2 July 2002
Sitting on the balcony
of apartamiento seis in Old Havana,
The sweaty night freshened by a breath of oily air
and the screech of brakes from Terminal de Trenes,
I watch the stately unseen drift of the planet Venus
across the sky in splendid isolation
above the passion and the heat.
She slowly sinks to the horizon,
the fixed stars behind,
a faint canopy amongst the inky black.
Momentarily a television antenna
obliterates that eye of beauty,
among the forest of antennas
On the tops of buildings three stories up
and crowded in the noisy city streets of La Habana Vieja.
Oh shining jewel of light!
You sink to the horizon of tangled edifices,
leaving the inky blackness and the perspiring electric lights behind.
Venus has disappeared!
And with you a tiny jewel of hope among the tangle of antennas.
- Below – a skeen of words and images drawn from the unseen night
- into a million apartamientos – the sounds of Cubavision
Radiating from a thousand doors and windows
open in the heat crowded night,
into myriad sparks of mental light
faint as the stars in the darkened sky behind,
Into a million cravings for dinero, for sex, for love, for dance, for fantasy world USA,
celoso, invidioso, carino, amor
Socialismo o Muerte!
Oh shining single star of light!
or rather, noble planet on your independent course
among the pale estrellas,
You are to me the hombre nuevo of the heavens,
you are the new humanity of deepened consciousness
splendid in your independent isolation
above our world.
To gaze upon your stately drift
oh single eye of brightness and serenity,
our beacon, drawing us apart to deep awareness:
Awakening in us the universal vision,
the embracing compassion of human transformation,
beyond the tangle of antennas, the electric wires,
The passionate apartamientos, the dance, the dreams,
Your beacon arises forever again each night,
And for us each night,
you sink unseen into the dark horizon,
the trackless tangle of antennas and emotions.
Un hombre viejo,
drunk in the night,
ejaculates a string of Spanish curses.
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