Martín Espada Not Here for Raúl Zurita Santiago de Chile, July 2004 The other poets tell me he tried to blind himself, taped his eyelids and splashed his face with ammonia. What Zurita saw gnawed like a parasite at the muscles in his eyes: Chile’s warships invaded the harbor of Valparaíso and subversives staggered at
Martín Espada The Republic of Poetry For Chile In the republic of poetry, a train full of poets rolls south in the rain as plum trees rock and horses kick the air, and village bands parade down the aisle with trumpets, with bowler hats, followed by the president of the republic, shaking every hand. In
(Anti-Sus Poem) [Sus, short for ‘suspicion’: the Vagrancy Act, a revived piece of nineteenth-century legislation that led to disproportionate arrests of black youths. Repealed 2000.] Brixtan Prison Jebb Avenue Landan south-west two Inglan Dear Mama, Good Day. I hope dat wen deze few lines reach yu, they may find yu in di bes af helt.