Tuesday 5 May 2020

2 Poems by Gonzalinho da Costa


An aphorism is an ekphrasis about the portrait of life.

The sound of one hand clapping is very loud against the side of your head.

Don’t crow until the sun has fully risen.

You can’t teach an old dog.

Speech is golden when silence is gilded.         

Wit is the soul of irony.

An eye for an eye is the gaze between two lovers. A tooth for a tooth is a dental implant.

No evil is unmixed with good. Proportion makes all the difference.

Humanity is not a zero-sum game.

The most destructive alienation is not from a particular community or from society but from oneself.

Be moderate in all things, including moderation itself.     

Witness does not require words.

The virtue of silence involves the exercise of good judgment.

Technology is tyranny.

Mercy presupposes an unequal relationship between those who give mercy and those who receive it, because to be merciful is to give what we possess, sometimes in abundance, to our neighbor, so that we ourselves in some way experience deprivation and want.

Distraction is drinking coffee as you pray. Praying while you drink coffee is devotion.

We should not be so occupied with death that we forget to live.


There is no economy. There is only political economy.

Two linchpins curbing the abuse of political power are the ideology of human rights and the principle of separation of powers.

A liberal republican democracy is the politico-ideological system—imperfect—that when genuinely put into practice effectively checks the abuse of power.

A weak democracy creates the enabling environment that allows fascism to rise and bite off the hand that feeds it.

Judicial tyranny is to contradict and subvert the meaning of the law plainly and unambiguously stated.

The law weaponized against the legitimate political opposition is the misrule of law.

Politicization of the judiciary undermines the impartiality, integrity, and equity that necessarily define the sound administration of justice.

Appeasement emboldens the aggressor.

Truth and justice will prevail, sometimes atop a heap of dead bodies.

Three signs of the devil at work: murder, harlotry, deceit.

Fight fire with fire to start a conflagration.

It’s the political economy, stupid.


Gonzalinho da Costa—a pen name—is a management communication and research, statistics, and machine learning consultant. A lover of world literature, he has completed graduate degrees in the humanities, management, communication, and statistics, and writes poetry as a hobby.

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