Sir Sidney Nolan, Armored Helmet, 1956


Poem about the presidential election

The election is polarized,
Say the flickering headlines.
“I don't like it”, say the trembling souls.
But what to do?, as Vladimir used to say.
The election is indeed polarized
Between talking or spitting.
On one side we see books
And red fluttering towels
Among a rainbow of varied colors.
From the other, a bullet and even a grenade fly.
Here, the L-shaped fingers rise
With stars of hope.
There, there are fingers on the triggers
And mad claws wield sharp knives,
Killer fines.
On this side, those who cherish
The Freedom Chart.
On the other, the priests of venality
Collect the tithe of hate,
They sow grimaces of resentment,
They desecrate everything they touch,
They make everything they look at rot.
And your Corypheus always just lies
'Cause lying is all you have on your mind
A Leader speaks to the horizon,
And try to conjure up some light
At the end of the tunnel we went through.
Meanwhile, Chloroquine Corifeu
It vomits its gall and its pus
On the cross that claims to defend
But that insults at every step
On your trespass into the Hell of fate
The one who wants to handle us.
By your side roll the rivers of money
That his minions withhold everything worth their salt,
Be it schools, hospitals, food,
Be words of solidarity,
Of compassion or love of life,
Who helped murder in pandemonium
From the pandemic plague they did for sowing.
In this orgy of insanity they repeat, on top of that,
That painted them a climate
With pleasure to see so many people suffer.
Yes, the election is polarized
And whatever the outcome,
Life will remain polarized
Among those looking forward to the future
And those who wish everyone dead
The looks that don't pray
According to your grimaces.

* Flavio Aguiar, journalist and writer, is a retired professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of Chronicles of the World Upside Down (Boitempo).

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