Better is the life of a vampire

Mona Hatoum, Impenetrable, 2009


four poems

TV and idyll

No. Yellow woodpecker site I was already excited, but
when I saw The dance of the vampires
                         at the turn of Sunday
for a Monday without vacation I thought:
The life of a vampire is better! It's a party every night,
and sleep late… A dress
more beautiful than the other vampires wear.

It was a hot night,
and when I went to sleep
                         the blood of mosquitoes
ran down the wall.
And sleep late...
my heart was heavy – I asked
May God forgive me
this thing about wanting to be a vampire.

Until further notice

By wind pressure
the tree tilted its head to the side
but only the head.
Flexible and firm
divides into one part
soft and complacent
and in the rest, earthly, in itself
propped up, impossible to move until
second order.
So the trees of my
judgments and convictions:
bend the visible head a little
leaf surrounded by winds – alone
the little head, see you Monday,
third order.


“long, mince, en grand deuil, douleur majestueuse”

I was drinking my coffee – not long ago
had risen from the grave
shallow of a sleep that does not repair –
undeserved for the day that dawned
and my dry eyes hurt
sleepless but not awake
just like the trunks of thoughts
when she, night owl passerby beyond her hour
knowing me more than I know her
studying my slow, withdrawn senses
sleepless night miscarriages
It passed, it should have passed, it would pass again!

First I saw her as the old stain
that moved in the cement in line
straight, but did not move out of place –
I look and it's not there; I looked and it never left.
The mournful shadow insists
maybe you can hear it, smell it, it's more
sure than the stain, more real than my gaze.
A flash… and we never left it again!

Your stealthy presence
cockroach almost made me alive.
In another place, not so far away, perhaps you will find it
(I don't know where she's going, she knows where I'm going).
Not too late, maybe today
you will already be hard, with your feet up
I crouched, my eyelids still
that no sleep will come to close.

Humiliated it seems

fusion of corn and wet humus;
all humiliated as well as ridden
it is also insoled, which reminds
palm, corn, mile and wet
(so it's yellow and moist
piss still comes to mind)

inch by inch is walked and trampled,
stretched out on the humous-infinite earth –
in his hand the ear that he had stolen
infinitely garnet


The wind hums
when did you scream?
I didn't hear anything...
certainly the world
it got dark...
I didn't see it anymore...
What did you think
if you didn't moan?
It was my children
when I would see them,
it was in the boy
in the phrase “wait,
today it doesn’t kill”;
in my mouth
like sandpaper,
in the shy gesture
of an employee.
And what else?
How was it
all piss,
in the girl who
I no longer screamed,
I nails and teeth,
just fear and flesh,

*Priscila Figueiredo is a professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of Matthew (poems) (well i saw you). []

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