Thursday, March 30, 2006


Do not lecture me moderation,
For I beheld the zealot's rapt gaze,
As he laughed in the vault,
Of a looted bank,
And set good money ablaze.
Do not whine of self preservation,
I will not have you so blab,
Remembering the selfless son,
Of Revolution,
Who took out a mortar with his cab.
And,please, do not speak of freedom,
As you watch the fascists,
devour Spain.
Your precious freedom will come to nothing,
If our Republic dies in vain.



Horde those sardines, little mothers,

We will hunger to be free,

And while I cannot speak for others,

When I soldier I eat voraciously.

And we'll see little wheat from Gaul,

Who will fuck as history is written,

And little meat from John Bull,

Whose precious capitalists we've smitten.

No, I fear, my little mothers,

We will hunger to be free.

The Germans will doubtless send us loaves,

Of steele, to blow up our houses,

And the Italians will send us groves,

Of men to tear at our daughters' blouses.

The fascists will not fail to feed,

Us death, to us and many others.

We will hunger to be freed,

Horde those sardines little mothers.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I couldn't a said it better


Excuse me for being off topic but a quick post in honor of the dust-up at J.C's
The Ass and the Flute

This little fable heard,
It good or ill may be;
But it has just occurred
Thus accidentally.
Passing my abode,
Some fields adjoining me
A big ass on his road
Came accidentally.
And laid upon the spot,
A Flute he chanced to see,
Some shepherd had forgot
There accidentally.
The animal in front
To scan it nigh came he,
And snuffing loud as wont,
Blew accidentally.
The air it chanced around
The pipe went passing free
And thus the Flute a sound
Gave accidentally.
“O then,” exclaimed the Ass,
“I know to play it fine;
And who for bad shall class
This music asinine?”
Without the rules of art,
Even asses, we agree,
May once succeed in part,
Thus accidentally.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Spaniard In The Works

No John Lennon did not fight in Spain, but he did make two nods to the conflict during his Public Life. In 1967, taking a break from The Fab Four, he traveled to Spain to shoot "How I Won The War" playing the ironic "private Gripweed" (who else?) . Obstensiously about WW II, it actually looked more like the Spanish Civil War, and Lennon, ironically enough, played a cockney fascist, whom were scarce after the Blitz. The second nod was from his first book "A Spaniard in the Works. The title plays off a well used British phrase for causing confusion and mayhem...a favorite pastime of "The smart Beatle".

"A Spaniard in the Works "

Jesus El Pifco was a foreigner and he knew it. He had imigrateful from his little white slum in Barcelover a good thirsty year ago having first secured the handy job as coachman in Scotland. The job was with the Laird of McAnus, a canny old tin whom have a castle in the Highlads. The first thing Jesus E1 Pifco noticed in early the days was that the Laird didn't seem to have a coach of any discription or even a coach house you know, much to his dismable. But-and I use the word lightly-the Laird did seem to having some horses, each one sporting a fine pair of legs. Jesus fell in love with them at first sight, as they did with him, which was lucky, because his quarters were in the actually stables along side his noble four lepered friends
Pretty polly one could see Jesus almost every day, grooming his masters horses, brushing their manebits and hammering their teeth, whistling a quaint Spanish refrain dreaming of his loved wombs back home in their little white fascist bastard huts.
'A well pair of groomed horses I must say,' he would remark to wee Spastic Sporran the flighty chamberlain, whom he'd had his good eye on eversince Hogmanose.
'Nae sa bad' she would answer in her sliced Aberdeen, martin accent. 'Ye spend more time wi'yon horses than ye do wi' me,' with that she would storm back to her duties, carefully tying her chastity negro hardly to her skim.
Being a good catholic, Jesus wiped the spit from his face and turned the otha cheese-but she had gone leaving him once small in an agatha of christy.
'One cave she wolf go too farther, and I wolf leaf her' he said to his fave rave horse. Of course the horse didn't answer, because as you know they cannot speak, least of all to a garlic eating, stinking, little yellow greasy fascist bastard catholic Spaniard. They soon made it up howevans and Jesus and wee Spastic were once morphia unitely in a love that knew no suzie. The only thing that puzzled Jesus was why his sugarboot got so annoyed when he called her his little Spastic in public.
Little wonder howeapon, with her real name being Patrick, you see?
'Ye musna' call me Spastic whilst ma friends are here Jesus ma bonnie wee dwarf' she said irragated.
'But I cannot not say Patrick me little tartan bag' he replied all herb and angle inside. She looked down at him through a mass of naturally curly warts.
'But Spastic means a kind of cripple in English ma sweet wee Jesus, and ai'm no cripple as you well known!'
'That's true enough' said he 'but I didn't not realize being a foreigner and that, and also not knowing your countries culture and so force, and anywait I can spot a ample anywhere.'
He rambled on as Patrick knelt down lovingly with tears in her eye and slowly bit a piece of his bum. Then lifting her face upwarts, she said with a voice full of emulsion 'Can ye heffer forgive me Jesus, can ye?' she slobbed. He looked at her strangely as if she were a strangely, then taking her slowly right foot he cried; 'Parreesy el pino a strevaro qui bueno el franco senatro!' which rugby transplanted means-'Only if you've got green braces'-and fortunately she had.
They were married in the fallout, with the Lairds blessing of course, he also gave them a 'wee gifty'as he put it, which was a useful addition to their bottom lawyer. It was a special jar of seaet ointment made by generators of his forefingers to help get rid of Patricks aabs which she had unluckily caught from the Laird of McAnus himself at his late wifes (Lady McAnus') wake. They were overjoyced, and grapenut abun and beyond the call of duty.
'The only little crawlie things we want are babies,' quipped Jesus who was a sport. 'That's right sweety' answered Patrick reaching for him with a knowsley hall. 'Guid luck to you and yours' shouted the Laird from the old wing.
'God bless you sir' said Jesus quickly harnessing his wife with a dexterity that only practice can perfect. 'Come on me beauty' he whispered as he rode his wife at a steady trot towards the East Gate. 'We mustn't miss the first race my dear.'
'Not likely' snorted his newly wed wife breaking into a gullup. 'Not likely' she repeated.
The honeymood was don short by a "elephant from Mrs El Pifco (his mother) who was apparently leaving Barcelunder to see her eldest sod febore she died laughing, and besides the air would do her good she added. Patrick looked up from her nosebag and giggled.
'Don't joke about Mamma please if you donlang, she are all I have loft in the world and besides your mother's a bit of a brockwurst herselves' said Jesus, 'And if she's still alive when she gets here we can throw up a party for her and then she can meet all our ugly Scottish friends' he refleacd. 'On the other handle we can always use her as a scarecrab in the top field'said Patrick practically.
So they packed their suitcrates marked 'his and hearse' and set off for their employers highly home in the highlies.
'We're home Sir' said Jesus to the wizened tartan figure knelt crouching over a bag of sheep.
'Why are ye bask so soon'' inquired the Laird, immediately tecognizing his own staff through years of experience. 'I've had some bad jews from my Mammy-she's coming to seagull me, if its all ripe with you sir.' The Laird thought for a mumble, then his face lit up like a boiling wart.
'You're all fired' he smiled and went off whistling.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Orwell At War

George Orwell (looming head and shoulders above his comrades and in the rear), prepares to march to the Aragon Front.

"It was an extraordinary life that we were living—an extraordinary way to be at war, if you could call it war. The whole militia chafed against the inaction and clamoured constantly to know why we were not allowed to attack. But it was perfectly obvious that there would be no battle for a long while yet, unless the enemy started it. Georges Kopp, on his periodical tours of inspection, was quite frank with us. ‘This is not a war,’ he used to say, ‘it is a comic opera with an occasional death.’ As a matter of fact the stagnation on the Aragon front had political causes of which I knew nothing at that time; but the purely military difficulties—quite apart from the lack of reserves of men—were obvious to anybody.
To begin with, there was the nature of the country. The front line, ours and the Fascists’, lay in positions of immense natural strength, which as a rule could only be approached from one side. Provided a few trenches have been dug, such places cannot be taken by infantry, except in overwhelming numbers. In our own position or most of those round us a dozen men with two machine-guns could have held off a battalion. Perched on the hill-tops as we were, we should have made lovely marks for artillery; but there was no artillery. Sometimes I used to gaze round the landscape and long—oh, how passionately!—for a couple of batteries of guns. One could have destroyed the enemy positions one after another as easily as smashing nuts with a hammer. But on our side the guns simply did not exist. The Fascists did occasionally manage to bring a gun or two from Zaragoza and fire a very few shells, so few that they never even found the range and the shells plunged harmlessly into the empty ravines. Against machine-guns and without artillery there are only three things you can do: dig yourself in at a safe distance—four hundred yards, say—advance across the open and be massacred, or make small-scale night-attacks that will not alter the general situation. Practically the alternatives are stagnation or suicide.

There were about thirty of ourselves, including one Spaniard (Ramón, Williams’s brother-in-law), and there were a dozen Spanish machine-gunners. Apart from the one or two inevitable nuisances—for, as everyone knows, war attracts riff-raff—the English were an exceptionally good crowd, both physically and mentally. Perhaps the best of the bunch was Bob Smillie—the grandson of the famous miners’ leader—who afterwards died such an evil and meaningless death in Valencia. It says a lot for the Spanish character that the English and the Spaniards always got on well together, in spite of the language difficulty. All Spaniards, we discovered, knew two English expressions. One was ‘O.K., baby’, the other was a word used by the Barcelona whores in their dealings with English sailors, and I am afraid the compositors would not print it. "

Saturday, March 18, 2006


As Jackie-O liked my last offering and Blogspot has heretofore resisted my attempts to post I offer another of my poems...

I chanced to hear a piping,
Beyond the fascist redoubt I was sniping,
Some Fascist lackey brute,
Most proficient on his flute.
I slung my rifle and waxed calm,
He played a bit of fluff from Brahms,
Brahms being alien to war,
I wished to hear some more.
The tree I crouched in clinging,
The night stars so clear and singing,
So real just a moment before,
Lost all substance as he finished the score.
The shot that got me hot and glancing,
The putrid infection the doctors are lancing,
Testify the power of his flute,
Which made this soldier moot.
If you chance to hear a piping,
Beyond the fascist redoubt you are sniping,
My suggestion? Plug up you ear,
Pour lead through the music you hear.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I hope you all will forgive me a small vanity, a repost of one of my first, a short poem by yours truly that, I hope, captures the spirit of The Barcelona Orwell was so suprised to find.


I am Juan, fisher's son,
Barceloneta I now run,
By day I boat just where I might,
Then chase fascists through the night,
I have no use for government,
I have friends who pour cement.
The priests have no use for me,
I carry rope that they might see,
Priests should not make a fuss,
But leave the governing to us,
I have more of God in my buttered toast,
Than priests have in a thousand hosts!
The leech who once took the let,
Now calls me comrade,
when we've met.
I address him almost civilly,
Tap the carbine at my knee,
Funny he mentions not the lease!
I give fish to his pretty niece.
You shits who used to run this place,
Remember well this ugly face,
This man whom you would like to tame,
Will die before you rise again!
Black are my eyes,
my blood red on cement,
I have no use for government.


Monday, March 13, 2006


George Orwell came to Spain as a journalist in 1936 and left some months later a combat veteran.Below are his impressions of revolutionary Barcelona. The sights and sounds he encountered there inspired him to join the POUM (Workers Party Of Marxist Unification) militia and after some rudimentary training he was sent to the Aragon Front. Wounded in the neck he returned to Barcelona to find a city now controlled by minions and allies of Stalin. POUM was outlawed, there was to be no unification. Orwell fled Spain disallusioned but carrying the seeds of his greatest work..."Animal Farm".

I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately, because at that time and in that atmosphere it seemed the only conceivable thing to do. The Anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing. To anyone who had been there since the beginning it probably seemed even in December or January that the revolutionary period was ending; but when one came straight from England the aspect of Barcelona was something startling and overwhelming. It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists; every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with the initials of the revolutionary parties;almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workman. Every shop and cafe had an inscription saying that it had been collectivised; even the bootblacks had been collectivized and their boxes painted red and black.Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal.Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobodysaid 'Senor' or 'Don' or even 'Usted'; everyone called everyone else 'Comrade' or 'Thou', and said 'Salud!' instead of 'Buenos dias'. Tipping had been forbidden by law since the time of Primo de Rivera; almost my first experience was receiving a lecture from a hotel manager for trying to tip a lift-boy. There were no private motor-cars, they had all been commandeered,and the trams and taxis and much of the other transport were painted red and black. The revolutionary posters were everywhere, flaming from the walls in clean reds and blues that made the few remaining advertisements look like daubs of mud.

More about Orwell later, his odyssey in Spain will be the subject of several posts.

Friday, March 10, 2006

W.H. Auden

W.H. Auden and his friend Christopher Isherwood served as ambulance drivers during the Spanish Civil War. Although his views on the war changed in later years, at the time, like so many others he responded to the call. Below a snippet from his mammoth poem "Spain, 1937".

To-morrow for the young poets (exploding like bombs)
The walks by the lake, the weeks of perfect communion;
To-morrow the bicycle races
Through the suburbs on summer evenings.
But to-day the struggle.
Today the deliberate increase in the chances of death,
The conscious acceptance of guilt in the necessary murder;
To-day the expending of powers
On the flat ephemeral pamphlet and the boring meeting.
To-day the makeshift consolations: the shared cigarette,
The cards in the candle-lit barn,
and the scraping concert,
The masculine jokes; to-day the
Fumbled and unsatisfactory embrace before hurting.
The stars are dead.
The animals will not look.
We are left alone with our day,
and the time is short,
and History to the defeated
May say alas but cannot help or pardon.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gacela of the Flight

Gacela of the Flight

Often I lost myself in the sea,
my ears filled with fresh-cut flowers
my tongue filled with love and anguish.
often I lost myself in the sea,
as I am lost in the hearts of children.

No one when giving a kiss
fails to feel the smile of faceless people.
No one who touches a newborn child,
forgets the immobile skulls of horses.

Because the roses search the forehead,
for the toughened landscapes of bone,
and Man’s hands have no fate,
but to imitate roots, under the ground.

As I am lost in the hearts of children,
often I lost myself in the sea.
Ignorant of water, I go searching,
for death, in light, consuming me

Garcia Lorca

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Howard Read

Just a short post for friend whattheheh, who rightly chastises me when I slack off. This a poem from the English Newpaper man Howard Read whom, like so many men and women of letters, took up the cause of the Spanish proletariat as his own.

"A Song for the Spanish Anarchists "

The golden lemon is not made
but grows on a green tree:
A strong man and his crystal eyes
is a man born free.

The oxen pass under the yoke
and the blind are led at will:
But a man born free
has a path of his own
and a house on the hill.

And men are men who till the land
and women are women who weave:
Fity men own the lemon grove
and no man is a slave.

Herbert Read

Sunday, March 05, 2006


I had to get the stink out of my blog after writing about those guys! Thanks to dear What I know just how to do that, with some Robert Service.


As in Bordeaux I took the air
An ancient house I passed,
And someone told me it was there
That Goya breathed his last.
Adrift from his beloved Spain,
The splendour of his day,
In twilight penitence and pain
He passed away.

In peasant hovel he was born,
And to the bull-ring rose,
Killing with insolence and scorn
His toros, I suppose.
With gutter drabs no stucco saint,
By courtly dames adored,
His right-hand held a brush to paint,
His left a sword.

See in the Prado in Madrid

A picture on the wall;
Grotesques and satires Goya did,
But this out-horrors all.
A naked girl a monster dread
Is clutching chewing off her head
And blindly chewing off her head
With bloody jaws.
In all the world there is, I swear,

No picture more obscene;
One wonders in what dark despair
The painter's mind had been.
What brain diseased could thus contrive? -
Yet I forgive him for
In hellish horror, I believe,
It symbols WAR.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Now here is a fine little fascist, Juan Yagũe Blanco, son of a doctor, of all things, born in 1891. He was to become a life long friend and shadow of Franco. They attended The Toledo Military Academy together before honing their murderous style of warfare on the killing fields of Morocco. In fact everywhere that Franco went, Yagũe soon followed. Whether ending strikes by slaughtering a few hundred proles or overthrowing democratically elected governments; these two combined for a great one two punch.
In the days immediately following the uprise of the Generals, while Franco was openly bragging about introducing “White Terror” to Spain, little Yagũe led a force of some 3,000 troops, mostly Moors, to attack, on August 14th, 1936, a city on the border with Portugal, Badajoz. The loyalist elements in the city offered stiff resistance but were finally overcome. What was to happen in Badajoz was, I believe, a warning to the Spanish people of what could be expected when these bastards met resistance. Townspeople were rounded up and led into the town’s bullfighting arena. Women were systematically raped. As many as 1500 Spaniards (some sources say 4,000) were machined-gunned in the "Plaza de Toros”. So thorough was the slaughter that the Nationalists tried to use the lack of eyewitness accounts as evidence that it didn’t happen. But forever after, and as long as the Spanish people have a voice, little Yagũe will be known as “The Butcher of Badajoz.”

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hugo Sperrle

General Field Marshall Hugo Sperrle was born on February 7th, 1885 in Ludwigsburg, Germany. He flew biplanes in WWI and was awarded Knight’s Cross with Swords of the Hohenzollern House Order by a grateful Kaiser. After the war he waded about in the sewer of German Right Wing politics. In 1935 he joined the reformed Luftwaffe and began his life’s work – bombing the hell out of civil populations.
His heroic action at Guernica is generally accepted to be the genus of a new kind of war, “terror” bombing.
His naturally horrifying fascist bastard good looks made him a favorite of Goering and Hitler who rightfully thought his countenance alone to be adequate to cow civilian populations.
He parlayed his success at Guernica to command, under Goering, of the Luftwaffe. Using the methods he perfected in Spain, he went on to flatten Warsaw and lead the Luftwaffe into the Battle of Britain.
The less said of this piece of shit the better, but he escaped the noose at Nuremberg (probably because of Dresden and Hiroshima) and was allowed to sully the face of the Earth until his death in 1953.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Paco Ranas "The Frog" -Frederico Francisco Franco

You have met some of the good guys, on to the bad.

Born the son of a Naval Officer,in El Ferrol, Spain, Dec. 4th 1892,Frederico Francisco Franco aspired to a military career emulating his father. He graduated from The Toledo Military Academy in 1910 and was stationed to Morocco in the occupying Spanish Army in 1913. Undoubtedly a talented little fascist bastard he rose to the rank of Major by 1917. He was brought back to Spain in 1918 to help suppress a general strike in Andalusia (a region of Southern Spain that includes the Costa Del Sol, Seville and Cordoba) instigated by the Anarchist CNT syndicate; whose leadership included not co-incidentally our friend Buenaventura Durruti. At this juncture “The Frog” began in earnest his vainglorious career. His forces brutally invaded Andalusia and suppressed the strike killing hundreds of peasants and workers.
As reward for his brutality and success in breaking the strike he was appointed command of the newly formed Spanish Foreign Legion and led them back to Morocco to put down rebellion there. The "Tercio de Extranjeros" quickly developed a reputation for brutality. Franco encouraged the killing and mutilation of Moroccan prisoners. Arturo Barea, who served under Franco in Morocco in 1921, later wrote: "When it attacked, the Tercio knew no limits to its vengeance. When it left a village, nothing remained but fires and the corpses of men, women and children." Nice.
Franco’s style of warfare was simple. Know the terrain and kill without hesitation or scruple. After taking over the leadership in the uprising against the elected democracy of Spain, one of his first calls was to the demented housepainter Hitler. Hermann Goering testified at Nuremberg “When the civil war broke out in Spain Franco sent a call for help to Germany and asked for support, particularly in the air. Franco with his troops was stationed in Africa and he could not get his troops across, as the fleet was in the hands of the communists. The decisive factor was, first of all, to get his troops to Spain. The Führer thought the matter over. I urged him to give support under all circumstances: firstly, to prevent the further spread of communism; secondly, to test my young Luftwaffe in this or that technical respect.”

And test it they did. On April 26th, 1937 the “Condor Legion” bombed Guernica . I will borrow some excerpts here so the story will be told properly. “It was market day in Guernica when the church bells of Santa Maria sounded the alarm that afternoon in 1937. People from the surrounding hillsides crowded the town square. "Every Monday was a fair in Guernica," says José Monasterio, eyewitness to the bombing. "They attacked when there were a lot of people there. And they knew when their bombing would kill the most. When there are more people, more people would die." For over three hours, twenty-five or more of Germany's best-equipped bombers, accompanied by at least twenty more Messerschmitt and Fiat Fighters, dumped one hundred thousand pounds of high-explosive and incendiary bombs on the village, slowly and systematically pounding it to rubble. Those trying to escape were cut down by the strafing machine guns of fighter planes. "They kept just going back and forth, sometimes in a long line, sometimes in close formation. It was as if they were practicing new moves. They must have fired thousands of bullets." (eyewitness Juan Guezureya) The fires that engulfed the city burned for three days. Seventy percent of the town was destroyed. Sixteen hundred civilians - one third of the population - were killed or wounded.”

By all accounts Franco was a devout Catholic. Like some “true believers” of most any religion he considered the lives of those not of his faith to be inconsequential when defending it.
The Saturday night after Franco’s death on Nov. 20, 1975, Chevy Chase eulogized him on Saturday Night Live. Reading a quotation from Richard Nixon calling Franco “a great friend and ally” as the “Update” screen displayed a photo of Franco and Hitler glomming onto one another, Chase deadpanned “Franco is still dead.” And he did so for the next several shows. And I repeat that good news today with some merriment. Franco is still dead - and may he burn in hell.