Monday, March 31, 2008

César E. Chávez 3/31/1927 - 4/23/1993

To celebrate César E. Chávez
(& the movement for farm-workers' rights, justice & peace)
the eulogy written on the occasion of his death.

---------A fines de abril

-------------------------a César E. Chávez

A fines de abril
las viñas ya verdes de brotos,
llegó la muerte al campesino,
al césar de las uvas vestidas de azul,
de las cebollas de fondos blancos,
de las manzanas de vestiduras rojas.

-----Le dijo — ¡Vén, César! —

Y se lo llevó de las uvas envenenadas,
las sandías, los melones llenos de mal,
de las batallas de los surcos,
de las emboscadas de las acequias,
del estandarte guadalupano,
de la bandera roja y negra.

Pero en los surcos
su voz dejó sembrado
su anhelo por justicia —
---que es decir reclamar
--------el pan para el hambre
--------el alivio para el enfermo
--------los libros para el inocente.

Su voz dará fruto
---y habrá regocijo
------en los surcos,
------las acequias,
------las mesas,
------la tierra.

-----------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

(Siete escritores comprometidos: obra y perfil; Fausto Avendaño, director;
Explicación de Textos Literarios vol. 34 anejo 1; diciembre 2007;
Dept. of Foreign Languages; California State University Sacramento;
derechos reservados del autor.)

by Robert Lentz

----------At the End of April

------------------------to César E. Chávez

At the end of April
the vines already green with buds,
death came to the field-worker,
to the caesar of the grapes dressed in blue,
of the onions in white petticoats,
of the apples in red vestments.

-----She said to him, “Come, César!”

And took him from the poisoned grapes,
the watermelons, the melons full of ill,
the battles of the furrows,
the ambushes of the ditches,
the Guadalupe standard,
the red and black flag.

But in the furrows
his voice left planted
his longing for justice —
----which is to say, his demands
-----------for bread for the hungry,
-----------healing for the sick,
-----------books for the innocent.

His voice will bear fruit
-----and there will be rejoicing
----------in the furrows,
----------in the ditches,
----------round the tables
----------in the land.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2008


Monday, March 24, 2008

Archbishop Óscar A. Romero G. 8/15/1917 - 3/24/1980


28 Years Later

Let us remember and honor in our heart the death of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámes, Archbishop of San Salvador murdered while he said mass in the chapel of a hospital March 24, 1980, El Salvador. He was killed because of his opposition to injustice, to cruelty; he was killed because he loved and tried to protect those he loved. He was killed for being a good shepherd.

------La Consagración Del Cafe

-----------------al monseñor Oscar A. Romero

Un día de dios
en mi patio tomando café
nada es normal —
------ni el alcatraz
------con su pene dorado
------ni el iris
------como lava morada
------que derrama un volcán.
Encuentro en el fondo de la taza
casullas bordadas
de mariposas negras
y guindas manchas —
-----el sol dispara
-----centellas de balas plateadas
-----y de cirios ahogados —
----------hay sangre en su brillar.
Pongo la burda taza en su platillo
con un tierno cuidado
como si fuera cáliz
y digo la letanía:
-------El Salvador.
Y un lado del corazón
me sabe blanco y dulce
como la caña
------y el otro,
-----------como el café,
------------------negro y amargo.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

by Robert Lentz

------The Consecration Of Coffee

----------------------to Archbishop Oscar A. Romero

One day of god
drinking coffee in my patio
nothing is normal —
------not the calla
------with its penis of gold
------nor the iris
------like purple lava
------a volcano spills.
I find in the depths of the cup
chasubles embroidered
with black moths
& red stains —
-----the sun fires
-----a scintillation of silver bullets
-----& of candles drowned —
-----------there is blood in its shine.
I place the cup on its saucer
with a most tender care
as if it were a chalice
& say the litany:
-------El Salvador
& one side of my heart
tastes white & sweet
like cane sugar
-----& the other,
----------like coffee,
---------------bitter & black.

--------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

( Visions-International, no. 44;
author’s copyrights)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday

An Easter Gift

This year, the sun and the moon have ordered their steps such that the Vernal Equinox and the full moon almost perfectly coincide and the liturgical calendar celebrates the ascendancy of the light about as early in the year as it may.

I mark the feast days of the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, and the Christian holy days of my childhood: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday. It has been Lent, the Sunday of Holy week full of an ominous joy, the days that follow, bitter. Indeed a friend has told me that my words recently have been joyless (I, who have always said that joy is the root of our power.) We live disempowering times — and Holy Thursday, Good Friday are holy days of betrayal, of pain, of torture.

But Holy Saturday is here, the end of Lent imminent. Since a child, I have always remembered it as a day yellow with sun, and at noon, at that time, the church bells would ring, marking the killed god’s harrowing of hell, the setting free of the souls of our parents Adam and Eve and of the just, the compassionate, there held. A glorious thing, this triumph of good over evil, of the light over the darkness, of hope over despair — and spring is here. A glorious thing, and in the Spanish world, it is known as Saturday of Glory.

The day following is Easter, sunnier yet if that were possible. We woke to the marvel of the eggs we had painstakingly dyed the evening before, to getting into our splendid new clothes we would piously show off in the cathedral at 11:00 o’clock mass brilliant with the rainbow lights that poured though the stained glass windows and colored the smoke of the incense, and, I imagined, the very sound of the choir singing their glorias. Gloria! Gloria! Gloria! The light has triumphed, the god is risen! Gloria! Gloria! Gloria!

And it was a time for gifts as well, clothes and pieces of jewelry, at the very least, eggs. (One Easter I gave my mother a very special gift, a little gold cross with a diamond chip at the center which, as an altar-boy serving High Mass, I had asked the bishop to bless.) Gifts were one of the great joys of Easter, not receiving, but rather making them. (Often, in every meaning of the word.)

That was childhood, young adulthood even, but even yet, this is a time of light, of joy, of hope, even in these dark times. You have listened to, read my words, my dark gifts to you this past week or so, and I would give you on this Easter something more shining, of beauty, of truth, of justice, of compassion, of hope.

Often I wished I could have heard Jesus speaking of justice and compassion and the lilies of the field or advising the well-meaning rich young man, stood rapt among the crowd at the foot of the hill, or followed close in the narrow streets of Jerusalem for the sound of his voice. I imagine having a recording of the Teacher’s voice to give you on this day. But that voice (still winging its way across the universe, science tells us) is now beyond our hearing. Instead, I offer give you another voice, one that echoes the teachings of the Nazarene as I understand them.

When you find, or make, a half hour to give, to take my gift, with a click or two, open the egg. The truth, the commitment to justice, the compassion, the hope expressed are ours — if we choose to make them so.

----------------------------------bless —
----------------------------------------------Rafael Jesús González

Friday, March 21, 2008

Full moon on Good Friday


-----Luna plena en Viernes Santo

Hay muchos Gólgotas, Calvarios,
------lugares de la calavera
en que se crucifican dioses;
su polvo está dondequiera
y la luna plena lo platea todo igual.

Dijo el Maestro —
lo que le haces a tu prójimo
---me lo haces a mí mismo.

Y así mismo es.
Para crucificar no se precisa cruz.

Hay muchos Gólgotas, Calvarios,
------lugares de la calavera
en que nos crucificamos unos a los otros;
su polvo está dondequiera
y la luna plena lo platea todo igual.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

in Abu Ghraib

-----Full Moon on Good Friday

There are many Golgothas, Calvaries,
--------places of the skull
on which gods are crucified;
their dust is everywhere
& the full moon equally silvers it all.

The Teacher said —
what you do to your neighbor
-------you do to me.

And such it is.
To crucify, a cross is not needed.

There are many Golgothas, Calvaries,
--------places of the skull
on which we crucify one another;
their dust is everywhere
& the full moon equally silvers it all.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

by Fernando Botero

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vernal Equinox


Luna pascual en el equinoccio

La luna plena convierte
a los olivos en plata
en la noche que los amigos
se sentaron a cenar.

La luna bendijo
por la ventana
el pan plano sin levadura
sobre la mesa,
el vino en la copa,
el pernil de cordero,
las hierbas amargas,
la comida para conmemorar
hace mucho tiempo.

La luna sabe
que es un juego que cambia —
-----los hijos de tiranos
---------se hacen esclavos;
-----los hijos de esclavos
---------se hacen tiranos
y de la liberación
------------------- no hay fin.

-----Ni de la traición.

En el jardín
La luna plena convierte
a los olivos en plata.

------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

Paschal Moon on the Equinox

The full moon turns
the olive trees to silver
the night the friends
sat to dinner.

The moon blessed
through the window
the flat unleavened bread
on the table,
the wine in the goblet,
the lamb’s shank,
the bitter herbs,
the meal to commemorate
a long time past.

The moon knows
it is a changing game —
-----the children of tyrants
---------become slaves;
-----the children of slaves
---------become tyrants
and of deliverance
-------------there is no end.

-----Nor of betrayal.

In the garden
the full moon turns
the olive trees to silver.

------© Rafael Jesús González 2008


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

U. S. invasion of Iraq: five years later

Written five years ago on the eve
of the United States’ invasion of Iraq,
night of a full moon.

Fernando Botero

Luna perseguida por perros

La luna plena entra
por mi ventana;
sus enaguas blancas
llenan el cuarto.

Me persiguen los perros —
dice — Mira,
mira como me han
desgarrado las faldas;
hay una bola
de perros enloquecidos
sueltos en el mundo.

Temo que mañana
mis enaguas se tiñan
rojas de sangre.

Hay perros rabiosos
sueltos en el mundo.

------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

----------------------(RUNES, no. 4, 2004;
----------------------CB Follet y Susan Terris;
----------------------derechos reservados del autor)

Fernando Botero

Moon Chased by Dogs

The full moon comes
through my window;
her white skirts
fill the room.

I am chased by the dogs,
she says. Look,
look how they have
shredded my skirts;
there is a pack
of mad dogs
let loose in the world.

I am afraid that tomorrow
my skirts will be stained
red with blood.

There are mad dogs
let loose in the world.

------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

-----------------------(RUNES, issue 4, 2004;
-----------------------CB Follet & Susan Terris, eds.;
-----------------------author’s copyrights)

Fernando Botero

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

Pagan Bearing Palm Branch

I have traveled throughout the lands under Caesar Augustus and the world is much the same; the rich rule and justice is an uncertain thing and there is more war than peace. Here among these people who call themselves Israel, it is no different. I have studied many gods and what is said of them and this god of the Jews seems but little different from the rest, except for his aloneness. They call me gentile here which means that I believe in many gods. The Jews believe in one only, a male of whom they are prohibited of making an image, or even saying his name. Yet when they tell of him he seems much like our own Zeus or Jupiter — jealous, vengeful, just, arbitrary, blood-thirsty, kind to his own, but unlike Zeus, without a goddess to keep him sweet. Indeed, unlike our Zeuz, he does not seem to like women much. They call their god Father, but how is there a father without a mother unless it be holy Gaea, the Earth herself? And in truth, she has her Sun. These Jews do not paint nor make clay or wood or stone images of their god but idolize instead their strange ideas of him.

Now I find myself in Yerusalem for the Spring celebrations of the Jews. Yerusalem is lovely this time of year and festive and I cannot but be joyful holding a palm branch someone thrust into my hand. A goodly crowd is welcoming a young prophet I have been observing for some odd years. Yeshua they call him, Iesous in our Greek. Son of Yoseph the carpenter, he comes from the countryside, the village of Nazareth, having left behind his craft to teach. He is an unusual man by any count and wonders have been ascribed to him such as changing water into wine, and walking upon water, and raising up the dead, casting out demons, healing, feeding a multitude.

I do not know. I have been present at only one of such purported wonders, a time he is supposed to have fed the crowd. He spoke atop a small hill and people came to hear him from about the countryside, a good sized crowd (though not the myriads that have grown with each telling.) Yes, he spoke long and the folk overstayed their intentions and had to eat. But let us remember, these are country folk, peasants and fishermen, who know well enough to carry food in their knapsacks when they go on an outing, coarse bread, salted or dried fish, fruit. All in all, I dare say there was enough to share. It is said this Iesous multiplied but seven loaves of bread and a few fishes to feed them all. Perhaps; the Earth is full of wonders, but I doubt it. If miracle you can call it, it was enough that he opened the hearts and generosity of the people to share their food with those that had none. I suppose that is miracle enough.

This Iesous, unlike the god of his people, likes women much and frequents their company, consorting with women of even the most lowly and despised among the Jews, like the Samaritans and such. Indeed particularly close to him is one Maryam, a woman of Magdala said by some to be a prostitute, a social outcast here, not like the holy women in our temples devoted to Divine Aphrodite. I doubt not but there is an amorous tie between Iesous and this Maryam the Magdalene who has nothing of the whore.

Still, it is apparent that he likes men just as well. He always has about him a small group of favorites that hang upon every word he says, worshipping the ground he walks upon. Of these, his very favorite is a comely youth named Yohanan, for obvious reasons called “the beloved.” It is apparent that they are enamoured each of the other. These men are for the most part simple folk, peasants, fishermen, artisans, tradesmen, illiterate, though some I am sure have some learning, certainly at least in the lore of their religion, some like Iesous probably village rabbis.

They do not have much, indeed this Iesous is not much popular among the rich, the polite classes. He consorts too much with women and children, with the despised, the poor, the homeless, the sick, the unlearned, the outcasts. The fact is that to speak for the unfortunate this Jew puts to test the laws of his ancient cult. I have seen him save a poor woman, caught in adultery, from being stoned to death, according to the law of the Hebrews, by shaming the villagers with their own transgressions. He preaches that the homeless must be sheltered, that the sick must be healed, that the ignorant must be taught, that the foreigner and outcast must be embraced, the prisoner visited. The bone of his teaching is love; the meat is justice and peace.

I have spoken with his mother Maryam and his brothers Yacob and Yoses and Shimon and Yehudhah, and his sisters, his family whom he has abandoned, and they think him daft. Indeed his kinsmen try to restrain him as mad. But I have heard him speak and he makes much sense. He speaks well and strongly, but there is a sting in his words to the powerful. Iesous does not hesitate to call them hypocrites, unfaithful stewards, and such. In his eyes, they are not so much the keepers of the law, but abusers of it. And indeed it would appear so. They grow fat on the suffering of others and do not honor our mother Gaea The Earth.

Another thing is that he does not much believe in the virtue of labor, of work to produce what serves no purpose but to produce and produce. I have heard him say that the Earth already holds enough to sustain us pointing out that the flowers of the fields are more beautiful than the luxurious vestments of Shelomon the legendary king of the Jews. Iesous certainly respects the honest work of the peasants, the fishermen, the artisans, the tradesmen, but he abhors usury, greed. I have seen him in anger upset the counting tables of the money changers in the temple, which caused much outrage among the bankers and such, not to mention the priests. I have heard him tell the young heir of a wealthy family that it is more difficult for a rich man to enter paradise than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. (I believe they call the narrowest gate to the city “The Needle’s Eye.”) No, the rich and the powerful do not much like Iesous.

He is a gentle man this young preacher who is fond of teaching through stories whose principle message is: “you were invited to party but you did not come.” I would not put it past him, if he could, to change water into wine. He can certainly change the hearts of his listeners to something sweeter and more good. Just as he tries to change the image of Jehova (the unspoken name of their harsh god) into the gentler, kinder image of his own. Although there is little effeminate about this Iesous still there is much that is feminine in his nature. I believe he is trying to give his god the one thing Yehova really lacks — a mother, or a sister, or a wife.

He treads a dangerous path, does Iesous, tampering with the stern, one-dimensional image of his nation’s god. Judge not lest thou be judged, he says, but I fear he is much judged already. You without sin cast the first stone, he challenges, and I fear there are already many all too willing to stone him. It is dangerous to broaden the dimensions of the gods, especially those that exist only in people’s heads, defined in books, their laws minutely prescribed (our own Socrates was killed accused of contempt for the gods.) And Iesous does just that. I have heard him say that he brings a new commandment to supersede all previous law: love god above all else and your neighbor as you do yourself. And he did not specify only your Jewish neighbor, but included all us gentiles too. Another time, he said that the law was made for humankind and not humankind for the law. Dangerous stuff.

What the powerful really fear is that a Socrates, a Iesous, and others of their kind may incite the people to question, to think. Thought leads to judgement, judgement to demand. And demands perhaps to action. Before a people aroused, even Caesar must quake. The meek just may inherit the Earth, as Iesous says, but first the meek must find their voice and speak. He has just said that if these should remain silent, the stones themselves would cry out.

The day is beautiful and indeed I do not mind holding this palm branch. I think I too am a bit in love with this beautiful man. There is so much kindness and joy in him — and truly so much courage. The crowd cries its hosannas, hosannas jubilantly as he enters the city to celebrate their ancient Spring celebration, the ritual feast marking their freedom from slavery. It is a joyous time and the people are all glad that it is Spring. There are flowers among the palm fronds strewn before the hoofs of the little gray ass Iesous rides through the street. By Kore, it is a glorious day to be alive. We smile at one another and shake hands and hug — Jews and the Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, Arabs, Romans, among them, representative of all us gentiles. Many carry palm fronds only because someone pressed them into their hands and they only want to join in the festivity. It is a glorious day on which to wave palm branches.

Still, I worry for him. He speaks his truth freely and the priests, the rich, the powerful are far from pleased. What if more people listened to him, truly listened? What if they bespoke and followed what he teaches? What if truly the people desired justice and peace? What if? Then, by the Graces, truly it would be glorious and I would be content to wave a palm frond every day I live. But I am not an idolatrous priest, nor am I rich, nor powerful — greed and lust for power is a terrible disease. And there are the fearful, the superstitious, the stupid. The people are of divided opinion; some would die for him, some would stone him for blasphemy, some teeter, change opinion one moment to the next. One hears rumors and many are not pleased. This Iesous, I do not think he will live long. He treads a dangerous path. I, the Hellene, the gentile, the pagan, fear for him. The rich and the powerful, they do not love him much.

But it is about us, the people that I wonder. Our rulers indeed are hypocrites — liars and cheats, thieves and scoundrels, war-mongers, that hold the Earth for little and twist the law that would protect the common good to their own advantage, growing evermore more rich and powerful at our expense. And yet, several times already the crowd itself would have killed Iesous. It is not good by any measure.

Today we gather and wave palm branches and yell, “Hosanna! Hosanna!” in joy
of Spring, and Iesous, and each other, but this joy that should be the root of our empowerment tomorrow will dissipate and our burdens will not be a grain of wheat more light. Unless, unless finding our voice we demand justice and peace and veneration of holy mother Earth.

These people say humankind was expelled from an earthly paradise and that we must look for a paradise on the other side of death. But it is here, in this life that we hunger and thirst, that we bear the cold and the heat, that we suffer the results of ignorance and fear, that we war and kill one another — and above all, it is here that we love, enjoy the sun and the waters, and the taste of bread and of wine, and the ecstasy of the dance and of music and of art. It is here that we live and if suffering there is, so is it only here that we know what there is to know of joy and happiness.

No, we were never exiled from paradise. We have only spoiled it with our carelessness and greed for wealth and lust for power, and war. Iesous speaks of the kingdom of his Father-God, but the justice and mercy and love he prescribes are of the Earth and no where else.

How long will we tolerate to be ruled by thieves and liars, hypocrites and warmongers? The Hellene, the Athenian in me asks this, impatient with the acquiescence of us, the people. The meek must speak, for our silence is a great betrayal. I worry for us. Will we listen and create his peaceable kingdom of the just and the kind? If enough of us want it, who can stop us? It is up to us.

I do not think Iesous will live long. The rich and the powerful, they do not love him much.

© Rafael Jesús González 2005

(Based on sermon given by the author, Palm Sunday 2002,
at the invitation of its Pastor Dr. Dorsey Blake
at The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples founded by Dr. Howard Thurman,
San Francisco, California. Author’s copyrights.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pres. George W. Bush vetoes bill outlawing torture

Since I was very young, I learned that toward the end of the Roman Empire one of the major symptoms of its decadence and fall was the endemic cruelty not only of its emperors but of the people as well, a cruelty that flowered into the evil bloom of torture. The people thronged the Coliseum to witness a circus of torture, and indeed, the very symbol of the Christian faith into which I was born was one of Rome’s favorite instruments of torture and death, the cross.

My religion taught that the willful infliction of pain upon another was a most grievous sin and so I was taught in all the schools I ever attended. It was taught that our nation, the United States of America, was free of that guilt, repudiated and outlawed the practice of torture not only of people but other animals as well. I was taught that its history was unblemished by torture, untainted by cruelty.

Of course I was given to read widely and was so encouraged by my father, my mother, my teachers, and I knew enough about history and the conquest and colonization of America to know otherwise. I knew the history of the American Indian, of the African slave and the African-American and the custom of beatings and lynchings by the K.K.K. and other U.S. citizens, but still, torture was what the Spanish Inquisition, the Italian Fascists, the Japanese Imperialists, the German Nazis, the Russian Communists did, not the U. S. of A., not a democracy. I accepted this and later, even though during my service in the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps I did witness a few incidents smacking of cruelty, I knew it was not a matter of policy. Even the cruelties and torture perpetrated by our soldiers in their invasion of Viet-Nam were anomalies, we were told, not policy.

But then there was the School of the Americas (renamed "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" because of the infamy accruing to its name) which for about half a century has trained the henchmen and torturers, violators of human rights, of the dictators that the U.S. government placed and supported, supports, throughout Latin America. Some of those dictators themselves graduates of the school. But, hey, training of torturers does not of us torturers make, said some.

Now, in the age of “terrorism”, even that flimsy mask has come off. Former U. S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales (shame) called the Geneva Accords protecting against torture and infringement upon human rights “quaint.” And the current Attorney General Michael Mukasey agrees. The torture of prisoners in Guantánamo is justified. Those most responsible for torture at Bagram in Afghanistan and Abu Ghraib in Iraq have been given a slap on the wrist.

Now President George W. Bush vetoes a bill passed by Congress that would have prohibited the CIA from using 'waterboarding' and other “harsh interrogation techniques” (torture) on terrorist suspects. And Congress fails to overturn Bush’s veto.

For a long time violence and cruelty have been our obsession, virtual torture a pastime in movies, on television, in video games. Violent hate-crimes increase precipitously. Cruelty, deception, and betrayal is what drives the popular so-called “Reality Shows” and now the Fox Reality show “Solitary” presents torture as entertainment. A great portion of our young are weaned on violence and cruelty. Terror is us.

The policies of my country’s government make us more and more hated by the world. I grow more and more outraged by the government, more and more ashamed of my country that tolerates it. In a supposed democracy, our acquiescence is as criminal as the actions of our government. As an empire, as a nation, as a people we are in our decline. We are losing our soul.

Last year at the University of California, Berkeley I attended the opening of an exhibition of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero’s paintings on the atrocities of Abu Ghraib at which he spoke. He painted to express outrage and opposition to torture assuming that the viewer shared his horror at cruelty. "Art is a permanent accusation," he says. But if horror can be beautiful, his paintings could be offered as proof, if we needed any more after the centuries of crucifixions and martyrs that burden the history of Western art. I wonder how many admire Botero’s Abu Ghraib paintings for the horror with which they confront us or for the titillation that makes pleasurable the pain.

I dread to think that my faith has been as compromised as has been my faith in my country.

© Rafael Jesús González 2008

---El arte en tiempos de conflicto

------------------------------a Fernando Botero

La luna gibada y gorda
se cuela por entre las rejas
de Abu Ghraib y Guantánamo
bañando con su luz fría
las manos, los pies atados,
las mordidas de los perros,
los ojos vendados
las almas, los cuerpos violados.

La luna gibada y gorda
no es buena, no es mala —
es espejo que explora la llaga.
No es de ella la locura
de torturadores y verdugos,
de presidentes e inquisidores.

La luna gibada y gorda
se cuela por entre las rejas
de la indiferencia letal.

-------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

------Art in Times of Conflict

-----------------------to Fernando Botero

The moon, gibbous & fat
slips between the bars
of Abu Ghraib & Guantánamo
bathing with its cold light
the tied hands & feet,
the bites of the dogs,
the blindfolded eyes,
the violated bodies & souls.

The moon, gibbous & fat
is not good, is not bad —
it is a mirror that explores the wound.
Hers is not the lunacy
of torturers & executioners,
of presidents & inquisitors.

The moon, gibbous & fat
slips between the bars
of lethal indifference.

----------© Rafael Jesús González 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Reading & Publication Party for riverbabble 12

Berlin Wall 3 by Christopher Novak

Pandemonium Press

invites you

to celebrate the publication of

riverbabble 12

at a Reading & Publication Party

Saturday, March 22, 2-5:oo P.M.

Spud's Parlor

Alcatraz & Adeline

(entrance on Adeline)

Berkeley, California

Featured Reader

Rafael Jesús González

Open Mic for
riverbabble and Doorknob

Please email
if you plan to read.

(parking available on Adeline)