The Lesson

NACLA poetry series from CantoMundo's event "Ferguson/Ayotzinapa: CantoMundo Poets Read and Respond."

December 23, 2014

Darrel Alejandro Holnes

On December 15, New York's Loisaida Center hosted a poetry reading in which current and former fellows of the national Latina/o poets workshop CantoMundo read from their work in solidarity with ongoing protests and mobilizations in and around Ferguson, Missouri, and the College of Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Mexico. This is the first in a series of poems NACLA is publishing from the event.

Student: One who takes interest in a subject
        like “The Mexican people.”
Subject: A person or thing that is being discussed,
      described, or dealt with.
Dealt with: To take action like a student,
      or to solve a problem.
Problem: An administration that takes an interests in its subjects     
      by murdering students.
Murder: To have the gold to make the rules     
      then bash in someone’s head with bricks.      
Brick: A small block used in building a something or a subject.
To build: Constructing something large by putting smaller pieces together.
Together: So as to be united.
United: The people
      will never be defeated.
      The people, united, will never be defeated.       
      El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido,.       
      ¿O el pueblo unido, jamás será?
      ¿O el pueblo unido, será vencido?
      No. Será unido el pueblo
      Hasta el final.

For Ayotzinapa 

Darrel Alejandro Holnes is from Panama City and the former Canal Zone of Panamá. He studied creative writing at the Universities of Houston and Michigan, the latter from which he earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree. His poetry has been published in Poetry Magazine, The Best American Experimental Writing Anthology, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, The Potomac, MEAD, Lambda Literary, Assaracus, Weave Magazine, The Feminist Wire, The Paris American, Kweli, featured on The Best American Poetry blog, and elsewhere in print and online. He is the co-author of PRIME: Poetry & Conversations (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014). He is a proud Cave Canem and Canto Mundo fellow. See his website here:

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