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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Robert Duncan - Such Is the Sickness of Many a Good Thing

Was he then Adam of the Burning Way?

hid away in the heat like wrath

        conceald in Love’s face,

or the seed, Eris in Eros,

        key and lock

of what I was?        I could not speak

        the releasing

word.        For into a dark

        matter he came

and askt me to say what

        I could not say.        “I ..”


All the flame in me stopt

        against my tongue.

My heart was a stone, a dumb

        unmanageable thing in me,

a darkness that stood athwart

        his need

for the enlightening, the

        “I love you” that has

only this one quick in time,

        this one start

when its moment is true.


Such is the sickness of many a good thing

that now into my life from long ago this

refusing to say I love you has bound

the weeping, the yielding, the

        yearning to be taken again,

into a knot, a waiting, a string


so taut it taunts the song,

it resists the touch. It grows dark

to draw down the lover’s hand

from its lightness to what’s


Robert Duncan - Achilles' Song

I do not know more than the Sea tells me,
told me long ago, or I overheard Her
     telling distant roar upon the sands,
waves of meaning in the cradle of whose
     sounding and resounding power I


                              Manchild,     She sang


--or was it a storm uplifting the night
     into a moving wall in which
I was carried as if a mothering nest had
     been made in dread?


the wave of a life darker than my
     life before me sped, and I,
larger than I was, grown dark as
     the shoreless depth,
arose from myself, shaking the last
     light of the sun
from me.


                              Manchild,     She said,


Come back to the shores of what you are.
Come back to the crumbling shores.


     All night
The mothering tides in which your
     Life first formd in the brooding
light have quencht the bloody
     Splendors of the sun


and, under the triumphant processions
     of the moon, lay down
thunder upon thunder of an old
     longing, the beat


of whose repeated spell
     consumes you.


                              Thetis, then,
     my mother, has promised me
the mirage of a boat, a vehicle
     of water within the water,
and my soul would return from
     the trials of its human state,
from the long siege, from the
     struggling companions upon the plain,
from the burning towers and deeds
     of honor and dishonor,
the deeper unsatisfied war beneath
     and behind the declared war,
and the rubble of beautiful, patiently
     workt moonstones, agates, jades, obsidians,


turnd and retrund in the wash of
     the tides, the gleaming waste,
     the pathetic wonder,


words turnd in the phrases of song
     before our song ...or are they


beautiful, patiently workt remembrances of those
     long gone from me,
returned anew, ghostly in the light
     of the moon, old faces?


For Thetis, my mother, has promised
     me a boat,
a lover, an up-lifter of my spirit
     into the rage of my first element
rising, a princedom
     in the unreal, a share in Death




Time, time. It’s time.


The business of Troy has long been done.


Achilles in lreuke has come home.


And soon you too     will be alone.


--December 10, 1968

Danez Smith - From “summer, somewhere”

somewhere, a sun. below, boys brown

as rye play the dozens & ball, jump


in the air & stay there. boys become new

moons, gum-dark on all sides, beg bruise


-blue water to fly, at least tide, at least 

spit back a father or two. I won’t get started.


history is what it is. it knows what it did.

bad dog. bad blood. bad day to be a boy


color of a July well spent. but here, not earth

not heaven, boys can’t recall their white shirt


turned a ruby gown. here, there is no language

for officer or law, no color to call white.


if snow fell, it’d fall black. please, don’t call

us dead, call us alive someplace better.


we say our own names when we pray.

we go out for sweets & come back.






this is how we are born: come morning

after we cypher/feast/hoop, we dig


a new boy from the ground, take

him out his treebox, shake worms


from his braids. sometimes they’ll sing

a trapgod hymn (what a first breath!)


sometimes it’s they eyes who lead

scanning for bonefleshed men in blue.


we say congrats, you’re a boy again! 

we give him a durag, a bowl, a second chance.


we send him off to wander for a day

or ever, let him pick his new name.


that boy was Trayvon, now called RainKing.

that man Sean named himself I do, I do.


O, the imagination of a new reborn boy

but most of us settle on alive





sometimes a boy is born

right out the sky, dropped from


a bridge between starshine & clay.

one boy showed up pulled behind


a truck, a parade for himself

& his wet red gown. years ago


we plucked brothers from branches

unpeeled their naps from bark.


sometimes a boy walks into his room

then walks out into his new world


still clutching wicked metals. some boys

waded here through their own blood. 


does it matter how he got here if we’re all here

to dance? grab a boy, spin him around.


if he asks for a kiss, kiss him.

if he asks where he is, say gone





no need for geography

now that we’re safe everywhere.


point to whatever you please

& call it church, home, or sweet love.


paradise is a world where everything

is a sanctuary & nothing is a gun. 


here, if it grows it knows its place

in history. yesterday, a poplar 


told me of old forest

heavy with fruits I’d call uncle


bursting red pulp & set afire, 

harvest of dark wind chimes. 


after I fell from its limb

it kissed sap into my wound.


do you know what it’s like to live

someplace that loves you back?





here, everybody wanna be black & is. 

look — the forest is a flock of boys


who never got to grow up, blooming

into forever, afros like maple crowns 


reaching sap-slow toward sky. watch

Forest run in the rain, branches


melting into paper-soft curls, duck

under the mountain for shelter. watch


the mountain reveal itself a boy. 

watch Mountain & Forest playing


in the rain, watch the rain melt everything

into a boy with brown eyes & wet naps — 


the lake turns into a boy in the rain

the swamp — a boy in the rain


the fields of lavender — brothers

dancing between the storm. 





if you press your ear to the dirt

you can hear it hum, not like it’s filled


with beetles & other low gods

but like a mouth rot with gospel


& other glories. listen to the dirt

crescendo a boy back. 


come. celebrate. this 

is everyday. every day 


holy. everyday high 

holiday. everyday new 


year. every year, days get longer. 

time clogged with boys. the boys


O the boys. they still come

in droves. the old world 


keeps choking them. our new one 

can’t stop spitting them out. 





ask the mountain-boy to put you on

his shoulders if you want to see


the old world, ask him for some lean

-in & you’ll be home. step off him


& walk around your block.

grow wings & fly above your city.


all the guns fire toward heaven.

warning shots mince your feathers.


fall back to the metal-less side

of the mountain, cry if you need to.


that world of laws rendered us into dark 

matter. we asked for nothing but our names


in a mouth we’ve known 

for decades. some were blessed 


to know the mouth.

our decades betrayed us. 





there, I drowned, back before, once. 

there, I knew how to swim but couldn’t.


there, men stood by shore & watched me blue.

there, I was a dead fish, the river’s prince. 


there, I had a face & then I didn’t.

there, my mother cried over me


but I wasn’t there. I was here, by my own

water, singing a song I learned somewhere


south of somewhere worse. that was when

direction mattered. now, everywhere 


I am is the center of everything.

I must be the lord of something. 


what was I before? a boy? a son?

a warning? a myth? I whistled


now I’m the God of whistling.

I built my Olympia downstream. 





you are not welcome here. trust

the trip will kill you. go home.


we earned this paradise 

by a death we didn’t deserve.


I am sure there are other heres.

a somewhere for every kind


of somebody, a heaven of brown 

girls braiding on golden stoops


but here — 

how could I ever explain to you — 




someone prayed we’d rest in peace

& here we are



in peace             whole                all summer

Philip Whalen - If You're So Smart, Why Ain't You Rich?

I need everything else 

Anything else 


But I have nothing 

Shall have nothing 

    but this 

Immediate, inescapable 

    and invaluable 

No one can afford 


Being made here and now 


       (Seattle, Washington 

                      17 May, 1955) 




Concise (wooden) 


Behind them, the garage door 


(Paint sold under a fatuous name: 

"Old Rose" 

       which brings a war to mind) 


And the mind slides over the fence again 

Orange against pink and green 



Returned of its own accord 

It can explain nothing 

Give no account 


What good? What worth? 




You have less than a second 

       To live 

To try to explain: 

Say that light 

       in particular wave-lengths 

       or bundles wobbling at a given speed 

Produces the experience   

Orange against pink 

Better than a sirloin steak? 

A screen by Korin? 


The effect of this, taken internally 

The effect   

               of beauty 

                              on the mind 


There is no equivalent, least of all 

These objects 

Which ought to manifest 

A surface disorientation, pitting 

Or striae 

Admitting some plausible interpretation 


But the cost 

Can't be expressed in numbers 

dodging between 

       a vagrancy rap 

       and the newest electrical brain-curette 

Eating what the rich are bullied into giving 

Or the poor willingly share 

Depriving themselves 


More expensive than ambergris 

       Although the stink   

               isn't as loud. (A few 

Wise men have said, 

       "Produced the same way . . . 

       Vomited out by sick whales.") 

Valuable for the same qualities 

       Staying-power and penetration 

I've squandered every crying dime.

Frank Bidart - Queer

Lie to yourself about this and you will
forever lie about everything.


Everybody already knows everything


so you can
lie to them. That’s what they want.


But lie to yourself, what you will


lose is yourself. Then you
turn into them.




For each gay kid whose adolescence


was America in the forties or fifties
the primary, the crucial




forever is coming out—

or not. Or not. Or not. Or not. Or not.




Involuted velleities of self-erasure.




Quickly after my parents
died, I came out. Foundational narrative


designed to confer existence.


If I had managed to come out to my
mother, she would have blamed not


me, but herself.


The door through which you were shoved out
into the light


was self-loathing and terror.




Thank you, terror!


You learned early that adults’ genteel
fantasies about human life


were not, for you, life. You think sex


is a knife
driven into you to teach you that.

Richard Wilbur - The Beautiful Changes

One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides
The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies
On water; it glides
So from the walker, it turns
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.


The beautiful changes as a forest is changed
By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it;
As a mantis, arranged
On a green leaf, grows
Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves
Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows.


Your hands hold roses always in a way that says
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
In such kind ways,
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

Dylan Thomas - All All And All The Dry Worlds Lever



All all and all the dry worlds lever,
Stage of the ice, the solid ocean,
All from the oil, the pound of lava.
City of spring, the governed flower,
Turns in the earth that turns the ashen
Towns around on a wheel of fire.


How now my flesh, my naked fellow,
Dug of the sea, the glanded morrow,
Worm in the scalp, the staked and fallow.
All all and all, the corpse's lover,
Skinny as sin, the foaming marrow,
All of the flesh, the dry worlds lever.




Fear not the waking world, my mortal,
Fear not the flat, synthetic blood,
Nor the heart in the ribbing metal.
Fear not the tread, the seeded milling,
The trigger and scythe, the bridal blade,
Nor the flint in the lover's mauling.


Man of my flesh, the jawbone riven,
Know now the flesh's lock and vice,
And the cage for the scythe-eyed raver.
Know, O my bone, the jointed lever,
Fear not the screws that turn the voice,
And the face to the driven lover.




All all and all the dry worlds couple,
Ghost with her ghost, contagious man
With the womb of his shapeless people.
All that shapes from the caul and suckle,
Stroke of mechanical flesh on mine,
Square in these worlds the mortal circle.


Flower, flower the people's fusion,
O light in zenith, the coupled bud,
And the flame in the flesh's vision.
Out of the sea, the drive of oil,
Socket and grave, the brassy blood,
Flower, flower, all all and all.

Seamus Heaney - Casualty



He would drink by himself
And raise a weathered thumb
Towards the high shelf,
Calling another rum
And blackcurrant, without
Having to raise his voice,
Or order a quick stout
By a lifting of the eyes
And a discreet dumb-show
Of pulling off the top;
At closing time would go
In waders and peaked cap
Into the showery dark,
A dole-kept breadwinner
But a natural for work.
I loved his whole manner,
Sure-footed but too sly,
His deadpan sidling tact,
His fisherman’s quick eye
And turned observant back.


To him, my other life.
Sometimes, on the high stool,
Too busy with his knife
At a tobacco plug
And not meeting my eye,
In the pause after a slug
He mentioned poetry.
We would be on our own
And, always politic
And shy of condescension,
I would manage by some trick
To switch the talk to eels
Or lore of the horse and cart
Or the Provisionals.


But my tentative art
His turned back watches too:
He was blown to bits
Out drinking in a curfew
Others obeyed, three nights
After they shot dead
The thirteen men in Derry.
PARAS THIRTEEN, the walls said,
BOGSIDE NIL. That Wednesday
Everyone held
His breath and trembled.




It was a day of cold
Raw silence, wind-blown
surplice and soutane:
Rained-on, flower-laden
Coffin after coffin
Seemed to float from the door
Of the packed cathedral
Like blossoms on slow water.
The common funeral
Unrolled its swaddling band,
Lapping, tightening
Till we were braced and bound
Like brothers in a ring.


But he would not be held
At home by his own crowd
Whatever threats were phoned,
Whatever black flags waved.
I see him as he turned
In that bombed offending place,
Remorse fused with terror
In his still knowable face,
His cornered outfaced stare
Blinding in the flash.


He had gone miles away
For he drank like a fish
Nightly, naturally
Swimming towards the lure
Of warm lit-up places,
The blurred mesh and murmur
Drifting among glasses
In the gregarious smoke.
How culpable was he
That last night when he broke
Our tribe’s complicity?
‘Now, you’re supposed to be
An educated man,’
I hear him say. ‘Puzzle me
The right answer to that one.’




I missed his funeral,
Those quiet walkers
And sideways talkers
Shoaling out of his lane
To the respectable
Purring of the hearse...
They move in equal pace
With the habitual
Slow consolation
Of a dawdling engine,
The line lifted, hand
Over fist, cold sunshine
On the water, the land
Banked under fog: that morning
I was taken in his boat,
The Screw purling, turning
Indolent fathoms white,
I tasted freedom with him.
To get out early, haul
Steadily off the bottom,
Dispraise the catch, and smile
As you find a rhythm
Working you, slow mile by mile,
Into your proper haunt
Somewhere, well out, beyond...


Dawn-sniffing revenant,
Plodder through midnight rain,
Question me again.

Michael Ondaatje - What We Lost

The interior love poem
the deeper levels of the self


dates when the abandonment
of certain principles occurred


The role of courtesy—how to enter
a forest, how to touch
a master’s feet before lesson or performance


The art of the drum. The art of eye-painting.
How to cut an arrow. Gestures between lovers.
The pattern of teeth marks on skin
drawn by a monk from memory


The limits of betrayal. The five ways
a lover could mock an ex-lover


The skill in tentative messages
which included yes and no
but never the direct maybe


Nine finger and eye gestures
to signal key emotions


The small boats of solitude


Lyrics that rose
from love
back into air


naked with guile
and praise


Our works and days


We knew how monsoons
(south-west, north-east)
would govern behaviour


and when to discover
the knowledge of the dead


hidden in clouds
in rivers, in unbroken rock


All this was burnt


or traded for power and wealth
from the eight compass points of vengeance


from the two levels of envy