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Generalissimo Francisco Franco Is Still DeadFrederick Seidel
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Vol. 39 No. 22 · 16 November 2017
Poem

Generalissimo Francisco Franco Is Still Dead

Frederick Seidel

319 words

Every time I sleep I leave a stain.
When I wake up, I climb out of a drain
And step into my feet and it is plain
That when I walk away I leave a lane
Of garbage on the carpet in the train.

Francisco Franco (El Caudillo) pokes his head up from the drain
Where he’s been hiding with Saddam Hussein.
He waterboards the peasants with champagne.
Now maybe they’ll vote to give this madly inane
Hitler buffoon his very own nuclear codes, let democracy reign!

Make Spain great again! I shouldn’t touch it but I can’t refrain
And don’t restrain
Myself so what was once a tiny grain
Of pain
Is now a roaring lion with a mane.

Franco needs water for his golf courses so we can’t complain
Out loud but it’s insane – insane
Monsoons of rain
Drowning the automatic sprinkler systems that maintain
The greens, blinding windshields worldwide, Spain to Maine.

I can’t stop rhyming! I can’t. It’s my domain!
Making more or less musical noise out of my fascist disdain.
I choose Francisco Franco, weakling strong man of Spain,
As my alter ego, bearer of my terror over what I can’t attain
In the few years I have left, the minutes that remain …

Lacking tenderness, not something you can go to the store and obtain,
But which anyway does not pertain
To piloting an airplane
Dropping bombs on innocent civilians who remain
In pieces in the street under the boiling sun, Spaniards, pieces of Spain.

Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text while driving. Don’t kill Lorca. Maintain
The good health of your car and tires and don’t explain
To anyone when you’re in the red-light district but remain
Alert also on the subway and don’t feign
Ignorance because, though Franco is still dead, long may Franco reign!

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