Harry Half-Wit and His Political Poetry

Rogelio M. Diaz Moreno

For sale. Photo: Juan Suarez
For sale. Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES — I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Harry Half-Wit. He’s a friend of mine, with whom I occasionally sit to talk about the silly things in life. He’s a simple fellow who lives near the Loma de los Zapotes, where many of us played as kids. He was never an outstanding student but, whenever he opened his mouth, teachers wanted the earth to swallow them up – because of the weird things he would say.

Well, now he thinks he’s a poet. The other day, we were talking about the New Year, the government, the National Assembly, those sorts of things. I don’t know what I was thinking when I mentioned Raul Castro’s recent speech, the one where, during the Plenary Session of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, he said that the “Conceptualization of Cuba’s Economic and Social Model for Socialist Development” had already been reviewed.

The other day, Harry Half-Wit showed up with the verses below. Read them and tell me whether this man won’t run into trouble one of these days.

Harry Half-Wit’s Take on the Conceptualization

The “Commission” has laid out

the fruits of its labor.

Now, those of us below

can applaud with enthusiasm.

The Conceptualization

is now a concrete proposal.

They’ve laid out the goals,

and they are showing us the path

like powerful soothsayers

on a prodigious cart.


But, I wonder,

if I may ask,

if I could know some things, perhaps,

who “conceptualized” this?

Who, by chance, chose

such lofty people?

Let us suppose, for an instant,

that we like these “Concepts,”

What are the rest of us to do?

To move forward, like obedient sheep?


The “Concepts” guarantee,

they say, our prosperity

in a sustainable way

and we ought not be in any hurry.

And, if we can hear the laughter

of those who have already prospered,

it is because they have quickly leapt

from the Concepts onto the train

the train we must keep going

now that it’s been Conceptualized.