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Nick Carbo - Running Amok

In the slums of Tondo, people dwell
in shacks of cardboard, bits of bamboo,
corrugated metal, and a few cement blocks.

They come from all the provinces--
a farmerís son from Cagayan,
a coal miner from Bulacan,

a field hand from the banana plantations
of Davao. They come to Manila
for work, for better pay.

The highest incidence of men
running amok is in Tondo,
or at least, thatís what the local tabloids

have for headlines every week. Amok in Tondo
kills seven! Police shoot him to death!
During the Filipino-American War

from 1900 to 1902, the Colt .45 pistol
was refined to kill crazed
Moro fighters who ran amok

and would not stop attacking
with rabid animal urgency
when shot with bullets of lesser caliber.

The superstitious old women in Tondo say
that no rice, no shoes, and no work
breed beetles and violence.

They say that small black beetles
can lay eggs in a manís ear,
and this is what makes a man run. 

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Added: Apr 21 2005 | Viewed: 3941 times | Comments and analysis of Running Amok by Nick Carbo Comments (9)

Running Amok - Comments and Information

Poet: Nick Carbo
Poem: Running Amok
Poem of the Day: Jul 4 2005

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