in São Paulo
My night thoughts spider scuttle
to the web of thoughts,
to be forgotten in the halogenic daylight.
Pigeon heralds coo chromatic arches of the dawn,
and by the afternoon’s descent,
a gentle samba on a headland far away
calls in the rain.
Lightning flashes in the belly of the city sky,
deus irae in smoky yellow,
and castle clouds are falling
in plastotechnic raindrops
that merge and rise to build again
as solid as the world.
The walls that once were painted by Sereia—
the marble halls beneath the sea,
have been defaced,
graffitied by a stranger’s hand,
and in the kitchen, I come across
a part-time stranger,
tossing potato salad.
Her eyes are speckled quail’s eggs.
She sees too much, she hears too much—
other’s sad goodbyes, unanswered lamentations,
dissonant harmonics on the wind
that long ago I chose to put aside.
Do not intromit yourself
into the affairs of others.
I have no place in your pathetic circus,
I’m just a summer memory,
cheap perfume on a pillow.
While the salad’s floating at its apogee
beneath the kitchen ceiling,
we inspect the bedroom walls.
It wasn’t me, you drew it in your sleep:
a child’s sea of lines and cusps,
I compare the cursive mystery with
standard potato salad—
there are similarities and differences,
and I remember colored ink
hidden in chameleonic darkness,
In dusty academia, I teach the elements
of anti-grav potato salad theory
pro bono to a class of automated chefs.
But before the seasons turn,
those androids will be missing me,
wiping away their hydroelectric tears.
I’ll farewell this airless planet, fly by
salad-powered spacecraft to the moon,
and find the dreams and strangers
- Deus irae: angry god, a 1976 novel by Philip K. Dick and Roger Zelazny.
- Sereia (mermaid in Portuguese) appearing here. In Marisa Monte’s song Lenda das Sereias (Legend of the Mermaids) mermaids sing like this: lalaó, oquê, ialoá. Health Warning: do not listen while sailing close to rocky outcrops.
- Serving on standards committees (in my case, serving means sleeping). The anti-grav potato salad standard is ISO00000:2017(dm) with dill and mayonnaise.
sea and cake (part above)