LORD ENZO GARCIA VEGA / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

What might the United States be?

A little Chinese box, camera oscura of liberty, a crazy car.

A wholesale parking lot, something Publix, democratic boarding home where we can take refuge from the horror: that is to say, of the politics Made in Cuba.

Lorenzo Garcia Vega (LGV) has died.

This occurrence doesn’t warrant a single line more.

He will cease writing his zen paragraphs. Only that. It will remain a bit truncated, the Cuban folly of the Transition.

For everything else, it had already been centuries that he was a man of another time, of other barbarisms, of other anguishes that would disfigure his face in that Havana where Lezama would get cars. And ass (or would pay to give it, as if to publish prepubescent poets.)

Cuban poetry will show no awareness of the case of LGV, like it shows no awareness of anything else, just like it has not seen that the end of the Revolution is written.

In some official venues they will publish a respectful announcement, funerary spit without sense of draft, of the dirty trick, without the least bit of style of our dilapidation.

Homages. Dossiers. Idiocies of suit and tie, with almost a derby hat.

How outdated we are, how timid, how frail, what Originists.*

In waiting he left an unbuilt Disneyland in the Sierra Maestra, our albino Alps. Little Trojan horses and catacombs of props, pop-up “Castricos”, little friction rifles, tiny wind-up tanks, tinplate books in exchange for a good tip under the outrageous sun.

It had already been centuries, since the prick-severing decade of the seventies, LGV was already the last of his generation. No one survives him. At least not a witness.

A young writer friend, privileged reader and the only one to take notice in Cuba his death, desired to deliver a common ground, almost a headline of a Republican court, pronouncing through our telephones which are grossly spied on by the government: “each day we are more alone…”

From that constitutional isolationism, that balkanization at this point in the debacle, from that sub-socialist silence, from that insufferable un-solidarity, we populate the helplessness of our barren lot. From those bedbugs is the habitat of our mat composed.

Each day we are more alone because each day we are closer to those salaried by the Castro Klan, because there are no intermediaries left, nor survivors, because those uniformed in olive green will leave us no option but to emigrate and let us be exploited by a First World capitalist, pushing the groceries of another in a mall, turning into octogenarians in an illegible state of unediting, like babies who don’t yet know how to read (and much less how to write).

Each day we are more sordid. Lorenzo García Vega won’t learn of our gallows, will think nothing of our literature to come, untranslatable texts with which we ingratiate ourselves with no one.

We are condemned at the canon of the triumphant, of the erudite scholars, of the contributors with their integral work in the big editorial houses of Spain.

We were no more cunning than the political police. We did not know how to timely part with our biography . We panicked. We were cowards. We have left only swallowing pills and publishing.

Translator’s note:
*”Orígenes” was one of the most important Cuban literary journals of the 1940’s.

Translated by: Maria Montoto

June 5 2012