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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Frank Bidart - Self-Portrait, 1969

He's still young—; thirty, but looks younger—

or does he? . . . In the eyes and cheeks, tonight,

turning in the mirror, he saw his mother,—

puffy; angry; bewildered . . . Many nights

now, when he stares there, he gets angry:—

something unfulfilled there, something dead

to what he once thought he surely could be—

Now, just the glamour of habits . . .

                                                                  Once, instead,

he thought insight would remake him, he'd reach

—what? The thrill, the exhilaration

unravelling disaster, that seemed to teach

necessary knowledge . . . became just jargon.

 

Sick of being decent, he craves another

crash. What reaches him except disaster?

Frank Bidart - If  See No End In Is

What none knows is when, not if.

Now that your life nears its end

when you turn back what you see

is ruin. You think, It is a prison. No,

it is a vast resonating chamber in

which each thing you say or do is

 

new, but the same. What none knows is

how to change. Each plateau you reach, if

single, limited, only itself, in-

cludes traces of  all the others, so that in the end

limitation frees you, there is no

end, if   you once see what is there to see.

 

You cannot see what is there to see —

not when she whose love you failed is

standing next to you. Then, as if refusing the know-

ledge that life unseparated from her is death, as if

again scorning your refusals, she turns away. The end

achieved by the unappeased is burial within.

 

Familiar spirit, within whose care I grew, within

whose disappointment I twist, may we at last see

by what necessity the double-bind is in the end

the  figure  for human life, why what we love is

precluded always by something else we love, as if

each no we speak is yes, each yes no.

 

The prospect is mixed but elsewhere the forecast is no

better. The eyrie where you perch in

exhaustion has food and is out of  the wind, if

cold. You feel old, young, old, young: you scan the sea

for movement, though the promise of  sex or food is

the prospect that bewildered  you to this end.

 

Something in you believes that it is not the end.

When you wake, sixth grade will start. The finite you know

you fear is infinite: even at eleven, what you love is

what you should not love, which endless bullies in-

tuit unerringly. The future will be different: you cannot see

the end. What none knows is when, not if.