Ricardo Aleixo was born in 1960 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He is the author of six books, including his latest Pesado demais para a ventania: antología poetica (Todavia, 2018). Best known for his poetry’s visual and social characteristics, his work draws connections between concrete poetry and ethno-poetry. In 2004, Aleixo won a grant from the Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (National Library Foundation), and in 2010 he won the “Literatura para Todos Award” from the Brazilian Ministry of Education. He lives in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
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I Know You by Your Scent
Translated from Portuguese by Dan Hanrahan I know you by your scent, by your clothes, by your cars, by your rings and, of course, by your love of money. By your love of money that some distant ancestor left you as inheritance. I know you by your scent. I know you by your scent and by the dollar signs that embellish your eyes that hardly blink for your love of money. For your love of money and all that negates life: the asylum, the cell, the border. I know you by your scent. I know you by the scent of pestilence and horror that spreads wherever you go —I know you by your love of money. Under your love of money, God is a father so cheap he charges for his miracles. I know you by your scent. I know you by the scent, of sulfur, which you can’t mask which clings to all that you touch for the love of money. For your love of money, you respond with loathing to a smile, to pleasure, to poetry. I know you by your scent. I know you by your scent. Smell one of you and I’ve smelled all of you who survive only by your love of money. For the love of money, you turn even your own daughters to hard currency, to pure gold. I know you by your scent. I know you by your scent. I know you by the stench of your rotting corpse that somehow walks for its love of money.