The Scarab of Bad Luck

Image: Vasco Prado


seven poems


butterflies walk
increasingly remote.
I saw the inn on top
of this half-open door
a huge, very matissian,
almost unlikely
in this town.

It was beautiful
and even better that you came to find me
without fear (I lost it a long time ago)
to take with the hand
almost every insect and not only:
the lizard by the tail,
or even to turn to the side
due to bad luck scarab
who keeps screaming
with your legs up help me
I'll give it a shot!

I honored the butterfly and caught it
on the wings as with the tweezers;
I looked at the little head that seemed to me
kinda confused and let go of being
all in the air.
Imagine, it seems that I taught
something to her, like playing
in life or wandering - was not:

“Get on your feet and don’t stop ––
everyone is crazy here
to kill you.”


The councilor of Piraí (RJ) José Paulo Carvalho de Oliveira, Russian (PT do B), stated on October 8, in a commemorative session marking the 25th anniversary of the Constitution, that beggars should not vote and that they could become fish food .
“Die toten – sie betteln noch” (Paul Celan)

What Francis of Assisi would say

if he and the order of mendicants
who founded to turn
fish feed ––
perhaps he would say:
“Brother fish, excuse us
to slip inside
from your mouth;
you don't even need
move the jaw
we are crushed,
even your bad
famous memory
is able to improve;
and when
come your turn
to slip inside
keep well:
not everything
was ground
through the cycle ––
os dead, they still


A probable thought
I thought they didn't see me
being thus curled up under the table,
but this ass that won't rest
it was soon denouncing where I am;
It is not always possible
calm or accommodate him:
He's with me
– I wouldn’t dare say under any circumstances
he belongs to me although
share the same nutrients,
grow as much as I stretch myself,
communicate to others my joy.

I think it's like that
because you see further
be crawling
whether prancing
like a lighthouse;
I see him talking to everyone,
from worms to bees,
draw your own conclusions
and I leave it with them.

not knowing though
entirely free,
designed for the world
from an obscure and stinking part,
that I myself am not given to face,
will always have a humble air
despite all the audacity
what a pity we didn't pull him out at the beginning, this one
      ………….. … .             .......                                                  [tail!
I can almost hear my owner saying it.

Doesn't stop hurting a little
even knowing that from your perspective
he and I are not
exactly the same thing.


the heart of a day
Sometimes the will is stronger than anything
to extract milk from a stone.
We don't even know if there is
milk inside her, or will it be before
a thin, undiscovered cry.

It must be true that the stone
“it was people one day like us”
or the whole humanity of men working
how they still work in granite quarries —
astonishing as the quarry of the militia evokes
those described in the Bible, like the sun
who punishes shirtless men
it's always a sign of 40 degrees or more
either in Rio or in ancient Egypt.

In the stone also envy spells
or from the archaic evil they imprisoned
the offended virgin and the orphan, and all sorts
of doomed love
so that if it pebbles, it looks like
what is more solid, listen:
every stone was a heart one day;
we think the tombstone says of the dead
but she is rather the back of another dead man,

old and more calcified.
Anchored in itself, being there
so tanned, metamorphosis of pain,
at cost he gives in even offering the back of his head.
When it finally breaks down,
it is soon seen that there is no more crying —
to have come to be so hard was one of the blows
which he took from men, not from fortune.


As of a March 2020 charge
The sky settled in suspicious blue –
what do I care if it's suspicious?
I wish I was under your mantle now

the sun shines for you and for you like never before
the non-human curls and plays
and crowds onto highways

eyes pile up on the houses
throwing lightning at close range


echo romantic
Why didn't you welcome me?
I had some flaws, but I thought
that you didn't care... you even liked it
because they were my flaws.
I remember you saying no,
that I didn't appear, that I was before
an apparition entering your door.
You always exaggerated!
but I believed, wow,
why wouldn't you believe it?

At first you cried,
her gaze seems to accuse
happiness itself,
that is, what was rightfully his,
but also happiness itself,
like grace of God or revolution,
refuge on the edge
of a great lonely lake,
or even a very modest dream,
a minimal dream: “So that's it
What do you want from life, my son?
Because you went to wait for her in me until she came
anger all at once...

Me, so imperfect, I wanted too
happiness, happiness...
At least an echo because it doesn't have
half happiness, but echo or shadow,
that she can have.
How his eyes lit up to see her
to me, it seemed...
I didn't care that you saw her in me
as long as you see me too.


It's been almost nine years,
I don't know if nine is a lot,
I don't know if it's little, I know it lasts
as if you weren't done yet
 ...............................                                               to die.
I never saw her beautiful Roman profile again in a dream;
once his figure appeared far away,
but it was so far... or was it you
that had no more appearance.

My memory is failing so much that it has time
I confuse the heard with the unheard,
the being of flesh and blood with the sound film;
I don't remember if you were in the shade
when I was expected to leave the building
from school, or held out in the sun. Know
who was waiting happily,
who kissed me on the forehead
and that's not a thread I pulled,
It is known to me and safe.

I always remember you with the crushed suitcase
on the handle, full of contracts to propose, soon frustrated.
I still hope to see your image complete, but one piece
they nail me in this house where I am not a mistress:
is that they metamorphosed you into murmur,
coming from behind so many familiar doors,
and sometimes it is a stream that speaks very softly.

A butterfly flapped its blue-flecked wings,
it made a noise of nothing; I guessed you again
in abstract and musical form, better,
pre-musical. Also the wind blowing
until a fruit falls
(or was it the fruit whistling?)
I got used to you reappearing in rumor,

so delicate that I concentrate to listen.
If you only knew how tanned your eldest daughter is
and not very delicate, in a world even less,
showing off in the roughness of images,
jumping in the net like a fish
with their last resources of life.
But it's good that you don't know, it's better.

*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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