segunda-feira, 24 de maio de 2010

A Character (still in the oven)

The house seems empty. I can’t find my books.

And suddenly I imagine a beautiful woman. Maybe she’s dressed in black, a long black dress, standing on the sand, looking out at the sea. Maybe the pier is in Lisbon and she is tall and elegant, powerful and astonishingly feminine.

It smells of wine, wind and fado.

But then she goes crazy because of a man and gets ugly, and weak, and vile, and mad, and monstrous, and demented, and hunched, a woman men cannot see why they ever loved. She’s lonely, and not only scared, but scary.

“I refuse to be defined by my love for that man”

Men make me weak.

I fall in love with them and start, slowly, to hunch.
It smells like wine, crowds and sadness.
They never love me enough.

“We made love twice and I could tell it the first time, not even the second. I said: ‘I can tell you right now. I can tell you now because I foresee it. I can tell you right now that you’ll never love me enough. You don’t love me enough.’

And the more it hurts, the maddest I go.


It’s suffocating to be the only one in this room. I needed a character to put me back on my feet. I need a character to hold my hand, to lend me impulse!

My own pain is so stupid. And I can’t just put it in the drawer and keep it safe there. Out of sight.
I can’t turn the page and read what the lover actually felt, or thought.


And then comes time: This evil, destructive monster that, at the time, is the only one who can heal it.
This bubble growing inside my throat.

It’s like a bubble of anger, or fear… or pain!
To go.
To go back.
To find the books, the words, the text.

To go back home. Go back to my city, the sun and the love stories that I have already survived. The sun.

The comfort of being home, my mom’s old perfume, the streets that sound so different, the yellow trees, the terrifyingly bright blueness of the sky.

It smells like wine, wood, and freedom.

quinta-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2010

"Brazilianized" Red Lentil Indian Soup

I love cooking. With a special friend, on summer afternoons, with my boyfriend D, in New York winter nights, and by myself too, of course!

My sister sings in the shower; Dad types words on his computer's keyboard with Buddhist concentration.
Outside, -2ºC.
D, rehearsing.
Inside the just-arrived Netflix envelope, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

What we need in this house tonight is a soup.
It's been a couple of weeks that I bought a package of red lentils and have been avoiding the challenge. No, they're not hard to handle; they're just new to me.
As usual, I look up in the internet a few different recipes. From there, I basically come up with something simple, something that I can do with what I have at home, something my family would like, something interesting to try.

Suddenly, during my 10-minute Google search tonight, I found an Indian-style soup: red lentils, curry, coriander, turmeric, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, greek yogurt... That just had to be it. D loves Indian food. Besides, he has been, for the last couple of days, taking such good care of me, overwhelmed by PMS, followed by all kinds of cramps, and cravings! He definitely deserves a surprise-soup tonight.

Now, the idea was to make it a bit more Brazilian. The spinach became collard greens; the potatoes became tropical chayote.
Is that more Brazilian? Oh, well, here it is:


1lb of Red lentils (chief lentils are the most common kind)
Chicken/vegetable stock or water
1 cup of tomato puree
1 medium chayote, cut into cubes
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups of frozen collard greens (or fresh, even better!, but then sauté them with onions before adding to the soup)
Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon of ground coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of curry powder (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon of turmeric
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste


Sort the lentils and briefly wash them with cold water.
Put them, along with the chayote, in a pot with water (or stock) enough to cover them (add more if necessary) and simmer until lentils are tender (about 20 minutes).

In a frying pan, sauté the onion and garlic, with olive oil, and add the spices (coriander, curry, turmeric).
Tranfer mixture to the pot with the lentils.
Simmer for about 10 minutes and add the collard greens.

Season to taste.
Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of greek yogurt, a candle burning and a glass of red wine.

Spicy and savory.

sexta-feira, 20 de novembro de 2009


I walk in and the bedroom is still the same. Static.
Static, motionless, loveless before your absence,
I stand in the bedroom that remains the same.
The sun still shines and I can see the blinds reflected on the wall,
Exactly the same way they were that morning in November.
It seemed like summer.

Just wipe your feet before you walk in,
Would you?
Stains of mud don’t seem to come out easily.
In some time, not enough time, I know,
I will get down on my knees,
Again dip my hands into a bucket full of Clorox
And hope that my nails are fierce, strong enough to scratch off your footsteps from the intimacy of the bedroom.
The intimacy of my static, motionless, loveless self.

Don’t bring mud into the house.
I know it won’t come out.
And, please, I need you to take your footsteps with you when you decide it’s time to fly.
Fly away.
Everyone flies.
I, on the contrary, seem to belong here,
Static, motionless, loveless, in a bedroom that still is the same in its deepest essence,
With the same restless sun bursting through the blinds
Making obvious, again, the absence of you.

It seems almost funny,
[unlikely, unnatural]
To picture myself,
[invited, wanted]
Leaving stains on someone else’s nest.

Would he ever walk in his bedroom,
[in that outer world his life seems to me]
To find,
[static, motionless, loveless]
That its emptiness is filled
[in fair exchange]
With the absence of me?

Would he ever walk in his bedroom
To find
That its emptiness is filled
With the absence of me?
In that outer world his life seems to me,
Static, motionless, loveless,
In fair exchange.

By Anita Petry
Em homenagem à minha amiga (poeta linda) Patrícia Del Rey.

sexta-feira, 28 de agosto de 2009

Self-esteem and Foucault.

When it happens that I feel like writing, I have been sitting down and waiting for it to go away. Why is that? I feel everything I think is repetitive, is about myself; in fact, everything has been about the same aspects of myself.

I wish I had more money. I wish I were skinnier, stronger, taller, smarter, prettier, and funnier. I wish I had nicer clothes, better shoes. I wish my eyebrows were thinner, my arms were thinner, my breasts were bigger.

I wish my boyfriend loved me more.

I wish I were a better girlfriend, a better actress, a better daughter.

And now I’m reading more. And that’s miraculous remedy. For everything.

Reading is magical, powerful like nothing else I’ve had the chance to experience.

As I live in New York, I got partly used to witnessing bizarre episodes in the streets, the parks, the trains… Oh, the trains.

Today, coming back home from my first Stage Combat class, I sat reading in the subway car. The chosen piece (being read for the second time) is an amazing, highly recommended!, novel entitled Hallucinating Foucault. In the book, without getting into deeper details, an intense relationship is drawn between the (fictional) writer Paul Michel and the philosopher Michel Foucault. It’s an astonishing work of art.
At a certain point, we start reading letters from the fictional character addressed to the real philosopher. The letters touch on how much one learns from the other, on their styles of writing, their fear of death (or life).

Now that you got into the mood a little bit and you know where I was, imagine the sounds, voice and melody, of a 4-member mariachi group. Mexican intensity, color, and sounds, invaded, not the train, but my experience of… Foucault! And that moment (you might think I’m crazy now) would not have been the same if my idea, my experience of Foucault’s philosophy, hadn’t met Mexican music.

I thank the city of New York for being so unique.

I didn’t lift up my head to check them out. I didn’t question that fact -Is it good? Should they play in the train so loud like this? I just let it be. Because things… are. They don’t need us to be. But we do have the opportunity to choose a specific approach to them.

I let Foucault and mariachis become a magical encounter in the realms of my experience.

I’m glad.

And maybe I don’t need to be any skinnier now.

Anita Petry

quinta-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2009

Suddenly invading me...

Life scares me. Love scares me. Of all, happiness frightens me the most.

Is happiness really good? Whoever said that?

I don’t know how to be content.

I can’t relax. And can’t let go either.

My stomach hurts, my heart speeds up like a bullet, and here I am, sipping cheap whisky, listening to music:

The blue metronome of my discontent.

While happiness frightens me, music pierces me the most. I purse my lips, and breathe in deeply, in a sole, unprotected tremble.

Carlos Gardel keeps playing his beautiful music, as if my world was not being demolished under my feet.

The alarm clock goes off.

I get up and forget who I am.

Anita Petry

quarta-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2009

Ainda bem que aqui é permitido inventar.

"Como a gente é esquisito!"

Uma mulher com vagina.
Um homem com pênis.

"Por que ele é mais alto do que eu?"

E aí inventamos calças, mochilas,
chapéus e bolsos!

Hoje, no trem, tinha uma mulher parecida com a Ivete Sangalo.
Ela folheava uma revista de viagem.

Eu nunca fiz um cruzeiro e aquela revista me deu vontade de fazer um.

"Tá tão frio."
Tá desagradável. Tá doendo, queimando,
embranquecendo e depois avermelhando.

Tá frio mesmo.

"Sabia que no mar, ou seja, no cruzeiro, faz sempre sol? É sempre bom."

E aí a gente inventou o casaco. Ainda bem.

Anita Petry

sexta-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2008

Taking off! :o)

Brasil, Brasil...
Não é um só, é tantos!

Ai, que saudade da minha terra, literalmente do meu chão, de onde descanso meus pés, meu corpo, alma, cabeça.

A mala vazia ao lado. Na ansiedade de ir embora, eu keep on evitando o momento de packing... por quê?

A gente evita confrontos tão bobos... eu, heim?

"Levanta, mulher, faz a mala e se manda!

Corre pro braços de quem te conhece!"

É, eu vou correr pros braços teus, pros braços da língua.
("Minha pátria é minha língua!" Me lembrei disso agora.)

A antecipação da partida é deliciosa:

O avião na minha frente, a bagagem de mão, maior do que deveria, pesa e ainda assim me sinto como que pairando no ar.
Coração, lógico, respirando afobado, aos pulos.


Anita Petry