Eat My Tanaga, You Bastard!

When I hurt, I write. Friends who haven’t been seduced by writing (yet) often ask, “How can you write anything while you are in pain?” And just as often, I respond, “How can you keep yourself from writing your defiance into agony’s bullying face?” Fine! So, I don’t really say that to them, but I think it. Because it’s true. When I hurt, I shove my words into pain’s throat. Then, I laugh like a maniac. And while pain is baffled by the uncanniness of my behavior, I shriek, “Eat my Tanaga, you bastard!” All right already, this is my first Tanaga battle cry. But all the rest is true. When I hurt, pain eats my words. No compromise.


Say hello to my little Tanaga:

Hot hurts my words won’t whither,
reigned pain can make ink sweeter—
stories kiss torture better
and poems dull the bitter.



the wee notes…
Tanaga: Filipino poem (7-7-7-7 syllabic verse, with an aaaa rhyme scheme).
– yes, the title made me giggle. Giggles, too, make good weapons in the battle against pain. It has been scientifically proven (by my flesh and bones and me).
– linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

49 thoughts on “Eat My Tanaga, You Bastard!

  1. Wonderful wordplay, Magaly! I wouldn’t want to be the one you’re hot under the collar at. Poems (words) can help the pain. I have a lot of physical pain but mental is the kind that cuts to the bone. Hugs!

  2. Magaly..I have missed your realm!! your words feed/spark/nourish and ignite me like no other..this was potent and beautiful! You are a wild force of magic!
    I agree..when in pain..writing and creating in any way..just floods out, nothing can stop it!
    Have a magical night

  3. Hello, little Tanaga! It’s perfect, Magaly; I love the way the first two lines are full of hurting sounds and the final lines seem to breathe out the pain, especially ‘stories kiss’.

    • Thank you, Kim. I really like your interpretation, mostly because I think it’s true–pain is terrible, especially at first, but when we find a way to dull its edges, we can kiss the terrors better.

  4. some of the best writings, drawings, ideas and artwork come from those in pain.. At the time we may not see it except as a release or diversion but once the pain has subsided that’s when we go ‘aha!’

  5. I adore this, Magaly! And your spirit, as well. Usually I have a similar perspective and I know my writing is best when from the dark. Lately I have been struggling to put pen to paper, so I’m going to try to take your words as an admonition (in only good ways). xox

  6. How true your words Magaly – you little fighter you!
    It saddens me that you hurt so much at times, but you hide it well. I love coming here, your words, spirit, sense of fun and personality shine and bounce through and bring a smile to my face.
    Anna :o]

    • I never hide it. I dance with it, write with it, and when it gets all comfortable and starts thinking it can do what it wants with me, I jab a sharp word into its eye and make it scream until it lets go (or I’m laughing too hard at it to care… Yes, this sounds a bit mad to me, too, lol).

  7. I’ve observed over a long life that art seldom comes from comfort, from normalcy, from even bliss–poets aren’t made from happy people, artists find a vision best in the dark…that said, while I can’t be grateful for such things, I am grateful for the results, as here, and I hope they do indeed mitigate the worst of the pain, which to me is its ability to control us. This one spits defiance like Old Faithful. Well done, Magaly.

    • I’m starting to think of poetry as a beautiful screams that rips flesh and bone apart while teaching the soul to put the whole self back together. May we find the words we need for the task…

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