One of my Ismaelillo series poems –“erasures“– is up at The Honest Ulsterman today (February 28). Created by the late poet James Simmons in 1968, The HU is one of the long-running & “most widely read little magazines of its type in Ireland and probably in the English speaking world.” I’m truly honoured & humbled to have been entrusted with the opportunity to contribute to such an esteemed literary journal with a long trajectory! My heartfelt thanks to The HU & its editors!
“erasures“– another persona poem– is a part of a work I’m recently developing that alludes to & plays on José Martí‘s first collection of poetry Ismaelillo (1882). Written in exile (Caracas & New York) & dedicated to his absent three-year-old son José Francisco Martí Zayas Bazán, Ismaelillo can be considered as a figure of longing for absence that brilliantly exemplifies the osmosis of the personal and the political. In my donning of the mask of José Martí, Ismaelillo is not a little boy seen as a knight whose role is to serve as a solace to the personal & political nightmares that “daunt” his father (“espantado de todo”), rather in the light of History (of Havana), he has to become a jazz musician!
Here’s the link to the poem: erasures