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Friday, December 10, 2010

Reverse City (Standing Mountain)

In Reverse City, the sun rises backwards today (like most days). Water cannot be drunk since the tap is not working…it is one of those drought days when water gets back in the plumbing system instead of reaching a glass. Cars follow the reverse code today…only odd numbers in the streets, moving backwards…odd and alone. It’s springtime…actually not…flowers are dying instead of blooming, leaves are falling, butterflies become worms again…poor things…animals fall to lethargy …people do too…inescapably…

She just sits there, maniacally reading the manual, trying to understand this paradoxical change that is about to occur, struggling to get used to the new possible plans, laws and ideas. “How is it possible to fry an egg in an upside down pan? I mean… it’s easier to fry it in a straightened one, isn’t it?”, she keeps asking with naïve curiosity… He doesn’t answer as most of the time, sinking in his greenish, upside down armchair and sipping his coffee in the exact same way for years and years now. “Why don’t you read the manual too? Things are changing! Things have to change!”, she shouts in attention-wanting despair but he…he still can’t listen, he still can’t take his eyes away from that big, glassy window in the right corner of the living room. The deep voice of the television presenter is echoed in the room… “Florists are protesting outside the Main Hall this very instant, since their precious flowers are dying one by one…nine million six thousand eight hundred thirty-three and a half flowers so far…”

They have been dying for years now (the flowers that is), over thirty, stopped counting at some point. You see, there is no rain. Its water drops go back where they come from…never reaching the ground. The distant myth is still alive though. The rumour about that everlasting flower- the Undead, existing somewhere out there. The picture of a colourful garden, hidden away from this upside down city with the reversed pieces of furniture, pots and pans. No wonder why she is in pain all the time. “These chairs are killing me”, she keeps repeating. “This window has been killing me for years”, is the only answer she can get from him if she’s lucky enough.

The clock is stopped, the egg is being fried, her almost purple legs are in pain, his insomniac eyes are still fixed on a spot, way beyond their block of flats, his coffee is finished, the egg is half-burnt already, flowers continue to expire, rain remains banned from the city and the tired voice of the television presenter, travels from flat to flat, saying so much, saying nothing…

Her voice breaks (as usual). “You don’t love me anymore, do you? I mean, when we were younger you were different. Remember those years? When we were free, one country, going on carefree picnics every weekend, taking the kids to fly their kites and then secretly kissing under the trees…remember? I really miss those years, you know. I keep dreaming about them from time to time. The sweet smell of spring rain, the people and their smiles. You used to love me then, I’m sure you did! Our home! You loved our home too! Our own Garden of Eden! I was happy then. We were happy…then”.

As usual, this is just a monologue. Of course he remembers. Of course he loved her. Yet, what else is left to say? Those years can never come back. Even if he tells her he still adores her (which is more than true), they will never go back home, they will never reach their garden, no matter what the television presenter has been stating for decades and decades. Enough with that voice, promising change, keeping the hope alive! That voice penetrates his soul so deeply that he just wishes he could crash that TV and smash that guy’s face like a watermelon. It’s all lies! The myth about the undead flower! Come on! How brainless can someone be! What is dead cannot come back to life! What is lost cannot be regained! That’s why he’s like that. That’s why he no longer speaks. To say what? There is nothing more to say! 

Words, words, words. Enough! Vowels and consonants scattered and echoed everywhere and nowhere. And this manual….for God’s sake, do they actually expect him to read and understand it? His children maybe, if they are open-minded enough and if they actually care about this upside down city anymore. He can’t. It’s been too long! It’s their fault! They had him waiting for too fucking long! He cannot help it. He cannot see things differently. He hopes his children can though, he wishes his children can forget and forgive for him but he cannot! It’s too late for him… Too late for her too… she just cannot realize that no matter what she does, no matter how hard she tries, she will keep burning the egg in the upside down pan cause that upside down pan is not her. It’s not her life. It’s not her thought. It’s not!

He keeps staring at the window, expressionless, fed up, tired, too tired. She still reads chapter 34 of the manual on how to serve soup in an upside down bowl. She’s tired too but at least she’s trying. That’s what she keeps telling herself, trying to make that derelict self feel useful for a change. Deep inside, she still believes in that myth. She happily wakes up everyday, waiting to see a shiny drop of rain on her dead tulip by the window. She’s not the only one in Reverse City waiting for that sudden and miracle-like water drop. Sometimes, she thinks she sees one, becomes ecstatic for a second or two… and then comes to the conclusion that it’s just the spit of her husband who had been cursing again, early in the morning. Yet, that doesn’t stop her from commenting on the television presenter’s voice from time to time…sympathizing with his determined efforts to inform the citizens of this city as accurately as possible and being at the same time so cute and all.  She once read a book by an Italian she doesn’t really remember his name. By accident that is. She was never into reading, that’s why she finds it so difficult to understand the manual. At least, that’s what she keeps repeating to comfort herself…

The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what we live every day, what we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you no longer see it…
The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space”. 
Strange words! She never understood them… but she did love the word inferno, now repeated by her favourite presenter’s lips! She never realized which group of people she really belonged to…possibly because she never understood that she herself was trapped in that inferno… in one way or another…. 

He did. He experienced that inferno every time he looked out of that window… she could no longer see it but…he could see it alright. He never stopped staring at it, especially at night, grinning with its flashy lights straight at him, making fun of his upside down city, his upside down furniture and his self-blinded wife moving back and forth in her kitchen. That permanent and motionless thing with the scars and wounds, visible under the sun, illuminated at night. That straight mountain with that straight flag, in this upside down city with its upside down hopes, standing with pride and staring back at him, commanding him, instructing him…never, never, never to forget…

The sun sets backwards today in Reverse City… “nine million six thousand eight hundred thirty-nine and a quarter dead flowers so far…rain possibility minimal”. Lights on the standing mountain…lights off in the living room, harsh sounds of cutlery sneaking in from the kitchen...He is still there. Looking odd like most people. Odd and alone. Yet, sleepless for days now. No butterfly dreams anymore. The television presenter’s voice pauses for a moment, as if absurdly sensing his inferno and giving him space…for a brief moment…there in the dark…by the transparent window… a drop of salty water slowly falls…vertically…accidentally…crashing on the tulip’s last bending leaf...
MI, Spring 2008

One of the winner-stories in the 'Sea of Words' international competition, published in the 'Sea of Words' Anthology by the IEMed and the Anna Lindh Foundation and translated into Spanish - also published in Cadences Literary Journal

Thursday, August 19, 2010


That crack in the corner
is staring still
humidity contaminated its layers
and drank its tears
parasites feasted on its dust
sucking its mould and froth

That crack turned into a spectre
unblinking eyes
wide open jaw
dark depth and shallow presence
That canyon in the wall
has seen it all

A smell lingers, a mortal one
a girl’s life printed on the concrete
a man’s finger printed on her neck
a tiny crack
the only witness
the silent one
slowly decomposing, ready to disappear

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Tattered gods frozen with fear

forgotten statues
like dead trees
Death is not an atheist
The light has failed
once more
sweat blackened and smoky

Heaven on Earth

they used to say
wishing to change things
by changing themselves

The city’s embryonic devilish dance
reaches a temporary ending
Darkness drips 
Tar taints the last drooping leaves
Silence ironically sustains its glory
preparing itself for another garbage child’s birth
and an innocent other’s death

The rhododendron is ransacked

A new generation of garbage children arises
to revenge the death of a peer
by burning 
by tearing every fabricated hope apart

The matriarchal bin passively watches
recycles itself
and spits a plastic blanket
to cover its sins
but not its newly-born child – the pure product of its filth

Heaven on Earth

they used to dream
wishing to clean all wounds
by purging all souls

It’s almost midnight
The city sleeps – or so it seems
Thousands and thousands of kilometers away
or just around the corner
in dirt and dust
another garbage child is born
another god expires
another scapegoat’s shot

Ignored – not pitied                                                                     

exactly where it shouldn’t     

published in At Large Volume 10 (ART ATTACK international poetry competition 2009, Zagreb, Croatia)

(photo by Yewenyi)                  

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

γαστερόποδο πνευμονοφόρο μαλάκιο (πριν το τελικό editing)

Κάτι σαν το αίνιγμα της Σφίγγας. Τέσσερα τα πόδια, μετά δύο, μετά τρία, μετά...μετά...τίποτα. Μόνο που για εκείνον και για κάθε Κ. τα πράγματα ήταν λίγο διαφορετικά κι αν τον έβλεπε η Σφίγγα να σέρνεται θα χασκογελούσε, μπορεί και να τον λιθοβολούσε, ή όπως συνήθιζε να κάνει – να τον σκότωνε για τη βλασφημία του. Ακούς εκεί να σέρνεται! Πόδια δεν είχε; Τότε δηλαδή που του 'κοψαν τα πόδια και του 'καψαν το σπίτι γιατί έτρεχε; Μόνο 36 χρόνια πέρασαν από τότε. Τι στο καλό... Όλο το αίνιγμα πήγαινε κατά διαόλου! 'Ερπονταν οι άνθρωποι στα λυόμενα σπίτια τους, στους δρόμους με τις λακούβες, στα ανύπαρκτα μέσα μεταφοράς. Η αλήθεια είναι πως κι εκείνος είχε πολύ καιρό να δει κάποιον να πατά γερά στη γη, να ακούει να διαχωρίζονται οι ήχοι από τις πατημασιές του. Τις περισσότερες φορές άκουγε ένα γλύψιμο του πατώματος που θύμιζε στεγνή σφουγγαρίστρα. Οι παραχαιδεμένοι μαθητές κουβαλούσαν τόνους από μελανιασμένα βιβλία στις πλάτες τους, οι εργαζόμενοι τον ξένο όρο workaholism και τη ματαιοδοξία τους, οι γέροι- ετοιμοθάνατοι- τις αναμνήσεις ενός “ένδοξου” παρελθόντος, κι ο φόβος...το φόβο...και δώστου τα πόδια να τρίβονται στα πεζοδρόμια και τους σκληρούς γρανίτες. Καμπουριάζοντας μέρα με τη μέρα όλο και περισσότερο, οι σπονδυλικές στήλες από ανθρώπινες μετατρέπονταν σε κόκκαλα τετραπόδων. Λες και το πάτωμα, το χώμα, η γη τους τράβαγε σαν μαγνήτες προς τα κάτω, πιάνοντας τους από τη μύτη και βυθίζοντας τους στο κενό. Πόσες τσίχλες μετρούσε, πόσες βλέννες και ακαθαρσίες στο μπετόν, πόσα τακούνια κι απεριποίητα νύχια έβλεπε, μικροοργανισμούς, μυρμήγκια, μεγάλα, μικρά. Ουρανό σχεδόν ποτέ. Αυτός ήταν προς τα πάνω κι εκεί τα όντα πετούσαν, δεν καθάριζαν τα σκατά των αδεσπότων με τις σόλες και το δέρμα τους.

Το σακί που κουβαλούσε τα τελευταία χρόνια το είχε αγοράσει από το IKEA για έναν και μοναδικό λόγο - “Χωράει όλη σας τη ζωή!”, ήταν το σλόγκαν της διαφημιστικής καμπάνιας. Εκείνο το διάστημα δεν ένιωθε ιδιαίτερα ζωντανός οπότε το αγόρασε χωρίς δεύτερη σκέψη. Ήταν πράγματι ανθεκτικό, καλό για όλες τις χρήσεις, κυκλικό, αδιάβροχο, ατσαλάκωτο, ελαστικό, ελαφρύ, φιλικό προς το περιβάλλον, σε διάφορα χρώματα, μοδάτο. Μπορούσε να μετατραπεί από ένα απλό σακί για ρούχα και αντικείμενα, σε ένα μεγάλο αντίσκηνο για εξορμήσεις στην εξοχή και κατασκηνώσεις, οπότε κουβαλώντας το στον ώμο συχνά ένιωθε πως είχε και ένα σπίτι για ώρα ανάγκης. Ωραίο θα ήταν να μοίραζαν τέτοια 36 χρόνια πριν, σκέφτηκε. Άλλοι τα παράγγελναν από το ίντερνετ αδειάζοντας τις κάρτες τους, άλλοι τα έφερναν από ένα ταξίδι στο εξωτερικό κι ας μην το μαρτυρούσαν σε κανέναν. Τα παραγέμιζαν, τα φούσκωναν κι αυτά μεγενθύνονταν, αποκτούσαν βάρος, λύγιζαν τα σώματα και πρόσταζαν τις πατούσες να γλύφουν ακόμη περισσότερο. Η Σφίγγα, λόγω τεράστιου χάσματος γενεών, δε μπορούσε να το κατανοήσει. Άλλοι έριχναν μέσα φαγητά της μαμάς σε τάπερ, άλλοι υπολογιστές και ακριβά i-pod, άλλοι όλα τα πιο πάνω κι ακόμη περισσότερα. Υπήρχαν κι αυτοί που έκρυβαν μέσα τα πτυσσόμενα στρώματα τους ή και καμιά κρεμάλα για στιγμές απελπισίας. Άλλοι πάλι όπλο για να σκοτώσουν – τόσο χαμηλά είχαν πέσει οι Κ. Επιταγές, συχνά ακάλυπτες, ράβδοι χρυσού, μετοχές εκεί μέσα, φόβ...τρόμος μπας και χαθούν τα πολύτιμα υπάρχοντα, μπας και χαθεί κι η περηφάνια μαζί, η ασφάλεια, το μεγάλο τίποτα. Ο τρόμος παραγέμιζε το σακί κι αυτό βάραινε ρίχνοντας τους στη γη, μετατρέποντας τους και πάλι σε βρέφη, μπουσουλώντας και σαλιαρίζοντας στα πεζοδρόμια. Τόσο, που άφηναν πίσω τους διάφανα, ασημίζοντα ίχνη κι έτσι οι δρόμοι γέμιζαν με ευθείες, λοξές, καμπυλωτές γραμμές, χαράσσοντας ένα χάος.

Κοιτάζοντας τον εαυτό του να αντικατοπτρίζεται στην καλογυαλισμένη βιτρίνα κάποιου καταστήματος είδε το νέο είδος Κ. να εξελίσσεται, το γαστερόποδο πνευμονοφόρο μαλάκιο, σαλιγκάρι ανθρωπόμορφο, να σέρνεται, αφήνοντας γλοιώδη ίχνη, κουβαλώντας όλη του τη ζωή στην πλάτη, τα ψέματα τόσων χρόνων, ένα πιθανό σπίτι σε περίπτωση θεομηνίας, οικογενειακής ή οικονομικής κρίσης.

Τύψεις, σήψεις στα σωθικά.

Στο βάθος της βιτρίνας η εικόνα κάποιου Αγίου να τον κοιτάζει κατάματα. 55 ευρώ. Παραδίπλα ένας δονητής με λέιζερ. Απέναντι, ένα παλιό σύνθημα σε τοίχο.

Λίγα εκατοστά πιο δεξιά, στο πεζοδρόμιο, ένα αληθινό σαλιγκάρι διαλυμένο σε κομμάτια, πιθανότατα από κάποιου την πατούσα ή γόνατο.

Το κέλυφος του θρυμματισμένο. Κανένα ίχνος από αυτό. Λιώμα.

Μόνο κάποια διακριτικά, ασημένια ίχνη να σταματούν στο σημείο...

ΜΙ, February 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The moment I sipped my coffee
the sky changed colour
creating unfamiliar shapes
The fish with a man’s face visited me again
In the cup
In the sky
In my head

It said nothing but switched
into a man with the face of a fish
that rushed into the river
I called vein,
soaking in my fluids and sucking
my breasts

Was this the end of it?
I wanted it to end
The man - the fish -the cup
stuck on my stomach,
draining, drilling

Not it
Stood before me,
flaming my liver and bones, and said:

Drink your coffee! And don't wait up for me!”

MI, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

PADDLING - music&text experimentation


participation in AVATON Contemporary Music Festival - Ethal Theatre - December 2009