Bill Tremblay: A Letter to Miguel Hernandez

    Bill Tremblay unearths the viciousness of our moment, the shrinking space between a Spanish Republican prisoner of Franco thinking of his wife and child, and today’s search for extinction of Republican candidates/the corporate media, which is, sadly, our extinction, too.
When my rage at the stupidity of war
gets so my sighs alone can crack the bark of trees
I take a walk along the ditch in hopes that
the stillness of moving water will calm my heart
though days arrive when all I see is children’s bodies
face-down floating in the current
like little wooden crucifixes with bullet-holes,
children of Sandy Hook or Gaza City.
That’s when I know I’ve got it bad, and when it gets bad
all I can do is sit on the north bank of the ditch
that runs behind my house and write
in the invisible ink of the eyes a letter to you
writing from Franco’s prison [where you are always dying]
to your wife and son who had between them only an onion.
My little boy/was in hunger’s cradle.
He was nursed/on onion blood.
How often were you allowed to walk outside your cell,
to taste the air even if boxed inside four walls?
I should count myself lucky indeed.
All I have to do is survive the loose talk of
rounding up foreigners and putting them in
concentration camps by little balding Mussolinis.
How could they love their guns so much
they would rather so many deaths, so much grief,
than unclench their cold, dead fists?
When did the preciousness of life die in them,
as if they were being prepared for extinction
and not anymore to care?

                                                            –Bill Tremblay