For Augusto Pinochet – M. Wizard

My last post to the rag blog was so sweet — much sweeter than my reputation! — and today’s news of the Chilean dictator’s death prompted me to resurrect this poem from 30 years ago.

As Mr. Dylan said some years ago, “Maybe I’m too sensitive, or else I’m gettin’ soft.” Mariann Wizard

A Poem Written in Blood

(for ché ché)

Pablo Neruda has died a death

of “natural causes”, they claim.

Is it natural to rip a man’s heart from his body,

to satisfy usurers and thieves?

Poor pound of flesh!

Chile was Neruda’s heart.

They have killed Pablo Neruda.

Do they think they have killed poetry?

They have killed Salvador Allende.

Do they think they have killed truth?

They have killed twenty thousand chileños.

Do they think they have killed Chile?


Pinocchio Pinochet & His Stringed Trio” –

you are as clumsy as your masters!

The Watergate floodtide flushes down the Potomac,

splashing its stain on Tricky & Spiro,

on Connally & Kissinger,

on Meany & the magnates,

on bureaucrats & buggers –

Tag, you’re I.T.T.!

Does Nixon think that we don’t see

his sweaty lips moving

when the generals in Santiago

proclaim their martial law?

Dig it:

Nixon spent I.T.T.’s bread to discover

if McGovern

was financed by Cubans

who wanted to overthrow our electoral process, see;

so he hired some gusanos

who want to overthrow Cuba’s government,

to undermine our democratic safeguards,

and find out if they were being overthrown!

Oh yeah, baby, and then,

he spent some more of I.T.T.’s money

to overthrow the elected government of Chile,

because he figured it had been undermined

by some of that Cuban cash!

Hasn’t Nixon heard the news

that Cuba is learning how to live without money?

Let I.T.T. do the same!

Pablo Neruda has died a death –

of heart disease?

Sakharov cannot be bothered;

Chile is, “too far away”;

this is a disease of the heart!

Pablo Neruda has died a death –

of cancer?

Solzhenitsyn, re-read your own

Cancer Ward,

and be ashamed!

Pablo Neruda has died a death –

of murder!

And the people of the world are in mourning

and enraged.

In the stadium, the young people

link arms and sing The Internationale.

Their song is punctuated

by the butchers’ bullets.

Pablo, they have burned your latest poems.

Let these young martyrs’ fiery song

join your poetic legacy.

It is written in Chile’s heartsblood.


You cannot use that heart,

ripped from that body,

to grant yourselves reality, legitimacy, acceptance by

the human race.

Those muscles will not work for you.

Those arteries will not bear your transport.

No rhythm will establish normalcy for your

disgraceful existence.

Chile is Pablo Neruda’s heart.

Chile is Salvador Allende’s heart.

Chile is freedom’s heart:

throbbing, tense, blood-red, red-hot.

September, 1973

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