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this fiction of mine laboured tightly in the skull of memories and mysteries worked to the wheel by furies who deal the willing thread in...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

do the cha-cha (in memoriam)



(uno)
el negro vargas died sunday before dawn
i stood by his bed staring down on him as if asleep
(something about dead bodies gives them away
his right leg wasn’t quite in a restful guise)
proud of his countryside origins and life
of hard labor he spent his last years
on the corner at the entrance of his alley
and at a little park near the social security
building where many retirees hang out
amid saucy conversation and recollections

always in search of political and social savvy
he christened hugo chavez with a new moniker
–chachachá- and would not miss an opportunity
to say the man was my godfather _now
news of the comandante’s death
surprised some of us on tuesday
as we readied for vargas’s long walk
so these ramblings are in his memory
(mostly reminiscences of news in the press
and our insolent commentaries)

(dos)
in the end dieterich was right on the money
he figured the president was as good as stiff
it was a matter of course _he said
the man wouldn’t leave the hospital alive
while the government declared
they’ve been saying for days the colonel died
and next they vociferously asserted
it was his de facto enemies who had him cancer
poisoned some sort of foul play was at work
it’d be fifty years yet when a declassified doc
would reveal the killer hand
and we all laughed in amusement _we
the unenlightened ones and with a sense of humor

(tres)
but boffola was the stuff the colonel himself
was made of and we’ve grown accustomed to it
after the initial outrage that is
for the lump of blatant affronts and smears
spewing absurd upon absurd with a twist
because even for a guy with a twisted loaf
his lines and doings were defiant of lunacy

(shuffle)
_It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law
of probabilities, what has been happening to some
of us in Latin America (what…you mean getting sick)
_would it be so strange that they’ve invented
technology to spread cancer (wait shush quitdat)

but he went on and told us about life on mars
halloween as terrorism
about the martyr liberator of libya
and bush being the devil and the jewish
cabal which runs the world
and go straight to hell mr blair
go to hell gringos go home missy

(uno)
and still it all came down very neatly
to a chronicle of a death foretold
_in the old barracks in caracas once
the stage of his failed coup his embalmed
remains will rest for the people to behold
for kingdom come just like the thousand
year reichstag mao’s china or bolivar’s dream
but still none could equal his talent for farce
and knack for skanky politics

(dos)
fresh out of prison he launched a tour-de-farce
to find like-minded mofos to finance his apetite
first he met with the narco-guerrillas honchos
in colombia next he was welcomed in cuba
like a head of state by the main barbudo
who sent him off with his blessing
and a thinking apparatus in support _he did
his foreign policy in montevideo sao paulo
and assorted airports to everyone’s dismay
and delight _soon he was in league
with iran north-korea lybia sudan
russia became his main arms supplier
china his leading creditor _so he gave
free money to ecuador free oil to nicaragua
free bolivia to evo morales _it was freebies
all around in a shopping spree of latin loyalty

(tres)
by the time he gained power he had gone
through a feast of rehearsals
ready for main stage at the high rise red platform
a cloth backdrop with his version of revolutionaries
pancho villa and bolivar thrown in the mix
before a crowd who’d spend their saturdays
in huge political rallies of nazi proportions
but who came from slums in a caravan
of government provided buses
each rider given a lunch bag with pamphlets
to digest they descend at the altamira plaza
and begin the march to the presidential palace
amid a pandemonium of trumpet blasts blaring speakers
peoples screaming with mouthfuls of food and beer
and hawkers with chacha dolls reciting
revolution slogans with the pull of a cord
and just before dusk he walks the stage to its edge
microphone in hand his face gleaming (like jesus
at the handouts) his head topped with a sombrero
and a mariachi entourage surrounding him
he goes into a spirited medley of rancheras
and it’s a explosion of paroxysm in absurdism

(shuffle)
undoubtedly he was a phenomenal entertainer
a showman extraordinaire who barraged fire
to anyone considered enemy or pick of choice

(uno)
lapdogs of the empire you will get stung 
and you dear secretary suffering from sexual plight
can’t help you condoleezza can’t make that sacrifice
and bush he called simply an asshole
announcing military confrontation up on a mountain 
with a rifle to fulfill his delusion on bolivar
for whom he saved an empty chair at the table
and declared him his hero instead of superman
so from here on next move would seem most logical
yes he had the old lunger exhumed to try and prove
that he was poisoned _but no he was not of course
next he bathed himself with the blood of the lion
(mysteriously disappeared) from the caracas zoo
and in what may be considered a sort of consecration
or some kind of voodoo shite he had four babalaos
sprinkle dust cursory prepared with all the malevolence 
of tapheth from sacks over caracas from an army
helicopter _a feat worthy of smith’s 18000 blessings
in a single shot…

(dos)
but i digress let’s get back to our accolade
_voices voices as if a chorus_
of ministers and family...maduro leading_
all blowing hot air into the waves messages
misinformation plugs communiques
he was getting better
decrees were being signed
conversations with advisers by the hour
instructions given
but no photos of the ubiquitous man
it was a score for doubt and suspicion
until spanish abc reported the dialogs nonexistent
twitter messages false so the chorus voiced louder
_we all are chachas chacha has not died chacha lives
bis

(tres)
the inside version among the military in the know
says that he died in havana last tuesday morning
at seven it came from cuba to fort tiuna
a defense complex where the hospitalito’s located
and where the task of dressing him up concluded

(shuffle)
it’s not known at what moment of wednesday
he was taken to the basement
while an empty similar coffin was taken
to the military hospital from where
it was paraded in procession during seven hours
with a sandbag dummy in full military garb
red beret boots insignias and all
as it was exalted as spiritual father and martyr
by his followers who were allowed to touch rub
fondle and whack the deceitful casket
without having to risk the physical integrity
of the true one _they couldn’t take any chances

(one)
it was past noon when they took el negro out
to st james apostle church for one last mess
for i’ve never knew him to attend any services
except for those given at the whorehouses
and saloons then the crowd carried the casket
to the last street of the neighborhood where
it was put in a pickup truck and taken away
to the cemetery _three loaded buses followed
it was a feast sons and daughters grieved
friends with sad faces sighed and smiled
some cried some just looked dumbfounded
and when everyone left there was a feeling
of having met the circumstances bravely

(dos)
chacha’s gone too _he left with great pomp
but a feeling of vainglory also persists
amid contrary views about his achievements
all the phrases and slogans empty
can’t change the fact that food subsidies
resulted in shortages and the i have done
everything out of love and ten million votes
down their throats won’t change the angst
of a middle class heading into a dead end
_purportedly he did have some final words
general ornella at his bedside conveyed them
to the world _i don’t want to fuckin’ die
please don’t let me die

(tres)
at the small park by the ss building old fellows
still contend on who was best at the cabaret
lola with the wide hips on a guaracha number
or slender rosa doing a bebo valdes mambo
and wasn’t she a number herself
and how ‘bout that cha-cha queen what’s her name
while a small crowd some with red bandanas
parades chanting _fatherland socialism or death
the show must go on_
there go the chavistas -says an old man
one more cha-cha maestro -says another one
ain’t nothing to it -adds yet another
seen them come and seen them go –
he was quite a dude though –
ah nothing more than three steps and a shuffle


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