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Poem by Antonio Miranda

To Sofia Vivo  

Ilustração de Azalea Quiñones (Venezuela)



Sometimes I am myself, sometimes I am another:

everyone is like this, or like that.


I, was no different, and I broke the rules

I was, at the same time, myself and the other

—one on the inside, another for other people

but, I confess, I am the same as everyone else

in a mask that is the other face

of a false dichotomy.


Manichaeisms? Mourning or pleasure?


Neither religious nor romantic am I,

much less ideological or assumed

of anything, in my infidelity,

lack of faith. And, nonetheless, obstinate

almost optimistic because I am realistic

—in the reversal of the contradiction.


I am a little of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando

the Ugly Duckling disguised as Dorian Gray

I was a hero of the comic strips

I dated Hollywood stars, or,

on a more earthly basis, the True Cross and Atlantis

I won the Nobel Prize, the Highest Distinction

of the Brotherhood of the Egomaniac and Suicidal Poets.


I read an unassailable mountain of books

I tried to rewrite them, without any humbleness

I climbed, letter by letter, amazing, delirious steps,

building sterile architecture

in the vicious circle of banal virtualities.

I should rip up all the deleterious phrases,

all the oaths, all the verbal and venial forgeries

that I produced – odious garbage.


I should be ashamed of my false politeness

of my senselessness, my improbity

but I always have the strength of my insecurities

while the credulous, the convicts

cannot stand up to their own contradictions.

I broke the rules, but I swear, it was only verbally.

in everything else, I am pure in my perversity.

I am a saint in my most intimate heresy.

and more unpretentious than my pride.


I mean: deep down inside I am insecure and faithful

to principles that I don’t even follow.


Can you understand? Not even God feels

that pain that I pretend that I really feel

when I plagiarize that poet that I don’t even admire.


You gong against the established order

but, disguised, I am going backwards

and I am not alone, participating this way

in a new Olympic or academic modality.


May those who are of Bacabal follow me

those who wear steel boots, bone earrings

who pray awkwardly, the unarmed

those without libraries, those without meaning.




In Portuguese: Auto-retrato; Autorretrato (nova ortografia)
Página publicada em fevereiro de 2009.



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