Poems From The Portuguese
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Vasco Gato

(B. 1978)

To go over Vasco Gato’s poetry, we need silence. For Vasco Gato also brings silence: he doesn’t interrupt the 'warn-out' ways of the world and thus the world doesn’t notice the 'voluntary' presence of the poet who then 'surrounds' it and captures it in the word. In that moment, even the 'cry' sounds like the best of 'blues'. To undergo Vasco Gato’s poetry, we must conquer fear. For only by leaning our body on the poem will we avoid the 'fall'.

Vasco Gato was born in Lisbon, where he now works as a translator

Poetry books since 2000:

Um Mover de Mão (2000), Imo (2003), Lúcifer (2003), A Prisão e Paixão de Egon Schiele (2005), 47 (2005), Omertà (2007), Cerco Voluntário (2009), Rusga (2010), Napule (2011), A Fábrica (2013), Primeiro Direito (2016)

Poems

5.

24 Setembro, 2018By bitcliq

Let no one fret
over the uneven pulse with which any other
fingers the filigree of his heart.
Like a hesitant guitar
in the ditches of silence,
like a voice crowned
by the fearlessness of failure.
Thus, and only thus, will we find
our religion:
without the scandal of endorsing it.

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See the old

See the old.
Sore, demented, derelict.
They live for now
the leprosy of us all.
We don’t touch them.
They stink.
They forget.
They grab nothingness.
And we, big-headed,
toast with the wine
they once
sipped,
scorning death
which, as bitter
as our indifference,
we shall
taste.

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The thin sleep…

The thin sleep of dogs is finest. I see them summoned
to the floor, serenely sifting the dunes of sleep. Whereas I,
I produce insomnia like a factory line: hour by hour, night
by night. It is the metallurgy of something that can’t be
welded, me and the furnace of my deceits, of my
losses. I’d postulate that every man, overcoming his fear
of excommunication, should hand his body over
to indiscretion. His body prowling the world. Overturning
everything, sniffing like a dog the absurd flower of pleasure.

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From one extreme to the other

From one extreme to the other
the impenetrable shadow of the trams
the still of glasses and the water that shapes them
the propriety of those who return
like statues of sand crumbling down the avenues
and all of the traffic lights seen from space
innocent
and cold

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43.

Of course one fears somebody might enter in through one’s eyes. But you may burn. To your temperature I am mercury, palm-lines, lip, breath. I go through you because you come through me and as where we are raiders we surrender to the charms of restitution.

You and I at the threshold of a place that will lock everything inside a tree. Here where minutes are the street that we can wait in all afternoon for silence, where your body weighs exactly the measure of my desire.

I am an animal. I need the daily transfusion of an enormous quantity of warmth.

Will you touch me?

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3.

I fold myself into the silence of your
arrival. The blurred mirror
of your name accelerates in me
the evidence of this body
in which I persist.
You make me dense, organic,
compact around the intense absurdity
of imagining our reciprocal
downfall.
Because I feel I’m already walking on air,
every step is further away,
waiting for you to rise, for you to feel me
a hair’s breadth away from you, fallen at last
as a consequence of surrender.
Between us and the world
is a far
cry.

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Scalinatella

The gelatinous crown surrounding the city
melted. And here I was born in soot,
among scrupulously misled people ,
blues being bled from a sharp harmonica,
and never again has my mouth
kissed purity.
My very bones changed as I saw
that great cloud, a deadly sea horse
bearing down on the incompetent harbour,
on the sweat-dressed washing lines,
onto the snapshot of my
worn out family.

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