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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

D.A. Powell - Open Gesture of an I

I want to give more of my time
to others the less I have of it,
give it away in a will and testament,
give it to the girls’ club, give it
to the friends of the urban trees.

Your life is not your own and
never was. It came to you in a box
marked fragile. It came from the
complaint department like amends
on an order you did not place with
them. Who gave me this chill life.

It came with no card. It came
without instruction. It said this
end up though I do not trust those
markings. I have worn it upside
downs. I have washed it without
separating and it did not shrink.
Take from it what you will. I will

Wendell Berry - Questionnaire

1. How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

2. For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

3. What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy.

4. In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security,
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill. 

Carol Muske-Dukes - No Hands

He rode “no hands,” speeding
headlong down the hill near
our house, his arms extended,

held rigid away from his body,
our small daughter behind him 
on the bike in her yellow sunsuit,

bareheaded. She held on to him 
for her life. I watched them from 
above—helpless failed brake.

Far below us, a stop sign rose
like a child’s toy shield. He could
not stop, he would not. That hunger

for display overrode danger, illusions
of safety. Even death had less to do 
with it than the will’s eventual triumph

over stasis: how he’d finally fly free
and how she might accompany him,
as an audience travels with a performer,

an object of regard. Downward, fast— 
so what cannot stop holds on, holds on
in a mind flying away from itself, seeking

release from the soul speeding away, yet
staying close as breath, even at this distance.

Frank O'Hara - As Planned

After the first glass of vodka
you can accept just about anything
of life even your own mysteriousness
you think it is nice that a box
of matches is purple and brown and is called
La Petite and comes from Sweden
for they are words that you know and that
is all you know words not their feelings
or what they mean and you write because
you know them not because you understand them
because you don’t you are stupid and lazy
and will never be great but you do
what you know because what else is there?

Ocean Vuong - Almost Human

It’s been a long time since my body.
Unbearable, I put it down
on the earth the way my old man
rolled dice. It’s been a long time since
time. But I had weight back there. Had substance
& sinew, damage you could see
by looking between your hands & hearing
blood. It was called reading, they told me,
too late. But too late. I red. I made a killing
in language & was surrounded
by ghosts. I used my arsenal
of defunct verbs & broke
into a library of second chances,
the E.R. Where they bandaged
my head, even as the black words
kept seeping through,
like this. Back there, I couldn’t
get the boys to look at me
even in my best jean jacket.
It was 2006 or 1865 or .327.
What a time to be alive! they said,
this time louder, more assault rifles.
Did I tell you? I come from a people of sculptors
whose masterpiece was rubble. We
tried. Indecent, tongue-tied, bowl-cut & diabetic,
I had a feeling. The floorboards creaked
as I wept motionless by the rehab window.
If words, as they claimed, had no weight
in our world, why did we keep
sinking, Doctor—I mean
Lord—why did the water swallow
our almost human hands
as we sang? Like this.

Anne Sexton - The Ambition Bird

So it has come to this –
insomnia at 3:15 A.M.,
the clock tolling its engine
 
like a frog following
a sundial yet having an electric
seizure at the quarter hour.
 
The business of words keeps me awake.
I am drinking cocoa,
the warm brown mama.
 
I would like a simple life
yet all night I am laying
poems away in a long box.
 
It is my immortality box,
my lay-away plan,
my coffin.
 
All night dark wings
flopping in my heart.
Each an ambition bird.
 
The bird wants to be dropped
from a high place like Tallahatchie Bridge.
 
He wants to light a kitchen match
and immolate himself.
 
He wants to fly into the hand of Michelangelo
and come out painted on a ceiling.
 
He wants to pierce the hornet’s nest
and come out with a long godhead.
 
He wants to take bread and wine
and bring forth a man happily floating in the Caribbean.
 
He wants to be pressed out like a key
so he can unlock the Magi.
 
He wants to take leave among strangers
passing out bits of his heart like hors d’oeuvres.
 
He wants to die changing his clothes
and bolt for the sun like a diamond.
 
He wants, I want.
Dear God, wouldn’t it be
good enough just to drink cocoa?
 
I must get a new bird
and a new immortality box.
There is folly enough inside this one.

Shivanee Ramlochan - the night I fucked the border patrol agent

After
the small bomb of his orgasm
I stole his mother’s crucifix,
darted through the back doors.

I never saw the dogs.
Quick like Krishna’s gopis they swarmed me.
Pink tongues of threat and purebred musk.
Rosaries of saliva.
Jaws open like warm ovens for bread and fish.

I tried their father’s language on them

stay calm hold still
hold still stay there
don’t run stay calm
don’t panic I said
stay still calm
I said stay

When the ridgeback bitch rushed me,
I sank the gold christ in her eye,
felt her piss soak my sandals.
She buckled into the death,
I whimpered
easy easy now
no one has to get hurt.

Campbell McGrath - Nights on Planet Earth

Heaven was originally precisely that: the starry sky, dating back to the earliest Egyptian texts, which include magic spells that enable the soul to be sewn in the body of the great mother, Nut, literally "night," like the seed of a plant, which is also a jewel and a star. The Greek Elysian fields derive from the same celestial topography: the Egyptian "Field of Rushes," the eastern stars at dawn where the soul goes to be purified. That there is another, mirror world, a world of light, and that this world is simply the sky—and a step further, the breath of the sky, the weather, the very air—is a formative belief of great antiquity that has continued to the present day with the godhead becoming brightness itself: dios/theos (Greek); deus/divine/diana (Latin); devas (Sanskrit); daha (Arabic); day (English).
—Susan Brind Morrow, Wolves and Honey

1

Gravel paths on hillsides amid moon-drawn vineyards,
click of pearls upon a polished nightstand
soft as rainwater, self-minded stars, oboe music
distant as the grinding of icebergs against the hull
of the self and the soul in the darkness
chanting to the ecstatic chance of existence.
Deep is the water and long is the moonlight
inscribing addresses in quicksilver ink,
building the staircase a lover forever pauses upon.
Deep is the darkness and long is the night,
solid the water and liquid the light. How strange
that they arrive at all, nights on planet earth.

2

Sometimes, not often but repeatedly, the past invades my dreams in the form of a familiar neighborhood I can no longer locate,
a warren of streets lined with dark cafés and unforgettable bars, a place where I can sing by heart every song on every jukebox,
a city that feels the way the skin of an octopus looks pulse-changing from color to color, laminar and fluid and electric,
a city of shadow-draped churches, of busses on dim avenues, or riverlights, or canyonlands, but always a city, and wonderful, and lost.
Sometimes it resembles Amsterdam, students from the ballet school like fanciful gazelles shooting pool in pink tights and soft, shapeless sweaters,
or Madrid at 4AM, arguing the 18th Brumaire with angry Marxists, or Manhattan when the snowfall crowns every trash-can king of its Bowery stoop,
or Chicago, or Dublin, or some ideal city of the imagination, as in a movie you can neither remember entirely nor completely forget,
barracuda-faced men drinking sake like yakuza in a Harukami novel, women sipping champagne or arrack, the rattle of beaded curtains in the back,
the necklaces of Christmas lights reflected in raindrops on windows, the taste of peanuts and their shells crushed to powder underfoot,
always real, always elusive, always a city, and wonderful, and lost. All night I wander alone, searching in vain for the irretrievable.

3

In the night I will drink from a cup of ashes and yellow paint.
In the night I will gossip with the clouds and grow strong.
In the night I will cross rooftops to watch the sea tremble in a dream.
In the night I will assemble my army of golden carpenter ants.
In the night I will walk the towpath among satellites and cosmic dust.
In the night I will cry to the roots of potted plants in empty offices.
In the night I will gather the feathers of pigeons in a honey jar.
In the night I will become an infant before your flag.

Wallace Stevens - The Gray Room

Although you sit in a room that is gray, 
Except for the silver 
Of the straw-paper, 
And pick 
At your pale white gown; 
Or lift one of the green beads 
Of your necklace, 
To let it fall; 
Or gaze at your green fan 
Printed with the red branches of a red willow; 
Or, with one finger, 
Move the leaf in the bowl-- 
The leaf that has fallen from the branches of the forsythia 
Beside you... 
What is all this? 
I know how furiously your heart is beating.

June Jordan - These Poems

These poems
they are things that I do
in the dark
reaching for you
whoever you are
and
are you ready?

These words
they are stones in the water
running away

These skeletal lines
they are desperate arms for my longing and love.

I am a stranger
learning to worship the strangers
around me

whoever you are
whoever I may become.