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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Kiki Dimoula/Κική Δημουλά

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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
unsparing passages
mark on the column of the gains.

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Final Agreement

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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

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Eleni

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Sometimes past midnight the rhythmic hooves of horses
are heard from down the road of a delayed carriage as if
returning
from a mourning matinee of some rundown neighborhood
theater
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
electrician
who perhaps rolls up a paper forest to turn off the lights.

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Escape

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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,

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The Nails

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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…

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The Visitor’s Letter

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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…

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The Bride of Abydos

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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;

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The Third Man

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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!”,

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The Carriage

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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,

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The Empty Coat

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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

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