CB Mako: Telefono

Mr Bear reading CB Mako’s ‘Telefono’

Comadre,    my    beloved   iho    has    an    ugly    new
girlfriend.    Que    horror!       Her     nose     so   pango,
her   skin   so   itim,      so    dark!     Why     didn’t     he
pick                someone          mestiza              like       us?
And    she    is    so    short!    Pandak    and   mataba! I 
have        had        prettier      katulongs       than      her.
Hadn’t    we    already       matched      my      son      to
your   daughter,    Miya?    With      our         American
and    Spanish        bloodlines       our      future       apo
would   be    beautiful,      so    puro!   Ay,   Diyos   mio,
what     should     I    do?     They    will     have      ugly
babies.     My    apos     will    be        ugly!      I need  to
pray       a       novena     to      Nuestra      Señora      De
Guadalupe.      Please       say       a      rosary   for   your
handsome       godson.      The                     impertinent
maldita,    punyeta.        I’ve     got     to    go,  comadre.
The    block    rosary      Blessed    Virgin     Mary       is
here.           We          have             guests              coming.


Glossary

Apos – grandchildren
Ay Diyos Mio – Oh my God
Block Rosary – The Block Rosary is a devotion wherein animage or statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary visits the home of each family for aweek or so. It encourages the family to pray the Rosary everyday not only fortheir own intentions but for the intentions of the whole community.
Comadre – son’s godmother
Iho – Son/Male child
Itim – Black
Katulongs – domestic helpers
Maldita – a woman with attitude, as opposed to the stereotypically modest Filipina who’s always thinking of others ahead of herself. Possible translations in English: snob, aloof, cruel, sharp-tongued, rude, mean, bitchy,self-centered
Mataba – fat
Mestiza – female of mixed native and foreign descent.
Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe – Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary associated with a venerated image enshrined within the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City
Pandak – short in stature
Pango – a flat nose
Punyeta – profanity expressed in anger, borrowed from the Spanish word puñeta or ‘wank’
Que Horror – How awful


CB Mako is a West Writers Group member and a perpetual art student at Footscray Community Arts Centre. CB Mako has performed as an artist and panellist at the Emerging Writers Festival, Digital Writers Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, and Melbourne Writers Festival. Winner of the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition (non-fiction), CB Mako has been published in The Suburban Review, The Lifted Brow, The Victorian Writer, Pencilled In, Peril Magazine, Mascara Literary Review, Writers Victoria, Writers Bloc, Djed Press, and Wild Tongue Zine. She is @cubbieberry on Twitter and @cb.mako on Instagram.  Her website is https://mercurialmum.wordpress.com

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