Nothing

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I, the most perfect syllable in the world.
It encapsulates me and all that is mine
And all that I perceive or have perceived,
All that I encountered or experienced, the
Totality of my existence and its meaning
To me and the ripples of its influence, little
Or large, on the world around it, completely
Ensconced within this one tiny utterance
That takes a fragment of a moment to
Attain its meaning in its full complexity
That mocks at any naive attempt on the
Part of the “Categorizers” to encumber it
With a fixed definition or to decipher its
Ever variable, ever evolving, ever fluid
Semantics. Definition may bring solace
To the rationalists, but it brings not Truth.

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Pomegranate red

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Is this the red that it should have
dispersing art on painters’ canvas?
the red that matadors withhold from charging bulls,
the basis of a fare lady’s smile?
Is this the red that brightens skies,
turning green leaves to yellow
while branches shaking at the wind
to cast a morning mist?

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The Medusa Glance

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The Medusa Glance is a present-day triptych, a rich and profoundly nuanced contemporary narrative, sensitive to all the immanent and minute shades of reality, aspiring to embrace and incorporate the whole spectrum of lived experience. As a key motive, the author invokes Medusa, the female monster with venomous snakes on hear head. Stricken with fear, we are nonetheless tempted to be immersed in the poetic universe of Manolis. The epigraph characterizes the bold enterprise of the author aimed at the explicitation of the inner architecture and dynamics of experience, at the renewal of narrative practices and at the constant (re)negotiation of identity. The reader is swept away by a polychromatic tempest of verbs and embarks on a journey guiding him to the dimension of the minute and infinitely multifarious undulations of sublunary consciousness.

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Αλλαγή Ηγεσίας

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Στο στόχαστρο του βομβαρδιστικού
χώρα που πρέπει ν’ αλλάξει ηγεσία
αποτυχημένη κυβέρνηση
ν’ αντικατασταθεί

βόμβες και τηλεκατευθυνόμενα βλήματα
θάνατος ακρίβειας σ’ εφαρμογή

εταιρεία αμυντικού εξοπλισμού
σ’ επιφυλακή

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Φολέγανδρος

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Δεν θα το δουν τα μάτια μου
εκείνο το νησί. Δεν πρόλαβα…
Με πρόφτασε ο καιρός που χάλασε,
μ΄ εμπόδισε η φουρτούνα που έπιασε.
«Απαγορεύεται ο απόπλους».

Κι αυτή η κακοκαιρία φαίνεται
πως θα κρατάει για πάντα.
Απαγορεύεται η Φολέγανδρος για μένα,
ακόμα κι αν το επιτρέψει η μπουνάτσα
να αμολήσουν τα καράβια.

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Euphemisms of an old lady

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The old lady had never learned anything else in her life except to drop blessings from her lips, as if the blessings sustained her.
Her eyelash colour faded, her face was a mass of wrinkles. ” Daughter, give me the votive candle so I may light it, and may you reign like a queen one
day”.

On Sundays, in the courtyard under the vine, they’d turn on the radio.
“Daughter, bring the radio, and may you pick up soil and have it turned to gold
in your hands”.

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The Bookshop on Saint Andrew’s Street

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It’s no longer there…
a “We’ve Moved” sign placed up high…
some things can’t be moved immediately or afterwards
such as the pages, folded at the edges, to be read less
than to be recollected,
such as the queue in front of the cash register
such as the backbones of saints
I search for the bookshop on Saint Andrew’s Street…
terribly ill by its absence
after all, this is where the hours passed
their hours with me, and the hours search insistently
for that which can’t be moved or migrated,
which oppresses and suspends generations…

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Αμφιβολία – Doubt

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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.

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Το προσφυγόπουλο και η Μάσκα μου

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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…’

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21 Μαρτίου 2016

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Η Ποίηση που δεν χρονολογείται. 21 Μαρτίου 2016 – Παγκόσμια Ημέρα Ποίησης. Η ιδέα αυτής της πρασινογάλαζης έκδοσης, σε φόντο καφέ σκούρο, ανήκει στην παρέα που δημιουργήσαμε άθελα και μέσα από την ηλεκτρονική σελίδα του ηλεκτρονικού περιοδικού “Diasporic Literature”.

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At the Metro Station

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I clamber down the stairs to Argiroupole metro station, heading to work, in central Athens. She’s sitting in one of the benches there, dark-skinned, dark-haired, probably a Roma, in her twenties. A long, limp pony tail, a shabby, red T-shirt, a flared, flowery skirt, tattered flip-flops. An equally scruffy two or three-year-old boy is wringing out of her grasp.

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On the Phone

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‘I know you and dad wanted something else for me but- Yeah, a rich, pot-bellied prince. You think mine is a frog, eh? He loves me to bits, mum; he really cares, that’s what matters.’ Sonia punches the pen’s tip fast against the notepad on the coffee table, peppering the white sheet with inky dots. ‘We’ll find something to eat. He’ll get a job.

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You Reap what you Sow

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Tzoras jots down the date of the primary school students’ last excursion this year. A week before his son’s University entrance exams. He couldn’t possibly be absent from this critical moment in his son’s life.

He unlocks the top desk drawer and takes out a deck of cards with famous actresses on he’d bought on an educational trip to Thessaloniki. He counts them. Fifty one. One’s missing. Fingers move deep into the drawer, through grade books and the register, under the desk pad. Nowhere.

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An Awesome Ride

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The bus is crammed; people jostle in the aisle, swinging hither and thither at the driver’s sudden brakes and swerves. A baby howls, an old lady flaps her fan against her flushed face.

Then the bus stops. It takes a while. An armed soldier gets off to inspect the road. Pitch dark. A roar is heard, a gunshot. The second soldier follows suit. He never comes back. The passengers stare out the window and at each other alert. Somebody knocks on the front door. The driver opens and a man, face distorted, reddish saliva dripping down his bloodied teeth – a zombie – bursts in, lunges at whomever he comes across, bites them hard on the neck. Screams and moans fill the bus. The ones that have been bitten become infected and maul the ones sitting next to them until everyone, except for the driver, runs amok, becomes a zombie.

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Oath / Όρκος

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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.

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