Condoned to Disappearance for Fernando Pessoa

By Will Alexander

As sigil
camouflaged by curious smoke & surcease
there remains your visage enigmatic & crystal
remaining hidden
within occulted lingual ravines

at one level
it is known that your appellation
is Fernando Pessoa
born 13 June 1888
of course there exist
the perfunctory tables of your chronicle
loss of your natural father at 5
your mother's (remarriage) & new placement in Durbin
then university stay
fueled by magnetic indifference then life in rented rooms
then businesses letters translated from Portuguese to English & French
then “criticism” written in 1912 “creative prose” in 1913
& the following year poetry
the heteronyms
their powers
their conspicuous agendas including Alberto Caeiro Ricardo Reis Alvaro de Campos
then one brief romance
delimited publication
then death by “cirrhosis of the liver”

a “capsule” 
an unleavened symmetry
a migratory transit evinced from my written realm as co-sensation

& why do I emphasize the migratory? 

is it because you've always assumed kinetics that reveal ghosts emerging & re-emerging from Lisbon?

being figurative insularity
roaming a perch of invisible significance 
retreating to an emblematic edge only to return as visual briefings
to emit perfection by scent
by confounding observation
lit from within by inner magnificence
your inner eye
a refracted body of diamonds
that formed as an inner cyclonics as true & concussive blood form

your poetic forces
gazing via scattered combustion understanding the rankings of minerals
not unlike an imaginary ostrich on fire with its primeval thesis understanding precursors
flowing from various forms rife with altering
your personality
human microbial filtration
as anonymous fantasmic shift of various lingual maturation
being high art as cinder
as itinerant breathing codes that range from susurrant of inaudible deafening

& you remained invisible
remaining silently tumultuous
not unlike a primeval calamity perhaps a burning Richter as bird housing in your spirit
a cryodrakon breaks
or a Quetzacoatlus
symbolic of your oversize lingual spell
spanning your animus of heteronyms not as a gesture of looks
or feral figurines

perhaps in your case
an ashen boreal as projection that spins & declines its range not as cellular density
or bio-linear architecture
yet never capable of the fire of a galaxy & its range of 3 billion light years & counting

not as anemic arch-enemies to yourself
but heteronyms that emerge & glisten in themselves
because you understood that the void continued to blaze
as they continued to refract themselves
all the while rooted in themselves through & beyond imaginary compost

because the void blazes & gives strength
their psychic fracas bends & sculpts their own self-reception
so that their many personalities blazed & gave strength to living antonyms 
to the boldness of their own psychic physique
their architecture as biography through peculiar writing climates they being integral burning mangers bred to lateralize & soar within their own motion

to my understanding
none other than revealed kinetics not as the failed kinetics
of an open hearse marking time being not unlike susurrations in the margins
but being the Alps on fire with transpersonal imagination

your favourite motif
being charisma as the strangely nameable
suffused by surreptitious strength empowering their psyches as you ambled the boulevards of Lisbon
as ghost who bred molecules
via anguish & displacement
who occultation via the grand view of things

your vision cast on reasonless scraps of paper
connecting an archive of imaginary hamlets seemingly palpable
& again your principal heteronyms
Alberto Caeiro
Alvaro de Campos
Ricardo Reis
they being portion of “theatre of being” 
enhanced by your amateur astrologer Raphael Baldaya
a Portuguese teacher of Zen

& de Campos a dreamer in drunkenness
floating across a windswept Lisbon as you assumed the perils of the itinerant 

this is where you ambled the Gulf of the itinerant
not with a ruffled roar and
or an entangled roar proto to schizophrenia & its warrens  

not a brusque or triggered calculation
never anticlimactic
but filled with a range of luminosity that self-summoned itself & rose
as proliferation via consciousness far beyond entangled ideology

because the ideological self-stunts its own upheaval 
via dendritic shading & blurred neurological identity
you understood the intelligence that flowed through itinerant mosses that evinced themselves as reason’s exhibits

tuned by marks on scraps of paper this remained your magnificent imaginal music
not unlike a blue & convincing x-ray according to powder
or a wheat that explores by nourishing the bladder of the future

these were your written voices that gazed
that rose & took on accents
that took on evaporated accents that rose & overtook themselves like omens
as they continue to fertilize the future
so that riddles are formed that cleanse the neurology

your heteronyms
unlike the pseudonyms that populated Kierkegaard 
not as grafts
or as strange Herculean items that rose from fundamental observation they had a compound complex fate as juggled fertility as amalgam

to literally script your 70 plus personalities
would do nothing other
than haunt the rites of ellipsis
with linear protocol & error
with bounded clinical judgement
so that hailstones & miracles
would cease to conscript their own dissemination 

so instead
I realize your mind
as ceaseless with activation
never akin to acrimonious spillage somehow summoned from disaster & retreat

I can only feel your imaginary scalpel
as higher gain by being
of its mesmerizing willows
both swaying & flying
via a holographic sonics that blazes

it infects the multiple via the uncountable 
so that it spins & merges & rises higher than the plane that describes concatenation 
that rises higher than the fervour of ascent that kindled ideology 

say a gorge & you fill it with amplification
are primeval glasses invigorated?
do they continue to vigour according to the tenets of Ernst Mach?

to you Fernando all tenets interacted & kinetics remained oceanic
because at present you survive the particle that was yourself
where lingual ravine opens lingual ravine                                                                 
where nuance quickens & magically suspends itself
not according to theory imposed by obsolescence

because your script could never collapse into brazen gain
into multicellular dissection
your moods improperly quoted according to quickness & silence according to animation that rendered the moment

this was poetic infiltration according to the sound of anonymous hives
according to the sonics of your character

for you lingual quarantine was invaded by secrecy conjured by the routine that was Lisbon
with its grand anonymous metrics channeling their way into your anonymous secondary realms
at times overshadowed by vernacular script

unlike its tenets you’ve seemed to vanish & ascend
not unlike a realm condoned to disappearance

Based in Los Angeles, poet Will Alexander is the author of numerous collections of poetry and nonfiction, from his first book, Vertical Rainbow Climber published in 1987, to the very latest, The Combustion Cycle (Roof Books, May 2021) and Refractive Africa (New Directions, November 2021). He is the recipient of The Jackson Poetry Prize and many other awards.

Fernando Pessoa | graphite drawing by Hannah Jones, Ⓒ Three Fold.

Read next: Issue no. three fiction section

Founded in 2020, Three Fold is an independent quarterly based in Detroit that presents exploratory points of view on arts, culture, and society in addition to original works in various media, including visual art, literature, film and the performing arts. We solicit and commission contributions from artists, writers, and activists around the world. Three Fold is a publication of Trinosophes Projects, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Three Fold recognizes, supports, and advocates for the sovereignty of Michigan's twelve federally-recognized Indian nations, for historic Indigenous communities in Michigan, for Indigenous individuals and communities who live here now, and for those who were forcibly removed from their Homelands. We operate on occupied territories called Waawiiyaataanong, named by the Anishinaabeg and including the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa), and Bodewatomi (Potawatomi) peoples. We hold to commit to Indigenous communities in Waawiiyaataanong, their elders, both past and present, and future generations.