Once I read somewhere, I think on the Fraude site: "always be ashamed of what you write". That's how it works with me about poetry. A year, a year and a half go by and there are very few poems that I read and am not ashamed of. It has been a long time since I have written poetry and the first guy that comes to me saying that poetry is dead, I already applaud.
The other day I was walking on the sidewalk at Quinze and a hairy guy appeared offering poetry books for two bucks. I let out my favorite slogan:
- Poetry is dead! And I only enjoy necrophilia when I am drunk.
What is discouraging me about poetry is exactly that: the cage in which it is imprisoned. You write beautiful verses and, or leave them in a drawer, giving them life only in the moments you give them attention, or else you exploit them like the hairy man on the sidewalk, imitating those poor ladies who take their children to beg in the city center and stay hidden on the corner, collecting their children's coins every half hour.
I have been thinking a lot about this because after the invasion of Ju's house, Fábio was a little traumatized due to the stress and the overdose of adrenaline, and he had been writing like a lout. The official poet of the class has always been Sergio, with his outbursts of passion, but lately he has been too busy with his canvases.
- Ari, we could do something with the poetry...
- Do what, Fábio?
- I don't know, something similar to what we did with Sergio's paintings.
- How about we photocopy a bunch of poems and put each one inside a book in the Public Library? Tiba works there and we can do it.
- No, this is crap, what a donkey's idea.
- What then?
- I don't know... Let's think yo..
Sergio twisted his ankle that night. At the time of the rush he didn't feel anything, but the next day the thing dawned swollen, he had to go to the public health clinic to bandage it. The week then passed with everyone sort of putting their ideas back in place. The invasion, however, was a success and no one was willing to stop. It was on Thursday, when Sergio took the bandages off his feet that we went out to drink and celebrate that Fábio came up with another Fantastic Idea & Perfect Plan.
- Guys! I know what to do with the poetry!
Jean did his typical beard scratch:
- Oh, he's trippin again!
Vinicius was always more acid:
Fábio having ideas? This time we'll fall in the hands of the pigs!
Go fuck yourselves! The Plan is perfect. Listen kids: we write each poem, in this case I do, by hand, on small pieces of paper. Then we tie the poems with sewing thread on marbles and, with a slingshot and... (pauses for suspense)... we distribute them on the windows of the middle class. Perfect! The poetic terrorism that Hakim Bey talked about.
Look at this guy, man! He was scared shitless for having risked his neck on Sunday and now he wants to go out smash windows around!
If we're going to fuck, let's fuck everything at once, dammit!
I really liked the idea. Fábio is the kind of guy who stays quiet most of the time and suddenly surprises us.
- I can arrange about five bikes there in Colombo, then we buy those black hoodies that the Zapatistas wear, we all go dressed in black and wearing gloves to make identification difficult, and that's it!
I really liked the idea, and in the following days we tried to get the material, some borrowed black clothes and gloves for five bucks at the street vendors in Osório square.
Vinicius chose a neighborhood: Jardim Social and made a map with schematized routes and escapes. Sergio and I would take BR116 with three poems and spray each of them somewhere along the way. Jean and Vinicius would go along Nossa Senhora da Luz road with another three poems and the same task with the graffiti. An Idea to break Sergio's budget: each poem painted with a different color, a bad idea from a bad plastic artist, unlucky for him, he had to pay for the sprays cans.
Fabio kept the last poem to close, the number seven, because he has been freaking out about the Mayan Calendar and some numerology stuff. The guy has this thing about the number 23 that nobody believes in. He would go alone, adrift in the dérive and would wait for us at four in the morning at Villa Lobos Square, from where we would run away like crazy again.
Just after midnight Sergio and I set off with our terrorist gear. The bikes that Fabio got for us were pretty crappy. Mine the chain was slippin every two blocks and Sergio's was pink, very gay. But that's ok, so off we went to BR to choose places to tag the poems.
I can't say that we did a good job. Our bikes were shit and my colleague, basically inexperienced in vandalism & delinquency. The first poem was left on a wall in a vacant lot. The second was better, it was on one of those pedestrian walkways that cross the highways. It was hard to write upside down.
The third was better. We jumped over a wall and painted on the inside. Exclusive vandalism. Not for everyone. And the poem was good, painted in bright red. Very wild.
I made a gambit to stop the belt from escaping, and we had to pedal like crazy to get to Jardim Social at three in the morning. Sergio carried the "lyrical cartridges" as I called the poems tied to the marbles and the slingshot. I was going to shoot, since he had never hunted a bird in his life. If Sergio were to shoot, I think he would need about 49 poems to hit a 10-meter-wide window four feet in front of him.
The first house was easy: the window pane was large and the wall was close. A treacherous ease, because we did it too fast, without thinking about the escape, and the fucking street was about two hundred meters to the next corner. Hell of a run. We heard the sound of breaking glass and it seems that the weight of reality came down on us, on me especially.
We ran about five or six blocks, then I stopped and shot the second poem anyway, almost with my eyes closed and almost without thinking. I was like Fabio in Ju's house, blind and paranoid with panic. I don't even remember the house, we heard the shrapnel and started running like hell again.
This time we ran much faster until I found a wall that led to a vacant lot.
- Quick, man, throw the bike to the other side!
- What was it? - Sergio looked annoyingly calm.
- Toss it, man! Toss it!
We threw the bikes and I sat panting in the middle of a bush of weeds. I was exhausted and terrified. At Ju's house it was a closed place that Jean knew well. Now it was different, we were on the street, where any insomniac could see us from the bedroom window and we didn't know the neighborhood well. I lit a cigarette. My hands were shaking.
- We have to catch up, Ari, otherwise we'll be late.
- Hold on!
- It's already ten to four and do you think the police will take much longer than five minutes to show up?
Then it seemed that reality came crashing down on me again. It was true, the absolute truth. Then it seems that a very rare sense of heroism came over me. I ran about fifty meters through the underbrush and jumped over a very high wall (honestly, I don't know how I did it) that led to a house at the back of the lot. I fell into the yard and did everything automatically without thinking, the kind of thing that if you think about it, you don't do it. At the window into what I thought was the owners' bedroom I extended the slingshot and, less than two meters away I released the projectile. I could feel the shards of glass in my face. And you could hear screams from inside the house. I stopped their world, hehehe.
I swear I have never run so fast in my life. There were some thorns in the bushes and I scratched myself without feeling anything at the time. Magically Sergio was already waiting with the bikes on the other side of the wall. I looked at a traffic sign at the end of the street and pedaled with all my strength. I didn't even look at where Sergio was or looked at anything. It was then that the fucking belt slipped again and on the speed I crashed on the ground. Even with the wool cap on, my face dragged on the asphalt and I scratched my nose and hurt my elbow.
- Are you okay, man? Are you hurt?
- It's nothing, let's go, let's go, let's go !!!!
- Are you sure?
The adrenaline was so much that I couldn't feel a thing. We arrived at the square and everyone was already waiting impatiently.
- Fuck man, you took damn long to arrive!
- We thought you had been caught.
- What the hell were you guys doing?
- Fabio has yet to shot his!
- What was that on your nose, Ari?
Just then we heard the police sirens. Holy shit, Armageddon's time. Fábio left running towards a mansion on the other side of the square. My heart felt like it was going to come out of my mouth. Jean looked around nervously. Fabio ran, climbed a high wall, stretched the slingshot, closed one eye, laid his head on the side hitting his aim and shouted:
- Let's fuck shiit uuuuuupppp !!!!!
We heard the sound of the pane of glass breaking and were already on the move. The sound of the sirens was already very loud and the mansion alarm went off, apocalyptic the scene. Fábio was lagging behind, but we could still hear him shouting:
- Run, I'll find a way!
If we had a stopwatch at the time I think we would have broken speed records.
- Yabba Dabba Doo! Reach me if you can choo-choo - shouted Vinicius shitting himself laughing.
- Run, Forrest, run! - replied Jean.
In less than ten minutes we were all sitting in the dark, panting, in front of the botanical garden. That is, everyone except the owner of the bicycle with the rotten belt, me, who took another ten minutes to arrive. This time we didn't laugh as much as last week because Fabio had stayed behind. Almost nobody said anything, until Jean went to a nearby gas station to get some beers and came back with Fabio in the trunk. The bastard escaped!
- You deadasses! I was joking when I told you to run away without me.
- And the bike?
The guy, thrilled with his adventure, said he was so happy that he left it on an overpass as a gift for the first to find it, with a plastic bag full of pamphlets with the phrase: "Be realistic: Demand the impossible" and walked until Jean found him.
Fabio was really ecstatic. We walked to Jean's and Vinicius' flat, drinking a beer from every bar we found along the way. We arrived home at 8:30 in the morning, wildly drunk & happy. What a strange world!