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tearing the rag off the bush again
Two Poems by Narlan Matos PDF E-mail

Narlan MATOS (nar-hlahn MAH-tohs; poet, Brazil; b. 1975, Bahia) was called by Jorge Amado one of the greatest young Brazilian poets. Mr.Matos’s collection Ladies and Gentlemen: the Dawn was awarded the Jorge Amado Foundation Prize. A translator from English and Slovenian, he is also editing the complete works of Dr. Duarte, one of the mentors of the “Tropicalia” and “New Cinema” movements.

The Prophecy

O nameless flowers under the bright sky

O roman columns standing against my madness

O flies of the world unite at my table!

O nests of black wasps of the eve

Light a candle, a red candle for the morning sun

Let the winds twist your arms and your hair will stand up


O silent blue lizards lying in the valleys of eternity

O islands of the Northern Pacific I see your white wall

O swamps of myths and fables and tales I ignore you

Sing a lullaby for the fruits in the jar on the table

Open your eyes and then be blinded by the light


O you who have returned from the dead

Tell me what you have seen

Tell me what you have been

Is there any truth we need desperately to drink?


I just want these days

To get their teeth our of my flesh

They don’t exist but I feel their arid skin over mine

It’s arid and they set my skin on fire

Light consumes my flesh slowly


They bring their nothing and invent me

These days brought me to the world one day

When I slept too much and then it was too late

Watch out for these days!


Where is the blue bird in the red tree?

These days fight against me like a soldier in the front

These days have created the Himalaya like a child

Drawing on the plain paper with crayon

 They have sunk the Andes with white show

And then I can’t see it anymore

But they peel my skin until I find them again

And then I dig up the Andes again

And I find Belmopán and its ruins

And then I sculpt the sand of these days with my words

Translated by Narlan Matos and Kristina Anderon Teixeira


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