Bautista bats right,

bat flip.

Castro leaned in left,


Castro: castrated, castigated

his people, pueblo cubano.

Pueblo that powerful word,

palabra poderosa

Means place and people

one in the same name.

You can leave this place

but the people remain.


Fidel: Fideo

Feast of the Goat, el chivo.

Chivo, bicho, moscas,

moscas Tachos, moscas Castros.

Comandante, Generalísimo.

Is he, though,

when his people linger in woe?


Martí: Martillo

Not the hammer and sickle but the hammer of justice.

Justice, just in case.

Free verses, free spirits: almas las dos.

Guantanamera, guajiro, guante.

Power of pen, symphony of sound.


“Chan-chan” chants the Buena Vista Social Club

“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes” belts Bowie.

Both are calls waiting for responses.

Cuban song, Cuban son

Social Club brought son to the world,

socialism kept the world at bay.

Bay of Pigs, pigs worse than goats, brought the hemisphere hella close

to what? Who the hell knows?


Ask Fidel’s ghost if even he knows.



Fidel, baptized by water 90 years ago,

baptized by fire in ’59.

That ’59 sound? Sound of fury,

Sound of silence traveling

ninety miles for ninety years.


Calle Ocho, “¡Cállense!” said some.

Others said “¡A cantar!”



Streets in Miami spill tears for sons.

José Martí, José Hernández:

Sons lost, sons danced in days gone by.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph” many said with a sigh.

San Juan Bautista

Save the people,

wash away a century of sins and let

the waters of chan-changes flow free.