terça-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2008

Falling in love with a poet

I have had a lot of short and failed relationships but nobody has ever really loved me. This morning I wake up next to another guy. He is lying down with his back to the audience and I’m facing the audience with my back to him.
Being apart and lonely is like rain.
And when two bodies who have found nothing,
Disappointed and depressed, roll over;
That is when loneliness receives the rivers...
I look at him and talk to him, but he keeps sleeping.
You are a boat I have rented by the hour
And I steer you with my rage until you run aground.
You are a glass that I have paid to shatter
And I swallow the pieces down with my spit.
I stand up and walk towards the table.
The nights are like Russian dolls:
Inside the night night,
Opening the night night,
Night again,
Time after time night after night
Following the night.
I grab my cell phone, dial a number and start talking.
Mother, I want to go away
I’ve killed every dream you’ve had for me-
I’ve got laid much more times than I’ve loved
And who I truly loved never woke up with me.
Mother, I’m going away
This time, don’t ask me to stay.
I turn the phone off, grab some pills and start taking them.
With capsules in my palms each night,
Eight at a time from sweet pharmaceutical bottles
I make arrangements for a pint-sized journey.
The pills start making me feel dizzy and anxious.
There’s no one who loves me.
Hold on, yes there is; (I point at him and laugh)
It’s hard to feel certain
About what you don’t believe in.
I don’t know. It’s missing a direction, a feeling
For life, for love, for glory…
I’m alone, alone like nobody else ever was,
Hollow inside, without a future or a past.
While I’m saying the last lines I walk towards his side of the bed. I look at him for a while. I notice how beautiful he is. I’m on my knees, facing the audience.
Miracles happen
At odd hours
What mortal beauty resembles yours,
O vision which my soul has dreamed
And which reflects in me your gleam
Like sunlight on the ocean’s mirror?
"Do you like me?"
(Pause. I go to the other side of the bed and talk to the audience. He awakes and starts following me with his eyes. I do not notice this.)

Do you like me?
How absurd!
What's a question like that?
What's a silence like that?
And what am I hanging around for,
Riddled with what his silence said?
He calls me: “Ana?”
I look at him scared. Then I turn to the audience and keep talking to them.

I heard of a man
Who says words so beautifully
That if he only speaks their name
Women give themselves to him.
I look at him.
Wherever you find it-
On the sand, on the paper, on the bark of
A tree, on the putrid soil
Above my body – it’s yours,
Forever, my name.
I start feeling really strange as I walk around the room.
If it doesn't come bursting out of you
In spite of everything,
Don't do it.
Unless it comes unasked out of your
Heart and your mind and your mouth
And your gut,
Don't do it.
Don't do it.
Unless it comes out of
Your soul like a rocket,
Unless being still would
Drive you to madness
Don't do it.
I had been trying to stop myself, but I can’t take it any longer, so I go and kiss him.
I have passed the doors of my coldness
The doors of my bitterness
To come and kiss your lips.
You teach me again what it is
To be human.
And he tells me (while I’m saying his words, he keeps his head down):
Start again...
If you can,
With no anguish and no pressure.
While you don’t accomplish
Don’t rest.
Never want just half of a fruit.
I look at him and he looks at me.
Nobody tells me: “Come this way”!
My life is a loosen gale,
It’s a raised wave,
It’s another animated atom...
I don’t know how I’m going,
I don’t know where I’m going
I know I’m not going that way!
As if he didn’t hear anything of what I’ve just said, he starts talking to me in the language of the poets (his head is down again):
És uma tentadora: o teu olhar amável
Contém perfeitamente um poço de maldade,
E o colo que te ondula, o colo inexorável
Não sabe o que é paixão, e ignora o que é bondade.

Mas eu hei-de afinal seguir-te a toda a parte,
E um dia quando eu for a sombra dos teus passos,
Tantos crimes terás, que eu hei-de processar-te,
E enfim hás-de morrer na forca dos meus braços.

(You are so tempting: your pleasant look
Has a perfect cruelty shaft,
And the bosom that undulates you, the relentless bosom
Doesn’t know what passion is, and is unaware of kindness.

But I will, after all, follow you everywhere,
And some day when I’m the shadow of your steps,
You’ll have so many crimes, that I will sue you,
And finally you will die in my arms’ gallows.)

He looks at me again.

Now I remember! He told me yesterday night he was a poet. That’s why I was sure he was another man I would never fall in love with, because I know that
The poet is a faker
Who’s so good at his act
He even fakes the pain
Of pain he feels in fact.
The poem teaches the art of falling
And the truth is I’ve already fallen in love with this poet.
Because with the others there is always some nausea
That freezes me and keeps me away
(I look at him)
And in you there is a large sea
That with blinded eyes drags me after you.
I go to the bed.
I love you in order to begin to love you,
To start infinity again
I call You because everything is still at the beginning
I beg You to be the present.
I beg You to overwhelm everything.
Love is a fire that burns unseen,
A wound that aches yet isn’t felt,
A longing for nothing but to long,
A never feeling pleased when pleased,
It’s being enslaved of your own free will
I beg you pardon for loving you so suddenly. (We kiss.)

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875- 1926), Loneliness
Anne Sexton (1928- 1974), Buying the Whore
Pedro Mexia (1972-), A Noite (The Night)*
Maria do Rosário Pedreira (1959-), Mãe, Eu Quero Ir-me Embora (Mother, I Want to Go Away)*
Anne Sexton (1928- 1974), The Addict
Fernando Pessoa (1888- 1935), There’s No One Who Loves Me
Fernando Pessoa (1888- 1935), Eu Não Sei (I Don’t Know)*
Ana Paula Inácio (1966-), Miracles Happen
Antero de Quental (1842- 1891), Ignoto Deo
Anne Sexton (1928- 1974), Lessons in Hunger
Leonard Cohen (1934-), I Heard of a Man
Maria do Rosário Pedreira (1959-), Onde Quer Que o Encontres (Wherever You Find It)*
Charles Bukowski (1920- 1994), So You Want to Be a Writer?
Paul Éluard (1895- 1952), Ring of Peace
Miguel Torga (1907- 1995), Sísifo*
José Régio (1901- 1969), Cântico Negro (Black Hymn)*
Cesário Verde (1855- 1886), Num Álbum (In an Album)*
Fernando Pessoa (1888- 1935), O Poeta é um Fingidor (The Poet is a Faker)
Luíza Neto Jorge (1939- 1989), The Poem Teaches the Art of Falling
Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (1919- 2004), in Mar Novo (New Sea)*
Pablo Neruda (1904- 1973), Sonnet XLIV
Sophia de Melo Breyner Andersen (1919- 2004), Chamo-te (I Call You)*
Luís Vaz de Camões (1524/5- 1580), Amor é Fogo que Arde Sem se Ver (Love is a Fire that Burns Unseen)
Vinícius de Moraes (1913- 1980), Ternura (Tenderness)*

poems selected and translated(*) by

Ana Aleixo Lopes