Online Journal 2: Analysis of Carlos Piocos’ Poem.

Gaia Mauricio
3 min readOct 15, 2020

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Upon finishing the poem, the first thing that came to me is the concept of internal conflict and intrusive thoughts of the speaker or persona in the poem. The words seem extremely intimate and somewhat like inner thoughts, so it led me to believe that the poem is the persona’s thoughts themselves. I think it is an inner monologue. The poem being structured as a letter without a specific addressee, just using generic letter format phrases, implies it can be addressed to anyone, or even no one. It made me think of how these personal thoughts are more than just one instance, and are a shared feeling many people have had, no matter how specific the feeling is.

There is no explicit form given to the persona, but it is heavily implied that this entity can create. It can write and feel and think. It seems to imply, to me, that these words are abstract thoughts, not tangible images and forms that are being referred to. The poem invokes a sense of conflict within the self, as if it isn’t telling a story with a main character to follow or refer to, but rather it is some kind of outlet for the persona’s thinking and feeling in a stream consciousness.

The way that the poem is titled, “Mga Pangkaraniwang Lungkot,” seems to try and instill a familiarity to the reader, as if to say that these things are ordinary, not abnormal. It struck me as somewhat of an attempt of giving, or asking for, a sense of accompaniment. The same feeling was evoked by the way that this poem was structured around generic letter formats, not addressed to a single person, but applicable to any person or reader.

The way that the images are sequenced also implied some sort of duality. The first examples given for the title are images of gloomy clouds, wilting plants, solemn churches. These elements are ingrained to Filipino culture and draw in the reader into a sense of connection or relation rather than alienation. It gradually draws more inward, into more intimate thoughts, that are not considered normal to be publicized. The thoughts and feelings of pleasure and decadence that are often saved for closed doors and the comfort of privacy and being alone with the self only. At this point, the poem starts to introduce what I felt were a representation of intrusive thoughts. The persona calls onto the sadness and strife that plague the world outside of the self. Cemeteries full of loss and grief, histories full of struggle and injustice, all the sorrow of the world larger than the self. It acknowledges that this is overwhelming and the persona lists down the thoughts of turning away as an option, that indulging in matters purely of self-benefit and pleasure are objectively the more comfortable option, but it comes with the guilt that builds up like dirt that can barely be showered away. These issues that are so large often seem out of our control yet involve us regardless because to some extent, they do. This mix of obligation and helplessness do not feel comfortable nor pleasurable and incites the inner conflict that the persona’s thoughts are now comprised of. The poem then ends almost mechanically, just finishing the letter format. It is as if to say that this is a practiced motion, like the only thing persona’s thoughts from becoming too intrusive is anchoring them back to the letter format, to the readers.

It felt like the purpose of this poem could be recurring and continues to not be accomplished. I think the poem is some way of release in search of closure. The internal conflict that is presented in the poem is universal, but not formulaically solvable. The fact that it is universal, however, explains why this is an open letter even if it is such an intimate topic. There is a possibility of company and support in lieu of a permanent solution. As a reader, the objective of closure is what I think of as the purpose of the words themselves and this is purposefully not accomplished to show how futile it can be to reconcile with something that is naturally a conflicting duality in the first place. From a more outside perspective though, the objective of the writer was to provide a sense of intimate company to those experiencing the same turmoil, which was accomplished in my opinion.

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Gaia Mauricio

i’m just gonna use this to keep animating gifs for my pfp pls look away