Thomas Leonard Shaw is a student at the University of the Philippines Diliman where he has spent the last three years learning and unlearning about the world and himself. Once a Creative Writing student and Palanca Foundation scholar, Thomas now majors in Comparative Literature, and studies what it means to be a writer and critic in this global age of cultural and artistic production. With a research interest in memory studies and the intersections between literature and nation formation, he hopes to one day teach literature and to help organize the first writing workshop in Siargao.
Not recognizing the nightmare of university life, he now finds himself in perpetual transit between the island of Siargao and the urban metropolis of Metro Manila. Knowing the intricacies and difficulties of arrival and departure, he always arrives at the airport three hours before his flight.
A Question of Memory
Where I'm From
I live in silence
(bedroom walls are painted with white noise,
a garden and its flowers imagine freedom behind fences,
our school traps itself in the limbo of enrollment,
hospitals accept no patients only bodies and bedsheets)
I am silent
(they talk of a place for people who forbid themselves,
bodies of water where for bodies drowning becomes escape,
where we tear into these covers petal by petal,
unravelling the naked flesh of tropical mangos)
I am silenced
(these lips are an extension of an imprisoned cosmos,
imagine a star imploding once gazed by the moon,
tides drying up when hearing of the dinghy and its catch,
there is no turning back when all movement is inward)
Home is just another way
to say silence. I know
I am home.