June 7, 2011


We crossed today through the immense crowd gathered at Syndagma square, the burning heart of Athens, and met Marina few blocks lower in Exarchia, at her studio. She was playing with her toys.

After four hours of torture, the Apache and the other two cops threw a bucket of water at the prisoner to wake him up and said: “The Colonel has ordered us to give you a chance to save your skin. If you guess which of us has a glass eye, you’ll be spared torture.”

After gazing over the faces of his executioners, the prisoner pointed to
one of them: “Him. His right eye is glass.”

The astonished cops said, “But how could you guess?

All your buddies missed because the eye is American, that is - perfect.”

And the prisoner, feeling he was going to faint again, “it was the only eye that looked at me without hatred.”

Of course they continued torturing him.


Like you I
love love, life, the sweet smell
of things, the sky blue
landscape of January days.

And my blood boils up
and I laugh through eyes
that have known the buds of tears.

I believe the world is beautiful
and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

And that my veins don’t end in me
but in the unanimous blood
of those who struggle for life,
little things,
landscape and bread,
the poetry of everyone.

THE CERTAINTY and LIKE YOU by Roque Dalton,Translation: Jack Hirschman

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