Illegal Death

TurkishRev_wTitle

Illegal death (tribute to Helin Bölek)
Poem by Facundo Rompehuevos

dear artist:

if your words are any good

they will become illegal

the artist should understand this

too many don’t, and in their arrogant

ignorance serve the class of men who

rubber-stamp death sentences for the

fellow colleagues of artists

the artist who, like a combatant, lifts her

voice like the fire arc of bullets

who lifts her instrument like the red flag

who inspires others with songs of

guerrillas in the cold dersim mountains

shame to those who think art is neutral

confusing the tool of language with the art

and method of using the tool in favor

to one class over another

it took 288 red and yellow long-stem flowers

and a pine box and 28 years for her songs

to reach you; all you have to do is listen

now

dear artist:

if your words were any good

they’d be illegal

if your death was any good

it would be made illegal too

with panicked fascists grabbing

at your flowers and coffin

and the masses, with red and yellow

in their eyes, protecting your life even in

death

***

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