Poem: “1927”



Revolution virgin-pure
Covered now in filthy sores,
I wonder what he’d think of this:
The paradox of class and war
Between the lowly and the state –
No servant of the Comintern
Foretold which class the Party ate:
I knew him at one hundred one

Channeled Chinese generals
For the International,
Tangled with the Kuomintang,
Came to grips with Capital
In California and Beijing –
Went to prison for a strike
And violent revolution’s sake,
A kind of prophet-priest of Marx –
Of China now what would he make?

O morbid sour comedy –
Satirize such sacrifice,
Grip the bleak absurdity,
Who would place faith in Lenin twice?
Or secular Leviathan,
Idol in this life alone,
Butcher of the rights of Man
Sower of the seeds of stone,
And yet the faith was genuine:
The old man whom I met back then

August 20, 2011


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