REVOLUTION AND REVOLUTIONARIES GROUP Silvio Rodriguez on the Special Period (1990’s)


Like coins
Disillusionment jingles its theme
With a red mouth
And big droopy breasts
Smoking light tobacco
And exhaling alcohol
The owner of the bed embroidered
In underwear.
What frenzy in interrogation
What suicide in investigating
A brilliant fashion show

It opened a business
Reviving leisure

Like tourism
It invented the abyss
It touched the diamond
And turned it to coal
And it planted a good-for-nothing
In the administration.


To keep my icon from being smashed,
To save myself among the few and the odd ones,
To grant me a space in their Parnassus,
To give me a little corner in their altars,
they come to invite me to repent,
they come to invite me not to lose out,
they come to invite me to undefine myself,
they come to invite me to so much bullshit.
I can’t say what the future is,
I’ve always been what I’ve been

Only God, up there , is divine.
I will die just as I’ve lived.

I want to keep on betting on the lost cause,
I want to be with the left hand rather than right,
I want to make a Congress of the united,
I want to pray deeply an “our son .”

They’ll say that craziness has gone out of fashion, They ‘ll say that people are evil and don’t
deserve it, but I’ll leave with my mischievous dreams
(perhaps multiplying bread and fish).

I can’t say what the future is, I’ve always been what I’ve been, Only God, up there, is divine.
I will die just as I’ve lived.

They say that I’ll be dragged over the rocks when the Revolution comes crashing down, that they’ll
smash my hands and my mouth, that they’ll tear out my eyes and my tongue.
It may well be that I’m the child of foolishness, the foolishness of what today seems foolish: the
foolishness of accepting one’s enemy,
the foolishness of living without a price.
I can’t say what the future is, I’ve always been what I’ve been, Only God, up there , is divine.

I will die just as I’ve lived.


1arrive at the club of the fifty-year-olds (1950s)
and one hand brings the bill

The sum (addition) calls my attention from back to my cradle
Every fire, every underta king [with the implication of something you really
want to do]

comes with a price tag next to it
in spite of what has been paid .
I wonder what kind of business this is
in which even desire becomes an object of consumption
what will I do when the sun sends its bill?
But I keep turning my face to the east
and order another breakfast [using an Anglicism; that is, the word order isn’t
really used like that in Spanish]
in spite of the cost of love.

Let debts and inflation come,
rous, fines, recessions.

Let the pickpocket try to grab
the taste of my bolero.

Whoever the boss may be
Let him charge me diligently
(that cruel hand will find out
when I send him my bill).


The night flowers of Fifth Avenue open
For those poor gentlemen who go to the hotel

Flowers that break in the darkness
Flowers of winks of complicity

Flowers whistling suicides
Flowers with a fatal aroma

What gardener has sown our Fifth Avenue
With such a precise nocturnal variety

What is their species, what is their country

What fancy fertilizer nourished their root
Giving them a wild tone

Where could their womb be?
Flowers that go through forbidden doors

Flowers that know what I’ll never know
Flowers that string their dream of life

In garlands without faith
Flowers of sheets with eyes

Disposable flowers
Doorbells of desire
Flowers eating the leftovers of love

They sprout, they bounce, they explode on our Fifth Avenue
They are pulled up and depart with swift air

They say that a flower’s job is hard
When its petals wither in the sun

Pale nocturnal flowers
Flowers of disillusionment.


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