The Law of the Story


Unidad. Diciplina. Trabajo. Valor.
Unidad. Diciplina. Trabajo. Valor.
Unidad. Diciplina. Trabajo. Valor.
Esta es la forma de vida.

After the chant, la lema, the role taking.
Estimado compañeras, Sandra Pérez says, calling role.
Attendance is important because lives
Are on the line. How to become sustainable.
How to get out of your own way.
The vocabulary to get up to speed.
Prestar. Deuda. Saldar una deuda.
Negocios.. Confiar en,encomendar.
Tenerle confianza. Solidarity.
Solidaridad. Say it until it becomes
A way of breathing. Ganar.
Mora is the word the women use for debt.
Cuota is the word the women use for payment.
Primera prueba. Propios principios. Enfrentar.
Reading Dorothy Day in Spanish at night.
Había compartido el fermento revolucionarios y artistas.
John Reed. Los diez dias que sucudieron al mundo.
Para hacer nacer una nueva sociedad.
The handwritten note during role call:
Ella no viene por motivo de salud.
Sus negocios. Lo que es su negocio.
Sí, se puede.. Avon. Cosmeticos. Pulperia.

Venda ropa segunda. Venda medicina natural.
Venda comida. Pulperia. Venda ropa.
Pigs, too. Raising pigs.
Me llamo Rosa, venda Ropa. Compra tela.
Aquí estamos siempre en la lucha.
Curtains, bedspreads.

My name is María Elena, soy jefa. Presidenta de la Asemblea.
I’m the president of the assembly and coordinator for anti-malaria.
Volunteering is a way of giving back.
20 women and two men. Women in cotton dresses.
Men in Dockers turned work clothes.
I get my first check today
And tomorrow I’ll start my first day of business.

Start with una dinamica. An ice breaker.
Pon en pie.
¿Sabes que es una abrazo?
Esta es un abrazo. Move around the room.
Touch someone and let yourself be touched.
The hard stuff’s coming.
Es el abuso fisico, sexual, e economico.
Learn the word trompados for blow. ¿Y te callas, eh?
Tell anybody and there will be more where that came from.

Y que sea la ultima vez se encuentra una camisa sin butones
por que la proxima vez, te voy a….
It’s not just the buttons.
It’s the unconscious man and his favorite shirt.
La maltrata.La maltrata.
The class in the patio. Green and yellow walls.
Fresh paint. The illustrated drawing
Shows the man in the act of self gratification,
The suffering woman.
What is the word for macho in your culture?
The television in the sala throws me off.
I forget there’s no electricity.
Ciclo de violencia. Primera etapa.
Ya termina la charla.

A woman steps forward and makes her 10th payment of 12 payments.
The company names: Nuevo Amanecer.
5th payment of second loan.
Trabajando Unido, 5th payment of 6th. First Loan.
This assembly has zero debt.
All payments are made.

Jim Bodeen
La Ceiba/La Sastre/El camion—Honduras
Feb 27-March 1, 2007


He sits and listens, waits his turn,
Then changes his mind and says nothing.
Later he gets out his notebook.
He wonders what will come out.
Earlier, a man said, I represent the law.
He carries that one around
For days. In his notebook
He writes, I represent the law of story.
One follows what one can.
Dissent is so automatic it becomes routine.
How I learned to cancel myself
To become myself. It didn’t happen
All at once. Mi propio ser.
It emerges in the listening.
What we talk about when we talk about love.
So much disappointment.
Limits of talk in quick time.
He does not abandon the mission
Remaining quiet. Silence has nothing
To do with playing it safe.
Each cup of coffee is a social occasion.
The man representing the law
Made uncomfortable by good manners.
All of this stuff in the notebooks.
Yesterday, he picked one red cherry
From the coffee plant, breaking open
The cáscara with his teeth, sucking
The sweet fruit surrounding the two seeds
Like the birds. He held them in his mouth
As a secret and a promise, most of the afternoon.
Savory memory. Good brew.
The fact of transformation
Under fire. The mere thought
Of the dark roast ahead made him dizzy.
No conflict, no story.
And then, the explosions in the mouth.

Jim Bodeen
San Pedro Sula, Honduras

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