“Here we are eating the sacred mushrooms
out of the Japanese heaven”
“Listen to the stories
men tell of last year
that sound of other places
though they happened here”
“History is a needle
for putting men asleep
anointed with the poison
of all they want to keep”
“Now a name that saved you
has a foreign taste”
“After the third ring I said
I’ll let it ring five more times then what will I do
The telephone is a fine instrument
but I never learned to work it very well
Five more rings and I’ll put the receiver down”
“I don’t believe opium or money
though they’re hard to get
and punished with long sentences”
“I will forget my style
I will have no style
I hear a thousand miles of hungry static
and the old clear water eating rocks
I hear the bells of mules eating
I hear the flowers eating the night
under their folds”
“and now I know for certain
I will forget my style
America will have no style
Russia will have no style”
“a silence develops for every style
for the style I laboured on
an external silence like the space”
O NOVELISTA E O PINTOR?
“Goebbels Abandons His Novel
and Joins the Party
His last love poem
broke in the harbour
where swearing blondes
into rusted submarines.”
“Out in the sun
he was surprised
to find himself lustless
as a wheel.”
maquinal e cabisbaixo como o motorista sonolento duma roda de caminhão
“memory white from loss of guilt.”
“a Doctor of Reason
he began to count the ships”
“Will dreams threaten
will favourite hair favourite thighs
last life’s sweepstake winners
drive him to adventurous cafes?”
Irão o cabelo favorito as coxas favoritas
os vencedores da última rifa da vida
dirigi-lo a cafés aventureiros?”
as coisas favoritas
GOSPEL GRAYPINK FLOID
“<É verdade!> Eu gritei vinte anos depois, puxando meu pai de sua cama suja <Pobre paizinho,
você me disse a verdade.>
<Deixe estar. Eu sou um velho Pai.>
<Não! Empine esse nariz. A janela é feita de eixos. O que é essa matéria cinzenta no cinzeiro? Não é de cigarro, aposto. A sala de estar é um estojo de relíquias!”
…“decaying like food between teeth”…
“Acontece a todo mundo. Para aqueles com olhos, que sabem em seu íntimo que o horror é mútuo, então essa comunidade sólida tem uma beleza por si só.”
“IT USES US!
In our leaders’ faces
(albeit they deplore
the past) can you read how
they love Freedom more?
Kiss me with your teeth.
All things can be done
whisper museum ovens of
a war that Freedom won.”
“let us sell snow
to under-developed nations,
(Is it true one of our national leaders
was a Roman Catholic?)
let us terrorize Alaska,
let us unite
Church and State”
“my good demon said:
<Lay off documents!>
Everybody was watching me
burn my books-
I swung my liberty torch
happy as a gestapo brute;
the only thing I wanted to save
was a scar
a burn or two but
my good demon said:
<Lay off documents!
The fire’s not important!>
The pile was safely blazing.
I went home to take a bath.
I phoned my grandmother.
She is suffering from arthritis.
<Keep well,> I said, <don’t mind the pain.>
<You neither,> she said.
Hours later I wondered
did she mean
don’t mind my pain
or don’t mind her pain?
Whereupon my good demon said:
<Is that all you can do?>”
“meu gênio bom disse:
<Livre-se dos documentos!>
Todos me observavam
queimar meus livros-
eu sacudi minha tocha da liberdade
feliz como um bruto da gestapo;
a única coisa que eu queria salvar
era uma cicatriz
uma queimadura ou duas mas
meu gênio bom disse:
<Livre-se dos documentos!
O fogo não importa!>
A pilha estava ardendo em segurança.
Fui pra casa tomar um banho.
Liguei pra minha avó.
Ela sofre de artrite.
<Fica bem,> disse eu, <vê se releva a dor.>
<Você também,> ela disse.
Horas depois, caiu minha ficha
será que ela quis dizer
relevar a minha dor
ou relevar a sua dor?
Nisso meu gênio bom disse:
<Isso é tudo que você pode fazer?>”
Fragmento traduzido de “Millenium”
Quando não paramos de sentir a dor e o terror
Somos os policiais
de nossa própria transgressão
e os outros olham horrorizados
Vesti uma máscara para esconder minha gargalhada de escárnio
Eu tenho saúde onde importa
Eu não sigo o circuito
“No use to tell a man he’s a Jew
I’m making a lampshade [abajur] out of your kiss
is what you demand
although you believe you’re giving me everything”
“girls with whom he shared his power
now old and powerful.
His strategies returned
diagrammed like a geodesic sphere,
He balanced them on his forehead
weaving like a seal.”
“He fell near the balloon.
Children hushed back
as if their toy
could catch the disease.
Secret Service men,
ex-athletes chosen for their height,
made a ring around the body.”
Alexander Trocchi, Public Junkie,
Priez Pour Nous
Who is purer
more simple than you?
Priests play poker with the burghers,
police in underwear
leave Crime at the office,
our poets work bankers’ hours
retire to wives and fame-reports.
The spike flashes in your blood
permanent as a silver lighthouse.”
“I tend to get distracted
by hydrogen bombs,
by Uncle’s disapproval
of my treachery
to the men’s clothing industry.
I find myself
believing public clocks,
from the Dachau generation.”
“She is getting old.
Her body tells her everything.
She has put aside cosmetics.
She is a prison of truth.
Make her get up!
dance the seven veils!
Poems! silence her body!
Make her friend of mirrors!
Can’t I pretend
she grows prettier?
be a convict?
Can’t my power fool me?
Can’t I live in poems?
Hurry up! poems! lies!
Damn your weak music!
You’ve let arthritis in!
You’re no poem
you’re a visa.
Não posso fingir
que ela envelhece e embeleza?
ser um presidiário?
Meu poder não pode me enganar?
Não posso eu viver em poemas?
Vamos logo! poemas! mentiras!
Foda-se sua musiquinha ruim!
Você agora tem artrite!
Você não é um poema
você é um visto estrangeiro.”
Fragmento traduzido de “On the Sickness of My Love”
A política das desculpas
“The Failure of a Secular Life
The pain-monger came home
from a hard day’s torture.
He came home with his tongs.
He put down his black bag.
O Fracasso de uma Vida Secular
O promotor de desgraças chegou em casa
depois de um duro dia de torturas.
Ele chegou com suas pinças.
E deixou no chão sua sacola negra.”
Deveria me aborrecer por não me darem uma segunda chance, se eu nunca lhes dei uma primeira?
O remorso morde ou morre
Seja gentil: exclua o gentio
Mesmo o escrofuloso tem seus dias bons
Falso acha falso verdadeiro.
O aperreio vem de dentro, não de fora.
Ora, ora, se não é absurdo termos vivido outras vidas iguais e condenarmos veemente quem tenha manifestado vivamente essa impressão (o déjà vu), não podemos saber se nunca vivemos outra vida igual, afinal, porque até o que nos parece inédito é só repetição literal, e disso havendo até provas!… Eu já não havia escrito isso antes? É, agora estou lembrado…
“My zen master is a grand old fool.
I caught him worshipping me yesterday,
so I made him stand in a foul corner
with my rabbi, my priest, and my doctor.”
“mothers, statues, madonnas, ruins-
I’m stripped, suckled, weaned,
I leap, love, anonymous as insect.”
“To love you
is to live
my ideal diary
which I have
promised my body
I will never write!”
The great ones pass
they pass without touching
they pass without looking
each in his joy
each in his fire
Of one another
they have no need
they have the deepest need
The great ones pass
like stars of different seasons
like meteors of different centuries
by passing fire
they pass one another
without touching without looking
needing only to know
the great ones pass”
“Now more than ever
I want enemies
You who thrive
in the easy world of modern love
look out for me
for I have developed a terrible virginity
and meeting me
all who have done more than kiss
will perish in shame
with warts and hair on their palms”
“Jews who walk
too far on Sabbath
will be stoned
Catholics who blaspheme
to their genitals
Buddhists who acquire property
sawn in half”
A CURIOSA E VELHA DANÇA DO PECADO
QUE EXALA PESCADO
“A girl I knew
sleeps in some bed
and of all the lovely things
I might say I say this
I see her body puzzled
with the mouthprints
of all the kisses of all the men
like a honky-tonk [gafieira] piano
ringed with years of cocktail glasses
and while she cranks and tinkles [gira e tilinta; trocadilho: ou gira e mija]
in the quaint old sinful dance
I walk through
the blond November rain [outra alusão a chuva dourada?]
punishing her with my happiness”
“The food has no hope of real life, but still, in these regained, however mutilated shapes, it resists, and for its victories claims the next day’s hunger and the body’s joy. (…) Oh to stand in the Ganges wielding a yard of intestine.”
“I always wanted to set fire to your houses. I’ve been in them. Through the front doors and the back. I’d like to see them burn slowly so I could visit many and peek in the falling windows. I’d like to see what happens to those white carpets you pretended to be so careless about. I’d like to see a white telephone melting. We don’t want to trap too many inside because the streets have got to be packed with your poor bodies screaming back and forth.”
“—Quando você se expôs pela última vez?
—Domingo de manhã para uma grande multidão no saguão da Rainha Elizabeth.
—Engraçadinho. Você sabe o que eu quero dizer.
—Me expor a quê?
“A rosy sky would improve the view from anywhere. It would be a mercy. Oh, to see the roofs devoured and the beautiful old level of land rising again.”
“Mary runs the Cafeteria and the Boss exposes himself to her regularly.”
“The Boss has a wife to whom he must expose himself every once in a while. She has her milkmen. The city is orderly.
There are white bottles standing in front of a million doors.And there are Conventions. Multitudes of bosses sharing the pleasures of exposure.
I shall go mad. They’ll find me at the top of Mount Royal impersonating Genghis Khan. Seized with laughter and pus.”
“Fire would be best. Flames. Bright windows. Two cars exploding in each garage. But could I ever manage it. This way is slower. More heroic in a way. Less dramatic of course.”
“The windows leaked like a broken meat freezer.”
“his father was the one who had the oven contract.”
“the sky clean but only for him, free to shiver, free to hate, free to begin.”
NA FEIRA TUDO EM PAZ
SÓ OS CABIDES HUMANOS
“The demons of adulterers, everyday drunks,
professional irrationalists, the fatuous possessed,
these cheap easy demons so common
to the courting procedure,
refused to appear due to insufficient publicity.”
“I once believed a single line
in a Chinese poem could change
forever how blossoms fell”
“cattle have carved out of time
wandering from meadowlands to feasts”
O pão da lei é seco como a nuvem sem chuva.
“Don’t bite your nails, I told him.
Don’t eat carpets.
Be careful of the rabbits.
Don’t stay up all night watching
parades on the Very Very Very Late Show.
Don’t ka-ka in your uniform.”
“I don’t like the way you go to work every morning.
How come the buses still run?
How come they’re still making movies?
I believe with a perfect faith in the Second World War.
I am convinced that it happened.
I am not so sure about the First World War.
The Spanish Civil War – maybe.
I believe in gold teeth.
I believe in Churchill.
Don’t tell me we dropped fire into cribs [cradles].
I think you are exaggerating.
The Treaty of Westphalia has faded like a lipstick smudge on the Blarney Stone.
Napoleon was a sexy brute.
Hiroshima was Made in Japan out of paper.
I think we should let sleeping ashes lie.
I believe with a perfect faith in all the history I remember, but it’s getting harder and harder to remember much history.
There is sad confetti sprinkling
from the windows of departing trains.
I let them go. I cannot remember them.
They hoot mournfully out of my daily life.
I forget the big numbers,
I forget what they mean.”
I was the last passenger of the day,
I was alone on the bus,
I was glad they were spending all that money
just getting me up Eighth Avenue.
Driver! I shouted, it’s you and me tonight,
let’s run away from this big city
to a smaller city more suitable to the heart,
let’s drive past the swimming pools of Miami Beach,
you in the driver’s seat, me several seats back,
but in the racial cities we’ll change places
so as to show how well you’ve done up North,
and let us find ourselves some tiny American fishing village
in unknown Florida
and park right at the edge of the sand,
a huge bus pointing out,
metallic, painted, solitary,
with New York plates.”
“A Negress with
helped him think
he wasn’t white.”
“A lot of people think you are beautiful
How do I feel about that
I have no feeling about that
I had a wonderful reason for not merely
It was tied up with the newspapers
I saw secret arrangements in high offices
I saw men who loved their worldliness
even though they had looked through
big electric telescopes
they still thought their worldliness was serious
Muitas pessoas pensam que você é bonita
O que penso a respeito
Nada em particular
Eu tinha ótimas razões para nem sequer
Tinha relação com os jornais
Eu vi arranjos secretos em importantes gabinetes
Eu vi homens que amavam sua mundanidade
mesmo que tivessem olhado por aqueles
grandes telescópios elétricos
ainda pensavam que sua mundanidade era séria”
Fragmento traduzido de “I Had It for A Moment”
“Eu olho pasmo para a luxúria de minha cor
Alguém marcha por mim em mim até mim”
“Pensei que heróis éramos nós
Andei lendo muita história”
“Acho que os Aztecas nunca estiveram adormecidos
não importa o que ensinei às crianças
Acho que ninguém nem nunca dormiu a não ser ele
que reúne o passado em histórias
A magia vai de mão em mão”
“Destiny! why do you find me in this bathtub,
idle, alone, unwashed, without even
the intention of washing except at the last moment? Why don’t you find me at the top of a telephone pole, repairing the lines from city to city?
Why don’t you find me riding a horse through Cuba, a giant of a man with a red machete?
Why don’t you find me explaining machines
to underprivileged pupils, negroid Spaniards,
happy it is not a course in creative writing?”
The 20th century belongs to you and me
Let us be two severe giants
(not less lonely for our partnership)
who discolour test tubes in the halls of science
who turn up unwelcome at every World’s Fair
heavy with proverb and correction
confusing the star-dazed tourists
with our incomparable sense of loss”
“Very few people have thighs”
“To watch her pull on her nylons is all one needs of ballet or art.”
“Now what could be more normal than marriage? Can you think of anything more normal? Of course you can’t. It makes you feel less isolated, part of the whole community. Our people are getting married all the time.”
“Desire is the last church”
Toronto has been good to me
I relaxed on TV
I attacked several dead horses
I spread rumours about myself
I reported a Talmudic quarrel
with the Montreal Jewish Community
I forged a death certificate
in case I had to disappear
I thought about the future
and how little I know about animals
The future seemed unnecessarily black and strong
as if it had received my casual mistakes
through a carbon sheet”
“Now you must learn to read
newspapers without laughing.
No hysterical headline breakfasts.
Police be your Guard,
Telephone Book your Brotherhood.
Action! Action! Action!
ASILO DE LUXÚRIA
“the sun stuck a gun in his mouth
the wind started to skin him
Give up the Plan give up the Plan”
“The Music Crept By Us
I would like to remind
that the drinks are watered
and the hat-check girl
and the band is composed
of former S.S. monsters
However since it is
New Year’s Eve
and I have lip cancer
I will place my
paper hat on my
concussion and dance”
“Answer the phone, another family
Someone wants to say hello about nothing
Answer the phone, you who followed your career
past the comfort of gossip
who listen to the banal regular ringing
and give your venom to it
enforce it with your hatred
Your parents rush to stop the ringing
you shall set aside a hiding place
you shall not alter your love”
“I am sorry that the old worker must go
who called me mister when I was twelve
and sir when I was twenty”
“I loved your puns about snow
even if they lasted the full seven-month
(…) Go write your memoirs
for the Psychedelic Review.”
“and now they are ashamed
like a successful outspoken Schopenhauerian
whose room-mate has committed suicide.
Suddenly they are all making movies.
I have no one to buy coffee for.”
“Long live you chronic self-abusers!
you familiars of the Absolute
sucking at circles!”
“daughters of the new middle-class
who wear your mouths like Bardot
Come my darlings
the movies are true”
You don’t know anyone
You know some streets
hills, gates, restaurants
The waitresses have changed”
“Cherry Orchards [Pomares de Cereja]
Canada some wars are waiting for you
some torn flags
Inheritance is not enough
Faces must be forged under the hammer
of savage ideas
Mailboxes will explode
in the cherry orchards
and somebody will wait forever
for his grandfather’s fat cheque
From my deep cafe I survey the quiet snowfields
like a U.S. promoter
of a new plastic snowshoe
looking for a moving speck
a troika perhaps
an icy prophet
an Indian insurrection
a burning weather station
There’s a story out there boys
Canada could you bear some folk songs
about freedom and death”
“I carry a banner:
<The Past is Perfect>
my little female cousin
who does not believe
in our religious destiny
rides royally on my nostalgia”
Listen all you bullets
that never hit:
a lot of throats are growing
in open collars
like frozen milk bottles
on a 5 a.m. street
throats that are waiting
for bite scars
but will settle
for bullet holes”
“It will all come round again: the heartsick teachers who make too much of poetry, their students who refuse to suffer, the cache of rifles in the lawyer’s attic: and then the magic, the 80-year comet touching the sturdiest houses.”
“when poems grew like butterflies on the garbage of his life.”
“…they who whip their minds to recall an ancient lucky orgasm (…) they are the founders, they are the bankers-of History!…”
“Let me be neither
father nor child
but one who spins
on an eternal unimportant loom”