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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Juliana Spahr - Responding

        I

 

This is a place without a terrain a government that always

          changes an unstable language. Even buildings disappear

          from day to day.

 

[gendered pronoun] wanders in this place

                                                                       [searching

                                                                                                [waiting

 

the condition of unbearableness is the constant state of mind

            for all occupants

 

we read all day in the village square during the rule of [name

          of major historical figure] a book that is so subtle

 

                                                   [its political content goes unnoticed

 

what is political content?

 

                                                          [the question or the statement

 

[gender pronoun] creates

 

                                        [a reader culture

 

                                        [generic plural pronoun] prefer both

 

                                                      II

 

realism's authenticities are not the question

 

the question [role of art in the State

 

we know art is fundamental to the [New State] as is evidenced

         in village scenes, majestic ancient views, masses and

         masses of [generic human figures] marching in columns,

         swords coded as plowshares, image as spectacle

 

we kn0w [name of city], [adjective], [name of major composer]

to recode [reduce] it: Linz, ambiguous, Wagner

 

we know [name of major historical figure] calls, authentically,

         for a more total, more radical war than we can even

         dream in the language of the avant-garde

 

we know a commercial promises to reduce plaque more

         effectively in this same tone

 

but sometimes we exceed even our own expectations to

          surprise even ourselves

 

something encloses the impossible in a fable

 

an unreal world called real because it is so heavily metaphoric

 

we can't keep our fingers of connection out of it

 

 

 

it is a ride in the country, the car crowded with children

                                                   [each child represents a different

                                                              ethnicity of [name of nation]

 

it is a moment of standing with light resonating around [major

          historical figure

 

it is a guiding of the child towards the right path

 

it is a picnic in a field, the spread is bountiful

[the spread of [name of nation] is represented through the

          arrangement of food on the checkered tablecloth

 

it is [name of major historical figure]'s Art Collection:

           figure after figure

           each carries spears, lunges, draws the arm back to pull

                   tight the bow

 

a ruined plaza has a [gendered human form] at its en

        trance

 

a [generic child] draws a sword under the guidance of

[generic possessive pronoun] [honorific denoting repro-

ductive role]

 

a [generic human form] raises [generic pronoun] arms and

four horses turn away

 

another plays a lute

 

an eagle holds a symbol

 

fake [name of nation used as an adjective] heads

 

 

 

while the end of lunacy in art was explicit in [name of major

         historical figure]'s rhetoric

 

while when nation turns to art, art loses its divergence

 

while the [generic human figures] come back from war, their

         legs in fog

 

while a [generic human figure] sculpts, small against the

          expanse of marble, giving into the monumental human

          form that symbolizes eugenic possibilities

 

while another [generic human figure] pedantically draws

          postcards of village centers, operas, mountain vistas

 

while overwhelmed by an opera [name of major historical 

          figure] plans genocide

 

                                                    III

 

we know we respond resistantly as faked children's books of

         realist adventure tales have turned into military instruc-

         tion manuals

 

 

or [name of major historical figure] hails a cab, [generic

          possessive human pronoun] hand raised here, beckoning

          as the red flag with [name of fast food chain] waves

          behind [generic human pronoun] and the red star on top  

          of the [name of cultural landmark in major city] twinkles.

 

 

many people raise their hands for different purposes all day

         long

 

 

we are always waiting for our cab to come

 

 

 

the question here is the same as that of a relationship

where does art define our vocabulary?

 

the margin declares

 

 

[it is impossible to speak about something

 

 

it is only possible to speak beside it

                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                          [a film with a voice-over of nonsense

 

to act in the unsecular forbidden margins [claims a certain

         privilege]

 

 

 

                         [generic human pronoun] cast a colonizing eye

 

 

a scripture of space / a place where

 

 

 

 

a [generic human form] twists in space

                                                               [follow this body]

 

getting you to recognize yourself in [generic possessive

           pronoun] work

 

 

 

                                                                                    [is kidnapping]

 

in the space of this question some emigrate or lapse into total

         silence

 

 

 

some co-opt this language and paint a series of meticulous and 

          beautifully colored monumental images of people impris-

          oned and alone at the edge of a tedious despair

 

 

 

some [refigure [refuse] respond] call out for an end

 

 

 

rewritten, the goal of the artist is to prevent reality in a true and

            concrete manner

 

 

                                                       IV

 

 

[generic human figure] claims I can get more information at

         home than by going to the war scene

 

 

 

what [generic pronoun] sees is [gendered naked bodies] in

          news photos—dead bodies, discarded bodies, junk

 

 

 

i  saw  this written on the bottom

 

 

 

                                                                                 [a way of testimony

 

 

the poverty of image among the people of [name of nation]

 

 

the continual increase in the amount of image a viewer can

          tolerate

 

                                                        [who went to [name of nation?

 

 

returning again and again to images of torture

 

covert activities depicted              [blown up

 

                                                                                   [to show power

 

                                                              details of photographs

                                                              or Xerox degradations

                                                              of photos on Duraclear

                                                              hang loose are

                                                              vulnerable and

                                                              fragmentary and

                                                              images are seen

                                                              through images and/or

                                                              viewers

 

 

 

[call this]

                the fate of Madame Bovery, the fate of Anna Karenina

 

A dog with a [generic human face] has slogans coming out 

          of its mouth as angels hold its head back suckle at its

          tits

 

 

 

taped to a [gendered hand, adorned with ring] is a photo-

         graph of [gendered naked torso], gagged

 

 

 

[generic human figure] infects computerized images with

           digitized viruses and then transfers them to canvas with

           a robotic device

 

 

 

 

                                                   [possible responses to what is seen

 

in [name of nation] at another time another set of reponses:

 

 

 

a [sexual category withheld] cuts hair and cameras circle

          around and [generic human pronoun] is dragged out of

          the room

 

 

 

another [generic human figure] says passionately we express

          ourselves in a language of regulations. Symbols and

          numbers best convey our ideas

 

 

 

another [generic human figure] makes an enormous painting

           of a massacre victim, mutilated and bloody, and hangs it

           by night on a pedestrian bridge

 

 

 

what a nation gives us is the image in [name of major weekly

          news source] of the [generic human figure] standing

          before the tanks with white flag

 

 

[generic pronoun] painted on houses, streets, stones, trees

 

 

[generic pronoun] covered [name of island] with strange marks

         in chalk, oil paint, and dye

 

 

[generic pronoun] wished to reduce writing to the zero level

         where it is without meaning. When culture invades

         private life on a large scale [generic pronoun] said the

         individual cannot escape being raped

 

 

another [generic noun] made a font that was scratched into

         paper by a knife

 

 

this font made each letter into a single scratch

 

 

[generic pronoun] scratched the other [generic pronoun]'s

         statement on rape into a banner and hung it outside

 

 

                                                       [my zero-level writing

                                                       [generic pronoun] said

                                                                           protest rape

                                                       [generic pronoun] said

                                                          my zero-level writing

                                                       [generic pronoun]  said

                                                       dangerous cultural rape

                                                       [generic pronoun]  said

                                                           my zero-level writing

                                                           my zero-level writing

 

 

                                                     V

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a voice stutters in the background of our waking mind

 

 

 

 

[generic possessive pronoun] stutter is our stutter

 

 

 

 

or it is the way we define our difference?

 

 

 

 

                                                                                  stutter is nation

 

 

beneath an image of human figures the words [you have

          nothing to lose but your chains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                           at times two voices talk to one another

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                             [generic human] faces [tired]

 

 

we know we are all constructed

 

 

when it comes down to it we don't believe it

 

 

the social always holds us back

 

 

while the ways that we encounter relation are various

 

 

we remain

 

 

searching [searching

 

 

we question, respond

 

 

 

                                                              [deny we [move forward