December 3, 2012

Ana Christina Cesar

Ana Cristina Cesar [Brazil]

Born in 1952 in Rio de Janeiro, Cesar wrote for newspapers and alternative journals in the 1970s. She was also active in journalism, television, and literary research. Her published books of the period include Nada esta espuma; Cenas de abril, Correspondência Completa; and Luvas de Pelica, collected under the title A teus pés in 1982.

     On October 29, 1983, Cesar committed suicide, apparently as a result of her sexual involvements in Rio de Janeiro during the Military Dictatorship.

     Several of her manuscripts were collected after he death as Escritos da Inglaterra in 1985. Her posthumous work also includes the book of poetry Inêditos e Dispersos.


Nada esta espuma; Cenas de abril (Rio de Janeiro: Edição do autor, 1970); Correspondência Completea; Luva de Pelica: A tues pés (São Paulo: Editora Brasilense, 1982); Inêditos e Dispersos (São Paulo: Editora Brasilense, 1985)



Polly Kellogg and the chauffeur Osmar.
Rapid but intense dramas.
Photo romances of the conceptual heart.
Of the navy blue strapless dress.
I swallow insults but with sincerity.
Giddy with good sense.
Aerial of the square.
Artist of savings.
Absolutely blind.
Lust for the perhaps.
Mincing gait.
Water in my mouth.
An angel that registers.

—Translated from the Portuguese by John Milton

Nothing, This Foam
To confront desire
I insist on the evil of writing
but I don’t know if the goddess comes up to the surface
or if she just punishes me with her howls.
From the bulwarks of this boat
how I long for the mermaid’s breasts.

—Translated from the Portuguese by John Milton

it’s very clear
love is here
to stay
on this open veranda
night falls over the city
under construction
on the small constriction
on your breast
anguish of happiness
car headlights
slashing time
road works
at rest
a sudden recoil from the plot

—Translated from the Portuguese by John Milton


Late at night I put the whole house back in its
I put all the leftover papers away.
I make sure of the soundness of the locks.
I never said another word to you.
From the top of the hills of Petrópolis,
With a pointed hat and a watering can,
Elizabeth confirmed, “The act of losing
isn’t hard to master.”
I rip up the leftover paper.
“Your eyes sin, but your body
doesn’t,” said the precise, simultaneous translator,
and it was his hands that trembled. “It’s dangerous,”
laughed the skilled Carolina on Kodak paper.
The lowdown camera panned.
The voiceover in the hills, indestructible
tamed fire of passion, the voice
of the mirror of my eyes
denying all the journeys,
and the shrill voice of speed,
I drank a little of all three
without noticing
like someone looking for a thread.
I never said another word to you,
I repeat, I state firmly,
late at night
while I lose direction
with no luxury
the seemings I heard in an endless day:
without seeming more like the dazzling light of this
                                 same interminable day  

—Translated from the Portuguese by John Milton

Poems reprinted from Régis Bonvicino, Michael Palmer, and Nelson Ascher, eds., The PIP Anthology of World Poetry of the 20th Century, Volume 3: Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain—20 Contemporary Brazilian Poets (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2003). English language copyright ©by John Milton. Reprinted by permission of Green Integer.

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