Wednesday, October 8, 2008

To Be Herd And Not Scene

This has always been one of my favorite poems from a Filipino writer.

So who is Paolo Manalo? Here is the writer's profile from

"Can Afford" by Paulo Manalo

Be reachable.
As the narrative unfolded I was growing up too
Slow because I was caught up between
Crossing the street and staying
Home. My parents were strict.

Be quiet.

Common sense tells me there were erasures

Be reasonable.

This was when I discovered I was surrounded.
And things were (child-locked) tamper-proofed.
The world was sick--everything could be doctored.
"When I grow up I want to be a doctor."
Be visible.
Of course we want to be pleasing.
And there I was onstage because of the just
Because and the said so.
At such a young age, I knew what it meant
To be herd and not scene. There I was part of wave

Be consistent.

As I write this someone is looking
Over my shoulder. That certain wait.
I have used this before, to feign illness--
To cause delays in the telling
I would say, "Watch out for
White lies ahead."

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