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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Layli Long Soldier - Talent

my first try I made a hit it dropped from morning gray the smallest shadow both wings slipped inward mid-flight the man barked Now I shot again and again a third time with each arrow through the target I thought was it luck or was it skill luck or skill as the last one fell


its awkward shape made me run there pulsing on the ground I was astounded by its size a gangly white goose throbbed heaved its head my eyes dropped blood flowers opened in the snow of its neck behind my shoulder stepping down from a yellow bus


children made their way across the field I shot once more to end it quickly close range its death did I do this to spare the bird from suffering or to spare the children the sight my motives in humid cold yes my knuckles in the cold steamed bright red


because on my stomach in grass in rubber boots pockets and vest I slid along with that hunter I did as he directed from quiver my draw my black lashes in steely eyed release it felt good there it felt strong my breath in autumn was an animal there I thought did I really do this       did really yet what difference is muscle is an arrow powered upward or any flight to center when I did not hear it though I clearly mouthed poor thing poor thing poor thing

Patricia Smith - Incendiary Art

The city’s streets are densely shelved with rows
of salt and packaged hair. Intent on air,
the funk of crave and function comes to blows


with any smell that isn’t oil—the blare
of storefront chicken settles on the skin
and mango spritzing drips from razored hair.


The corner chefs cube pork, decide again
on cayenne, fry in grease that’s glopped with dust.
The sizzle of the feast adds to the din


of children, strutting slant, their wanderlust
and cussing, plus the loud and tactless hiss 
of dogged hustlers bellowing past gusts


of peppered breeze, that fatty, fragrant bliss
in skillets. All our rampant hunger tricks
us into thinking we can dare dismiss


the thing men do to boulevards, the wicks
their bodies be. A city, strapped for art,
delights in torching them—at first for kicks,


to waltz to whirling sparks, but soon those hearts
thud thinner, whittled by the chomp of heat.
Outlined in chalk, men blacken, curl apart.


Their blindly rising fume is bittersweet,
although reversals in the air could fool
us into thinking they weren’t meant as meat.


Our sons don’t burn their cities as a rule,
born, as they are, up to their necks in fuel.

Tomas Tranströmer - After a Death

Once there was a shock
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.


One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold.


It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.


Translation by Robert Bly

Rigoberto González - The Strangers Who Find Me in the Woods

               after Thomas James


The strangers in the woods must mimic squirrels and crackle 

with the undergrowth. They must not flinch at the cruelty 

of breaking golden leaves with their feet, or of interring stones. 

And like any of these deciduous trees in autumn they must be 


stingy with shadow and move deceptively across the sludge. 

I listen to these strangers stirring with the evenings. I invent paths 

for them to the soft edge of the lake. Each descent is as graceful 

as a sinking ship, but less tragic somehow because these strangers 


don’t possess a lung. I cannot hear them breathe, yet the air 

is all whispers, all sighs—the same ethereal muscle that rubs 

the color off the foliage. I lost my way out of the woods on the night 

every bird went south or numb. A plump rat snatched the moon 


and dragged it by the white rope of its tail. The strangers were 

a cloak of silhouettes flattening against a trunk like bark. 

I must have disappeared among them because the mouth I touched 

was not my own and was cruelly closing in on someone’s rib. I carried 


such a bite on me, an arc of green and yellow on my side from the man 

who said he loved me. In that darkness I knew as much about him 

as I did of the amputee swimming his way up the hill with his 

only arm. So this is the home of the unturned stone where 


the fugitive keeps his kiss! Archeologists will discover a paradise 

in the place no touch died of neglect. Is it any wonder all things 

forgotten or abandoned find their way here? The winter is back, so too 

the bloated body of a book I tossed over the bridge last week. 


And there on the bench, is my old smoking habit, a cigarette 

glowing on my mouth like a beacon. I’m patient, waiting for the fugitive 

to claim me as his own. I’m as wise as any stranger here, alone but with 

the knowledge that the grief of separation is always brief.

Thom Gunn - In Trust

            You go from me

        In June for months on end

    To study equanimity

         Among high trees alone;

     I go out with a new boyfriend

And stay all summer in the city where

         Home mostly on my own

         I watch the sunflowers flare.


             You travel East

        To help your relatives.

   The rainy season's start, at least,

        Brings you from banishment:

    And from the hall a doorway gives

A glimpse of you, writing I don't know what,

         Through winter, with head bent

         In the lamp's yellow spot.


              To some fresh task

         Some improvising skill

     Your face is turned, of which I ask

         Nothing except the presence:

    Beneath white hair your clear eyes still

Are candid as the cat's fixed narrowing gaze

        —Its pale-blue incandescence

        In your room nowadays.


             Sociable cat:

         Without much noise or fuss

    We left the kitchen where he sat,

          And suddenly we find

     He happens still to be with us,

In this room now, though firmly faced away,

          Not to be left behind,

          Though all the night he'll stray.


              As you began

        You'll end the year with me.

   We'll hug each other while we can,

        Work or stray while we must.

    Nothing is, or will ever be,

Mine, I suppose. No one can hold a heart,

          But what we hold in trust

          We do hold, even apart.

Nuar Alsadir - Fourth Person Singular

Sketch 27

A man entered the subway car at Borough Hall,
was about to sit, but just as his knees began to bend
the train jerked into motion. He stood up, as though
regaining composure after a brief humiliation,
as though it were somehow shameful to be subject
to gravity’s impersonal force, caught
in its grip, an object controlled by physics.



Sketch 64

Pleasure and disgust, the border of desire, of aesthetics,
where beauty and the uncanny meet—is this the brink
one must always live on, bare and bear, the vulnerability
necessitated in feeling alive? When I have bared myself, I
feel a compulsion to send out a flurry of signals to adjust the
reception of others, to scramble the image that may have been
momentarily revealed of me—



Sketch 7

If only you knew what I saw when I looked at your face, headless
motherfucker, with your head turned around. We do that kind of
shit. We know everything. That’s how we train. We know fucking

As I switched subway cars at the next stop, I saw others who
had stood beside him rush to do the same. It’s that easy to
unknow, to deny that we are at war.



Sketch 4

How did the caterpillar feel when it crawled out of its face,
left it behind in mulch at the bottom of its jar? Is this
ahistoricity, to go forth having molted your face and all
associations dragged along?



Sketch 13

The wet in the air is like signal anxiety: life is about to
change. The parked bicycle’s front wheel indicates the
direction gravity has chosen, the ice cream truck emits music
& fumes outside the school, luring children, as did the Pied
Piper, towards death. Robert Browning wrote a poem about
the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a rat catcher who passed through
Germany in the middle ages, which was published in
Dramatic Lyrics in 1842. After being trashed for his
confessional lyrics in his first book, Pauline: A Fragment of A
Confession, which didn’t sell a single copy, Browning veered
sharply away from confessional poetry and invented the
dramatic monologue, which, using historical figures as
mouthpieces, protected him from lyric shame. Once, when I

‘[S]elf,’ wrote
Shelley in a
letter, ‘that burr
that sticks to
I can’t seem
to get it off’

was part of a dance troupe, we rehearsed our

upcoming show wearing masks. Never before had I
felt so free—sometimes you can put more of your
emotion into art by keeping your face out. Or is
thinking that way merely projective autobiography?

Frank O'Hara - A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island

The Sun woke me this morning loud
and clear, saying “Hey! I’ve been
trying to wake you up for fifteen
minutes. Don’t be so rude, you are
only the second poet I’ve ever chosen
to speak to personally
                                        so why
aren’t you more attentive? If I could
burn you through the window I would
to wake you up. I can’t hang around
Here all day.”


                   “Sorry, Sun, I stayed
up late last night talking to Hal.”


“When I woke up Mayakovsky he was
a lot more prompt” the Sun said
petulantly. “Most people are up
already waiting to see if I’m going
to put in an appearance.”
                                              I tried
to apologize “I missed you yesterday.”
“That’s better” he said “I didn’t
know you’d come out. You may be
wondering why I’ve come so close?”
“Yes” I said beginning to feel hot
wondering if maybe he wasn’t burning me


               “Frankly I wanted to tell you
I like your poetry. I see a lot
on my rounds and you’re okay. You may
not be the greatest thing on earth, but
you’re different. Now, I’ve heard some
say you’re crazy, they being excessively
calm themselves to my mind, and other
crazy poets think you’re a boring
reactionary. Not me.


                                  Just keep on
like I do and pay no attention. You’ll
find that people always will complain
about the atmosphere, either too hot
or too cold too bright or too dark, days
too short or too long.


                                 If you don’t appear
at all one day they think you’re lazy
or dead. Just keep right on, I like it.


And don’t worry about your lineage
poetic or natural. The Sun shines on
the jungle, you know, on the tundra
the sea, the ghetto. Whatever you were
I knew it and saw you moving. I was waiting
for you to get to work.


                                       And now that you
are making your own days, so to speak,
even if no one reads you but me
you won’t be depressed. Not
everyone can look up, even at me. It
hurts their eyes.”


                               “Oh Sun, I’m so grateful to you!”


“Thanks and remember I’m watching. It’s
easier for me to speak to you out
here. I don’t have to slide down
between buildings to get your ear.
I know you love Manhattan, but
you ought to look up more often.


always embrace things, people earth
sky stars, as I do, freely and with
the appropriate sense of space. That
is your inclination, known in the heavens
and you should follow it to hell, if
necessary, which I doubt.


                                            Maybe we’ll
speak again in Africa, of which I too
am especially fond. Go back to sleep now
Frank, and I may leave a tiny poem
in that brain of yours as a farewell.”


“Sun, don’t go!” I was awake
at last. “No, go I must, they’re calling
        “Who are they?”
                                     Rising he said “Some
day you’ll know. They’re calling to you
too.” Darkly he rose, and then I slept.

Helen Dunmore - Wild Strawberries

What I get, I bring home to you: 
a dark handful, sweet-edged, 
dissolving in one mouthful. 

I bother to bring them for you 
though they’re so quickly over, 
pulpless, sliding to juice 

a grainy rub on the tongue 
and the taste’s gone. If you remember 
we were in the woods at wild strawberry-time 

and I was making a basket of dock-leaves 
to hold what you’d picked, 
but the cold leaves unplaited themselves 

and slid apart, and again unplaited themselves 
until I gave up and ate wild strawberries 
out of your hands for sweetness. 

I licked at your palm: 
the little salt-edge there, 
the tang of money you’d handled. 

As we stayed in the woods, hidden, 
we heard the sound system below us 
calling the winners at Chepstow, 
faint as the breeze turned. 

The sun came out on us, the shade blotches 
went hazel: we heard names 
bubble like stock-doves over the woods 

as jockeys in stained silks gentled 
those sweat-dark, shuddering horses 
down to the walk.

Helen Dunmore - Litany

For the length of time it takes a bruise to fade 
for the heavy weight on getting out of bed, 
for the hair’s grey, for the skin’s tired grain, 
for the spider naevus and drinker’s nose 
for the vocabulary of palliation and Macmillan 
for friends who know the best funeral readings, 

for the everydayness of pain, for waiting patiently 
to ask the pharmacist about your medication 
for elastic bandages and ulcer dressings, 
for knowing what to say 
when your friend says how much she still misses him, 
for needing a coat although it is warm, 

for the length of time it takes a wound to heal, 
for the strange pity you feel 
when told off by the blank sure faces 
of the young who own and know everything, 
for the bare flesh of the next generation, 
for the word ‘generation’, which used to mean nothing.

Konstantinos Kaváfis - Uma noite

Uma noite (1915)


Era pobre e sórdida a alcova,
escondida por cima da equívoca taberna.
Da janela via-se a ruela
suja e estreita. De baixo
subiam as vozes de uns operários
que, jogando às cartas, matavam o tempo.


E ali, numa cama mísera e vulgar
possuí o corpo do amor, possuí os lábios
sensuais e rosados de embriaguez -
rosados de tanta embriaguez que, mesmo agora,
quando escrevo, passados tantos anos,
sozinho em casa, volto a embriagar-me.


Konstantinos Kaváfis, 145 poemas, trad. e apresentação Manuel Resende, ed. Flop