terça-feira, 25 de abril de 2017

My second short story, "Pravda Shto"

Pravda shto, by Leonardo Lopes da Silva

Jonah Abdul-Haq came into the world by seeking the light. Something had started pushing him out, and once he sensed he no longer belonged in his hiding, nurturing place, he was resigned to leave it behind. But resignation was not the right word to define how he felt upon arriving into the delivery room. The thousands of shocks one is subjected to, at all once, unfiltered, unmuffled, unrelenting! The cold! Blinding lights! Beeps and clangs, squeaks and rustles, the whirr and buzz of what used to be unseen, unheard, unknown! That firm pressure around his legs, something holding him upside down, or downside up, who was he to say?, briefly displaying to Mum the fruit of her labour and her triumph as woman.
The spanking was barely necessary. Jonah belted out his primal song immediately after breathing it all in. For the first time. His anguished cry was not unlike any other soliloquy rendered timeless by other infant thespians, reciting the sorrows of being naked and cold and out of their element. But as he lay in Mum’s arms, overwhelmed by gravity and touch, and he heard her serene shushing, along with her tender, loving words:
“My sweet boy. My beloved. Don’t cry.  Shh-shh-shh. You are a bit hungry, that’s all…”
He sneezed a tiny, cute sneeze, and stopped crying.
The sudden silence was not something any of those seasoned doctors were used to. Nor Mum, specially since Jonah was her third born. They chuckled and jested, telling the smiling mum that she had got the remote control for her new born concealed somewhere next to her. Mum asked then to be left alone so she could make amends to her son by feeding him. For the very first time.

* * *

Raising Jonah in the big city turned out to be an increasingly difficult challenge. He shared the fate of many who cannot bear to spend a single minute without sneezing. At practically anything. Cold wind blasts. Feathers. Fur. Dust.  Pollen of all sorts. Mum constantly found herself at a loss – there was no such thing as an allergen free environment, and keeping Jonah protected from all those things, while working two jobs and running a household with Grandma, would require locking him up in a bubble. Dad, Mr. Abdul-Haq, was constantly out of home, working on his sermons, visiting the elderly in their community and praying with them, running study groups, coordinating the congregation’s soup kitchen. Time was of the essence to him, and the little he had of that currency at home would not be wasted on trifles.
“The boy needs to toughen up, Luz. You can’t possibly shield him from dust, for Heaven’s sake. Let him develop some kind of immunity or whatever!”
“Don’t you see that I’ve tried it all? There has got to be a way to heal him. It is not natural. What use are your prayers if you can’t even get your son to get better?”
And so the rows would go on, simmering but never reaching a boiling point. Jonah, already withdrawn by nature, would hide into a corner of his room, surrounded by crumpled up Kleenex tissues, and bury his face in X Men comic books. The growing awareness of his ordinary strangeness would swell up his chest and burst into a storm of tears, which would be soothed when he came across Jean Grey on the paperback pages, trying to tame the beast inside Wolverine. “You can trust me. I know your pain. There is good inside of you”. And he would sneeze heartily.
After years of suffering classes that he sneezed through, teachers at the end of their wits and bullies who threw snot-stuffed paper balls at him, Jonah could not take it anymore, and had a nervous breakdown. Psychological treatments were offered to address a supposed psychosomatic condition, and tried, to no avail. The Abdul-Haqs were considering moving to the countryside one summer morning when they were visited by the family doctor.  He had wondrous news to share.
At last, a reliable treatment for allergens had become available – and affordable. It would take getting a great deal of immunotherapy shots, but it had a very high success rate – most people who underwent treatment had a great improvement in their lives with much less sneezing, if not no sneezing at all. Would you be willing to try that out, Mr. and Mrs. Abdul-Haq?
That was a question that did not need answering. You need not ask a drowning man whether he’d like to be thrown a life donut. Off they went to the local clinic, squandering some savings they’d made, to make their boy normal (again?). There was a kind of frantic enthusiasm in everything they did, and even Jonah could not help but get swept up in it as well. After almost a year of comings and goings, where Jonah would sneeze at the correct change given by the ice cream vendor, the instructions given by the nurse, or even thank yous or pleases, the big day came. That would be his final shot, and hopefully, the beginning of the end for those most dreadful sneezes. Another smiling, chuckling, seasoned doctor leaned forward to shake Jonah’s 9-year-old hand and give him a pat on the head, to say:
“Well, that’s about it. You should get a lot better from now on!”
Jonah looked at him with the slightest glimmer of hope in his eyes.

“… Unless, of course, it is God’s will that you should sneeze till the end of your days!”

A volley of mucus got splattered all over his horn-rimmed glasses.


domingo, 18 de setembro de 2016

A Novel Tale As Old As Now

He loved hating loving to hate to love her,
A tomboy lady male gaiting gentle voiced
Lass, lassoing his man child well endowed
Underused sense of empathy mixed with
Miss Anthropy towards her dancing body
Electric, he a sappy gruff jockish andro
Genius left leaning pink eye commie fetish,
Planning to miss out on committing to
Support the empowering of the drive
To make America great again, feeling
The burn on his cheeks of his beetle bum,
A high flying kite looming low at half mast,
Wanting to drown his sorrows at last mirth
There she was, his Last Hearth, to quench
The fire in his belly freezing his hand, she
Just wanted to stay out of trouble to take
A chance on someone to see if it works out
To easily dismiss him as an unworkable pro
Jekt to build up so as to walk out on to the next
Tex Mex loving foodie smoothie groovy operator,
A playa who knows not how tha game is played
To able to win by losing, compromising to committing,
With his feet on the ground and his money in the clouds
Of crowd sourced funds to defund planned parenthoods,
Save the whales and protect the local seal clubbing comm
Unanimities, all or nothing for some every little helps, huh?
Hover but chill lean in but keep it aloof and sunny dead serious
They meet and friend and swipe right, blessed sheep in the
Kingdom to Come thy will be done in this crumbling empire
Where the sun never sets to rise all alone against barbarians
Miscreants multi faceted moos, limbs torn Kosher HAL-wow!
And all that comes with the ever receding territory. They are,
By having they exist, to do what they were clearly taught and
Uneducated to excel at, spreadsheets of codes, codes of colour,
Colours of standards to maintain and exceed, without excess,
Moderation is the measure with which the world is contained
Plentiful and bountiful, your snow globe adrift in the mud pool
Being drained tractor beamed to very centre of the universe,
Which shivers timidly atop the shoulders of aeons long forces.

segunda-feira, 11 de abril de 2016

Short Story : Felix

                                                   Felix , by Leonardo Lopes da Silva

  Now, as he heard her gentle purr, feeling her nose burrow itself firmly on his temple, in order to feel the scent of his hair identity, all the pieces came together, it all made sense to him; everything was in its right place in his world.

  He had assumed it would be easy to deal with her, this nightly creature, who had followed him silently to his flat, without any apparent demands or supplication. It would just be one more roof over her head; just one more warm and dry spot to keep herself warm, that was really all she ever needed. Or so he thought. She drank all of the water he had offered her in one go, but ate too little of the tinned tuna that he, way too busy with himself to think of mundanities like going shopping for food, or wearing matching socks, found neglected in a corner of a shelf in his empty fridge. I've never thought it would be so simple, he thought out loud, to take in one more presence in such tight quarters, this cramped apartment of mine. She rubbed against him as she walked in and down the hall, but that was comprehensible, as it was so damn narrow.

  Looks like I won't hit the jackpot tonight, he muttered, as he saw her pounce onto the sofa and stretch her whole body like the most accomplished Pilates instructor, before she shut her huge Caribbean Sea-green eyes.  One day they would get swept up in a staring contest, and he would want to figure out whether those sea sized globes were as warm as they seemed; he would try to find his footing in them. I can't afford to drown anymore, he kept saying to himself, a mantra of jaded resignation, I don't want to drown anywhere.

  The impending dawn startled him out of his reveries, it was time to get himself to bed. There's nothing better than a solar rule, a decree of light, which would ensure that he could find himself a haven from utter desiccation, curled up in bed, underneath his rough blanket, protected by the shadows, once everyone and everything became revealed and exposed by the unforgiving and relentless daylight, set in motion, with a purpose. A timetable. Engagements.

  However, nothing about that pre-planned, predefined way of getting away from the machinations of the solar day, would work that day.
  Because of her.

  No sooner had the clock struck midday than she made herself seen, looking daggers at him with enviable accuracy, demanding that he sped up his indolent and pachydermic get-up-and-fix-breakfast-or-lunch-or-dinner process; it did not actually matter which meal it was, as long as there was coffee included, and that was why his favourite meal in his homeland was simply and aptly called "coffee".
It was not just a faster pace in his day cancelling motions that she had in mind, though. She wanted his presence, his being there constantly and totally as she did her restless rounds to the window and away from it, as if he could actually vanish off the face of the Earth if she turned away from him, out of her sight. Her neediness seemed illogical and infuriating to him (perhaps she was a control freak?), unquestionable to her. HER. Someone who was capable of spending an entire hour looking out of the window, ignoring him thoroughly. Yet, it only took a most deafening head jerk (for then her eyes unleashed a tsunami of Amazonian fury, as well as the wailing cries of sailors about to encounter their final destination, over him and his daydreams) she told him, nay, she commanded him to stand next to her at the window sill, to behold the military regularity, the march of the sons of the Sun, and their parade of orderly, accurate, punctual inventions; she did not hesitate to make him witness her hygienic and sanitary rituals, much as he did not wish to get to know all their specifics; she could not stand his keeping any door closed, any refuge for his nudity. In fact, being naked was not a matter of privacy to her, it was something which was perfectly natural to her.  This absence of shame in her, somewhat unchristian, pre-pagan - for there was nothing beyond her body and the world, her extension, to her mind - ignorant of any Puritanism, dictated that she needed to see him naked as she has always been in her cat-like manner, just as she was now, crawling behind the sofa to look for something that she had mischievously lost on purpose.

  He did not understand those purposes of hers, he could not realise why she had to swipe a glass off the table, to see it invariably shatter into a thousand pieces all over the floor.

 Did she have to sit right in front of his tablet, just now that he would stream an interview with his beloved comedian?

  Why do you crave so much attention? RIGHT NOW?, he shouted. Last night you were not that eager to do anything at all!!! Last night I didn't seem to be THAT important, did I???
What to say of her naughtiness? The boxers and socks tossed out of the open wardrobe drawers slowly turned his crampartment floor into a park ground in high Autumn, a pile of unlikely cotton leaves that absorb transpiration very easily here, a procession of stripes and squares and tartan and dots there, as she lay cheekily amidst his clothes, as if she was someone who has finally found out where her picnic is going to be.
It was pointless to shout at her, or try to get her out of one more mess, in a place where chaos was supposed to be unimaginable, as it was too tiny for chaos to be possible. She would just stare at him numbly, with a late afternoon hungover sea look which seemed to say perfunctorily, You are making something which is already boring even more mind numbing.
 That was why her immediate reaction to her boredom was to tease and poke the domino effect that led to fights between the two of them. She bit and scratched with gusto when they came to blows, her eyes casting olive lightning and thunder at him as her first line of attack and defence. To him, there was no other choice but to smack her, being careful not to hurt his own principles and values too much, so he wouldn't be taken by the scarlet fever of a newfound hypocrisy. She kept on running haughtily, feeling offended and hopeful that she would find a place to hide away from his spitted curses and his volcanic exasperation. In vain.

 There were no apologies. Nor forgiveness.
 This tempestuous environment lingered and made the air inside the crampartment stuffy and stale, until at length the day collapsed unto himself in his morose and brooding gait, and waved funereally at the incoming night, who was all smiles, with her Byzantine train of starry mosaics in merry succession, beating the drums to the zodiac Carnaval party of the universe, making way for the Milky Way-faring Moon.

 He let it all wash over him, sitting on the edge of the bed, basking and bathing in the cosmic drizzle that broke into the room through the windows, and saluted, paid his respects to the glorious silence, the ecstatic stillness of the night in her infancy.

 She sat silently on his lap, charmed by the power of the revelation that inexorably took hold of her, the jade coloured, sea algae phosphorescent tides in her eyes swelling in total expansion, pouring out of herself, overflow.

 How supreme and sublime was his surprise when she leaned towards him, opening her lips!, uttering words for the very first time, words he thought he had never heard anyone say before with such serene, loving authority.

 Now you are mine. Now I am yours.

 I partake of you. You partake of me.
 She engulfed him in her arms, as she repeated her declaration of dependence in a hypnotic murmur on and on and on...

 Now, as he heard her gentle purr, feeling her nose burrow itself firmly on his temple, in order to feel the scent of his hair identity, all the pieces came together, it all made sense to him; everything was in its right place in his world.

terça-feira, 29 de maio de 2012

The Speech Paradox

Lips sealed when a mind's bursting apart,
Blooming in cheery-scented dewdrops;

The midnight of the soul approaches
And we hoard jazz jams and jousts
Juggling thoughts in intimate indecency,
To avoid forming the icy crust of


Then lips apart; no more mysteries,
No more dallying.
let it come out as we carefully
Literal living levees
That forever conserve
True meaning.

quarta-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2011

The Haunting Void

that keeps gnawing at my liver, depleting me
of whatever thoughts and sparks and sprouts
should spring from within.

that knocks at the hollow rib-cage, taunting
a shadow of freedom to my voice, jingling its keys
to the prisoner.


quarta-feira, 10 de novembro de 2010

Magnet-de-natising Charisma

The comfort that is found upon beholding
mountain ranges and abysses of indifference,
processions of holier-than-thou, fear-thy-ground
furies unbridled but voiceless thoughtlessly
Pilling up dilligently upon prey me, pray you?
Conforming to an existence of checklists,
Will you? Did you? Could you? Have you?

Con mitted fully to the dictates and commanding con
Con queror will you be, crowned and renowned cries con
Con't you see how the fire in your vir-pyre rages con
Con Stern, a nation will rise, with your con fab inaction
And all shall con gratulate con firm what has always been,
Cum laude, a stream of words and burps and shrieks demanding
Change that is strangely akin to some bw picture
blended in with the ash.

Yet still, the scent lingers despicably in the clothes
in your hair, on your tongue, an urge to develop it
into something intelligible de moving desperately
Out of this centre and navel, you are debating on
words that still remain meaningless after so much
repeating and babbling and mumbling.

one multi-faceted free-styling snowflake of existence is what you are, ever graciously
falling down onto uniformity, the desecrating desintegrating

Make sure It is branded with your singularity of all your elements
One final debauchery before the Melt_

sexta-feira, 29 de janeiro de 2010

By the Shore

I sit by the shore, awaiting
the Flood to overcome,
reign over me.

One deep blue sea that lies so many a league
its low ebb never seems to end.

Beneath the flesh and my mammal facade,
the nature of my origins claw at my soul,
a marine yearning for the touch of blue,
for the being blue itself,
without a thought,
without time,
without gravity and footing.

And then She comes,
She storms upon Her bed in Majestic Attire,
Rising regally an indomitable regina is to
Crash upon the rock, fuel the land in me,
Fill the crevasses and valleys
Till I overflow,

and there is no more need for words.