Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

resetting the setters – poems of despair and breakthrough pain

by Paul Haeder / November 18th, 2021

Don’t ask me anything. I’ve seen that things
find their void when they search for direction.
There is a sorrow of holes in the unpeopled air
and in my eyes clothed creatures—undenuded!

— New York, August 1929, Federico García Lorca’s book, Poet in New York

I read Lorca on a Zoom
deal, poets reading
Phillip Levine
that dude of rage
Diaspora Jew
I drank with him 44 years ago
Karichimaka grub, is where we
rendezvoused, me the 20
year old Tucson dramaturge
finding food and tequila
for the literary crowd

Levine met Leonardo
31 year old from Chile
Pinochet’s tongue of pummels
on his dark skin
Leonardo drew lightness
from the shadows
Levine was raging happy

we kept a light correspondence
I tumbled into dead Salvadorans
in 1980 as a beginning reporter
sat on people in my pick-up
Sanctuary Datsun and fast-
talking gringo

he read with my rage
Levine was almost there, riding shotgun
he knew los brazos
the flesh, held in pressed
fingers, Levin slurped
memory of agave
he in Fresno, I in El Paso
then Mexico, onto the Gringo
Trail, into Huehuetenango

young CIA operatives
plying poisons in Guatemala
this is 1983, and this is now

we corresponded
four times, spanning 12 years
promises of reuniting
like old skin, spider legs
puffs left in wood floored
corners, with rage

Levine wrote, harmonized my rage
crazier now, or, no?
frail fears 24/7
CNN, Fox, massive
collective amnesia

they’ll never know those Levine
lines, really, spat out, with working class
syncopation, this in a time of cancel culture
he’d be out on his ass
now, too many no-no’s, too much rage

he was kind
few words in letters
fluid, and fearless – tsunami of lava
volcano crowning
defender of people
one soul at a time

From “Bow Down” come “Rise Up,”
Come they Lion from the reeds of shovels,
The grained arm that pulls the hands,
They lion grow. (against the backdrop of the 1967 Detroit riots and the Vietnam War — from  the poem “They Feed They Lion.”)

3 thoughts on “Reset (#3): Echoes of Past Modulated Choruses

  1. Maria Kraus says:

    Love this poem Paul. Thank you. Also the Lorca with which you begin. Beautiful poems are such infinite gifts. In my latest painting (very different from anything I’ve done before) “the sorrow of holes in the unpeopled air” is peopled, the sorrow being that we cannot see the “people”.

    On Thu, Nov 18, 2021 at 6:57 AM Paul Haeder, Author wrote:

    > haederpaul posted: ” resetting the setters – poems of despair and > breakthrough pain by Paul Haeder / November 18th, 2021 Don’t ask me > anything. I’ve seen that thingsfind their void when they search for > direction.There is a sorrow of holes in the unpeopled airand in my ” >


  2. haederpaul says:

    Yet, valiant people are there looking for all people, and long live that revolution — socialism as caring for people, communities, not caring for profits or oligarch. Easy-as-pumpkin-pie, but the colonized minds of the west are almost warped beyond Homo Sapiens recognition, a la Home Consumpithecus!

    This is how we win, with still so many murders by the Capitalists, the likes of which Modi and Company represent —

    We continue to fight, but Indians and those in many African countries, and in Latin America, they lead the wat!

    Movements across India celebrated the struggle by the farmers during which they faced great repression and vilification. Around 750 people are believed to have died during the agitation which saw thousands camp on the borders of Delhi

    After fighting for almost a year, farmers in India finally won a victory against the three farms laws enacted by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government last year. Prime minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday, November 19, that the three laws would be repealed and all legal processes related to the matter will be completed during the upcoming session of parliament.

    The news of the announcement led to celebrations all across the country. People hailed the victory of the farmers’ movement and took to the streets and social media to express their joy, while recalling the sacrifices made by the farmers in their year-long agitation. Several called it a victory against the arrogance of power.


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