Acknowledging Victor Jara
I am not Victor Jara. I’m not Sept. 11, 1973, the day of the Chilean coup.
I am not the hands of Victor Jara. I’m not the rifle butts that shattered the hands of Victor Jara. I’m not the guitar they made the shattered hands of Victor Jara play before the people in Estadio Chile, the stadium they made into a detention center, that held the artists and the singers and writers they made watch the torture of Victor Jara on Sept 11, 1973. I am not the 44 bullets they poured into Victor Jara. I am not they.
I’m not the music that Victor Jara wrote and played and that inspired the people before the coup. I’m not the theatres in which he directed plays. I am not Victor Jara and I was never Victor Jara.
I am Sept 11, 1973. I am the conspirators that staged the coup. I am the police state that took Victor Jara. I am the rifle butts that crushed his hands. I am the guitar he played. I am the theatres in which he staged plays. I am the bullets that pierced his body 44 times. I am shantytown and I am Santiago, Chile and I take the body of Victor Jara. I am they. I am always those things and I was never those things.
I am Victor Jara. Go up beyond the clouds, beyond the Moon, beyond the Sun, beyond the stars, beyond the galactic core, beyond the universe, beyond the universes, beyond. I am the gods and goddesses and I am neither. I am not the Earth and the Moon and the Sun and I am the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.
I am the clouds and the stars and the galactic core and the universe and the universes and I am not the clouds and the stars and the galactic core and the universe and the universes.
I am your dreams dreaming. I am hope and patience and gratitude and I am fear and rage and confusion. I am compound interest compounding and I am compound interest compounded and I am debt forgiven and gifts of exchange and I am human friendship and I am stray animals and I am always Victor Jara and I am never Victor Jara.
~ Stephen J. Bergstrom