Monday Poem

“The writer [Lorca] died while mixing with the rebels, these are natural accidents of war . . .” —Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco.

“The country has to toughen up … part of the problem …is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, right?” — US president, Donald Trump

Last Day of Federíco García Lorca

Federico, in pajamas and blazer died at night
wearing the sudden-death uniform of poets killed
because there is nothing more dangerous to despots
than an artist who tells the moment’s truth
because some force within insists
—accepting death for being one’s self
is life’s condition of being one’s self
because to speak is to be

This condition applies to all in all times
because nothing ever changes the constitution of love
& witness under any sky or sun. Though
the atmosphere of eras and places swings from
heaven to hell on a dime before the mass has time
to blink, and because the intractable who paint Guernica
or sing Canto Libre, artists who dare,
could well end with bullet through skull because,
to a despot, silence is golden even if desperate,
because despots know that painters and poets,
sculptors and dancers will speak truth
from momentary possession
because they’ve found the straightway
to the brainsoul of human kind,
a place despots only enter
by means of fear & blood
which always mocks
the divine

Jim Culleny