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Volume 17, Number 9
August 13, 2011
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culture

Also in this section:
Scenes from the International Book Fair
Books: Two Years of Insanity
Books: The Mouse That Roared
Cool Internet sites: a big Panamanian music sampler
Sparky the Wonder Dog
Omara Portuondo: coming to the Panama Jazz Festival (January 11-16, 2012)
Film: Harry Potter through the eyes of an Afghan child
Jane Fonda and the home of the brave
A cultural aid side of the PANAMAX war games
Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival March 1-4, 2012
Books: Dream Journey
Opening night for Deep Fried Comedy
Panama Canal Museum gets an endowment
The intricacies of art, religion, and rebellion in colonial Panama
Poets' Corner: The Dictator
Panama Drum Festival: September 17 at the Academia de Musica de Panama


The Panama News uses its Facebook Page as an extension of this website, and that page has a far more extensive and up-to-date listing of events, particularly bands that will be playing in Panama, than this culture section does.

The Dictator

Eyes of steel, deep and black,
tyrant in his fatigue slacks,
stares into the void of life,
Ammunition for a wife,
Pain and Strife as his lovers,
and an iron fist as cover
for his weak hold on the sane,
for his hard metal cast pain.

With the world in his hands,
the Dictator commands.

Eyes of blood, seething red
and their smiles lie limp and dead,
empty faces of the past
out of plaster they are cast.
Out of dirty, used up plaster
that decays faster and faster.
Dark brown skin of the dictated
Dirty. Dirty. Vindicated.

With the world dead at their feet
the People follow like sheep.

Throne made up of two pearl skulls,
and a goblet more than full.
On the bone two phrases carved:
"Abuse" and "Internal War."
One on each dead human head,
and the throne celestial bed,
for a dragon in disguise,
a horror in smocks and ties.

Answering to no live man
The Dictator commands.

From the inside looking out
of this cell of fear and doubt,
a humanity of souls
dry and wither in the cold.

From the outside looking in,
the world gawks at all the sin
and does nothing, for they word it:
"they're led as their hearts deserve it."

Told when to wake, when to sleep,
The People follow like sheep.

The throne's solid gold turns pale,
the gluttonous bread turns stale
and out in the ripened dark
a tongue catches, matches spark.
An idea festers deep
like a wound that soon will weep
rivers of revengeful blood.
Look down upon this great flood.

For the first time in his days
the Dictator's afraid.

Lighting cleaves God's marble floor
down the middle. Fiddles soar
into the night, they play low
(flying instruments of woe.)
These branches of filling light,
these glowing fingers of might,
spill like nightly wine uncorked
and reveal seas of pitchforks.


For the first time in so long
the People are strong.

The head of the snake hangs rotting,
a pendulum of blood clotting.
The People elect a savior
who promises good behavior.
Descends upon his new seat,
and they bow at these new feet.
Smiles, smiles. Miles, miles.
He has much to learn, this child.

Oh! Lo! Withering orchard.
The tortured is he who tortures.

Oh! Lo! Prickly thorns skipped.
The whipping boy is the whipped.

Placed in these masochist shelves,
the People dictate themselves.


Rafael Mendez








Also in this section:
Scenes from the International Book Fair
Books: Two Years of Insanity
Books: The Mouse That Roared
Cool Internet sites: a big Panamanian music sampler
Sparky the Wonder Dog
Omara Portuondo: coming to the Panama Jazz Festival (January 11-16, 2012)
Film: Harry Potter through the eyes of an Afghan child
Jane Fonda and the home of the brave
A cultural aid side of the PANAMAX war games
Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival March 1-4, 2012
Books: Dream Journey
Opening night for Deep Fried Comedy
Panama Canal Museum gets an endowment
The intricacies of art, religion, and rebellion in colonial Panama
Poets' Corner: The Dictator
Panama Drum Festival: September 17 at the Academia de Musica de Panama


The Panama News uses its Facebook Page as an extension of this website, and that page has a far more extensive and up-to-date listing of events, particularly bands that will be playing in Panama, than this culture section does.

News | Economy | Culture | Opinion | Lifestyle | Nature
Noticias | Opiniones | Alternativa con Miguel Antonio Bernal
Archive | Unclassified Ads | Home

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