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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Raymond Antrobus - Echo

                                  1

 

My ear amps whistle like they are singing

to Echo, goddess of noise,

the raveled knot of tongues,

of blaring birds, consonant crumbs

of dull doorbells, sounds swamped

in my misty hearing aid tubes.

Gaudí believed in holy sound

and built a cathedral to contain it,

pulling hearing men from their knees

as though atheism is a kind of deafness.

Who would turn down God?

Even though I have not heard

the golden decibels of angels,

I have been living in a noiseless

palace where the doorbell is pulsating

light and I am able to answer.

 

 

                                      2

 

What?

 

a word that keeps looking

in mirrors like it is in love

with its own volume.

 

What?

 

I am a one-word question,

a one-man

patience test.

 

What?

 

What language

would we speak

without ears?

 

What?

 

Is paradise

a world where

I hear everything?

 

What?

 

How will my brain

know what to hold

if it has too many arms?

 

 

                                      3

 

The day I clear out my dead father’s flat,

 

I throw away boxes of molding LPs, Garvey,

 

Malcolm X, Mandela, speeches on vinyl.

 

I find a TDK cassette tape on the shelf,

 

smudged green label Raymond Speaking.

 

I play the tape in his vintage cassette player

 

and hear my two-year-old voice chanting my name Antrob

 

and dad’s laughter crackling in the background

 

not knowing I couldn’t hear the word “bus”

 

and wouldn’t until I got my hearing aids.

 

Now I sit here listening to the space of deafness — 

 

Antrob Antrob Antrob

 

 

                                      4

 

And no one knew what I was missing

 

until a doctor gave me a handful of Legos

 

and said to put a brick on the table

 

every time I heard a sound.

 

After the test I still held enough bricks

 

in my hand to build a house

 

and call it my sanctuary,

 

call it the reason I sat in saintly silence

 

during my grandfather’s sermons when he preached

 

the good news, I only heard

 

as Babylon’s babbling echoes.

 

 

                                      5

 

          And if you don’t catch nothing

          then something wrong with your ears —

          they been tuned to de wrong frequency

                                   — Kei Miller

 

So maybe I belong to the universe

underwater, where all songs

are smeared wailings for Salacia,

goddess of saltwater, healer

of infected ears, which is what the doctor

thought I had, since deafness

did not run in the family

but came from nowhere,

so they syringed in olive oil

and saltwater, and we all waited

to see what would come out.