humanity within

That man sees beyond
this passing train as he holds
his son's restless hand 
fingering for tomorrow.
 
A moment we sit
in, staring in,
thru ruins, pounded gray 
pavement, crumbled red
brick, black
asphalt 
 
canyons children cannot escape
from unless in death. 
 
That man's eyes, no less
darker than the altered 
ground from which his boy
will grow,
are blind to mine
 
as I see myself standing
in his place
amidst a decayed city
grasping onto the limb
of an invisible sapling.

candle light come this way

 remember breathing?

        those fields circumscribed

                      by asphalt and headless cages

      remind me of how your bones
curve in now years after

 

I won't throw away this memory

         so easily like all the others do

I promise           please come back

         in pictures instead of words 

consumption

I’m sure this will be

rewritten thru mutations

within these words

when programmers

delete forms

we poets need

is when we will

become

obsolete

never

an unwritten letter to a person

never there

could it be random

that splintered pavement squares

unravel manufactured gravel

can you feel it?

in any period

give me a color

and I will paint

a coffin

in time

Whirlwind Magazine Issue #3

Dear reader,

Hello, and welcome to the third issue of Whirlwind Magazine. Much of this edition features writing and art created by our friends whose families originated from Latin America or Spain. Latina/o writing is an integral part of American literature. Spanish is a beautiful and poetic language that so often sounds smoother and lovelier than English. Our Latina/o sisters and brothers are essential elements to the culture of Philadelphia and Camden, the two cities which we at Whirlwind call home. This all may be obvious to some, but we feel that Latina/o culture is too often still marginalized. (A quick note, I emphasize the use of Latina/o in this letter in order to indicate the Magazine’s views on gender equality, some use the term Latinx in order to be inclusive of all gender identities, and we would like to recognize that as well).

Now, admittedly, I am a novice in regards to the Spanish language. Entiendo algunos, pero nunca mucha. Hopefully Whirlwind’s new staff member, Courtney Gambrell, who is fluent in Spanish, will make sure the preceding sentence made sense. One of my favorite books in my bookcase is Pablo Neruda’s “The Captain’s Verses,” which includes every poem in both Spanish and English parallel to one another. Another favorite of mine on the poetry shelf is the late Justin Vitiello’s, “amapolas y cardos,” published by none other than Whirlwind Press. We have included four pages at the end of this issue of Vitiello’s poems in the same format: Spanish on one page, English on the next.

Vitiello passed away a little over a year ago. A professor at Temple University both in Philadelphia and Rome, Vitiello was a prolific and powerful poet who bore witness to issues of social justice and human rights. Whirlwind Issue 3 is dedicated to this man who deserves the notoriety and renown that only the best of poets gain after their death. On the Industrial Workers of the World website, Nathaniel Miller wrote, “…[Vitiello] was a fighter, and like all great working-class soldiers understood that we must fight for bread and roses too. Justin organized poetry readings against the mafia in Sicily, telling me that the best way to fight hate and ignorance was simply take a public space as collective triumph over fear, and in Philadel- phia he always stood on the picket lines. That fearless determination is his legacy.”

We honor Vitiello’s legacy in this issue by publishing writers and artists who share his love of words and images and believe in advancing human rights and equality. From exploring the tribulations of imprisonment, to acknowledging the extent of continuing imperialist oppression, Whirlwind Issue 3 welcomes you to expand your awareness along with us. As always, thank you so much for reading.

-S.W. Lynch

Querido lector,

Salud y bienvenido a la tercera edición de Whirlwind Magazine. La mayoría de esta edición publica escritura y arte creado por nuestros amigos cuyos familiares proceden de Latinoamérica o España. La escritura Latino es parte integral de la literatura americana. Español es una lengua hermosa y poética cual suena más suave y más rica que Inglés. Nuestros hermanos latinos son elementos esenciales a la cultura de Filadelfia y Camden, las dos ciudades que Whirlwind reconoce como un hogar. Aunque estos detalles puedan ser obvio para alguna gente, proveemos el sentimiento que la cultura Latina se queda marginada tanta. Nota por favor, subrayo que el uso del término Latino/a en esta forma indica que la posición de la revista en cuanto a la igualdad de género. No es raro para ver el término Latinx, para incluir todas las identidades generas, lo reconocimos también.

Es verdad que yo sea un novicio con respecto al idioma español. “Entiendo poco pero no mucho.” Esperanzadamente nuestro nueva emplea, Courtney Gambrell, quien está fluida en español, pueda asegurar que la oración anterior tiene sentido. ¡Ahora sí! Uno de mis libros favoritos en mi estante por Pablo Neruda, “The Captian’s Verses,” cual incluye cada poema en los ambos idiomas: español e inglés. Otro favorito en la estantería de poesía mía es por Justin Vitiello, “amapolas y cardos,” publicado por Whirlwind Press. Hemos incluido cuatro páginas al fin de esta edición de su poesía en el mismo formato: español por una página, inglés siguiente.

Desafortunadamente, Sr. Vitiello ha fallecido hace un año. Un profesor en Temple University aquí y extranjero, Vitiello fue un poeta prolífico y poderoso quien cuestionaba los temas alrededor justicia social y los derechos humanos. Esta edición está dedicado éste hombre quien merece el gran renombre que solamente los mejores poetas ganan después de morir. En la página web, Industrial Workers of the World, Nathaniel Miller escribió, “[Vitiello] was a fighter, and like all great working-class soldiers under- stood that we must fight for bread and roses too. Justin organized poetry readings against the mafia in Sicily, telling me that the best way to fight hate and ignorance was simply take a public space as collective triumph over fear, and in Philadelphia he always stood on the picket lines. That fearless determination is his legacy.”

Honramos el legado de Vitiello por ésta edición por publicando los escritores y artistas que com- parten su amor para las palabras y las imágenes y creen en su valor para avanzar los derechos humanos e igualdad. De explorar las tribulaciones del encarcelamiento, reconocer el alcance de la opresión imperi- alista que continúa, la tercera edición de Whirlwind da la bienvenida a Ustedes para extender la concien- cia con nosotros. Como siempre, te damos tan agradecimiento por leer.

-S.W. Lynch
Translation by Courtney Gambrell

The cover art is a detail of a Karina Puente piece. Designed by Melissa Rothman.

The cover art is a detail of a piece by Karina Puente. Cover designed by Melissa Rothman.