Sunday, December 6, 2009


Photo by Melanie Formentin

University of South Florida (Humanities Institute) talk on In a Boston Night, September 22, 2009.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I am neither Democrat nor Republican—the two largest lobbies in this country. I am not Socialist. I have voted "Green," Democratic and Republican. I am an Independent. As an Independent, I stand on the side of a major overhaul for health care, for universal health care. It is bewildering that the Democrats, who have a clear mandate and the votes to effect this, would settle for anything less. Having lived in Canada—I am also a Canadian citizen—and having been the beneficiary of its health care system; having seen the functioning of this system as friends, associates, relatives, and Canadians from all walks utilized it, I say that it is the best system I know. I have friends and associates who say the British, or various European, or the Japanese are best. For the critics and health care lobbyists who would point to that great neighbour (the "u" in neighbour is no misspelling) to the North and spread tales about its health care system, I point you to the fine and balanced journalism in the recent NPR report on the Canadian health care system. There needs to be change to the current system in the US, where there are millions of people without health coverage, where the cost is too expensive for those who have coverage—I know of people whose health care premiums go up every year at a rate that outstrips any pay increase; I know of people whose premiums, this year alone, went up a whopping 40%. This is in addition to increased co-pays and reduced coverage. For the critics who say we cannot afford universal health care, I say, we could not afford the billions spent in Vietnam, and we cannot afford the billions being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. This did not stop us from going anyway. For the critics who say we cannot afford universal health care, I say, we could not, and cannot, afford to bail out Wall Street (and the foreign millionaires and entities who own much of Wall Street) and the rest of the world's economies. This did not stop us from doing so, anyway. We can afford a universal health care system and, as a democracy and a society that is not socialist, we can also afford platinum health care systems for those who are wealthy enough and would like to pay for such coverage. For those lobbyists and alarmists who say that a government health care system would drive private systems out of the business, there is the example of carriers: the US Post Office and such private companies as Fedex and DHL exist side-by-side; private and state universities and colleges exist side-by-side in this country. For those who say that the government cannot run anything efficiently, I give you our current recession, where private enterprise and Wall Street ran the US and world economy into the ground—in fact, they do this all the time, manifest every 7-10 years in a recession, and then turn to governments for alms. We cannot afford such bailouts and yet we do. We cannot afford such greed and inefficiencies and yet we do. What we cannot afford is the current health care system. The version of a public option being offered just last week by President Obama—already he is backpedalling like any "good" politician—is better that no change. We need to support the President's government option—if the President is still offering it tomorrow. To the health care lobby: consider a government health option as a "Wall Street bailout"; compete; provide the best care at the best price; provide better and more efficient coverage than a government option; support a government option if you believe in the efficiencies of capitalism; this is your moment to shine. The time has come for health care reform, for universal coverage; the time has come for change; the time has come to support President Obama's government option for health care coverage—if it is still on the table tomorrow.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


There was a time when we felt that change was relative. One hundred days after taking office the media is still enamoured of the new President. The campaign slogan, "change" seems to have a new meaning. A recent note on the CBC's "The Next Chapter" lamented the lack of engagement in the political by poets. Poets depend on patronage. Poets are not political, or...


There has never been
A half-white Commander-in-C
A half-black in the oval's crest.
You think! You need nothing

Else—this is change, I bring you
$20 billion for Bank of America
$20 billion for C—B gave you
TARP, I give you TALF—change
Much more than It-Wasn't-Me
Gave Chase a fire-free bargain
Bears—another $24 billion for C

Another bailout For BAC, another
Bailout for Wall Street feasting
on the backs of your children.
Change! Mine are taken care of
From these hallowed lawns
to college and beyond. The big thing:

What dog to select. We'll change
To the Portuguese. There are pups
And pups—man you no Shakespeare!
But a promise is, well, you know
A valentine thing. Your health
Care cost has gone up, you didn't
Get a raise? Your bosses did.

After billions to the billionaires
Ah! Some change from the Bush
Who gave you $1,000 or $2,000
A democratic republican!

Here, take $20.00 per paycheck—
If you have one. Yes, we can!
Change! Cut $100 million—
not from Wall Street—
I promise you: one cent, five cents,
Ten cents change—one cent,
five cents, Ten cents change

© Sasenarine Persaud

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Summit of the Americas

A China-Cuba fable: different palms and, yet, the same

Elephants in the Room

When did the Great Wall slip
into our dining room? Perhaps an Italian's
journey to the Emperor's court thirsting

the art of papermaking, a British eye
for fine teacups and dinnerware—
cheap-in-Wal-Mart, or not, in Staples

forget the Long March, manufactured hunger
in the Cultural Revolution. It is too late.
Tanks snake on caked red and separated flesh

in Tiananmen Square the cleaners scrubbed
all night: the new proletariat cheering their first
astronaut in space. No elections in 100 years

or was that 1000? From panty to scissors
clipping private hair—made in C-thanks
the boys in Havana brandish hand-me-downs

Stalin era Kalashnikovs and tanks running
on water. An arrow in his throat or thigh
Ponce lay dying in Havana the cigar "rogue"

can't lift a wiry beard. Turning his tail
to the tiger, Jumbo swats a flea with his trunk
and takes off for Trinidad. In his quest

for El Dorado, Raleigh landed near Piarco
according to fables penned in the tower
before the executioner blind men from states

in the Americas line up in Port-of-Spain
to feel the trunk of an elephant—
a golden arch, Sir Walter's untouchable

not like Clinton in Miami—I'm smarter—
an Americas Summit with Cuba in abstentia!
I bring you change from DC—all that's left

From the billions to Wall Street
We are not Islam's enemy, we are Havana's
We are not China's enemy, we are Cuba's

© Sasenarine Persaud

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cell Tower at Pride

This cell phone tower at Pride Elementary School was put up without prior notification to parents. It stands like a chisel in the eye of truth and a totem of deception. If Poets write about everything, then this:

The Cell Tower at Pride

It might have been after she fell
And hit her head. But she returned
In time for the show—and the farmer
Spouse who came with a towering
Knife: why wait for one-a-day?
School Board’s not wood—sawdust
Glued together—Gut schools.
Web the sky. Deceive flags and crosses.
Imitate pines. Radiate palms and pupils
Who dare to look or question the folly
Of slaying the goose for investors’ eggs
Scrambled—like children’s minds—
In RF Radiation, in principals' fibs
In a Board's uncaring--intransigence,
You say, it was after she hit her head...

© Sasenarine Persaud

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Author Event Barnes & Noble

Authors Jeff Lipkes, Sasenarine Persaud, and Mark Russo at author event on Jan 10, 2009. Barnes & Noble at Wiregrass.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Book signing Barnes and Noble

In a Boston Night - Book signing on January 10, 2009 at the New Tampa Barnes and Noble bookstore. Photo by Kshanika Persaud.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


In January

Even in January when the cypress
Has gone bald, there is clutter
From the past: Spanish moss, you say,
Confederate gray like the beards
Of Hindu sages stroked by the fingers
Of wind. A meditation or a yagna,
Chants from a thousand yogis—
You are who you are; who are you
You are who you are; who are you

A man whose mother was white
Is African-American. Even if you play
On words like that other “lawyer”
In the White House (I did not have sex
With that woman) an African father
Makes you African—if you are
Born in good ole USA! Who knew
You were another lefty?

Reporters take a raccoon’s ass break
On race except you mention noose
Or words beginning with “G” or “F”
Or “N” – Namaste Namaste Namaste
Chant the yogis in unison
You are who you are; who are you
You are who you are; who are you

©Sasenarine Persaud