• Capitolina Revista

Em outras palavras / In other words

PAUL WEBB translates EVERARDO NORÕES



AMONG FLIES


The fly sticks to the glass of the window. It is the target of my eye, the object on which my attention converges, although, beyond the glass, the green of the forest stretches out and, behind that, the house on the hill and other features of the landscape: wires, fences, heaps of rubbish. And in the heaps of rubbish, the blade of circumstances that cuts our lives: a slum with no sewers or piped water, the noise of a hammer nailing in some secret or a little street vendor sellingcassava. Fly: at the same time a bull’s eye and an insect (insect-target, target-insect?) of the Schizophora species, so called because it has a frontal furrow dividing the head into two hemispheres. It moves restlessly, a moving target flies round and round on itself.If it were human, it would be deemed to dissociate thought and action, borderline schizophrenic. But it surely acts like that because it has multiple eyes, ommatidia, eight hundred translucentspecks, crystal spheres, like an LCD TV. They carry light to the minuscule brain and are now dazzled by the shining surface of the glass that holds it in the room,as it looks for a strategy for freeing itself from the prison in which it is detained. The fly has a life-cycle that lasts at the very most twenty-one days. When this peregrination, which may also be understood as a subjective reality, is over, I will be alone, with no-one to share the tedium with, not even the restricted view of drops of rain on the leaves of the nearest trees or the reflection of the sun dimming over the ochre of the roofs. When I think of these sensations, I do not consider them the mere optical perception of a world that strangles us, me and the fly. It is as if we were inside an invisible bubble, where I contain my own space-time. 22 As for the fly, I do everything not to scare it, although I sometimes lose sight of it. I try to follow it attentively and, during the pursuit, the lines of the Spanish poet Antonio Machado keep coming to mind: “…you, vulgar flies/ evoke all things for me” I think, then, about the fly that lands on the eye of the next dead body I see. The corpse, stretched out in a coffin, arms folded, face shrouded by a handkerchief that is occasionally lifted by a curious mourner or a close relative. When the dead body was found, the fly was flying, flying, and returning, with an almost angry insistence, to the eyes of the cadaver. “So young!” Everyone said the same thing as they flicked away the fly in flight that was restricting itself to the territory of a white linen cambric shirt. In evoking everything, I also remember the one that pursued me across a stretch of desert. It was to have been expected that the survival instinct would have driven the fly to cling to one of us and accompany us to the end of our journey. Instinctively, it knew that, under those circumstances, abandoning the host spelt death. I dropped my guard and became its target. I hurt myself slightly trying to free myself of the irritation and ended up with a permanent red mark on my face. I have now found my fly again. It began to hop about on the open book beside me, over the phrase “to drive home the finality of death.” It moves with microscopic steps over “by the monotonous buzzing of flies?” and, after brushing against my left arm, finally comes to rest on a small threegram morsel of food that I have deposited on a sheet of A4 typing paper. That way it will be victualed for its swift journey over our five-meter squared private realm: table, computer, small shelf with around twenty books and half a ream of recycled paper. Over the white background, I accompany its little nervous gestures, itswhirling about, scratching at the paper. It moves its feet, rubs what could be called its snout, the correct term for which is proboscis, in the small scrap of food. It cannot ingest solids and thus deposits a mixture of saliva and gastric fluid—a speck of vomit—on those tiny crumbs. An external form of digestion that I cannot see, not even with my glasses on.Were I able to scrutinize it better, I could say how much it 23 might disgust me. But, since it is such a microscopic act, like every other thing I cannot see, it doesn’t turn my stomach. I imagine that is how God must feel—if He exists—about human beings: little nervous insects moving totally aimlessly over our little meteorite of a planet lost in the universe. I leave it be, digesting its late afternoon meal. I get up out of the chair where I spend almost all day reading and trying to understand Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. I look at it as if to bid it farewell and think again, “… you, vulgar flies, evoke all things for me.” There is no poem like Antonio Machado’s on flies. Certainly not the “blue fly, with wings of gold and carmine” of that other Machado, who clearly detested blacks, was beset by complexes, prone to epileptic fits, proud of his academician’s robes, ancient Turkish dolmans. As for me, I prefer the real fly: black, without metaphors. The one that reigns over our rot, makes wounds shine. Like the bluebottle: little light-eggs, whitish larvae on the leg ulcer of the blind man in the market, obliging us to flee his company. There it is on the immaculate paper: a simple point of black on white, capable of signifying anything—an enigmatic textual mark, the original black hole, the final sooty ember of great conflagrations, the first character of some translation of Camilo Pessanha. The bearded man full of flies, tuberculosis and concubines, lying in the Chinese dirt. I turn off the air-conditioner. I get out of my chair with an itchy right leg. I shut the door carefully. I turn the key so that the fly cannot escape during the night and I do not lose its company, at least for the twenty-one hours of life it presumably has left. And, suddenly, in the darkness, there is a kind of murmuring. I turn on the Big Fly, the one who doesn’t move, doesn’t flit about in the air. The one that measures thirty-eight inches, thousands of translucentspecks, high definition crystal spheres, which bring darkness to our miniscule brains. And now glare out into the night, in which, alone, I am at one with the Big Fly.


Sobre o autor:


Everardo Norões nasceu na cidade de Crato, Ceará. Viveu na França, Argélia e Moçambique. É poeta, ensaista, contista, cronista, tradutor. Seus livros estão traduzidos em diversas línguas como espanhol, francês, inglês e italiano.

Tem textos publicados em várias revistas como Suplemento Pernambuco e Granta.

Seu livro "Entre Moscas" foi vencedor do Portugal Telecom (hoje, Prêmio Oceanos) em 2014.


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