Landy* and Lunacy / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

The nutcases approach me.

In Cuba it was the same. The United States need not be the exception.

Crazy. Beautiful. Docile. The sufficient causes of great massacres lie at the margins of great truths.

Cubanness, for example.

There is no genocide more perfect than Cubanness.

It began with torture on a ladder, and a poem bad and then some forged two hundred years later.  A mirror of tackiness.

Remember the slap that Antonio Maceo gave José Martí?  It wasn’t a punch, it’s written in the confiscated pages of the victim’s Campaign Diary.  It was a slap, which is how women in Cuba are hit when they misbehave or, as in this case, when they don’t shut up and they think they own all the explanations.

Martí as a faggot among the mass of mulatto machos from the mountains.

Maceo, with thousands of deaths under his belt, who, according to another war diary, killed an informer, a black woman who sold sweets in the rebel camp.  She didn’t choke from the rope, due to her rickets, so the bronze tyrant** lowered her hanging body so that he could break her neck and finish her off.

I love my country’s history.

My beautiful and lovely homeland.

Trucks drove up the Sierra Maestra with arms and drove down with coffee.  Batista’s little criminal soldiers, who couldn’t even kill flies, had to be paid 500 pesos (the ones that could kill weren’t there, but rather awaiting some declaration from the Sierra Maestra itself to go behead the leaders of the urban underground).

Things started early, don’t be fooled.

The armored train cost a pretty penny, but it paid off.

It seems that Martí too hired this or that anarchist for some selective assassinations there, in the very same metropolis that, in the end, won the war against Spain (the bloodiest that a New Yorker like him could imagine).

None of this is mine, I say it as a warning to those “democreformers” who follow my writing with guilt, trying to excommunicate me from their big bland cake of a homeland (anyway, I don’t want to chew on those scraps).

All is apocryphal and I disown responsibility among so many spokespersons.  They’re only nutcases.  Beautiful little nutcases that approach me and tell me their stories.

In Cuba as in the United States.

I still don’t understand exactly why.

Maybe they see in it my eyes.

They see that my eyes are the only eyes in the world that won’t forget their historical horror.

They’re right.


I love them so much that I couldn’t survive if one sensible day they ceased to approach me.

You, come to me now.

Translator’s notes:
Landy is a nickname used by Orlando’s closest friends and family.
**This is a pun on El Titán de Bronce (The Bronze Titan) the historical sobriquet by which Maceo is known among Cubans.

Translated by: Alexis Rhyner and Yoyi el Monaguillo

12 June 2013