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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Eclogue in Line to View 'The Clock' by Christian Marclay

Okay, but now imagine someone,

one of fifty, say, in the queue, fiftieth first

and advancing little, somewhere within

the seventy-two-hour window of efficacy

for post-exposure prophylaxis, and, later,

in the screening room watching The Clock

with the few dozen others in rows behind and ahead

who had waited too. He knows he has to

but he hasn’t yet. We pick it up there.

It is two thousand eleven a few more days.

The movie tells what time it is.

In poetry too we all face forward.

Frank O'Hara - Poem

Instant coffee with slightly sour cream

in it, and a phone call to the beyond

which doesn’t seem to be coming any nearer.

“Ah daddy, I wanna stay drunk many days”

on the poetry of a new friend

my life held precariously in the seeing

hands of others, their and my impossibilities.

Is this love, now that the first love

has finally died, where there were no impossibilities?

Donte Collins - what the dead know by heart

lately, when asked how are you, i
respond with a name no longer living

Rekia, Jamar, Sandra

i am alive by luck at this point. i wonder
often: if the gun that will unmake me
is yet made, what white birth

will bury me, how many bullets, like a
flock of blue jays, will come carry my black
to its final bed, which photo will be used

to water down my blood. today i did
not die and there is no god or law to
thank. the bullet missed my head

and landed in another. today, i passed
a mirror and did not see a body, instead
a suggestion, a debate, a blank

post-it note there looking back. i
haven’t enough room to both rage and
weep. i go to cry and each tear turns

to steam. I say I matter and a ghost
white hand appears over my mouth

How to Explain White Supremacy to a White Supremacist

Kyle Guante Tran Myhre:

I could write a whole thing here, but I will try to keep this commentary short. This poem has been through a lot of drafts-- even this video is subtly different from the one on the album, and both are different from what I've been performing over the past couple of weeks. Just a couple of quick thoughts (all of which are in addition to the album commentary I already wrote):

Probably the biggest theme on "Post-Post-Race" is the importance of having a more critical, wider perspective on issues of race and racism. Racism isn't just about "bad people being mean to other people because they look different;" it's about history, it's about systems and institutions, and it's about power. This poem is maybe the most direct exploration of that idea on the album.

Especially today, in the context of Trump (and the movement that he represents) it's important to see racism and xenophobia as bigger than one individual's bigotry. We should work to defeat Trump, but we should not labor under the delusion that defeating Trump will be enough. It won't. Electing a Democrat won't be enough either. Even electing a progressive Democrat won't be enough. Defeating racism (and sexism, homophobia, etc.) will take a multi-tiered approach, and I'd argue that step one is affirming that these problems are fundamentally bigger than individual attitudes or actions.

And "bigger" doesn't mean "invincible." It just means that our work is not just the work of changing people's hearts and minds; it's the work of changing our institutions, laws, policies, media, and systems too.

I get that this is a tough thing for some people to wrap their heads around. I also get that this particular poem might be a little tough to stomach as an intro to this concept, and might be better suited as a supplementary tool. So here are a few recommended links/readings:

I'd encourage everyone to read Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow," which might be the most important book of the last decade. I'd also recommend Ta-Nehisi Coates' "The Case for Reparations,"which describes the system that we call "racism" as clearly as you're likely to read anywhere. For all the visual learners out there, here's the NYT's "The Faces of American Power," which lets us just look at the literal faces of people in positions of power in this country; hard to argue with that. Also, be sure to watch "13th" on Netflix! Feel free to add other good resources in the comments.

Daljit Nagra - Digging

Squatted against the bedroom door with left leg
stretched, wiping sweat from my thigh,
I shave hairs to the shape of a passport photo.
Into the good skin, steeling along
the top end of the picture - a straight incision
until blob by seamless blob, over
the Stanley knife, a rivering of blood.

 

Once under the fold, down to the roots,
nerve-hand holds for slicing
level the parallel lines of a photo.
Leaning deeper so the unconscious,
deeper so the gore geometric be heaped up,
I drop the silvery haft, the leg,
lug back the flap.

 

I hear a cry from some of myself.
So this is me. This
jameen. This meat
for which I war
myself.
This.

Joy Harjo - Praise The Rain

Praise the rain; the seagull dive
The curl of plant, the raven talk—
Praise the hurt, the house slack
The stand of trees, the dignity—
Praise the dark, the moon cradle
The sky fall, the bear sleep—
Praise the mist, the warrior name
The earth eclipse, the fired leap—
Praise the backwards, upward sky
The baby cry, the spirit food—
Praise canoe, the fish rush
The hole for frog, the upside-down—
Praise the day, the cloud cup
The mind flat, forget it all—

 

Praise crazy. Praise sad.
Praise the path on which we're led.
Praise the roads on earth and water.
Praise the eater and the eaten.
Praise beginnings; praise the end.
Praise the song and praise the singer.

 

Praise the rain; it brings more rain.
Praise the rain; it brings more rain.

Ode to my Bitchface

Ode to my Bitchface (dance) from We:R Performance Collective on Vimeo.

"Resting Bitchface, they call you. But there is nothing 'restful' about you..."
-
Our latest work 'Ode to my Bitchface' is a dance film we made in reaction to the amazing fierceness of Olivia Gatwood's poem of the same name. Beautifully delivered by Olivia in a live performance, we felt like we had to dance the chills out of our bodies as soon as we saw her original video.
-
Shot & edited by our wonderful friend and collaborator Tim Davis (http://timdavis.me)
Poem written and read by Olivia Gatwood (http://www.oliviagatwood.com)
Choreography & performance by Rebecca Björling & Rebecca Rosier for We:R Performance Collective
Shot at Tegelscenen

Olivia Gatwood - in the alley behind my parents house, 
you tell me you need one blow job a day to be happy

and i disappear
from oncoming traffic
into your lap.

 

you say some people need coffee,
i need this. and i think to myself,
it’s simple, really.

 

i do plenty of things once a day.
shower, set my alarm, call my father
to tell him i am safe

 

what is love if not
being needed,
and unzipping your throat,
if not letting the rats
underneath the sink
live, because it is the middle
of winter?

 

when you say, now
you mean here
and tomorrow here will be your bedroom floor
a gas station parking lot, the dumpster
s
behind my high school

 

soon, the velvet of being desired
begins to harden
and i sculpt a new, doughy mantra
to pass the time

 

i think, it takes three weeks
to form a habit
which means
twenty one days until it is as simple
as brushing my teeth. like any girl
good at her job, i will
teach my tastebuds
to cover their ears
develop some hack to tame the gag
and share it with all of my friends

 

and, i do, of course i do,
but your body becomes immune to the gift
i can tell because you stopped flinching
and stayed mad even after i was finished
i know, i know
i got lazy, i’m sorry
i can’t bind my mouth into something tighter
so the needs mutate into a tumor
with a face and teeth and hands

 

and soon i am swallowing your pillow
tending to the rug burn on my palms and knees,
i think, twenty one more days until i master the art
of separating brain from body
until i am the girl in the magician’s box
whose upper torso rolls away from her hips with ease
and i do, of course i do,

 

but you know the drill,
the need, the immunity, the tumor, the habit,
and soon, you want it twice
you want it four times
you want it in the middle of the night
but i am asleep
but you want it
so i wake up

 

watch this
i learn how to not wake up
while its happening
i teach myself to lock the door
of my dreams and stay there
until morning

 

i detach like a classroom skeleton
piece by piece

 

i share the trick
s
with the curious girl in geometry.

 

asleep? she says.
and stops laughing.

yes. i say.
isn’t that the best part about it?

Natalie Scenters-Zapico - Buen Esqueleto

Life is short, and I tell this to mis hijas.

Life is short, & I show them how to talk

to police without opening the door, how

to leave the social security number blank

on the exam, I tell this to mis hijas.

This world tells them I hate you every day

& I don’t keep this from mis hijas

because of the bus driver who kicks them

to the street for fare evasion. Because I love

mis hijas, I keep them from men who’d knock

their heads together just to hear the chime.

Life is short & the world is terrible. I know

no kind strangers in this country who aren’t

sisters a desert away, & I don’t keep this

from mis hijas. It’s not my job to sell

them the world, but to keep them safe

in case I get deported. Our first

landlord said with a bucket of bleach

the mold would come right off. He shook

mis hijas, said they had good bones

for hard work. Mi’jas, could we make this place

beautiful? I tried to make this place beautiful.

—After “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith - Good Bones

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.