Sometimes just a word triggers it. Mostly, it’s the longing and the aching that have become part of who she is. Then the urge, the surge, the desire to plunge into the universe of words. Trying to discover the best combination, the structure that will translate the multitude of what she is. Diaspora is a good one. It shows the movement, a dislocation, the displacement. But as it frequently happens in the world of words, it is not their literal sense, as it were, but the translation that they can undergo. That vague thing called metaphor which is a word being explored in other cluster of  associative worlds without losing its initial meaning. Nothing is lost in a metaphor. The elasticity of words stretching towards possibilities. Towards something else. This is what fascinates her. To depart from its entry in the dictionary and from there, to explore its potentialities. Some words invite this movement, some of them in fact require it. This is the case of diaspora. First its applicability, the precision.

Break down diaspora and this is what you have: DIA [across] + SPORA [scatter]

  • the dispersion of any people from their original homeland.
    “The diaspora of people from Brazil”

Arizona happened.

Arizona happened.
Like life happens.

It popped up as a possibility
Just a concept, Arizona was a reckless adventure
One unlikely spot in the map

As a reality,
Arizona was radical, raw
And painful.
Arizona was a mirror

Arizona was a punch in the face,
a desert begging for life
an empty space waiting to be filled
by my crisp Brazilian soul

It took such a long time
So many days
-and nights-
for me to call you home, Arizona.

Finally to find myself in the middle
of your aridness.

Who am I to tell you about the languages of the desert?

[Scottsdale, Arizona]

Who am I to tell you, indeed,
about the languages of the desert.
I am not a native
who holds the secrets of the land in his heart;
Nor a geologist or a geographer
who can teach you the history of the desert’s sedimentary rocks
Not even a poet am I
able to translate the desert with the unexpected metaphor.

I am a mere foreigner,
a transplanted heart
accustomed to wet lands
to lush biospheres of greens
and predictable rainy days

The aridness of the desert
has however penetrated my foreign soul
The shapeless rolling oceans of sand
now house my broken heart
shattered in thousand tiny pieces
that, much like the desert itself,
will no longer be able to find its original shape

(“In the desert, you can’t remember your name”, the song warns you)

It is from this void,
From this shapeless
dark, somber,
bottomless, solemn, even,
That I tell you this:
The beautiful waves of browns, oranges and reds
that color the ancient body of the desert,
The stunning blues from the sheltering sky
that hovers above the desert colors
punctuated by the unbidden white cloud,
The wildflowers that courageously paint the desert hues with yellows or purples
for a few days on a given lucky Spring
are but facades.
The desert, my friend, hides all sort of mirages and fictions

Make no mistake about it:
The desert is a place of
blacks and whites
It is a point of extremes:
Cold or hot
Good or evil.
In its essence the desert is a zone of ultimate tensions
And struggles
It is a battlefield
where rawness is a rule
and cruelty is the law of the land.
It is where death confronts life face to face.
(And we know who wins)

Beware of the desert.

Lock, stock and barrel.

She called it the adventure of her life. With a glint in her. Little did she know that it would be nothing short of a revolution. How it would unscrupulously penetrate her pores, melt the walls of her entrails, corrode the established life.

No leaf would be left unturned.

He knew it and he was afraid for her. She was so fragile. Brave, granted. But emotionally flimsy, like the wing of a butterfly. Maybe her intelligence would compensate. Fill the void.

What he didn’t know is how much her sadness would sadden him.

You know we are doing it lock, stock and barrel, right? She smiled her disarming smile, waved her hand and dismissed the question, transfixed by the attraction.

English Teacher

I’ve just listened to Karen Carpenter on spotify. It sometimes occurs to me that it was through my childhood fascination with her beautiful voice and melodies that I became fascinated with English. I desperately needed to understand what she was singing so I started to translate the lyrics with a dictionary and somehow put the words together so that they made some sense to me. I think I was my very first English teacher.

The rest is history.