the invented word

Gerald Wilde, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1971-2


Second dialogue between Fernando Rios and José de Sousa Miguel Lopes

I. Fernando Rios placeholder image

suddenly the homo sapiens sapiens invented the word
and, between cries and laughter, stopped grunting
no one knows when and how
but your life has changed

Are we more human?
Do we understand each other better?
do we love more?
do we hate more?
how much power went into the word?

the word loves, sings and dances
the word hates, tortures and kills

what a strange and revealing word so hominid
who wrap so much for gift
how much to wrap in a shroud

what an ambiguous wise age
in its millions of years of life
and in his thousands of years of speaking

saying what, for what, for whom?
for us? who exactly are we?

II. José de SousaMiguelLopes

we live in a noisy world
of many words
says a lot

we are Internet users, twitterers.
we always have cell phones at hand,
in any time and space
we want you to read us, listen to us,
however, we know little about stopping and listening.

III. Fernando Rios placeholder image

are there those who speak and those who do not speak?
who is worth more? who can more?

and who answers gayatri chakravorty spivak's question:
“Can the subaltern speak?
who is the underling? does he have a word?
and when he speaks, who listens?

where is kept the word of those who do not speak?
how much cancer explodes in the throat that swallows the word?

when does the word turn into affection?
when does the word turn into a cleaver?

how much can a word?
naked or dressed, the word caresses and caresses
clothed or naked, the word intimidates and scourges

what do we do with the word?

she sleeps peacefully in the dictionary
but when she wakes up, when we wake her up
turns into... into what?

IV. José de SousaMiguelLopes

how many times do we prevent dialogue?
in the urge to speak, we don't listen.
we have many excuses for not listening to each other
and we always have a great desire to talk

does speaking dominate? does speaking annihilate?

we want to be heard, but we don't want to hear.
listening, listening... it's much more difficult.

to listen, we have to be silent,
we have to pay attention,
we have to forget our thoughts
and let the idea and voice of the other,
that speaks to us, that reaches us
that enters me, that enters us.

we need to shut up

and we have to recognize that the other exists
and that he has something to tell us.
and really listening to each other
we can think about exchanging ideas
gain ideas exchange words
win words learn
and create new realities

V. Fernando Rios placeholder image

where is the word? on a blank page?
in time, in space, in memory?
in the roof of the mouth, in the entire mouth?
in which mausoleum brain?
in which body exposed to the public?

what word fills the mouth but empties the heart?
what word tells history but buries the past?

what word flows from the eyes?
what word strokes? what word drowns?

does any word fill the stomach?

and the words on the skins
protect from the cold, relieve the heat?
what words speak and remain silent
in silent racket?

VI. José de SousaMiguelLopes

silence is not the negation of the word,
as the word is not the negation of silence either.

there are eloquent, verbose silences
as there are vain, empty words

the sound of our words only makes sense
because in them the infinite world is reflected
that goes beyond its sound:
the world of feelings, ideas,
of the great realities. 

silence and word:
two instruments that complement each other.

there is an expressive silence
and an intense silent word,

there is a silence that speaks, able to say anything and everything
and a hollow word that says nothing

silence is also the place of senses
that are made outside the representation of the word,
senses that are in the human imagination,
in the fabrics of what the subject learns
and turns it into fantasy, into imagination. 

we are facing a cartography of affections,
in the face of splendorous nods to poetry,
to love, to life

VII. Fernando Rios placeholder image

what words emit the healed bodies outdoors?
What words stop open veins on battlefields?
what words ride utopias?
what words travel through the manholes?
what words promote euphoria?
what words carry manumissions?

we are islands surrounded by words on all sides
what a vast ocean we got into
us of word mind?

and often
in analfomegabetista violence
we mute each other

and if we don't hear your word
at least
we need to start listening to your agonized silence
because when your voice explodes
can mute us

VIII. Fernando Rios placeholder image

words speak and mean
every word can be great
solidary, fraternal, word/communion

(think of the word you want to say
she says what do you mean?
she crushes the other
or does it make him a beautiful reborn?)

poor human being rich human being
how many words for so many bodies
how many can be worded?

between the word white and the word black
how many words/color skins fit
without leaving wounds?

between male and female
how many words/genres fit
of infinite loving dwellings?

IX. Fernando Rios placeholder image

human being is male humanity is female
together, human being and humanity
got pregnant rainbowically
of women men lesbian gay bisexual transgender
queer transvestites questioning curious intersex
asexual pansexual polysexual allies two spirits kink
demisexuals and as many as more sexes
and as many as more genres anyway
LGBTQQICAPF2K+ and more and more and more
humane humanitarian human beings
with your all words
avid birds eagles hummingbirds

X. Fernando Rios placeholder image

the word is content and continent
the word can heat without burning
the word can embrace
the word can almost everything
for good and for bad
so why and when does she turn into a dagger?

XI. José de SousaMiguelLopes

Written, spoken, danced, repeated, insistent, coherent, affectionate, poetic, creative, encouraging, consoling, the other's word, my word, shared, heard, from a mother,
of son, of lullaby

XII. Fernando Rios placeholder image

word is so much and everything
that could always refer to the conviviality
and not to martyrdom

and so much and everything
that could bring joy
to euphoria
and not sadness, melancholy

and so much and everything
that could bring to life
and not the sad fate

When will we be this lucky?
word life
stronger than the word death?

XIII. José de SousaMiguelLopes

word that moves dreams
who stands up against injustice
who carries theories
that illuminates the practice
that drags crowds
that heals the wound
that wipes away the tears
word that tells stories
word in life
word life

XIV. Fernando Rios placeholder image

this time and space of being human
need to live the other live in the other

this time of humanity needs to add the other
include and add the other of the other where I am
what am I if not the other of the other of the other of the other
who are we all and others?

and then, hand in hand, body in hand
celebrate the word life and sing a ciranda
on a world cord

human beings and humanities
unite hug each other love each other sing
live each other, let's live each second

we have to try
the good word wants and needs to speak and say

*Fernando Rios is a journalist, poet and artist.

*José de Sousa Miguel Lopes is a doctor in history and philosophy of education from PUC-SP, professor at the State University of Minas Gerais (UEMG).

To access the first dialog click here.


The texts by José de Sousa Miguel Lopes were extracted from the afterword he wrote for the book Recorded letters: celebration of the voice in teacher training.

Publisher Appris, Curitiba, 2022.

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