Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Devil's Blues

My friend Fred,
A luckless lad,
Hangs his head
So very sad,
Sings his songs
All black and blue –
What is wrong
Inside of you?

Silly Sally,
Such success,
Devil dares her
To undress –
Ho now, honey!
Rock and roll . . .
Makes her money,
Sells her soul

Silly Sally,
Why don´t you
Sing your song
So black and blue
To my friend Fred
And save his soul –
Right the wrongs
With rock and roll?

Damn! The Devil
Hangs his head,
Sees silly Sally
Fall for my friend Fred –
They make much money,
Such success,
Live in love
And leave the rest
To me . . .

Copyright © 2002 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

"Poets and Poems"

“Poetry, my dear friends, is a sacred incarnation of a smile. Poetry is a sigh that dries the tears. Poetry is a spirit who dwells in the soul, whose nourishment is the heart, whose wine is affection. Poetry that comes not in this form is a false messiah.

Oh spirits of the poets, who watch over us from the heaven of Eternity, we go to the alters you have adorned with the pearls of your thoughts and the gems of your souls because we are oppressed by the clang of steel and the clamor of factories. Therefore our poems are as heavy as freight trains and as annoying as steam whistles.

And you, the real poets, forgive us. We belong in the New World where men run after worldly goods; and poetry, too, is a commodity today, and not a breath of immortality.”

(Kahlil Gibran, Thoughts and Meditations, Trans. Anthony R. Ferris)

Monday, August 28, 2006

On Cryptograms . . .

“Perhaps life needs to be deciphered like a cryptogram. Secret staircases, frames from which the paintings quickly slip aside and vanish (giving way to an archangel bearing a sword or to those who must forever advance), buttons which must be indirectly pressed to make an entire room move sideways or vertically, or immediately change all its furnishings; we may imagine the mind’s greatest adventure as a journey of this sort to the paradise of pitfalls”

(André Breton, Nadja, Trans. Richard Howard)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

"William Blake: Visionary and Illustrator"

"The Tyger"

(from Songs of Experience)

Tyger Tyger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes!
On what wings dare he aspire!
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger, Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Monday, August 21, 2006

zazen . . .

Copyright © 2006 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Saturday, August 19, 2006


“The moon and sun are eternal travelers. Even the years wander on. A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”

"With every pilgrimage one encounters the temporality of life. To die along the road is destiny."

(Matsuo Basho, Narrow Road to the Interior, Trans. Sam Hamill)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

joy . . .

Copyright © 2006 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

On Contradiction(s) . . .

“‘A’ cannot be itself unless it stands against what is not ‘A’; ‘not-A’ is needed to make ‘A’ ‘A,’ which means that ‘not-A’ is in ‘A.’ When ‘A’ wants to be itself, it is already outside itself, that is, ‘not-A.’ If ‘A’ did not contain in itself what is not itself, ‘not-A’ could not come out of ‘A’ so as to make ‘A’ what it is. ‘A’ is ‘A’ because of this contradiction . . .”

(D. T. Suzuki, Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings of D. T. Suzuki)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Man in a Box

Copyright © 2003 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Song of Himself . . .

“Have you practiced so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the
eyes of the dead, nor feed on the specters in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.”

. . .

“I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the
beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.

There was never any more inception than there is now,
Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.”

. . .

“These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands,
they are not original with me,
If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or
next to nothing,
If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they
are nothing,
If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing.
This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is,
This the common air that bathes the globe.”

. . .

“To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow,
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.”

. . .

“I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten
million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.
My foothold is tenoned and mortised in granite,
I laugh at what you call dissolution,
And I know the amplitude of time.”

. . .

“There is that in me - I do not know what it is - but I know it is in me.
Wrenched and sweaty - calm and cool then my body becomes,
I sleep - I sleep long.
I do not know it - it is without name - it is a word unsaid,
It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol.
Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on,
To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes me.
Perhaps I might tell more. Outlines! I plead for my brothers and sisters.
Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death - it is form, union, plan - it is eternal life - it is Happiness.”

. . .

“The past and present wilt - I have filled them, emptied them.
And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.
Listener up there! what have you to confide to me?
Look in my face while I snuff the sidle of evening,
(Talk honestly, no one else hears you, and I stay only a minute longer.)
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
I concentrate toward them that are nigh, I wait on the door-slab.
Who has done his day's work? who will soonest be through with his supper?
Who wishes to walk with me?
Will you speak before I am gone? will you prove already too late?”

(from Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself")