“Republican in Red” by Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé


Can you write about guns? The sun-glint off of them
I suppose—Aristotle’s stern belief in material things,
the fact that they’re an object with expeditious words
running alongside of the barrel. I recall making guns
when I was a kid with wood from my father’s workshop.
They were machine gun type shapes, and walkie talkies
attached to them by a string. I spent hours decorating them;
finished, they appeared as colorful as the Mayan pyramids
were said to have been. They’re just splinters in the mind
of philosophers now. I played baseball back then too.
I wore a baseball undershirt beneath my starch-white uniform
which didn’t have Republican written in red. It said Phillies
or Mets instead. I couldn’t hit that ball if I tried. It may
as well have been a bullet, whizzing, as those bullets
whizzed by congressmen playing baseball in Alexandria.
I didn’t know that, did you? That bullets actually whiz,
that they strike the dirt (baseball-playing dirt, the kind
that smells like summer and innocence) near the dugout
and create a puff, that you can see and feel the puffs of dirt
if you’re seeking cover in a dugout, as if the world had
ceased playing baseball and the day had turned to night
and you were alone with your philosophy, your party,
and your body, which is nothing but bone and blood.

Poets Respond
June 15, 2017

[download audio]


Alejandro Escudé: “The shooting of Republican congressmen in Alexandria is a tragedy for our country. Lawmakers have to realize how important it is to safeguard the morale of American citizens. It’s not just about achieving a given political party’s ends. It’s also about maintaining the emotional safety of the public and ensuring that longstanding American traditions, values, and truths are upheld and remain sacred. Some will argue that the gunman did not have these ideas in mind when he committed this heinous crime, but I contend that people who are on a psychological precipice are more susceptible to the general mood of the society in which they live. They usurp this corrosive energy and have no healthy barrier to prevent them from carrying out such atrocities. We are not as separated as we perceive ourselves to be.” (webpage)

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