Showing posts with tag: Rio

Litro #114: Rio – Editor’s Letter

Rio de Janeiro is not quite a “world city”. It is too laid back, too full of switchbacks, so many roads ending at the beach. Yet in the coming years, it will be the focus of enormous suspense, high passions, international achievements and doubtless, great disappointments too. This year, a host of events will mark Rio+20: the twentieth anniversary of the original global climate change summit.

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Nilton Resende – The Crack

“Sky-blue,” the boy hears, as he sweeps the yard and feels the broom come to a sudden halt. He looks to one side with a start, then behind him, then up, and sees his cousin clutching the handle as she crouches down. She takes his face, cupping it with her hands. She pulls back a little as she looks at him, taking his face out of the shade and thrusting it into the sun. He closes his eyes, but she asks him to open them. He obeys, slowly, his eyelids trembling, as the woman in front of him, half her body silhouetted against the light, arms outstretched and stroking his head, says, “Like an angel.” She then returns him to the zone of shade and rest as she kisses his forehead. “Your eyes are sky-blue.” She looks towards the porch. “He’s such a beautiful boy.” Read more →

Lúcia Bettencourt – Summertime

Since November the temperature had been rising steadily. It had reached more than thirty degrees and nothing, not even the downpours that fell every so often, could reduce the sweltering daytime humidity. Those headed to work, dressed in their polyester uniforms, cotton shirts if they were lucky, sighed with envy, looking at the playboys in their skimpy swimsuits or baggy trunks, who mingled with a crowd of women in bikinis, or in bikini tops and shorts rolled down beneath their waists to hold iPods, or even those lycra shorts that cut into bum cracks and coloured the world of buttocks with hot, vibrant colours, stamping jiggling cheeks with flowers and stripes that became almost obscene with movement. Inside the van, the passengers were sweating and suffocating from the lack of air conditioning. Read more →

A two-person monologue by Leonardo Villa-Forte

He started by telling me that it was all interconnected: the colt, the earth, the skirt, the strawberry and so on; because it had all been very well thought out, the relationship between the colours, the clothes, how the rooms were separated and even the way the man scratched his ear, a small homage to his ex-wife who, despite being far away, was undeniably present in everything around him; and so, because all the elements were there together, there was a sense of urgency in the air and the congruence of these things provoked a flurry of poetry which would inevitably be perceived by anyone, pushing into the background all the care taken with technique leaving only the odour of sanctity... Read more →

João Paulo Cuenca – The Tattooist

It's just after midday. I sit on the train watching people come and go, their sullen faces, absent expressions. I see them carrying packages, handbags, holdalls. They unfold newspapers, read books, open magazines, or sit with their arms spread wide, taking up their own space as well as that of another. Read more →

Sérgio Rodrigues – The Stapfnunsk report: A Decent Man

The witness Olaf Stapfnunsk, born in Stockholm, naturalised Brazilian, 48 years of age, owner of a private gym, resident of … street in the city of ..., after swearing by the Law, stated that: by 9am on Thursday 7th October this year, he had arrived at his gym, located on ... street, and went straight up to the office, where he couldn’t help noticing the absence of Totó, his subordinate, full name Alceu Gouveia Nunes, who should have been there by then; this fact made him swear angrily in Swedish (subba was the word he swore, deemed untranslatable by the witness) and, in fury over Totó’s lack of professionalism, grab the phone and get on alone with the scheduled morning task of the month, namely, telemarketing to the neighbourhood... Read more →

Tatiana Salem Levy – Desert

The water has been lapping his feet for a while, since he arrived at the beach and installed himself there, on the shore. Every day he performs the same ritual: he wakes up at half-past five, has a cup of black coffee and goes down to the beach. He walks from the entrance of his building, located in the inner part of Copacabana, to the sand. Then he doesn’t walk anymore. They’ve already told him that he should walk, that it’s good for the heart, especially at his age. But his heart prefers to admire the sea, which isn’t very rough today, but does have waves, the kind which break little by little, they reach the shore without rushing, caressing the sand. Read more →

Two caligrafías by Adriana Lisboa

The Present

for Claudia Roquette-Pinto

At the red light a boy asks me for a handout. He sees my weary face, my muscles signalling urgent needs, my life catching its breath, my fears. At the red light I say I’m fleeing from something toward something else far away.

The boy gives me a handout: his smile. As time stands still, I realise it’s me smiling in the boy while it’s me here on this side, in my car, and the boy and I share our gaze.

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Two Poems by Ramon Mello



at the selarón

staircase songs

shattered feelings

coloured under

the rain walking

for months

two hundred and

fifteen degrees to

find out he

does not accept

the black

umbrella it’ll

be a revenge

they ask



I put an ad in the paper

I’ve asked everyone

but no one has news from you

meanwhile the flip-flops

continue to rest in the laundry

area behind the door between

the mop and the floor cloth

since that night I’ve only

walked barefoot

it’s my protest



Written by Ramon Mello and translated by Thereza Rocque da Motta.

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Monkey Hill

When Rio won the 2016 Olympics it was as if the whole city pinched itself. Euphoric crowds sang and danced on the beach while, on the big screen above their heads, President Lula and Sergio Cabral, the state governor, hugged and wept. On buses and in backstreets people went about their business in quiet surprise. Although cariocas are dreamers, years of decline and disappointment have tempered their natural exuberance. But the next day it seemed that everyone was thinking the same thing: maybe, just maybe, life in Rio might improve. Read more →

Bennett Paris — Exu’s Fedora

Franklin had left Jersey City during the real estate boom. They sold their house, he and his Brazilian wife, and with the profit, built a small house on land her parents had given them, and settled in to pursue the simple deliberate life in a former fishing village called Beira Mar. He set up a small tourism business, the income from which turned out to be not more than pocket change, but it kept him busy. Read more →

The True Meaning of Children’s Day

It was really Noel Rosa who convinced me to go. If I'm trying to decide where to go out and Dama do Cabaré comes up in my playlist, I head obediently over to Lapa. In this case, happily enough, the song was De Qualquer Maneira. I hadn't sworn any oaths, I hadn't promised anyone, and sometimes I wonder about the wisdom of taking life advice from random Noel Rosa songs but dammit, eu ia na Penha. Read more →

Nana Howton — Interquad

My first cousin Daniel liked to sleep with his penis between my thighs when we shared his mother's bed while she worked a graveyard shift in the local hospital. I know what most people would think: what kind of 13-year-old slut lets her 14-year-old cousin do that night after night for a whole month of vacation? Well, the kind that lived in a Catholic orphanage with 60 girls and six nuns and was never told what a penis was. Read more →

A Thirty-year-old Kiss

I started as a research assistant at the Instituto Moreira Salles back in June. I'd been thinking about it ever since they told me it was there, hidden away in some white box in the innards of the archive. Now my research was done, and today was my last day at the university. I could count my days left here on a blind butcher's fingers. So I finally mustered up the courage to ask them to let me see it. The manuscript of A Hora da Estrela. Read more →