Salgado Maranhão

Consecration of the Wolves I and IV
November 24, 2020 Maranhão Salgado

Consecration of the Wolves I

For now, I will await
that slice of tomorrows
beneath the burden
of my heels;

The obscure backroads
of our seasons
and their blossoming bones.

Whom should I call
to share
this fate, this
winter of graves?

They told me
to sing close
to the fire,
with neo-
including the scum,
in natura

(and the consecration of blind
angels carrying
wood to hell).

They told me
to become a river
among the stones.


Por hoje, aguardo
essa fatia de amanhãs
sob o peso
dos calcanhares;

as ruas turvas
das estações
e seus ossos floridos.

A quem chamo
para compartir
este acaso, esse
inverno de túmulos?

para cantar junto
ao fogo,
com os neo
bárbaros, com
a inclusão da escória
in natura

(e a sagração dos anjos
cegos que carregam
lenha para o inferno).

para ser rio
entre as pedras.

Consecration of the Wolves IV

Nothing can suppress the outrage
of the ruins. Nothing that will disappear.
Neither the raves of faith,
nor the devotion of roosters.

beneath a cold
desire lies naked:
without the dread of a rattle,
without a serpent in the vines.

I am freed by these grammars
of light;
from my besieged passions;
from bread the oven burned.

Rebellious love
is alive and it dwells
high upon the cliffs.

No time is lost
in life with its pennies.

Nada retém o furor
das ruínas. Nada que evole.
Nem as raves da fé,
nem a devoção dos galos.

No entanto,
debaixo da casca
o desejo está nu:
sem o temor dos guizos,
sem a serpente entre as uvas.

No entanto,
me desatam estas gramáticas
de raios;
nas paixões sitiadas;
no pão que o forno queimou.

O amor insurgente
está vivo e mora
no penhasco.

Não há tempo perdido
na vida e seus centavos.

Salgado Maranhão, winner of all of Brazil’s major poetry awards, has toured the United States five times, presenting his work at over one hundred colleges and universities. In addition to fifteen books of poetry, he has written song lyrics and made recordings with some of Brazil’s leading jazz and pop musicians. Five collections of his work have appeared in English: Blood of the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2012), Tiger Fur (White Pine Press, 2015), Palavora (Dialogos Books, 2019), Mapping the Tribe (Spuyten Duyvil, 2020), and Consecration of the Wolves (Bitter Oleander Press, 2021). His poem “The Old Indian” appeared in a special on the Amazon in The New York Times on Oct.4th, 2020. The appearance of A Cor da Palavra (Color of the Word) just this month marks his first book launch in Portugal.

*pictured with translator Alexis Levitin