Azkal Ghazal

The pedigree of Honey
Does not concern the Bee,
Nor lineage of Ecstasy….
~ Emily Dickinson

Askal: Tagalog, asong-kalye (street dog).

Azkal: stylized from Tagalog askal. A member of the Philippines national football team.

Have you ever been told that good bearing and manners will take you
where a lack of money can’t? The issue being, as always, pedigree.

In a short story by a Filipino writer in English, it’s wartime. But the lady of the house sizzles wet
rags on hot fry pan, so neighbors will hear and not think they’ve come down too much. Pedigree.

At Kate and William’s wedding, admit it— we were all voyeurs. Red carpet, velvet ropes,
but oh pedestrian gawking. Pippa’s derrière, Fergie’s daughters’ hats: what pedigree?

McDonald’s now styles itself a WiFi café: smoothies, frappes, laid over Big Macs
and the same dollar burger menu. Can’t blame ’em for trying to refurbish their pedigree.

“Nobody’s children,” writes the British poet laureate of rioting mobs in Birmingham. If yours
was one of those who “just happened” to filch an iPhone, would you be so quick to disavow pedigree?

Branch of dead cherry under darkening sky: you’d think it too a throwaway. But the downy
woodpecker gleaning breakfast there knows taste and need consider different pedigrees.

The Russian piano teacher demonstrates the opening bars of Tchaikovsky’s “Morning
Prayer” to her ten year old pupil. Music haloes the room, forgives, anoints us with its pedigree.

On the national putbol team, I’m sure there’s at least a couple of stories: orphaned at birth,
used to live in the sticks; then soared like slumdog pigskin through the air to say, Fuck pedigree.

Excuse my French. Now and again I forget what the nuns taught us of deportment. Do you ever feel
like you want to run in the streets and howl? Sometimes, Maria, I really couldn’t care less about pedigree.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

One Reply to “Azkal Ghazal”

  1. Peedigree, then? (sic) Street dogs, slum dogs, dingos. They run through alleys, howl, growl—true to their nature. No nurture. Then comes an exported “deporte” among the colonizers called “futbol”; the brown man improvises and calls it “putbol”. In English, “football”. Perchance, the Spaniard’s game will give the Filipino “indio” his “pedigree”, yet still be free to call himself “azkal” (“asong kalye”, stray dog, street dog—stylized by his penchant to improvise). Now, that’s pedigree. Like a sports scholarship through Ivy League schools? Now, Luisa Maria, the nuns will make the sign + and invoke forgiveness for the expletive whose origin is not really known, not French anyway. (:—P)

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