Una oda enojada al epani

Warning: this won’t Google Translate

En un momento del pasao
Antiguo, olvidao
Pue necesario sin embargo
Era yo un little boy
Y fue entonce que aprendí
El epani

El epani
Que yo epí toavía
Aunque sin dejarlo
Hacerse poesía

Y poqué?
Poqué lo econdo?
Poqué una mente tan liberada
Casi buca olvidarlo?

Internalized something-ism?
Será que odio Nueva Yor
O lo boricua
O mi mimo?
Lo dudo

Ma probable que tenga miedo;
Que me asuta la pregunta
Donde aprendiste el español?
Poqué no se trata del epañol
Ni del catellano
Ete e el epani

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Que mis palabras te alcancen

Que mis palabras te alcancen,
Versos o escritos u orados.
Y si palabras no basten,
Mando algo pa’ acompañarlos:

También echo sentimientos
Al río que te los lleve.
Que fluyan con el espero
De algún día conocerte.

No sé si podrás leer
Mis sentimientos mojados,
Pues ojalá que te den
El contorno de mis llantos.

Y si con esa emisión
Todavía no hayas visto
La verdad de nuestro amor,
Habría que repetirlo.

Hasta que al fin nos veamos
Sin máscaras ni vergüenzas:
Fuertes, frágiles, humanos,
Llenos de amor y paciencia.

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Kien?

Kien flugis la malnova “nova sento”?
Mi ne ĝin sentas nun; ĉu ĝi elflugis?
La mondon militantan ĝi ĉu vidis,
kaj, ĉi tion vidinta, malpretendis?

Eble ankoraŭ flugas ĝi tra l’ mondo
Sed malrapide: ni atendi devas.
Aŭ esti devas ni ĝiaj flugiloj,
Ĝin flugigantaj ĝis ĝia sukceso.

Tiuj demandoj alian kunportas:
Ĉu esperantist’ esti eblas kiu ne esperas?

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Di nishtikeh megileh

God help us if we start to dream of Esther.

What Itzik warned us of is true today.
A savior’s bad enough, but one like this,
Who wins the day by–can I even say it?–
She’s pimped out by her uncle Mordechai!
Hey Mordkeleh, that’s not a thing we do.
You’re not a hero. This is not your story.

There’s something else that’s wrong with Esther, though,
And Moses too, long as we’re dissing saints:
What makes us think they would have fought for us?

Esther would have survived, her uncle too,
By being pals with King Ahashverosh.
Trusted advisers in his palace, just
The voice of reason Persia needs today.

No clever Haman would have harmed a hair
Upon their royally beloved heads.
And do you really think they would have risked
All that to save more Jews than just their friends?

So, barring miracles, let’s not pretend
Evil’s lieutenant might become a friend.

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Tsurikgeyn

What if we just went back? We could, you know.

I’m not really serious.

But, surely it’s our land as much as theirs.
We’ve been in Poland for about as long
as Magyars have in Hungary, and far more
than Russians in St Petersburg; that’s clear.

So why do we believe them when they say
that we’re the Wandering Race, like some lost dogs
who don’t know where our home is. Once, we knew!
We schlepped the golus, sure, but in one place
that we came home to sleep in every night.
That: that’s a home. Like it or not, it is.

And this Amerikeh, our golden land,
we’ve been here, what, a hundred twenty years?
Most of us less! And you think that’s a home?
That’s a vacation, by the standards of
a people who have lived as long as us.
Thousands of years, and you want me to care
about some century of growing roots?
Fuhgeddaboudit–find some other sap
to buy this bridge, this bullshit fairy tale.

What if we just went back? We really could.

Maybe I’m serious.

And anyway, di goldeneh medineh,
is it so great, once we can see its warts?
We came here fleeing Nazis; well guess what?
They have those here; apparently a lot.
Our grandparents were sold a bill of goods.

And yes, there are still racists there as well.
But when they come we’ll all know where we stand.
None of this fucking “are we white?” debate,
no trite remarks about Ivanka Trump,
we’ll just be who we are, and face them down.

And yes, of course we’ll fight for liberation,
not as the good white folks who understand
what those poor people must be going through,
but as a people fighting for ourselves,
with friends and allies all across the world
in freedom, solidarity, and love.

It won’t be quick; but wouldn’t it be lovely
to struggle without wondering where we fit?
To fight on our own turf? And one more thing:
we beat them once in Europe, don’t forget.
They’re scary, yeah, but Nazis also lost.
We’ll do it again, if our hands are forced.

What if we just went back? Maybe we should.

I’m kinda serious.

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A sonnet for Charlottesville

The ones who hate the most are full of fear.
They fight us when they think that we are weak;
for in our strength they don’t dare get too near
unless they’re sure we’ll turn the other cheek.

Deep in their guts they know this simple fact:
that there will never be enough white men
to overcome us when we choose to act.
No question that they’ll be outnumbered then.

So when we see them marching through our streets
we know their days of terror will not last.
The savage rhythm that their goosestep beats
will be forgotten when their reign has passed.

We hold our heads up high when they’re in town,
for one sweet day we’ll beat the bastards down.

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Martyrs

Note: I wrote this poem in Spanish four years ago, about events then happening in Colombia. Given the recent terrorist attack in Charlottesville it feels worth translating to English.

It’s six in the morning
and yesterday
two peasants died
in Ocaña and Tibú
and at that moment
they became comrades.

Is there a word
that lies more
than “martyr”?

Well there are no sincere words
to describe death
nor sufficient poetry
to see off a soul.

It’s six in the morning
and they won’t come back.

And I could say
that the world hasn’t ended
that the fight goes on
that they didn’t die in vain.

And although true, it would be a lie
because two worlds did end
and two fights will not go on
and every death in history
has been in vain.

Later,
the survivors
of yesterday
will search for peace
for light
for justice
for life.

But not now.

It’s six in the morning
and two men
just became
symbols.

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