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turquoise dead men walking
photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Weekly

l i n k s

p o r  e l   f e s t i v a l    c u b a n o

:  f r a n k   w a l s h

The scarred heart of hootchie, chop shop talking heart of Cheney,
the artichoke heart of Blackbeard, the Ocheefenokee liver spotted heart
owl touch down to the point of no return, the shark infested Crane of Hart,
the broken heart of Neruda, the plucked club footed heart of burning out
Shelley, the genuine draft nose ears and throat specialist in a tight squeeze
the tortured heart of Lorca, of Antonio Guerrero whose anti- terrorist heart transplants American prison sentences by cinder block, of Reina Maria Rodriguez rooftops of uncaged hearts, and Marti’s seersucker zoot suite of hearts bounding into a hive of bullets and the white horse whose heart rolled down to the river of magnolias to drink revolution and poetry.
           "Agonia, agonia, sueno, fermento y sueno"

Between the Caribbean and the Atlantic lies...
Between the Caribbean and the Atlantic lies...
Between the Caribbean and the Atlantic lies...

The peopled paintings hued like flowers, like the keys of a saxophone,
     the black and white prints like windows cupped in the smells
     of the fountains of Santiago, dream in color when everything but
the sodium arcs of the boulevards succumb to their alien night

When troupes of blue roses tango over an anxious ocean’s bleachers
     quenching the thirst of hinges and padlocks
      the garages are thrown open to reveal a moon of coral

         Having enough becomes better than having
too much when the children are playing baseball in the wreckage
of Chevrolet commercials, the small men who run big things hire
            more police and attack dogs on both sides of the coin.
                    "rubios del norte, negros de la arena"

An orphan, a cocktail of invading and occupying races my beach head
is nothing compared to the dark tap root of the Cubans that runs circles
around my deluded blood when all they have to do is speak and dance
and paint in the perpetual dawn heavy with yellow caution tape without
catalelitic converters,
                                   though I am not burning all my bridges:
       this bridge is made in fact
is made of fire and roses, only I can
walk across it for you, even half way
but the engineers are coveting to the end and bitter in the mouth of time.

The ghost of Myer Lansky pops out
        of a secret wall panel in the Oval Office
            to fill conch shells with lighter fluids
its jaws rotten with sugar cane and wet tobacco
jabbering about the golden days behind the Venetian blinds
        of the Habana laundries, how Batista was
a good canary in a bad salt mine, meanwhile back at the white ranch,
the sitting President Texas toasts in panhandled Latino tongues
          little ticklish nothings in order to erect barrios
at the feet of lonesome Miami capitalists and their petty chiuauaus
                         "negro de somas e lobos"
putting the screws to down below the Van Allen Belt, pushing snake oil
      of sanctions down the throats of singing children.

Yet having enough is better than having too much
when the Cuban seas are filled with wings and the Cuban century
turns the Marlboro cowboys shadow inside out, when having
too much smothers the rain forests in cocoa dust, instant lotto
standing on the borders in uniforms of thorns
                     against the moon of Santiago.

And having enough and going over board
        instead of having most by giving away the boon
of the dancing camilas of purple and burnt umber and the darkest
            green pressed from the emerald heart of the Cuban dusk,
                and having enough under the hard burlesques
of the strongman and grandpapa shielding the children
from the killing machines of the mad Uncle who was once a brother
before he went mad in the red white and blue attic of icons
           and counterfeits but mostly red on the hands of hypnotized
           legions but redder yet the eyes of the flying fish
red as gold in the moonlight between the Caribbean and the Atlantic
               embraced fin to scalloped fin pulling together blue continent
         and green island toward a more perfect union of orphans...
                     "por el mundo las univerisdades sin tejados"


October 12, 2003


© copyright 2004
frank walsh



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