quarta-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2013

Could you send it to Marcos, please?

(a free version of this)

Today, on the street, I saw a boy
who was just like you. Same face, same sway.
Maybe it was you indeed,
even though I knew it wasn’t
because it couldn’t be.
It didn’t matter. I acted just as I would have
even if I was sure it was you, casting that shadow,
standing there, by the gutter.

I would have stopped to tell you the news.
I’m on a diet, you know, and my watch
is early again.
I am not supposed to have time to gobble your words
and no longer clean my fingers full of
oil and blood
and man milk (sometimes),
face and hands smeared after swallowing.

It’s been a really long time since I last felt
the sweet taste of your rhyming
or your vernacular caresses.
Your slap on the cheek, with kid gloves,
me or whoever reads in between the lines.
So, I just let myself be haunted by your
rainy smile, by the orange sign with politics
you were carrying when I saw you.
Why was I wet and embarrassed
when you asked me to put it up too?

Even if you were here and not in another country,
we would be unconnected, out of touch.
You know, family, the kids, not easy to be the breadwinner.
I don’t know if you are one too. No pressure!
I prefer to think you are married to a ghostly muse
that feeds on your images and thoughts.
Am I digressing? This was meant to thank you.
(is it a defiance to art to call my own work this? Are you slighted?)

It is supposed to be a eulogy, a kind of prayer.
Not that I am comparing you to God,
you know? I don’t inflate egos like I do
those sculpture balloons.
I would never dare underestimate your
wits. You? Mr. One-Step-Ahead?
So I’d better come to an end, as our story never does.
(It also had more beginnings than one).

How I met you could be a script of a noir movie.
J’ai peur du noir.
Luckily we left the lights on all the time.
Now, we’ve got to turn them off.
Have I mentioned the bills, the imaginary wife with the rolling pin?
I’ll get my umbrella, yes, I will, but until I open it
I’ll let life sprinkle me again,
smiling like you a little bit more.

sexta-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2013

Truce in Troy

I sing, o Elena, an ode to you! I take an instrument and twang it,
it’s no harp, but I make a melody of this hum.
Let my song be water, flooding,
splashing your expectations.
Answer me with detergent:
your gasps will be soap bubbles.

Give this man what he’s looking for. Reciprocate.
Are you really looking at me, Helen?
Observe how I wade in this swampy terrain.
Poems make me mad as a fortune-teller,
a butcher. I offer my palm, you give me yours:
bloody raw meat. What I write is your future. And mine.

So, Elena, I’ll teach you! See me scrub out the blood
of desire, the sweat of dreams; I want clean white
images and metaphors.
Let’s have a division of labor and subvert it right away.
Now you teach me to love deeply, live a good life,
suffer and heal, try harder than I ever have.

When your voice returns to my ears, a crooked echo,
full of static and a new melody,
I’ll praise you, muse for the blessings
and for the urge to plunge my hands
into the dirty suds
of another poem.

quarta-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2013

Yield, bitch!


There are several ways that lead
me to where I am not.
They start here 
with me 
and go through all
my friends, who are my bridges. 

I remember once I asked a friend out.
(he – could be she – is representing a certain group)
Just for small talk. Maybe coffee. Definitely laughter.
He bailed and bailed until my last hair
had dropped. I am too busy, 
he said. And his life was a bullet express train 
and I guess he saw me waving
from the platform.

They say we see things differently from a train
in movement. They say the faster the train goes
the more still the landscape will look.
They say if you are as fast as light,
you see the atoms stopped at their platforms,
waving with their 
tacky gipsy-styled 
electron handkerchiefs.

The thing is, the trick of perspective,
I, standing there, in that platform
one station called life
or something like that
I, as far as I can be concerned,
(and I was)
did not see anything. It was just a blur
passing in front of my eyes and
I knew he was in there.
I shouted, at the top of my voice,
Yield, bitch! Here I am!
(but apparently, speed hampers hearing too)

Last week I traveled. I went to places
you would never believe. One they call the
Big Apple. There was indeed a silvery one
but I guess that came after and was a coincidence.

There were buildings tickling the skies
And lights everywhere.
And people. People walking and talking 
I felt like I was 
in a God-just-confused Babel.
They were everywhere, even in my dreams.
I was afraid of getting home
taking off my shoes
and having someone in one of them 
with a map saying, mi scusi, io sono lost.

I fell in love with the smells and the noise.
It was what made me cherish my silence more.
And as I walked, mind you, I started to worry
and hurry as the rest.
However, the small things, the flakes of snow
a piece of street art, some picture in a museum
were telling me I should slow down
I could hear them hissing
in unison
Yield, bitch! Because here we are.

Going to Boston, from Chinatown
A singing and grumpy Chinese bus driver,
was talking on the phone, mind you.
All the time. How he
grumbled! And how rude he was to the guys
begging for a password. No wifi for you.

People got fancier.
Colder weather, warmer heart.
Soup and brief encounters.
Rocks, statues, miles and miles of
history and art.
And after midnight, it was time to sneak out
and explore the roofs of the neighborhood.
Precise as a street cat,
silent to get in and out. Licking my fur proudly afterwards.

Also, as a bout of fever
(never saw it coming)
passion's fingers wrapped around me
and my shields went transparent.
Yield, bi... Wait! He did.

And there was the last step.
In a set of stairs that was not going
up or down.
Now it was Washington, the capital of the world.
Or of the empire. So they say.
Marble and paint vomiting history.
We even touched the moon.
Experiences side by side, as the Smithsonian museums.
Smiles and fun. Feet blisters.
When you were ice-skating it was so amusing
that huge penguins wouldn't let you fall.

New friends, one
that was worth more than a hundred
Yield, b... OK. I guess I am just tired.

So life went on
One day at a time.
And more people came,
some vanished.
Others would never stop.
Hey, busy one, I keep yelling,
Yield, bitch!
Or run over me.

(But if you do,
please be decent, 
do not dare looking back.)