Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cleaving pessoa

Against Boredom

“No one has yet
defined tedium in a
language comprehensible
to those who have never
experienced it”
—Fernando Pessoa,
The Book of Disquiet

I get nauseated—thinking about it
Not just boredom—with other worlds
But with myself—inside these worlds
Whether real—or imaginary worlds
These heteronyms—of mine live
For one reason—to escape boredom

I escape—frustrating tedium this way
Detouring my way—around the usual
Disappointed longings—and discomforts
Nagging me—making my life weary
Transcending—the same old boring
Tacky visceral—intellectual uncertainties

Heteronymity is—performance art
Giving some meaning—to the boring
Day-to-day hegemony—of immobility
Seizing us—with profound emptiness
Making us yawn at first—ending up
Screaming—in the wainscoting

Boredom—not just with ourselves
But all our other selves—as well
Alberto Caeiro—The Magician
Ricardo Reis—The Hanging Man
Álvaro De Campos—Jaded Queen Bee
And of course—our Twins in the Mirror

Our heteronyms—exist for one thing
To help us escape—from our prison
But then they bore us—so we move on
Their voices—like broken records
Nauseating—repelling us even more
Than before—when we were alone?

We end up like—cheesy prisoners
Freedom worthless—when we’re
Bored, restless—full of gauche ennui
Abhorring life’s—crummy puniness
Even though—our chains disappear
We still stand nude—on an auction block

There’s a placid beauty—to writing
A trunk full of—scribbled alter egos
Shadows of ourselves—winged others
Twin partners in crime—the kind of
Doubles that—become us for awhile
Doppelgangers—in the dark mirror

This Trunk—deep as the ocean
Frigid as the Atlantic—turgid whitecaps
The impossibility—of being ourselves
All thrown together—scraps of paper
Scribbled notes—indecipherable
Glossed anguishes—pale palimpsests

We end up—here in the interstices
Meandering around—in these margins
Were we awake—when I jotted down
My others—that never existed?
Am I as incomprehensible—to you
As they were to me—strangers?

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