Monday, December 29, 2008

la règle du jeu

the rules of the game
are not to win or lose
but to draw (or choose)
the rules of the game

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Sunday, December 28, 2008

viva a poesia vivida!

no teatro da floresta de signos,
ao pôr do sol no morro das capelas,
um poeta submerso em fumo e palavras,
um estranho escalando um muro de pedras,
ambos ambivalentes à ambição,
no meio do caminho ao destino.

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Sunday, December 21, 2008

on form ...

"Form is the base brought to the surface."

(Victor Hugo)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What's new under the sun ?!?

“The artist is a living contradiction: he tries to imitate and he invents, he tries to invent and he copies. If contemporary artists sincerely seek to be original, unique, and new, they should begin by disregarding the notions of originality, individuality, and innovation: they are the clichés of our time.”

(Octavio Paz, “Invention, Underdevelopment, Modernity.” Alternating Current. Trans. Helen R. Lane. p. 19)

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Form and Meaning"

“The real ideas of a poem are not those that occur to the poet before he writes his poem, but rather those that appear in his work afterward, whether by design or by accident. Content stems from form, and not vice versa. Every form produces its own idea, its own vision of the world. Form has meaning; and, what is more, in the realm of art only form possesses meaning. The meaning of a poem does not lie in what the poet wanted to say, but in what the poem actually says. What we think we are saying and what we are really saying are two quite different things.”

(Octavio Paz, “Form and Meaning.” Alternating Current. Trans. Helen R. Lane)

Friday, November 07, 2008

on genius ...

“In fact it is not even true of the most individual artistic disciplines that genius is free and always self-dependent. And what is genius anyway if not a certain combination of unquestionably personal talents, a gift from the fairies, and a moment in history? Genius is an H-bomb. The fission of uranium triggers off the fusion of hydrogen pulp. But a sun cannot be born from the disintegration of an individual alone unless this disintegration has repercussions on the art that surrounds it …. Generally, the rhythm of this combustion in the cycles of great art is usually greater than the lifespan of a man. Literature’s step is measured in centuries. It will be said that genius foreshadows that which comes after it. This is true, but only dialectically. For one could also say that every age has the geniuses it needs in order to define, repudiate and transcend itself.”

(André Bazin, “On the politique des auteurs.” Trans. Peter Graham)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

a poet said ...

"Poesia é a arte da linguagem. Uma forma de organizar o caos ou caotizar a ordem. Um passaporte para outros estados de percepção e para um maior entendimento do mundo."

-- Rodrigo Garcia Lopes

["Poetry is the art of language. A form of organizing chaos or chaoticizing order. A passport to other states of perception and to a greater understanding of the world."]

Friday, October 17, 2008


Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Sunday, October 05, 2008

the watcher ...

“This trouvaille, whether it be artistic, scientific, philosophic, or as useless as anything, is enough to undo the beauty of everything beside it. In it alone can we recognize the marvelous precipitate of desire. It alone can enlarge the universe, causing it to relinquish some of its opacity, letting us discover its extraordinary capacities for reserve, proportionate to the innumerable needs of the spirit. Daily life abounds, moreover, in just this type of small discovery, where there is frequently an element of apparent gratuitousness, very probably a function of our provisional incomprehension, discoveries that seem to me not in the least unimportant. I am profoundly persuaded that any perception registered in the most involuntary way … bears in itself the solution, symbolic or other, of a problem you have with yourself. You only have to know how to get along in the labyrinth. Interpretive delirium begins only when man, ill-prepared, is taken by a sudden fear in the forest of symbols. But I maintain that for anyone, watchfulness would do anything rather than pay a seconds notice to whatever remains exterior to his desire. (p. 14-15)

“I would like my life to leave after it no other murmur than that of a watchman’s song, of a song to while away the waiting. Independent of what happens and what does not happen, the wait itself is magnificent.” (p. 25)

(André Breton, L’Amour fou [Mad Love]. Trans. Mary Ann Caws.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

save jesus ...

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Friday, September 19, 2008

think (k)not

think the unthinkable thought,
then unthink the thought --
the unthinkable, then, unthought,
think the thinkable unthought

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Poetry X Madness ...

“At the other end of the cultural area … the poet is he who, beneath the named, constantly expected differences, rediscovers the buried kinships between things, their scattered resemblances. Beneath the established signs, and in spite of them, he hears another, deeper, discourse, which recalls the time when words glittered in the universal resemblance of things; in the language of the poet, the Sovereignty of the Same, so difficult to express, eclipses, the distinction existing between signs.”

“This accounts, no doubt, for the confrontation of poetry and madness in modern Western culture …. It is the mark of a new experience of language and things. At the fringes of the knowledge that separates beings, signs, and similitudes, and as though to limit its power, the madman fulfils the function of homosemanticism: he groups all signs together and leads them with a resemblance that never ceases to proliferate. The poet fulfils the opposite function: his is the allegorical role; beneath the language of signs and beneath the interplay of their precisely delineated distinctions, he strains his ears to catch that ‘other language’, the language, without words or discourse, of resemblance. The poet brings similitude to the signs that speak it, whereas the madman loads all signs with a resemblance that ultimately erases them. They share, then, on the outer edge of our culture and at the point nearest to its essential divisions, that ‘frontier’ situation – a marginal position and a profoundly archaic silhouette – where their words unceasingly renew the power of their strangeness and the strength of their contestation.”

(Michel Foucault, The Order of Things. p. 49-50)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Absence of the Writer ...

Absence of the writer too. For to write is to draw back. Not to retire into one’s tent, in order to write, but to draw back from one’s writing itself. To be grounded far away from one’s language, to emancipate it or lose one’s hold on it, to let it make its way alone and unarmed. To leave speech. To let it speak alone, which it can do only in its written form. To leave writing is to be there only in order to provide its passageway, to be the diaphanous element of its going forth: everything and nothing. For the work, the writer is at once everything and nothing. Like God …” (p. 70)

(Jacques Derrida, “Edmond Jabès and the Question of the Book.” Writing and Difference. Trans. Alan Bass)

Bound to Freedom ...

“The poet, in the very experience of his freedom, finds himself both bound to language and delivered from it by a speech whose master, nonetheless, he himself is.” (p. 65)

“The wisdom of the poet thus culminates its freedom in the passion of translating obedience to the law of the word into autonomy. Without which, and if passion becomes subjection, the poet is mad.” (p. 66)

(Jacques Derrida, “Edmond Jabès and the Question of the Book.” Writing and Difference. Trans. Alan Bass)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cinéma de jeu ...

Letter to my Friends to Learn How to Make Films Together

Jean-Luc Godard / gringocarioca

I play. You play. We play. Cinema. You think there are. Rules of the game. Because you are a child. Who still doesn’t know. What a game is. And what is. Reserved for grown-ups. Which you already are. Because you forgot. That it is a game for children. Of what does it consist? There are several definitions. To look at oneself. In the mirror of others. To forget and to know. Quickly and slowly. The world. To think and to speak. Odd game. That’s life.

Carta aos meus amigos para aprenderem a fazer cinema juntos

Eu jogo. Você joga. Nós jogamos. Cinema. Você pensa que há. Uma regra do jogo. Porque você é uma criança. Que ainda não sabe. O que é um jogo. E o que é. Reservado à gente grande. Do que você já faz parte. Porque você esqueceu. Que é um jogo para crianças. Em que consiste-o? Há várias definicões. Se olhar. No espelho dos outros. Esquecer e saber. Rápida e lentamente. O mundo. E si mesmo. Pensar e falar. Jogo esquisito. É a vida.

Lettre à mes amis pour apprendre à faire du cinéma ensemble

« Je joue. Tu joues. Nous jouons. Au cinéma. Tu crois qu’il y a. Une règle du jeu. Parce que tu es un enfant. Qui ne sait pas encore. Que c’est un jeu. Et qu’il est. Réservé aux grandes personnes. Dont tu fais déjà partie. Parce que tu as oublié. Que c’est un jeu d’enfants. En quoi consiste-t-il? Il y a plusieurs définitions. Se regarder. Dans le miroir des autres. Oublier et savoir. Vite et lentement. Le monde. Et soi-même. Penser et parler. Drôle de jeu. C’est la vie.»

(Jean-Luc Godard, in L’Avant-scène cinema – mai 1967)

Monday, August 18, 2008

empty pain / vazio agudo

empty pain
i feel full of it
once again

Paulo Leminski / gringocarioca

vazio agudo
ando meio
cheio de tudo

Paulo Leminski (Winterverno)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


“No one came out of there.”
“No one?
“No one.
“Yes! But when I came by, there was one standing there.
“At the door?
“At the door. He stretched out his arms.
“Yes! Because he doesn’t want to let anyone in.
“No one came in there?
“No one.
“The one who stretched out his arms, was he there?
“Yes. Inside.
“I don’t know. He just stretches out his arms so no one can get in.
“Was he sent there so No One can get in? The one who stretches out his arms?
“No. He came and stood there himself and stretched out his arms.
“And No One, No One, No One came out?
“No One, No One.”

(From Sounds, by Wassily Kandinsky. Trans. Elizabeth R. Napier)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

the incertitude of the void ...

“Why would a recurrent frustration the more depress him?

Because at the critical turningpoint of human existence he desired to amend many social conditions, the product of inequality and avarice and international animosity.

He believed then that human life was infinitely perfectible, eliminating these conditions?

There remained the generic conditions imposed by natural, as distinct from human law, as integral parts of the human whole: the necessity of destruction to procure alimentary sustenance: the painful character of the ultimate functions of separate existence, the agonies of birth and death: the monotonous menstruation of simian and (particularly) human females extending from the age of puberty to the menopause: inevitable accidents at sea, in mines and factories: certain very painful maladies and their resultant surgical operations, innate lunacy and congenital criminality, decimating epidemics: catastrophic cataclysms which make terror the basis of human mentality: seismic upheavals the epicentres of which are located in densely populated regions: the fact of vital growth, through convulsions of metamorphosis from infancy through maturity to decay.

Why did he desist from speculation?

Because it was a task for a superior intelligence to substitute other more acceptable phenomena in place of the less acceptable phenomena to be removed.

Did Stephen participate in his dejection?

He affirmed his significance as a conscious rational animal proceeding syllogistically from the known to the unknown and a conscious rational reagent between a micro- and a macrocosm ineluctably constructed upon the incertitude of the void.

Was this affirmation apprehended by Bloom?

Not verbally. Substantially.

What comforted his misapprehension?

That as a competent keyless citizen he had proceeded energetically from the unknown to the known through the incertitude of the void.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses.)


“His (Bloom's) logical conclusion, having weighed the matter and allowing for possible error?

... That it was a Utopia, there being no known method from the known to the unknown: an infinity, renderable equally finite by the suppositions probable apposition of one or more bodies equally of the same and of different magnitudes: a mobility of illusory forms immobilised in space, remobilised in air: a past which possibly had ceased to exist as a present before its future spectators had entered actual present existence.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the grand Spider & the broken hieroglyphics of the stars

“Everything around us becomes part of us, infiltrates us in our carnal or vital sensation, and the web of the grand Spider subtly ties us to whatever is at hand, binding us in a light bed of slow death, where we rock in the wind. Everything is ourselves and we are everything, but of what use is it, if everything is nothing? A ray of sunlight, a cloud that a sudden shadow says is passing, a breeze that rises, the silence that continues when the breeze stops, one face or another, sometimes the unintentional laughter among women talking, and later the night where the broken hieroglyphics of the stars appear without any meaning.” (p. 49)

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

slave to freedom ...

“Slavery is the law of life, and there is no other law, because this law must be obeyed. No revolt is possible, nor is any refuge to be found from it. Some are born slaves, others become slaves, and to others slavery is given. Our cowardly love of freedom – which, if we did have it, would frighten us because of its strangeness and cause us to repudiate it – is the true sign of the weight of our slavery.” (p. 48)

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

the monotony of everything ...

“I’m having a day in which the monotony of everything weighs on me like going to jail. The monotony of everything is, nevertheless, nothing more than the monotony in me. Every face, even if it’s one we saw yesterday, is different today, since today is not yesterday. Every day is the day it is, and there was never another exactly the same in the world. Identity exists only in our soul – identity felt even if it is false with itself – for which reason everything resembles everything and becomes simple.” (p. 48)

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

on genius and wisdom ...

“The principal error of the literary imagination is to suppose that other people are like us and that they should feel as we do. But happily for humanity, every person is only who he is. To genius alone has been given the ability to be others.”

“If he had real wisdom, a man could enjoy the spectacle of the entire world from an easy chair, without knowing how to read, without speaking with anyone, not knowing how to be sad, merely by using his senses and his soul.” (p. 42)

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

Friday, July 25, 2008

(too) much learning ...

"Much learning means frequent exhaustion.
That's not so good as holding on to the mean."

(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 5. Trans. Robert G Henricks)

Monday, June 30, 2008

a flaw is a flaw is a flaw ...

“To know you don’t know is best.
Not to know you don’t know is a flaw.
Therefore the Sage’s not being flawed
Stems from his recognizing a flaw as a flaw.
Therefore, he is flawless.”

(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 71. Trans. Robert G Henricks)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

pound 4 pound

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the true mission of poetry ...

“The true social mission of poetry should be the gathering of the latent energies of language in order to destroy its petrifying dogmas. In so doing it would vivify language, whence the extreme ethical and aesthetic urgency of poetry truly worthy of the name, which prefers to run the risk of ‘getting no hearing’ to be categorized by the inquisitorial patterns of language.”

“Even when circumstantially divorced from the general public, as is the case today (in this case the social mission of poetry would be limited to a more allegorical than factive plane), it is to be believed that poetry can intervene to compensate at least partially for the atrophy of language relegated to a merely communicative function. This is true, even if its effect is only a posteriori to the extent that time allows for the absorption of new forms.”

“Poetry (and we use the word broadly, including fictional prose) at the same time that it demands its autonomy from communicative language, should act on it as a dike against verbal degeneration. When the social importance of poetry in all its implications is understood (if some day that happens), the poet will cease being the eternal outcast and will come to exercise his true function in society, no longer in the shadows but openly.”

(Augusto de Campos, “The Concrete Coin of Speech.” Trans. Jon M. Tolman)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

à árvore

A ti, Tati ...

árvore cortada,
saudade da sua sombra
em dias ensolarados

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Saturday, June 21, 2008

(k)no(w) ...

"No need to leave your door to know the whole world;
No need to peer through your windows to know the Way of Heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know.

Therefore the Sage knows without going,
Names without seeing,
And completes without doing a thing."

"Those who know don't talk about it; those who talk don't know it."

(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching. Trans. Robert G. Henricks)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

on (non)being ...

"The things of the world originate in being,
And being originates in nonbeing."

(Lao Tzu, Tao-Te-Ching. Chapter 40. Trans. Robert G Hendricks)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

falling star / estrela cadente

falling star:
under the light of the moon
a dark sky is blue.

estrela cadente:
sob a luz da lua
o céu escuro é azul.

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

blanco blanco blanco ...

"me miro en lo que miro es mi creación esto que veo

como entrar por mis ojos la percepción es concepción

en un ojo más límpido agua de pensamientos

me mira lo que miro soy la creación de lo que veo"

(From Blanco, by Octavio Paz))

Saturday, June 07, 2008


The place where I was born bore me
in an ivory interstice
between the clarity of the heavens
and the chant of the abyss.

I never knew how to read: my eye
for typos arduously unravels the ugly
uvulas of gryphons and refracts itself:
read where it reads.

I’m not who writes,
but what I write:
Somewhere Someone
are echoes of delight.

Décio Pignatari / gringocarioca


O lugar onde nasci nasceu-me
num interstício de marfim
entre a clareza do início
e a celeuma do fim.

Eu jamais soube ler: meu olhar
de errata a penas deslinda as feias
fauces dos grifos e se refrata:
onde se lê leia-se.

Eu não sou quem escreve,
mas sim o que escrevo:
Algures Alguém
são ecos do enlevo.

Décio Pignatari

on (under)development ...

"The rush to 'develop' reminds me of nothing so much as a frantic race to arrive at the gates of Hell ahead of everyone else."

(Octavio Paz, Alternating Current)

Friday, June 06, 2008

la (ir)realidad de Paz ...

“La irrealidad de lo mirado
Da realidad a la mirada”

(From Blanco, by Octavio Paz)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

From BLANCO ...

"No pienso, veo

No lo que veo,

Los reflejos, los pensamientos veo.

Las precipitaciones de la música,

El número cristalizado.

Un archipiélago de signos.


Boca de verdades

Claridad que se anula en una sílaba

Diáfana como el silencio:

No pienso, veo

No lo que pienso,

La cara en blanco del olvido,

El resplendor de lo vacío.

Pierdo mi sombra,


Entre los bosques impalpables,

Las esculturas rápidas del viento,

Los sinfines,

Desfiladeros afilados,


Mis pasos

Se disuelvan

En un espacio que se desvanece

En pensamientos que no pienso."

(From Blanco, by Octavio Paz)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

the poem


Haroldo de Campos (Trans. gringocarioca)

more less

Haroldo de Campos (Trans. gringocarioca)


Haroldo de Campos (Trans. gringocarioca)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

nowhere left to go but home

there is nowhere left to go but home
there is nowhere left to go
there is nowhere left

there is nowhere left to go but home
there is nowhere left but home
there is nowhere but home

there is nowhere left to go but home
but there is nowhere to go
there is no home left

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Monday, May 19, 2008


Do what I say, not what I do.

Do what I do, not what I say.

Say what I do, not what I say.

Say what I say, not what I do.

What do I do? What do I say?

Say what I say! Do what I do!

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Sunday, May 18, 2008

organic poetry ...

“Our languages are on the road to formal simplification, abbreviated, restricted forms of language are emerging .… Does this restricted and simplified use of language and writing mean the end of poetry? Certainly not. Restriction in the best sense – concentration and simplification – is the very essence of poetry. From this we ought perhaps to conclude that the language of today must have certain things in common with poetry, and that they should sustain each other both in form and substance. In the course of daily life this relationship often passes unnoticed. Headlines, slogans, groups of sounds and letters give rise to forms which could be models for a new poetry just waiting to be taken up for meaningful use. The aim of the new poetry is to give poetry an organic function in society again, and in doing so to restate the position of poet in society.”

(Eugen Gomringer, “From Line to Constellation.” Trans. Mike Weaver)

alcohol and constellations ...

“Everyone has his own alcohol. I have alcohol enough in existing. Drunk from feeling myself, I wander and walk to the right place. If it’s time, I go to the office like anyone else. If it isn’t time, I walk to the river, stare at the river like anyone else. I’m the same. And behind this, my sky, I secretly turn into a constellation, and I have my infinity.” (p.40)

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

stop ...

stop doing this stop doing that stop working so hard stop worrying so much stop thinking about things stop wishing things were different stop hoping for a break stop believing what you hear stop the nonsense stop it stop it now you’d better stop or else stop smoking stop biting your nails stop staying up so late stop staring at the computer screen stop typing stop searching stop looking for who knows what stop scanning the headlines stop surfing the net stop wasting time stop procrastinating stop stalling stop dillydallying stop lollygagging stop fidgeting stop your whining stop crying over spilt milk stop arguing stop complaining about this that and the other stop comparing yourself to others stop being so critical stop being so mean stop being so naïve stop being silly stop being indifferent stop fighting the system stop trying to change the world stop meddling in other people’s affairs stop messing around stop fucking up stop jerking off stop getting distracted stop losing track stop feeling down on yourself stop fooling yourself stop running away stop hiding stop making excuses stop saying the same thing over and over again stop repeating yourself stop asking questions stop changing the subject stop everything stop … and start over

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From the time of Martime ...

“For where truth builds, and lying overthroes,
One truth in rime, is worth ten lies in prose.”

(John Lyly, Mar-Martime – 1589)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bloom for President!

“(Impassionedly.) These flying Dutchmen or lying Dutchmen as they recline in their upholstered poop, casting dice, what reck they? Machines is their cry, their chimera, their panacea. Laboursaving apparatuses, supplanters, bug-bears, manufactured monsters for mutual murder, hideous hobgoblins produced by a horde of capitalistic lusts upon our prostituted labour. The poor man starves while they are grassing their royal mountain stags or shooting peasants and phartridges in their purblind pomp of pelf and power. But their reign is rover for rever and ever and ev...”

“My beloved subjects, a new era is about to dawn. I, Bloom, tell you verily it is even now at hand. Yea, on the word of a Bloom, ye shall ere long enter into the golden city which is to be, the new Bloomusalem in the Nova Hibernia of the future.”

“I stand for the reform of municipal morals and the plain ten commandments. New worlds for old. Union of all, jew, moslem and gentile. Three acres and a cow for all children of nature. Saloon motor hearses. Compulsory manual labour for all. All parks open to the public day and night. Electric dishscrubbers. Tuberculosis, lunacy, war and mendicancy must now cease. General amnesty, weekly carnival, with masked licence, bonuses for all, esperanto the universal brotherhood. No more patriotism of barspongers and dropsical impostors. Free money, free love and a free lay church in a free lay state.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pornosophical philotheology ...

"So that gesture, not music, not odours, would be a universal language, the gift of tongues rendering visible not the lay sense but the first entelechy, the structural rhythm."

(James Joyce, Ulysses.)

Monday, April 07, 2008

postcreation ...

“His words were then these as followeth: Know all men, he said, time's ruins build eternity's mansions. What means this? Desire's wind blasts the thorntree but after it becomes from a bramblebush to be a rose upon the rood of time. Mark me now. In woman's womb word is made flesh but in the spirit of the maker all flesh that passes becomes the word that shall not pass away. This is the postcreation.”

“And as the ends and ultimates of all things accord in some mean and measure with their inceptions and originals, that same multiplicit concordance which leads forth growth from birth accomplishing by a retrogressive metamorphosis that minishing and ablation towards the final which is agreeable unto nature so is it with our subsolar being. The aged sisters draw us into life: we wail, batten, sport, clip, clasp, sunder, dwindle, die: over us dead they bend. First saved from water of old Nile, among bulrushes, a bed of fasciated wattles: at last the cavity of a mountain, an occulted sepulchre amid the conclamation of the hillcat and the ossifrage. And as no man knows the ubicity of his tumulus nor to what processes we shall thereby be ushered nor whether to Tophet or to Edenville in the like way is all hidden when we would backward see from what region of remoteness the whatness of our whoness hath fetched his whenceness.”

(James Joyce, Ulysses)

Friday, April 04, 2008


A ti, Tati ...

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Friday, March 21, 2008

popcorn factor

It was a dark and stormy night

[insert story here]

It’s gonna be a bright, sunshiny day

[play music there]


Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Friday, March 07, 2008


Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

On Nothing in Reality ...

“Nothing. But there is no such thing as nothing. The word is already something. Try to imagine nothing without the word or the concept of nothing.”

– John Cage, notes on 433’’

“A word can replace an object in reality.”

– René Magritte, “Words and Images”

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Art of the Word

Poetry is the art of making words out of the Word ...

A poesia é a arte de fazer versos do Verbo …


after a long rain ...

after a long rain

a lone weeping willow

bathes in the sunlight

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

colors ...

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

spring falls upon midwinter summer ...

comparative literature

Apples, oranges, and pears. Nothing compares. An apple. An orange. A pear. An apple is an apple. An orange is an orange. A pear is a pear. Nothing compares. An apple is not an orange. An orange is not a pear. A pear is not an apple. An apple is not an orange or a pear. An orange is not a pear or an apple. A pear is not an apple or an orange. Nothing rhymes with orange. An orange sounds like an orange. An apple and an orange and a pear are not a pair. An apple looks like an apple and tastes like an apple. An orange looks like an orange and tastes like an orange. A pear looks like a pear and tastes like a pear and even sounds like a pair. Nothing compares. An apple does not look or taste like an orange or a pear. An orange does not look or taste like a pear or an apple. A pear does not look or taste like an apple or an orange. An orange is an orange. An orange is orange. An apple is a fruit. An orange is a fruit. A pear is a fruit. All fruits are fruit. Fruits are fruity by definition. Fruits are not vegetables and vegetables are not fruit. Fruits look and taste like fruit. Vegetables look and taste like vegetables. Fruits do not look and taste like vegetables and vegetables do not look and taste like fruit. There are exceptions. There are exceptions to exceptions. Etc. Vegetables are edible. Fruit is edible. An apple is edible. An orange is edible. A pear is edible. To eat an apple, an orange, or a pear! Nothing compares. There are many kinds of apples. There are many kinds of oranges. There are many kinds of pears. Apples have different colors. Oranges have similar colors. Pears have different colors. Apples are red. Apples are green. Apples are yellow. Oranges are orange because an orange is orange. Pears are red. Pears are green. Pears are yellow. Pears are brown. Apples are white on the inside. Oranges are orange on the inside. Pears are white on the inside. Apples can be brown on the inside. Oranges are not brown on the inside or outside. Oranges are not red. Oranges are not yellow. Oranges are not green. Oranges are orange. Period. Pears can be brown on the inside. Fruit rots. Apples rot. Oranges rot. Pears rot. Apples have various origins. Oranges have various origins. Pears have various origins. Apples are from temperate climates. Oranges are from tropical climates. Pears are from temperate climates. A temperate climate is not a tropical climate. A tropical climate is not a temperate climate. There are various fruits in various climates. An apple is sweet. An orange is sweet. A pear is sweet. An apple is sour. An orange is bitter. A pear is bland. An apple can be too hard. An orange cannot be too hard. A pear can be too hard. An apple can become sauce. An apple can become butter. An orange can become marmalade. A pear can be baked in a pie. An apple can be baked in a pie. An orange is not baked in a pie. An orange can become juice. A pear can become juice. An apple can become juice. There is fruit juice and there is vegetable juice. Fruit juice is sweet. Vegetable juice is sweet. Fruit juice is sour. Vegetable juice is sour. Fruits are fruit and vegetables are vegetables. There are frozen vegetables. There is frozen fruit. There are fresh vegetables. There is fresh fruit. There are raw vegetables. There is ripe fruit. There are cooked vegetables. There is fried fruit. There are dried fruits. There are dried apples. There are dried oranges. There are dried pears. There are also nuts. There are also seeds. Apples have seeds. Oranges have seeds. Pears have seeds. Fruits have seeds. Vegetables do not have seeds. Vegetables come from plants. Fruits come from plants. Fruit flowers from plants. Fruits are the fruit of plants. Vegetables are parts of plants. There are edible plants. There are inedible plants. There are plants with toxic effects. There are plants with narcotic effects. There are plants with hallucinatory effects. There are mushrooms with hallucinatory effects. Mushrooms are not plants. Herb is a plant. Weed is a plant. Grass is a plant and a weed. Plants are planted in gardens. Vegetables are planted in gardens. Fruit is not planted in gardens. Fruit trees are planted in gardens. There are apple trees. There are orange trees. There are pear trees. Apple trees bear apples. Orange trees bear oranges. Pear trees bear pears. Nothing compares. A tree is a tree. A tree is not an animal. There are many kinds of trees. Not all trees bear fruit. Trees have roots. Trees have leaves. Trees have flowers. Trees have seeds. Trees stem from the ground and branch out. Trees form forests. Trees are cut down. Trees are planted. There is deforestation and there is reforestation. Now there is a pair! Planting trees can bear a lot of fruit. There can be lots of fruit. There can be lots of apples. There can be lots of oranges. There can be lots of pears. Apples for everyone! Oranges for everyone! Pears for everyone! Apples, oranges, and pears! Nothing compares.

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Sunday, February 10, 2008

the only lonely cure

Are you suffering from anxiety or depression?

Have the constant stress and rapid pace of life got you down?

Are you tired all day, having trouble sleeping at night, or just unable to get up in the morning?

Does it feel like you carry the weight of the world upon your shoulders?

Do you experience existential anguish in light of the absurd?

Then what are you waiting for? ACT NOW!



SUICIDE® is the perfect remedy and ultimate solution for all your needs.

SUICIDE® has proven effective against the problems and ills of modern times.

SUICIDE® provides quick and lasting relief while preventing future occurrences.

SUICIDE® treats pain where it hurts most, and eliminates unpleasant sensations.

SUICIDE® makes you feel better than ever, or else like you’ve never felt before.

*Warning: Possible side effects of SUICIDE® include (but are not limited to) loss of vision, hearing, sense of touch, taste, and smell, dehydration, skin discoloration, bleeding, loss of breath, unconsciousness, and even death. Please consult your local witch doctor before you try SUICIDE®.

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Sorrows of (Not So) Great Artists ...

“In explaining his unhappiness he told Gertrude Stein, they talk about the sorrows of great artists, the tragic unhappiness of great artists but after all they are great artists. A little artist has all the tragic unhappiness and the sorrows of a great artist and he is not a great artist.”

(Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas)

Friday, January 25, 2008

a blind man being talked to about colors ...

“There are days in which the people I see, and especially those I’m with during our forced and daily cohabitation, take on the aspect of symbols, and either isolated or connected form a prophetic or occult script, which describes my life in shadows. The office becomes a page with people as words; the street is a book; the words substituted for the usual people, the different people I encounter; they are expressions for which I lack a dictionary but for which I do not entirely lack understanding. They speak, express themselves; however, they do not speak about themselves, nor do they express themselves to themselves; they are words, as I said, and they do not reveal anything but only allow a glimpse. But in my twilight vision I only vaguely distinguish what these sudden show windows, revealed on the surface of things, disclose of their interior, which they veil and reveal. I understand without knowing, like a blind man being talked to about colors.” (p. 35)

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

Reality and Silence ...

“Reality is only reached in silence.”

– Pablo Picasso

Thursday, January 24, 2008

inside out

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

eternal return

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Monday, January 21, 2008

“Revolution in the Revolution in the Revolution”

“If the capitalists and imperialists
are the exploiters, the masses are the workers.
and the party
is the communist.

If civilization
is the exploiter, the masses is nature.
and the party
is the poets.

If the abstract rational intellect
is the exploiter, the masses is the unconscious.
and the party
is the yogins.

comes out of the seed-syllables of mantras.

(from Gary Snyder, “Revolution in the Revolution in the Revolution”)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

“irrupciones intersticiales”

“En el momento en que se perciben dos cosas, tomando conciencia del intervalo entre ellas, hay que ahincarse en ese intervalo. Si se eliminan simultáneamente las dos cosas, entonces, en ese intervalo, resplandece la Realidad.”

(la estrofa 61 del Vijñana Bhairava, citado por Julio Cortázar en “La muñeca rota,” Último Round)

"Life is all a dream"

“Now this man’s back is asleep. All of him walking in front of me at a speed equal to mine is asleep. He goes along unconsciously. He lives unconsciously. He sleeps, because we all sleep. Life is all a dream. No one knows what he does, no one knows what he wants, no one knows what he knows. We sleep our lives, eternal children of Destiny. For that reason I feel, if it’s true that I can think with this sensation, a shapeless and immense tenderness for all infantile humanity, for all sleeping social life, for all people, for all things.”

“All movements and intentions in life, from the simple life of the lungs to the building of cities and the defense of imperial frontiers – I consider them like a somnolence, things like dreams or resting, involuntarily spent in the interval between one reality and another, between one day and another day of the Absolute. And like someone abstractly maternal, I hover over the bad children as much as over the good ones, all together in the dream in which they are mine. I feel compassion with the generosity of an infinite thing.”

(Bernardo Soares / Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet. Trans. Alfred Mac Adam)

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Cold and dark. A crescent moon. Light. A flame. Smoke. A cigarette in hand on hand at hand. Thoughts breathed in breathed out blown up in smoke. Ash. Footsteps on the sidewalk. Step by step. Step over. Cracks. Cracks. Step on a crack and your back and you’re back to the question. What? No answer. Why? No answer when asking where does it come from. The anxiety. Cracks. A flame. Smoke. Puff puff puffing away in a puff of smoke. Ash. Step by step over. And why? But where oh where does where arise the anxiety and why the anxiety when no anxiety really and really how so but know not better. Impressions. Expressions. Smoke. Ash. Footsteps on the side. Walk. Step. Step up step on step over step to step off the step. Step by step. Breathe in. Breathe out. The smoke rises and curls, higher, still, higher still. Rises and curls. Clouds. The sky. Up up and away. Clouds of smoke. Ash. The air. Breathe. The anxiety. Everywhere. Where am I? Nowhere. Who am I? No one. Or else. Anyone is anywhere at anytime. Anyhow. Tomorrow. Today. Yesterday. Here and now. At once. Thoughts. Stones. Words. Stones. Meaningless meaningful meaning. Stoned. You know? You know that you know not that you know. Or not. There is no anxiety. There are no steps. There is no road. To oblivion. Darkness. Cold. The moon. Light. A flame. Smoke. A cigarette. Ash. Out of hand. And foot. Steps. Cracks. No. This side. No. That side. No. Besides. No. Answer. No. Anxiety.

Copyright © 2008 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira