Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

martes, agosto 21, 2007

Homenaje a Cancun

Cancun, despite whatever anybody may have told you, is a literary destination after all. It has fewer bookstores per capita than even Las Vegas. But to its credit, there is a Mayan guy who wanders up and down the beach with a sandwich board. It says, "Beer 20 pesos, Used books 15 pesos, Villanelles 30 pesos, Sestinas 30 pesos." Is this some kind of joke, I wonder. Evidently not. I spent a grand total of US$6.50. I got a very cold Superior beer with a slice of lime, a used copy of Roberto Bolano's Night in Chile, and a sestina. The sestina was unusual and somewhat disappointing. It was mostly words in Mayan but rounded itself out by having the rhymes in Spanish. I was impressed. Others might not be. But seriously, what kind of sestina can you get anywhere else for US$3.00? Or more bluntly, how many rhymes can you get for US$3.00, forget about what language they might be in.

In his novel, Diana, which is not his best work by a long shot, Carlos Fuentes complains about the quality of paper in Mexico. It's cheap, but the pen goes through the page, and the pages disintegrate in the humidity. The pages don't smell good either. OK. He won the Cervantes prize so he knows about this. And he's Mexican. Fine. So I needed a notebook on June 7, 2007. In Super Mar Caribe, my favorite small mini mart, I found one. It is perfect. It has squares on every page and on the cover a picture of Tweety Bird kicking a soccer ball and the logo of the Mexican Football Team. It's about the run up to the 2006 World Cup, and it says, "Nos vamos al mundial!!" It was US$2.50. It says in small print on the back that it was made in Chile. There are dozens more of these on the shelf. There are enough to give every single writer in Quintana Roo a chance. A chance to wander the beaches of Cancun selling beer and haikus, fruit juice and essays, ice cream and used books.

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domingo, agosto 19, 2007

An Offering To Chac And Kukulkan

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketChac

Chac is the ancient Maya god of rain and lightning. He is usually depicted with a serpentine axe (lightning) in his hand. His body is scaled and reptilian. He is worshipped at sacred wells and cenotes. He is in charge of life giving rain needed for agriculture. At the dawn of time Chac split apart a sacred stone with his axe, from which sprung the first ear of maize. When he is not in the clouds, he is near falling waters.

The Temple of Kukulkan, Tulum

Kukulkan is the feathered serpent and represents both the Earth's wish to ascend to the sky and sky's descending to Earth. Through Kukulkan chaos becomes order. Kukulkan represents the merging of opposites. The Kukulkan temple in the photo is 10 minutes from my house and is directly in the path of the storm.

As I post this, the map of Hurricane Dean seems to have announced its scheduled arrival through the front doors of my house in Quintana Roo some time on Tuesday. We have already taken whatever precautions we can to preserve property and people. Those who can leave are leaving. The government has evacuated nearby areas, including Isla Holbox. This is what the computer models are saying:

This is not a picture I like to contemplate.

Quintana Roo and the island of Cozumel off the coast are originally Mayan, though there are now many resorts and gringos in the area. Many people will choose not to leave, and others will not be able leave for the interior. Those of us who are now out of the area, as I am, will not return until after the storm has passed. Others will leave on last minute flights or will drive into the interior toward the west.

And so right now a petition, a propitiatory prayer seems especially in order, an offering to Chac, who controls the rain, and Kukulkan, who creates order from chaos, for the safety of all people in Quintana Roo, and especially all of those in Bahia Soliman and Tulum and Playa del Carmen:

May Chac and Kukulkan exercise restraint. May all be safe. May all find shelter. May destruction be averted. May peace prevail. May the rains be moderate. May the wind be temperate. May divine tranquility be preserved. Let it be so!

A Special HT to MM for the suggestion.

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sábado, agosto 18, 2007

Arrgh!! I Missed This Blog's Two Year Anniversary!!

I don't believe it. I started writing The Dream Antilles blog in August, 2005. There are 168 posts before this one.

I have now officially missed the 2nd Anniversary of the beginning of this Blog, which was at the start of August. To no one's surprise or eternal consternation, there will not be a celebration, cyber or analog, either of this unimportant milestone or of my forgetting it.

And to you, dear readers, my sincere thanks for visiting and continuing to read The Dream Antilles. The best is yet to come.

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viernes, agosto 17, 2007

Some Perspective, Please

cross posted from dailyKos

Habit is an amazing blocker of perception. It keeps thoughts within particular, constantly used, familiar channels. An example. Think for a second, if you will about what a map of the world looks like. Do you think in mercator projection? In your map, which you probably saw in classrooms, Greenland and England are enormous. And then there's this:
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There is, of course, no scientific reason why Europe and America should be at the top and Africa and South America should be at the bottom. But if we want to understand how ingrained in our thinking American exceptionalism is, the "upside down" map is a good place to begin.

There are historical reasons for perceptions. There are habitual reasons. There are artificial reasons. Sometimes we don't even recognize when our thinking is stuck in the habitual channel. The channel I'm thinking about at the moment is the belief that the US is the center of the world, that the planet revolves around the US, and that, therefore, the US is special, the US is , well, exceptional. Special.

One of the habitual thoughts most US citizens dwell on is that the rest of this hemisphere doesn't really exist, that it's essentially unimportant to us even though it is so very close to us. It is there for the US to exploit, but it is not of the same value as the US. It is somehow less, somehow not as vital, somehow not as important.

US citizens, for example, know about the destruction brought to the US by Hurricane Katrina. But fewer of us noticed that Hurricane Wilma destroyed Cancun, and even fewer of us noticed that unlike New Orleans immediate repairs to Cancun was a top priority of the government. While New Orleans still suffers, as far as I can tell Cancun has been fully repaired and, as they say, "Cancun esta de pie."

Which brings me to the present hurricane season, which has begun too soon. Tropical Storm Erin flooded Texas. We paid attention to that storm, of course, because it landed in Texas. We thought whatever thoughts we thought about how increased hurricane activity is related to global warming, and how that means that more damage might be done in the US. We thought that Erin seemed to be hitting early in the season, and maybe that meant there would be more hurricane activity this year than last year and more damage to the US.

But what of those storms that probably won't hit the continental United States, storms like Hurricane Dean, which is thrashing around in the Caribbean at this very moment? If a hurricane comes ashore in a country that is not the US, is it still a hurricane? If a tree falls in the forest, and no one...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hurricane Dean, which could strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane over the next two days, pounded the eastern Caribbean islands of Martinique and Dominica as it churned into the Caribbean Sea.

And next week Dean will likely enter the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the region's oil and natural gas facilities, which account for roughly a third of U.S. oil production, the National Hurricane Center predicted.

Overnight Dean strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane, with winds near 100 miles per hour

According to Reuters, it's too early to know where Dean will come ashore.
But Weatherunderground has this very disquieting map:

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And this map looks to put Dean on a track like Hurricane Wilma, which destroyed Cancun two years ago. Maybe you can remember Wilma:

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I remember it very well. And I remember the reconstruction and what some felt was the death of the tourist industry in Quintana Roo, Mexico. But this isn't about me, or hurricanes, or Quintana Roo. Or my house in Bahia Soliman, Tulum, Municipal. Solidaridad, Quintana Roo. It's about our thinking.

Wouldn't it be amazing if when we looked at the storm map of Hurricane Dean we could recognize the connections we have with the rest of this hemisphere? Wouldn't it be remarkable if instead of looking immediately for the border between the US and Mexico, something that might disconnect us from the storm, we could perceive our connectedness? Wouldn't it be amazing if it didn't really matter to us in which country Dean was going to land? And isn't this the very shift we have to begin to make in our thinking if we want to get to the roots of American exceptionalism and dig them up?

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miércoles, agosto 08, 2007

Don't Mourn, Organize! Part 3

cross posted at dailyKos
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Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)

This is Clarence Darrow, an important American lawyer, a leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union, an agnostic, and the lawyer who defended John Scopes in the Tennessee Monkey Trial in 1925, in which he was opposed William Jennings Bryan.

Why am I telling you these century old stories of American radicals? Why now? It's simple. There is something in this story, as there was in my previous diary about Big Bill Haywood and Joe Hill and yesterday's diary about Eugene V. Debs, to inspire us to move beyond our present despair and frustration, something to give us courage. This history, the history of the American left from a century ago, is worth remembering, especially now. I should add that though I might continue the series at a later date, this will be the last diary for now.

I take particular pride in the fact that like me Darrow attended the University of Michigan Law School, and like me, he was unalterably opposed to the death penalty. In fact, throughout his career, Darrow devoted himself to opposing the death penalty, which he felt to be in conflict with humanitarian progress. In more than 100 cases, Darrow only lost one murder case in Chicago. He became renowned for moving juries and even judges to tears with his eloquence. He had a keen intellect often hidden by his rumpled, unassuming appearance. But I want to focus not on death penalty abolition but on his 1925 confrontation with the fundamentalism of the day.

In 1925, Darrow defended John Scopes in the famous "Monkey Trial." You will notice in the trial many of the themes presently repeated by the Christian, fundamentalist right. What you won't notice is that Dayton, Tennessee, in far northeastern Tennessee is about as far now in 2007 from the bastions of metropolitan, secular humanism as one can travel, but that in 1925, it must have seemed to Darrow to be the absolute end of the world, the 1925 equivalent of the reddest of red states.

The Scopes Trial of 1925 pitted against each other William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow in a case that tested a law passed on March 13, 1925, which forbade the teaching, in any state-funded educational establishment in Tennessee "any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals." This has often been interpreted as meaning that the law forbade the teaching of any aspect of the theory of evolution; however, the Butler Act forbade public school teachers in Tennessee from denying the literal, biblical account of man’s origin and forbade teaching in its place the evolution of man from lower animals. For what it was worth, t statute did not prohibit the teaching of evolution of any other species of plant or animal.

During the trial, Darrow requested that Bryan be called to the stand as an expert witness on the Bible. This was quite an unorthodox maneuver. Over the other prosecutor's objection, Bryan agreed. Bryan took the stand and began fanning himself; there was no air conditioning in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. Many believe that the following exchange caused the trial to turn against Bryan and for Darrow. Personally, I find it an inspiring, remarkably courageous, and very pointed confrontation of fundamentalist beliefs:

"You have given considerable study to the Bible, haven't you, Mr. Bryan?"

"Yes, sir; I have tried to ... But, of course, I have studied it more as I have become older than when I was a boy."

"Do you claim then that everything in the Bible should be literally interpreted?"

"I believe that everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there; some of the Bible is given illustratively. For instance: "Ye are the salt of the earth." I would not insist that man was actually salt, or that he had flesh of salt, but it is used in the sense of salt as saving God's people."

Darrow's questions were designed to savage a literal interpretation of the Bible. Bryan was asked about a whale swallowing Jonah, Joshua making the sun stand still, Noah and the great flood, the temptation of Adam in the garden of Eden, and the creation according to Genesis. After initially contending that "Everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there," Bryan finally conceded that the words of the Bible should not always be taken literally.

In response to Darrow's relentless questions about whether the six days of creation, as described in Genesis, were twenty-four hour days, Bryan testified, "My impression is that they were periods." Bryan, who began his testimony calmly, stumbled badly under Darrow's persistent prodding. At one point the exasperated Bryan stated, "I do not think about things I don't think about." Darrow responded, "Do you think about the things you do think about?" Bryan responded, to the derisive laughter of spectators, "Well, sometimes."

Both lawyers became sharper and more angry as the examination continued. Bryan accused Darrow of attempting to "slur at the Bible." But he asserted he would continue to answer Darrow's impertinent questions anyway because "I want the world to know that this man, who does not believe in God, is trying to use a court in Tennessee--." Darrow interrupted, "I object to your statement" and to "your fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes."

Eventually, Judge Raulston cut the questioning short, and on the following morning ordered that the whole session (which in any case the jury had not witnessed) be expunged from the record, ruling that the testimony had no bearing on whether Scopes was guilty of teaching evolution. Scopes was found guilty and ordered to pay the minimum fine of $100.

The confrontation between Bryan and Darrow was reported by the press as a defeat for Bryan. His performance was described as that of "a pitiable, punch drunk warrior." The press in 1925 was not exactly the media of today.

Six days after the trial, William Jennings Bryan remained in Dayton. After eating an enormous dinner, he died in his sleep. Clarence Darrow was hiking in the Smoky Mountains when word of Bryan's death reached him. When reporters suggested to him that Bryan died of a broken heart, Darrow responded, "Broken heart nothing; he died of a busted belly."

A year later, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Dayton court on a technicality. According to the court, the fine should have been set by the jury, not the judge. Rather than send the case back for further action, however, the Tennessee Supreme Court dismissed the case. The court commented, "Nothing is to be gained by prolonging the life of this bizarre case."

I have tried cases in hostile courthouses in Tennessee and Mississippi, and I am aware of the stress these venues carry, how they are capable of disrupting and undermining even the most carefully planned defense. Because of that, I marvel at the Monkey Trial. Darrow's confrontation of Bryan, even though it was stricken from the record, was so relentless, direct, so grounded, so strong that it turned the tables and made the argument forbidding the teaching of human evolution utterly untenable.

I am filled with admiration and awe for the personal courage it must have taken to bring this off questioning in Dayton. And I'm inspired by Darrow's courage and the skill.

I can imagine that there might be objections to the wider applicability of this story I am telling. You'd be entirely correct to argue that Clarence Darrow was a radical and that he was unique. The world, you might argue, is different now. And the courts and juries are different now, too. Darrow was an declared agnostic, a strong civil libertarian. He defended numerous well known murder cases. He was an outspoken death penalty abolitionist. He was on the left flank of American politics at the turn of the century. And he was one who inspired radical changes in America at the turn of the last century. The objections are that surely, after a century, the same tactics, holding a strong position no matter what, standing up strongly for what is right, just cannot work. To the contrary, my argument is simple: it can. And, in fact, not holding a strong position leads to dilution, disillusionment, despair, and ultimately oppression.

I find enormous inspiration in Darrow. For inspiration in 2007, now, when we so sorely need it, I suggest we continue to look at those on the far, left flank a century ago. That's where the fire is. That's where the inspiration is. And that's where the good changes to our society have always, always come from, from the radical left.

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Don't Mourn, Organize! Part 2

cross posted from dailyKos
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Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926)

This is Eugene V Debs, a founder of the Industrial Workers of the World an the five-time Socialist Party of America candidate for president. Debs ran in each race from 1900 to 1920. In 1920 he ran even though he was then in federal prison in Atlanta.

Why am I telling you this century old story of an American radical? Why now? It's simple. There is something in this story, as there was in my diary yesterday, to inspire us to move beyond our present despair and frustration, something to give us courage. This history, the history of the American left from a century ago, is worth remembering, especially now.

On June 16, 1918, Debs made a speech in Canton, Ohio in opposition to World War I and was arrested under the Espionage Act of 1917. He was convicted, sentenced to serve ten years in prison and disenfranchised for life.

Debs made his best-remembered statement at his sentencing hearing:
Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

What a statement! How un-nuanced. How clear. And, sadly, how unlike most modern political speeches. This shouldn't be a surprise. At the beginning of the last century there were no sound bites, no TV, no focus groups, no polling, no illusions about policy, no triangulation. Debs knew his enemy for what it was, and he wanted to lift up his allies. He received 6% of the presidential vote in 1912, but it was inconceivable that he'd change his positions to increase his total by a single vote. The election for him wasn't about winning the presidency. It was about being a strong, unfailing, and consistent voice for the interests of working people. As Debs said,
I'd rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don't want, and get it.

He was an incredibly forceful, inspiring, exciting speaker. He inspired the best parts of his audience's hearts, he spoke directly to their idealism. In his eulogy for Debs, for example, Heywood Broun said,
That old man with the burning eyes actually believes that there can be such a thing as the brotherhood of man. And that's not the funniest part of it. As long as he's around I believe it myself.

Debs, however, wasn't entirely comfortable with being a leader. He told and audience in Utah in 1910
I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition.

I can imagine that there might be objections to this story I am telling. You'd be entirely correct to argue that Eugene Debs was a radical. He was a Socialist and not a Democrat. He was a Wobblie. Some would argue he was an anarchist and a twice convicted criminal. He was on the left flank of American politics at the turn of the century. And he was one who inspired radical changes in America at the turn of the last century. The objections are that surely, after a century, the same tactic, holding a strong ideological position no matter what, just cannot work. My argument is simple: it can. And, in fact, not holding a strong position leads to dilution, disillusionment, despair, and ultimately oppression. We, like Debs, need to prefer losing a vote than winning something we don't want.

I find enormous inspiration in Debs. For inspiration in 2007, now, when we so sorely need it, I suggest we look again at those on the far, left flank a century ago. That's where the fire is. That's where the inspiration is. And that's where the good changes to our society have always, always come from, from the radical left.

Debs, I think, understood this. That's why he said
When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.

We need to find that kind of courage in ourselves and we need it to inspire our politics.

Don't Mourn, Organize! Part 1

cross posted from dailyKos
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Joe Hill (1879-1915)

Joe Hill, radical songwriter, labor activist, and Wobblie (member of the Industrial Workers of the World), was executed for murder in Utah in 1915 after an extremely controversial trial. Just before his execution, according to Howard Zinn, he wrote to Big Bill Haywood, "Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize." That's right. He wrote, "Don't mourn, organize!"

Why am I telling you this century old story of American labor radicals? Why now? It's simple. There is something in these stories to inspire us to move beyond theoretical, electoral politics, beyond despair and frustration, and to consider again engaging in direct action to change our society.

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Big Bill Haywood (1868-1928)

Big Bill Haywood, to whom Hill wrote, was a founder of the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) and also a Wobblie. He was an advocate for industrial as opposed to craft unionism, for organizing unions without regard to the ethnicity of the workers, and most important, he was an advocate for direct action as opposed to political action. As this Wiki explains
Haywood favored direct action. The socialist philosophy — which WFM supporter the Rev. Fr. Thomas J. Hagerty called "slowcialism" — did not seem hard-nosed enough for Haywood's labor instincts. After the Boise murder trial, he had come to believe,

It is to the ignominy of the Socialist Party and the Socialist Labor Party that they have so seldom joined forces with the I.W.W. in these desperate political struggles.

While Haywood continued to champion direct action, he advocated the political action favored by the socialists as just one more mechanism for change, and only when it seemed relevant. At an October 1913 meeting of the Socialist Party, Haywood stated:

I advocate the industrial ballot alone when I address the workers in the textile industries of the East where a great majority are foreigners without political representation. But when I speak to American workingmen in the West I advocate both the industrial and the political ballot.

The "industrial ballot" referred to the methods (strikes, slowdowns, etc.) of the IWW.

Joe Hill and Big Bill lived a century ago. Together they tell us, "Don't mourn, organize! Use direct action to confront evil and to make changes. Use the "industrial ballot." They don't suggest that change can occur using solely political action and electoral politics. Over a hundred years ago they used confrontational, direct action tactics to fight to bring miners the 8-hour day.

How exactly did the state react to all this? As you would expect, very badly. In fact, this part of the story, the repressive, violent, illegal, unconstitutional part, will sound eerily familiar to you:
In the WFM's 1903-05 struggle in Colorado, with martial law once again in force, two declarations uttered by the National Guard and recorded for posterity further clarified the relationship of the mine operator's enforcement army — provided courtesy of the Colorado governor — to the workers. When union attorneys asked the courts to free illegally imprisoned strikers, Adjutant General Sherman Bell declared, "Habeas corpus be damned, we'll give 'em post mortems." Reminded of the Constitution, one of Bell's junior officers declared coolly, "To hell with the Constitution. We're not going by the Constitution."

General Bell had been the manager of one of the coal mines in Cripple Creek where the strike was taking place. It wasn't any surprise to Haywood that soldiers seemed to be working in the interests of the employers; he had seen that situation before. But when the Colorado legislature acknowledged the complaints of organized labor and passed an eight hour law, the Colorado supreme court declared it unconstitutional. So the WFM took the issue to the voters, and 72 percent of the state's voters approved the referendum. But the Cololorado government ignored the results of the referendum.

To members of the WFM, it became clear that government favored the companies, and only direct action by organized workers could secure the eight hour day for themselves. When miners in Idaho Springs and Telluride decided to strike for the eight hour day, they were rounded up at gunpoint by vigilante groups and expelled from their communities. Warrants were issued for the arrest of the law-breaking vigilantes, but they were not acted upon.

Haywood complained that John D. Rockefeller was "wielding more power with his golf sticks than could the people of Colorado with their ballots."

This should not be a surprise. The state responded illegally. Habeas corpus was abrogated. Statutes were ignored and declared unconstitutional by stooge courts. Elections were ignored. Corporate power superseded basic democratic rights. Repression and state violence ruled.

I can imagine that there might be objections to this story I am telling. You'd be entirely correct to argue that Big Bill Haywood and Joe Hill were radicals. They were Socialists. They were Wobblies. Some would argue they were anarchists and criminals. They were the left flank in 1905. They were what inspired radical changes in America at the turn of the last century. The objections are that surely, after a century, the same tactics cannot work. My argument is simple: they can.

For inspiration in 2007, when we so sorely need it, I suggest we look again at those on the far, left flank a century ago. That's where the fire is. That's where the inspiration is. And that's where the change in our society has always, always come from, from the radical left. And that change has always been fostered by a willingness to engage in direct action in conjunction with electoral politics.

This, too, shouldn't be a surprise. Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King recognized the importance and validity of direct action as a tactic in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail:
You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

And so, in light of the past 6 years and the horrendous list of illegal, unconstitutional acts by the Government, a list that I will not bother to recount here, I think it's time for us to reconsider the role that direct action can now play in restoring America to its most Democratic, humane, and decent principles.

I want to urge us through the Iraq Moratorium Day on 9/21/07 and on any other occasion that comes along to consider direct action to restore the American Democracy. If recent events have shown us anything, we cannot rely on electoral politics alone to safeguard our important rights.

martes, agosto 07, 2007

To The Three People Who Read This Blog:

I am really curious about who you. I'm really curious about who reads The Dream Antilles. Are there really three of you now?

Of course, there's a survey about this:

Please take my Blog Reader Project survey.

Please take the survey!

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viernes, agosto 03, 2007

Machu Picchu, Part 4

Alturas de Machu Picchu, by Pablo Neruda

Sube a nacer conmigo, hermano.
Dame la mano desde la profunda
zona de tu dolor diseminado.
No volverás del fondo de las rocas.
No volverás del tiempo subterráneo.
No volverá tu voz endurecida.
No volverán tus ojos taladrados.
Mírame desde el fondo de la tierra,
labrador, tejedor, pastor callado:
domador de guanacos tutelares:
albañil del andamio desafiado:
aguador de las lagrimas andinas:
joyero de los dedos machacados:
agricultor temblando en la semilla:
alfarero en tu greda derramado:
traed a la copa de esta nueva vida
vuestros viejos dolores enterrados.
Mostradme vuestra sangre y vuestro surco,
decidme: aquí fui castigado,

porque la joya no brilló o la tierra
no entregó a tiempo la piedra o el grano:
señaladme la piedra en que caísteis
y la madera en que os crucificaron,
encendedme los viejos pedernales,
las viejas lámparas, los látigos pegados
a través de los siglos en las llagas
y las hachas de brillo ensangrentado.
Yo vengo a hablar por vuestra boca muerta.
A través de la tierra juntad todos
los silenciosos labios derramados
y desde el fondo habladme toda esta larga noche
como si yo estuviera con vosotros anclado,
contadme todo, cadena a cadena,
eslabón a eslabón, y paso a paso,
afilad los cuchillos que guardasteis,
ponedlos en mi pecho y en mi mano,
como un río de rayos amarillos,
como un río de tigres enterrados,
y dejadme llorar, horas, días, años,
edades ciegas, siglos estelares.

Dadme el silencio, el agua, la esperanza.

Dadme la lucha, el hierro, los volcanes.

Apegadme los cuerpos como imanes.
Acudid a mis venas y a mi boca,

Hablad por mis palabras y mi sangre.

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