On July 26th, 1953, a young Fidel Castro led an attack on the Moncada Barracks to protest, amongst other matters, the cancellation of free democratic elections by the American- and Mafia-backed dictator Fulgencio Battista. This is considered the birth of the Cuban revolutionary movement.
Sixty-eight years later, the Americans continue to brutalize the island with political and economic sanctions. Even so, the Cubans have the best educational and medical systems in the region and have, recently, sent thousands of trained health workers to assist developing countries fight the covid menace.
It’s hard to distinguish the fragrance of Geurlain
from that of pan-fried potato latkes
when you’re beneath a barstool
amid the boot-crushed butts and spilled beers.
It’s hard to carve an eagle when the tempest
of emotions coats the back of your throat
with a cold glue that no creative
surge can moisten nor free up nor reduce to tears.
It’s hard to say what tipped the scales, what failed to
gel, what failed to gather to you the crowds
you needed for your performances
since you screwed up so many times over so many years.