Most Human Human Contest by Carlo Matos
Slash Pine Press, 2015; 32 pp
Reviewed by Irene Marques


In Most Human Human Contest, the performance of the body, whether by the great ancient Greek warrior Achilles or the famous actor/wrestler André Roussimoff or MC Hammer or the Portuguese father in the factory, are all manifestations of a deeper ontology that tries to affirm the glory and meaning of life in the materiality of a world that shatters dreams. Beneath the seemingly banal materiality, there pulsates the yearning for something higher, for the freedom and the sublime that art may allow. In the end then all of us yearn to be “giants” even in the repetitive, menial and back-breaking work that we have to perform to survive, for even if the father is “a factory worker” by day he has “a secret passion for poetry and drama” and back in the Azores “he built walls by day… and by night he performed plays.” We may appear as brutes by day in order to survive in the world we live in, but at night, behind the dark curtains of the stage or in a sudden movement and dance of the body, we reveal our existential yearning, when the spirit is allowed to speak and exit the walls of the body-material that cuts, dissects and reduces. It is in this interval that beingness is, and we become the “most human human,” suspending the force of gravity and evading the chains that want to make us small.