A Poem for Friday: “After Reading Aquinas”, by Asterio GutierrezPosted: April 21, 2011
In celebration of this special week*, our poem for (Good) Friday combines theology and basketball like only a Filipino poet can:
“After Reading Aquinas”, by Asterio Gutierrez
They say we fear what we do not understand
but it isn’t his Summa Theologica that scares me
so much as his six-foot-eight, 350-pound frame
that some say was just 8% body fat. The same
was said of Shaquille O’Neal and we all saw what he did
to every center who stood in his way of proving
he could win a championship. If we were to meet
in heaven I’d swear I’d understood him perfectly
but then again would God really save me
after I’d just compared St. Thomas to Shaq!
It has been said, succinctly and accurately, that Filipinos have lived “three hundred years in a convent, followed by fifty years in Hollywood.” The question now: Whither next?
(First published in the Philippines Graphic. You can find more literary work by Aste on his online archive. His latest short story, “The Big Man”, will be published in Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 6, and will be featured on this blog, shortly after the book comes out in June— look for it in your local bookstore!)
(*This year, Holy week also happens to be the NBA playoffs opening week. Special, indeed!)