Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The More Loving One

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast. How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me. Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day. Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

-WH Auden


Olho para as estrelas, e sei bem
Que por elas, eu poderia me foder.
Mas na terra, a indiferença é sem
dúvida, de gente e bicho, pouco a temer.
Como nos sentiríamos se as estrelas por nós ardessem
Com uma paixão que não pudéssemos retribuir?
Se não pode se igualar a afeição,
que seja minha a maior paixão.
Admirador como sou (estou imaginando)
de estrelas que estão cagando,
agora que as vejo, não posso dizer
que, pelo dia, senti a saudade me roer.
Se morressem todas as estrelas, ou sumissem,
Eu aprenderia a olhar para um céu sem
estrelas, e achar sublime o céu de breu,
mas isso demoraria - acho eu.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Approaches: Darkness

Equinoxially obtemperate
the Great Pumpkin arose.

Duck noises in the night
Ululating Heil Heil Quack

Scouring the world of reason
- that eternal, grumpy killjoy

Making it safe for oil, for
moneymaking and merriment

A white world without white ice -
oddly orange the figure at its prow

The Cunt-grabber in Chief, now
master of the dome of heaven

A red button, made of nightmares
hangs ever next to the Pumpkin

Approaches: darkness. For those
with dark skin, or cunts, or lives.

And it shall have illimitable dominion
(over what?

 aye, that's the rub) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stalingrado

Depois de Madri e de Londres, ainda há grandes cidades!
O mundo não acabou, pois que entre as ruínas 
outros homens surgem, a face negra de pó e de pólvora, 
e o hálito selvagem da liberdade 
dilata os seus peitos, Stalingrado,
seus peitos que estalam e caem, 
enquanto outros, vingadores, se elevam.

A poesia fugiu dos livros, agora está nos jornais.
Os telegramas de Moscou repetem Homero.
Mas Homero é velho. Os telegramas cantam um mundo novo
que nós, na escuridão, ignorávamos.
Fomos encontrá-lo em ti, cidade destruída, 
na paz de tuas ruas mortas mas não conformadas,
no teu arquejo de vida mais forte que o estouro das bombas, 
na tua fria vontade de resistir.

Saber que resistes.
Que enquanto dormimos, comemos e trabalhamos, resistes.
Que quando abrimos o jornal pela manhã teu nome (em ouro oculto) estará firme no alto da página.
Terá custado milhares de homens, tanques e aviões, mas valeu a pena.
Saber que vigias, Stalingrado,
sobre nossas cabeças, nossas prevenções e nossos confusos pensamentos distantes
dá um enorme alento à alma desesperada
e ao coração que duvida. 

Stalingrado, miserável monte de escombros, entretanto resplandecente!
As belas cidades do mundo contemplam-te em pasmo e silêncio.
Débeis em face do teu pavoroso poder, 
mesquinhas no seu esplendor de mármores salvos e rios não profanados,
as pobres e prudentes cidades, outrora gloriosas, entregues sem luta, 
aprendem contigo o gesto de fogo.
Também elas podem esperar.

Stalingrado, quantas esperanças!
Que flores, que cristais e músicas o teu nome nos derrama!
Que felicidade brota de tuas casas!
De umas apenas resta a escada cheia de corpos; 
de outras o cano de gás, a torneira, uma bacia de criança.
Não há mais livros para ler nem teatros funcionando nem trabalho nas fábricas, 
todos morreram, estropiaram-se, os últimos defendem pedaços negros de parede,
mas a vida em ti é prodigiosa e pulula como insetos ao sol,
ó minha louca Stalingrado!

A tamanha distância procuro, indago, cheiro destroços sangrentos,
apalpo as formas desmanteladas de teu corpo,
caminho solitariamente em tuas ruas onde há mãos soltas e relógios partidos,
sinto-te como uma criatura humana, e que és tu, Stalingrado, senão isto?
Uma criatura que não quer morrer e combate, 
contra o céu, a água, o metal, a criatura combate,
contra milhões de braços e engenhos mecânicos a criatura combate,
contra o frio, a fome, a noite, contra a morte a criatura combate, 
e vence.

As cidades podem vencer, Stalingrado!
Penso na vitória das cidades, que por enquanto é apenas uma fumaça subindo do Volga.
Penso no colar de cidades, que se amarão e se defenderão contra tudo.
Em teu chão calcinado onde apodrecem cadáveres, 
a grande Cidade de amanhã erguerá a sua Ordem.




- Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dark with power

Li esse poema há muitos anos atrás, num livrinho que depois perdi e que provavelmente é o maior responsável pela minha americanofilia. 

Ele falava do Vietnã, falava da guerra fria. Mas talvez sirva para capturar os tempos que correm, também. 





Dark with power, we remain
the invaders of our land, leaving
deserts where forests were,
scars where there were hills.

On the mountains, on the rivers,
on the cities, on the farmlands
we lay weighted hands, our breath
potent with the death of all things.

Pray to us, farmers and villagers
of Vietnam. Pray to us, mothers
and children of helpless countries.
Ask for nothing.

We are carried in the belly
of what we have become
toward the shambles of our triumph,
far from the quiet houses.

Fed with dying, we gaze
on our might's monuments of fire.
The world dangles from us
While we gaze.


-Wendell Berry



Nosso sombrio poder, e ainda somos
invasores em nossa própria terra,
deixando desertos onde houve floresta
chagas no que já foram morros. 

Nas montanhas, nos rios
nas cidades e fazendas
nossa mão pesada cai, nosso sopro
potente com a morte de todas as coisas.

Rezai por nós, fazendeiros, aldeões
do Vietnã. Rezai por nós, mães
e filhos de países indefesos. 
Nada peçam. 

Carregados somos no ventre
daquilo que nos tornamos
rumo aos escombros de nosso triunfo.
Longe das casas tranquilas.

Cheios do morrer, olhamos para
os monumentos de fogo de nosso poderio.
O mundo, ele pende de nós
Enquanto olhamos. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Poems for Akhmatova

Poems for Akhmatova (1-4)
1

Muse of lament, you are the most beautiful of
all muses, a crazy emanation of white night:
and you have sent a black snow storm over all Russia.
We are pierced with the arrows of your cries

so that we shy like horses at the muffled
many times uttered pledge—Ah!—Anna
Akhmatova—the name is a vast sigh
and it falls into depths without name

and we wear crowns only through stamping
the same earth as you, with the same sky over us.
Whoever shares the pain of your deathly power will
lie down immortal upon his death bed.

In my melodious town the domes are burning
and the blind wanderer praises our shining Lord.
I give you my town of many bells,
Akhmatova, and with the gift: my heart.

2

I stand head in my hands thinking how
unimportant are the traps we set for one another
I hold my head in my hands as I sing
in this late hour, in the late dawn.

Ah how violent is this wave which has
lifted me up on to its crest: I sing
of one that is unique among us
as the moon is alone in the sky,

that has flown into my heart like a raven,
has speared into the clouds
hook-nosed, with deathly anger: even
your favour is dangerous,

for you have spread out your night
over the pure gold of my Kremlin itself
and have tightened my throat with the pleasure
of singing as if with a strap.

Yes, I am happy, the dawn never
burnt with more purity, I am
happy to give everything to you
and to go away like a beggar.

for I was the first to give you—
whose voice deep darkness! has
constricted the movement of my breathing—
the name of the Tsarskoselsky Muse.

3

I am a convict. You won't fall behind.
You are my guard. Our fate is therefore one.
And in that emptiness that we both share
the same command to ride away is given.

And now my demeanour is calm.
And now my eyes are without guile.
Won't you set me free, my guard, and
let me walk now, towards that pine-tree?

4

You block out everything, even the sun
at its highest, hold all the stars in your hand!
If only through some wide open door, I
could blow like the wind to where you are,

and starting to stammer, suddenly blushing,
could lower my eyes before you
and fall quiet, in tears, as
a child sobs to receive forgiveness.


-Marina Tsvetaeva

Monday, October 03, 2016

Howl

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
     starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking 
     for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
     connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking 
     in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating 
     across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw
     Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs 
     illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
     hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the 
     scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing 
     obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their 
     money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through
     the wall,
who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo 
     with a belt of marijuana for New York,
who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise 
     Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night
with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and
     cock and endless balls,
incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in 
     the mind leaping toward poles of Canada & Paterson, 
     illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns,
     wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of 
     teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon 
     and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, 
     ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from 
     Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of 
     wheels and children brought them down shuddering 
     mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of 
     brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,
who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out 
     and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate 
     Fugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen 
     jukebox, 
who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to 
     Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,
a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the 
     stoops off fire escapes off windowsills of Empire State out 
     of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and 
     memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of 
     hospitals and jails and wars,
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and 
     nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on 
     the pavement,
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of 
     ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and 
     migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark’s bleak 
     furnished room,
who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad
     yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken
     hearts,
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing
     through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,
who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and 
     bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at
     their feet in Kansas, who loned it through the streets of
     Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary
     indian angels,
who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in
     supernatural ecstasy,
who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on
     the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz
     or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to
     converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and
     so took ship to Africa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind
     nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of
     poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in
     beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark
     skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,
who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the
     narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square
     weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos
     wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten
     Island ferry also wailed,
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and
     trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in
     policecars for committing no crime but their own wild
     cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off
     the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists,
     and screamed with joy,
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors,
     caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and
     the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their
     semen freely to whomever come who may,
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob
     behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked
     angel came to pierce them with a sword,
who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one  
     eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew
     that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does
     nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden
     threads of the craftsman’s loom.
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a
     sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the
     bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and
     ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt
     and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the
     sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared to
     sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under
     barns and naked in the lake,
who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen
     night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and
     Adonis of Denver--joy to the memory of his innumerable lays
     of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’
     rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt
     waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings
     & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, &
     hometown alleys too,
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams,
     woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out
     of basements hungover with heartless Tokay and horrors of
     Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment
     offices,
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the
     snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open
     to a room full of steamheat and opium,
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of
     the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon &
     their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at
     the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,
who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full
     of onions and bad music,
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and
     rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,

who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame
     under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of
     theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations
     which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas
     dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for
     Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads
     every day for the next decade,
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave
     up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought
     they were growing old and cried,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison
     Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of
     the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of
     the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister
     intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs
     of Absolute Reality,
who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and
     walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of
     Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free
     beer,
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway
     window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried
     all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot
     smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s
     German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into
     the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of
     colossal steamwhistles,
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to the
     each other’s hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch or
     Birmingham jazz incarnation, who drove crosscountry
     seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had
     a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to
     Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver &
     brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find
     out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each
     other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul
     illuminated its hair for a second, 
who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible
     criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their
     hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,
who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to
     tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the
     black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the
     daisychain or grave,
who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism &
     were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,
who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and
     subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of
     the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of
     suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol
     electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy
     pingpong & amnesia,
who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong
     table, resting briefly in catatonia,
returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and
     tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of
     the madtowns of the East,
Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Greystone’s foetid halls, bickering
     with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the
     midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life
     a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,
with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out
     of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 a.m.
     and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the
     last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental
     furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the
     closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little
     bit of hallucination--
ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re
     really in the total animal soup of time--
and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a
     sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the
     catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,
who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through
     images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul
     between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and
     set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping
     with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus
to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and
     stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking
     with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform
     to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,
the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting
     down here what might be left to say in time come after
     death,
and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn
     shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America’s naked
     mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani
     saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their
     own bodies good to eat a thousand years.

II
What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls
     and ate up their brains and imagination?
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable
     dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys
     sobbing in armies!  Old men weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! 
     Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone
     soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch
     whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of
     war! Moloch the stunned governments!
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is
     running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! 
     Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo!  Moloch whose
     ear is a smoking tomb!
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose
     skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless
     Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the
     fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the 
     cities!
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is
     electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter
     of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless
     hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels! 
     Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and
     manless in Moloch!
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a
     consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out
     of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in
     Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton
     treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral
     nations! invincible mad houses granite cocks! monstrous
     bombs! 
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements,
     trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists
     and is everywhere about us! 
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the
     American river! 
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload
     of sensitive bullshit! 
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down
     the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal
     screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! 
     down on the rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the
     holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof to
     solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the
     street!



-Allen Ginsberg

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Panorama

That sure's a mighty big train
Rollin' through a mighty big country
And we all warm and cozy,
smarphonéd and beKindled
Sit, or lay, and look
At endless fields, white or grey
- nary a mountain
"Nay, nary a hill," she says
not even a dimple, a tiny bellybutton
this ladyland's ample bosom
is flat as a vestal virgin's, and paler.

There are houses, small and large
all with large, peaked gables,
all drowned in snow, all brown.
We wonder whence the brown comes,
the woods are all so greyly grey
grey and silver and greenless grey.
Mighty big woods, too. We've been
going through them for days and
days and days and
days.

Sometimes we wonder if it has an end
At night, under the pale tablet-glare
looking at an endless black square
(a painting a million miles infinite)
we wonder, like kids before a fire.
Of course it ends, our adult mind
chides us like a movie governess.
But the light small and fire-like, so
the acrid samovar-smoke in our nose,
We wonder through infinity.

A big train, solid, bursting with reality
and yet what magic in names, in
the commonest and stolidlest names.
Through an ice storm we sped, born
by magnets and lightning, out of
dainty Irkut, daughter of Baikal,
and into the Apple Mountains, into
the country of the Black Lake, the
Black Dragon River.

A solid, fifteeen-mega-watt-loco
train. Four and thirty wagons,
passages online-buyable.
Sixty-eight stewardesses,
souvenirs available.
A big lump of reality
sliding us through myth.