Matangmanok. Chicken-eyes.

Matangmanok literally means chicken-eyes.

Chickens — those creatures that often end up in KFC buckets or whose claws and day-old offspring are served as delicacies in some cultures — have eyes that are more used to seeing in daylight than in darkness. They struggle to make out the shape of things when there is little light.

The free ones scratch the ground for the possibility of finding something to peck at, some sustenance. They also look up at the sky every now and then to watch out for predators that could swoop down on their kind at any moment. They seem forever nervous, sensing the world around them with eyes that rarely stay still.

And then there are the caged chickens whose lives have been reduced to being fed in the smallest space possible, for human consumption. Human economic practices are often vicious on other species. Chickens that are stuffed in communal cages for their eggs have beaks cut off to keep them from venting their frustrated instincts on one another. Their eggs plop on metal surfaces, rolling away onto a conveyor belt for efficient packaging. These chickens have an existence that are good only while they can keep on supplying a targeted number of eggs. Otherwise they end up meeting the fate of other non-laying chickens.

Of course there are other cases, the in-between freedom and the chopping block.

I digress. This is my first blog and already it has taken on a different direction from what I had intended.

I meant to say welcome to this little realm. I might wander into strange territories and you, dear reader, are most welcome to wander along.

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About matangmanok

Jim Pascual Agustin writes and translates poetry. Sometimes he tries his hand at essays and stories. In 2011 the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House in Manila released BAHA-BAHAGDANG KARUPUKAN (poems in Filipino) and ALIEN TO ANY SKIN (poems in English). The same publisher released his most recent poetry collections SOUND BEFORE WATER and KALMOT NG PUSA SA TAGILIRAN. In 2015 a new poetry collection in English, A THOUSAND EYES was released. His first collection of short stories in Filipino, SANGA SA BASANG LUPA, was released in 2016. UK publisher The Onslaught Press launches his latest poetry collection, WINGS OF SMOKE, worldwide in February 2017. View all posts by matangmanok

12 responses to “Matangmanok. Chicken-eyes.

  • mbotta

    Hi Sufjan,

    Welcome to the blogosphere! Curious as to what direction you will take this.

    mbotta

  • matangmanok

    mbotta,

    Thanks for visiting this page. I cannot say where this will go, but the journey has just started.

  • Michael Raymond

    Sufjan, yes, I agree; welcome to the blogosphere! I think I will be a frequent visitor.

    – jmr

    • matangmanok

      Michael, thank you. I see you have me as Sufjan in your comment. I am wondering if I should use my real name here instead. I suppose if I can get those old book titles of mine reprinted I could start promoting myself as me — yikes did i just say that? Self-promotion, the last word (two, actually!) of the last motivational speaker standing.

  • Michael Raymond

    Now that is funny!

    Whether you use your real name or not, I think you do need to put a name of some sort here so that other people will know how to address you when they comment.

    • matangmanok

      Michael,

      Yeah, I should go with Jim here. Welcome to Jim’s little cave. Mind the low rock ceiling as you crawl in.

      Jim

  • ecko

    Jim,

    You have been busy! I like that you went and did this. It’s easier to build your own cyber-home than to fit into a crowded house 🙂 I will stop by to give your pieces a read when I’m done unpacking 🙂 Just wanted to stop by and say hello.

    ecko.

    • matangmanok

      Hello John Ecko,

      Sorry it took a while to reply to this.

      That crowded house has got more nasty monsters now – I was told not to mention matangmanok there because that would count as self-promotion. Asses.

      Jim

  • Secretlee

    JIMMMMMMMM

    GROSSS!!!

    I so hope your journey takes you as far away from caged chickens as possible… maybe one day the practice will be universally outlawed. We can but hope.

    “There is no try. There is do, or not do. No try.” ~Yoda.

    Keep smiling,

    Secretlee

    • matangmanok

      Secretlee,

      Gross? I could tell you about my sister’s first and last day working at a slaughterhouse for chickens.

      Thanks again for your grand tour of matangmanok.

      Jim

  • redroom10

    Hi Jim…love your chicken eyes…puts my Hello world to shame haha..hope you are enjoying your blogging experience still..mine has only just begun but I hope it carries on as long as yours at least!
    Keep up the good work 🙂

    • matangmanok

      Hello Andy… (Jim runs into memory bank looking for corresponding records of different Andys he knows…still looking…). Thank you for finding this old entry on chicken-eyes. 🙂 Good luck with your blog!

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