Saturday, November 05, 2011

the formula ...

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

red ink ...

"So what are we doing here? Let me tell you a wonderful, old joke from Communist times. A guy was sent from East Germany to work in Siberia. He knew his mail would be read by censors, so he told his friends: 'Let’s establish a code. If a letter you get from me is written in blue ink, it is true what I say. If it is written in red ink, it is false.' After a month, his friends get the first letter. Everything is in blue. It says, this letter: 'Everything is wonderful here. Stores are full of good food. Movie theatres show good films from the west. Apartments are large and luxurious. The only thing you cannot buy is red ink.' This is how we live. We have all the freedoms we want. But what we are missing is red ink: the language to articulate our non-freedom. The way we are taught to speak about freedom— war on terror and so on—falsifies freedom. And this is what you are doing here. You are giving all of us red ink."

(Slavoj Žižek, "We are the Awakening." Speech given at Zuccotti Park to the Occupy Wall Street movement on Saturday, October 8, 2011)

"Em uma velha piada da antiga República Democrática Alemã, um trabalhador alemão consegue um emprego na Sibéria; sabendo que todas as suas correspondências serão lidas pelos censores, ele diz para os amigos: 'Vamos combinar um código: se vocês receberem uma carta minha escrita com tinta azul, ela é verdadeira; se a tinta for vermelha, é falsa'. Depois de um mês, os amigos receberam a primeira carta, escrita em azul: 'Tudo é uma maravilha por aqui: os estoques estão cheios, a comida é abundante, os apartamentos são amplos e aquecidos, os cinemas exibem filmes ocidentais, há mulheres lindas prontas para um romance – a única coisa que não temos é tinta vermelha.' E essa situação, não é a mesma que vivemos até hoje? Temos toda a liberdade que desejamos – a única coisa que falta é a 'tinta vermelha': nós nos 'sentimos livres' porque somos desprovidos da linguagem para articular nossa falta de liberdade. O que a falta de tinta vermelha significa é que, hoje, todos os principais termos que usamos para designar o conflito atual – 'guerra ao terror', 'democracia e liberdade', 'direitos humanos' etc. etc. – são termos FALSOS que mistificam nossa percepção da situação em vez de permitir que pensemos nela. Você, que está aqui presente, está dando a todos nós tinta vermelha."

(Slavoj Žižek, "A tinta vermelha". Tradução de Rogério Bettoni)

Friday, October 14, 2011

to make a (Dadaist) poem ...

"Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are--an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd."

(Tristan Tzara, "Dada Manifesto on Feeble & Bitter Love." Trans. Barbara Wright)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ashley Brown In Memoriam 1923-2011

Who was Ashley Brown?  Ashley Brown was not a clown who rode to town in a coffin.  He was a literary man, a man of letters, a cultured man.  He was an extraordinary, ordinary man of the 20th century.   He was born in another time, in another era.  He was a child of nickelodeons: one for a nickel, two for a dime.  He was the sound of silent cinema.  His fingers tapping away on the piano, his eyes staring away at the screen.  He was a scholar.  A professor.  He knew something about everything.  He knew a lot about a little too.  He knew almost everyone, it seemed.  Flannery O’Conner. Elizabeth Bishop. Elizabeth Spencer (I’d never heard of her).  He decided to phone D.H. Lawrence after he found his name in the phone book.  He had tea with T. S. Eliot, and a mad tea party with Ezra Pound, who used to call him Ash Wednesday, by the way.  To me, he was just Vovô Ashley.  He would give my dad a heart attack. His pats would almost break my back.  I could not take it but there I was, there, there, back, once more, for more.  With his so ons and so forths, he could go on and on, there, there, and so on, and so forth, everywhere we would go.  We used to go to Nonnah’s.  We used to have lunch every Saturday at Yesterday’s, where a giant man in a cowboy hat with a mustache took a bath in a giant bathtub.  He had always been an old man.  He told me to watch out for the little green man, before crossing the street.  He was funny.  He had quite a sense of humor.  He was a kind, simple kind of man.  A very gentle, gentleman.  His glasses were a spectacle.  He was a quiet, meditative man.  He would overcome death on occasion.  He had a hole in his head and a whole lot of ideas, about everything and everyone.  Henry James’ illumination at the train station.  James Joyce’s evolution from lyric to epic to drama. The Waste Land is no waste of time.  “Now, what are you reading these days?” He would ask me.  He was interesting and interested in things. He had an amazing book, music, art collection.  Paul Klee will stay at my place, ok?  Ashley Brown lived in a townhouse downtown on Gregg St.  He would sit at his window sipping away his Earl Grey.  He was an American with English manners.  He had an aristocratic air about him.  At dinner he would serve me a glass of Ginger Ale.  Before bed he usually had a night cap.  At the end of his life he lived in a Glass House, where you can always see who comes to call, where everything hanging from the ceiling and on the walls stays where it is as if by magic, where he slept nights in a glass bed, under glass sheets, where who he was would sooner or later appear etched by a diamond … or maybe not.   He ended up at Still Hopes.  There was still hope, there, there, and so on and so forth. He passed away one day, into the silence without a sound, not with a bang or a whimper.  He was a great one, Ashley Brown, and I will ever be a grateful grandson. 

Marco Alexandre de Oliveira 

(Read by Marc Minsker)
Rutledge Chapel
University of North Carolina
13 October 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

o que passa?

o tempo todo 
o tempo passa 
passa o tempo
de passagem

passa sempre
o presente
de repente
está passado

o futuro
demora …
e agora,
o que passa?

passa o homem
passa fome
pouco come
desde ontem

hoje mesmo
passa mal
passa como

nunca passa
desse estado
está sem tempo
está sem espaço ...

as pessoas
então passam
e os passos
são pesados

passa tudo
tão depressa
se espera
nada passa

tudo passa
todo tempo
toda hora
eu me lembro

o tempo todo
o tempo passa
passa nada ...

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira 


o tempo, sendo tempo, está sendo tempo, por um tempo, no espaço, além do espaço, sendo tempo um espaço de tempo, além do tempo, sendo espaço, um tempo de espaço em que passa um espaço de tempo, sendo tempo por um tempo no espaço ... 

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


coração partido
o pedido de perdão
não cola

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Saturday, September 17, 2011

L’esprit nouveau ...

"Même s’il est vrai qu’il ny a rien de nouveau sous le soleil, il ne consent point à ne pas approfondir tout ce qui n’est pas nouveau sous le soleil. Le bon sens est son guide et ce guide le conduit en des coins sinon nouveaux, du moins inconnus.

Mais n’y a-t-il rien de nouveau sous le soleil ? Il faudrait voir.

Quoi ! on a radiographié ma tête. J’ai vu, moi vivant, mon crâne, et cela ne serait en rien de la nouveauté ? À d’autres!"

(Guillaume Apollinaire, "L’Esprit nouveau et les poètes")

"Even if it is true that there is nothing new under the sun, the new spirit does not refrain from discovering new profundities in all this that is not new under the sun. Good sense is its guide, and this guide leads it into corners, if not new, at least unknown. 

But is there nothing new under the sun? It remains to be seen.

What? My head has been x-rayed.  I have seen, while I live, my own cranium, and that would be nothing new?"

(Guillaume Apollinaire, "The New Spirit and the Poets"." Trans. Roger Shattuck.)

"Mesmo que seja verdade que não há nada de novo sob o sol, não se admite de maneira nenhuma que não se aprofunde tudo o que não é novo sob o sol.

O bom-senso é seu guia e este guia o conduz a ângulos senão novos pelo menos desconhecidos.

Mas não há nada de novo sob o sol?  Seria preciso ver.

Ora! Tiraram uma radiografia de minha cabeça.  Eu vi, estando vivo, meu crânio e isto não seria uma novidade? Ora essa!

(Guillaume Apollinaire, "O espírito novo e os poetas." Trans. Gilberto Mendonça Teles.)


new under the sun ...

"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after."

("Ecclesiastes, Or The Preacher."  The Holy Bible. King James Version) 

"Farolismo" / "Showoffism" ...

"Escritor de nome disse dos meus amigos e de mim que ou éramos gênios ou bestas. Acho que tem razão. Sentimos, tanto eu como meus amigos, o anseio do farol. Si fôssemos tão carneiros a ponto de termos escola coletiva, esta seria por certo o 'Farolismo'. Nosso desejo: indicaremos o caminho a seguir, bestas: náufragos por evitar."

(Mário de Andrade, "Prefácio interessantíssimo", Paulicéia desvairada.)

"A famous writer said about me and my friends that we were either geniuses or jackasses. I think that he is right.  We feel, I as well as my friends, the desire to be showoffs.  If we were sheep to the point of forming a collective school, this would surely be 'Showoffism.'  Our desire: to illuminate. The extreme left in which we have stationed ourselves will not permit halfway solutions.  If we are geniuses: we will point the road to follow; if we are jackasses: shipwrecks to avoid."

(Mário de Andrade, "Extremely Interesting Preface." Hallucinated City. Trans. Jack E. Tomlins)

contrabandista! / smuggler!

"Dom Lirismo, ao desembarcar do Eldorado do Inconsciente no cais da terra do Consciente, é inspeccionado pela visita médica, a Inteligência, que o alimpa dos macaquinhos e de toda e qualquer doença que possa espalhar confusão, obscuridade na terrinha progressista. Dom Lirismo sofre mais uma visita alfandegária, descoberta por Freud, que a denominou Censura. Sou contrabandista! E contrário à lei da vacina obrigatória."

(Mário de Andrade, "Prefácio interessantíssimo", Paulicéia desvairada.)

"Sir Lyricism, when he disembarked from the El Dorado of the Unconscious at the pier of the Land of the Conscious, is inspected by the ship's doctor, Intelligence, who cleanses him of quirks and of all sickness whatever that might spread confusion and obscurity in this progressive little land.  Sir Lyricism undergoes one more visit from the customs officials, a visit discovered by Freud who called it Censure.  I am a smuggler! I am against the vaccination laws."

(Mário de Andrade, "Extremely Interesting Preface." Hallucinated City. Trans. Jack E. Tomlins)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

interessantíssimo / extremely interesting !!!

"Todo escritor acredita na valia do que escreve. Si mostra é por vaidade. Si não mostra é por vaidade também."

(Mário de Andrade, "Prefácio interessantíssimo", Paulicéia desvairada.)

"Every writer believes in the worth of what he writes. If he shows it, it is out of vanity. If he does not show it, it is also out of vanity."

(Mário de Andrade, "Extremely Interesting Preface." Hallucinated City.  Trans. Jack E. Tomlins)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


alma gêmea,
o meu corpo geme
ao te (re)encontrar

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Monday, July 25, 2011

anti-social types ...

"The poet, the artist, the sleuth—whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely 'well-adjusted,' he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists among anti-social types in their power to see environments as they really are."

(Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage)

Saturday, July 23, 2011


cego de tanta luz
tanta luz que me conduz
me conduz a dizer
a dizer que não consigo viver
não consigo viver sem me ver
cego de tanta luz

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Saturday, July 09, 2011

On free spirits ...

“He is called a free spirit who thinks differently from what, on the basis of his origin, environment, his class and profession, or on the basis of the dominant views of the age, would have been expected of him. He is the exception, the fettered spirits are the rule …. what characterizes the free spirit is not that his opinions are the more correct but that he has liberated himself from tradition, whether the outcome has been successful or a failure. As a rule, though, he will nonetheless have truth on his side, or at least the spirit of inquiry after truth: he demands reasons, the rest demand faith.”

(Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human. §225. Trans. R. J. Hollingdale.)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

tudo em vão

-- para o "Vovô" Ashley

o velho olha para trás,
até ver o jovem
que olha para frente
até se ver velho
antes e depois do seu tempo.

que diabo é esse

anjo que caiu?
o homen sonhou com asas
e ao criá-las, subiu

um deus aos céus – adeus!

e no espelho dos seus olhos,

o reflexo da reflexão:
nos olhos do espelho
se reflete tudo em vão …

Copyright © 2005 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly + Bloody Mary

Samuel Ashley Brown, college professor, writer, and scholar, died from natural causes on June 24, 2011, at Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community, Columbia, SC. Born in Louisville, Kentucky on December 19, 1923, to the late Samuel Ashley and Martha Mabel Brown, he was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Holburn Brown, and niece, Carol Brown Wildt.
                He received his BA at the University of Louisville in 1945 and his MA at Vanderbilt University in 1946, where he later received his PhD in 1958. In between his graduate degrees he did graduate studies in historiography at Yale University, 1950-51, and taught as an Instructor in English at Washington and Lee, 1946-53, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, 1956-59. From 1959 he taught at the University of South Carolina, Columbia SC, where he was a Full Professor of English and Comparative Literature from 1972 until his retirement in 1996. He was also a two-time Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1964-65 and 1971-72.
                Known to everyone as Ashley, he lectured widely in Brazil, England, and the U.S. on such modern writers as Mario de Andrade, Elizabeth Bishop, T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Caroline Gordon, Ernest Hemingway, Vinicius de Moraes, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, John Crowe Ransom, Wallace Stevens, Allen Tate, and Peter Taylor.  He also published extensively on many of these authors and others in leading literary journals, including Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, which he helped to found in 1950 while teaching at the college, The Southern Humanities Review, The Southern Review, and The Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. He personally knew many of these same writers, especially Elizabeth Bishop and Flannery O’Connor, and carried on extensive correspondence with them.
                He is survived by his brother Franklin R. Brown and sister-in-law Carolyn Brown, one niece and two nephews, and several great nieces and one great nephew. Also by his adopted son Celso Lemos de Oliveira, his wife Bernadette, and their children Laura and Marco.
                As his longtime friend (since 1952) and then colleague John L. Kimmey commented recently after reading what he deservedly called Ashley’s “remarkable resumé”: “He always prided himself in being not a specialist but a generalist, sort of like his hero Montaigne.” He and Ashley collaborated on seven anthologies, and perhaps John’s last comments on Ashley are the ones that Ashley himself might want to be remembered by: “So much more to say about him. One of my favorites is his telling me once what he liked for lunch, a peanut butter sandwich and a Bloody Mary. An original.”
                He will be buried in Louisville, Kentucky in the family plot.
Plans for a memorial will be announced at a later date.

-- Dr. George Geckle

Monday, June 06, 2011

Flowers of Poetry …

"How poetry is related to music through prosody, the roots of which go deeper into the human soul than any classical theory indicates"

"Why any poet who does not know exactly how many rhymes each word has is incapable of expressing any idea whatever"

"That the poetic phrase can imitate (and in this, poetry is like the art of music and the science of mathematics) a horizontal line, an ascending or descending vertical line; that it can rise straight up to heaven without losing its breath, or fall straight down to hell with the velocity of any weight; that it can follow a spiral, describe a parabola, or can zigzag, making a series of superimposed angles"

"That poetry is like the arts of painting, cooking, and cosmetics in its ability to express every sensation of sweetness or bitterness, of beatitude or horror, by coupling a certain noun with a certain adjective, in analogy or contrast"

(Charles Baudelaire, "Preface to the Flowers." Trans. J.M.)

love & life

love looked life
in the eye

and said:


life stabbed love

in the heart

and said:


nothing …

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Thursday, May 05, 2011

desordem e regresso (versão 2)

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

From "natural" to "social" man ...

“Discontented with your present state, for reasons which threaten your unfortunate descendants with still greater discontent, you will perhaps wish it were in your power to go back; and this feeling should be a panegyric on your first ancestors, a criticism of your contemporaries, and a terror to the unfortunates who will come after you.”

“What, then, is to be done? Must societies be totally abolished? Must meum and tuum be annihilated, and must we return again to the forests to live among bears? This is a deduction in the manner of my adversaries, which I would as soon anticipate as let them have the shame of drawing. O you, who have never heard the voice of heaven, who think man destined only to live this little life and die in peace; you, who can resign in the midst of populous cities your fatal acquisitions, your restless spirits, your corrupt hearts and endless desires; resume, since it depends entirely on ourselves, your ancient and primitive innocence: retire to the woods, there to lose the sight and remembrance of the crimes of your contemporaries; and be not apprehensive of degrading your species, by renouncing its advances in order to renounce its vices. As for men like me, whose passions have destroyed their original simplicity, who can no longer subsist on plants or acorns, or live without laws and magistrates; those who were honoured in their first father with supernatural instructions; those who discover, in the design of giving human actions at the start a morality which they must otherwise have been so long in acquiring, the reason for a precept in itself indifferent and inexplicable on every other system; those, in short, who are persuaded that the Divine Being has called all mankind to be partakers in the happiness and perfection of celestial intelligences, all these will endeavour to merit the eternal prize they are to expect from the practice of those virtues, which they make themselves follow in learning to know them. They will respect the sacred bonds of their respective communities; they will love their fellow-citizens, and serve them with all their might: they will scrupulously obey the laws, and all those who make or administer them …. But they will not therefore have less contempt for a constitution that cannot support itself without the aid of so many splendid characters, much oftener wished for than found; and from which, notwithstanding all their pains and solicitude, there always arise more real calamities than even apparent advantages.”

(Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men.  Trans. G. D. H. Cole)

Friday, April 15, 2011


você e eu,
ninguém cedeu,
você e eu

ninguém cedeu,
alguém perdeu,
ninguém cedeu

alguém perdeu,
tudo fudeu,
alguém perdeu

tudo fudeu,
nada valeu,
tudo fudeu

nada valeu,
você e eu,
nada valeu

você e eu ...
(se sente que)
você e eu ...
(a gente se)
você e eu ...

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Friday, April 01, 2011

um belo dia

um belo dia de manhã o sol nasceu de novo e se escondeu atrás de uma nuvem que de tarde cobriu o céu e assombrou a terra de noite com uma chuva que afogou a madrugada e apagou a promessa de amanhã ser um belo dia ...

Copyright © 2012 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Thursday, March 31, 2011


acesso fechado:
assim eu passo
pelo outro lado

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

sensual poem

see you
hear you
smell you
touch you
taste you

feel you
all over

in me

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

poema sensual

para tê



em mim

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

on progress ...

Some think the world is getting better and better. Others think the world is getting worse and worse. If everyone thought the world was getting much better or worse, then that would be worst. If no one thought the world was getting any better or worse, then that would be best.


Monday, March 21, 2011


In honor of northern spring: the fruit of work. In honor of southern autumn: the harvest of labor. In honor of World Poetry Day: a collection of words.

Please check out the relaunch of:


Friday, March 04, 2011

La búsqueda del presente ...

“Sentí que el mundo se escindía: yo no estaba en el presente. Mi ahora se disgregó: el verdadero tiempo estaba en otra parte. Mi tiempo ... era un tiempo ficticio. A pesar del testimonio de mis sentidos, el tiempo de allá, el de los otros, era el verdadero, el tiempo del presente real. Acepté lo inaceptable .... Así comenzó mi expulsión del presente.”

“Decir que hemos sido expulsados del presente puede parecer una paradoja. No: es una experiencia que todos hemos sentido alguna vez; algunos la hemos vivido primero como una condena y después transformada en conciencia y acción. La búsqueda del presente no es la búsqueda del edén terrestre ni de la eternidad sin fechas: es la búsqueda de la realidad real.”

“Comencé a escribir poemas. No sabía qué me llevaba a escribirlos: estaba movido por una necesidad interior difícilmente definible. Apenas ahora he comprendido que entre lo que he llamado mi expulsión del presente y escribir poemas había una relación secreta. La poesía está enamorada del instante y quiere revivirlo en un poema; lo aparta de la sucesión y lo convierte en presente fijo. Pero en aquella época yo escribía sin preguntarme por qué lo hacía. Buscaba la puerta de entrada al presente ....”

“Así como hemos tenido filosofías del pasado y del futuro, de la eternidad y de la nada, mañana tendremos una filosofía del presente. La experiencia poética puede ser una de sus bases. ¿Qué sabemos del presente? Nada o casi nada. Pero los poetas saben algo: el presente es el manantial de las presencias.”

“Entonces las puertas de la percepción se entreabren y aparece el otro tiempo, el verdadero, el que buscábamos sin saberlo: el presente, la presencia.”

(Octavio Paz, Conferencia Nobel 1990)

La búsqueda de la modernidad ...

“Buscaba la puerta de entrada al presente: quería ser de mi tiempo y de mi siglo. Un poco después esta obsesión se volvió idea fija: quise ser un poeta moderno. Comenzó mi búsqueda de la modernidad.”

“¿Qué es la modernidad? Ante todo, es un término equívoco: hay tantas modernidades como sociedades. Cada una tiene la suya. Su significado es incierto y arbitrario .... Un nombre que cambia con el tiempo, ¿es un verdadero nombre? La modernidad es una palabra en busca de su significado: ¿es una idea, un espejismo o un momento de la historia? ¿Somos hijos de la modernidad o ella es nuestra creación? Nadie lo sabe a ciencia cierta. Poco importa: la seguimos, la perseguimos.”

“No referiré mis aventuras en la persecusión de la modernidad: son las de casi todos los poetas de nuestro siglo. La modernidad ha sido una pasión universal .... En los últimos años se ha pretendido exorcizarla y se habla mucho de la ‘postmodernidad’. ¿Pero qué es la postmodernidad sino una modernidad aún más moderna?”

“La búsqueda de la modernidad nos llevó a descubrir nuestra antigüedad .... Inesperada lección histórica que no sé si todos han aprendido: entre tradición y modernidad hay un puente. Aisladas, las tradiciones se petrifican y las modernidades se volatilizan; en conjunción, una anima a la otra y la otra le responde dándole peso y gravedad.”

“La búsqueda de la modernidad poética fue una verdadera quéte, en el sentido alegórico y caballeresco que tenía esa palabra .... Porque la modernidad no es una escuela poética sino un linaje, una familia esparcida en varios continentes y que durante dos siglos ha sobrevivido a muchas vicisitudes y desdichas .... Ser una tradición y no una doctrina le ha permitido, simultáneamente, permanecer y cambiar. También le ha dado diversidad: cada aventura poética es distinta y cada poeta ha plantado un árbol diferente en este prodigioso bosque parlante. Si las obras son diversas y los caminos distintos, ¿qué une a todos estos poetas? No una estética sino la búsqueda. Mi búsqueda no fue quimérica, aunque la idea de modernidad sea un espejismo, un haz de reflejos. Un día descubrí que no avanzaba sino que volvía al punto de partida: la búsqueda de la modernidad era un descenso a los orígenes. La modernidad me condujo a mi comienzo, a mi antigüedad. La ruptura se volvió reconciliación. Supe así que el poeta es un latido en el río de las generaciones.”

“La modernidad es la punta del movimiento histórico, la encarnación de la evolución o de la revolución, las dos caras del progreso.”

“Asistimos al crepúsculo del futuro. La baja de la idea de modernidad, y la boga de una noción tan dudosa como ‘postmodernidad’, no son fenómenos que afecten únicamente a las artes y a la literatura: vivimos la crisis de las ideas y creencias básicas que han movido a los hombres desde hace más de dos siglos.”

“En mi peregrinación en busca de la modernidad me perdí y me encontré muchas veces. Volví a mi origen y descubrí que la modernidad no está afuera sino adentro de nosotros. Es hoy y es la antigüedad más antigua, es mañana y es el comienzo del mundo, tiene mil años y acaba de nacer .... Presente intacto, recién desenterrado, que se sacude el polvo de siglos, sonríe y, de pronto, se echa a volar y desaparece por la ventana. Simultaneidad de tiempos y de presencias: la modernidad rompe con el pasado inmediato sólo para rescatar al pasado milenario y convertir a una figurilla de fertilidad del neolítico en nuestra contemporánea. Perseguimos a la modernidad en sus incesantes metamorfosis y nunca logramos asirla. Se escapa siempre: cada encuentro es una fuga. La abrazamos y al punto se disipa: sólo era un poco de aire. Es el instante, ese pájaro que está en todas partes y en ninguna. Queremos asirlo vivo pero abre las alas y se desvanece, vuelto un puñado de sílabas. Nos quedamos con las manos vacías.”

(Octavio Paz, Conferencia Nobel 1990)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

on vocation ...

“By this time I should have been delivered of any problems about my true identity. I had already made my simple profession. And my vows should have divested me of the last shreds of any special identity.

But then there was this shadow, this double, this writer who had followed me into the cloister.

He is still on my track. He rides my shoulders, sometimes, like the old man of the sea. I cannot lose him. He still wears the name of …. Is it the name of an enemy?

He is supposed to be dead.”

“Maybe in the end he will kill me, he will drink my blood.

Nobody seems to understand that one of us has got to die.

Sometimes I am mortally afraid. There are the days when there seems to be nothing left of my vocation – my contemplative vocation – but a few ashes. And everybody calmly tells me: ‘Writing is your vocation.’”

(Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain.)

diálogos (des)familares 3


Filho: Tô muito cansado.

Pai: Quer descansar?

Filho: Tô cansado de descansar!

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira

Thursday, January 13, 2011

tudo está sob descontrole

Copyright © 2011 Marco Alexandre de Oliveira