s more than our bodies that are intertwined. How my ache runs deeper than the rivers flowing on the ocean floor. How I want to see those streams with only him.
But I don’t know how to express any of this to him: the fervency of my love, the immense worth of his smile, how the world belongs to us.
Even if it’s stilted and awkward, I want my words in your tongue, just so he knows how much I want to understand him. How much I want to be understood by him. Let us not be enemies, we can work this out. Help me show him how much he means to me. Help me keep my parents close to me. Salamat (Thank you)
So I’m Filipina-American, the eldest daughter of two immigrants from the Philippines. My full name is Eileen Ramos and I don’t speak the main language of my homeland, Tagalog, or my parents’ dialect, Ilocano. They speak it all the time to each other, only speaking in English with one another that ONE time my dad was dictating to her a letter for insurance I think. So I don’t know what they’re talking about it, only a few words and when they throw in some English in their conversation. It’s frustrating and isolating, but I’m used to it. I try not to let it get to me, but here it is in print.
As for the guy, he doesn’t exist. Most Filipinos can speak English as it’s taught there and the US did colonize them not that long ago. So there really wouldn’t be such an issue between us, but there will always be cultural differences and language nuances we won’t get from one another. References each of us won’t understand or notice. Slang that will completely go over our heads, especially jokes. So many small and substantial gestures, glances, words, pauses, silences, and more will go beyond our understanding and escape our notice. It’s hard enough to comprehend, as woman to man, or vice versa, even human being to fellow being, but the addition of any kind of language barrier feels disheartening and discouraging.
But this is just conjecture. I never had any sort of romance with someone whose first language wasn’t English. Though it would be romantic: you’re in love with someone you don’t fully understand, but you just admire their essence, their being. You learn to understand each other in new found, innovative ways. You get creative with how you express your love, ideas, your wonder of them, with them. You pay closer attention to how they act, move, the way their eyes and mouth looks, probably more than you ever will with anyone else. You want to understand each other’s cultures, values, upbringing, and language, therefore expanding your worldview, especially of yourself.
Anyway, you have to flip the prose piece up to see what’s beneath:
This is ripped out page from, as mentioned above, New Tagalog-English, English-Tagalog Dictionary by Maria Odulio De Guzman. I love how so many of these words apply to relationships and how we deal with each other, like walang hiya or untagin or uyamin or wagas. Obviously, you can’t make out the cover cuz I’m straight up awful with my instant camera so I took a photo of the front:
It’s so beaten up and ragged but I love it. It’s straight from the Philippines and was made in 1968. I bought it from a Friends of the Library used books sale at my local library. What a find. I’m using it as ephemera for collaging and journaling like above. I’m sure I can do some awesome erasure poetry with it. I’m gettin excited at the possibilities lol.
I’d like to one day learn tagalog or ilocano and write a poem in either language. To have a real conversation with my parents or at least, understand what they’re saying. It’ll make me feel more authentic and real, truer to myself, and as if I have a real motherland in the Philippines.
Wouldn’t that be something? To not feel like a tourist in the country your parents hail from.