Monday, January 27, 2014

January CommQuote

Let's ring (hint hint) in the new year with a poem called Cell Phone by Ernesto Cardenal (transl. by John Lyons). It's from his 2011 collection titled The Origin of the Species and Other Poems (Texas Tech University Press).

Cell Phone
You talk on your cell phone

and talk and talk

and laugh into your cell phone

never knowing how it was made

and much less how it works

but what does that matter

trouble is you don’t know

just as I didn’t

that many people die in the Congo

thousands upon thousands

for that cellphone

they die in the Congo

in its mountains there is coltan

(besides gold and diamonds)

used for cell phone


for the control of the minerals

multinational corporations

wage this unending war

5 million dead in 15 years

and they don’t want it to be known

country of immense wealth

with poverty-stricken population

80% of the world’s coltan

reserves are in the Congo

the coltan has lain there for

three thousand million years

Nokia, Motorola, Compaq, Sony

buy the coltan

the Pentagon too, the New York

Times corporation too

and they don’t want it to be known

nor do they want the war to stop

so as to carry on grabbing the coltan

children of 7 to 10 years extract the coltan

because their tiny bodies

fit into the tiny holes

for 25 cents a day

and loads of children die

due to the coltan powder

or hammering the rock

that collapses on top of them

The New York Times too

that doesn’t want it to be known

and that’s how it remains unknown

this organized crime

of the multinationals

the Bible identifies

truth and justice

and love and the truth

the importance of the truth then

that will set us free

also the truth about coltan

coltan inside your cell phone

on which you talk and talk

and laugh into your cell phone


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