Wednesday, December 24, 2014

CAROLING IN A NEW CENTURY





‘Tis the Season
of candles
and trash fires

 war
in the Holy Lands
  
 nostrums
from rostrums

And there's nothing to be done
but to look for shelter

Nothing to be done
but to ask for money
for something to eat

Nothing to be done

but

Praise God with the harp 
 sing to Him with the psaltery 

as


wolves rise from their sleep 

and

shepherds watch their sheep.





Friday, December 19, 2014

WHERE'S FIDEL?


                                      DONDE ESTÁ FIDEL

Where is Fidel?
                   el Commandante
                   el Caballo

¿Dónde está Fidel?

Fidel esta muerto.

No!

El esta mirando el mar

He is watching the sea

Yes, Fidel is watching the sea…


January 1959

I was thirteen
when the Beards
entered Havana.

I saw it on TV.

Then
in February
on a Friday night
the whole family
gathered around the tube
to watch “history being made.”

Fidel
live - en vivo -
and in person
with his long hair and beard
in a silk bathrobe
smoking a cigar
in a suite in Micky Hilton's hotel

The Revolution was being televised

and it was some kind of slumber party
with a fuck you edge

I fell in love.

The next week
I bought a fatigue cap,
and a rubber cigar

and entered Erie
Pennsylvania
on my bicycle.

My friends were unimpressed.

My parents were not amused.

My uncle said, “All free-thinkers ought to be shot.”

The Revolution started shooting free-thinkers

And where was Fidel

¿ y Dónde estaba Fidel?

Fidel estaba en las sombras

Si, in the shadows
at the Stadium

watching

Fidel estaba en las sombras.

Fidel…?

April 1959

Fidel in Harlem

Plucking chickens at the Shelburne

The Revolution as BBQ
The Marx Brothers Revolution

Desplumando pollos

Communism with a comic mask

I was taken in again.

Until time
and the Revolution
started falling over themselves

The Missile Crisis
The Special Period
Prisoners of Conscience

Hugs and kisses in Moscow

Poets in jail
Queers in jail

And what about Che?

¿…Che…?

Handsome Che
Holy Che
El Christo Che

confusing love and death

in Africa, and Brazil

Che
gone
and buried

in speeches

and the Revolution
buried
in speeches

Hours and hours of speeches

Anniversaries and speeches

Decades of speeches

An era of speeches

A half-century of speeches

Impossible to love speeches
and impossible to love Fidel

Viejo Fidel.

And, finally, Fidel collapsed,

choking on speeches.

Fidel estrangulaba en discursos.

But Fidel does not die

no –

Fidel nunca morirá

because Fidel is in the shadows

watching the sea.

Yes,

Fidel

esta mirando

el mar.