Jet-Lagged Poem

Waly Salomão

To travel, for what and where to,
if we become unhappier
upon return? Unhappy
and empty, situations and places
disappeared in the drain,
mixed up streets and rivers, great walls, chapels,
panoplies, landscapes, squares,
duty-free shops and shopping malls . . . 

Large bird of an international route sucked
by jet turbines.

And bridge, rope, cable car, catacombs
of the wine club, sorbets, sherry, scanners,
hydrants, magasin d'images et de signes,
seven types of ambiguity,
all things
lose the commas that separate them
a wagon full of connectives explodes-implodes
the gentian violet sky reflected
in the needle of the glass skyscraper
stations Bouqinistes megabookstores
la folie du voir bistros cinemas cities
whole countries engulfed in the storm drain.
High cuisine and junk food alternate.
The kaleidoscopic carnival of the streets
where the hard metallic alloy of tongues
spills into the slangy verve of trip-ups
full of the bullshit of the motherfuckers and
mothersuckers and fuck yourself up.
Is it day? Is it morning? Is it evening? Is it night?

Sleeping? Awaking? Somnambulent?
Dayambulent or noctambulent?
Like an arrow, ripping the lap of the maternal
tongue. From the warm vagina, like a shooting
Like an arrow: multilingualism is the goal.
I search for "los papeles rotos de las calles"
and in a rectangle of the Girona wall turned into
the back of a tiger for the cackle of a god
here is what I make out:

És quan dormo que hi veig clar!!!

And Mediterranean immanentism flourishes
carpe diem carnality skin honey-colored from the varnish of
Antoní Tàpies' Gran Torso in the manner
of a Michaelangelo in the basement of the Louvre
in Celebració de la mel. Highlight for la noche
oscura of pubic hairs. "Pubic hairs,"
that's how Ana Ramis speaks dressed in a prêt-à-porter
Kenzo. "Pubes" in my roughspeak.
Chaos like a game of arms, a cosmic
jigsaw puzzle. The world like a game
that disarms itself. The emerald-green moon
of the sewers of Natintigou, Cotonou, Abidjan,
skips a continent and shines incontinently on the screen
of the whitened face of plaster
of a queer Our Lady of the Branches
exploited by a cruel pimp
and cornered by Japanese handycams.
Is the street a street-street or interactive virtual reality?


Use the information at the top of the screen
to plan your fighting strategies and
keep track of your progress . . . 

—Point out your direction to me, where do you find yourself
—I am exactly at the corner of Walk Street and
Don't Walk Street.

The beasts neigh
and leaf through The Goth Almanac
of old poetic nobility.
The endangered sun, hazy hours, and disordered
spaces are my materials.
False bottom of a contrabandist's luggage.
Guava jam pie, the crust
a cocaine filling.
Customs and customs agents
meanwhile, scarecrows and disused corsets
from a universe in Vorticist erosion.
Do I inhabit my legal name or do I contraband
barbarians and barbarity in my bulge?
I smuggle burning Surinam cherries, Brazilian Tanager birds,
a truck of pilgrims from Bom Jesus da Lapa,
the word LAWD and branches of Inga trees.
The rare wine that exploded inside the suitcase
and dyed red the white and expensive shirt from the brand
Comme des Garçons.

And all:
             the same paste that the worms of entropy
amalgamate into a single compound.

But to stay, for what and where to,
if there is no remedy, syrup, or elixir,
if the foot does not find ground to step on,
even in the do-it-all English footwear
of Dr. Martens,
(the feeling of having your foot stuck in jackfruit)
if traveling is the only way of being happy
and full?

Writing is to avenge loss.
Although the material has dissolved completely,
like melted cheese.

Writing is to avenge?
From loss?
Notwithstanding? In good standing.

translated from the Portuguese by Maryam Monalisa Gharavi