JOHN ROSS, 1938-2011

Photograph by Elizabeth Bell
Rebel Journalist, Poet, Novelist, Human Shield
He was a good friend. May he rest in peace.


The Revolution does not begin
over coffee at the Epicurean,
does not begin over gravy and grits,
in the first joint, the last hit,
the Morning Chron, your morning shit.
The Revolution does not begin
pulling greenchain on the graveyard shift,
or making the welfare line by nine.
The Revolution doesn't begin
in your mind, your heart, your liver,
your prick, doesn't begin
when you clench your fist,
The Revolution doesn't being in 1776,
1917, the depression, the dawn,
doesn't begin with gurus, Cinques,
the news from L.A.  Havana, manana.
The Revolution doesn't begin
with both barrels, at the bottom of bottles,
on the pages of bibles, with the blues.
The Revolution does not begin,
The Revolution has no beginning.
The Revolution is unending.
The Revolution is not like a faucet –
you can't turn it on and off.
The Revolution leaks all the time –
you can’t call a plumber to fix it.

1 comment:

debbie said...

Another really nice poem by John, from his chapbook Heading South:

"The Gulf of Guayaquil"
(Ecuador, 7/86)
for Marcia

The Sunday Evening tide
slides in from the muddy gulf
under a skyful of swampy guitars.
Down the Malecon, a military band
is grunting mambos
and the only breeze in town
slowly swirls in the chipped palms
like fanblades in the cantinas,
the sea is sick with sewage
and I am lonely and tired
of waiting for the news.
In the darkening west,
the causeway is strung
with little yellow lights
that glow like lost marimbas.
What keeps me going is that I know
out there somewhere is land
and you are on it
looking this way
and listening