Monday, August 22, 2016


To Vicente Manansala

who, made, this, work, of, art,
what, does, it, represent,
where, is, it, the, scene, we, see, that, is,
when, is, it, day, time, please,
why, is, it, abstract,
this, is, your, painting, isn’t, it,
how, do, you, paint, from,
orange, yellow, red,
green, blue, black,
white, yellow orange,
yellow green, blue green, from,
irregular, elliptical, prodigal,
brushstrokes, going, this, way,
that, way, every, which, way,
circles, inside, circles,
floating, half-moons,
overlapping, polygons,
broken, glass, so, many,
bits, and, pieces, of, it,
something, you, see,
but, we, do, not, see,
what, do, you, see, anyway,
wheels, roofs, pedestrians,
smoke, dust, grime,
traffic, air, pollution,
now, we, see, what, you, see,
yes, or, do, we, really, no,

Originally published in The Galway Review (February 15, 2016)

Jeepneys (1951) by Vicente Manansala


  1. Images of works of art are posted on this website according to principles of fair use, specifically, they are posted for the purposes of information, education, and especially, contemplation.


  2. “Jeepneys” is an ekphrastic poem about Vicente Manansala’s 1951 modernist painting by the same title. In this poem I pay tribute to the modernist style of Jose Garcia Villa’s “comma poems.” This style I consider to be a suitable idiom for conveying Manansala’s cubist painting style.


  3. Vicente Silva Manansala, posthumously awarded the honor of National Artist of the Philippines in the Visual Arts - Painting, passed away on August 22, 1981.