Waldo Motta: Memory of a War of Nerves

Calling for Ogum


All that a warrior needs

As he goes to battle

Is to lay down weapons and flowers

At the enemies’ feet

To fall mercilessly in love

With all the sons of bitches


Although my country is not at war with anyone else, I live in a state of constant war, more on the defense than on the attack. I speak of the struggle for survival, so fierce for a homosexual in a country that is a champion in gay murders.

So, I have a memory of war, because I live in a constant state of war in my country. I live in a state of siege, because I am a citizen besieged, discriminated, persecuted. For being openly gay. And moreover, I have a homosexual discourse, in which I honor homosexuality and raise the gay pride flag, with religious fervor, through my homoerotic and mystical poetry.

Among other things some of the  causes of this war are the machismo of most Brazilians, the religious fanaticism of Catholics and Protestants, a high rate of illiteracy, precarious education, widespread poverty, the hypocrisy of the mass media, the stupidity and incompetence of politicians and government.

It is a silent war, invisible, in the form of discrimination, boycott, indifference, erasure, banishment. So ladies and gentlemen, just imagine what it is like to be a homosexual famous and feared, loved by some and hated by many people. Allusions to that war are to be found in several poems of mine.

I combat with words, and I hope this is not a vain struggle. I think the word is the most powerful of all weapons.

“Calling for Ogum” is a warlike poem against war, to have an end to war. Ogum is the name of a god of war in African mythology. But Ogum also is a god of civilization, culture, art.

So, I believe that, like in homeopathy, where we use the rule of like for like, we can put up a struggle and maybe avoid warring with poetry, art and culture.

Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brasil

Waldo Motta

Waldo Motta (artistic name of Edivaldo Motta, São Mateus, Espírito Santo, 27 October 1959) is a poet, actor, numerologist, healer, mystic and cultural activist in Brazil, commonly linked to the marginal generation to the 1980s and, more particularly, to the 1990s, and has been hailed as one of the most representative voices of Brazilian poetry in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, alongside Fabricio Carpinejar, Angélica Freitas, Micheliny Verunschk, Frederico Barbosa, Claudia Roquette-Pinto and Cuti.

Selected Bibliography

  •     Os anjos proscritos e outros poemas (with Wilbett R. Oliveira). São   Mateus: Edição dos Autores, 1980.
  •     O signo na pele. São Mateus: Centro de Cultura Negra do Vale do Cricaré, 1981.
  •     As peripécias do coração. São Mateus: Centro de Cultura Negra do Vale do Cricaré, 1981.
  •     Obras de arteiro. São Mateus: Edição do Autor, 1983.
  •     De saco cheio. São Mateus: Edição do Autor, 1983.
  •     Salário da loucura. São Mateus; Vitória: Edição do Autor, 1984.
  •     Eis o homem. Vitória: Fundação Ceciliano Abel de Almeida / Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, 1987. Coletânea.
  •     Poiezen. Vitória; São Paulo: Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo / Massao Ohno, 1990.
  •     Bundo e outros poemas. Organização: Iumna Maria Simon e Berta Waldman. Campinas: Editora da Unicamp, 1996. Coletânea reunindo poemas dos livros Waw e Bundo.
  •     Transpaixão. Vitória: Edições Kabungo, 1999. Coletânea.
  •     Cidade cidadã. A cor da esperança. Organização: Adilson Vilaça. Vitória: Secretaria Municipal de Cidadania e Segurança Pública, 1998, v. 4. Publicação em homenagem ao Dia Nacional da Consciência Negra.
  •     Recanto: poema das 7 letras. Vitória: Imã, 2002.
  •     Transpaixão. 2ª edição. Vitória: Editora da Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, 2009.
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