⌉|⌈ – Today’s Menu: A Block of Hope

Sadness doesn’t hold a price, nor it is for sale. Rather, I’d fiddled in believing it is merely a currency, a pneumatic expander that widens our ability to emote, fans out the colours of the world and allows further synthesis. Our exchange system in a haggard world whose incessant scouring is all-too-bound to our ability to process it, a world where beauty augments and bursts at distance, and the further such distance, it pulses more, augments more. The more unattainable — more desire to attain it, and more sadness spent in trade for a semblance of being alive. Alive in collateral pair with mutability, alive as someone whose agency ripples throughout a tangible open space, where our voice reverberates and bounces endlessly over anything, even silence. A deep yearn for control, when we are merely the consumers of a reality whose fan of products simulates control, but doesn’t accurately feel like it. But the necessity of feeling alive, or even

read more ⌉|⌈ – Today’s Menu: A Block of Hope

Thebian Dark (english poetry)

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(I work as a carpenter) — today, I was installing a smooth-stone tabletop and noticed that the colour and design of that stone was named “Thebes Black“. It is interesting what the mind can create when it takes a vision by the hand and sprints with it. Shortly after, during my lunchtime, I wrote this composition based on the name of that stone.

It wasn’t made with full-fledge, hence why it is much shorter that I would ideally make it, but I hope you enjoy it, even if just a bit. (perhaps just the smile of reading how it was inspired by such a mundane thing)


JOHNNY

Uneasy Romance with Mayhem (english poetry)

Uneasy1Uneasy2


Anyone attentive to my poetics will realise they have been quite volatile lately, becoming more robust and curated, and perhaps a bit more modernistic. Most of these, I wouldn’t truly call poems, but rather, short essays on sound. This one specifically attempts to melodiously replicate the abrupt awareness that waves with common anxiety.

I work hard to hone my ability to compose, and that also involves a lot of experimenting, along with poems that pave such progress. Right now, my topmost priority is to fabricate sound that can also be transmissible of emotion, a luxury I previously reserved to the verbal content of the composition.

This specific poem uses isolated sound shifts to pause realisation: (sinks!, sinks… sinks —) similarly to an “Oh!, Oh…” commonly used in general communication. Consonant repetition and syllabic cadence are also utilised to a more subtle degree. (also, some lousy enjambement in the second stanza, but I couldn’t fix it properly)

I’m hopeful that you don’t mind my silly experiments, and may continue this poetic quest with me. It can be a bit saturating, but necessary, nonetheless.


JOHNNY

⌉|⌈ – Irrigation, friends.

        Leaned against the customary elm tree, some would take aim at nouvelle psychologies, others would echo life-bound lessons at the bottom of a plastic beer cup. If elation existed on summary, little else would be needed to describe the happiness blooming from friendship. I’d spent my few years of breath on fighting prejudice and carving a spot in the landscapes, as to measure the weight of my sins with that of my embraces.               Little was expected, less was requested, and the ley-lines of kinship were bursting with movements: an arm around my shoulders, a hug so firm it freezes my flesh, turning a moment into a brass statue made to be outwardly admired. I had understood the height and worth of my words, I learned to love my speech and to gaze at the walk as a path worth replicating. I have known silence, I have known solitude; and how pallid, chalky visions they seem to have become.

read more ⌉|⌈ – Irrigation, friends.

⌉|⌈ – Sunken Soul, debris.

“Sad is what I am — what I will always be,  an artist is born in form of a shipwreck,  and henceforth, that same sunken soul  shall live from scavenging the debris.”           Existence is often homogenous with the ebb of an ocean — composed of movements, violent thrusts against the shore, soothing hymns that ascend from the waves, to the tip of a cello’s arc, producing the sharpest sounds whose harmony is replicable only by natural flow. As vast and nightmarish as the ocean can be, so can existence. As exurgent and garish its reflective surface can be, so can life be cloaked with that same brightness, when we collect at a table with dear friends, when we peak in a laughter so sharp, it hits the arc of that cello, producing a sound only the heart can see, an expression only movement can encapsulate, doing so calmly… and tenderly.           One thematic I’ve been avoiding for quite a

read more ⌉|⌈ – Sunken Soul, debris.

⌉|⌈ – Four Chestnut Kings

Four Chestnut Kings When I read poetry, it’s not customary to do it in one sitting, since verse can be overbearing at times, especially when the verse in question is condensed with a large amount of information or emotional overdraws. So, to break that cycle of lyricentric text, I will make a little break and explore the wonders of my culture with you. In the Portuguese province where I grew up and still live, Ribatejo, there used to be a big amount of agriculture. In fact, most of my family still works in that field, working sun to sun along the plantations of Tagus. These men and women who journeyed from far to find work at the river basin, commonly denominated “gaibéus”, worked seasonally in the process of removing weed and debris from the yearly plantations, along with cleaning the non- cultivated fields in order to avoid crop-destroying vermin and wild-fires.   Being a descendent of such inspiring figures whose

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Uma Ode a Paulo Cunha

Paulo, desculpa-me, fora a primeira Ode que alguma vês terei escrito, por vias disso, não será a melhor que já haveis lido, talvez nem a melhor dedicada a ti. Mas gostei muito de a escrever, porque a escrevo para ti. Quem não conhece o meu querido Paulo, ele vive aqui. João Maria Azevedo, com ajuda de Eugénio de Andrade, na sua tradução da “Ode a Federico Garcia Lorca”, escrita por Pablo Neruda, e com ajuda de Verlaine, na sua “Canção de Outono”, citada na primeira estrofe.  

Contra-Poetry #2: Innovator Mode

As we navigate an age of velocity and information, it is often easy to befall the entrapment of disengagement with our own simplicity as human beings. The Artist is a figure attributed to emotion, and as such, it holds dominion over such a vast and spectral realm, that the sensation if of infinitude. But although emotions might be infinite in variables, we’re not. We are inherently capped beings with limits and thresholds, those which we can expand and increase with effort and work, but never fully evade them all-together. I’ve talked much about format and content and how they must be weighed simultaneously, but one of the greatest reflection of that is the act of overdraw, where we feel the need and obligation to feel so original, so nouvelle, that we start sacrificing the very foundations of what makes poetry, well, poetry. I also talk much about what poetry is to me (emphasis on to me), but for understanding my

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Brimrose and Redstone (english poetry)

I’ve been back into the dating game for a couple o’ weeks now, and we ask such cruel questions to ourselves when we analyse our worth towards being wanted, or being loved. At least, I do. I feel insufficient, and this composition stems from that. JOHNNY P.S: Kind of a long one, eh? If you made it this far, I would like to point you to the direction of Dead Combo, a portuguese duo of guitar and bass, whose ability to refine feelings into perfect cords has never ceased to impress me. My favourite album of theirs is called “Lusitânia Playboys” and my favourite song, “Like a Drug“.

Sundials of Bakrit (english poetry)

Going through a bit of an ideological crisis, hence the erratic nature of my compositions. I promise to do better as I regain my normal self, but for now, I can think of really great themes and then execute them only partially. It’s this sort of memory blockage, I suppose. JOHNNY P.S: I wrote this while listening to Max Richter’s “The Blue Notebooks“, a beautiful collection of contemporary classical compositions inspired by Kafka‘s work. I will do these musical mentions more often, I enjoy sharing what I love, maybe you can love it as I do.

Contra-Poetry #1: Spectator Mode

I’ve always been fearful about debating the constituents of Modern Poetry. Many things have elapsed between the outer edges of lyricism and the poetic revolution of Modernism and Post-Modernism of the twentieth century, and many more have been extensively debated and explored. The state of poetry requires no true explanation, however, because the same is palpable: declining, withering and un-captivating. Why? That’s a complicated question, even grasping the width of what is being asked seems to be an exhausting task, but many can be tackled individually without being smothered by higher scopes. To me, the production of modern poetry fails on many fronts, and between abstractionism and minimalism (both highly unstable chains of literary generation) one can only agree on a singular vision if only one poem is analysed, anything else would be overly ambitious. Conveniently, over-ambition is my middle name. Spectator Mode One of the most common communication mistakes I see in Modern Poetry is the distance crafted between

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Emotional Instrumentality

When I find myself careworn by poetics, I tend to gravitate towards lighter, less condensed approaches to writing. Prose is, by natural production, my least refined process, but that does not mean I cannot figuratively invent useful forms to shape it up. After all, that’s what Caliath is all about—exploration of the elsewhere. One common struggle I undergo when etching narratives is the old and ever so demising struggle of reaction vs. response, one I’ve been quite puzzled with. Art is the inevitable necessity to communicate by way of emotion, which arrives with reaction, but a well-structured fictional reality must be accompanied by an emboss of response, as to foster a process that bleeds into the reader, allowing them to write the story as much as we do, without giving them full creative control of a world we’ve created. That would be evidently chaotic and a bedding for confusion. As I spent my entire Sunday in hospital aiding my grandfather,

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Ships That Dare (prose)

One of the proses found in True-Ultra. Ships That Dare Yet, my skin does not bleed light once cut, my memory is not a sea filled with vessels hauling treasure, and I can’t see past sky-rim. Those ships—I see them set sail and pass, wreck and sink, cast onto fiery cascades, and I see myself in them, drowning and burning. I know how it ends; I’ve seen it before; Comes with day, engraved by ancient lore: They leave, and I stay. I stay in this mental illusion of a small port-village, where the sound of seagulls preludes the daylight, but distant and faintly echoed. Where the windows radiate with the blue-hue of gentle waves, and onlookers are statically sighting the sea, waiting endlessly for a ship that will never arrive, a day that will never come. These days held by the belly, broken and shattered in every street and any corner, are the simplest notes sang by those seagulls. The

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TRUE-ULTRA

Today, I e-published my first title and a wave of terror washed over me. I do not feel quite ready for it. I’m an admirer of so many, and I don’t feel worthy of having people purchase my book just yet. It’s just not something I feel okay with, due to my inexperience and general inadequacy. Still, I feel like I’ve created something special in this humble manuscript. Something worth reading, but not necessarily commercialising. As such, I will un-publish the book and open it to reading in this post, in PDF format, free-for-all. I will, however, also provide a donate button bellow, may you decide I’m worthy of such honour and trust (you decide the amount). What I receive will be used for the purposes previously mentioned – maintaining the website and eventually, a groovy poetry-chilling podcast. Thank you, and sorry. True Ultra – The Book

Styx (revised)

As a lot of content is getting shaved from the book of Selected Poetry, most of my author notes are getting removed and replaced with prose. Hours of wasted work, but no matter, that’s how these things go. I will post some of those I feel worse about deleting, so they won’t dissipate into the void. Sorry for the huge resolution, comes straight from book format. JOHNNY

Sudden drought of content.

Salut, I shall take to absent form over the next two weeks, but fear not, it is for a special reason. In order to lighten the strain of maintaining the website, as well as perhaps purchase a microphone in order to start reading my compositions (and other poets’ works, so maybe a podcast) to you, I’ve decided to use my two-week work vacation – no, not to rest – but instead, to produce a manuscript with my best poems, a selection of sorts. Some will be new, some will be edited, and all will be accompanied individually with prose that explains the process of their making, similar prose to the one you see me publish here from time to time. I plan to publish it as an eBook, and although I’m unsure of the amount of pages, they will likely surpass two-hundred, and I intend to make the eBook as cheap as virtually possible. Along with a cover made by

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A “book” excerpt on hope.

A little while back (I seem to start all my posts with this phrase), I started writing a book of actual fiction, as in, not poetry, called Brass Towers. With less and less time on my hands, and still trying to finish the various projects of poetry I have ongoing, this one got a bit lost, but I still have some hope it might see light of day. Here goes a rough-cut excerpt that I like, considering I don’t have nearly as much experience with prose as I do with poetry:   (A reminder, this is a character in the work, and not actually me writing about myself, although… it’s probably both) As I lay my head against the bed-frame, I hope for better days. Some hope for those, others hope for better nights, and along those plaguing and exhausting hours of sleepless thought: we hope. As human misery goes, we hate hoping as much as we require it, since

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Gratitude.

The most common element throughout my time posting here, a little more than four months now, is most likely my lack of confidence into the craft I’m presenting for you to read. Although having such tender readers as you is a soothing march towards a path of more determined writing, I cannot help but to distill what is perhaps the only good spawn of this plaguing inadequacy: my unending gratitude, the joyous smiles whenever someone comments such warm and embracing notes to my compositions, those to which I give such little worth, those that you see something in, sometimes I’m tearful just thinking of it. Writing since such young age, I’ve only been compelled to share very recently, mostly out of fear and self-preservation, but this journey of sharing has been no less than magical, almost out of a book. I have long ways to go in my abilities and considerations, as well as my Art, which I plan to

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dogwood and yarn. (english poetry)

Author’s Notes: The structure of the composition was severely inspired by Jack Leonard’s song “All the Things you Are“, a beautiful song that was a hit during the 1930s in America. I finally found a practical and pleasing way to put whole compositions into a single image, took me long enough. I’m not very technologically savvy. This is another free-hander. I haven’t had much time to sit down and actually compose, so I mostly scribble into my notepad throughout the day and I get these results. At least, I hope they aren’t too bad. And thank you for reading, I don’t often thank people who read and do not comment, and it’s not on purpose, I’m just forgetful. Regardless, thank you so much for following the unglamorous journey of a dreamy kid writing poems. JOHNNY

static limbo. (english poetry)

Author’s Notes: No actual references of any kind were made in this poem. It was mostly free-handed in paper and I did little to no editing when I transcribed it into electronic format. The quality of it is a bit “meh”, but I find it very sincere, and I value sincere poetry above any other kind. I hope you can still connect with it. JOHNNY  

Criticism: spider eggs and self-worth.

Following the string of compositions from when I initially started posting, you might sight some of the most primitive and uninspired works of web-poetry around, and along those lines of frozen time, you might even find a generally negative disposition I have towards my work, as well as a strong hostility directed at my own artistic development. I believe, albeit probably wrong, that any artist of any craft holds little to no love for a product that is finished, because its the process and the journey that must be loved and nurtured, and the final result: an outburst of pain compounded with shame, a linen woven by acid needles that thrust with every line, every paintbrush and every note of a melody. It is natural to hold hatred towards our own creations, not necessarily because they are parts of ourselves we shed into a piece, but because they are willingly given away and lost, they are mirrors within mirrors and

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a breach in the system. (english poetry)

I know the last poem and this one are a bit weird and off-tracks for me. Do not be alarmed, I’m tinkering with new sound constructions for “ofuscus“, the sister structure to “excelse“, but since I’m just starting, it’s mostly an exploration of how variant I can make them sound without sacrificing much of both. These are mostly free-hand practices that allow me to gage and compare. Author’s notes:  Line 12 is a reference to the book of the same name, “Heights of Despair”, by Emil Cioran. Highly advise you to seek it if you enjoy some grim phylosophy. Line 1 is a reference to a song, all my compositions have at least one of these, sometimes more. In this case, it is “Odd Look” by french musician Kavinsky. Line 17 might look a bit weird, Child is the symbol, while intrumental pain is the syntax. This is done purposefully, but the Child himself won’t appear just here, that’s why

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POETRY LAB #2

FIRST, A QUEST A little back, I wrote this highly experimental (and primal) composition called MIRROR, in which two subconscious voices would be displayed continuously until they would collapse together and generate this sense of unifying thoughts. That poem spawned from my fiddling with the concept of multiple voices in poetry. All my compositions are made to be both read and spoken, therefor, all kinds of sound generation are within the bounds of my poetry. I spent some time wondering about the possibility of poems meant to be read by separate voices, which can be applied to a variety of unique poetic concepts, as well as compounding lyricism with that expression and generate a form of artistic elation of poetry upon dialogue, both internal and external. MIRROR is not a good example, since its very primitive and faulty in the groundworks of what this exercise proposes. For the ease of division in structural compositions, I will name the first voice

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Nihilism: a second frontier of fear.

I’ve always held quarrels against the structural basis of Nihilism. It strives in devouring any worth behind worldly constructs, and does so mercilessly, because the charcoal that fuels it seems made from the cinders of a society in ideological flames. I’m twenty-two, which represents that hopefully, most of my life still awaits me, yet… I, akin to the vastest numbers of my generation, have been raised under cruel forecasts and outright dooming patterns: senseless acts of moral terror spawning almost daily, a scientific community that insists on a very real factor of life being irreversible altered by the selfish and hedonistic acts of humanity towards Nature, tendrils of corruption and interest crawling under the skin of powerful figures, some of which hold nuclear arsenal capable of turning this blue marble we have known to be (so far) the only planet that harbours life, into a wasteland of volcanic winters and centuries of acid fall-out, rendering it just another barren planet

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noise, peace (english poetry)

Y’all, I’ve been reading too much American poetry, so I’m going through this mixed phase of modernism and romanticism, I hope something good comes out of this because its certainly weird for me to write like this. Disclaimer: bulletless doesn’t seem to be a real word, but I don’t get why, so I’m gonna use it anyway. Disclaimer 2: I’ve since revised the second part of the poem, so if you’re reading for a second time, you may find it different than the original. If you seek the original, you can find it here. JOHNNY

CRAZED PLAYHOUSE (english poetry)

I couple days ago, I thought to myself, what a wonderful world! And I wanted to write a decently happy composition to demonstrate that. Then it ended up like this, and I’m perpetually confused. I have a verse in portuguese that states “I’ve never written a single happy lyric / Perpetuated by silence of the other side.”, seems like I was clairvoyant of my own future there. Not-so-fun-fact: it was heavily inspired by my night-outs in Lisbon, that in almost seven years, never produced a single long-lasting bond. People are solitaires nowadays. JOHNNY

Why poetry, still?

My letter response a while back, where a dear friend asked me why poetry sounds deeply saddening to him. This was my theory (although I have more theories now, I still stick to this one most times):   Since the elder days of lyrical production, poetry has taken shape of shoulders carrying the shadows of human declaration. From a singular first word of verse to the last sound of its adored stanza, it has been used to spawn nights of joyous dreams, dawns of draping silks, and as a hand moves to slide away those curtains woven of melody: a window, leading to giant sights of exposition, hills of galloping horses hauling our pains, our wounds, whatever we deem worthy to exist in that composition, because it too shall stand to compose us. That is the level of communication all artistic movements tend to bleed out, those small shreds of emotion that plea for capture, and beg ever-so softly to

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Vanity by Florbela Espanca

Recently, I came across the endlessly talented Tadzio and his blog of English translations of Italian poems. A little apprehensive at first, I decided to give a shot of my own at translating some of my most adored portuguese compositions. Florbela is the poet I credit with my interest in composing, so it would be fair to say that any verse of mine you might have liked, is due to her incredible humility and fine-crafted lyricism. Very devalued in life, she now stands as the most important female poet of the portuguese poetic pantheon, one whose influence reaches far and wide within our culture. And its portuguese, original version: Disclaimer: I’m not a professional or academic of this subject, this translation is merely an attempt at a very arduous and respected Art, that of translating poetry, and I have no intentions of devaluing it with my impish attempts. Second Disclaimer: I did severely alter the verse that mentions “saudade”. There

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Veribus, my attempt at social platforms.

For a while, I’ve been scouring for ways to convey which poets have influenced me the most, who I hold highly as I navigate the gears of my own production. Certain verses, stanzas, poems, move me to a level I cannot fully explain, and those feelings are what I work so hard to translate within my own poetry, often with failure, but always with tenacity. One platform I’ve never given much thought to, although pleasantly succinct at times, presented itself as a nice medium to share these small shards of brilliance, and that is Twitter. I’m not sure how it will fully work yet, but if this is something you are generally interested in, I will be attempting to post at least one exhibit a day of these poetic capitulations, with the sole purpose of their inspiration and diffusion, if possible, at the following address – VERIBUS. I’ve created it as a project of hobbyist nature and I do not

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(Vault) ARPA DIOS

Today was a specially hard day, I carried pain with me. And sometimes, days are sad, and I don’t know why. I vaulted this composition a while ago, when I wrote it, I deemed it not good enough for sharing. Now, despite not being any better, it looks more heartfelt than ever. JOHNNY

SATURNO (english poetry)

I’m including numbered lines in case anyone wants to comment on a verse without having to copy it, since these are images. I’ve never realised until now how hard I was making it for you. That aside, this is another one of those decompressing compositions, but I quite like this one, it makes sense to me. JOHNNY

HUIS-CLOS EN MER (english poetry)

I’ve been writing a very long parabole poem called “BAICHENG’S PRIME EHRU”, aside from being time consuming, it’s also very draining, so I’ve written lighter and simpler compositions in the meantime so I can decompress. Hope you like it as well, a little bit of lightness can be good. JOHNNY