To confront desire

Hi, folks,

Next on my series of posts for Spanish and Portuguese Reading Months, hosted by Stuart and Richard, you have four poems by Brazilian author Ana Cristina César, in various translations. You can find the whole series here, along with other Brazilian gems. Enjoy!

Yours truly,

J.


Bedside

Intractable.
I don’t want to put poems on paper anymore
or let my tenderness show.
I act tough,
really sober and tough,
I don’t ask
“what shall I do about
the shadow of that kiss?”
It’s pointless
to go on listening
or maneuver the eyeglass
of divination.
That said
the bedside book falls to the ground.
Your hand that slides
distractedly?
over my hand

(Ana Cristina César, translated from the Portuguese by Brenda Hillman, Helen Hillman, and Sebastião Edson Macedo)


Nothing, This Foam

To confront desire
I insist on the evil of writing
but I don’t know if the goddess comes up to the surface
or if she just punishes me with her howls.
From the bulwarks of this boat
how I long for the mermaid’s breasts.

(Ana Cristina César, translated from the Portuguese by John Milton)


it’s very clear
love is here
to stay
on this open veranda
night falls over the city
under construction
on the small constriction
on your breast
anguish of happiness
car headlights
slashing time
road works
at rest
a sudden recoil from the plot

(Ana Cristina César, translated from the Portuguese by John Milton)


Grams

The heart has little irony in the late afternoon
Carnal secrets on the surface of the skin
skinny poems, just waiting

Life refuses to carry itself off to the hills
holes dug by weasels
grass flowering

In the pool the heart has almost no breath left
In the yards it fires wet
In closed rooms it avoids car horns

Life is put in charge of the windows
But it ends up plummeting in a rush
It does not fit

Gives no support

Is weightless

(Ana Cristina César, translated from the Portuguese by John Keene)


Botanical Illustration, Garden Peach Art Print, Redoute Fruit Illustration No. 95
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