Liquid nights

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Some places are sweeter to

drink in

than others

Mont Martre

Paris, Lapa, Rio

always with no roof

so the stars can freely

dust you dreamy

while spirits melt the city

and turn you liquid too

to sway into the night

to transmute energies

of the Wonder who

rips apart

artists

and other

receptive souls

Bald Poetry and a Beat Root Passport

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Bald Poetry and a Beat Root Passport

I dream of Ariel. His ears cut off, van Gogh wasn’t crazy either. He smiles. I reach for freedom, for a razor, and carefully slice off my left ear. I stay with it in my hand, looking at it, my cut off ear, overtaken by doubt, should I sew it back on, if I don’t what does it mean.

I wake up in the middle of my dilemma. Morning shower, my razor in the bathroom. I shave a little piece of my head and marvel at the sensation, pass Karité to protect my newborn skin. I look weird, I look beautiful.

A kiss on my naked head, never felt anything like it!

**My last post received over 180 visitors and 280 views, I never had this kind of traffic before! I can only take it as a clear sign that I ought to pursue a career as a bald poet**

… This Sunday I am going to use my European beetroot colored passport to return to Gringolândia (well, most likely that is, because lately few things are very predictable).

I am looking forward to soy lattes and to the gentle spirit of the people, the softness of the peace which seeps out of the walls. The peace which silently suffocates the outrageous, disturbing pulse of the life that beats in everything, beats inside me stronger now, after two therapeutic months cuddled at the chest of Brazil.

Rio is pulse; pumping out chaos, color, creativity, sex, celebration, violence and beauty, beauty, beauty.

”There are a lot of things which could be a lot better in Rio, but it has a really good magic”

Magic. That’s what I feel. And I am aware that I am experiencing Rio from the point of view of my European passport privilege, a ticket to a life with a kind of freedom which means not ever having to seriously worry about violence, visas, or money to pay for health care.

Its a comfort privilege, its separation too. I live in a fenced off condomínio, Fortress Europe. It is a wealth which doesn’t show up on my bank account.

I am not leaving with a crushed heart this time, but with a suffocating feeling in my chest from the expantion created by having so much love compressed into tiny chambers, knowing that I am of this too: it is inside me.

And I can come back.

Still… I sit blank-faced looking at Avia’s page booking my connecting flight out of here, scanning my mind for another option…

Human

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Human

I cut it short
I cut it off, my razor stuck in the waves
I didn’t plan it.
skin I never saw
under my hair

I shed from axiety, my hair, I always had.

Under my hair our skin is the same
my skin is the same as anybody else’s
I’m human
I want to press myself against him and whisper it
”I’m human”

Post Traumatic Paralysis, Body of Life

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Rainy street, late night and no cabs stopping for me. I’m alone. I tag along a group of people walking in the direction of Lapa, feeling less than calm, but thankful for the rain and the plastic coat providing a blurry camouflage towards the world. Its a calm street really, and there are lots of people walking, I wouldn’t be scared if it wasn’t because I knew that I’m supposed to.

The group I walk behind turns the corner, I speed up, careful to take long assertive steps as you’re supposed to. A cabby stops for me.

”You can’t let a beautiful woman walk around in the rain alone, an ugly one is even okay, but not a beautiful one”

”Yeah right? Much less at this hour. But you know, sometimes I think it would be easier to be ugly”

”How is that?”

”Its not all the attention you get which is pleasant, like, lets say the kind of attention you get isn’t always the most respectful one…”

”Listen, you may not believe me, but I’m telling the truth: I beleive all women should be treated with care and love. I have many prostitutes for friends, I think, it doesn’t matter what a woman does or where she goes. When she is off work she is first and foremost a woman, not a prostitute, that’s just what she does, and she deserves the same respect and care as any woman does.”

”We are all human beings first and foremost, with the same dignity”

”Exactly. Would you believe I never lifted my hand against a woman in my life?”

I believe it, what I don’t believe is that it should be something phenomenal. But sometimes maybe it is. I go through my wallet for money but spent it all. I tell him I’m sorry but only have a hundred, he says he can change it, I discretely fish out a 100 reais bill from my bra.

He takes it and folds it delicately.

”This one from you I will take special care of. You are very beautiful”

I tell him that if I am beautiful all credit goes to God who made me as she made everybody.

”When God made you he was in love on the beach”

Our conversation is over. He waits until I’m inside the door. Upstairs in the hostel I re-feel this down I can’t seem to shake… A vague feeling of chock from the louring insecurity that lives in every dark corner in the street. The same one which used to make me run towards men, wanting them to protect me. Creating saviors in shiny armors from the broken up pieces of hope for decency lying around after so much gendered violence in so many brutally subtle forms.

Its a self negating circle of dependency when you rely on men to protect you from men, and it isn’t freedom.

A different kind of voice calls me up on the phone and soothes my torn nerves, puts the smile back behind my eyes…

I think of how much energy would be liberated for women if everyday machismo and its serial traumas were removed. More than half of the times I share my story with a woman (talking about the more serious ones here, and not just the everyday occurences), she tells me one back, stories which break your heart no matter how many you have heard. Stories invisible and unaccounted for in any statistics. Its not restricted to any specific geographical area or any culture although, obviously, some places are much worse than others.

I’m daunted by the thickness of the silences, and the cruelty of the events, but humbled by feeling how fast silence turns rawly felt connections and the cruelty of our experiences turns a deep feeling of sisterhood.

Longing and belonging: loving

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Last time I came to Brazil I threw my self head first into an uncontrolable fascination turned romance which made everything around me electric with promise of possibility. I had opened my hands to let go of everything else and they were both free to cling to this. So I clung. As a climber to the side of a mountain (I fell and bruised, of course.)

This time was different, I came to Brazil already in a love story; in love, with a heart and a place. I came with my left palm open, a small bird sitting in it. I trode gently, I wished for it to stay, to nest, I carried it, carefull to shield it without smuthering it. I enjoyed its singing so, its hopeful singing from an honest heart opened, in devotion, in bravery, as if it didn’t realize how exposed it became. What I longed for, what I longed to belong to.

The bird flew… left but the softness of its kiss in my hand, tears on my cheeks. The fleeting smell of roses and aching oceans of gratitude…

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