Under Capitalism, When You Get A Headache, . . . The Insurance Companies Claim It Came From Pre-existing Conditions, and

and the government makes you buy insurance that costs twice as much as the treatment. One of my favorite poems, by Roque Dalton, the martyred Salvadoran revolutionary poet, is called “On Headaches.”  In can be found in the (now out of print) Monthly Review Press poetry anthology, Latin American Revolutionary Poetry, edited by Robert Marquez.

roque dalton 3On Headaches

To be a communist is a beautiful thing,
although it causes many headaches.
And the problem with communist headaches
is, as we all know, historical;
they don’t yield to aspirin,
only to the realization of Paradise on Earth.
So it goes.
Under capitalism, if our head aches
it gets chopped off.
In the struggle for the Revolution
the head is a time bomb.
In the period of socialist construction
we plan headaches,
which does not make them go away, quite the contrary
Communism will be, among other things,
an aspirin the size of the sun.
— Roque Dalton, “On Headaches”


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