poetryrepairs #199 v14.04:044
First one is the hardest
The Cuban Revolution begins in Bogota
Love's been good to me
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First one is the hardest
I don't like being a second class citizens. I learn about class. My only weapons my mind and the American Army issue Colt 45 my father gives me for city life, university in Havana. I study law, see revolutionaries all over the city. How to be noticed as a player? I shoot someone in the belly. Seventeen. The first one is the hardest I think. I confront my enemies unarmed. They admire my balls. Still for years I'm hanging on the outside doing anything for the cause; I'm on a sand bar eaten by mosquitoes, hungry, huddled by a bonfire each night for two months, training before I realize I already am the Revolution.

poetryrepairs #199 v14.04:044

All the fine arts are species of poetry--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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even as it splits it open.
VIRGINIA WOOLF
The Art of Reading



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The Cuban Revolution begins in Bogota
Afterwards I remember how brains can fly, coagulate on clothes, how far they can spatter. In dreams I don't kill I'm just part of a Cuban student delegation caught up in the horror of Bogotazo. I don't shoot priests in the bell tower, I don't wander through the carnage with a Mauser. The sounds of a revolution – gunfire and screams, sirens and breaking glass. Shells. The smell – fire; the world burning. Low clouds glow red from the flames. They need a leader I think. They need a reason. They need to be controlled. That night rain falls cold on the city on rebels crouched like beggars on the Monserrat mountainside. I talk it over with Alfredo on the flight home. Out-of-control crowds are a revolution's worst enemy. What else did you learn Fidel? Use the army. I never forget that feeling; euphoric, totally alive blood pumping strong and sure energized like never before not even with a woman.

poetryrepairs #199 v14.04:044

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Love's been good to me
My mother stops checking my pinga when I grow hair there. She asks about my balls once; whether Batista castrated me when they caught me after Moncado Barracks, whether he turned me into a eunuch. Always this focus on masculinity. Are you circumcised? they ask Is that why they call you Jew? My first full act of sex is with Cuba. I stick my tongue into her mouth, she sucks my parts into hers. I rub against her for years before my milk comes. I know the pulse of her vulva, insert my fingers into every cranny and crevice without shame. I steal from my brother money for brothels. I'm eleven. There are always women. My children have many mothers. I remember where I first read Lenin but I forget some of the women – not Maria, who had my first son, not Mirta, never Mirta my love, our American honeymoon, my second son. Mirta –the orange scent of your hair, your sweet orchid skin still wakes me in the night, then the leaden emptiness when you're not there in my arms head under my chin, curled against my chest. Not Naty, who has my daughter, who after my release from the Isle of Pines two years abstinent by choice, submitted perfectly passively to me in that apartment near El Vedado where the afternoon sun and the smell of our sex drugged us both into oblivion, and I woke each time rampant. I am the leader, I leap from the trenches first. I am the Revolution, bursting forth in my attack.


poetryrepairs #199 v14.04:044

Poetry endangers the established order
of the soul - Plato

REPAIR: resort, frequent or habitual going; concourse or confluence of people at or in a place; making one's way; to go, betake oneself, to arrive; return to a place; to dwell; to recover, heal, or cure; to renew; to fix to original condition.
-- Oxford English Dictionary



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First one is the hardest
The Cuban Revolution begins in Bogota
Love's been good to me

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