Blesok no. 83, March-April, 2012

Introduction to nihilism
Translated by Ana Hudson and the author

João Luís Barreto Guimarães

November 16th

    The girl in black wants me to tell her the time. She has been heaving sighs as someone who has waited and waited, and she wants me to tell her the time, which numbers the clock-hands cover on the watch face in that precise suspended moment.
    Three sighs later, a young man approaches and kisses the coffee taste in her lips. He guesses he is late. It is written all over her face.
    The young man looks uneasily at me. He pops the time question.
     “Nine twenty nine”, I hear her butting in.
    He takes her hand, multiplying apologies. Courage failed me to strike nine thirty two.

October 26th

    It has been a while since I last had a coffee in the chipped cup. Thanks to it I came to realize that the cup’s recurrent use rate among customers averages once per month.
    September went by and brief as it may be, I had no luck in the chipped cup draw. Day after day I held every cup’s tiny white handle, eagerly anticipating on the ceramic’s perimeter that familiar wound. The last time I had used it, someone’s lips had kissed it so caressingly in the morning that by the end of the day the cup was still wearing those indelible marks of affection. It’s not easy to wash off a kiss.
    Every now and then chance tears the café apart and the unmistakable voice of recklessly scattered shards all over the mosaic floor comes to us from behind the counter.
    I seriously suspect the coffee cup is no longer.

Introduction to nihilism

Last night I texted my Father
but he didn’t text me back. I cld c it coming. His
body was lowered a
month ago tomorrow
none of us assigned his Sony Ericsson to
the coffin’s rectangle. It was
one of an ancient kind (very cherished
left switched on for some time despite the lack of conversation
it started to notify: battery running low.
I doubt the reception was good
down below.
It used to be the case whenever he went to the basement.
It so happens that now if I want to reach my Father
I have to call God. And I don’t talk to Him.
I do not want not to say (looking at Him
eye to Eye:)
«no death is ever fair»
«it was all too soon» «by the way
will you put my Father on?».
I have tried calling God
the line sounds always engaged.

*** (put on a record)

put on a record. the rain won’t last
longer than the emptying of the clouds were
I to confess the things I threw away in the sea
(the murder weapon words in a bottle)

I won’t give this poem a name it would be like
subtitling the days and I: I’m just like
water (taking the shape of the places it floods)

let me say it again (for those who just now
have put on this poem:) in mother’s fruit basket
the seasons follow each other and the record

was so old so old that at
a certain pointso old so old that at a
certain pointso old so old that at a certain
pointso old so old tha

The chairs

a fly landed here

lecture was attended by 13 students and
27 chairs. All in all: a full house.
When the
lesson was over the 13 students left and
right then I counted 20 couples of chairs.
The chairs are never absent from the lectures
I teach
they listen to me quietly
(very straight-backed).
It’s good to see that the chairs get it all
the first time round
they seem to be more mature (twice as much
on the ground).

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