In Memory Of Ernesto…

At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.

– Ernesto Che Guevara

40 years? Really? I am amazed at how the time flies. I was sitting with friends when the news came. I felt the breath go out of me when I heard. I was 16 years old, and the fall was coming on, while it was spring in Bolivia…
There had been much talk over the summer about the effort going on by Che and his band. Friends that I had who were part of what would later become the Venceremos Brigade were preparing to go to Cuba for the harvest. I had been invited to go earlier in the year with another volunteer group with other goals.
‘CIA’ everyone agreed they had hunted him down. Whether true or not, it was a fact that afternoon.
We all sat back, thinking our thoughts. We were silent for a very long time. It was not the best of days. Finally, I rolled a number, went out and watched the sun set over the Pacific sitting on the rocks overlooking the surf. The night descended in all its beauty, and the stars came out overhead.
Here is to you Ernesto, may your writings and your spirit survive.
Search Order

by Raúl Rivero
What are these gentlemen looking for

in my house?
What is this officer doing

reading the sheet of paper

on which I’ve written

the words “ambition,” “lightness,” and “brittle”?
What hint of conspiracy

speaks to him from the photo without a dedication

of my father in a guayabera (black tie)

in the fields of the National Capitol?
How does he interpret my certificates of divorce?
Where will his techniques of harassment lead him

when he reads the ten-line poems

and discovers the war wounds

of my great-grandfather?
Eight policemen

are examining the texts and drawings of my daughters,

and are infiltrating themselves into my emotional networks

and want to know where little Andrea sleeps

and what does her asthma have to do

with my carpets.
They want the code of a message from Zucu

in the upper part

of a cryptic text (here a light triumphal smile

of the comrade):

“Castles with music box. I won’t let the boy

hang out with the boogeyman. Jennie.”
A specialist in aporia came,

a literary critic with the rank of interim corporal

who examined at the point of a gun

the hills of poetry books.
Eight policemen

in my house

with a search order,

a clean operation,

a full victory

for the vanguard of the proletariat

who confiscated my Consul typewriter,

one hundred forty-two blank pages

and a sad and personal heap of papers

—the most perishable of the perishable

from this summer.

Quotes from Ernesto….
We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.- Ernesto Che Guevara
Hasta la victoria siempè! (Until victory always — Struggle until victory forever!) – Ernesto Che Guevara
If you tremble indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine. – Ernesto Che Guevara
Words that do not match deeds are unimportant. – Ernesto Che Guevara
Cruel leaders are replaced only to have new leaders turn cruel! – Ernesto Che Guevara
I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a man. – Ernesto Che Guevara (just before he was shot and murdered)


The Dictators

by Pablo Neruda
An odor has remained among the sugarcane:

a mixture of blood and body, a penetrating

petal that brings nausea.

Between the coconut palms the graves are full

of ruined bones, of speechless death-rattles.

The delicate dictator is talking

with top hats, gold braid, and collars.

The tiny palace gleams like a watch

and the rapid laughs with gloves on

cross the corridors at times

and join the dead voices

and the blue mouths freshly buried.

The weeping cannot be seen, like a plant

whose seeds fall endlessly on the earth,

whose large blind leaves grow even without light.

Hatred has grown scale on scale,

blow on blow, in the ghastly water of the swamp,

with a snout full of ooze and silence

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