Looking to harvest what makes him happy.
The AA meetings have thrown
him into iconoclastic jousts with Titans
and Gorgons with glowing snake eyes
and leather pants. This is life
without the Filipino bottle,
without the star fruit boogie,
without the “bomba” films. He wears black
Dr. Martens boots because slippers
would expose his “provinciano” feet
to the snow. He wants to ride
the back of a caribou and bolt
up Madison Avenue screaming
like Tandang Sora or shout
“hala-bira! hala-bira! hala-bira!”
like his Isneg cousins in Aklan.
“Ay, susmaryosep!” Such bad behavior
from the “true male” of Filipino
advertising. He looks at his reflection
on a book store window, notices
that his hair has grown shoulder-length
like Tonto in the Lone Ranger
he would watch on TV. He turns to the right,
his profile now looks like the young Bruce Lee
as Kato in the Green Hornet. Yes,
he realizes it will always be the face
of a supporting character. Rejected
from the Absolut Vodka magazine ads,
he decides to change his name
for an upcoming afternoon audition
for a Preparation H commercial – “Al Moranas”,
American but with a Filipino flare.
Purely narrative. Not so impressing. Is this what makes a real man? A far cry from the Rolando Carbonell poems of long ago…more passionate, more appealing, more stirring!