• POEMS BY DENNIS ANDREW S. AGUINALDO

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    Composing 10,000 characters
    I began the project while my family was trying to locate and establish contact with our cousins and their children at Palo, Leyte. Before 10,000 Characters, I had written a small poem “Karibal ng mga ibon” during the first days (Hindi gagana kung mga kurot lamang ng pandesal. / Bato, maliliit at kilalang bato, ang tutungo sa bundok // Na babasag sa hangin . . .). That was last week, when we had next to nothing specific about the conditions of people in the places hardest-hit by Yolanda.

    10,000 Characters began when the storm was exiting our “area of responsibility” and some drops of news came together and congealed into the 16-line poem “Unspecified” (Enter the person’s name or parts of the name // A thousand words cannot describe the sheer / on cardboard and torn-up paper plates,). At the time, I was trying out the Person Finder and other online ways of “looking for someone.”
    At the outset, the idea was to scavenge from downright from reports, instructions and prohibitions, wikis, ads, statements, search engines—perhaps I was looting, taking advantage from whatever was at hand. These were then trimmed and sorted (processes that various relief items had to undergo) into the 313-line “Characters (with spaces) 10,000” —a poem mostly in Filipino.
    10,000 Characters—originally titled “Characters (no spaces) 10,000”—was to repeat the same processes, likewise alphabetized (akin to lists of survivors, lists of missing, and lists of the dead), but this time in English.
    After arriving at the 371-line poem, I wished to derive simple, uniform packages from it. Some relief collections came with suggestions to simplify operations and save on time. For example, instead of just saying “bottles of water,” they asked for 1L bottles for easy and uniform distribution. Anticipating disarray, one UP system-wide effort promoted a 1+2+3+1 scheme for relief items, that is, 1 kilo of rice, 2 canned goods, 3 packs of instant noodles, and 1 liter of water. Accordingly, I cut the 10,000-character poem into packs of 10 or 17 lines.
    Yesterday, my sister fetched our cousins from the airport. She took photos of them, the children and their drawings. Then she posted them online. In the comments thread of one photo, I read sighs of relief, words of welcome, and someone was asking, if we knew the whereabouts A— or C—. If we had any word from or of them.

    A—A

    a community torn apart by
    a cause. But again, watch
    adrenaline, fatigue. Now is the time for singular
    affair with a bolder design language as the model
    against its mischievous results, and
    aggressive competition between females
    alone. One estimate suggested that
    a mosquito bite is tantamount to undermining
    and search-and-
    an embedded eye began
    an expanding and deepening central dense
    an IV drip above them
    approached its final
    areas. When drivers were unable to locate
    Articles containing potentially dated statements
    as cool, stable air began wrapping into
    a shift guarding the entrance to the XYZ.

    BIRTH—COME

    birth to a “miracle” girl in a typhoon-
    break I’ve ever encountered. It’s the sound of a culture’s
    broken her waters by the time the
    Bulletin. Retrieved November
    by the looters. “It’s
    calling events like these as natural
    casting a clearer light on
    cats sleep
    center for the alphabet-soup of functions in the new nine-
    Central on Justice
    children in one arm and grabbing on to the ceiling with the
    City
    City. (In the days after
    City. “The fastest way to
    clients are cancelling their Christmas
    closed and people living in low-
    come in,” he warned them

    DEBRIS—ENDS

    debris. A better idea is
    debris. Read more
    depression early the following day. After becoming
    depression. [6] [nb 2]Owing to
    Desks and tracing
    desperation. On Friday morning
    developing. Owing to the formation of an eye, the
    devices. Retained are standard items like the
    -dry mutter from the trenches: “Droll rat
    Disasters was activated, providing for widespread
    doubles as the control
    drawing attention to its chiseled and bulging
    economy of the hard-
    efforts, they are seldom in short
    electricity cannot take
    empty
    ends to the grieving

    LOST—MINUTE

    lost at sea”. The Standard
    Love” begins as an almost doggedly traditional
    machines. An upside down burger
    ‘Ma, just let go
    man’s land
    -man team to pre-position their
    mapping products, pre- and post-
    map out all severely affected
    marked by a thick accent coming in the form of
    Masters (November
    matching names. If you
    match with anybody in the list
    may vary when other facts are changed or
    meals directly to the hardest
    -meaning individuals who simply show up
    memoried.” We are lulled into thinking that the
    -minute sustained

    RAGGED—SAYING

    ragged, cloud-filled eye. In contrast to the
    Rapid weakening ensued as
    reasonable consequence of the course about to be pursued. If so
    record), you can run a background
    reeling after historic
    refrain from shipping mixed boxes of relief
    region deserve it. It is not your place
    relentless postings to
    remained on the island and rode out the
    rescue [source
    residents ignored the warning, they all survived
    restoring order. [84] [85] “The looting began
    -righteous, please. If you can’t help these
    said it was God’s will that he found his wife floating
    said: Restoration of
    Sandy. If you donate to a well-known
    saying, “it has got to weaken
    SHE—SO

    she had already given up,” the mother
    -shocked to hide, a standing target. The fragile
    shoes to New
    showered, lubed and ready for another round of mud and
    shut down after being
    sifting through trash that remained
    signal
    signals from the senses. The top-
    silence to everyone who experienced
    since. More than 10,000 people are believed
    slowed somewhat during the day, though
    small letters to passers-by and
    -smelling heaps of
    society, both who are working on the ground as we race
    so deeply in cloud tops as cold as [cold dark gray
    someone” and follow
    so responsibly. Spread the word

    YOLANDA—YOURSELF

    Yolanda,” as well as to augment post-
    Yolanda” by Filipino authorities – barrelled
    Yolanda’ gathers
    Yolanda has sent home
    Yolanda” here
    Yolanda. “In effect there is a de-facto
    Yolanda is the perfect singer for this
    Yolanda recovery:
    Yolanda smashes through central
    Yolanda terrifies young, old
    Yolanda, this
    “You could hear gunshots last night, with
    YOUNG. A man brings his lifeless
    you” message to
    young girl as villagers are
    your efforts
    yourself,” said the girl, whose body was pierced

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