two chairs

By JARID ARRAES 

Translated by MARGUERITE ITAMAR HARRISON

 

tell me 
about how tough everything is 
and even the beer’s out of reach 
and even writing has dried up 
tell me 

about sudden setbacks 
and tight turns
about abandoned 
books 
exhibitions empty 
of meaning 

talk to me about the smothering 
routine 
with the same words 
that are always  
used 

and about the grey city 
the raging rivers 
the kilo of costly 
salt 
that we eat 
tell me 

about high 
temperatures and uncaring 
hearts 
about supermarket
connections 
political 
products 

I want to hear 
about the little things 
the little bits 
of life 
that still resist 
in you

 

Jarid Arraes was born in Juazeiro do Norte, in the Cariri region of Ceará, Northeast Brazil. Writer, cordelista (chapbook writer), and poet, she is the author of Redemoinho em dia quente (Whirlwind on a Torrid Day), Um buraco com meu nome (A Hole that Carries My Name), As lendas de Dandara (Legends of Dandara), and Heroínas Negras Brasileiras (Black Brazilian Heroines). Curator of the literary imprint Ferina, she currently lives in São Paulo, where she founded the Clube da Escrita Para Mulheres (Writing Club for Women). She has published over seventy chapbooks.

Marguerite Itamar Harrisonassociate professor of Portuguese and Brazilian studies at Smith College, is a winner of the Sherrerd Prize for Distinguished Teaching. Her MA in Latin American art history is from UT Austin, and her PhD in Portuguese and Brazilian studies is from Brown University. In 2007 she edited Uma Cidade em Camadas on Brazilian writer Luiz Ruffato, and in 2016 she edited a Brazilian fiction double issue for the translation journal Metamorphoses. Unremembering Me, her translation of Ruffato’s novel De mim já nem se lembra, was published in 2018. She contributes works on Brazilian fiction and visual culture to scholarly journals.

[Purchase Issue 20 here.] 

two chairs

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