New poem:

Viva fuerte

I’m standing firm and
you’re a rock.
The plinth is fracturing.
Your filter isn’t filtering
but at least it caught this poem.

My tongue is angry!
I have a snake in my shoe.
I’m in a funk:
Why aren’t we rising up
Like a thunderhead

Like a new brain in a petri dish?
A heart-shaped leaf
is waving in the breeze.
A lavender-tinted cow
stands behind me.

She is my ally.
A bird caught in a spider’s web
who I free just in the nick of time
is announcing an event
to a girls’ soccer team.

And they are listening.
I’m re-schooling myself.
My teachers were all afraid of me.
They were afraid of their own subjects.
The tests were all slanted toward

Submission and prostitution.
My car broke down
and wept.
I ate wild grapes like a bear.
I translated one single tear

Into nine languages.
I saw my face in the Rorschach of a stain
on a subway window.
And what is more, I saw your face.
And yours.

And then the people came.
Up and through and over
and in and with and without,
alone and in droves.
With dreams.

With bitter stories.
Without passports.
Tatooed and branded,
covered and naked.
Some animals came along

As translators.
There was going to be a council,
but where?
This world has no space.
All the land is private

Or slated for upheaval.
We made a clubhouse under a bush.
The bird from the web and the cow came under.
And an old man with a beard with bells
dressed in a filthy sheet

Wearing a sign saying they had impounded his car.
And a million others:
Neruda with his serious eyes,
Gandhi was there and Jesus and Punch and Judy
and even a clown with a big harmless hammer.

And I looked around
for the girls’ soccer team.
And way up I saw the angels glittering,
up about 4000 feet.
All I could see was their glitter

But they didn’t come any lower
but at least they were curious.
And I thought,
This is pretty close
to how I always knew it could be.

You have to begin somewhere.
Under a bush with millions.
We’ve got to start somewhere;
if you make it here, you’re welcome.
Viva fuerte!

Gary Lindorff