Wednesday, November 18, 2009

White Night Stones



I
Why do I get so nauseous whenever I find myself in here with my parents, among the most distant relatives that anybody has ever been asked to acknowledge? I’ll tell you why, girl. Because they are so far from your experience that you don’t feel the slightest connection to them at any level. Actually, this place is so unfamiliarly crowded I almost get the sense of floating unevenly on running water, something like having boarded Noah’s ark; oh, but I am no Noah. If I be on this ark, I am probably a small sparrow without a mate, and in the next cage two sparrows are paired and Noah’s wife is coming to catch me uninvited and throw me on the waves to wet my feathers so that I can’t fly back to the craft. As if I wanted to be here in the first place! Nausea, cages, and rings. I don’t know you, Miss, you says you are my second cousin, well, you might as well be.
‘Funny thoughts tonight, eh? One of those nights, girlfriend, let’s see where it will take you this time. World! Fear!’
Here, not in a club with friends having the time of my life or in the field with the fellow fans shouting. Only here, in the tavern where everybody celebrates the love matching after the noble ceremony am I depressed.
Why? I’ll tell you why! Because that’s all we ever do with my parents as back as I can recall! That is how we socialize, as if this is all we are. The Wedding Guests! Nice title for a Hollywood comedy, eh? What do you say? You know, like The Wedding Planner or the My Best Friend’s Wedding. A new movie, it will be about a family who spend their lives visiting weddings, following the catalogue of the guests they had in their wedding, to attend the ceremonies of their own guests’ descendants, until they realize they did not have a purpose in life and stopped. No, too lame for a Hollywood scenario. I should add some murders, or, if it’s gonna be a comedy, I could add an obnoxious daughter.
That would be me.
‘I say, reminiscence, so selective and self-centred.’
Why so much denial? What is it, my parents all over me, or the sight of the couple getting married? The fearsome fictional projection of me onto the elevated stage?
I mean, girls my age’ve got so much to learn before they set their minds onto the target. Mom says, ‘The man who’ll pick you up, girl, from all these candidates in here should not be of the winds. He should be of the land, and, dear, do cut his wings early, before he builds other nests than your own. Always be aware, have scissors in your pocket; new wings grow every three years!’ And as she is saying this, Dad is on the dance floor dancing; he’s just finished talking with his uncles, tables away from ours.
Scissors, every three years? I‘ve never figured out exactly what she means; I mean, she must be using some metaphor, or an old proverb, I don’t know. Whatever the case, every time I start asking, Dad’d just pop out of nowhere, and she would stop, as if they both wanted to hide something.
There he comes, another evening out, questions put off, buddy. I give an answer to the scissor question myself, and I hold onto that.
Dad is of the winds, and Mom holds the scissors. I don’t wanna tell her I know, gonna hurt her or put them in a new fight or something. Keep my heart calm, that is. Mom is a sufferer. Dad must be having crises of infidelity. Perhaps this is typical of man, but it must be brief, temporary in my dad’s case, but reoccurring, too; they are always together despite the fights and the constant flying jabs they tear each other with every disagreement. All their decisions are taken in frenzy, except when it comes to me.
They always know how to talk to me, as if they can see a flaw. Something pitiful on me, so obvious that they only need one tool to remove it, not fix it, to rip it off me!
Hmm, the tool. Hands are tools. Tongues are tools. Soft like Mom’s or a priest’s, rough like Dad’s or an ascending cyclist’s, the bones will break. The tool, the key to my locked heart.
‘A chalice full of holy wine, Mister, you get me drunk, and I will give in!’
Damn, this voice coming and going in my head, how can I make it leave me?
What was I saying? Ah, my parents, yes. They don’t have it, they don’t work together, distant; in such different time and place they try incognito, hiding from each other. One uses the key, another brings the chalice. Another week one talks, the other sleeps, the third just moves a hand, the other turns a whole back with one muscle. Do I run, do I stay?
I know, too, it’s hard to change, to do things, to pull yourself out of the vortex. It’s so obvious what they expect of me to change, but I won’t. I told them, I warned them, they stood back for some time. Today they are coming onto me, aggressive once more; they gradually give me less, when I need even more, but today the wall is too high, the edge is too far to run round and reach them!
Frank always asks why must I ever waste my fresh mind or spend my precious young seasons at such obsessions. Well, I do; I get these thoughts and have fun in and out of this misery. They have the tool. When Lila secretly goes out with her gang saying that it’s only of girls, and then gets caught talking to her boyfriend with messages on her mobile, hell opens! Detentions, beaten by her mother, they even talk to her teachers. And I, I am the good girl and my folks don’t want me to be! They push me to quicksand sweetened with a thousand smashed sugar wedding delights. Boys, sweetly pierce through their eyes and focus on love reflexes? Never!
Don’t say, I see how incredibly marvellously the bride is dressed, my aunt that is, in that ornamented silver silk gown and the mere girth of her waist. She seems so much taller than I remember; hmm, high heels probably. Me in her shoes some day? I don’t know.
Nigel next to her kinda shouts, ‘No other could be here but me,’ so handsome he is in his black tuxedo wear, the black bowtie is a perfect match with his black full back vest. Has he rented it? Has anyone else ever put a dirty scarf in one of those side pockets with the stylish trim? And his matching cummerbund, so little it hides of his superb bum. Dad said, ‘She is gonna get lucky tonight.’ I wonder, how big are Nigel’s wings? Is Cecile really into all this fairytale?
‘My parents are perverted! Help! I really have to go out from here, some fresh air, people, please!’ The words are digging my glued jaws from the inside to escape.
Dad comes strongly. ‘Stay here, love, where, what are you up to this time? Not another run away! It’s dark outside the tavern; home is on the other side of the town! I’m not giving you the key, I know you wanna go home and watch silly action movies. But no! Not another leave-them-alone-here-to-live-their-memory reaction! We are here for you! Can’t you see your mom is sinking into it again?’ Did he actually utter all these in one breath? Wow, how strong these words were, how… enlightened! Dad!
So much defence against me just getting up, I wasn’t expecting, they must’ve been expecting my runaway ever since the moment we congratulated the couple, me not kissing Cecile when she bent downwards, did they see me blinking at the camera limelight? Perhaps they thought I winked to Nigel? Shall I smile to this idea?
‘You should listen to your dad. Can’t you see they are watching us? They have their eye on you from now, girl, from this age, it is not too early for them relatives, they wanna see how you will be later, when you are ready,’ says Mum, and I just wish I were that girl who would smile to them, with that perfectly happy, anticipating grin.
I really wish I had the will to look receptive, to meet their expectations, like other girls I see here. All modestly posing, sitting on their hands under their dresses to look taller and pretty, to pretend interestingly looking at the grown-ups shaking it folklore-wise on the dance floor. I straighten my shoulders before she tells me, and I make my hair before she touches me.
‘Too many people smoke in here, Mum. Can I go out for a while, get some fresh air, please? I’ll walk straight, light as a princess, I promise,’ I tell her, and Dad nods ‘ok’ to her, but not to me.
She has to take the responsibility of releasing me; he is the strict one and he can’t show consent. They know I need no more an answer than that signal. Off I go.
I know they are rightful, my parents that is, but not the others. They are fooled to think I’ve been reserved for their sons.
Let us put a large piece of bread in my jacket pocket. I might find cats and rats to play with.
What is this now? I am sensing one of those strong magnetising eyes on my left side. Shall I pause? Abandon this extraordinary parade I involved myself into to escape my parents’ observation unharmed? Let me turn my neck just half to the left, hand on my waist, the eyes will understand the intentions and give up. Hmm, too womanish, don’t wanna do that if it’s a guy, who knows how he might interpret it. Gotta sink it in my left pocket, just like a boy, how funny! What if I tight my fist in there to create the manly effect, show that I might, one in a million, possibly, have a bulge?
‘Ha! Ha!’
‘That would shock him right!’
‘Him?’
‘Shock who?’
I don’t even know who is staring, dear nature! Who was it that created so much alarm to me? I don’t usually mind their looks! They are flies on my shit!
‘I’ll turn my body full and abruptly, surprise him!’
Table close here, no, everybody has their heads on the dance floor, there? Not, talking indifferently.
Those tables over there between the flowers and the stage? Nothing.
But I still feel it! Everybody’s heads are turned to the dance floor and the couple. The couple! The direction of all the heads so much directs my eyes.
First Nigel, not, he is saluting someone there, now the look is getting more intense. Dare I look at her? Cecile is the only one left. She must be the one of the entire feast staring at me so intensely, even now being kissed by yet another cousin from the long queue congratulating her on her new start.
The queue, the human line like an arrow pointing at me, a rattle tail slapping me.
‘Ouch!’
And the look. Bride eyes. My wonderful aunt staring me in the face so angrily. Such bright eyes! Could this be happiness? Did she notice my weird reactions? Was it a proud look that turned to wild? Is that a grinning now? Approving? No, she must be embarrassed by me posing like that, or perhaps leaving. Aha! Yes, leaving the wedding already, that’s it! She thinks I am bored of the celebrations. Is it an insult to her if I retreat early?
Too late, I’m too close to the exit to change direction and head to the toilets and pretend. I’ll just make things worse, show that I wanted to sneak out and I was caught and I tried to fool her, and she’ll tell my folks, and they’ll be embarrassed in their turn, and everything will turn against me. No case for me.
Here’s the exit, one foot out, she’ll forget all about me tonight, Nigel is a rock of a man, he’ll please her all right, he is gonna drain her brains of all bad memories of the night. Oh, how deeply fulfilled I fell being a bad memory of this night! And then they’ll count the money they’ll have made, do it first if they would not, and selectively they will love everybody that came.
‘Plastic joy, for lifetime, and every three years the scissors, remember, Cecile.’




II
It’s dark outside here, but so clear. I can now breathe. The entrance is half over my head, and everything that happened in there is behind, inside. That’s how I forget, only when people see my back disappear, sneaking out. I don’t have to look to my right and left for car danger. Here in the parking lot no cars are moving; in the middle of a wedding feast in our places nobody dares to come too late or leave too soon. I am guilty as sin.
‘Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.’ I exhale like a stupid girl.
‘What the...’ I bend my head to avoid the flying wedding ribbon hanging from the welcoming flower gate. Some hair is pulled, not much.
‘Hey!’ A detached ribbon probably full of pearl-edged needles is always a threat.
Right, well done, girl, this is exactly what I mean. It’s so much calmer here. The music from the orchestra inside seems so distant. My ears are struggling to get used to silence.
Did I just say, ‘Forgive me, Father’? That last confession two years ago, no! ‘You have to stop the thoughts!’ He was…
‘Oh no!’ Not that again! He was disgusting.
‘No!’ That itching feeling down between my thighs again…
‘Ignore it!’
‘Disgusting!’ But I feel...
‘Not!’
‘Dis-gus-ting.’ No! ‘Forget it!’ The itching…
‘Obnoxious!’ Oh, here’s the word now, this one always holds the agitation down, today it buys me time again.
‘Hands on the bread!’
‘Hey, dudes, is anyone hungry behind there?’
If I throw some on the tree up there, hmm, could there be an owl? Or a scared cat, perhaps? Here it goes!
‘Aha! What was that black shadow flying in the dark that attacked the piece? It can’t have been a moth, too big.’ Let me throw another one.
‘Hey! What are you? Come out, come out, wherever you are!’ ‘Boohoo!’ Nothing.
‘C’mon, girl, you know, no doubt they are bats.’ Frank told me he saw one the other day.
‘Hmm, play time!’
Here’s another one, and another piece, and here’s some more. Oh! They are plenty hiding back there!
‘Awesome!’
‘Hey little fellows, show yourselves!’
But how can they see the small white bread balls up there? Each one I throw goes much higher than the light line I can see as the windows of the tavern illuminate only three metres higher than my head. Sometimes one or two bats dive lower, but they manoeuvre so fast I find it impossible to believe they just use their eyesight. No matter how accurate that can be. They are cute, seducing, so different, these creatures. They are no birds. Frank says they are mammals. Like us! They don’t give birth to eggs, they have a womb! Do they grow tits like I did? Let us check.
‘Hey, bride, here’s a bread ball for you. I’m not gonna throw it high; come closer, hey, you are too fast!’
I wonder, can creatures like these be faster thinkers than human? No wonder so much myth and terror surrounds them. I bet bats up there in the Transylvanian castles must be huge. And even if they are not, I imagine peasants are terrified big time to watch them attack flying objects so aggressively, so terrified that they think they are evil spirits, undead, unborn, and insatiable.
Do kids my age throw any food up for them? Or do they throw it against them? Stones, perhaps, I bet they throw stones to torture them, break their teeth to smash their deep fear.
Stones! Now there’s a good idea! I haven’t thought of the bread smell! What if the bats have smelled the starch so far, along with seeing it? I’ll throw some white stones to see if they spot them the same without smell.
Here goes one nice, small, white stone.
Iiiitchtch.
Oh! She’s hit it, but the terrible crack that came out from the bite and the screeching scream she left out flying away gave me a hell of goose spasms! Heavens, that bat must have cursed me big time! I bet it smelled my scent on the stone! Tonight they are all gonna come and suck my blood, drain me!
‘help!’ the word has finally dug through the glue sealing my lips around my jaws and now it is all out!
‘I hope nobody heard, I can’t explain all this stupidity!’ The fun in there is at zenith; nobody has heard.
‘Don’t worry, child, once we conclude the confession, all your sins shall be forgiven.’
Oh, go off you bloody words, you stupid tranquilizer! Why do I hear the priest’s voice in my head? Gotta get the black loose clothes like flexible wings of hatred out of my system!
I ran that day; I ran far, I didn’t conclude the confession! The bastard went and told my parents but he didn’t say where his hand was!
‘I say, selective narration, so full of deceit!’
Behind Dad’s shoulders as he was telling him, he looked at me with flaming eyes, the asshole, and I felt so small and powerless.
‘You feared, you fool!’
Oh, off you go, you stupid thoughts! I have business to run now, it’s a new discovery, I know, I feel it.
No bats are coming tonight, unsubstantiated fear, nobody is coming tonight for my blood, I don’t need God everywhere!
‘You hear me? You let me and I let You! I won’t go about talking against You and Your workers anymore, if You take the memories of that beast who still serves You away from me! Away from me! You know what? My friends don’t go to confession anymore, I told them, do – you – hear?’
Hey, I says, the bat just before, spotted the stone it did! Without smell! Really, can white be seen in the dark? Let me throw another white, higher this time, deep in the dark. See if they still attack; see if white can show in dark.
No, I can’t see the stone!
Iiiitchtch.
There goes that awful sound again! It hit it! But how could it see the stone in absolute darkness? No moon tonight, the sky has been cloudy for hours, I don’t see any stars. The white stone couldn’t have been seen, it’s not emitting its own light, it’s hetero-illuminant, just as the moon is, but there’s no light in this parking lot to be reflected by the stone! Let me take it a bit further.
I’ll throw a black stone. A very small one. I’ll take it with my fingers covered under my sleeve; my smell must not go onto it if the experiment is going to work. Gonna throw it high, very high, and make no noise; only move I’ll make is move my hand and stand still looking up; see if the bats still attack.
‘Now!’
This stone has flown vertically upwards, faster than before. Killers! Killers from hell! I heard it!
Iiiitchtch.
Another, lower pitched shriek; it must have been an old, bigger bat, perhaps their mother! I hit the spot! It saw the stone and...
‘No, no, no!’ Impossible, it can’t have seen the small, black, scentless stone! Even I lost sight of it up there.
‘Im-po-ssi-ble!’
There must be something else! And if I don’t accept the existence of a spiritual world and I have no knowledge of, therefore, no theory for extra-terrestrial life, then I have to proceed with strictly scientific calculations. What did I just say? Can someone tell me why I ever start these funny thoughts, sounding so formal for my age, so severely sovereign when I should be in there dancing with my cousins?
Why, indeed. And when you have an answer, please also tell me why I always turn my angry voice to a superior creature and spend breath talking to Him, and why does a capital H caress my forehead like I am reading an autocue just before I curse and then call His name and then remember to tell myself, ‘But you don’t believe, stop calling Him God!’ And the H is always there, haunting the noble and humble personal pronouns of our kin. This fictional world of spirits, it is buried so deep inside me, I need to find another pair of scissors to cut it off. Dear Frank, dear Mom, Dad, I will come out of the closet, I will.




III
‘Hey!’ I feel the look behind me again, the same like before when Cecile was staring at me or something, I dunno. But from the opposite side, up high, from among the dark tops of the eucalyptus trees. How strange was that look from Cecile! Like it wasn’t a look; it was as if she was sending sonar beeps on my back, like dolphins do. Frank told me about them and their sonar, but I’m no fish! She can swim her life underwater as much as she likes for all I care, but not I.
‘And Cecile, remember, the scissors, every three years. Dive as deep as you like, he will still fly.’
Sonar? Where did this thought come from now? Does it mean something? Is it one of those messages that come to make you start your thoughts right from the start? Sent by dear godmother?
‘Sonar?’
‘Yep, sonar it is then.’
A wild thought has just crossed my mind. What if that’s what bats do in absolute darkness? Send sonar beeps to all directions? But how do they conclude the position of the object so fast? Why don’t they bump on walls or branches? Dolphins send sonar sounds to the sonar receivers of the other dolphins! Frank also told me that whales do that too! But bats, if they use such an organ, which I assume is not impossible, must have a way to get the sonar beeps back, perhaps through those extra-extra large ears, disproportional to their tiny bodies and heads, just as their wings are. And if they can do that, then it is probable that the reflected sounds draw maps of the environment in front of them! Yeah, it all sounds so logical! Could this be the way they avoid flat surfaces? Perhaps that is also why they can attack so terribly fast anything small that is flying; they do it mechanically and instinctively. But enough with all this scientific stuff.
Let us have some fun, too! If I might just tie the ribbon from the gate on this fat oval stone, will they still attack? There, one knot, a second one to secure it. Hmm, why don’t I make a bow with the two edges to make it look like a wedding treat? Success! There you have it! A treat for my flying friends! There you go, sweet stone, fly to them!
Iiiitchtch.
Iiiitchtch.
Wow, this was louder screech, and longer! I think it was a double one, too! Two bats attacking on the same target? Wow, this is deep!
Sonar? Beeps? Hmm, I just can’t get these calculations out of my head; they are haunting me right now as I am playing!
‘Off you go, alien thoughts, I can’t answer you, don’t ask me anymore!’
But then again, it is truly amazing; the stones were moving too fast, they were too small, and absolutely invisible at the height the bats were attacking. How accurate can that sonar be? Dunno, but if they can send hundreds of beeps in a second, that could be fast enough for anything.
‘Couldn’t it?’ Who am I asking?
‘Stop it, girl, thou art deceived!’
All this game I played with the bats cannot be trustworthy.
‘Facts have not been proven, data is insufficient! You ain’t no scientist!’
Frank would have known, he would have bragged of such an outrageous piece of knowledge! And he would have told me! But he never did! So all that can be happening is that he doesn’t know, or that I made an important discovery! Or, that I am totally wrong and the bats were squealing to warn the others of possible danger. They might have thought that I am attacking them! Who knows, perhaps they were watching me throwing the stones! How silly of me to have made all those scenarios for nothing!
Frank knows everything. No, I am wrong. Nobody can reach a scientific conclusion so stupidly, throwing stones at night outside a wedding feast.
More likely to be right to the point where I will never be, me, a stupid girl, are the Transylvanian peasants! These creatures are little devils with sharp teeth!
‘Oh no, dear bats, apologies, accept them, you are so amusing, so unique, it was just a thought, they shouldn’t fear you for drinking some blood! I mean, mosquitoes really attack us on the open, but nobody creates myths around them!’
‘Bloody myths! What myths! Now, girl, you know the speed of darkness? Remember, you have just witnessed the attack!’
The bats, little geniuses, like black brides attacking on beige and black wedding costumes and wedding delights, smelly or not; they attack them all. Then they eat them or reject them, screaming all the way, sending their magic beeps, scissors on their membrane hands, life is like that.
Frank will never understand.
I’ll just go back inside, sit, on my hands that is, and look un-clever to my parents, look pretty,
‘Fancy some little girl blood?’ Only three years to eighteen, patience, girl, you know your life has changed already.






Friday, November 06, 2009

πρόσω ολοταχώς για το σκότωμα.

αυτή τη στιγμή που διαβάζετε τη λογοτεχνία μου, εγώ εναγωνίως περιμένω τις 9:00 το πρωί της Κυριακής, την ώρα που θα ξεκινήσει ο Μαραθώνιος της Αθήνας. Είμαι κλεισμένος στο δωμάτιό μου στο ξενοδοχείο με τα πόδια ψηλά στον τοίχο για να ξεκουράζονται και να κυλήσει το λεμφαδενικό υγρό, αλλά το υγρό του άγχους με κατακλύζει. Ο χειρότερός μου εχθρός. Όλοι οι μυς μου έτοιμοι, οι σύνδεσμοι κρατάνε καλά, η καρδιά μου μια εβδομάδα τώρα ξεκουράζεται, κτυπάει σε ρυθμό μαραθωνίου. 42 χιλιόμετρα. Τίποτα. Το έκανα και πέρυσι. Εύκολο. Όλα μου φωνάζουν να ηρεμήσω. Αλλά το άγχος εκεί, 5 κτύπους πιο δυνατά η καρδιά μου από το συνηθισμένο μου. Δεν είμαι στους 45 χτύπους ανά λεπτό, είμαι στους 50. Αναπνέω από τη μύτη. Το οξυγόνο καθώς μετατρέπεται σε διοξέιδιο με ηρεμεί για λίγο. Εκπνέω και ζαλίζομαι γλυκά. Λιγότερο τώρα το άγχος. Την ευχή σας να το κρατήσω χαμηλά, για ακόμα 40 ώρες. Την ευχή σας.
Για όλους μας τους μπλοκοφίλους θα τρέξω. Για να γεννήσω κι άλλες ιδέες, να γράψω κι άλλες μικρομαλακίες να έχουμε να συζητάμε.
Την ευχή σας. Εγώ είμαι ήδη πρόσω ολοταχώς για το σκότωμα του εφιάλτη.
Θα σας γράψω και την ιστορία που θα γεννήσω καθώς θα τρέχω Κυριακή πρωί. 42 χιλιόμετρα, Μαραθώνας - Αθήνα.
Την ευχή σας.

Horizontally Schizoid


Three months in the clinic, one should be ready. I look down on you, one more escapade, to go down on you, and sharpen the blade.
[I did not know my nails would have grown so strong].
I grab you -both hands- to feel the skin and fatty, pillow-like juice. I shake you and I pull you out -you nasty rubber- you pull back in. How much bigger can you get? I inhale too deeply for my strength -anymore- and push the air to swell you, happy moments for my kids, indeed. Magnificent, so many years’ confusion. I do not know how the struggles have gotten me here, the struggles of too little food, or the struggles of too many a food.
The fool inside you, is he still there? Memory of a lifetime gulping, shame, retreat. I soothe the grabbing, squeeze a strange spot in a wrinkle and cuddle the umbilical cord.
[I did not know my nails could have grown so big]
I am so sorry to start squeezing you, tummy, all over again. Does my dance stumble -on stone abdominals, on bones, on very full guts?- do not ask me,
[you should know better]
Why don’t you have a mouth on your own? Well, I guess I won’t stand in front of the wall mirror this time, I’ll just grasp the hand one not to feel you mine just as once. Get a mirror on your own, so many actions you do take despite me.
I am so sorry; a tearing would never have crossed my mind -not uncontrolled-
But look at you, (my soul is flying already) smiling at last, silent all these years, so many years struggle I, idle you. Now check your own mirror idol, that two nipples have no eyebrows but do a sight a umbilical nose, check, I say, your bloody grin will soon be hungry, hasn’t it been so all these years of discussion? Shall I run out to show the evil nurses that I, too, have two faces anymore?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hi, I’m Stephan; I'm a Triplet Child


All I wanted to say that evening was a goodnight and then doze off alone. I did not want George to bother me with the history test. I looked at the scratched door with the posters, some of them mine, some George’s. Locked. He was studying.
“2005”, Miss Nana said this morning, and “5 years into the millennium”. I remember the first time I heard mom say “millennium” when I was five; it had become my favourite word. Would it make a meaning to them if I told them I liked this word? I don’t think so. So I didn’t.
The history test tomorrow morning. Oh, how hard a thought this is to deal with, how much I want to forget! But it’s a test, and tests are for children what hurricanes are for tropical islands, whipping out, washing away vivid matter, yet bringing new water for new blossoms. But I am no tropical island; I don’t want to be caught in the trap of excellence George has fallen into. Today the teacher has distinguished story from history. She pinned me down to my chair when she uttered millennium, but she did not get into that. She just started telling us why people write history, why they write books, why they even bother think in a linear sequence of events, and there I lost her.
“Mom, at least tonight let me sleep in Helen’s room, alone, and put her in my bed. George will be studying for the test until after 11:00 and I am tired. Really tired! Will you?”
“Stephan, you know girls don’t sleep with the boys, and why should Helen lose her sleep and not you?”
“Because she sleeps as soon as she lies in bed! Al-wa-ys!” I said and then the first gasp blocked my voice. Mum must have realized that I would start crying again and being grouchy about it. And then she started once more, like all previous cold in-house nights, outside brilliant weather. She went into her odd delirium of shouting and screaming cut-off words and orders.
“TO YOUR ROOM! NOW! I SAID IT!”
And then
“YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE OF THE THREE THAT IS GOING TO DRIVE ME CRAZY! What have I done to deserve this?”
And she looks at me with flaming eyes, I wonder, has she even thought for a second how much she might be disturbing the order in the house, Helen reading on the couch, dad watching TV, George reading at the back, and outside, the bats hunting, owls crying, rats coming out. The order I so much crave to remain as it is.
I looked at Helen as she was sitting on the couch with the eyes of an owl and the ears of an elephant. I thought it was really funny. She dropped her book when she met my look. Oh, the satisfaction I felt at that particular moment. The air I got into my lungs, the blood my heart sent to my throat and then to my eyes. The heat, the heat of hatred started burning my arms and I was ready to go and tear her book apart, page by page and the each page in three and four pieces, and throw the paper massacre in the fire place like a French King or a Nazi, and then grasp Helen and shake her, and tell her, “sis, history is all bullshit, they lie to us, I know cause aunt Chris told me!”
Aunt Chris told me. She is the only one I can trust now. I used to say my secrets to George, too, the prick! He always tells Helen, and then she goes about telling mum, because they are supposed to be “best friends”, and then Mum discusses it with dad, because it’s “serious”. And there when you least expect it, grandma comes and asks me about Josephine and why I kissed her.
Josephine. She didn’t come today, she didn’t hear about the history thing, and she doesn’t know we are having a test. God, it was so foolish of me, taking things in my hands, deciding she should not take the test. I don’t want to study, either; I don’t want to have the test. I am not a tropical island, Josephine isn’t, either, she is a continent she is.
Truth is I forgot to call her and tell her. Jesus, how could I ever forget? Miss Nana told me to make sure I told her, but how would I remember, if all day today was spent with Stelios and Markos on their computer?
And mum, she thought I was studying there, I didn’t even take my books with me! Oh, mum, how did I fool you so easily? You are such an easy… oh, I don’t even know what I could call you, mum. You are not here. You are standing right in front of me, hands on your waste, looking at me and Helen, I am sure you are wondering why and how we got to this point to have to shout to get me to do anything, every single day. I’ll tell you why, mum. It’s because you shout to all of us with every little thing that happens.
And you know how we take it? We are not the same, even if we are triplets, I could say that again. Helen gets scared and freezes, George is the “sensitive boy” who hides his head among the pillows to cry, yet being twice as scared, and I feel ever emptier and more disgusted every time she starts shouting to any of us. And I show it. My eyes icebergs, my body a dead volcano, no lava inside me, all my blood underground, there where I hide all my feelings to her. Because I can’t tell anymore what she considers wrong and what right, she has me totally confused in whatever our house rules are.
Do I get to clean if I dirty something? Not dirty anything? How? She dirties when she eats, dad dirties when he goes out to water and do some gardening, and grandma dirties when she prepares her bread and pies and everything. Why are we the only ones to get all that shouting when we come back inside with dirty shoes? Or when we forget a toy or a sock under the couch? Aren’t we supposed to behave like that? Where is your “HISTORY” in all this confusion, mom? Where is your “linear sequence of events”? I drop pieces of my bread on the couch, and before I even start getting up to go get the small electric sweeper, you shout me off and so you shut me off and I don’t know what to do. So I do nothing and I look at you with the wet eyes of hatred and anger, but never with the tears of fear! Ne-ver!
But then again George, poor bro, if he runs out in his socks, and you catch him with the corner of your eye, oh my! The pitch your voice can reach!!! That day when he tried to abruptly stop running in the veranda as you called hip-hop back to him furiously, the way you did, and his socks slipped on the marble and he faced the wooden rack ceiling as he landed half-back on the coffee table, oh, how I laughed that day!
And Helen, she is half like me and half like George, I think. She gets tears in her eyes, too, and I know her worst is when she has to do house chores and she messes up, the idiot she is. So much for the owl eyes she gives, it’s more like she is trying to get more images inside, least she understands; comprehends anything of what is happening to us.
You know, mum, things are happening to us, in linear order, and there is an end at a point in time and history is recorded. I peed in my bed while sleeping for the last time two years ago but you still say it to just about everybody who pays a visit, and you smile cutely, and you look at me, and then you turn to George, and proudly say “oh, what a perfect boy George is, he’s never peed in his bed, even when they were two, he was the first who sat on the toilet to… pardon, ha ha ha” and she laughs like mad, like a goblin from the forest nearby. In your face, mum, practically putting me and Helen down on our knees whenever it comes to achievements! Teacher says we all achieve! I achieve, dad achieves, and what a nice word to call a thing I was forced to do! To achieve in a history test.
I’m gonna knock on his door, now. Let mum think that all is well. I must say it in a low voice, “hey, George, open up, I have something to suggest. Are you in there?” I turn the key, slowly, and I enter. Oh, why did I not I see it coming? He is asleep, I mean, a book on a face is sitting and a forehead is reading in darkness, and a boy is counting sheep, and I am a poet for children! For retarded children, I mean! Aha! History has its ways to be written! I was planning to ask George not to write anything in the test tomorrow, but luck brought it forth that he has not studied anyway. But just in case he learnt even half of the three chapters, I will ask him anyway. So, here I go, hands, shake him, luck come forth, winds blow!
“Hey, George, wake up, it’s important, wake up!”
He pushes the book from his head and he drops it on the carpet. Terrified he almost falls from bed to catch it, but he misses the page he was at anyway. And he says, “what do you want, Stephan? I am reading!” I laugh and he knows why, he knows I know he is not perfect, he knows I can tell he can’t afford mum telling him the things she says to me and to Helen. Oh, how I know he hates the thought of not being The One for them, just because he is not the first-born! shmolensky brizauskas, and when I start mumbling my false Russian I know I hate him the most, when I remember that he was born two minutes after me, and he breathed the air second, well, I don’t mind that he cried first, that’s fine, but the doctor’s and the nurses’ hands where dirtied with my blood when they brought him into light, and now he is cursed by me to be second and under, but he always makes his way in school and teachers don’t know of first-borns and they don’t treat me as they should!.
“Millenium”, Stephan, come back to your senses, “achieve”, Stephan, you have a plan, here,” Josephine”, oh, we must rescue Josephine, Markos’s computer was very specific! Hey, Napoleon, where’s your bride? Oh, get off with these stupid thoughts already! Ok, Ok, I am back, and ready. I will work with him.
“George, how much of the test chapters have you covered? I’m telling you from now I read nothing/” He rushes to answer before I finish my sentence, “Not this time, Steph, I’m not gonna let you copy from me tomorrow, you know how strict Miss Nana is, please, don’t ask me. And you know what? You didn’t even ask me to come with you to Markos’s place!”
“B-But I, you were studying in our room, remember? You even told me to turn the TV volume at lunch, ‘cause you needed to relax and start studying!” he mumbles in anticipation, but I get no answer.
“---“
Around his silence I get my chance to start getting where I want to. “Listen, let’s not start this conversation. You are right, I should have invited you, and, yes, cheating tomorrow won’t get me anywhere. But I really, honestly, desperately, to our brothers’ oath, to the honour of the triplets, need a favour.”
“Then bring Helen here, if you are calling our oath, or don’t tell me at all!” he tells me in anger.
He is right; I admit to myself he is damn right, how can I call our oath if she is not here? Is she still on the sofa, fighting her dyslexia, as I overheard dad secretly call her weakness one day when aunt Chris was here? Don’t they know she pretends she knows nothing? That she is so lazy to study that she found the easy-way out, being called ä weak student”? Is she there selling her fairytale, that she can’t learn history, with one eye in the book, the other watching a movie with her happy daddy? Or did she go to her room? Let us check, noiselessly, I don’t want mum to smell the fishy triplets floating.
“Ok, George, stay here and I go get her. But you don’t have to study anything anymore.” Saying that I have already turned my back to him and started for the door. He has no words again.
“---“
How unsuspecting he can be sometimes, I called the oath! He should have realized by now! I mean, he knows Josephine was absent. But then again, we haven’t met today, at all; he doesn’t know I haven’t called her. I’ll tell him.
I turn to him again to say “Before I go get Helen, I should let you know I forgot to call Josephine about the test.”
“You idiot! You opened a grave for yourself but you are burying her! The only girl you ever kissed in your life!”
“Oh, give us a kiss and drop dead” I say ironically and I take one step towards him, red again, blood boiling, but a little alarm inside me stops me and sets to wise mode again. He was ready to hit back, anyway, so I most probably saved the day by not doing anything. I am out of the room.
In a low, but not guilty voice, hem, like a shepherd to his sheep-dog, again I enter the living room saying loud enough for mum to hear: “Helen, come, George told me to go and test him orally for the test tomorrow until we are ready to sleep. You should be there, too. It will help you review what you’ve learnt already, and learn some more. Isn’t that right, mum?” Mum looks at dad, and then dad looks at Helen, and Helen looks at mum, and then at me. She looked at me suspiciously, did I sound unconvincing? Or, too “nice”?
“No” Helen utters in a half voice and then she says it again louder, with more confidence. Mum asks her why she does not want to go and study with her brothers and she replies that “something doesn’t feel right”.
“I think they are cooking something, mum. Dad, you say it, they’ve never asked me before to study with them, what are they up to?” I hear her say and I must improvise, once again.
“No, Helen, come, it’s all right, I thought about it again, the test tomorrow, let’s all do well, it’s better for all of us, and you know what? Why should George get all the credit again? We can achieve anything if we want to, mind you; I am calling the Triplet’s Oath! You should come.”
As I turn to the corridor, I hear her get down the couch smoothly, I turn back smiling and I see her delicately closing her book to page 5 or 6, so much with the reading she did.
“Come, I say, he is waiting” I say to her and she responds with a fast motion of her knees to the front, she seems to now really want to go for it.
We both entered and the door closed behind us. Everything else stayed outside that night.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Skin of bear after a lion feast

‘have all the lions left dear?’
‘Yes, they have indeed, but how can you tell from the well?’
‘well, if you came down here you would see how strongly I hear their paws!’
‘as if there is some kind of subsoil device?’
‘not even close my pumpkin, it is as is they are actually here underground!’
‘then it is fortunate I didn’t fall from the start and I stayed up here hidden behind the tree and I watched from really close the entire feast.’
‘did you see how they bite? Did you see how they crack bone? Which tooth?’
‘hell yes, it was brutal, repulsive like the movies you bring to watch, I saw it all with both eyes, but did you?’
‘I wonder why you ask, how can you forget every three minutes that I have been down here in the well all along? But to answer exactly what you are asking, yes I did. I saw the feast with my ears and I heard every sound with my eyes, every bone crack, every roam of fight between them. And the bear…’
‘did you hear the bear how it fought as well, did you hear its panic and anger between the mahogany limping and the slashing of skin?’
‘I think I heard her struggle from beginning to end, but did it suffer too much?’
‘yes, indeed, it was a loss for the forest, this creature, the skin, fur so bright. It was, it was a fight, but the beast finally lost’
‘did the group leave something behind?’
‘yes, you remembered! Yes, her skin is intact!’
‘Could you go anywhere near the skin of the bear, this skin is what we are here after all’
‘yes, ok, but do tell me my dear, from down there, can you hear my footsteps, can you hear my breath? Do you hear any difference? A change on me, perhaps?’
‘yes, my love, I finally do see a change on you. I hear it as id everything about you is way heavier than ever before. But the sound of the paws of the lions leaving is even stronger now, what’s this?’
‘So, you see? I have changed. I am heavier dear, I am twenty kilos heavier and two feet taller than what you remember before you fell in the well’
‘You don’t say about the lions, hide, if they are coming to you hide, or jump down here. And what was the last thing you said? How exactly is that, how can a person grow heavier and taller after watching some lions taking down a bear? And I say, the sound of the lions is so strong it makes my ears bleed’
‘No. I am not coming down. I thought I should leave you to figure it out by yourself, but I guess to tell you won’t change a thing anymore, and it will give me the pleasure of giving the bad news myself.’
‘Bad news, eh? And pleasure. What is it honey? What have I missed?’
‘Well, it goes like this. First I wear the bear’s skin, and second I have opened a hole for the Roman catacombs form the west, and what your actually hear is not paws on the soil. The lions are themselves down there; it is claws on Pentelic marble, my dearest love’

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Handicap existentialis (α’ μέρος)

Handicap existentialis (α’ μέρος)
Καθόλου αυτοκαταστροφικοί, νομίζω, είναι οι άνθρωποι, μάλλον εγωιστές, σφετεριστές και αχόρταγοι. Σε όλες τις εκφάνσεις της ύπαρξής μας, ακόμη και στον ίδιο τον πρακτικό αλτρουϊσμό, όπου ανταγωνιζόμαστε και αυτοδιαφημιζόμαστε. Έστω και αυτοί που δεν "κραυγάζουν" τις φιλανθρωπίες τους, φροντίζουν να το μάθουν κάποιοι, για να κοινοποιηθεί.
Εντούτοις, σε ό,τι αφορά την οικολογική καταστροφή, κατά τη γνώμη μου εξελίσσεται καταιγιστικά, σε ρυθμό αντιστρόφως ανάλογο της ομολογουμένως εντυπωσιακής τεχνογνωσίας του όντος αυτού, σε αντίθεση με οποιοδήποτε άλλο του πλανήτη ετούτου.
Κατά την άποψη μου, ένα ανεξήγητο κενό στη νόηση του ανθρώπου, από την αρχή της πρώτης του εξελιγμένης μορφής από τον αυστραλοπίθηκο, μια αδυναμία, ένα existential handicap όπως θέλω να το ονομάζω, τον οδηγεί σε συνεχή άμυνα προς τη φύση. Αυτό το κενό τον παροτρύνει να δημιουργεί τεχνητά οχυρά, σε αντίθεση με τα ενσωματωμένα οχυρά των υπόλοιπων όντων (βλλ τρίχωμα, κέλυφος, σκληρός φλοιός κλπ). Βλέπεις, ο φλοιός του εγκεφάλου που περιλαμβάνει όλο το αποτύπωμα της συναισθηματικής εξέλιξης, είναι κι αυτό ένα όργανο που λειτουργεί με ορμονικές αντιδράσεις, μετεξέλιξη και εναλλακτική λύση, αν θες, για αντιμετώπιση του φόβου του κενού αυτού που μας εξουσιάζει και ανέκαθεν παλεύουμε να το γεμίζουμε, είτε με ικανοποίηση ύλης (βλλ εδαφική κτητικότητα) είτε με πνευματική ικανοποίηση (βλλ εξιδανίκευση της αγάπης ως κοινωνικό προϊόν).
Υπερβολή, ίσως, μηδενιστική κάπως η προσέγγιση αυτή, εντούτοις κατανοώ αυτή την ίδια την ύπαρξη με το δικό μου τρόπο με αυτό τον τρόπο και δεν ανησυχώ για το μέλλον του ανθρώπου, αλλά του πλανήτη. Ο άνθρωπος θα μετοικήσει σε άλλους πλανήτες. Το έχω ήδη αποδεχτεί ως πραγματικότητα, όπως έχεις εσύ, άνθρωπε, αποδεχτεί το θάνατο ως έχει.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ΑΠΟΜΟΝΩΣΗ ΣΥΓΓΡΑΦΕΩΝ

THE MEDITERRANEAN WRITERS GROUP
FALL WRITERS’ RETREAT
KAKOPETRIA,CYPRUS, 23-25 October 2009


The Mediterranean Writers Group is hosting a writers’ retreat at the Makris Hotel in Kakopetria, Cyprus, in the Troodos mountain region on the Klarios River, for the weekend of 23-25 October 2009 with the aim of allowing serious writers of fiction, poetry, and other forms of creative writing the opportunity to have the time and space to focus on their craft, share their work with other serious writers, and to soak up the natural environment of the region. This 3-day mini-retreat combines creative writing workshops with readings, book swaps, and structured activities like nature walks and guided conversations related to their work. Of course, the retreat is also about having time away from the pressures of daily life to write in peace and solitude. Specialists in fiction, poetry, and drama will be on site to run workshops, offer advice, and provide guidance. The retreat is open to writers of all levels, and costs €110,00 total. The deadline to register is Friday, 16 October 2009.

Schedule of Activities

Friday, 23 October 2009

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Creative Writing Workshop (dialogue in fiction & poetry). This workshop offers a series of short & varied exercises to stimulate fiction & poetry writing, with attention paid especially to dialogue development. Dinner afterwards at local taverna .

10 p.m. Writing Time. This evening is set aside for participants to complete short, assigned exercises in fiction & poetry in the solitude of the mountain night.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Creative Writing Workshop (fiction). This workshop allows fiction writers the opportunity to try out new ways of approaching their craft, including exercises in tactile response to objects, sense-focus, and interaction with other media (photography, film, visual arts). Conducted by Maria Ioannou.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Book Swap. Participants will introduce & exchange books with each other, free of charge, as a means to both expanding their libraries and sharing what they have learned. Poetry, fiction, literary biography, and critical books all welcome.

12:30 – 3 p.m. Troodos Nature Walk & Picnic Lunch, socializing

3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Creative Writing Workshop (fiction & poetry). This workshop will allow poets & fiction writers a chance to try out new ways of approaching their work, including thematic in-course writing, prose poetry, narrative, lyric, and longer forms of poetry.


8 p.m. Writing Time. The evening is set aside for undisturbed quiet time writing, with only one rule: that no participant contact another during this period, and that mobile phones remain switched off.

Sunday, 25 october 2009

10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Dialogue Workshop. This workshop is set aside to help writers hone their skills at using dialogue in fiction, poetry, and dramatic writing. Conducted by Ellada Evangelou.

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Mini-exercises. Intended only to open up new directions for writers of both fiction & poetry, this short session will introduce 6 or 7 different short, intensive approaches to getting participants’ writing flowing.

1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch at local taverna

3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Guided Conversation/ Response Workshop. This period is reserved for free and open discussion of the writing participants have done during the previous two days, guided by a set of topics to help the writers evaluate their own and others’ progress.



Registration Information

Makris Hotel room charge: €60,00 per person (includes Fri & Sat night & breakfasts)
Facilities fee: €15,00 per person
Coordinator fee: €35,00 per person
Total: €110,00

2-day options (Sat & Sun only) are also available, at €80,00. All payments due upon arrival.

To register by Friday 16 October 2009 contact Dr. Spurgeon Thompson, 1 28th Oktovriou Street, 4680 Agros, Cyprus, email: spurgeonthompson1@yahoo.co.uk, or phone +357, 99804970. Late registrations accepted, but will not guarantee accommodation at the Makris Hotel.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Διακρίσεις και στη Λογοτεχνία

Get Involved Now in the
Sea of Words Literary Contest

The Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) and Institut Europeu de la Mediterrània (IEMed) have the pleasure to announce the launch of the Second Edition of the Sea of Words Literary Competition.

We encourage the production of short stories that portray the different realities of the Euro-Mediterranean region from the point of view of the young people who live there, through the organisation of a Euro-Med short story competition.

This year, the theme is restoring trust, dialogue and reconciliation in situations of crisis and conflicts in line with the objectives of the Restore Trust, Rebuild Bridges Initiative launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation in collaboration with the Alliance of Civilizations. Applicants must be under 30 years of age and residents in one of the forty three countries of the Union for the Mediterranean , and write in one of the languages of the countries of the Union for the Mediterranean .

The short-stories should be submitted by e-mail before midnight (Spain Local Time) 20 June 2009.
For more information, please visit the competition website. For further queries, please write to: concurso@iemed.org

Join Now and Become the Next Winner of the Sea of Words Competition.

Thank you for your involvement.

Kind regards,

Anna Lindh Foundation Secretariat

Ντροπή

Και η Απάντησή μου:

Dear Sirs,
why ever did you send this e-mail to me?
I am 35 years old. I am not young enough for the sea of words competition.
And I know that you have sent it to many other writers who are over 30.
I consider the age limit for a writing competition a form of discrimination and, therefore, a discrace.
You should've at least taken enough care to have sent this e-mail only to writers under 30 so that you wouldn't cause the frustration you have caused to me and to all the other writers who are over 30 and have received this e-mail.
We have respect for your foundation, so don't waste it over promotion rules.
And, trust me, I speak not for my self only, I have discussed this issue with fellow writers here in Cyprus with whom I participate in several writing workshops, retreats etc, and they all have the same problem.
Literature should go beyond limits of colour, origin, age and any other distinction of human groups.
If I were disabled, would you send me an invitation for the high jump event in the Olympics? You wouldn't.
Thank you for listening to my complaint.

With Respect,
Christos Rodoulla Tsiailis

Monday, June 01, 2009

Δελτίο Τύπου - Κύπρος


Δελτίο Τύπου - Διαδίκτυο

Νέοι ήχοι στο παμπάλαιο νερό
μια διαδικτυακή ανθολογία εν προόδω


Ξέμαθα να γράφω στίχουςΜόνο μηνύματα στους τοίχουςΚι αυτά χλευάζουν τον καιρόΡίχνω λοιπόν τους νέους ήχουςΜες στο παμπάλαιο νερό.

Αντεια Φραντζή
Τελετή στο κύμα, 2002


Οι Νέοι ήχοι στο παμπάλαιο νερό (http://pampalaionero.wordpress.com) είναι μια διαδικτυακή ανθολογία εν προόδω της σύγχρονης ελληνικής ποίησης σε παραδοσιακές μορφές, την οποία επιμελούνται ο Κώστας Κουτσουρέλης και η Σοφία Κολοτούρου.

– Ως σύγχρονη ελληνική ποίηση εννοείται εδώ η ποίηση των τριάντα τελευταίων ετών, από τις αρχές της δεκαετίας του '80 ώς τις μέρες μας.
– Ως ποιήματα γραμμένα σε παραδοσιακές μορφές εκλαμβάνονται όσα στηρίζονται σε έναν ή περισσότερους τρόπους της προνεωτερικής μορφοπλασίας: μέτρο, ρίμα, αριθμό συλλαβών, κανονική στροφική οργάνωση. Επίσης, όσα ποιήματα δανείζονται τέτοια στοιχεία και τα αναμειγνύουν με τους τρόπους της ελευθερόστιχης ποίησης, συγκλίνοντας σε μεικτές ή υβριδικές μορφές.


***

ΟΠΩΣ ΕΙΝΑΙ γνωστό, η ανάκαμψη των παραδοσιακών ποιητικών τρόπων παρατηρείται διεθνώς το αργότερο από τη δεκαετία του '80. Η επιστροφή αυτή του μέτρου και της ρίμας συνδυάστηκε συχνά με μια διάθεση έμπρακτης κριτικής στη νεωτερική ποίηση και τον ελεύθερο στίχο, για των οποίων την κόπωση ή εξάντληση έγινε συχνά λόγος. Άλλοτε πάλι, συνδέθηκε με το πνεύμα του παιγνιώδους και ανεκτικού μεταμοντερνισμού, τον εκλεκτικισμό του anything goes.

Στην Ελλάδα, οι παραδοσιακές μορφές ανακάμπτουν τη δεκαετία του '80, η παρουσία τους εμπεδώνεται τη δεκαετία του '90 και πυκνώνει εντυπωσιακά κατά τη διάρκεια της τρέχουσας δεκαετίας. Σήμερα, δεκάδες Έλληνες ποιητές κάθε ηλικίας και αισθητικού προσανατολισμού γράφουν ποιήματα σε τέτοιες μορφές, είτε αποκλειστικά είτε παράλληλα προς το ελευθερόστιχο έργο τους.

***

Οι "Νέοι ήχοι" δεν έχουν χαρακτήρα δεοντολογικό. Δεν διατυπώνουν άποψη, πόσo μάλλον προτροπή, για το πώς πρέπει να γράφει κανείς. Δεν επιζητούν να υποβαθμίσουν ή να απαξιώσουν τη λοιπή σύγχρονη ελληνική ποίηση, που στην πλειονότητά της εξακολουθεί να γράφεται κατά τα πρότυπα του κλασσικού μοντερνισμού του πρώτου μισού του περασμένου αιώνα. Εξίσου λίγο επιθυμούμε να υπονοήσουμε ότι οι ανθολογούμενοι ποιητές συνιστούν ρεύμα συγκροτημένο και ενιαίο στις επιδιώξεις του, ότι γίνεται να εκτεθούν στον αυτό παρονομαστή.

Τρείς είναι οι λόγοι, πιστεύουμε, που καθιστούν χρήσιμη, ακόμη και αναγκαία, μια Ανθολογία της σύγχρονης ελληνικής ποίησης σε παραδοσιακές μορφές.

Ο πρώτος, είναι η τομή που συνιστά για τη μεταπολεμική λογοτεχνία μας η επανεμφάνιση των παραδοσιακών μορφών. Ο δεύτερος, η αξιοσημείωτη επίδραση που άσκησαν και ασκούν οι ποιητές αυτοί στη σύγχρονη ελληνική ποίηση, αλλά και στην ερμηνεία της. Ο τρίτος, και σημαντικότερος, η αξία των ποιημάτων που ανθολογούνται. Ορισμένα από αυτά ανήκουν, όπως πιστεύουμε, στα καλύτερα δείγματα της ελληνικής λογοτεχνίας των τελευταίων δεκαετιών.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


ΣΥΓΓΡΑΦΕΙΣ ΣΕ ΔΙΗΜΕΡΗ ΑΠΟΜΟΝΩΣΗ

Η πρόσφατα συσταθείσα ομάδα "Mediterranean Writers" πραγματοποίησε το Σαββατοκύριακο 2-3 Μαίου ένα writers' retreat στο Ξενοδοχείο "Ρόδον" στο υπέροχο χωριό-θέρετρο "Αγρός" στην οροσειρά του Τροόδους στην Κύπρο. Μετά από συντονισμένες προσπάθεις μαζευτήκαμε 12 επίδοξοι συγγραφείς και ένας συντονιστής-διδάκτορας, ο οποίος βεβαίως μας έδωσε συγγραφικές ασκήσεις και προκλήσεις. Ομολογώ ότι οι οι ιδέες του κυρίου Tompson ήταν πρωτότυπες και διέγειραν τη φαντασία μας, κατά τα ξημερώματα που με βρήκαν να δουλεύω στον υπολογιστή μανιωδώς για να προλάβω γυμναστήριο, πρόγευμα και νέα συνάντηση ξανά στις δέκα το πρωί.
Όλοι οι συγγραφείς δημιούργησαν στην αγγλική γλώσσα λόγω των διαφόρων εθνοτήτων που παρευρέθησαν και καθώς ο συντονιστής κατάγεται από τις ΗΠΑ.

Το αποτέλεσμα ήταν να δημιουργηθούν πεζογραφήματα και ποίηση σε ψηλό επίπεδο -σύμφωνα πάντα με το συντονιστή-
Βεβαίως δεν έλειψε και η εκδρομούλα στην Κακοπετριά, η οποία σας διαβεβαιώ κάθε άλλο από "κακή πέτρα" έχει, με τα τρεχούμενα νερά και το γραφικό τοπίο.
Στο τέλος (απόγευμα Κυριακής) οι παρευρισκόμενοι διάβασαν δική τους δουλειά που παρήξαν στο παρόν retreat, ή και αποσπάσματα από προηγούμενες τους δουλειές.

Το επόμενο διήμερο θα διεξαχθεί τέλος Σεπτεμβρίου. Θα αναρτηθεί σχετική ανακοίνωση. Οι θέσεις είναι περιορισμένες. (Τη δική μου δεν την παραχωρώ, πάντως)

Τη φωτογραφία την έβγαλα εγώ, γι αυτό μη με ψάχνετε εκεί μέσα.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Human Parachute


So lightly calm do I go down
Such a cool breeze
shivers of senses all over my skin
so prettily ambient a fall from above,
effortlessly
to go down so low

I know you’ve been waiting down there
wanting, craving,
I feel them, those open arms

those and you have always been
sad about occasional drops
but my fall won’t be stopped
did you know I had been used to diving
without a parachute?

yesterday my parachute was liquid flesh
limestone from hell my parachute today is

mama, in my arms a dead swallow
little sis’ is tearing my clothes apart
but from me I won’t let her part
they’re all coming with me
so harsh a sun ray
such a cosmic sorrow only for me
I’m coming, be ready, to you

I know you’ve been waiting down there
wanting, craving,
I feel them, those open arms

those and you and she have always been
sad about ambiguous flights
but my fall won’t be stopped
did you know I used to cry from crash pain?

yesterday my parachute was aerial plastic
the ivory of time my parachute today is

heart and soul and mind
so heavier than my flesh
what’s flying ‘n what’s falling
no way I can tell
but your arms accept them all
all which is me and mama and she
we are coming, now, to you

Friday, April 17, 2009

Πιάστε ένα κρίνο και για μένα από τον επιτάφιο σας.  Δεν θα πάω.  Αρνιέμαι.  Πολλοί μαζεύεστε.  Έτσι περνώ το Πάσχα μου εγώ. Απουσιάζοντας.
Το μακρύτερο ποίημα που γράφτηκε ποτέ είναι ο δικός μου ψυχαναγκασμός.   Καταγράφεται τώρα που με διαβάζεις, αλλά θα μου πάρει μήνες να το τελειώσω, με κυνηγάει συνεχώς και το γράφω κάθε βράδυ, είναι σε σεπτικό ύφος, σαν να το γράφει ένας αφηγητής που με ανακρίνει, και θέλω να είμαι σ' αυτόν απόλυτα ειλικρινής, να γράφει ότι ακριβώς είναι καταχωνιασμένο στη μνήμη μου, τίποτα ωραιοποιημένο ή γαρνιρισμένο με τα κατάλοιπα του ρομαντισμού που ξεχύλισαν τους άγριους καιρούς μας για να βαλσαμώνουν ζωντανό το αγρίμι.  Το μακρύτερο ποίημα.  Σας αφήνω αναγνώστες γιατί μόλις θυμήθηκα τη μέρα εκείνη που αγόρασα το λεξικό του Μπαμπινιώτη και με κοίταξε με ερωτηματικό πριν το βγάλω από την πλαστική τσάντα.
HAPPY EASTER
ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

ΕΡΓΑΣΤΗΡΙ ΛΟΓΟΤΕΧΝΙΑΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΚΥΠΡΟ - ΤΕΛΕΥΤΑΙΑ ΕΙΔΟΠΟΙΗΣΗ

THE MEDITERRANEAN WRITERS GROUP WRITERS’ RETREAT, AGROS,CYPRUS, 2-3 MAY 2009 The Mediterranean Writers Group is hosting a writers’ retreat at the Rodon Hotel in Agros, Cyprus, situated in the isolated, mountainous region of Pitsilia, for the weekend of 2-3 May 2009 with the aim of allowing serious writers of fiction, poetry, and other forms of creative writing the opportunity to have the time and space to focus on their craft, share their work with other serious writers, and to soak up the natural environment of the region. The Med Writers Group has organized this 2-day mini-retreat combining creative writing workshops with readings, book swaps, and structured activities like nature walks and guided conversations related to their work. Of course, the retreat is also about having time away from the pressures of daily life to write in peace and solitude. The retreat is open to writers of all levels, and costs €92,00 total. The deadline to register is Friday, 3 April 2009. Schedule of Activities Saturday, 2 May 2009 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Creative Writing Workshop (short fiction). This workshop allows writers of short fiction to practice various forms of prose experimentation in an unhindered forum, guided by an experienced creative writing instructor. 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch at local taverna Pantheon Cafe 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Creative Writing Workshop (poetry). This workshop allows poets the opportunity to try out new ways of approaching their craft, including exercises in prose poetry, narrative, lyric, and longer forms of poetry. 5:30 p.m. Book Swap. Participants will exchange books with each other, free of charge, as a means to both expanding their libraries and sharing what they have learned. Poetry, fiction, literary biography, and critical books all welcome. 7 p.m. Poetry and Fiction Reading. Members of the Med Writing Group will present a sampling of their short fiction and poetry at the Rodon Hotel, some with musical accompaniment. 8 p.m. Writing Time. The evening is set aside for undisturbed quiet time writing, with only one rule: that no participant contact another during this period, and that mobile phones remain switched off. Sunday, 3 May 2009 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Fiction and Poetry Response Workshop. This workshop allows participants the opportunity to share with the group and receive commentary on the writing they produced at the workshop the previous day and night. 12 p.m. Book Presentations. Each member will present a brief summary of a recent book they have read and liked, with quotations from the book where suitable, in the form of a mini-review and recommendation. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Picnic Lunch on Nature Walk. Participants will take an hour-long trail hike on undemanding terrain in the Troodos mountains, breaking for lunch and conversation. 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Guided Conversation/ Response Workshop. This period is reserved for free and open discussion of the writing participants have done during the previous two days, guided by a set of topics to help the writers evaluate their own and others’ progress. Registration Information Rodon Hotel room charge: €42,00 per person (includes Sat night & breakfast) Conference Room/Facilities fee: €20,00 per person Coordinator fee: €30,00 per person Total: €92,00 All payments due upon arrival. To register by 3 April 2009 contact Dr. Spurgeon Thompson, 1 28th Oktovriou Street, 4680 Agros, Cyprus, or email: spurgeonthompson1@yahoo.co.uk, or phone +357, 99804970. Late registrations accepted, but will not guarantee accommodation at the Rodon Hotel due to high season.

Mixed Culture Feelings

The pale girl with the sharp eyes
was seen again at the bar last night.
She was looking for the young Latino
who’d danced her mad
in a pace she had never danced before,
through a passion of odourless sweat.
That same night,
elusive, the boy went
to another disco
for an African adventure.

...All nights are one memory,
only days allow time to proceed,
you all know what I mean

This black woman is here to stay,
she will not let him have a beg
with her Rasta hair curling
around his Paki shoulders and neck,
with her aged nails ready
to give a curry taste
to his flesh of hardened labour.
You all know this one is trapped
in a Europe bar,
an Asian suffering African love.

Powerful culture mixture, the friction is unique
it is my love cultura
and your passionate couture,
in a blend of colour, vodka and gins
cheers my love, salute!

The two girls found each other in a chat room
and mate as soon as they met
the oldest travelled with a train
from Andalusia all the way to the Northeast steppe
acute angles on her face,
pale and shy,
lowering glances on the Guernicean physique
will she ever get used to the taste of salt on the female skin...

The man from such a distant island beneath Turkey,
was too old for the Romanian teen,
but she gave in to peasant last,
she compromised with the need for care
the nights were long,
too long for the money,
to long for the money.
He died happy,
he died with satisfaction
aimed against his friends,
against all odds.
She never died.

Powerful culture mixture, the friction is unique
it is my love cultura and your passionate couture
in a blend of colour, vodka and gins
cheers my love, salute!

I travelled incognito
around the lakes and the rivers of this earth,
only the Nile swallowed me
and spat me out in an oasis afar
I was pierced by a pyramid
in the goddess’s hands,
and I confessed my love to the golden crocodile –
these mixed culture feelings
killed my own private local idea of love
and made me a chameleon of lust,
and gave me a box of crayons
for the Rio dancers,
and a peacock in love with a cock
and a horse sodomising a seahorse
and a bull seducing his own corpse.

Laughter in my Womb

As I touch my tummy so tenderly, I escape
He placed his hand on mine
Asked I blush as mummy,
so perfectly out I space
She placed her hand on his

And I hear laughter from inside my ears
And I sense these thrills right down my veins
And I feel my rains coming
I am the season of the mud
I am a new earth

And I hear laughter from inside my mind
And I sense this strength all over my muscles
And I feel my arteries working
I transform
I am the reason of the laughter
I am the hearth
I am the season of the fire
red soil and water
my womb is an oven
and it’s laughing

As I touch this belly in such a marvel, I break
He placed his finger on my tear
Collapsed I and numb, but sovereign, again I brick
She placed his salty finger on her lips

And I throw laughter from inside my guts
And I sense this mighty earthquake on my bones
And I feel my rains coming
I am the season of the mud
I am the last earth

And I hear laughter from inside my mind
And I sense this strength all over my muscles
And I feel my arteries working
I transcend
I am the reason of the laughter I am the hearth
I am the season of the fire
red soil and water
my womb is an oven
and its holy laughter is boiling to surface.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ΕΡΓΑΣΤΗΡΙ ΛΟΓΟΤΕΧΝΙΑΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΚΥΠΡΟ

THE MEDITERRANEAN WRITERS GROUP
WRITERS’ RETREAT, AGROS,CYPRUS, 2-3 MAY 2009


The Mediterranean Writers Group is hosting a writers’ retreat at the Rodon Hotel in Agros, Cyprus, situated in the isolated, mountainous region of Pitsilia, for the weekend of 2-3 May 2009 with the aim of allowing serious writers of fiction, poetry, and other forms of creative writing the opportunity to have the time and space to focus on their craft, share their work with other serious writers, and to soak up the natural environment of the region. The Med Writers Group has organized this 2-day mini-retreat combining creative writing workshops with readings, book swaps, and structured activities like nature walks and guided conversations related to their work. Of course, the retreat is also about having time away from the pressures of daily life to write in peace and solitude. The retreat is open to writers of all levels, and costs €92,00 total. The deadline to register is Friday, 3 April 2009.

Schedule of Activities

Saturday, 2 May 2009

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Creative Writing Workshop (short fiction). This workshop allows writers of short fiction to practice various forms of prose experimentation in an unhindered forum, guided by an experienced creative writing instructor.

1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch at local taverna Pantheon Cafe

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Creative Writing Workshop (poetry). This workshop allows poets the opportunity to try out new ways of approaching their craft, including exercises in prose poetry, narrative, lyric, and longer forms of poetry.

5:30 p.m. Book Swap. Participants will exchange books with each other, free of charge, as a means to both expanding their libraries and sharing what they have learned. Poetry, fiction, literary biography, and critical books all welcome.

7 p.m. Poetry and Fiction Reading. Members of the Med Writing Group will present a sampling of their short fiction and poetry at the Rodon Hotel, some with musical accompaniment.

8 p.m. Writing Time. The evening is set aside for undisturbed quiet time writing, with only one rule: that no participant contact another during this period, and that mobile phones remain switched off.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Fiction and Poetry Response Workshop. This workshop allows participants the opportunity to share with the group and receive commentary on the writing they produced at the workshop the previous day and night.

12 p.m. Book Presentations. Each member will present a brief summary of a recent book they have read and liked, with quotations from the book where suitable, in the form of a mini-review and recommendation.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Picnic Lunch on Nature Walk. Participants will take an hour-long trail hike on undemanding terrain in the Troodos mountains, breaking for lunch and conversation.

3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Guided Conversation/ Response Workshop. This period is reserved for free and open discussion of the writing participants have done during the previous two days, guided by a set of topics to help the writers evaluate their own and others’ progress.



Registration Information

Rodon Hotel room charge: €42,00 per person (includes Sat night & breakfast)
Conference Room/Facilities fee: €20,00 per person
Coordinator fee: €30,00 per person
Total: €92,00

All payments due upon arrival.

To register by 3 April 2009 contact Dr. Spurgeon Thompson, 1 28th Oktovriou Street, 4680 Agros, Cyprus, or email: spurgeonthompson1@yahoo.co.uk, or phone +357, 99804970. Late registrations accepted, but will not guarantee accommodation at the Rodon Hotel due to high season.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ekatolexon – Where Spiders Breed

Red parrots are black widows in disguise. “Did you watch that dream last night?” Nelly did, she said I should rent it myself from the ‘Eternity’ shop. She said I had to take my Id there but I had given it in for a personal storm cloud. They sell those in the ‘Maternity’ shop. Did I mention the dream played songs by three talented Zulus, all killed in different accidents from flat tires crossing ‘Casablanca’ streets? I thought she was joking, but then her father with a bouquet kissed me on the shoulder, where my beloved spiders used to breed.

ekatolexon - Avocado Cat

The cat called her mum for food again. “miaou” It woke me up late afternoon, just before the alarm rang. A hat flew from the window and cut an avocado from the branch my fridge had been growing. “Hiss” said the avocado like a cobra as it dove but I was not convinced. Then it fell on the cat’s head but I didn’t see it die. I only heard this euphemism in the mother’s loud, jolly laughter. After all the mess, the alarm clock blew off the window to my aunt’s house, where she kept the rest of the tree.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A-L Far Love

Another area, along, above, across
asphyxiating alluvium around an aviating alcove.
Alertness, avowed archers arriving.

But be brave, believe.
Boiling bog, blasted black bubbles buried beneath bestowed bladders,
beyond barriers,
behold, be loved!
Be back briefly, babe!

Corruption carried cannot create crimes,
conclude, collide, cut care, cure crises!
Cooperate, correct,
can candles cry?

Do daisies die, don’t doctors drive?
Dawn daughters, dig down disgrace, drill danger, deny!

Ever embraced, except erased, exhale,
errors ended everything, excluding eyes!

Forgetting fears fight!
Forcing ferocity, felling, founding fair,
forth follow fights.

Go gigantic, gain ground, give, guide!
Governments’ grave grassing, grayish goblets grieve golden glides.

Holes hallucinated heal hearts,
how higher,
how hatred
how hotter, how he?

Instants in islands include isolation inside instinct
Insert it,
isn’t illusion irony inside innocent ice?

Justified jungle just jargons, joy’s just joined July.

Knights know, knives knock,
keyed kisses kick knees
kinky king’s kidneys keep knowledge kind,
knowledge knots

Love, love, love!
Longer live lies,
Love, love, love!
Lust lies lower, lungs lubricate life,
love, love, love,
least longer live lies.

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