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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Tommye Blount - The Bug

lands on my pretty man’s forearm. Harmless,
it isn’t deadly at all; makes his muscle flutter
— the one that gets his hand to hold mine, or
ball into a fist, or handle a gun. It’s a ladybug,
or an Asian lady beetle everyone mistakes
for a ladybug — eating whatever
it lands on. My pretty man is asleep — at ease, or
plotting like the bug. Or maybe the bug
is a blowfly — eating my pretty man’s tan
from his pretty arm. My man swats it
without waking, as if he’s dreaming of an enemy,
or me. When my pretty man isn’t asleep
he’s got a temper.

                                              No, he is not

asleep. He’s wide awake and wants me to tell you
I’m wrong. Blowflies don’t eat skin,
they lay eggs on skin. He knows all about
blowfly larvae. Napoleon used them
to clean war wounds, my cold pretty man
says in that pretty way,
with his cold pretty mouth. He’s eaten plenty
of bugs before. On night watch,
over there. Over there, they’re everywhere.

Edna St. Vincent Millay - Not So Far as the Forest


That chill is in the air
Which the wise know well, and even have learned to bear.
This joy, I know,
Will soon be under snow.

The sun sets in a cloud
And is not seen.
Beauty, that spoke aloud,
Addresses now only the remembering ear.
The heart begins here
To feed on what has been.

Night falls fast.
Today is in the past.

Blown from the dark hill hither to my door
Three flakes, then four
Arrive, then many more.


Branch by branch
This tree has died. Green only
Is one last bough, moving its leaves in the sun.

What evil ate its root, what blight,
What ugly thing,
Let the mole say, the bird sing;
Or the white worm behind the shedding bark
Tick in the dark.

You and I have only one thing to do:
Saw the trunk through.


Distressèd mind, forbear
To tease the hooded Why:
That shape will not reply.

From the warm chair
To the wind's welter
Flee, if storm's your shelter.

But no, you needs must part,
Fling him his release--
On whose ungenerous heart
Alone you are at peace.


Not dead of wounds, not borne
Home to the village on a litter of branches, torn
By splendid claws and the talk all night of the villagers,
But stung to death by gnats
Lies Love.

What swamp I sweated through for all these years
Is at length plain to me.


Poor passionate thing,
Even with this clipped wing how well you flew!--though not so far as the forest.

Unwounded and unspent, serene but for the eye's bright trouble,
Was it the lurching flight, the unequal wind under the lopped feathers that brought you down,
To sit in folded colours on the empty level field,
Visible as a ship, paling the yellow stubble?

Rebellious bird, warm body foreign and bright,
Has no one told you?--Hopeless is your flight
Towards the high branches. Here is your home,
Between barnyard strewn with grain and the forest tree.
Though Time refeather the wing,
Ankle slip the ring,
The once-confined thing
Is never again free.

Seamus Heaney - The Birch Grove

At the foot of a garden, in earshot of river water,
In a corner walled off like the baths or bake-house
Of an unroofed abbey or broken-floored Roman villa,
They have planted their birch grove. Planted it recently only
But already each morning it puts forth in the sun
Like their own long grown-up selves, the white of the bark
As suffused and cool as the white of the satin nightdress
She bends and straightens up in, pouring tea,
Sitting across from where he dandles a sandal
On his big time-keeping foot, as bare as an abbot’s.
Red brick and slate, plum tree and apple retain
Their credibility, a CD of Bach is making the rounds
Of the common or garden air. Above them a jet trail
Tapers and waves like a willow wand or a taper.
“If art teaches us anything,” he says, trumping life
With a quote, “it’s that the human condition is private.”

Julia Copus - A Soft-edged Reed of Light

That was the house where you asked me to remain
on the eve of my planned departure. Do you remember?
The house remembers it – the deal table
with the late September sun stretched on its back.
As long as you like, you said, and the chairs, the clock,
the diamond leaded lights in the pine-clad alcove
of that 1960s breakfast-room were our witnesses.
I had only meant to stay for a week
but you reached out a hand, the soft white cuff of your shirt
open at the wrist, and out in the yard,
the walls of the house considered themselves
in the murk of the lily-pond, and it was done.

Done. Whatever gods had bent to us then to whisper,
Here is your remedy – take it – here, your future,
either they lied or we misheard.
How changed we are now, how superior
after the end of it – the unborn children,
the mornings that came with a soft-edged reed of light
over and over, the empty rooms we woke to.
And yet if that same dark-haired boy
were to lean towards me now, with one shy hand
bathed in September sun, as if to say,
All things are possible – then why not this?
I’d take it still, praying it might be so.

Ross Gay - A Small Needful Fact

Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.

Jameson Fitzpatrick - Poem in Which Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me

I make the train.
And get the job
and pay my rent on time
and don’t get too drunk and don’t send a text
I shouldn’t and always use a condom.

The car does not make an illegal left turn and I do not have to brake hard to avoid it and I do not fly off my bike and flip several feet in the air and I do not land thinking not on my face not on my face hard on my right arm and I do not break my elbow and a mean orthopedist does not tell me I have to move it anyway or risk losing my range of motion and I do not have to teach while on Percocet which is harder and less fun than you might imagine.

None of my friends ever kill themselves.

I never even meet one of them, because I’m never admitted to a psychiatric hospital, because I never try to kill myself, or say I will, or gesture to repeatedly to prevent someone from abandoning me, which, I’ll never learn, is what a therapist I’ll never meet refers to as a “communication tactic.”

In this poem, I don’t even fear abandonment.

Jacques never leaves me, or, I never meet Jacques.

Or we fuck once, or we fuck a few times
but love never enters the building.
Love, in this case, is the bad thing,
or the absence of kindness in the face of love;
so in this poem, wherever there is love
there will be kindness and where there is no kindness
there will be no love.

I don’t hate the feeling of a man inside me, or, there are never any men inside me in this poem and also never any expectations. I am taller and more masculine and everyone who wants to fuck wants me to fuck them.

Another man I love with a French name never pushes me down into the cold concrete of a stairwell  and fucks me dry, without a condom. If he fucks me at all, it is tenderly, in an expensive hotel where I do not learn to like it again because I never stopped.

I never offer to suck the dick of the boy I am sharing a hotel room with on a high school trip and he never insists on fucking me and I never say yes and I never say “stop” or can’t remember whether or not I do and this question does not haunt me because it never happens.

When I’m sixteen, a middle-aged man next to me at the opera does not touch my knee and it does not terrify me how much I like it.

I’m never a teenager at all, if it can be arranged. I see the car coming and don’t make the left turn.

My parents never:
keep booze in the house,
name me after it.

There’s still pot in this poem, but I smoke less of it.

I don’t have to keep stopping and starting
to get high and masturbate; this poem pours out of me, easy,
like conversation with strangers at a bar, even when I’m sober,
which I might be sometime at one of the bars in this poem.

There’s nothing I don’t want to write
about. I love writing.

I love my body.

I’m not gay in this poem, or it is not hard to be gay in this poem. Stet—it’s been useful, because it’s been hard.

But not so hard, I’m not forced to come out in the sixth grade, at least—not to my parents, because I never get reported for writing something obscene about Justin Timberlake on an AOL message board, and not to everyone else, because it isn’t so apparent to them already.

In middle school, none of the boys ever follow me around in the hallway between classes, lisping. I don’t have a crush on one of them and he doesn’t ask me out as a joke one day when everyone is hanging out by the picnic tables before school and I don’t find myself somehow relieved that I know it’s a joke the whole time because falling for it would have been way worse.

Phil Bruno doesn’t write an essay for AP English our senior year of high school which is both a personal attack on me and on gay people more generally. He doesn’t read it aloud in front of the entire class and the teacher doesn’t let him finish and I don’t gather my things and walk out. If he does, and I do, I don’t walk straight out of the school without stopping to look at anyone, I go to the principal’s office and raise hell and maybe make a YouTube video about it that I parlay into some small fame. I don’t feel embarrassed about how many times I’ve let him copy my math homework.

In this poem, I get revenge
only from the people who owe it
to me, who is no one.

On Halloween, when I’m nine, the co-pilot of a Boeing 767 en route to Cairo does not crash the plane into the Atlantic Ocean sixty miles south of Nantucket, just into international waters. If he does, my father’s parents aren’t on board. If the investigation falls under Egypt’s jurisdiction, they don’t lack the necessary resources and ask the US to lead it instead. The US authorities don’t determine that the co-pilot seized the controls, did it on purpose, but can’t explain why. There’s never a second, conflicting investigation, because the Mubarak government doesn’t insist this isn’t true. I never know my father as the child this happens to.

Two years later, I don’t ejaculate for the first time at summer camp, at the hands of a boy who is a year or two older, who I didn’t know before this summer but knew of because he’d gotten kicked out of my elementary school for bringing in a beebee gun. I don’t pretend to be asleep the whole time because I am afraid of him but also afraid

I don’t want him to stop. I don’t tell
our counselors the next day because I don’t know
how to feel about it but recognize it as familiar,
the first bad thing that was done to me, and now
neither of us can stay. I don’t feel guilty about this, for years.

And the first bad thing,
much further back than that,
is not my first memory, or
what I understand to be the first
because over time I have
smoothed and perfected it
like a stone in my palm.

Here my hands are empty.
Here it never happens, so I don’t have to tell you about it.

Anne Sexton - The Touch

For months my hand had been sealed off
in a tin box. Nothing was there but subway railings.
Perhaps it is bruised, I thought,
and that is why they have locked it up.
But when I looked it lay there quietly.
You could tell time by this, I thought,
Like a clock, by its five knuckles
and the thin underground veins.
It lay there like an unconscious woman
fed by tubes she knew not of.

The hand had collapsed,
a small wood pigeon
that had gone into seclusion.
I turned it over and the palm was old,
its lines traced like fine needlepoint
and stitched up into the fingers.
It was fat and soft and blind in places.
Nothing but vulnerable.

And all this is metaphor.
An ordinary hand—just lonely
for something to touch
that touches back.
The dog won't do it.
Her tail wags in the swamp for a frog.
I'm no better than a case of dog food.
She owns her own hunger.
My sisters won't do it.
They live in school except for buttons
and tears running down like lemonade.
My father won't do it.
He comes with the house and even at night
he lives in a machine made by my mother
and well oiled by his job, his job.

The trouble is
that I'd let my gestures freeze.
The trouble was not
in the kitchen or the tulips
but only in my head, my head.

Then all this became history.
Your hand found mine.
Life rushed to my fingers like a blood clot.
Oh, my carpenter,
the fingers are rebuilt.
They dance with yours.
They dance in the attic and in Vienna.
My hand is alive all over America.
Not even death will stop it,
death shedding her blood.
Nothing will stop it, for this is the kingdom
and the kingdom come.