a song with no end

when Whitman wrote, “I sing the body electric”

I know what he
meant
I know what he
wanted:

to be completely alive every moment
in spite of the inevitable.

we can’t cheat death but we can make it
work so hard
that when it does take
us

it will have known a victory just as
perfect as
ours.

Charles Bukowski

A song with no end

Photo CPF (September 16, 2017). This was the last place, the exact last room where I saw O. for the last time. I don’t know if he liked Bukowski. I hope he did because I seem to be having a Bukowski moment and this poem made me think of him.

My nights are rarely unruly

Not for me a youngman’s death
Not a car crash, whiplash
John Doe, DOA at A&E kind of death.
Not a gun in hand, in a far off land
IED at the roadside death

Not a slow-fade, razor blade
bloodbath in the bath, death.
Jump under a train, Kurt Cobain
bullet in the brain, death

Not a horse-riding paragliding
mountain climbing fall, death.
Motorcycle into an old stone wall
you know the kind of death, death

My nights are rarely unruly. My days
of allnight parties are over, well and truly.
No mistresses no red sports cars
no shady deals no gangland bars
no drugs no fags no rock’n’roll
Time alone has taken its toll

Not for me a youngman’s death
Not a domestic brawl, blood in the hall
knife in the chest, death.
Not a drunken binge, dirty syringe
“What a waste of a life” death.

Not for Me a Youngman’s Death
By Roger McGough

Natália

AUTORRETRATO

    

Espáduas brancas palpitantes:

asas no exílio dum corpo.

Os braços calhas cintilantes

para o comboio da alma.

E os olhos emigrantes

no navio da pálpebra

encalhado em renúncia ou cobardia.

Por vezes fêmea . Por vezes monja.

Conforme a noite. Conforme o dia.

Molusco. Esponja

embebida num filtro de magia.

Aranha de ouro

presa na teia dos seus ardis.

E aos pés um coração de louça

quebrado em jogos infantis.


Again I wish I could translate poetry without committing some kind of murder. I can’t.

This is the self-portrait of a bird in exile, whose arms know that they are wings trapped in a human body. Whose eyes migrate but never leave. A ship stranded by cowardice and abjuration. A Woman. Sometimes a female, sometimes a nun.

From night to day.

Strong, fragile, beautiful, talented and contradictory. They said. Very dark and very tender. A force of nature is the appropriate cliché. Unjust for someone who lived like a true original. In full. Strident in controversy, provocative and original, strong, excessive and forceful.  Witch and Lark of the abolition of opposites.

My words could never come close

a heart of china

broken in childish games

wp-1488928997973.jpeg

Era uma mulher inigualável. Nos caprichos, nos excessos, nas iras, nas premonições, nos exibicionismos, na sedução, na coragem, na esperança. Cantava, dançava, declamava, improvisava, discursava, polemizava como poucos entre nós alguma vez o fizeram, o somaram.

Fernando Dacosta

She was an unrivaled woman. In whims, in excesses, in anger, in premonitions, in exhibitionism, in seduction, in courage, in hope. She sang, danced, recited, improvised, discoursed, polemicized as few among us ever did and ever added.

wp-1488929141902.jpeg

Acho que a missão da mulher é assombrar, espantar. Se a mulher não espanta… De resto, não é só a mulher, todos os seres humanos têm que deslumbrar os seus semelhantes para serem um acontecimento. Temos que ser um acontecimento uns para os outros. Então a pessoa tem que fazer o possível para deslumbrar o seu semelhante, para que a vida seja um motivo de deslumbramento. Se chama a isso sedução, cumpri aquilo que me era forçoso fazer.

Natália Correia, in Entrevista (1983)

I think a woman’s mission is to haunt, to amaze. If a woman does not amaze … Besides, it is not only the woman, all human beings have to dazzle their peers, they have to be an event. We have to be a momentous event for each other. So one has to do one’s best to dazzle one’s fellow human, so that life can be a cause of wonder. If this is called seduction, I accomplished what I had to.

References

NATÁLIA CORREIA – 10 anos depois

Listening

10.06 am Train 122 to Lisbon

The woman wearing a green polyester dress and a fake fur jacket is a lawyer. She needs a plumber because the faucet in her bathroom is leaking. She hang up that call and is now talking to her friend Ritinha about her marriage and how taking confession at the Vatican with a Spanish priest has helped to cope and forgive even though she is still hurt. Maybe he cheated on her. She has decided to start her master’s degree. Maybe she will get to be a judge. She needs to work on her resume and then move to do a Doctorate, something on tax and fiscal law. Her friend has a better resume, it seems. Anyway, she wants to base her studies in practical cases so she doesn’t feel the pressure of the doctrine. Her son, Francisquinho stayed with her mother-in-law. Her husband António stayed in Porto. She doesn’t like to be alone. She is going to Coimbra to fix her diploma, the silver seal and the ribbons are missing. She had the diploma framed the minute she got it. She couldn’t resist. She hangs up. Her friend is probably busy.

12.30 pm 

We have arrived at Santa Apolónia Station. The smart looking old gentleman seating across the corridor has a beautiful engraved cane. I offer to take his bag down. He tells me that the only good thing about growing old is the young people who are willing to help. He reassures me that he was young once. 

1 pm blue line subway train

The lady wearing a tropical print maxi skirt is on the phone explaining she is late and that she has forgotten her check book. She will have to pay the deposit in cash.

1.20 pm Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

I register for the conference and buy the ticket to see the Almada Negreiros exhibition. I stop listening. Chance encounters and unexpected company bring out the chatterbox in me. 

4 pm international congress on Fernando Pessoa

The session is on “Fernando Pessoa the classicist”.  I seem to not really be listening to most of it. Athena magazine and the supreme art form. Inferior art is meant to please, average art should elevate you and the superior art sets you free. It makes your soul rise above everything that is narrow in life, by freeing you it goes beyond elevation which can only occur outside oneself. The supreme art frees you from within. Ricardo Reis and the classic form, syntactic analyses of five odes to a boy who is dead. Homoerotic poetry or simply a lyrical lament for the person that was and is no longer. Questions from the audience in academic conferences always tend to be transformed into frustrated presentations.

The beautiful blonde lady with flawless skin seating next to me comes to the conclusion that the more she searches for knowledge, the more she realizes that there’s just too much to be learnt.

5.30 pm coffee break

I run back to the exhibition room.I forgot to write down the references for some of the paintings. In a dark room Eros and Psyche shine from a rectangular stained glass panel. On the way out there’s a painting called “Family”. I have a replica bought at a jail art fair. It’s not very good, I just find it moving that it was painted by someone serving time in prison.

6 pm back at the conference hall

This is the session that made me travel today. Intellectual giants are still my superheroes.

Professor Eduardo Lourenço is 93. He is here, he says, as a ghost of himself. There is a new generation of experts who have the most admirable of qualities, they are alive and he had, for quite some time now, abdicated of giving presentations at events such as this one. But he came as “one of the victims of the fulgurating passage of that star, that absolute vampire who was Fernando Pessoa (…) because once the Pessoan Galaxy hits you, you are forever transfigured, blood and soul sucked out of you by the celestial vampire who bragged that he could be everything in every way”. And that makes him extraordinary and baffling. How can, Professor Gil, asks, one live with a shattered self? How is it that this person never sought to unify but could clearly understand himself and the world as parts without a whole, infinitely multiple. And the risk of madness, the divine folly of wanting to continuously devour everything, of becoming the interlocutor of everything by transforming even the most insignificant experience into an universal reaching reading of ourselves.

To feel everything in every way.
To feel everything excessively

7.50 pm the train will leave in 10 minutes

The man in scruffy blue overalls is telling the girl wearing a jersey in earthy tones that people now are very much attached to their pets because they know other people are going to be a disappointment. That is what’s wrong with the world. We are becoming irrational because of our egos and because of greed. We are losing our values, he says, we are losing our love for each other. And what happens when there’s no love? We live in terror, we loose ourselves. He has to go but before he does, he apologizes for his impassioned speech, “I can be a bit of a pain sometimes”.

10 pm we just left Coimbra. There’s never much talking in night trains, specially on a Friday.


Photo: Untitled, Almada Negreiros (1921) Watercolour on paper

Heard

That magic moment

[That] Magic  moment so different and so new

img_1312

Was like any other until I met you 

img_1316

And then it happened 

img_0158

You took me by surprise 

img_1315

Sweeter than wine

img_1311

Softer than a summer’s night 

img_1314

References and inspiration 

Pomus, Shuman, Reed, Auster, Coetzee, Vonnegut, Dostoyevsky, Kerouac, Rushdie, Gordimer, Camus, Pessoa, Hughes, Sá-Carneiro, Smith, Atwood, Plath, Faulkner, Shakespeare, Lampedusa, Maugham, Breyner, McCullers, Selby Jr., Williams, Morrison, Blake, Loriga,…………Dad

img_1317

Everything I want, I have

 end_1324