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Behind The Mask
April 2015



Industrial Scene 1

Sister 1: Hey, brother, did you check out the guy strolling around the job?
Something’s real strange. Like he got a spooky face.

Brother 1: You hit it right there, sister! That’s the new boss, er, some other name he calls himself, what is it? Uh, uh

Brother 2: Y’mean, the Big Brother?

Brother 1: Yeah, the dude who’s been watching us all day.

Sister 1: He reminds me of somebody I read in a play once. Ooh, what’s the name? He was a masked man that wanted you to think he was a magic superhero but he was a just a buffoon!

Sister 2: Yeeaahh, wait a minute! Hey, wasn’t Amiri Baraka writing a story like that?

All: “What Was the Relationship of the Lone Ranger to the Means of Production?”

Brother 1: Yaaaah Brother 2: Yeah, that’s right.

Brother 2: And the masked man acted the fool, just like big boss, er, brother, been acting all day.

Sister 1: Hey, here he comes!

(silence descending)

Big Buffoon: Ah, how are my fine diverse associates doing today?

(collective silence)

Big Buffoon: All right, just remember, I’m watching you.

Brothers 1 and 2 and Sisters 1 and 2: And we’re watching you!

Big Buffoon: Well, this is all bad public relations!

Elder Brother: And you’re bad for all my relations!

Big Buffoon: No, oh, no, not you again!

Elder Brother: Yes! Me! I don’t forget years ago I kicked you under the curb for calling me Tonto! And you still got that ridiculous mask!

Big Buffoon: Well, I don’t have to put up with this!

Elder Brother: Don’t worry, I won’t knock you down – unless it’s my tongue doing it!

(Big Boss, er, Brother runs away)

Brother 2: Ooh, that was serious!

Sister 2: Yeah, you got’em that time! Yay!

Elder Brother: Just this time. We still have to beware of that masked man!

Big Brother 1: I just wait for our time.

© Ángel L. Martínez 29-30 april 2015

The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


Guaguancó 11: Quítate la Máscara
para Billie Holiday

Ahora sí te amo tu alma
de tus canciones de blues
una flor que nace en Baltimore
y se crió en el Pueblo de Harlem
y Billie con sus sentimientos
debajo de la lluvia azul del cielo
para mi pobre pueblo donde mi pobre gente
se mueren sin justicia
como un árbol grande Paul Robeson,
amigo de Billie que luchó para los derechos humanos
y mira, una estrella Billie Holiday, quien canto Strange Fruit
y luchó contra racismo en unidad con el pueblo
y ahora vamos a celebrar 100 años de su nacimiento
God bless the child that has its own

Guaguancó 12: Leocadia Álvarez

Y muchas voces juntas y mis versos y mi alma
de mis amores entre las flores y frutas
este mes de abril, esta es la hora de poesía
hermose es su herencia a mi gran abuela Leocadia
en un poema primero de mis sueños
palabras libres en frente del mar Caribe
con la voz de la Bayamesa

Guaguancó 13: Pedro Albizu Campos abril 21, 1965

Este es un mesnajero
que tiene un dolor al lado de la patria
como un huracán borinqueño abajo de una tierra de las corporaciones
que vive en un su mascara
y Pedro es la fuerza hoja de la liberación
y a que los aman la verdad
y no a los mentirosos del tiburón
que es buenísimo
y en el nombre de mis canciones
Pedro vive en las almas
después de cincuenta años de su muerte
perdón, negocio es negocio
un olor de un ratón podrido en fantasía
abre las puertas pa’ Oscar López Rivera

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 4/7/15
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Guaguancó 11: Take off the Mask
for Billie Holiday

Now I love your soul
of your blues songs
a flower is born in Baltimore
and raised in the village of Harlem
and Billie and her feelings
under the blue sky rain
for my poor village where my poor people
die without justice
Like a big tree Paul Robeson,
Billie’s friend, who fought for human rights
and behold, a star Billie Holiday, who sang Strange Fruit
and fought against racism in unity with the people
and now we will celebrate 100 years of her birth
God Bless The Child That Has Its Own

Guaguancó 12: Leocadia Álvarez

And many voices together and my verses and my soul
of my love among the flowers and fruits
this April, this is the hour of poetry
lovely is your legacy is my great grandmother Leocadia
in the first poem of my dreams
Free words facing the Caribbean Sea
with the voice of the Bayamesa

Guaguancó 13: Pedro Albizu Campos April 21, 1965

This is a messenger
who has a pain by the homeland
like a borinqueño hurricane under corporation grounds
who lives in his mask
and Pedro is the strength the leaf of liberation
and to those who love the truth
and not the liars of the shark
which is great
and in the name of my songs
Pedro lives in the souls
fifty years after his death
sorry, business is business
an odor of a rotting mouse in fantasy
open the door for Oscar Lopez Rivera

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 4/7/15

The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective



Behind the Mask

As she put on the elephant mask
She began to tremble
And shake her head from side to side
Soon she dropped to the floor
And became still for a while

And then the elephant came to life
Feeling her four feet upon the ground
Sensitively listening, breathing
Smelling the air
Reaching outwards in her awareness
Settling into her skin
Her being
Her knowing

Her eyes lit up behind the mask
Reflecting the great elephant soul
Shining with the deep inner wisdom of the matriarch
An ancient, wordless legacy of understanding

She knew who she was and stood again upright
On her own two feet
She became one with herself
And with every elephant in all time
Every creature
Every sunrise
Every waterhole
Every new birth
Every death
Her humanity

Now enhanced with the gift of the elephant
She began to dance the wild grace of creation
Remembering all there is and all there will be

And later, when she had rested
She tenderly removed the elephant mask
But her eyes still shone
And she never forgot.

Lucia Birch
Stevenage Survivors


What I see in their eyes?
They don't give away emotions.
Don't show any feeling.
Only a mouth gives away
thoughts, constructive ideas,
fast way of thinking.
Wear a mask.
Provide tears
when whole nation is weeping.
You have to wear a mask
to survive.
Do not show,
what you are thinking,
not even to your friends.
They are not friends,
only acquaintances and cliques.
Do not cry,
or you will become a joke.
One day I wanted to see
my face under the mask -
my real face.
The mask won't come off.
It became my face.

Marie Neumann

Seeing thru the masked

Lowest level hidden behind
Lies paranoia guilt shame
Accused by fabrication faking lies
Accusers spreading misery
Blaming in wrongful
To hide selfish superiority  nonsense
Hurting wounding the innocent
Easier to hurt wound than to heal
Seeing beyond their mask
Lies a world of misery
The innocent
Need not prove that their innocent
Lies behind the mask spread muck
Those without a mask
Bringing  happiness

John J Sheehy


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