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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Martín Espada - Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper

At sixteen, I worked after high school hours
at a printing plant
that manufactured legal pads:
Yellow paper
stacked seven feet high
and leaning
as I slipped cardboard
between the pages,
then brushed red glue
up and down the stack.
No gloves: fingertips required
for the perfection of paper,
smoothing the exact rectangle.
Sluggish by 9 PM, the hands
would slide along suddenly sharp paper,
and gather slits thinner than the crevices
of the skin, hidden.
Then the glue would sting,
hands oozing
till both palms burned
at the punchclock.


Ten years later, in law school,
I knew that every legal pad
was glued with the sting of hidden cuts,
that every open lawbook
was a pair of hands
upturned and burning.

Jericho Brown - Duplex (I Begin With Love)

I begin with love, hoping to end there.

I don’t want to leave a messy corpse.


       I don’t want to leave a messy corpse

       Full of medicines that turn in the sun.


Some of my medicines turn in the sun.

Some of us don’t need hell to be good.


       Those who need least, need hell to be good.

       What are the symptoms of your sickness?


Here is one symptom of my sickness:

Men who love me are men who miss me.


       Men who leave me are men who miss me

       In the dream where I am an island.


In the dream where I am an island,

I grow green with hope.  I’d like to end there.

Martín Espada - Rules for Captain Ahab’s Provincetown Poetry Workshop

1.   Ye shall be free to write a poem on any subject, as long as it’s the White Whale.
2.   A gold doubloon shall be granted to the first among ye who in a poem sights the White Whale.
3.   The Call Me Ishmael Award shall be given to the best poem about the White Whale, with publication in The White Whale Review.
4.   The Herman Melville Memorial Picnic and Softball Game shall be open to whosoever of ye writes a poem about following thy Captain into the maw of hell to kill the White Whale.
5.   There shall be a free floating coffin for any workshop participant who falls overboard whilst writing a poem about the White Whale.
6.   There shall be a free leg, carved from the jawbone of a whale, for any workshop participant who is dismasted whilst writing a poem about the White Whale.
7.   There shall be a free funeral at sea, complete with a chorus of stout hearties singing sea chanteys about the White Whale, for any workshop participant who is decapitated whilst writing a poem about the White Whale.
8.   Ye who seek not the White Whale in thy poems shall be harpooned.

Natasha Trethewey - After My Father

Right off I hear him singing, the strings
of his old guitar hemming the darkness
as before—late nights on the front porch—
the mountains across the valley blurred
to outline. We are at it again, father
and daughter, deep in our cups, rehearsing
the long years between us. In the distance
I hear the foghorn call of bullfrogs,
envoys from the river of lamentation
my father is determined to cross. Already
I know where this is headed: how many times
has the night turned toward regret? My father
saying, If only I’d been a better husband
she’d be alive today, saying, Gwen and I
would get back together if she were alive.
It’s the same old song. He is Orpheus
trying to bring her back with the music
of his words, lines of a poem drifting now
into my dream. Picking the first chords,
my father leans into the neck of the guitar,
rolls his shoulders until he’s lost in it—
the song carrying him across the porch
and down into the damp grass. Even asleep,
I know where he is going. I cannot call
him back. Through the valley the blacktop
winds like a river, and he is stepping into it,
walking now toward the other side where
she waits, my mother, just out of reach.

Chase Twichell - The New Dark Ages

Thunderstorms stir me up—
the stillness right before


the first close tremor,
the pond shivering


at the height of summer,
the field full-blown, going to seed.


But this storm scares me.
A foreign climate occupies the land.


When nature was God, in my childhood,
I wasn't afraid. Snow buried the town,


the river flooded it,
lightning set the woods on fire.


In months the damage bandaged itself
with mosses and ferns.


This storm comes from another
world, here by mistake,


its rain blistering the birch leaves.
Has it been weaponized?


No one knows what to expect
of a storm with human parents.

Charles Simic - "I am the last..."

I am the last Napoleonic soldier. It’s almost two hundred years later and I am still retreating from Moscow. The road is lined with white birch trees and the mud comes up to my knees. The one-eyed woman wants to sell me a chicken, and I don’t even have any clothes on.      
       The Germans are going one way; I am going the other. The Russians are going still another way and waving good-by. I have a ceremonial saber. I use it to cut my hair, which is four feet long.

Javier Zamora - Exiliados

for Monika Sok


We didn’t hold typhoons or tropics in our hands.

I didn’t reach across the table on our first date

at Cornelia Street Café. In my humid pockets,


my fists were old tennis balls thrown to the stray dog

of love bouncing toward the Hudson down

to South Ferry. We didn’t hold hands in that cold


October wind, but the waves witnessed our promise

to return to my cratered-deforested homeland,

and you to your parents’, sometime in the future.


No citizenship or some other violence in our countries

(separated by the Pacific, tied by the latitude

of dragon fruits, tamarinds, mangosteens) was why


we couldn’t, and can’t, return for now. Then, us

in the subway at 2 am, oh the things I dreamt: a kiss

to the back of your neck, collarbone, belly-button, there—


to kneel and bow my head, then return to the mole

next to your lips and taste your latitude together.

Instead, I went home, you touched my cheek,


it was enough. I stood, remembering what it’s like

to stand on desert dirt wishing stars would fall

as rain, on that huge dark country ahead of me.

Some Call it a Conspiracy: A Malcolm London Story

A reflective and mediative look at Malcolm London: a poet, activist, and musical artist from Chicago, IL.

Deleted and Bonus Scenes:


Malcolm London @MalcolmLondon (
Chicago Soundbox
Chance The Rapper @chancetherapper
Tasha @wowtashawow
Timmy V @TimmyVoltchek
Kevin Coval @kevincoval
Marcus Atom @marcusatom
Malcolm’s Grandma


Directed by David Huzieran
Director Of Photography: Jake Zalutsky
Produced by Luca Valente
Executive Producers: Nick Santore & David Huzieran
Production Company: Strange Loop Studios (


B Cam Operator: Christian Mejia
1st AC : Matt Miele, Eugene Hahm, & David Thomas
Gaffer: Danny Valdez
Movi & Jib Operator: Tom Szklarski
Location Sound Mixers: Jon Farley & Scott Palmer


Edited by Jordan Bracewell
Assistant Editors: Taymen Gindo & Colin Santangelo
Original Music by Justin Lee Radford (

Colorist: Mikey Pehanich @ The Mill
Color Producers: Laurie Adrianopoli & Dan Butler @ The Mill
Post Sound: Nicholas Couscouris


Special thanks to: Pilar McQuirter, Kate Begani, Terrence Thompson, Alvin Boutte and the students of Bronzeville Academy.

Protest Footage Provided by Terrence Thompson.

Ted Talks Footage Courtesy of TED:

Photos by Nuccio DiNuzzo courtesy of Chicago Tribune. © 2015 Chicago Tribune:

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© 2018 Strange Loop Studios, LLC

Charles Simic - The Friends of Heraclitus

Your friend has died, with whom
You roamed the streets,
At all hours, talking philosophy.
So, today you went alone,
Stopping often to change places
With your imaginary companion,
And argue back against yourself
On the subject of appearances:
The world we see in our heads
And the world we see daily,
So difficult to tell apart
When grief and sorrow bow us over.


You two often got so carried away
You found yourselves in strange neighborhoods
Lost among unfriendly folk,
Having to ask for directions
While on the verge of a supreme insight,
Repeating your question
To an old woman or a child
Both of whom may have been deaf and dumb.


What was that fragment of Heraclitus
You were trying to remember
As you stepped on the butcher’s cat?
Meantime, you yourself were lost
Between someone’s new black shoe
Left on the sidewalk
And the sudden terror and exhilaration
At the sight of a girl
Dressed up for a night of dancing
Speeding by on roller skates.

Mário Cesariny - You Are Welcome To Elsinore

Entre nós e as palavras há metal fundente
entre nós e as palavras há hélices que andam
e podem dar-nos morte     violar-nos     tirar
do mais fundo de nós o mais útil segredo
entre nós e as palavras há perfis ardentes
espaços cheios de gente de costas
altas flores venenosas     portas por abrir
e escadas e ponteiros e crianças sentadas
à espera do seu tempo e do seu precipício

Ao longo da muralha que habitamos
há palavras de vida     há palavras de morte
há palavras imensas, que esperam por nós
e outras, frágeis, que deixaram de esperar
há palavras acesas como barcos
e há palavras homens, palavras que guardam
o seu segredo e a sua posição

Entre nós e as palavras, surdamente,
as mãos e as paredes de Elsinore

E há palavras nocturnas palavras gemidos
palavras que nos sobem ilegíveis à boca
palavras diamantes palavras nunca escritas
palavras impossíveis de escrever
por não termos connosco cordas de violinos
nem todo o sangue do mundo nem todo o amplexo do ar
e os braços dos amantes escrevem muito alto
muito além do azul onde oxidados morrem
palavras maternais só sombra só soluço
só espasmos só amor só solidão desfeita

Entre nós e as palavras, os emparedados
e entre nós e as palavras, o nosso dever falar