Cleaving pessoa

Sentimental Education
—for Maria José

“sick pageboy
of my soul
and Queen”
—Fernando Pessoa,
The Book of Disquiet

I don’t write—or publish
Nor do I write—merely
To produce art—but instead
Writing is—simply António
All my letters—so hopelessly
Illogically totally—over-refined

Lucidity—and precise poetry
Can’t speak—my inner dialog
The way labyrinths—always
Detour me—divagate me
Through these—Lisbon streets
To cruise—the Chiado

Most people—are other people
Their thoughts—someone else’s
Their lives—monkey see monkey do
Their feelings—in quotations
Oscar Wilde wrote—De Profundis
Disillusioned—he died in Paris

I ubiquitize—everything
Writing letters—leaving them
For somebody else—my love for
António scattered—thru them
Fooling myself—multiple personalities
Shifting persons—and tenses

I’m a foolhardy—closet case
Cheating the odds—playing against
Myself—with a score of doubles
Supposedly—a Fiction of Interludes
But actually—achieving nothing
The only real thing—is António

Lisbon is my City—a Novel of Love
A Map of Courtship—Carte du Tendre
Traversed by—a River of Affection
Lakes of Indifference—to the East
Sincerity, Thoughtlessness—Spite
Even now—the Twenty-First Century

Dead lips—chaste as Hunchbacks
I’m Maria José—crippled & dying of TB
Writing desperate letters—to António
The young—handsome metalworker
So alive, so muscular—each morning
Walking to work—beneath my window

António—my Portuguese Lover
My one & only—Sailor of Desire
His pubes—a Forest of Estrangement
His trousers—a splendid falling Curtain
Giving exquisite—pleasing exteriority
To his most powerful—male desires

Intensely becoming—handsome António
His exotic pungency—the tantalizing
Hurt of his—decadent gratification
His troubling—anguished convulsions
His long & slow—intimate exhaustion
Tinged with—disquiet & melancholy

No comments: