Ο νέος που πρόσμενες να `ρθει
δεν ήρθε μήτε απόψε.
Μα τί θα του `λεγες; Γιατί;
Άσε τα μάταιο να χαθή.
The young man you expected
hasn’t come tonight.
What would you tell him? Why?
Let the futile vanish
cut the unfortunate sprout. Continues »
My friend Rena called yesterday,
She said,” It’s summer and I’m going away.”
I asked, “Do you think that’s right.
We won’t see each other for a fortnight?”
She responded, “I’m going to Skopelos.”
I queried, “Do you think that’s ophelos?
There, there are thousands of trees
But no breeze. Continues »
Shadows in their solace
can have a room
a sofa, or nothing!
Can have water
a piece of bread
They are blasted
by “friendly bombs”!
Είμαι ηθοποιός, κατά βάθος πολιτικός,
στο καμαρίνι λύνω σταυρόλεξο, ψάχνω
πράσινα άλογα, χαζεύω στην τηλεόραση.
Ένας σπουργίτης ραμφίζει το τζάμι μου
να δω τις ειδήσεις: ένα παιδάκι ξαγρυπνά
μπρος στα πτώματα των γονιών του, μετά
το ανεβάζουν σε βάρκα, προσφυγόπουλο
το βγάζει η θάλασσα στην άμμο για αιώνιο ύπνο,
στην τσεπούλα του ένα τετράδιο όπου έγραψε:
‘Θα σας καταγγείλω όλους στον Θεούλη μου…’ Continues »
He stood at the edge of the old castle’s parapet
below it the hungry abyss and
even lower the gleaming sea
ready to splash its first wave
onto the yellow soft sandy beach
when he raised his arm
as if taking an oath
as if promising to come back
at another time when we’d need
one to stand against
the greed and gluttony of the few
who comfortable and fat
dwelled in their satiation. Continues »
A piece of my life, in a tight embrace
is my splendid land, my living place.
A westerly wind makes my spirits rise
for this earth, Athina’s paradise.
The sparkling water and shadowy cave
your mind and body will now enslave,
your very soul will be captured too
in the swirls of foam from a sea so blue.
Up on a white multi-peaked mountain
To search and find our warmest shelters
Among the charred remains of January's winter
Ensuring our tokens of slavery are not erased.
Only but a few tracks stay out of our bustle city
And on the snow that just fell
Like a crafty veil, a tight fit
Around our worn out shoes
Prompting us to forget all past traditions
And find some foreign thoughts
That spread across a nature gone wild. Continues »
Draw two columns
one for the day’s gains
and one for its losses.
The serious concepts
your bright thoughts and readings
your from one side to the other
mark on the column of the gains.
no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay. Continues »
τα λόγια χάθηκαν σε μιά στιγμή στο σκότος στο αίμα αθώων,
που χρωστάνε τη ζωή...σε ποιόν;
Γιατί πληρώνουν τόσο ακριβά,
το βλέμμα , την ανάσα, τη ζωή,
i have been ,and these are
what my prayers look like;
Dear God !!
Don’t believe a word!
I’ve certainly heard this
many times before!
You see… time has not matured
for the Erinyes to start.
The night still soothes
the wave of anger…
the losses are still unknown,
the men who get up at dawn
to go to work,
have not enough time to look over
their neighbours sorrows…
And the others –who underarm
their brief cases paper full-
have not had their coffee as yet…
-having crossed their feet upon the surface,
of a -mirror like- polished desk. Continues »
The merciful Hestia built my dwelling
echo of a gallop
sang in faraway lands
sound of a comma
of a woman’s nipple
an exhausted tree stopped
its rustle and I existed
in vague limbo Continues »
Ως άνθρωποι του γραπτού λόγου θέλουμε να πιστεύουμε ότι μας διέπει η λογική. Η λογική αυτή προστάζει να μην πιστεύουμε σε ψήγματα της φαντασίας, της προκατάληψης, της μαντείας ή του αορίστου. Είναι όμως ευχής έργο το ότι καταφέραμε να συνδράμουμε σε μια προσπάθεια επίκλησης ενδιαφερόντων που μας αντιπροσωπεύει, εφόσον όλοι αγαπήσαμε και όλοι αγαπηθήκαμε κάποτε. Continues »
The Greek who arrived in a boat
wished he had arrived in a plane
or with a little bit of cash at least;
he had no choice but to arrive in a boat
he had to take a month off his life over the waves. Continues »
[tabgroup] [tab title=”English”] Breeze laughed amid his limping footsteps nature’s unforgiving mistake struggled out of the sea eyes full of kindness irises of a saint a brave man’s graceful stature in his unbalanced steps the balance of the Universe searched for justice pain of the different in vain danced in the expression of the man who limped out of the light waves Continues »
A little further from the light cast by the lamp there begins another world, an unknown world - who has ever gone there? who has every returned from there? - and then there are nights - ah! how many adventures there are dreams, so many that you life becomes insignificant (and hence dangerous) - Continues »
Aliki Beach in autumn hues,
just sandy footprints left by you
mystically adored, a dream
in colours rare and supreme.
On Sunday wintertime set in.
Your hands held cloudy skies within.
We are with you present in mind,
our mortal selves, though, left behind. Continues »
Here books and bookshops
have a distinct fragrance
like incense rising
to a venerable pious congregation.
Here people and palaces
have an ancient architecture
Roman and Romanesque at once
not led astray by flights of abstraction
only trusting in the everyday and concrete
joyfully signing in the underground
at peak hour
or biting their lips to not let in
the winter Continues »
A little out from Athens there is
the Hotel “HOPE”. Each night
in this Hotel, at midnight,
two ghosts cry. This bad luck
drives the hotel manager to despair,
for as you might appreciate
these goings-on drive customers away Continues »
When rain struck the window with one of its fingers
the window opened inward. Deep inside
an unknown person, a sound – your voice?
Your voice distrusted your ear. The next day
the sun went down the fields, like a descent of farmers
with scythes and pitchforks. You too went out to the street Continues »
Sometimes past midnight the rhythmic hooves of horses
are heard from down the road of a delayed carriage as if
from a mourning matinee of some rundown neighborhood
with its plaster fallen off the ceiling, with the peeling walls
with a huge discolored red curtain drawn
that has shrunk from so many washings and in the gap
it leaves under it
you could see the bare feet of the stage manager or the
who perhaps rolls up a paper forest to turn off the lights. Continues »
He sat on the stool by the front yard, his hands so clumsy, they had
already overtaken us “someday they will demolish the house”, he says
to me, and they’ll discover it”
and every so often at the far end of the room someone wrapped around
him a bed-sheet, it was the time he escaped, until the bed-sheet fell
empty on the floor and we had a friend forever, Continues »
Sometimes, that special hour, I think of narrating all the details:
how, for example, this incurable disease started on the opposite wall
or about that woman in the park, whose body was nailed on the bench,
and I say this without exaggeration, the nails protruded from her cloths
like small buttons, while her purse with her identity card floated down... Continues »
Poetry, EKSTASIS EDITIONS Ubermensch, by Manolis Aligizakis is the most difficult and most philosophical poetry book I have come across. And rightfully so since it is identified with Nietzsche’s “Ubermensch” so much in the plot as much in the concepts. The poet “toys” with the various conventions as he firstly relates Ubermensch to true dimension given to him by the German philosopher and secondly to the misinterpretation given to the concept by the German ‘national-socialists’ with the horrible results that followed and affected the whole world. Continues »
Suddenly on an autumn day he left, on the table he left a letter
“don’t send me away” it read and spoke of a deep inhabitable
emotion; in the house all the lights were turned on that I wouldn’t
understand, that perhaps, he had never come, while next to the letter
he had left the mystery of his death, already covered by cobwebs... Continues »
Know ye the land of the cedar and vine?
Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine,
Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppressed with perfume,
Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her bloom;
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit,
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute; Continues »
Then the other one came, he carried an old ravished valise,
in which he hid all the ghosts of his life, that they never needed
chase after him,
we were in the same stuffy room and the large animal sawn
on the carpet was already biting our knees,
“mother”, I asked at some-time, “where can we find some water for
my horse?”, “but I don’t see any horse”, “you too, mother!”, Continues »
The foreigner chatted with the woman in a low tone, of course,
the woman was dead and he stared at his destiny, that useless outline
the dead leave on the chair,
birds struck the ceiling and fell into the dirty sink where all
the stories ended, embalmed old men sat behind the window glass
the stoa was dark, the stores wet where they sold tripods for caskets
and wreaths for glory we had once dreamed off, Continues »
Night fell and in the old house only the shadows remained, “aunt
Eudokia”, I said to her, “be serious, you are dead now”
but she retained the same awkward smile, like back then when she hid
something which I wasn’t allowed to know as yet
the foreigner narrated stories of signs and wonders, ancient old
murders, he also talked about a fly on the child’s glass and that he burnt Continues »
The orchard with its fountains in the rain
you will see only from behind the fogged up glass
of the lower window. Your room
will be lit by the fireplace flames
and sometimes, the distant lightning will reveal
the wrinkles on your face, my old Friend. Continues »
We didn’t know them
deep inside it was hope that said
we had met them in early childhood.
Perhaps we had seen them twice and then they went to the ships
cargoes of coal, cargoes of crops and our friends
vanished beyond the ocean forever.
Daybreak finds us beside the tired lamp Continues »
With the first cold spells, the trees leave stooping in the wind.
In the evening, the sky becomes a large closed glass door.
In there, many have gathered talking in low tones and smoking,
because we see, behind the steamed glass Continues »
They left, they left – he said. They stayed – he said in a while. They stayed.
Gullible days, wasted. And there were a few trees.
The roofs leaned their shoulders more impressively. George,
on top of the ladder, was fixing the plaster festoon
of the neoclassical house. Further down in the harbor
the longshoremen were creating a havoc. They carried
large wooden boxes tied with ropes. Two dogs
walked edge to edge in the street. Continues »
The rupture in the voice propels the course of the blood clot and at the summit there gapes the joy of the coming of another long-headed woman. Her petals folded and the necklace she bent over to grab provokes and protects her copulation far from the corncobs and velvet of the seashore. Continues »
Prostrate and with sugar on her lips she lay down on the luminous wreath of love. It was not long before the summons was heard. Initially two birds took her, followed by the wires of the compassionate conspiracy, and finally she was taken away by five roosters which looked like horses that were literate, and they touched her private parts. Continues »
in the cloyed atmosphere
of the casino’s underbelly,
things are not as they seem.
I sat at a slot machine
trying to synchronize my mind
to the machine’s rhythm,
brain balancing precariously
between mild intoxication
and growing inebriation. Continues »
Bitter thorn The young lady I encountered in my drawer appeared and then vanished. In her place a wisp of smoke carries the phosphorus of her frieze. Emigrants exploit the expanses she left behind but the child of our memories brings the tentacles which resemble the six different delights of the young lady who was basically a mother to her child and my mother. Sometimes I live inside the drawer. Continues »
Better even than the soil we give to the friends of water lilies, the getaway signal was spurned. Lying down she feeds her donkeys and the lean ravens without abiding in the injustice of fierce appeasement. That’s why she will still bloom, that’s why she will cry out, that’s why the supine and spineless men and all the secret ravines will be demolished and she will remain a lustrous and likeable crucible thriving in the colours of matter. Continues »
Years like wings. What does the motionless raven remember?
What do the dead remember near the roots of trees?
Your hands had the color of the falling apple.
And this voice that always returns in a low tone.
Those who travel focus on the sail and the stars
hear the wind and beyond the wind the other sea
like a closed conch near them, they hear nothing
else, they don’t search among the shadows Continues »
When with the weight of the wind which sweeps away the brooms between the mothers’ legs the shooting star trumpeted the last commandments of the god-men, the phoneme proudly stood up and with the suppleness of complete automatic subtlety carried felicity away towards the waters of an enormous tide. Continues »
…the second mistral took off. The motions of the slender hairbrush against my self were successfully negotiated. A tropical warmth, but one transformed before martyrs who had been set on fire, was definitively registered in the proceedings of the giant warriors, instead of the worthless honour of an esteemed odalisque. On her legs anklets glowed, on her face tears, on her breast three droplets. Continues »
The night passed its mouth stuffed by speechless water. At
daybreak the sun shone wet on the coiled cables.
Faces – shadows, masts – shadows, voyages –
perhaps saw them, perhaps not – our hunger was never satisfied. Continues »
The four windows hang rhyming quatrains
made of sky and sea inside the rooms
A lonely daisy is a small wristwatch
on the arm of summer showing
twelve at noon. Thus you feel
your hair entangled in the hands of the sun Continues »
Κωνσταντίνος Καβάφης και Ερωτισμός/ Constantine Cavafy and Eroticism Sensuous, erotic, exact Cavafy does not so much tell a story as create an atmosphere, sweeping the reader away on a blue Aegean sea of longing. The endurance of his work is in his approach, embodying both the immediacy of the Hellenic past and the direct moment of an imagined erotic encounter. Translated by Manolis Aligizakis [tabgroup] [tab title=”English”] COME BACK Come back often and take me, beloved sensation, come back and take me— when the memory in my body awakens, and the old desire again runs through my blood; when the lips and the skin remember Continues »
Κωνσταντίνος Καβάφης και Ερωτισμός/ Constantine Cavafy and Eroticism Sensuous, erotic, exact Cavafy does not so much tell a story as create an atmosphere, sweeping the reader away on a blue Aegean sea of longing. The endurance of his work is in his approach, embodying both the immediacy of the Hellenic past and the direct moment of an imagined erotic encounter. Translated by Manolis Aligizakis [tabgroup] [tab title=”English”] ONE NIGHT The room was poor and cheap hidden above the shady tavern. From the window the street was visible, narrow and filthy. From below came the voices of some workers who played cards and joked around. Continues »
Constantine Cavafy and Eroticism Translated from the Greek by Manolis Aligizakis [tabgroup] [tab title=”English translation”] Sensuous, erotic, exact Cavafy does not so much tell a story as create an atmosphere, sweeping the reader away on a blue Aegean sea of longing. The endurance of his work is in his approach, embodying both the immediacy of the Hellenic past and the direct moment of an imagined erotic encounter. AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE CAFE Something they said at the next table directed my attention to the café door. And I saw the beautiful body that looked like Eros had made it out of his most exquisite experience— shaping its symmetrical limbs joyfully; raising its sculptured stature; Continues »
The gist of my story was a black reclining chair—though
where is the house now, where is the fruit bowl with the old
invitations, the napkins that concealed our laughter—only
the lamp is lit in the empty room, like someone who talks
to himself ignorant of the danger or like a woman you never Continues »
When, finally, after all the begging, the woman lied down and
lifted her dress, I chose to pick all the coins that fell—and all this
for a Peisistratos, as was the name of the café where I drank
my brandy and then the patrons laughed as I fell asleep on the chair Continues »
MANUAL FOR EUTHANASIA 1979 ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΕΥΘΑΝΑΣΙΑΣ ~So many stars and I starve to death. ~ Τόσα άστρα κι εγώ νά λιμοκτονώ Τάσος Λειβαδίτης Manolis Aligizakis [tabgroup] [tab title=”English”] Perverted Passion Someday I’ll remember of something so nice, it’ll be autumn, in that narrow side-street with the glass shops, where when we went bankrupt, father sold dream books—since then I never got of the dream although I was cold, to at least fall into my perverted passion: melancholy or crowding—because, let us be honest, I never loved anybody and this tender glance of mine was just for personal use like the immortality of the poets. [/tab] [tab title=”Ελληνικά”] Ανώμαλα Πάθη Κάποτε θά θυμηθώ κάτι τόσο ωραίο, θά `ναι φθινόπωρο σ’ εκείνη τή μικρή πάροδο μέ τά υαλοπωλεία, εκεί πού, όταν ξεπέσα- με, ο πατέρας πουλούσε ονειροκρίτες—από τότε δέν ξαναβγήκα απ’ τ’ όνειρο κι όμως κρύωνα, αλλά μπορούσα τουλάχιστο να παραδοθώ στ’ανώμαλα [...]
The room was in the suburbs, with a few pieces of furniture,
like a Gospel quotation—so everything finished quickly and
Joanna cried and run back to the station, on the other hand it was
a secret that I’d forget as I tried to mention it, then I opened the violin
case—and only, at sometimes, when I grieved I put on my tie Continues »
MANUAL FOR EUTHANASIA 1979 ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟ ΕΥΘΑΝΑΣΙΑΣ
~So many stars
and I starve to death.
~ Τόσα άστρα
κι εγώ νά λιμοκτονώ
Manolis Aligizakis - Or perhaps to be more accurate it all started by
this clock, a stupid, baldheaded clock, it wasn’t my fault—
every afternoon I simply sat quietly on the sofa and ate my
aunties is young age, but one by one, Continues »
Today I shall write a poem:
crafted to mesmerize the readers’ minds
devoted to Terpsichore’s dance
meant to guide people forever
designed to awe the on-lookers Continues »
Here, in the untidiness of the room,
between the dusty books
and the old people’s portraits,
between the yes and the no of so many shadows,
one band of motionless light
here, in this position
where you undressed one night. Continues »
In this place the light is beyond hope. This heartless month
doesn’t allow us not to be two. You are not enough.
The monotonous clank, the streetcars turning the corner
the marble-masons cutting stones in high noon.
Above the fence-wall you could see the conventional funerary stele
marble flowers marble ribbons
the bust of a banker
the face of a child shadowed by the wing of an angel. Continues »
Κείνες τις μέρες νοιώθαμε πως είμαστε στον δεύτερο
μήνα εγκυμοσύνης κι ο πόνος είχε σταθερή διάσταση
σαν υποτείνουσα μεταξύ σκέψης και συναισθήματος
σαν ένα χαμόγελο με πείσμα κι είμασταν πια
μεγάλοι για να μάθουμε παιγνίδια καινούργια γι αυτό
εμείναμε πιστοί στου ανέμου το πανάρχαιο μαστίγωμα
πάντα μακριά απ’ τα όνειρά μας, αλήθεια, μια ασήμαντη
εξέλιξη. Continues »
The earthquake struck Armenia quickly
And spread its devastation swiftly;
From its innards the earth rumbled
Then its outer surface crumbled
And everything standing on it tumbled.
Shocked and stunned, the Armenians ran,
Fearful and tearful and shattered,
As the ground sputtered and shuddered-
The horror and terror in their voices
Echoing nature's destructive noises. Continues »
He stood by the fireplace and after He shifted the logs
He said: ‘nothing you can do for the wilted anemone
at least try to push your empty cart uphill perhaps one day
it may find its way back to the desolate house with you
or without’ and I bent down to pick my defeated ego,
it had all started because of our devout narcissism, Continues »
Wide morning in Rome that widens the consonant l
amid the vendors yelling, the tires of buses
and the statues’ silence.
Ocher shadowed in the eastern facades
of stores and buildings. Doors and doors uphold
the semicircles of shadows at one time. Strange –
he said – Continues »
da Vinci Raphael Michelangelo, – how they incised
the greatest skies in the human face, in the human body
toenails and fingernails, leaves and stars, nipples, dreams, lips, –
to red and the light blue the tangible and the inconceivable. Perhaps from
touching of these two fingers the world was reborn. The space
between these two fingers still measures accurately
the earth’s pull and duration. Continues »
Ναι, το ξέραμε πως ο προδότης πάντα κρυβόταν μέσα
στον ίσκιο του μισογκρεμισμένου τοίχου, στου πιστολιού
σκανδάλη το δάχτυλό του έτοιμο δικαιοσύνη ν’ αποδώσει
όπως την περιγράφανε αρχέγονα βιβλία, άλογη λογική
που μέλλονταν να αποτύχει κι εμείς πιο κοντά ζούσαμε
στην ανωνυμία και στους αρχαίους όρκους κάποτε... Continues »
Then, what they searched for, what was I guilty of, I, who’s
only crime was that I grew up always chased, where could
one find time, for this I stayed gullible and
I always hugged the cold railing of the bridge. Continues »
Όντως ήταν αληθινό και το δεχτήκαμε. Πέθανε
ο Θεός μας. Τον θάψαμε χθές το απόγευμα χωρίς
τραγούδια ή παιάνες, δίχως κλαυθμούς και μοιρολόγια
κι ανάλαφροι ενιώσαμε τίποτα πιο πολύ δεν μας
γαργάλαγε παρά το ύφος της μουντής μέρας ενώ ο φόβος,
θάλεγα, βαθειά μες την καρδιά μας είχε καταχωνιαστεί. Continues »
And the episodes continued with minor variations, the epidemic advanced,
confused messages, we didn’t know who they had left out,
the saints in fear took refuge in the calendars, scarecrows no longer took off their hats
when the trains passed by,
large membranes appeared under the women’s arms, Continues »
Είπες εδώ καί χρόνια:
“Κατά βάθος είμαι ζήτημα φωτός”.
Καί τώρα ακόμη σάν ακουμπάς
στίς φαρδιές ωμοπλάτες τού ύπνου
ακόμη κι όταν σέ ποντίζουν
Some years ago you said
‘Basically I am a matter of light.’
And still today when you lean
on the wide shoulders of sleep
even when they anchor you
May we catch our breath for now
may we escape of dreams to distant shores,
let shaded laughs among our cries
and all our thoughts we let them find
what it is that they may seek
appearing oh so desperately meek? Continues »
in strategic pose
sculpted from birth
Lady, lady please
a drachma for a sandwich,Good Easter.
on carpeted display
destitute path convey.
God bless you lady
a drachma for her milk,Good Easter. Continues »
It was the sixth day of creation; mother was dressed in black,
she wore her good hat with the veil, “God shouldn’t had done this
to us” she said, at the far end pale workers put together the big
stage of the circus,
“come back home, it’s late”, “which home?” I asked and hugged
the lamp-post of the street,
my young cousin was almost dead, I pushed her behind the closet, Continues »
Do you remember the nights? To make you laugh I’d walk
over the glass of the night lamp.
“How was it possible?” You asked.
But it was so simple:
since you loved me
Θυμάσαι τίς νύχτες; Γιά νά σέ κάνω νά γελάσεις περπατούσα πάνω
στο γυαλί τής λάμπας.
“Πώς γίνεται;” ρωτούσες. Μά ήταν τόσο απλό
αφού μ’ αγαπούσες. Continues »
I try the warmth of poppies,
Like a substitute sun
They light the corners of my sight.
I fill and overflow with gathering.
From my fingers
The urchin trusts his darkness
And takes a single flower. Continues »
Brother, you stole my secret and went.
Noon and midnight quit the sky.
Nothing's secure nor
quite obscure, without.
One, two, and a third gone orb of light.
Within the night, zenith and nadir converge. Continues »
I say, therefore, I’ll come someday
to hide, like before, aloft
and let them knock,
let all that loved me knock,
let all those that I loved knock,
all those that I loved so dearly
and I will not open, Continues »
Our homeland is closed in, all mountains
that day and night have the low sky as their roof.
We have no rivers, no water wells, no springs
only a few cisterns, even them empty, that echo
and that we worship.
A stagnant hollow sound, same as our loneliness
same as our love, same as our bodies.
Burly grizzled man with foreign designation seeks compensation
Suffered work place accident troubling hurt recalls healthy youth in village of birth
Life unfolds within the claws of legal and medical dispute his character in disrepute
Three members sit aloof listen peruse submissions scribble question direct interrupt deliberate
Why can’t they anglicise their names? A senior member berates
Time to do something for Australians too! Another sceptic asserts
If I were king for a day I’d grant to all!
The cynical majority considers him a shirker unlike the dissenter who affirms the injured worker Continues »
1 the songs my mother sang me
are the songs I heard at birth:
my mother’s lament for her still-born child –
the one before me
are the songs I heard in my sleep at ten:
her grief for her mother
left behind never seen again Continues »
king of death, curly hair and eyes
as black as salty olives,
you abduct me at dawn
when I am dreaming of carousels
and strawberry ice cream,
filch me away to the serrated tip
of Πελοποννησο − Continues »
in this room
faded lime green paint is chipped
remind me of the origins of my name
ikons blessed at the village church
and a makeshift καντηλι
behind a hand-embroidered curtain
keep vigil over me Continues »
The flowering pelagos and the mountains in the waning
the great rock near the cactus pear trees and the asphodels
the water pitcher that wouldn’t go dry at the end of the day
and the vacant bed near the cypresses and your
golden, the stars of the Swan and that star,
Aldebaran Continues »