Wednesday, June 21, 2006

These days, world peace is a good book, a nice film, a few drinks, and watching Ravi Shankar and George Harrison performing in a benefit concert for Bangladesh—that was also the year my mom delivered her only bugoy, 6.5 lbs. with a big head and invariably exaggerated ears, at a Chinese hospital. Some book says Ravi composed scores for Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s movies and that Nora Jones is the sitar player’s daughter. The other Nora Jones that I know sells the best 3 p.m. empanada.

These days, when they’re pouring forth P1B for a two-year anti-insurgency offensive, I turn for comfort to a nice song by John Lennon called “Watching the Wheels.” “Well, I tell them I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall…” the song goes. Each time I hear some friends doing well, I listen to, “I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go ‘round and ‘round/I really love to watch them roll…”

I rarely even stay in one place for a long time. I just drop by the waffle stand, head home and grab a book. “Don’t you miss the bigtime, boy?” sang John Lennon. Then I strum the guitar, “No longer ridin’ on the merry-go-round…” Some friends holler for a drink, and I trust the wind for wisdom. I pick up the newspaper, and say someday I’m gonna have to figure out what P70 mean to a poor lad. I’d probably need some time to read Jurgen Habermaas and figure out a philosophy behind children killing each other over money.

Just the same, I hang on for any hint of humor from the two bugoys on these pages: Frank M. and Pablo John G. I also wait for my friends’ pieces here. The others, well, I find them funny in a rather perverted way. I’d love to teach media ethics someday, set up a dart tournament with real “smileys” on the board. School will be cool again.

Meanwhile, I’ll be watching the news again, they look pretty much like bicycle spokes, perpetually grinding on the rocky road called Philippine society. “I really love to watch them roll…” thus sang John Lennon.

And, oh, today? I’ll get a dose of Chin-Chin Gutierez speaking about “The Birthing of a New World.” Eat your hearts out, boys.


People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you're not happy now you no longer play the game

People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I'm doing fine watching shadows on the wall
Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them rollNo longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

Ah, people asking questions lost in confusion
Well I tell them there's no problem, only solutions
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I've lost my mind
I tell them there's no hurry
I'm just sitting here doing time I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-roundI just had to let it go
I just had to let it goI just had to let it go

Monday, June 05, 2006


Love my onion rings,
Love me. Here they come,
Those big thirty-year-old feelings.
The rain on the holiday, the meat ruined on the grill.

Put the beer in the freezer to bring it up to speed.
Turn the radio on. Come lie in the sun, warm
In the certainty no teen ever makes it out
Alive from a Shangri-La's song.

Listen, the killer's childhood friend
Says he's brought the amazing Florida shit.
Come midnight, our luck will be visibly changed.
We'll put the flame to the punk and the punk to the fuse —

I'll never have sex in this town again.
So tonight, I'm flaming. The hottest thing
Evolving on wheels, and I'll be crashing all your barbecues
On my way to the stars.

by Patricia Ferrell
Thirty Years War: Love Poems
2003 Paris Review Prize in Poetry