Tulips by Salgado Maranhão translated by Alexis Levitin


The east wind comes to lie

with the tulips

on the very stage

where dragonflies of blood

glitter among the buildings.


vignettes of sun


surfaces of dung.


And the rage of plasma

written on asphalt

makes the coming of

an idyllic time improbable.


Oh, placenta of narcobabies and artifacts

at the dump!

Oh, blood-soaked lilies!


For whom this tingling

salvo of applause?


With shapes that rise

from the irrevocable abyss

words as well

                        come howling

and eager gazes also

stripping bare the gold of illustrious




Origami Tiger by  Salgado Maranhão translated by Alexis Levitin


                                                            For Alice K.


The blank page without a line

growls (beneath quantum time),


our carved up scars,

our marred and hardened hearts,


a bloody lava flow ( lots more aflame

than that babel of phonemes


--sliced through with vanities en masse--)

fronting vast futilities of class


where 1+1 makes 2 is not quite right 

and where the Word does not create the light,


for the world, at times, fears the curse

of the word that may turn into verse.


And if the modern monitor

denounces paper as a dinosaur


the blank page --in its nullity--

spells out silence in proximity


to chaos. And fire cannot scatter,

nor can water splatter


to prevent it turning to a fierce

origami tiger without peers.


© 2005-2009 Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas

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Salgado Maranhão

Alexis Levitin