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mercoledì 13 agosto 2008

for hilan, on the way back home


by godariush cigarrinha

8. the end - listen to the cigarras

fifty years the cigarras have been singing their warning to Brasilia:

take your people and go, just go

there are no deserts, no seas to cross, we will even feed you, if we must

with the remains of our old ones, with the husks of our young

dropping from the tormented heaven of the planalto

the cigarras are giant houseflies the colour of moths

desiccated yellow they sit dead on my stairs in the morning

sometime between the early seventies and the late

at the same time (coincidentally?) that, in Rio, the samba changed

more or less at the same time

the cigarras also changed their song

they had been singing the same one too long, about twenty years

with no one ever recognising, no one authenticating their signature tune

in the office of reconhecimento de firmas

so they changed for the first time

they had been listening – during the hours of their silence they listen

(our sounds pollute their dreams - is that why they hate us so much?)

they had been listening to the electronic age taking hold

in the commercial sectors, the government sectors, all the sectors

of Brasilia, and their new voices mimicked the static of our digital machines

indeed the violence of the new sound expressed very well their frustration

at twenty years without recognition

perhaps, perhaps they thought, if we would not listen then our machines would hear

and be our prophets

take your people and go, they sang (to the machines)

in the 1980s the cigarras, who are democrats, incorporated their delight at the

fall of the dictatorship, in a second change – they began to grow teeth

they knew they would need teeth to see them through

the end of history

the neoliberal hegemony

and after the 2001 presidential election some amongst the cigarras

who had lost their wits

believed there would be change, that the new administration

might actually listen

but that didn’t last long

we won't be fooled again, they sing

take your people and go, they sing

and they have added a new note to that signature tune (the third and last change)

which has never been recognised in the office of reconhecimento de firmas

(now not even the most brazen of optimists amongst them expects

that recognition will ever come)

you see over the last 240 generations of cigarras

(roughly since the inception of the monthly payments affair)

the species has been evolving not just telescopic fangs

but a second stomach for processing flesh

human flesh

and they are preparing to rain a plague of blood on the people of brasilia

who never got the message

who never recognised their signature tune

who left them standing in the queue in the office of reconhecimento de firmas

for fifty years

and now not even the most brazenly optimistic of them believes it still isn’t too late

for the long red night not to fall

and they have given no signs by which the believers amongst us

may mark our doors

because there are no believers - not even i, writing this, really

take the cigarras seriously enough

yellow desiccated overgrown houseflies

dead on my stairs in the morning

not even i take them seriously

but i am wrong

martedì 12 agosto 2008

Sokolov reaches for Brazilian language poetry

favor, amor, vem me pegar
não sei com certeza onde eu estou
é um lugar plano
feito de planos

o peso de tristeza
aplainou as montanhas
e as ondas viraram planas
e também as montanhas e as ondas do céu
por evaporacão
e o querido mato queimou
e virou o ceu deste lugar
vermelho do pó

favor, amor, vem me pegar
não sei com certeza onde eu estou
é uma estrada vazia

e assim em lugar das formas proprias
so fica uma estrada-espelho
que tem nada pra espelhar
e se estou pesquisando
m'nha propria forma
no vazio da estrada
é porque eu tenho nada

sabato 9 agosto 2008

Wafa'a Lamrani: The eight day

The eighth day

"And he said to me: the day of death is the wedding day
and the day of solitude is the day of cheerfulness."
1 Root

I was born of a sentiment that resembles neither love nor hatred; it often resembles pride.
They did not want me, but I came. By force I emerged the moment I desired.
Before the beginning I identified with defiance
I announced that I, together with the age, were split on the edge of alienage,
That I, together with time, were forever two times. . .

2 Genesis

From insight I initiate
My genesis
I extend along a space narrower than the eye of the needle,
I feign permeation into my own substance.
The wind of the hollow comes from neither Al-Sham nor Al-Maghreb*.
Thus do I depart:
Departure could not carry me away,
Nor could transit escape me,
Nor even could arrival entomb me.

3 Body

Whenever the voice of the body waxes ecstatic
The femininity of wisdom blossoms
And with roses covers those of its own parts
That remain dreamy in their coyness.
I saddle the footsteps for craving . . .

4 Love

My free tender heart
I have posted on the highest summit of the Atlas Mountains,
For the stinking hyenas
Are accustomed to decadence
And heights usually make them feel
Dizzy and nauseous . . .
My heart is a flower mined with fragrance
But the picker is a chronic common cold!

5 Semiotica

I emerge out of the blast of a time
That comes not,
I tame the leakage of seconds,
I spill them as signatures of a lifetime
Crammed with departures . . .

6 Bleeding

The loneliness of the evenings consumes me,
It nibbles at my passion
And then casts me off as a fragment
For the fugitive glow.

7 Pattern

If there were a meaning
If there were a colour
If there were a day
Not the Monday mail
Not the Tuesday train
Not the Wednesday laundry
Not the Thursday meeting
Not the Friday nausea
Not the Saturday loneliness
Not the Sunday ennui.
Oh, how weary is the Sunday afternoon . . .
If there were a face instead of a face,
A figure instead of a figure,
A lifetime instead of this lifetime,
A time instead of this time,
A sun instead of the sun,
An earth instead of the earth,
If there were an air that is really like air . . .
I am weary of what's around me, weary of parts of me, weary of my entire self.
I am weary of being a muse for poets, weary of the earth that is not up to me, weary of the sky.
I am weary of my colleague, who backbites me, and of the street that molests me,
of my brother who bothers me and never cares for me.
I am weary of my dwelling and of my time.
I am weary of weariness and of myself,
I deny all conditions and am weary of even denial.
If there were a day,
A colour,
A meaning . . .

8 Coronet

What does the wisdom of the body say?
"Forlornness is pleasanter than weariness,
Gentler than rock."
This is why the eighth day is mine:
So that the letter may on that day impregnate me
And I give birth to twins
So that death may on that day utter me
And I thus get cured . . .

sabato 2 agosto 2008

Morning Rain by Tu Fu

A slight rain comes, bathed in dawn light.
I hear it among treetop leaves before mist
Arrives. Soon it sprinkles the soil and,
Windblown, follows clouds away. Deepened

Colors grace thatch homes for a moment.
Flocks and herds of things wild glisten
Faintly. Then the scent of musk opens across
Half a mountain -- and lingers on past noon.

pequeno em Gangnam

distraído e com uma moldura amarela
ando pelas ruas de Gangnam no verão úmido
sempre cheias de pernas cobertas
e salpicadas de pernas nuas
brancas, mas de um branco apimentado
Manuel fala que a femininidade
fica a flor da perna em Gangnam,
eu acho que é um modo de vida.

nos canais de Seoul
as pernas batem, ninguém come na beira do rio
em grupo, chegando com barulho
os quinze homens de camisa semi-aberta
chegam para comer no restaurante
e tiram os sapatos, meias nuas
eles fritaram sua própria carne
nas assadeiras grupais
atadas às mesas rente ao chão.

em Gangnam, cada prédio
contém comida, uma felicidade
estar em meio a tanto repolho
a tanto arroz, a tantas mesas grupais
rentes ao chão.
tiro minha moldura amarela
e perco a distração.
quero ser um sonho estranho.