Sunday, October 23, 2011



"Clemencia es una palabra que se usa poco."
Eliseo Alberto, CARACOL BEACH

The word, clemency,
was used by Gadafi 2
days ago when he
asked his captors if they were
familiar with the term--

just before they fired
a bullet into his brain
(or his stomach, or
his shoulder, or his elbow--
depending on whose account).

I prefer to think
he died from the collapsed dreams
that we call old age:
more of a disease than the
click of a Kalashnikov

crudely applied next
to a culvert in Sirte,
poor berber's version
of the chase through Vienna's
sewers after Harry Lime

in The Third Man, with
Orson Welles' fingers reaching
up toward the street for
the escape of clemency.
On this planet of rubble

there is no mercy
for the dreamer of union
among agendas
to dominate the ant hill
in the name of human rights,

even less if the
dreamer spins his fantasies
crouched on top of huge
reserves of water and oil.
Chávez deplanes to pray thanks

for the absence of
cancerous cells; in Gallup,
New Mexico, a
Navajo man dies from life
in the uranium mines.