the room


From everywhere
I must be going

A space of freedom
the secret of encounter

I was looking around
I feared something else


In order to make something together
they must first get to know each other
To get to know each other
they must first meet each other
(where they can escape
–below the window–
then separate again)

[marriage is pulsing under death]

(On the uncomfortable seats
–they do not face each other–
the things I do not want to happen
The body’s middle
the body’s centre
is sensitive
gets tired
with immobility)

They must write
There must be a reason or a cause (or an enigma)
on each other
the two bodies inside
I have to find what must be solved
a third
the two thoughts inside
the air draught

(door – window)


The light is born
inside the room

as much water as pain

gradual abandonment
those who sawed
came to eat
they hoped what they buried
would appear

A sonorous and vain, monotonous line
there is no body, he is black
[and goes on
they are lowering her]

Couple, farewell – I go to see
the shade you have become

couple, farewell – I await
the light you bring/flee

I was trapped
there on the glass

[I think I’ll let her]


He died
on her own she managed


she desired

an unbearable movement

an entire man’s weight

The goblin tells her
’tis I who will teach you to draw
’tis I who will teach you to dance

You will be that woman once more
she wondered was it woman perhaps
that you don’t remember becoming
she couldn’t remember from what she should be saved
once more that girl
you were ashamed to be

I will marry you
you will bear me children
you will feed them
Every morning
letters and lines
her own (only)


Even in the obscurity
of Thou
–an addressable Thou–
there still exists
the possibility
of meeting

(There always belonged
to the poem’s hopes
that it might speak
also about
the entirely Other)

I cannot see what’s first and then what follows
how one prepares oneself

to die

this march has started

I don’t have a voice and what I want
say does not exist


For hours now I’d been thinking to begin

This is not the place
Nowhere is the place

In this in-between space

(between two
air and water)

place of liberation
of free oscillation

body and thought
you and the Other
between the two)

in statu nascendi
in statu moriendi
(pause of breath)

There’s the foundation:
with no soil

The poem stands on itself
man also

it must
(life, you must pass through)
still be

Language becoming form

The poem lonely and en route
is already inside
the secret of the encounter


Stone turns into feather
when air turns into water

I choose not to choose

Written for the installation LLEL / LIR / LYR, a collaboration with Maria Konti during “blind date #12” (Industrial Space, Keiriadon & Sfittion, Athens, December 2006). It was born out of several meetings and conversations with M.K..

Phrases in italics are from her texts. My own text incorporates, paraphrased or intact, phrases by: M. K., Stephane Mallarme, Robert Musil, Paul Celan, Peggy Pheelan.

The text was presented as a manuscript, written on two folding sheets composed of seven pages each. My text was on white paper, and, on top of it, the fragments of phrases from previous texts by M.K. (transcribed in italics above), written on tracing paper.

[The two no. 4 pages: left, the tracing paper. Their synthesis gives rise to section 4 above. They also appear, superimposed, at the centre of the photograph below.]

These fragments, coming from passages by M.K. I had already underlined, were traced exactly in the position where they occurred in the original. Consequently, their position with respect to the text ‘below them’ and on which they were ‘projected’ was a matter of chance.

The two ‘septifold’ sheets were secured with tape on one of their two sides to a long working table found in the industrial space itself, so that the tracing paper covered the writing paper – one could, however, lift it. In front of the table, two stools allowed two visitors to sit in front of the text. In addition, strips of paper bearing the work’s rectangular stamp, ‘LLEL/LIR/LYR’, were at the viewers’ disposal, who could write on them whatever they wished.

As they sat, to their far right hang a drawing by M.K. [selective tracing, with blue carbon sheet on old paper, of a blown up copy of Hans Holbein the Younger’s Portrait of a 39-year old man],

while at the far back, could be seen three brown chalk drawings, also by M.K., that we had executed jointly, under her instructions, directly on the wall.

[The english version and the photographs are my own.]


Guillermo said...

Thank you for that poem's translation, Pana (which, funny enough, means brother or close friend in Quichua, and has been susbequently appropriated by slang- a living thing itself- in latin countries like Ecuador where I lived) So I came to see if your name was a spoof, maybe from some of my greek friends, and I find a poem that spooks me in its resonance to mine own situations. Thanks also for seeing my blog. enjoy! Please, Crank up some of the beethoven sonatas when next you ply your art!

παναγιώτης ιωαννίδης / panayotis ioannidis said...

thank you, guillermo [or should i say "pana"? :-)] for this comment i only now saw [no idea how it slipped my attention for over a year now!... :-( ]. glad the room resonated with you - all the best