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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Diannely Antigua - Praise to the Boys

            On Thursdays the boys played basketball
in the church parking lot
            while Sister Priscilla taught the girls
to sew on buttons, stitch hems, iron collars.
            She’d lean her rigid body to guide
my hands at the machine, her cabbage breath
            lingering as she walked to the next girl.
God lingered too. God watched
            my hands feed the needle blue cloth bits at a time. He
watched my mouth, knew where I’d put it next, on the end
            of a thread before pulling it through the eye.
Sometimes I’d imagine hemming my uniform
            above my knee. Sometimes I’d fake a migraine
so I could watch from the attic, the boys
            with sleeves to their elbows, maybe
just down to a T-shirt. I’d watch
            their bodies sweat in ways I’d only seen at the altar
to a song I was singing, my voice inducing
            a twitch of limbs, a wag of tongue
in something we weren’t meant to understand.
            But God understood. He watched
one of those boys sell drugs at gunpoint,
            watched one marry my sister, then another
kiss a baby’s toes. Three years later
            I’d touch the sweat of one, in the backseat
of a Dodge Ram van, windows tinted, skirt
            pulled up to my waist. God saw the boy
lick a silent prayer, saw my back
            curve in exalt.

Murder Most Foul

Twas a dark day in Dallas, November '63
A day that will live on in infamy
President Kennedy was a-ridin’ high
Good day to be livin' and a good day to die
Being led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb
He said, "Wait a minute, boys, you know who I am?"
"Of course we do. We know who you are."
Then they blew off his head while he was still in the car
Shot down like a dog in broad daylight
Was a matter of timing and the timing was right
You got unpaid debts; we've come to collect
We're gonna kill you with hatred; without any respect
We'll mock you and shock you and we'll put it in your face
We've already got someone here to take your place

The day they blew out the brains of the king
Thousands were watching; no one saw a thing
It happened so quickly, so quick, by surprise
Right there in front of everyone's eyes
Greatest magic trick ever under the sun
Perfectly executed, skillfully done
Wolfman, oh wolfman, oh wolfman howl
Rub-a-dub-dub, it's a murder most foul

Hush, little children. You'll understand
The Beatles are comin'; they're gonna hold your hand
Slide down the banister, go get your coat
Ferry 'cross the Mersey and go for the throat
There's three bums comin' all dressed in rags
Pick up the pieces and lower the flags
I'm going to Woodstock; it's the Aquarian Age
Then I'll go to Altamont and sit near the stage
Put your head out the window; let the good times roll
There's a party going on behind the Grassy Knoll

Stack up the bricks, pour the cement
Don't say Dallas don't love you, Mr. President
Put your foot in the tank and step on the gas
Try to make it to the triple underpass
Blackface singer, whiteface clown
Better not show your faces after the sun goes down
Up in the red light district, they've got cop on the beat
Living in a nightmare on Elm Street

When you're down in Deep Ellum, put your money in your shoe
Don't ask what your country can do for you
Cash on the ballot, money to burn
Dealey Plaza, make left-hand turn
I'm going down to the crossroads; gonna flag a ride
The place where faith, hope, and charity died
Shoot him while he runs, boy. Shoot him while you can
See if you can shoot the invisible man
Goodbye, Charlie. Goodbye, Uncle Sam
Frankly, Miss Scarlett, I don't give a damn

What is the truth, and where did it go?
Ask Oswald and Ruby; they oughta know
"Shut your mouth," said the wise old owl
Business is business, and it's a murder most foul

Tommy, can you hear me? I'm the Acid Queen
I'm riding in a long, black limousine
Riding in the backseat next to my wife
Heading straight on in to the afterlife
I'm leaning to the left; got my head in her lap
Hold on, I've been led into some kind of a trap
Where we ask no quarter, and no quarter do we give
We're right down the street from the street where you live
They mutilated his body, and they took out his brain
What more could they do? They piled on the pain
But his soul's not there where it was supposed to be at
For the last fifty years they've been searchin' for that

Freedom, oh freedom. Freedom cover me
I hate to tell you, mister, but only dead men are free
Send me some lovin'; tell me no lies
Throw the gun in the gutter and walk on by
Wake up, little Susie; let's go for a drive
Cross the Trinity River; let's keep hope alive
Turn the radio on; don't touch the dials
Parkland hospital, only six more miles

You got me dizzy, Miss Lizzy. You filled me with lead
That magic bullet of yours has gone to my head
I'm just a patsy like Patsy Cline
Never shot anyone from in front or behind
I've blood in my eye, got blood in my ear
I'm never gonna make it to the new frontier
Zapruder's film I seen night before
Seen it 33 times, maybe more
It's vile and deceitful. It's cruel and it's mean
Ugliest thing that you ever have seen
They killed him once and they killed him twice
Killed him like a human sacrifice

The day that they killed him, someone said to me, "Son
The age of the Antichrist has only begun."
Air Force One coming in through the gate
Johnson sworn in at 2:38
Let me know when you decide to thrown in the towel
It is what it is, and it's murder most foul

What's new, pussycat? What'd I say?
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it's beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it's 36 hours past Judgment Day

Wolfman Jack, speaking in tongues
He's going on and on at the top of his lungs
Play me a song, Mr. Wolfman Jack
Play it for me in my long Cadillac
Play me that "Only the Good Die Young"
Take me to the place Tom Dooley was hung
St. James Infirmary and the Port of King James
If you want to remember, you better write down the names
Play Etta James, too. Play "I'd Rather Go Blind"
Play it for the man with the telepathic mind
Play John Lee Hooker. Play "Scratch My Back."
Play it for that strip club owner named Jack
Guitar Slim going down slow
Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe

Play "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
Play it for the First Lady, she ain't feeling any good
Play Don Henley, play Glenn Frey
Take it to the limit and let it go by
Play it for Karl Wirsum, too
Looking far, far away at Down Gallow Avenue
Play tragedy, play "Twilight Time"
Take me back to Tulsa to the scene of the crime
Play another one and "Another One Bites the Dust"
Play "The Old Rugged Cross" and "In God We Trust"
Ride the pink horse down the long, lonesome road
Stand there and wait for his head to explode
Play "Mystery Train" for Mr. Mystery
The man who fell down dead like a rootless tree
Play it for the Reverend; play it for the Pastor
Play it for the dog that got no master
Play Oscar Peterson. Play Stan Getz
Play "Blue Sky"; play Dickey Betts
Play Art Pepper, Thelonious Monk
Charlie Parker and all that junk
All that junk and "All That Jazz"
Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz
Play Buster Keaton, play Harold Lloyd
Play Bugsy Siegel, play Pretty Boy Floyd
Play the numbers, play the odds
Play "Cry Me A River" for the Lord of the gods
Play Number 9, play Number 6
Play it for Lindsey and Stevie Nicks
Play Nat King Cole, play "Nature Boy"
Play "Down In The Boondocks" for Terry Malloy
Play "It Happened One Night" and "One Night of Sin"
There's 12 Million souls that are listening in
Play "Merchant of Venice", play "Merchants of Death"
Play "Stella by Starlight" for Lady Macbeth

Don't worry, Mr. President. Help's on the way
Your brothers are coming; there'll be hell to pay
Brothers? What brothers? What's this about hell?
Tell them, "We're waiting. Keep coming." We'll get them as well

The field is where his plane touched down
But it never did get back up off the ground
Was a hard act to follow, second to none
They killed him on the altar of the rising sun
Play "Misty" for me and "That Old Devil Moon"
Play "Anything Goes" and "Memphis in June"
Play "Lonely At the Top" and "Lonely Are the Brave"
Play it for Houdini spinning around his grave
Play Jelly Roll Morton, play "Lucille"
Play "Deep In a Dream", and play "Driving Wheel"
Play "Moonlight Sonata" in F-sharp
And "A Key to the Highway" for the king on the harp
Play "Marching Through Georgia" and "Dumbaroton's Drums"
Play darkness and death will come when it comes
Play "Love Me Or Leave Me" by the great Bud Powell
Play "The Blood-stained Banner", play "Murder Most Foul"

T.S. Eliot - The Hollow Men

Mistah Kurtz-he dead
            A penny for the Old Guy



                       I

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar
   
    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
   
    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us-if at all-not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.

   
                              II

    Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
    In death's dream kingdom
    These do not appear:
    There, the eyes are
    Sunlight on a broken column
    There, is a tree swinging
    And voices are
    In the wind's singing
    More distant and more solemn
    Than a fading star.
   
    Let me be no nearer
    In death's dream kingdom
    Let me also wear
    Such deliberate disguises
    Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
    In a field
    Behaving as the wind behaves
    No nearer-
   
    Not that final meeting
    In the twilight kingdom

   
                   III

    This is the dead land
    This is cactus land
    Here the stone images
    Are raised, here they receive
    The supplication of a dead man's hand
    Under the twinkle of a fading star.
   
    Is it like this
    In death's other kingdom
    Waking alone
    At the hour when we are
    Trembling with tenderness
    Lips that would kiss
    Form prayers to broken stone.

   
                     IV

    The eyes are not here
    There are no eyes here
    In this valley of dying stars
    In this hollow valley
    This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
   
    In this last of meeting places
    We grope together
    And avoid speech
    Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
   
    Sightless, unless
    The eyes reappear
    As the perpetual star
    Multifoliate rose
    Of death's twilight kingdom
    The hope only
    Of empty men.

   
                           V

    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

   
    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
   
    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow
                                   Life is very long
   
    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
   
    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the
   
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

Sarah María Medina - América

The river was deep & wide.

                                           Wild girls grew along

the riverbanks. Wild strawberries grew

          among the wet grass. A girl tramped barefoot.

Her tips arrowed. The tracks wept

                                           in the distance. She scavenged

            wild strawberries. The river water stung her mouth.

The water turned her skin sky. Alone

                                                              the girl knelt to sift water

           through her fingers. There was once a dock

                                                              with a wooden boat. Once a general.

                                           Once a sister. Once a mother who hid

behind the general. Once a machete.

                                           Once a girl who swallowed the salt.

She held the resonance of chromatic

                                           harmony. The quiet of faded mist.

The lines of riverbank made everything still.

                    The girl understood the river’s undying blue.

The river of uncut red flowers. The river

                                                             flooded &

                              drowned. Once a sodden hummingbird.

Once a lone foal. The girl was not allowed

                                         to speak Spanish. The girl wore a garland

of speech. She found she was only half

                                         of everything. Half of her mother.

The general took her downriver.

                                                    Scavenging.

                                         The wild strawberries. It was spring.

                               The strawberries were held below ice.

It was winter. The general commanded

                               her to lie down. The pain

was a thud of a knife & boot blade

                                         deep in the hull of her hips.

The girl left her body. Her spirit rose.

                                                    She herself  became the crumpled shape

of a saturated bow. The river

                              created a halo of sound.

                                        She still held a strawberry in her hand.

She looked like a perfect crumpled bow.

                              She was lying on the ground.

She thought she was lying on the sky.

                              The quiet of the faded mist.

                                                        The lines of riverbank made everything kill.

                    The girl wanted to escape the undying blue.

The girl was only half of her mother. The girl was

                                          strong against tide. The girl learned
                                           
                     to forget. The girl was nothing but water.

                                                               She lay on the sky.

Hart Crane - Porphyro in Akron

I

Greeting the dawn,
A shift of rubber workers presses down
South Main.
With the stubbornness of muddy water

It dwindles at each cross-line
Until you feel the weight of many cars
North-bound, and East and West,
Absorbing and conveying weariness, —
Rumbling over the hills.

Akron, “high place” —
A bunch of smoke-ridden hills
Among rolling Ohio hills.

The dark-skinned Greeks grin at each other
in the streets and alleys.
The Greek grins and fights with the Swede, —
And the Fjords and the Aegean are remembered.

The plough, the sword,
The trowel, — and the monkey wrench!
O City, your axles need not the oil of song.
I will whisper words to myself
And put them in my pockets.
I will go and pitch quoits with old men
In the dust of a road.

II

And some of them “will be Americans” ,
Using the latest ice-box and buying Fords;
And others, —

I remember one Sunday noon,
Harry and I, “the gentlemen” , — seated around
A table of raisin-jack and wine, our host
Setting down a glass and saying, —

“One month, — I go back rich.
I ride black horse. ... Have many sheep.”
And his wife, like a mountain, coming in
With four tiny black-eyed girls around her
Twinkling like little Christmas trees.

And some Sunday fiddlers,
Roumanian business men,
Played ragtime and dances before the door,
And we overpayed them because we felt like it.

III

Pull down the hotel counterpane
And hitch yourself up to your book.
“Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeleine’s fair breast,
As down she knelt for heaven’s grace and boon...”

“Connais tu le pays...?”

Your mother sang that in a stuffy parlour
One summer day in a little town
Where you had started to grow.
And you were outside as soon as you
Could get away from the company
To find the only rose on the bush
In the front yard. . . . . . .

But look up, Porphyro, — your toes
Are ridiculously tapping
The spindles at the foot of the bed.

The stars are drowned in a slow rain,
And a hash of noises is slung up from the street.
You ought, really, to try to sleep,
Even though, in this town, poetry’s a
Bedroom occupation.

Stephen Dunn - History

It’s like this, the king marries
a commoner, and the populace cheers.
She doesn’t even know how to curtsy,
but he loves her manners in bed.
Why doesn’t the king do what his father did,
the king’s mother wonders—
those peasant girls brought in
through that secret entrance, that’s how
a kingdom works best. But marriage!
The king’s mother won’t come out
of her room, and a strange democracy
radiates throughout the land,
which causes widespread dreaming,
a general hopefulness. This is,
of course, how people get hurt,
how history gets its ziggy shape.
The king locks his wife in the tower
because she’s begun to ride
her horse far into the woods.
How unqueenly to come back
to the castle like that,
so sweaty and flushed. The only

Jack Gilbert - Horses at Midnight Without a Moon

Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
Our dream wrestles in the castle of doubt.
But there's music in us. Hope is pushed down
but the angel flies up again taking us with her.
The summer mornings begin inch by inch
while we sleep, and walk with us later
as long-legged beauty through
the dirty streets. It is no surprise
that danger and suffering surround us.
What astonishes is the singing.
We know the horses are there in the dark
meadow because we can smell them,
can hear them breathing.
Our spirit persists like a man struggling
through the frozen valley
who suddenly smells flowers
and realizes the snow is melting
out of sight on top of the mountain,
knows that spring has begun.

Mark Strand - From The Long Sad Party


Someone was saying
something about shadows covering the field, about
how things pass, how one sleeps towards morning
and the morning goes.

Someone was saying
how the wind dies down but comes back,
how shells are the coffins of wind
but the weather continues.

It was a long night
and someone said something about the moon shedding its white
on the cold field, that there was nothing ahead
but more of the same.

Someone mentioned
a city she had been in before the war, a room with two candles
against a wall, someone dancing, someone watching.
We began to believe

the night would not end.
Someone was saying the music was over and no one had noticed.
Then someone said something about the planets, about the stars,
how small they were, how far away.

Gerard Manley Hopkins - The Sea and the Skylark

On ear and ear two noises too old to end
     Trench—right, the tide that ramps against the shore;
     With a flood or a fall, low lull-off or all roar,
Frequenting there while moon shall wear and wend.

Left hand, off land, I hear the lark ascend,
     His rash-fresh re-winded new-skeinèd score
     In crisps of curl off wild winch whirl, and pour
And pelt music, till none’s to spill nor spend.

How these two shame this shallow and frail town!
     How ring right out our sordid turbid time,
Being pure! We, life’s pride and cared-for crown,

     Have lost that cheer and charm of earth’s past prime:
Our make and making break, are breaking, down
     To man’s last dust, drain fast towards man’s first slime.

Carl Phillips - Tugging the Arrow Out

There’s a nudging that a living horse
will sometimes extend towards a dead one,
          a nudging not so much against death – what is
knowable to a horse, but not understandable –
but against that space right before loneliness
          settles in for real that horses
do, it seems, understand. 
And so that was the first day. 
          The night was what night always is:
a black starfish, black according to some
for holiness, to others for the limbs themselves,
          unfurling as if from long sleep or a late stiffness,
or as when a quiet thing, and very still, starts moving,
moves, one stiff black limb     
         at a time.