Upland peace Camp #10

Upland Peace Camp #10   (final Poem in the Series)
MLP visits Guatemala  *


The Mayan Language, one of the most detailed Languages of it’s time, had no word for infant malnutrition. Then the Spanish came.


Maralyn will probably meet a man she knows, Or one she wants
to. She will write some Poems. And bits of pieces of others. She will
not speak of broad movements, but of persons forgotten in time. Peasant
women, perhaps, or the murdered wives of union leaders. She will see the
night is beautiful. And wonder how that did not stop the murderers.
She will return to Philadelphia, trying desperately both to remember
and forget. She will remark how little effect our words can have.

Guatemalans had their October Revolution in 1944.

I have no right to speak of Maralyn, as though she were a
fictional character, as though I know her heart, as though I know what
she would see, what she would not see. So much of the blooding has
not been seen. If you pretend there is no wall, does it cease to exist?
Has the United Fruit Company killed as many as the Mafia? More? Who
can count? What do numbers mean, anyhow? Numbers are too large,
in Armenia in 1914, in Germany in World War II, Blacks in America,
who cares or counts the numbers of dead Armenians, Jews, Blacks, or….
Guatemalans. Maralyn may find an Anne Frank of Guatemala to write of.
I may hear her read it on the telephone wires and just hear another
Polak Poem. Whatever it is, I will ask her what man it is really
about. I might not hear the politics. After all, it’s not like
she’s a Baraka, or Steptoe, or someone else, who I have trained
myself to hear.

The Death Squads kill as you listen to my words.

Does it matter what Maralyn says? Or anyone? If I tell
you we can stop the killing, would you believe me? Even if you did,
would it matter? There are, after all, jobs to work, lovers to
spend gorgeous times with, games to be seen, music to be heard, Poems
to write, and so much of the right now and here world that must be done.
Before our eyes finally close. What matters deaths in Guatemala.
Any Guatemala. There will always be another country named Guatemala.

We cannot worry about all these thousand circles of light going out.
There is not the time and life for that. We will, of course, find
some monies to contribute, and we will sympathize, but we cannot
be expected to give one ion more. No, not a dot.

After the Reading, people drive home. Listen to the news for a while,
put on an oldies station. Some drink away their fears, or choose under
ways to doff their mortality. The Poet writes. Did you expect anything
else. Does a dancer paint? He might have had something to say, but he
was so oblique about it. And why would he write about a woman that was
not his lover? Or care about a country he’ll never. Oh, he wanted us
to think he was better than us, purer, still full of ideals at
fat and fourty. That was surely it.

No, that’s not it at all. I’m not even sure I know what it is. Or was.
I just know there were some certain words I wanted to say to you.
I wish I knew them exactly. And I don’t know that I said them. Or
even in the same city as them. It was something about not being.
able to sleep while I have dreams of knives. But it’s not any clearer
than that. Like what happens to the TV Screen, when the airplanes fly
over in the middle of the ball game.

If only I could videotape my dreams, you might know what I say.
That the time has not yet come, when silence is a safeness.

Bob Small-9/26/88-tonight

  • Maralyn Lois Polak, a Poet I sometimes collaborated with.



About bobsmall1

Bob Small has read at Bacchanal, Barnes and Noble, Borders, The Booksource (Swarthmore), The Clark Park Festivals,Community College of Philadelphia Highwire Gallery, The Mad Poets Annual Food Fest Reading, The Middle East Restaurant, Nexus GalleryThe Painted Bride Arts Center, The Philadelphia Ethical Society, Robin's Bookstore The University of Pennsylvania and also in New York City, Trenton, NJ, Washington, DC, and in many Delaware Valley Venues. He is the author of numerous chapbooks, including El Otro Lado (with Maralyn Lois Polak), On watching America Die, Small Steps and Toes (with Lamont B. Steptoe), and The Unapoet. This is his first Reading in over a year. Bob Small was Founder and President of the two decades old Poets and Prophets, which presented Poetry Readings in both Delaware County and Philadelphia. Bob was the Chair of The Delaware County Green Party and was the First Green Party Candidate in Delaware County (2005). He was also a Green Party National Delegate, among other duties. He is the Founder and Facilitator of The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PaBac), which is a Coalition of both Independents and Third Parties., seeking to legislatively improve Pennsylvania's Ballot Access Laws. (Facebook) Bob is also a founding member and Facilitator of Democracy Unplugged, and Delco Debates, which has presented Independent and Third Party Forums in Delaware County since 2004. Facebook) He was formerly involved with Cinema Resistance, and Delco Pledge of Resistance. Bob currently lives in Swarthmore with his wife and their menagerie of animals. He is currently focused on writing a Novel and organizing his Poetry, which he posts on his Blog (Bob Small1). He is retired from most of the above activities, except Delco Debates and Poets and Prophets, which he may return to.
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