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 Day 19

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Unfinished by GARY CORSERI   I dreamt I saw Guevara on the mountains. Beautiful and strong, he laughed amongst comrades. A serpent of bullets crawled over his shoulder. The leaves of the trees were thick as wax.   “Welcome,” he said, calling me brother. “We have been waiting for a thousand years for the proper […]

Three by Corseri





I dreamt I saw Guevara on the mountains.

Beautiful and strong, he laughed amongst comrades.

A serpent of bullets crawled over his shoulder.

The leaves of the trees were thick as wax.


“Welcome,” he said, calling me brother.

“We have been waiting for a thousand years

for the proper moment to die.”

The leaves were like wax, and were melting.


We lived on the mountains and highlands.

Sometimes we went to the village.

We were hidden, fed, and adored.

And the young women loved us.


Softly he spoke of Habana.

Canes of sugar like an army of peasants

covered the fields of his longing.

O, the young women truly loved us.


When the soldiers came, we were ready.

We rattled their brains with our bullets.

They danced to the startling rifles

Like shattered marionettes.


Over the battle, Guevara laughed sadly.

“We have waited for a thousand years,” he shouted,

“and the proper moment has not arrived.”

The leaves were like wax, and were melting.



You Want To Know About Poetry?



You might say

that the house of music

is an ice palace


in the center of which

a thin bubble of silence

rides in its own discord.


It is the same for a poem.


At the heart of it, a white heron,

who has lost its mate to the guns,

flies in the darkening snow


in a closing circle of silence.



“Why Don’t You Join The Organization

And Reform Them From Within?”



So he put on a white suit

And a shiny black tie

And pretended to be

A cancer cell.


He munched on the marrow

And pummeled the pancreas,

Kilroyed the kidneys

And spelunkered the spleen.


They accepted him

As one of them.

(Because of the dicta he spouted—

The best of them!)


He never blew his cover.

He never lost his cool.

The opportunity to reform them

Simply never sprouted.

Gary Corseri has taught in US public schools and prisons, and at US and Japanese universities. His prose and poems have appeared at The New York Times, CounterPunch, The Village Voice, CommonDreams and hundreds of other periodicals and websites worldwide.  His dramas have been produced on Atlanta-PBS, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum.  He has published books of poetry, the Manifestations literary anthology (edited), and the novels,  A Fine Excess and Holy Grail, Holy Grail.  He can be contacted at

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx or odt files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

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