Patrick Caulfield, Garden with Pines, 1975


selection of poems


just a name[I]

Pinheirinho, Pinheirinho
what they did to you
it was so sad
but so sad
that no one in this world
I should say more that there is.
Pinheirinho, so I say —

I do not exist
I lie and not only:
when I knew you existed
is that you no longer existed.

Pinheirinho, so diminutive
I seem to understand
put it safe in my hand —
how much illusion can produce a name!
if we didn't call you that anymore?

Free us from illusion, from all illusion
you, the one without a watchman or guardhouse
whose sleep they interrupted in the rain
for a bad reason.


Invitation to compose a bank

We look forward to your valuable contribution,
that will dispel many of our doubts well
how will you plant some never imagined
and with these other labyrinths,
more airy than the old ones.

We hit our heads so many times
on false doors and mirrors
what more than losing ourselves
packed indefinitely.

I count on you to come to our aid with the glow
of your perspicacity and erudition, the spell
of your courageous reflection, which always animates
the already so tired soul of our young people.



You were going to charge 200 contos —
right, it wasn't the Tablets of the Law,
but you went to charge, and charge
it is not for the beak of your kind.

Looks like he got a beer to face
the absent boss who plucked you,
or your bouncers posted there.
An employer who must have
also friends everywhere,
and these friends in the blink of an eye
they become executioners, assault troops.

If the boss authorized them, very well;
if you didn't authorize it, that's fine too.
Who told you to go there and work with fire?
How should a woman know why she is beaten,
you should know too, Moïse.



the one on the wall
the one of the argument
…………             the crack of the account
the split of the party
…………             of the group
…………             from the church
…………             from the crowd
…………             of the electorate
the crack in the pipe
…………             on the sidewalk
the crack in the trunk
the crack in the face and in the stone
the rift in compromise
the moral rift
the hermeneutical rift
the guy's crack
...........              the rift of the continent
.................. ..    that of parthenogenesis

…………                             the girls

………….                                            the one of the Red Sea


The bull that went to die in the sea

It appeared in the paper the other day that a bull
came down from the cart when
arrived for the Agro Fair;
stopping was like dying and decided
die at sea...
What dignity, what courage!
He could have been shot and taken advantage of
at least the meat, the leather
(but since it was valuable and they trusted
in his own superiority,
they preferred it intact, certain of capturing it.)

It weighed 600 kilos.
After hours traveling squeezed
with others of your kind
and terrified by the agro noise
who welcomed them,
scrambled through the vegetation,
this on Saturday. On Wednesday the ox
nonconformist would be seen
at the back of the airport —
so that in Stella Maris for little
they didn't clip his wings.
The end—that's how it was told.
One could almost say: at sea
it took possession of itself, in the sea it flew.


The fog about the neck
it is the nerve center, sometimes peaceful, of my gestures;
the head, what they call the head,
it's rolling if not in the world, in this neighborhood itself.
I dreamed that they took her away from me, but when I woke up
I remembered being a repeating dream,
a dream of fog, of whom
he had not had his head for a long time.

Another day the grotesque and expressive ball
came down towards me,
I walked away.
the cob
of the hair carried more and more debris,
and the eyes disappeared not under the lids,
but under the dust. It's so much for one head
lay down and roll over.
The fog has within it dozens of pairs of eyes,
but these are closed like stars that

There is no palpable difference between heaven
and fiction on my shoulders.
The song of the moral law resounds
still inside me.

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



[I] Poem written in 2012 and revised in 2020. Unpublished, like the others in this selection.


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