Friday, December 25, 2009

In 1956 I had opened that door


[We had almost two feet of snow. I spent most of the morning shoveling it out of the uncovered porch and the pathway that led to the cabin. Later in the afternoon, Jemime appeared from across the lake. I could not believe she had made that far. With a book in her hand. Eyes almost impossibly green...]

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chromotherapy - Colored cups



[On a window sill, water-filled colored glasses sit through the day: Violet for meditation, elevation, these subtleties; Blue for words and throat; Green for lungs and heart; Yellow washing liver, intestines, calming anxiety; orange and sex; and finally Red, centered on the sill, more exposed to the sun. Red for the structure of my path. Legs and feet. My armchair, my walking stick, my road diverging in two.]

Monday, December 14, 2009

He used to live there, Joshua






Two o'clock on a July afternoon. Mary had not yet got up. It was so hot, your ears heard these estalos sometimes, as if crickets were all around you.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Macarroni e Pizza




[Doppo il pranzo, ci era andato verso il mare. C'erano tante nuvole. Faceva freddo. Nessuno aveva mai visto il sole quel giorno. Rassegnati, marciamo in silenzio, con il vento in faccia che, per il marciapiede, faceva vortici sui sacchetti di plastica]

Friday, December 11, 2009

Garden in the rain



[Uma estória de camafeus, gato no parapeito da janela, chás e camaleões impossíveis pelo quintal coberto de um capim espesso.

Emily de cabelo preso, quase cega, que conhecera Capote, conheceu o menino que um dia partira para uma cidade perdida entre charcos e cigarras na Louisiana - não muito longe, ela disse, de Lafayette.

Que viu o marido morrer sobre a cama, paralitico até a fala depois de um tiro de revólver pelas costas num bar de Oil City. Que comprara ações da empresa de petróleo quando a primeira tubulação trouxe gás do campo de Caddo até Shreveport. Que perdera a plantação da família e os descendentes de uma centena de escravos, e fora a primeira na cidade a deixar negros beberem nos copos da casa.

Emily que muitos anos depois de 1964, mudou-se para Morgan City, e viveu até o final numa casa em John Street, saía para recolher o leite, o cabelo de um branco de nuvem preso num coque e um camafeu no pescoço, seguro por uma fita de renda.]


[A story of cameos, cat on windowsills, tea and impossible chameleons across a backyard covered with thick leaves.

Emily with her hair on a bun, almost blind, who met Capote, knew of a boy who one day left to a city lost between marshes and cicadas in Louisiana - not too far from Lafayette, she told me once.

She saw her husband dying on a bed, crippled up to his speech after a gunshot on the back, in a bar at Oil City. Who bought stocks from the oil company when the first pipeline bringing gas from Caddo field to Shreveport begun to operate. Who lost her family plantation and the descendants of one hundred slaves, and was the first woman in the city to allow negroes to drink in the house glasses.

Emily who, many years later, moved to Morgan City and lived the rest of her life in a house on John Street, went out every day to collect the milk, her hair white tied in a bun, wearing a cameo held by a lace tape around her neck]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Other conversations



[Pereira was a long time friend of that sidewalk, the shade of that almond tree. He also knew the smells that would come from the sewer, if the weather was too hot. Recognized the breeze that, on cooler days, would bring scents from the market two blocks down to the south, with its many stands selling spices, cheese, codfish, oils, and which fully supplied the whole universe of fancy restaurants in town.

Pereira had grown up through those streets. In the afternoons, he would wear out his voice announcing through his lungs unbelievable deals on fake leather bags, colored cotton socks and men's underwear. His grandfather sat on a leather stool as old as the place - this tabouret, he repeated often, had sat foot there with him the first day he opened those doors for business.

When electric trolleys still moved around, he sold fine fabrics, silk and Egyptian cotton. But business went sour, old residents moved away from the area and that part of downtown was filled mostly with street sellers during the day, catering for people who walked by the area, in and out of work, and homeless people - at night.

By the time the economy sunk really low - in the early eighties - his neighbor Jeremiah sold his business, gathered his things, and moved back to Santana. The building remained closed for decades, until it was sold, torn down, and a parking lot opened in its place. For forty-five years Jeremiah sold glasses. Reading and sun glasses. He passed away not long ago. A few months after Pereira's grandfather died, Joachim.

He drank coffee every afternoon, with cheese bought at the market two blocks down the street. Even when it was very hot - february afternoons were worse. At least he had the shade of the almond tree to cool down, a little, the hot breeze - when there was a breeze.

Pereira saw that tree grow old. He sold many leather bags, under its shade. And cotton socks. And saw and flerted with many women there. Some would stop to buy something, just to talk to him. Others would look at the business, and then at his dark brown eyes, smiling back and shining high on his large face, its skin darkened by the sun.

He never married, although had known many women. Pereira had a large smile, a soft but firm voice - that dropped to a deeper resonating tone when he screamed leather deals - and dark thick hair. Women liked his voice, the smile on his face and his way of looking always sure of what he said. He knew them well, liked them all, but went always back home alone.]

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Shaky Brazilian Congress, at night



Camera shaking, no tripod available. It was lightly raining.
t was about 10pm. There was yet lots of rain to come, that night.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nada, hoje.

[Não choveu. O sol estava forte e o céu de um azul claro, intenso.
Não vi mais além disso.
Como se, apesar de tanta luz, estivesse meio escuro. Ou muito escuro.
Pitch black.E o que houvesse fosse um silêncio de catedrais.]

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hidden garden



[Behind the gate, a summer garden. Plants of an extravagant size, sided by earth-beds of cultivated herbs: the scent of rosemary right behind the wall waking up a collection of tea-making weeds, dispersed throughout the impossible back yard: clove, artemisia, cardo bento, garden mint, jessamine, coriander, lilies, basil, chamomile, snapdragon, lion's mouth, rue, herb-of-grace, sandalwood, dragon's blood.

Fruit trees on the back of the patio: guavas, sapotis, mangos flowering: bats have nightly parties, here. I could smell the scent of recently moist soil, footprints of this gardener following bays and channels across the vegetable garden to the right, leading back to an early walk by an orchard.

On a window sill, water-filled colored glasses sit through the day: violet for elevation, these subtleties; blue for words and throat; green for lungs and heart; yellow washing liver, intestines, calming anxiety; orange and sex; and finally red, centered on the sill, more exposed to the sun. Red for the structure of my path. Legs and feet.
My armchair, my walking stick, my road diverging in two.

Hunger, real hunger, was left on this side of the wall.]