Harzi

Philippines

Always shocked when people actually remember her name •
Fascinated by neuroscience •
Plays a few musical instruments •
Loves windy days (and nights) •
Maybe a cat •
17

Message from Writer

"How strange it is to be anything at all."
- Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

Published Work

Food Writing Competition 2021

Us In A Bowl

So much can be said from one’s platter. It can tell if the person to whom it belongs cannot go any further, or if they hunger for more. If they are going to take the risk and add that garlic chili oil in their bowl. It reveals their origin and health, and a part of their personality, even their dreams.

”Don’t you think that would be too salty?” a friend would ask every time one of us would pour too much soy sauce, or patis (fish sauce) in our lugaw (rice gruel). We crowd what is approximately a one-meter rectangular table, two at each longer sides and one at the heads, sitting in long, backless stools. 

Just a few minutes down the cul-de-sac at the side of the public elementary school we go to, a resident has set up an array of tables and stools in the expanse of their front yard. A booming business, it serves hot Arroz caldo...

Friendship Tweet

High Heels Off

Girl - livin' the moment. Girl - we're here, we're here.  Girl - what's out of sight is in the mind. Girl - beneath gold-dripping stratus clouds. Girl - what a la-la-la life.

Sun, and A Touch Of Solipsism

At times, I feel like there are angels in my skin.

Beneath it
On it
Gliding gracefully


I can feel them as I stand by the window, piano keys on my fingertips - 

Rejoicing
Anticipating
Resculpting me from outside in


At times, these angels feel like sunlight on early Sunday morning, shining a shade of distinct, tactile yellow.

Through space between matter
Cobwebs glistening silver in welcoming glory


My skin is filled with angels
Gliding gracefully.

The Drabble

A Wee Kangaroo Dream

We were hopping like kangaroos, on the roadside, trees and rice fields in our right- all green. We traveled by foot and cheerful hops; we are late. We arrived, only to wonder where we should be; perhaps the wrong glass door opened. We separated at the entrance, and I was left- everyoneeveryone here wore shirts unlike the color of mine.

We arrived late here, I thought, staring at the blue cartolina on the wall. Wenmenlyn already has 23 points, while others' were blank; Patrick might have exited through the glass door. We must have arrived late. Where were we headed? 

An Everlasting Chorus

Warm up to this new entity

That is me.

Oh,  how everything's golden.

Creative Nonfiction Competition 2020

A Paper's Weight

The first time I heard about the crash I was sitting in a frail, green plastic chair, neck and lower extremities stiff, wrist straining from the hours of affair with my laptop. My eyes, too, were feeling sandpapery. But I couldn’t care less; I have a deadline to live out on that very same day.

“Look.” Sharmaine turned her phone towards me and showed a rather recent post on Facebook.
“What’s that?” I asked, squinting, partly because the screen seemed too bright, and partly because there is no scene I can make out of the images she’s showing.

“A truck of Marcela toppled near… Dimiao, I think? Driver’s dead.” She scrolled down and revealed another photo. This time, one that clears out any confusion I had. “The load might have been too heavy. What a waste.”

“When did it happen?” I asked as I zoomed in the photos.

“Just an hour ago.”

“Oh, tragic,” I said, because all at once...

"My Heart is Like"

Newly Star

I know what my heart is like
This clockwork morning:

It is like a curl of smoke
Crowning the feral embers
From when it danced the night before –
Rococo swirls blending with my breath,
Rising, rising, rising.



Inspired by Edna St. Vincent Millay's 7-line poem, “Ebb,” from which also the first line is borrowed.

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Skyborne Darlings

“Please, Elena.” He clasped the motorcycle handlebar on one hand, the pale girl on the other. “We’re almost there, just… please.”

Elena stared at her father’s frazzled face–a first. Her eyelids are anchoring, the trail steep, but he couldn’t be more vivid. 

“I’m…”

She smiled, limbs weakly embracing him. “I know.”

The breeze froze their gazes. The vehicle wobbled; the tires screeched–Elena suddenly felt feathery. 

He couldn’t decide what to hold first, and ended up losing both. And as Elena’s body kissed the pavement, she wondered where her mother might be. 

The sky answered by catching her.

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Skyborne Darlings

"Finally! Just you and I, Elena." Her father flicked the motorcycle handlebar again and snickered. "You and I."

Elena felt her heart thump. She begged Mother not to trust him anymore. But now, here he is, taking her away. Probably forever.

"No," she whispered, releasing her grip from his torso. She willed herself to fall, feeling feathery, until her skull kissed the pavement. Spine snapping.

Then it's just her -- frock ragged, body paralyzed in the asphalt. Yet celebrating.

Elena closed her eyes and waited for her mother to kiss her goodnight, wondering if the sky would do it instead.

Oh, the drama

There is not enough word play
to euphemize my hamartias.
I have mixed my brain
with my dirty clothes;
I hope whoever does the laundry
takes care of that putrid
piece of tissue
(something I have never done).

I should’ve thrown my tongue
in that dump-basket, too;
maybe detergent would do 
better than toothpaste and mouthwash
in cleansing the traces of indignity
from my contaminated gums.
Because the glass may be crystal
but the drink is bane;
I feel my throat burn,
And my taste buds revolt.
Too bad I haven’t bitten my tongue
hard enough to unyoke it 
from my mouth.
(I need to brush my teeth now.)

And I feel lightheaded,
the world’s a blur,
my palate tastes vile.

What’s with all the drama?

Oh, yes, I remember.

There is not enough water from the shower
to drench away the obloquies
settling on my epidermis.
I used exfoliants
to eradicate my dead skin cells,
but these chemicals
also...

People as Nature

Bitter Melons Have Cherries

Harvest time. 
      Of all the vegetables Mama cultivated in our garden, one medium-size bitter melon was left unharvested. I don’t know why; all the others were gathered. And it just hung in its vine – alone, untouched and disregarded – for approximately one and a half week. Then I decided to pick it out and put it in a fruit basket, but I think it was still as lonely if not more so. And I forgot about it again.
      One day, my brother noticed its wrinkly surface transforming into a bright shade of yellow, almost like a ripe mango’s. Of course, it’s obviously ripening, I told him. In only a matter of hours after that encounter, the bitter melon’s head started to open up like a flower budding. I was initially perplexed, and so I asked my brother if he, in any way, touched the vegetable, but he refuted.
      Thus,...

Writing Streak Challenge - Week 2

Challenge Completed

DAY 1 - Pitaya Kiss
Pitaya Kiss is the pinkish surprise embedded in an infant's bare heel, blood as newborn as wildflowers knocking on opaque baby flesh. It is innocence and dependence, a dryad awakening, draped in cologne-scented cotton cloth and wrapped in maternal embrace.

DAY 2 - Blitzenbark
Blitzenbark is the hue of the monochromatic mural painting left unfinished in a wall that's too rough for art. It shouts, and blazes with smoke that burn the bristles of a paint brush - all still with a beauty untouchable that flamed its painter's eyes.

DAY 3 - Ichordust
Ichordust is the stray immortality pirouetting in July's late afternoon cirrus clouds. It is the metamorphosis of a page, ever freeing and endless for a mortal's judgment - another youth uncontained. At a distance, you can see its glow but not what it's made.

DAY 4 - Blosslijtho
Blosslijthois the hue of midafternoon coffee and daytime dizziness stirred in a cup...

Ultra-fermion: Writing Streak Week 2 Day 5

Ultra-fermion is the color of wild rebellion imprinted in the slivered bones of those who spin and spin and spin in their own axis - reveling in their own momentum, functioning in assymetry, never stopping - even amidst the enmities, the exclusion, and the explosion of midnight fireworks fused with some stranger's acerbity. It is the color of a human body's substantial composition, with all the atoms doused in the moon's glaze, dripping from the chin and into the parquet as if waiting to be divine. And when whistles beat the cacophony of all these voices, when the enamel of teeth bites the morning at its neck - the butterflies would fly down the sap of a human body and would pollinate in the color of ultra-fermion.

Blosslijtho: Writing Streak Week 2 Day 4

Blosslijtho is the hue of mid-afternoon coffee and daytime dizziness stirred in a cup of endless daydreams. 
It is the color of everything you used to love, rotting in your desk, in your bed, 
in your heart
It is the dye that you see in your mother’s eyes when she asks you, “What’s wrong?” and the color of your tongue when you reply, “Nothing”.
Oh, darling, this color could use some advice – a sugared, sober advice.

Ichordust: Writing Streak Week 2 Day 3

Ichordust is the shade of stray immortality pirouetting in July's late afternoon cirrus clouds. It is the metamorphosis of a page, ever freeing and endless for a mortal's judgment - another youth uncontained. At a distance, you can see its glow but not what it's made.

Blitzenbark: Writing Streak Week 2 Day 2

Blitzenbark is the hue of the monochromatic mural painting left unfinished in a wall that's too rough for art. It shouts, and blazes with smoke that burn the bristles of a paint brush - all still with a beauty untouchable that flamed its painter's eyes.

Letter Writing Competition 2020

It's Showtime!

Director Bobet Vidanes
National Capital Reg., Philippines
July 2020


Dear Direk B.,

This letter being written (much more sent) to you is quite ambitious, but I think waking up with one of your happy pills being taken away and dragged by some deemed political controversy amounts to some determinism for thought expression by means of at least a letter.

I am pertaining to your noon-time show It’s Showtime. It has been months since I last saw the program aired in television and, I admit, my lunch schedules had never been the same ever since (not that I have much appointments). I know that the Congress’ refusal to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise impactfully punches the network’s free TV airing, stopping all its affiliated radio and TV broadcasts and programs. This, to my great dismay, includes It’s Showtime

Being a student, I only get to watch it during Saturdays – if I miraculously don’t have to be elsewhere for a group...

Pitaya Kiss: Writing Streak Week 2 Day 1

Pitaya Kiss is the pinkish surprise embedded in an infant's bare heel, with blood as newborn as wildflowers knocking on opaque baby flesh. It is innocence and dependence, a dryad awakening, draped in cologne-scented cotton cloth and wrapped in maternal embrace.

Letter Writing Competition 2020

It's Showtime!

Dir. Bobet Vidanes
National Capital Reg., Philippines
July 2020


Dear Direk B.,

This letter being written (much more sent) to you is quite ambitious, but I think waking up with one of your happy pills being taken away and dragged by some deemed political controversy amounts to some determinism for thought expression by means of at least a letter.

I am pertaining to your noon-time show It’s Showtime. It has been months since I last saw the program aired in television, and, I admit, my lunch schedules had never been the same ever since (not that I have much appointments). I know that the Congress’ refusal to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise impactfully punches the network’s free TV airing, stopping all its affiliated radio and TV broadcasts and programs. This, to my great dismay, includes It’s Showtime

Being a student, I only get to watch it during Saturdays – if I miraculously don’t have to be somewhere for a group...

Versus: The Apple, the Poet, and the Scientist

I should turn you, 
apple of my eye,
into a poem instead:

Gravity – a toxic lover,
pulling down all the things
he love and does not. 
You – a chaste fruit, 
branching from the finest roots,
glide towards him
despite his bluff promises.
See, you weren’t promised
to be caught 
where you aim to dive. 
And oh, how you fell
fell
f
     e
          l
               l.

(How was my fall?)
How was it?
Darling, such a mess it was:
how your very own descent
triggered another nascence
in the realm of physics.
How you proved that 
the Heart is, and will always be
a human’s center of mass,
the first to fall.
What a mess, I tell you.
And alack, I should have known – 
making poems for a zenith
as your worth
would be a thing never meant to outlast.

Therefore, I hereby conclude:
Scientists...

across the country road, i grieved, but not really

there are these flowering trees
along the sides of the country highways;
i never knew what they’re called, but 
their blossoms always signify my summer.
(well, what do i know?
every day here is of summer
as long as there’s sun.)
the sound of the irrigation canal
made me feel like i am living beside
an infinite river stream; my
neighbors’ caterwauls
are a resistance to oblivion.

oh, how it resembles my mind!

mama said the crimson-caped
trees that i
canonize during daylight are the
vestiges of the seared hill across our home.

i could’ve cried.

i thought they were the blossoms of my summer,
my awaited seasonal lover,
but, darling, no.

whatever.

i don’t believe mama when she said
they died,

because i think their fiery leaves are the photographed 
flames of all forest fires.
and i smile; they’re burnt but they’re alive.

oh, i breathed, very much like my mind.

This I Believe

What do you call this... thing?

Names are only for recognition - for those we want to engrave in our free, ivory souls as we ourselves try to figure out who we are.

These words - names - are pretty superficial, made for human incredulity and bias. And I believe that part of what's important in life is to be able to recognize people, places - anything - maybe even emotions, by how it whirls inside us and how it affects the tint of color we choose to view the world. I think we'll be fine by without the names and sobriquet, as long as we take every particle in the cosmos by its core and our hearts.

I call this thing feeling

My December Competition 2019

December's Comet Flame

When it was my mother texting and calling me repeatedly in the middle of the class, I could think of nothing else but my mistakes from the past second and back to the past years of my existence. What have I done this time? No. Maybe she called to have me run some difficult errands? I don't know, but why call me several times in class? 

What makes it more agitating is that I missed all those calls, and believe me when I say that it is one of the antsiest things you'll ever undergo as a child. Perhaps, that made Mama Ne, my mother, decide to text me instead. She texted at sharp noon; I haven't read her message 'til after my last afternoon class on five o'clock. 

The instance I did, my last three days of November felt like November's first days: Halloween-y; no treats and just tricks; the all-souls-day variety.

Now, I woke up at the second...

Earth Day Writing Competition 2019

The Earth and Us: Sentience and Beyond

PROMPT THREE:
SAVING OURSELVES ( CREATIVE NONFICTION)



          I've always wondered why our plants are wilting. Me and my mother have been watering it everyday. A great faction of the food our family eats is from our little garden. I voiced out my frustration once and my mother, while watering sedulously,  answered in a tired tone that it was climate change and global warming. My mind flew to when nights became freezing cold and the days grilling hot, and how it used to be perfectly balanced.

          Change is the only constant thing in this world. I thought of that irony one chilly night as I watch the television with my family. A local news program was showing slides of a splendid sunset in a bay. The sun was setting yet it seems like the waters don't want it to so they were collecting little fires from the sun and paste...