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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Bob Hicok - A beacon's a candle that's overachieved

Let's be commies together. The share
and share alike kind. I have eight hundred
and twenty-three dollars. A broken left
big toe nail. This poem and a cat
sitting on my lap as I write. Syphilis
or a cold. A woman offered to hump
William Carlos Williams full of syphilis
so his brain would have spirochetes and his poems
the genius of madness. She was a sexual commie
but water's the biggest communist of all.
It's in trees, leather shoes, ampersands,
beach sands, and the poor rivers
never get to sleep. I dreamt my legs
were pogo sticks. Now that I've told you,
you're richer by an immeasurable degree
of hopping. One hopes to go higher. One bounces
to the eye level of a rose. Then one notices
the rose-of-Sharon towering above the rainfall
and commands one's thighs to work harder.
This is the School of Aspiration
you've heard so much about. When I was nine,
a boy climbed too high, fell into a silo
and ceased to be a boy. At school,
we turned our confused expressions
toward each other, each of us a mirror
of not knowing what becomes of the little hands
we carry at our sides. At roughly the same time,
with approximately the same tears, we began
to be older. We still enjoyed the story
that a big yellow ball rolled across the sky's
blue playground every day, but none of us
believed it anymore. This was the end of unity
and the beginning of the desire for union.
If you mail me an impression of your face
in a cloud, I'll kiss it and send it back.
Enough of this and we'll be an unstoppable
political force. You over there
feeling connected to me over here
feeling tied to the woman who stops by my house
six days a week, the mail just a front
for the old habit of lighting fires
in the distance for ships at sea to see
the shore they're trying to reach
without it killing them.

Deborah Landau - Solitaire

That summer there was no girl left in me.
It gradually became clear.
It suddenly became.


In the pool, I was more heavy than light.
Pockmarked and flabby in a floppy hat.
What will my body be


when parked all night in the earth?
Midsummer. Breathe in. Breathe out.
I am not on the oxygen tank.


Twice a week we have sex.
The lithe girls poolside I see them
at their weddings I see them with babies their hips


thickening I see them middle-aged.
I can’t see past the point where I am.
Like you, I’m just passing through.


I want to hold on awhile.
Don’t want to naught
or forsake, don’t want


to be laid gently or racked raw.
If I retinol. If I marathon.
If I Vitamin C. If I crimson


my lips and streakish my hair.
If I wax. Exfoliate. Copulate
beside the fish-slicked sea.


Fill me I’m cold. Fill me I’m halfway gone.
Would you crush me in the stairwell?
Could we just lie down?


If the brakes don’t work.
If the pesticides won’t wash off.
If the seventh floor pushes a brick


out the window and it lands on my head.
If a tremor, menopause. Cancer. ALS.
These are the ABCs of my fear.


The doctor says
I don’t have a pill for that, dear.
Well, what would be a cure-all, ladies,


gin-and-tonics on a summer night?
See you in the immortalities! O blurred.
O tumble-rush of days we cannot catch.

David Dominguez - Reading

             —For My Students


Breakfast, and I’m eating plain yogurt, figs from my garden, and honey.

             I’m sitting in a lawn chair on the backyard patio—


life is good, and the sunlight warming my lap and the pages 

             of a book remind me of Tucson 


and the subterranean apartment I rented alone and far from home.

             There was a sofa in front of my one window 


where at noon the sun burned briefly on the cushions as starlings 

             stirred in the trees with their admonishments.


Stepping back there now, I remember feeling hopeless after reading 

             Lorca’s “Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías.”


I recall how I put the book on the coffee table and closed my eyes 

             and saw blood glowing in my arteries.


In the leaves, the starlings went on with their disconnected chatter,

             and I said to myself, “I’ll never write anything like


‘And the bull alone with a high heart! At five o’clock in the afternoon.’”

             For three months, I didn’t write one word


but instead passed the days swimming in the public pool where, 

             from my half-closed eyes, I watched light ride


the splashing water or resting on the surface when I floated, face down, 

             sinking with fear: “What do I do now?” I asked.


Some nights, I filled my red truck with gas and drove west on the 19 

             until my headlights flooded the desert, and when 


the city was less than pinpoints of glitter, and when all I could hear 

             was the whine of silence in my ears, 


I parked alongside the highway, leaned against my pickup, and stared

             at stars so sure of themselves as they shone


that I believed they couldn’t help but give me something that would

             make me sit at my desk and write. 


I felt directionless and wanted to walk out into the landscape, 

             but I feared snakes and scorpions 


hiding in the buckhorn and staghorn as I recalled my father’s words, 

             “You’ll be lost forever on the far side of the moon”—


words that haunted me as I imagined slipping into lunar shadows 

             that no human telescope would spot 


as I wandered lost and ripped with nostalgia for the nights I read

             in used bookstores on Campbell—a time when 


the future seemed so clear I smelled it in dirt that somebody 

             rinsed from the sidewalk as I walked home. 


Then, one night while sipping black coffee along the side of the 19, 

             I remembered lying on the living room floor


as my father and I listened to Brahms’s “Lullaby,” which inspired me

             to practice “Away in a Manger” on my trumpet: 


“It’s a lullaby. Play it like that,” my father said as my sixth grade lips 

             struggled to phrase notes that would 


please a child under the beating stars, and remembering this, 

             I looked up to the oblivious heavens 


and tied words to images—Cassiopeia, Perseus, Cygnus, Pegasus—

             and let them sing clearly through my mind.

Raymond Carver - Wind



Water perfectly calm. Perfectly amazing.

Flocks of birds moving

restlessly. Mystery enough in that, God knows.


You ask if I have the time. I do.

Time to go in. Fish not biting

anyway. Nothing doing anywhere.


When, a mile away, we see wind

moving across the water. Sit quiet and

watch it come. Nothing to worry about.


Just wind. Not so strong. Though strong enough.

You say, “Look at that!”

And we hold on to the gunwales as it passes.


I feel it fan my face and ears. Feel it

ruffle my hair–sweeter, it seems,

than any woman's fingers.


Then turn my head and watch

it move on down the Strait,

driving waves before it.


Leaving waves to flop against

our hull. The birds going crazy now,

Boat rocking from side to side.


“Jesus,” you say, “I never saw anything like it.”

“Richard,” I say –

“You'll never see that in Manhattan, my friend.”

Sandra Simonds - “A new obsession. How to get out”

A new obsession. How to get out
of cold, metallic waters alive.
Every night for a week I dream
of my car ending up in a body
of water. If I’m not driving, someone
else is. Bob, the neighbor.
My new paranoia.
I Google how to escape a car
filling with water. I watch videos
on YouTube. I memorize the steps
of what to do if this happens. First,
you take your seat belt off. Late at night,
I read pages and pages on the internet.
What if the car lands
in the water flipped over?
Remember to stay calm.
If you panic, you will die.
News story about a woman who drives
her minivan into the ocean on purpose.
Horrified beachgoers run toward the water.
The two kids are strapped in the back seat.
One of the kids is screaming “No, mommy” —
What about the sunroof?
What if you land in the water
and your car has a sunroof?
My new car has a sunroof.
You have to let the car fill with water
so that pressure is equalized on both sides.
This is elementary physics.
If you don’t do this, it’s
impossible to open the doors.
This is the scary part.
You have to hold your breath.
None of the YouTube videos say anything
about what to do if you have
kids strapped in car seats in the car.
I look up what the dreams mean.
Water in dreams signifies turbulent emotions.
If you are in your car and there
is a flash flood, you should get out immediately.
Even six inches of water can sweep your car away.
Sweep it to where?
Maybe the forest?


I get nervous driving by the Gulf of Mexico.
My friend Dyan got into an accident
there and she said that if the car had
flipped on the other side of the road,
her whole family would
have ended up in the water.
I don’t like water.
I don’t want to touch it.
It scares me.
I know all life was born of water.
Today the government proposed
to sell off all public lands.
That before anything existed
there were rocks and then water.
I know that water is beautiful and mysterious.
But why does it sweep people away?
I want to push down the rising seas.
I look at a map of cities that will be underwater by 2100, 2200 — 
Jacksonville, New Orleans, Amsterdam.
I want to push them down with my bare hands.

Mary Oliver - A Thousand Mornings

All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing.

Cesare Pavese - I gatti lo sapranno

Ancora cadrà la pioggia
sui tuoi dolci selciati,
una pioggia leggera
come un alito o un passo.          
Ancora la brezza e l'alba
fioriranno leggere
come sotto il tuo passo,
quando tu rientrerai.
Tra fiori e davanzali
i gatti lo sapranno.


Ci saranno altri giorni,
ci saranno altre voci.
Sorriderai da sola.
I gatti lo sapranno.
Udrai parole antiche,
parole stanche e vane
come i costumi smessi
delle feste di ieri.


Farai gesti anche tu.
Risponderai parole-
viso di primavera;
farai gesti anche tu.


I gatti lo sapranno,
viso di primavera;
e la pioggia leggera,
l'alba color giacinto,
che dilaniano il cuore
di chi più non ti spera,
sono il triste sorriso
che sorridi da sola.

Ci saranno altri giorni,
altre voci e risvegli.
Soffriremo nell'alba,
viso di primavera.

Rain will fall again
on your smooth pavement,
a light rain like
a breath or a step.
The breeze and the dawn
will flourish again
when you return,
as if beneath your step.
Between flowers and sills
the cats will know.


There will be other days,
there will be other voices.
You will smile alone.
The cats will know.
You will hear words
old and spent and useless
like costumes left over
from yesterday’s parties.


You too will make gestures.
You’ll answer with words—
face of springtime,
you too will make gestures.


The cats will know,
face of springtime;
and the light rain
and the hyacinth dawn
that wrench the heart of him
who hopes no more for you—
they are the sad smile
you smile by yourself.


There will be other days,
other voices and renewals.
Face of springtime,
We will suffer at daybreak.


Translated By Geoffrey Brock

Dean Young - Another Lethal Party Favor

I was being ushered somewhere to be beaten
when I ran into my old friend Harry.
He looked slicked down like he’d had help
licking his wounds and when I told him where
I was going he said, Ha, they don’t even know
how to beat a fly there. That’s Harry for you.
Don’t let him see you dragging your trash
to the curb because he’ll have to produce
a bigger heap, carry it on his back even if
his chin almost scrapes the ground like
a dung beetle. Tell him about your heart
transplant and he’ll say, Didn’t know
you had a heart. Lately he’s been concentrating
on contemporary poetry of all things,
kinda a relief like if Hitler had stayed
interested in painting more than politics.
Besides, it was a beautiful day to be beaten,
one of those spry spring afternoons you feel
you could talk to a daffodil and the daffodil,
full of its own problems, would nonetheless
accompany you into the dark cave of your own
skull like a torch held by a villager
intent upon burning down the castle.

Gil Kazimirov - Mom, I Have a Few Requests For You

I have a few requests for you, now that I’ve moved away:

1. My room.
Do not change a thing. Do not move the bed. Do not tear down my posters. G-Unit is an inspirational group of gentlemen. 

My way worn, well-worn clothes, woven fabrics warming weak, weathered bones – keep them too, right where they are, pants, jackets, shirts, in a neglected pile, my silent accomplices in the making of the careless moments of youth.
Do not repaint the walls.
Do not buy a new desk.
Do not rid my shelf of unread Spanish textbooks
Let me rid my self of the Steinbecks and the Gatsbys,
Do not read my self-
Directed instructions on how to get some being to think I am worth loving, like there’s some secret sauce, a logic to the alchemy,
Do not lead yourself to trash naïve, handwritten lists hidden in desks that start with 1. And end with:
Figure out what music she likes and buy all of it.

2. Your food

Do not change a thing.
If the gods cooked Schnitzel, you’d see them huddled together over your recipe,
deciphering your chicken scratch, maybe adding mashed potatoes.
Chicken Soup, peppered with parsley and your devotion. I know you say this is not how time works but it’s precisely your soup that was prescribed to injured Roman soldiers. For what heart or bones or spirit broken can its warmth not mend?
Yes, you are alone now, but as petit as your appetite, don’t you dare say it’s too much effort or ask who’s there to cook for?
I refuse to believe a Saturday will pass without knives slicing tomatoes, burnt, cut but somehow still delicate hands twisting open jars that others would ask their man to open, spices and warmth spreading themselves unto the air surrounding your tedium, your hard work, your love for the food, for me.
Call me when the food is ready, as if I am still sat in my room, waiting.
Because mom, listen, if you stop cooking, what smells will I use to find my way back home?
3. You.
Do not change a thing.
If the years begin to dig their trenches alongside your eyes or in the depth of your brow, as if making preparations for the ultimate battle, nationalize their shovels, imprison them with no trial. Be ruthless, mom, can you even do that?
Do not let the powerful brown of your hair gentrify like Bed-Stuy, or let the corners of your mouth resign into the grimace of retirement homes. When I come back to visit, please, be just the way I had left you.
Mom, do not change a thing.
Your son
I couldn’t send that letter.
Because I realized that if selfishness was one letter, and not 11, it would be the letter written by a kid demanding his mom not to change.
To freeze time in anticipation of his sporadic visits, to stop living until the phone rings and I am on my way, and your vocal chords strain under the pressure of their rebirth, and your mind already on its mental path through grocery aisles and parking lots,
just so I can feel like everything is the same as it always was, so I can pretend I never left you in the past as I went about in search of my future.
Thank you for being a willing accomplice in this crime, mom, but I think its time to turn myself in.
So go ahead, throw out my notebooks, rid yourself of your pots and your pans;
let your veins emerge from their shyness, let your eyelids surrender to gravity, let age ravage the fibers of your body as long as your heart – your heart it doesn’t touch. So mom, even if you stop making Schnitzel, I’ll always find my way back home.