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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

James Tate - A Vagabond

A vagabond is a newcomer

in a heap of trouble.

He’s an eyeball at a peephole

that should be electrocuted.

He’s a leper in a textile mill

and likely to be beheaded, I mean,

given a liverwurst sandwich

on the break by the brook

where the loaves are sliced.

But he oughtn’t meddle

with the powder puffs on the golf links—

they have their own goats to tame,

dirigibles to situate.

He can act like an imbecile

if the climate is propitious,

a magnate of kidnap

paradising around the oily depot,

or a speck from a distant nebula

wishing to purchase a certain skyscraper ....


Well, if it’s permitted, then

let’s regulate him, let’s testify

against his thimble, and moderate his gloves

before they sew an apron.


The local minister is thinking

of moving to Holland, exchanging

his old ballads for some lingerie.

“Zatso!” says the vagabond.

Homeless, like wheat that tattletales

on the sermon, like wages swigged.

“Zatso, zatso, zatso!” cries the vagabond.

The minister reels under the weight

of his thumbs, the vagabond seems to have

jutted into his kernel, disturbed

his terminal core. Slowly, and with

trifling dignity, the minister removes

from his lapel his last campaign button:

Don’t Mess with Raymond, New Hampshire.