Saturday, June 15, 2019

Poems part 3


What works and what doesn’t

Reconsidering particular moments
Grappling in my head with years
I shouldn’t have wasted on people,
I wonder what works and what doesn’t.
Is my noncompetitive nature or
Their fixation with prevailing
What made me feel like working
Double shifts?
I have tried to find a place away
From their kerfuffle but it seems
The more I try the more I am
Caught up in yet another whirl
Of what doesn’t work not what does.
We, all part of a storm-centre,
Are tied together with emotions
And something provokingly unworkable.

The Pillars
The whole world is a pile of crap
Hiding more crap.
Where is the truth, one might ask.
The truth is that you think,
Not what you think,
That you feel, not what you feel.
Nothing is hiding behind these two
Pillars you can only sense
They’re there.



The Feast

At the feast nobody was absent
nobody missed the chance of being there
Regarding the comments
Regarding the apologies,
forgive those that didn’t want to leave…
forgive even those who left before the end…
Unforgivable are those who
turned up just to criticize.


Don’t eat desserts that have a river’s name

I don’t want to write,
I closed the new word document,
Then the three choices.
Let me do it again, yes,
I guess we all know them,
Save, don’t save, cancel:
So it says to you, always,
A short dialogue, because
Life is short. Make up your mind.


Dog-walkers

I do not wonder which figure
They see first. “I am a summer kid,
What about you?” “Autumn.”
Suddenly I sound melancholic.
“Excuse me, are we talking about the same thing?”
“Probably.”
But I am not, his eyes waiting
For more, smiling as if at his
Seductress. “Well, b-bye!” I stutter
(which I normally don’t.)
Felt an unspoken question
Overshadowing a male not in his prime
That would have liked to hear
Something else from a female not in her prime,
Walking away in a mist of indefinable,
Maybe mutual hopes. “Maybe?”
I ask my dog twice, the second time less agog.


The Postscripts

Dear Ceiling

No matter where I’ve been
No matter what I’ve seen
You are the sunrise and the sunset of my life!
Yours truly,

The raven.

Raven,

What the two of you had had is over,
Stop sending letters of love to my love!

The floor.

Dear Window,

Is it true? Has the Ceiling forgotten me?
Has it?

The raven.

Dear Raven,

Since the day you left many things have happened,
Now there’s a spiral stairway, and a second floor.
The window has decided to be bricked
After letting you go; so in love
With you it was.
Yours sincerely,

The Door.
PS: And a second ceiling of course, and a new raven.
PPS: Have you found a new home?


Looking at unfinished portraits

It’s almost dark,
the light gnaws
at the canvases,
trying to survive.
Lips are moon-white,
eyes sunset-red,
hair mountain-black.
He rubs his neck 
to calm himself down.
Outside night snakes crawl
around wine barrels.
The naked light bulb
Falls for a wildflower.


Iconolater

You want to stay alive, fight, persevere,
Not for some love or fame or money,
It is because you think you’re beautiful,
Not in the heart or soul or personality,
The face, the body you see in the mirror
You like it oh so much,
It is because you think you’re pretty.
You’d even kill yourself
Mesmerised by your icon.


Apparently

You came rallying
With just enough fuel
To finish first; okay.
But I’d like to ask you
Aren’t you jealous of
Those who were not wearing
Any helmets, who had
The windows open, who saw
The pine trees and the lake,
And now with their hair in a snarl
And their eyes happy,
The only thing they’ll miss
Is you holding a trophy?
We will all be gone by the time
They get here, and some of us
Will remember those
Who never made it,
And wish you less luck
Next time; but you
Apparently won’t get it.
On such nights

It was the night of interloping images
inveigling into seeing nothing but
the phantom of reality, it was the time to be outwitted
by fugitive connotations of transient affinities.
It was the moon, masking this dark confusion that robbed lucidity,
this magnetic satellite attracting sanity
as if its presence was more than status quo, more than the established
monarchy that tortured the scientist or the poet, or the man in love,
it was the father figure, shadowy and argentine with beady eyes
and bloody soul, a sleepless crow roosting just up above
atrocity.

Who says that the sky embraces only divinity?
No, it claims more than saintly entities
sometimes, like on that night, it even allows the lord of abnormity
to shape the world accordingly…
and it’s not magic, nor a diabolic coincidence that a bunch of pioneers found
a way out of this earthly labyrinth
and disappeared soundlessly
during invisible storms.

There are trees in the wilderness, struck by lightning
that if you dare to look carefully at their interlacing branches
you’ll see them tilting at mills
only to become pillars of salt, facing the outlying city lights,
the destination of a train, crossing a faulty bridge, of souls to be recycled.


to the victims of the Tay Bridge Disaster

The School
It was on a sunny day that
The quiet uphill street
Had been blocked
Where a beautiful building
With sixty-four broken windows
And lazy stray dogs
Towered above a cemetery.
Up there a grieving teacher
Tired of funerals, smashed
Its windows on a rainy day
When the quite uphill street
Was still busy.
Downtown at 11 o’clock
Every August, for 11 days
The sun plays chess with
The windows,
And everybody watches.
People in their early sixties
Say each year
A grave is missing.


Ideogram

If certain words were tangible enough
to have some kind of optical texture, virginally meaningful
and if nobody’s mind owned these words
I would use my mouth to baptize them
drowning them in my existence,
This would be a new form of masonry initiating
ideograms into linguistically abnormal laws
defining an arrogant and simple grammar,
Intelligent enough to guard my introvert weakness
Then I’d be alone finally, at last fully shaped
quietly understood, inveterately impassive
Looking at the world ex cathedra…


On offer

There is a salesperson we all know,
who sells a story about us,
he’s being paid with lies and truths
with love and hate,
indifference when paid in full,
and after that some claim
they have never once met
such story-tellers,
some others start anew,
as doppelgangers, careful
not to appear as evil clients,
but overall too good to be true.
There is a salesperson we all know,
the Self whose tale is always
on special offer
as ‘me’ that takes one of the many roles
of an imaginary ‘you’.


Correligionists, all happened for a reason
The plenipotentiaries dressed in royal blue
Had been mumbling paternoster
On the day an army of defeated ghosts
Instead of victorious soldiers
Approached the citadel.
After three or twenty-three years,
The thorax of the city, the disciples of
Sophists and cynics
Lapsed into a monastic state, the last ones
Could have been the Epicureans.
And when the prodigies
That were lucky enough not to be massacred
First inhaled burning incense,
Then unlike true Christians, but like
Byzantine pariahs
Of an ancient religion, strove to save their
Penelope from patriarchs, sought and found
In secret places Dionysus dismembered
And her husband
With their son reduced to ashes,
And then became so strict because of sorrow,
That invented myriads of sad annual
Litanies.
Out in the sea, a strange raft still
Floats though now empty, returning to Troy,
Leaving Ithaca.
Circe, Calypso, Sirens and Cyclops
All gone, just like an open link
That closed without ever becoming
One with the chain, or just like
A shepherdess lost in an enigmatic blizzard.

Anemurium

Citizens of a Roman city
out in the Byzantine damp,
afraid of invidiosus oculus,
had been selling amulets,
and wearing charm bracelets,
yet going to church,
honestly praised their new Lord,
but loved to sanctify
traditions of their pagan past.
Now, in its ruins
dancing deities of fertility
laugh at the sight of archaeologists
excavating Solomon seal rings,
for nobody can ever find proof
that a poor citizen of Anemurium
didn’t get luckier
by talismanic chance.


Chimeras
Plangent and vibrating
The sound of the sea echoes
And his body is drifting
His soul is screaming.
Deep in the azure sea
Beneath the milky, frothy waves
An irresolute soul
Is waiting.
As you walk up and down at the sea-shore
You know, he would never escape from Calypso
You know, a prisoner of chimeras
Would remain on the island craving
For liberation.


Medusa

Now, she lies on the searock
Surrounded by coral reefs,
Cold currents of the ocean,
Whip her face, the face of
Hidden beauty broken in three, horrible
Facets. Medusa, the monster princess nereid.

Looks at the distant images
Of the world on earth,
Different times and different vices,
Same fears in nightmares,
Same joys in happy dreams,
Same anomalies and
Routines. Medusa, the monster princess nereid.

There, from the regolith of Chaos
Underneath,
Where nothing transforms anything,
The greatest terror climbs to her eyes,
Desirous. Medusa, the monster princess nereid,

Of every you and every me and all our deeds.


The way things are

You lust with your mind,
Love with your heart,
Give in to emotion
With your eyes.

Eros is in the air,
Predestined perhaps,
A tipped arrow from which
Nobody is immune.



copyright Nicoletta A Poulakida

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Poems part 2


A Jungle Excuse
Jane, allow a lazy modern Tarzan such as me
to love you till death do us part,
allow my lazy kisses to thank you
for every single time you washed
my dirty underpants and please forgive me
– if you die first, not I-
for ordering your coffin as I do
with everything else, online,
arranging a drive-thru funeral
and seeing you off
in my topless
automobile,
Jane, I swear to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
I Love All of your Accounts 
almost as much as mine.


Division
Each night, depressed, he
waits on bridges
for trains to pass.
Tired of arguing with people,
confused by their idealism,
receives the distress signal
of his personal Titanic,
hears the stationmaster’s whistle,
regains self-control,
abandons his soul’s echoes,
and does not jump.
All he sees in the mirror
is a shadow that multiplies.
Sometimes he asks the cup of coffee
his wife’s holding
why people like him do not have
vertical eyes. 
She no longer thinks he is addressing her.
 ---
2nd version of the edited version
Each night he waits on bridges
for trains to pass. 
In the air there’s only
the distress signal
of his personal Titanic,
the stationmaster’s whistle,
and does not jump.
In the mirror -back home-
there was only a multiplying shadow.
Sometimes he asks the cup of coffee
his wife’s holding why doesn’t he
have vertical eyes. 
She no longer thinks
he is addressing her.

A Poem Sleeps
Behind the bridal veil, a lost look,
Ill at ease smile, yellowish teeth.
It’s June and I’m a February-poem. I hold the tail of the dress,
Death is the groom.
Tired after this ceremony, I fall asleep.
I wake up in a book whose pages are wheels,
preparing a church for another wedding,
a church that has 28 closed doors.

Penning a Monostich
Language is a spell to hack reality, tap its unrealness.

Divine Receptor
A mirror for a gravestone –
our place among the dead –
reflecting an ever changing sky.
The moon illuminates
a fake exit for lifeforms,
rays cutting deep where we are,
buried in God’s retina.

Tassos

I.
Tassos is having a dream
on a rainy, cold night.
I’m up writing and surfing the web.
I hear him in agony calling my name,
the loudest whisper I’ve ever heard.
I never reply and wait.
Back to sleep — back to writing,
curious about the touch felt
on my right hand.

II.
He’s a teacher, in an unfamiliar village, of martial arts.
Content, but his gut feeling tells him something is off,
then I appear, peaceful and laconic, in his dream.
“The lesson will keep me here for a while, my students… Go.”
“Go where?” He cannot answer. Says, “I have to stay here.”
“Stay where?” I ask, as I leave and coldness surrounds him. 
Dad shows up inquiring whether I had been there,
putting his hand on Tassos’s shoulder says,
“Hope with all your heart she returns. You have no other way out.”

III.
On tactful nights,
mutual rescues
sensibly take place,
whether we’re up
and about, busy
with the lust
mulishly preceding
such dawns of brighter
days ahead, or not.


Nothing but a soppy song

I.
In the dentist chair
no new ideas are perching on my eyebrows,
‘When I was nine
a crimson wristwatch was given to me 
by my father
who died one morning at nine o’clock,’
I suddenly recall.
Fanis has no anesthetic
for what goes on in a patient’s soul.
His cell phone rings,
its ringtone is Louis Armstrong’s
“It’s a wonderful world”
Which may never have been his favorite tune,
but a reminder
for him, perhaps for all,
a declaration of best intentions
and colossal expectations destined to echo
– in my opinion –
as nothing but a soppy song.

II. two years later, ringtone changed
You’re not alone in thinking we’re alone,
That any route is solitary from birth to extinction.
We are here connecting paths,
Remembering passages to glades. 
Wanting to be loved again and again,
Exclusively, with intense, in and out of rarity,
Welcomed on the island without name, a maze
Of blindfolded dilemmas, feeling weary
and strange in need of a holiday.

III.
I have a better ringtone, 
but it’s not for phones,
it’s as sad as snow falling
on a white dog lying 
dead in the middle of a road,
as a tornado hitting your home.
I have a better ringtone,
but it’s not for people
that cannot stream it
throughout their lives
as they’re doing other things,
or making love.
*
Hush and turn 180 degrees.
A good bridge depends on 
Knowing both sides.
Make yours sturdier than
The Rock of Gibraltar 
Αs if it’s made for Titans,
Or someone followed by
A legion of relentless arguments. 
Expect the specters of your minds
To unfold their powers, then
Reach each other’s hearts and
Send them to hell, where they belong.


Puffing your intellect out after dinner

Basically, when you scribble
Poems you’ve sensed that
They are not worth writing,
Whose subject is too obvious
And reasoning is poor,
You begin to wonder
What’s for dinner,
And food then beats poetry;
Your half-empty stomach
Distracts your half-full head,
And you usually return
With a vindictive idea
Which hasn’t been written yet,
Straight from hell.


Details

A poem is a wild horse which
Broke loose a day after
The tamer’s first attempt,
Galloped all night,
The distance to freedom
And back. With both legs
Broken, the poet awaits
Its return, like a mother
Mourning over a crucified son,
Knowing that no one
Will feel for them.

Feelings and wishes all stones have or make

“I heard no bombs today,” said the stone,
“And the evening train crossed the bridge
Above me ever so peacefully. If things go well,
The night won’t climb like a wild animal
On my back, only to ride herself deep
Into darker nights’ memories of air raids,
But gently she will rub the hard surface,
Then before leaving me in the hands of another day
She will place tulles of fog on me, and the morning
Unveiling me as content as fresh butter
Ready to be spread and acquiring a taste.


Knowing
Now and then the tides of times
Whip out roots of knowledge;
Ancient they’re not.
The tides of times stem from
Some kind of future;
Upcoming it is not.
The end meets the start
and a circle is formed;
Square logic ruling out ignorance.

Statue in the sky

He decided to build a balloon,
with a wicker basket and red envelope
and place inside his finished statue,
the Aphrodite, smiling bitterly,
keep the spear carrier unfinished,
left eyeless, alone in the dark.
Now it’s tied to the ground,
aloft, ready to fly in the dusk.
On seeing it lifting in the air,
grabs a rope having two choices,
which would make him equally regretful.
Love, like life, has merciless rules, divine.

Wishing Upon a Line

I need you to be great, my first line of a poem,
Grab attention, make it read till the end.
I need you to be so great I can repeat you,
Hide my lack of ideas, but still be original.
Reassure me and please readers, make this art worthy
Of spending all my free time, today or tomorrow.
It’s not sad what I do, it’s not pointless,
Finding lines to wish upon is not worse than
Finding stars in fixed skies whose falling
Rarely graces the fate of mortals with luck.


A Moment to Avoid

Moderato cantabile describes well this concrete moment.
Impenetrable thoughts have disheartened life’s requiem.
Yes, this moment, rules my spirit in a manner that resembles
Prometheus chained after his sinful charity.
No, this moment is cureless, with a stinging pain
on my forehead- my vulture doesn’t eat liver,
it eats conscience and has no blame, not while facing
Dullness – of a crossword puzzle – of Life’s secret
running horizontally like a mouse depending 
on the vertical clue of a dead cat.


Ecstatic

On the rusty ruins of war
Wait for the ghost of freedom,
Holding the head of peace
Smiling ecstatically.

Omen Accipio

Time’s carriage halted at
the sound of the Bacchic clarinet,
lost chances stepped outside
and bleary-eyed waved at Death.

It was one of those moments
that like Lucius Aemilius Paulus
“ut domum ad vesperum rediit”,
standing in front of his child
asks “Cur tristis es?”

Take your mask off Time,
this soul is untamed,
warning you now that
next time, your galloping
specters will be killed
one by one,
for whipping these two
words out of my mouth
always delayed.


The ending perpetuation of Time

Time spirals and wraps sealing almost everything
In incomprehensible diagrams moving
Up and down, to and fro in prefixed parameters
To wire and hold countless worlds within universes.
Lapsing diameters center and focus
Inimically like a cyclopean eye, on
Human Existence. Lightness peers into gravity
As autumn peers into winter’s coldness.
Conscience’s flirting with the dullness
Of a crossword puzzle: Life’s secret
Running horizontally like a mouse
Depending on the vertical clue of a dead cat.
In Time’s paradoxical stomach
Where all the consumed cosmic particles
Blend with the elements and their proportions,
There is always an End dodging Perpetuation,
Momentarily coughing up new beginnings,
Or possibilities if you prefer to call it as such.


To no purpose

Summer wearily sweats in major ports
Gibed by thick rusty chains and thin tourist’s clothes
Trying to cope with its chubby heat
Its smoldering restless shadow
Captaining hydrofoils..
Has it always been like this?
Or old-fashioned much skinnier sun-rays,
Hungry masses due to civil wars,
Proud aftermaths of postwar periods,
When Hollywood discovered Greece,
A boy, Sophia and a dolphin,
Await somewhere on the edge of a cliff
The return of a ship in white mainsails..


Missing

Late at night,
their compass missing
from a moonless sky.
The table cloth giving off odours of
forgotten food and spilt wine.
It was the bird of wisdom
asking for a refuge when they were laughing
as the retiring day anxious to get rid of them
ended in the serving hands of a mother
at dinner time.
All asleep, disoriented,
the front door closed,
the hallway capsized.



copyright Nicoletta A. Poulakida

Poems part 1

Darling

Darling,
Around these women that surround me,
There are lots of men,
Not one of them is drunk, but intoxicated with their perfumes rave.
My bitten tongue, detriment to communication,
Which I don’t really need as I have nothing to say to them, all of them.
Yet we keep signaling to each other, all of us.
Women do it in a cancan way,
Some men wave handkerchiefs, some others knives, some hats.
I do it with a broken wand.
Darling, release the darling lions.
Athens, 2006

Endymion

A young man about to sing
the song of happiness
stopped by the tawny owl
in his youth’s pine tree.
The thought of being
a misinformed taster
holding a clay bowl, while
a helot from the future,
waits to fill it with something
no one can avoid
best not linger;
an endlessly-asleep-hypothesis
unties the wine-skin.
Is there a bigger enemy of
life and beauty than the fear
of age and decay?



Captain Poet

Why write such kind of poetry
When you can buy yourself a bonsai,
And make an ekphrastic tree?
Why bother so much with grammar
In poetic context, and commas
Not to mention lyrical nuances, which from
Repetitious editing lose their sensitivity?
Stop banging trapped meanings, or perplexed,
Against the walls of meter,
You’re not forced to live in a prison,
Nobody is going to sell you as a slave,
No barred windows a little
Higher than your height
Block you from the joys of writing.
So, what with that kind of poetry
Will you achieve, you and your inspiration
Jostling through a crowd of syllables,
Elbowing unoriginal rhymes,
To find a nice seat in front of the execution scaffold
Where your betrayed imagination
Looking like Errol Flynn in one of those
Swashbuckling films will be talking
More old-fashioned bollocks than any free verse poem
And any postmodern poet like me?
I tell you Captain Poet, that kind of poetry
Is just a mistrial, is only a bad deal.
But if you insist that this is what you need,
To kneel to Form and say Your Majesty,
Do not pursue us, we’re not pirates,
We do not blow up your ships,
And do not chase us after, mind you
Lousy poets exist in every fleet.


Completeness

old flames on different paths
I.
Baby, the game’s ours,
– breathing in –
the warmth of bodies,
what has been felt
perhaps, above all,
– breathing out –
unbeaten and won,
third eyes open,
forever and now.
II.
I am, “what you need,”
you are, “what I think,”
sensing “each other.”
You speak, “I reply,”
I sleep, “I dream,
you wake,” you walk
“I wake, you sleep,”
day in “day out,” planes
departing, “complete.”
III.
Longing for ease,
the stillness of Zen,
moving as players,
in control. Hushed;
turned inwards.
A bridge half-finished,
on two clocks’ time.
Cores, tree-houses –
life is what we love.


Halfway down life’s road

Lately, lust briefly strikes
in my heart as thunderbolt
my womanhood that has
changed; now, it’s an option
of peaceful routine, nice
weather, of hours listening
to white noise, lovebirds’ snooze.
Sexual instinct’s just decor,
or a tool I no longer need
to calculate death’s momentum.




Nothing Truer

When there was an unusually
intense storm,
my brother and I
climbed into our parents’ bed
worried more than scared.
Father let us tickle his feet
and there is not a thing in the world
to make him miserably happier
than his daughter’s speech
on being poor and liking it.
For the worries poverty brings
can be tickled away, like
water can be drained,
lights restored,
and to end with a cliché 
‘all you need is love.’



Kidding Yourself

One day you see how
Ignorance works in the back
Of a person’s mind, someone
Who has claims on a smug
Share of I-know-better bliss,
Or one who estimates
How far it will take him
This just-wait-and-see ambition,
Filling his life with
Nothing-stays-still fixations
On small and weak things,
Not destined to become
Anything stronger and bigger
Than a once-in-a-lifetime
Postponed carpe diem.



More

“Hey Where Are You Going?” I said,
suspicious of my beer caught sliding on my desk,
but at first, quite impressed, I thought
it was a miracle; I was staring at it,
thinking of ten books I’d bought
perhaps for too long, ‘Telekinesis!’
I almost exclaimed out loud, tipsy and all.
Soon, knowing that logic abhors impressions,
I tried to explain this phenomenon:
the cold can on such a hot day,
left a pool of water on the glass mat.
the fan full speed, whenever it turned,
moved it slowly — inquisitive mind and all.
Still busy with weird ideas, wait till I tell you
more.



Sap Rising Wise

He bought vintage watch-parts
To make earrings that would look
Stylishly antique,
A reciprocal gift for her original
Black Forest cuckoo clock.
Their falling love-barometer
Had not indicated ‘sap rising’ – yet.
Spring clouds may result
In emotional rains, when
The wet weather-vane moves
From friends to lovers too fast.
They can only take it slow,
Both being careful of pressure
And sick of anything short term.



Options

You can choose how to spend your life:
drinking lazily from a lake of sweet wine,
or live on a hill covered with grapevines.




The agreement

Starting with Bou, in 2009,
a litter of four puppies,
abandoned, she was the last one
to be saved; night approaching,
the highway’s near, “bring her
home,” I said.  Then, June,
four years later, malnourished,
beaten and old, ticks lined-up
and attacking, like in the game
Stratego, all wet in the rain.
“Wait here, beside him,
I’ll be back,” I ordained.
A year and a month later,
outside my door, a perky, stray puppy.
I tried to hold her too close;
three was my limit, (or four, or five.)
She ran away, scared. A prayer,
to Virgin Mary, to keep her safe
and bring her back, answered;
Gilda, hard to catch,” Tassos
lifting her up like a lamb.
Υes, I nodded; his rescue, my vow.



Charging

When they ask me to finish
The story, I say: “No-one can
Do whatever he wants when there
Is life around him”, which is
Better than giving them what
They want. Some persist, some
Sulk, some others, charged
And usually charming, say:
“Enough is as good as a feast,
For now.”




Erosion

And all those beautiful mornings
that smelled like orange, all those
peaceful days suffusing light,
withered like roses and died
the moment a crow flew by squawking
a psalm that was materialized, grabbing
the poet by the ribs,
putting his heart on fire,
melting his body like resin.
Look at the desk where he used to write!
Look at the window where wasps
nibble the sun away!



On patriotic grounds

Numb, in 1934 I walked in Berlin and
since that walk invisible snowflakes scald my hair in June.
I found a way not to be a target,
it has to do with my ability to feel.
Who am I? Sluggishly self-portrayed
with arrogant decorations and glorious attire, I’m the minister
of Propaganda, I couldn’t have been a true patriot if I felt
what’s meant to be felt by humans.
Somehow I know, I can predict, it’s going to be
a long night, I wish we had Justice on our side,
but all we have is a flag and a dead man called
Strasser.




Never Mind

Never mind the revenge
let it hang like a popped out eye
that would never help you see the right thing,
let it echo like seven seconds of vexed pause
that never meant anything to anyone,
like an insidious image of you taking pleasure
from the suffering of someone you never met
and won’t ever meet you and
that passed rapidly in front of your options
without staying long enough
to drag and drop you into its hell.




Two poems

Once upon a borrowed time
We may very well be
nothing but Nobody’s
hammock, made from
our fates’ weft,
containing experiences
and thoughts that also
dissolve like our organs
and bones, or a candle
that melts and goes out
at Erebus’s feet.
And it might be less
nightmarish than
just being part of a
never-ending dream
identical to reality,
faithful in every detail.




The Fateful Act

When everything subserviently sleeps
at the behest of cosmic discipline,
Superstition officiates at the wedding
of Romeo and Juliet offstage.




Arrangements

Beyond time and space,
unborn existence
and velocity,
the spirit of everything
in Death’s still arms
listens to his heartbeat,
the temporal lullaby of Life.


Athens


copyright Nicoletta A. Poulakida

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Arrangements


Beyond time and space,
unborn existence
and velocity

the spirit of everything
in Death’s still arms
listens to his heartbeat,

the temporal lullaby of Life.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Looking at Unfinished Portraits


It’s almost dark,
the light gnaws
at the canvases,
trying to survive.
Lips are moon-white,
eyes sunset-red,
hair mountain-black.
He rubs his neck 
to calm himself down.
Outside night snakes crawl
around wine barrels.
The naked light bulb
Falls for a wildflower.

Open-ended



Tonight we're talking about
Experiences,
You start your sentences with
What if many times

There is an open window
And I feel we are inside
A test tube and this window
Serves as the open end

That's why I object to
Closing it, but you were reckless
With chemistry, liked an explosion
Or two back in school

And you also say 
What if between this and that
We want to take our clothes off
Share what we are talking about,

The whisper of life?
The whisper of life I say
Is no conclusion and probably
No discussion as well.

Feelings and wishes all stones have and make


"I heard no bombs today," said the stone,
"And the evening train crossed the bridge
Above me ever so peacefully. If things go well,
The night won’t climb like a wild animal
On my back, only to ride herself deep
Into darker nights’ memories of air raids,
But gently she will rub the hard surface,
Then before leaving me in the hands of another day
She will place tulles of fog on me, and the morning
Unveiling me as content as fresh butter
Ready to be spread and acquiring a taste."

Friday, April 19, 2019

The promise


The nights of summer in Pyrgos
showed me the world is left behind
like the forgotten dollhouse of someone
who’s now a grown-up or a ghost.

There were old houses with a stable,
a well and a staircase not abandoned
with tenants not that fond of electricity,
who kept their oil lamps hanging
from creaky ceilings. Houses whose
floorboards and chairs had no other usefulness
but squeak at the slightest change of air pressure.

One night wanting to prove to other kids I’m fearless,
I opened the cellar door of a house nobody claimed for years
that stood alone and uninhabited
and I swear I heard sirocco coming
from the earth’s core like a promise.

Silver Flash



I’ll start by recomposing
the bucolic scenery south of the town first,
Silver Flash rocketing through
the summer noon air too,
my bicycle three months later snatched.

Then revisit this place,
find the thief and tell him
“We are going for a bike ride,
I want to show you some things
that cannot be stolen.”

When we reach the shore,
7.46 miles beyond the cornfields,
I may let him hold the shells I found there
some purple, some white, one golden –
or, I may not.

Looped Childhood


Two old women sitting right across the street,
a cracked pavement between two dynastic houses,
in a small town of creaky buildings and large mosquitoes.
I make furtive glances in their direction.

They are knitting table runners, but, for some strange reason,
I feel as if they knit my fate as well. I can almost feel their hands,
calloused and industrious, looping future events of my life.

A tricycle whizzes along the road,
they stop for a moment, checking each other’s
progress, then look at me. I blush,
cover my face with my hands
and think of the sea.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Great Exodus


You’re now a shadow, not the first nor last,
Nothing can harm you as such; detach.

Observe the present you are in,
But do not troll the past.
Invoke the Great Exodus
To help your essence win.

Beware your merging with the night,
The blackness of a heartless crater,
From which the callous ropes of Fate
Are being flung anew to seize you later.

Down there, where the anthrax platform’s
Filled with mine-dust, archons need more slaves.
Ask yourself:
“What’s the reason for such wonders?”

Fear most craving to return,
To dream again in cave-like shelters,
To live inside a human body chained
Under the ruthless laws of Elders.

Time’s reign has ended for you; eschew restarting clocks
That ceaselessly exploit the signs of Zodiac.
I know you’ll need a new, full body soon,
Your thirst for it will be a torture.

Fight it, if all the shadows out there
Did the same, it’d bring the final closure,
No souls approaching in a file
The river of Oblivion.
Once crossed again you have surrendered
To Death’s Dominion.

Has this so far not brought us back
To nothing but inferno?

A play for puppets where there is
No point, no freewill section.
Just karmic strings attached to stars
Long gone and black holes.

Reduced to size of granules,
Rubbing and rubbed along the sliding sands
In prison-hourglasses, aimless; whose ends
Are sealed with bones, left behind,
As remnants;
Yell to your former masters full of rage:

“Enough of this!”
Burn their Wheel
And leave no trace of them.

The Chosen Dummies


Out in the dark valley of the night
pitch black moments glue to each other,
a constant subtle tremor’s energy anticipates
the twisted habit of the missing sun
to change the spectrum of the things
the days have done.

Who now thinks therefore I am?
Refreshing with his conscious cogitation
my being all the time while I’m asleep?
One of his dummies takes my place,
am I replaced, or are there many I’s
scattered in dependent timelines?

And more importantly when did we extrapolate
the sun’s return as scheduled,
hadn’t we witnessed his insane departure
every dusk, all he ever leaves behind
is a bipolar room for doubt.

We dream the past when we’re awake,
and sleep throughout the now.
It is as if the sun was what Shakespeare
may have had in mind, “to be or not to be”
was the bottom-line.

Although Spiritus ubi vult spirat,
a poet knows that here it’s always dark,
a poet listens to the ventriloquist’s heartbeat,
reversed replayed reechoed in slow motion,
a pattern torn by chosen ones
who don’t come back to shatter any myth
or spoil the dummies’ dream
and cut the prince’s tongue and arm.

Such is the only deal for a real life,
kidnapping your fake self in Now’s broad daylight,
one dummy less, missing from the drama
and never looking back.