I haven't written here in a long time. I haven't written period. I started this blog because I couldn't write--what they call writer's block and sometimes it has been that; a tool to break that. But I also started it because around that time I was starting my MFA program, that is I was to spend the next two years doing nothing but writing poetry, polishing my craft, setting the foundations for a professional life as a writer. That's the dream right? To just write? To be immersed in the craft?
Juan Gelman calls poetry "una manera de vivir." Poetry is a way of life says the old-guerrilla poet. That's what Juan says. Una manera de vivir. Una manera de vivir says Juan who was in exile and who lost his son and daughter-in-law to the junta during the dirty wars and who never returned to Argentina--whose craft, whose way of life had a direct consequence on his exile and in the lives of those nearest to him.
Im not a fan of power. Revolutions rise and power becomes concentrated, never shared. But I can't deny the fact that the Cuban revolution and it's leaders stand symbolically as a time when we Latin Americans proved to the world that domination is not ever lasting, that in the words of Mario Benedetti: : “imperialist domination was not necessarily everlasting; that the apparent inexpugnability of the powerful was not without its crevices, and that an entire peoples’ creative will could overthrow those cold architects of destruction, those cybernetic administrators of death (my translation).”
That's what I was thinking when I titled this blog "Granma for Poetry." The granma was the name of the ship/ yacht from which Fidel and Che set out from Mexico for Cuba in 1959.
Bob Marley said something like: If you are the big tree, We are the small axe. I like that, the big tree, ready to cut you down.... it takes a considerable leap of the imagination to conceive that... or to conceive that a revolution can be launched from a yacht but it happened. (We all know what happened after that but yet the lessons are there...)
Maybe writing--poetry is like that. Maybe a poem once written sets sail--like the granma did. Maybe it reaches shores previously unimaginable. Maybe it proves that when faith is not lacking and imagination is placed under the service of a people’s revolutionary will that which was previously thought as unfeasible becomes more than attainable. The granma was and is a leap of the imagination and so is the writing of poetry.