2 poems @ "futures" + 1 poem @ poetry london

this love of Jan Sobieski
for his enemy’s beauty [1]

I won't, unfortunately, be able to assist at any of the launch events: tomorrow's, for issue 82 [Autumn 2015] of "Poetry London", or the two events for Futures: Poetry of the Greek Crisis (Penned in the Margins, London, 2015) in Oxford and London, later in the week.

But I greatly treasure the pleasure of having poems of mine appear in both publications. 

"Burning candle" (translated by myself and Stefanos Basigkal; its two final stanzas appear in [2], below), from my 2008 book (in Greek), The lifesaver (Kastaniotis editions), is published -thanks to editor Ahren Warner- in "Poetry London". And it's quite moving for me that, amongst the various poetic riches in the issue, there appear poems by two UK poets I have had the privilege to meet and translate: David Harsent and Fiona Sampson.

Two poems from my upcoming (in Greek), third book, Poland (Kastaniotis editions), translated by myself, appear in the stimulating and provocative anthology that Theodoros Chiotis edited for Penned in the Margins: "Łazienki" and "Jan III" [whose opening lines appear in [1], above].

But before dozing yesterday I forgot
blew out the flame – the wall
got splashed above the second pillow

with melted candle wax
Nothing then could comfort me – as if
it were a human being – and I were to blame [2]

[the photograph was taken in Poland, in 2008 - from my ongoing visual diary]


3 poems @ hotel amerika

Just before lowering his bow
the violinist sees his mother
straightening his collar before the parade

this love

As everyone got up to leave
we stayed put quietly in our seats


Very happy that translations of three poems of mine -"Cadenza" (from my first Greek book, The lifesaver; translated by myself and Stefanos Basigkal), "Chinese movie" (from the second, Uncovered; translated by Moira Egan), and "Jan III" (as yet unpublished in Greek)- appear in the current, 13th volume of "Hotel Amerika" (editor, David Lazar) - amongst a wonderfully diverse and exciting selection of poetry, essays, fiction, trans-genre texts, etc.

(A few lines from each poem form the collage at the top.)

[photograph from my ongoing visual diary, here]


2 poems @ drunkenboat

issue 19 of "drunken boat" hosts "the orchard" and "in summer, he":


Salt on his chest and sand on his back
the sun wedged in his eye
all day he wanders
and you have no rest
A sun with heavy eyelashes
animal gait
He goes out walking on his own
in the summer noon
Dogs stop in their tracks
turn round and curl up in the doorways
Men shut up in their bedrooms
sweat in their sleep
His steps melt the asphalt
Women hear him coming
and close the windows tight
Children stop their games
Run to the shutters
They only see his bare feet
The city swelters in the sun
the walls are peeling
Its only freshness, he
– taking alone to the streets
I first came upon him a full moon
at the end of a passage
between two whitewashed walls –
the quick-lime, his shirt
the moon hanging above
The second time I met him
at the opposite end of that passage
shirtless and
with the sun on his head
The wall curved behind him
a huge palm
pushed him towards me
The way was narrow
I pressed against the whitewash
– he didn’t even notice
Third time I saw him from afar
walk on the asphalt
barefoot –
in early morning’s yellow light
The road skirted the rock
above the sea
Suddenly he paused
and started down the slope
–almost vertical– running
without grabbing onto the bushes
He reached the water –
he stares, hands in his pockets
Now nothing’s wanting –
a precipitous thyme
the thickly flowing heatwave
the water’s scales
The sea swells like a face
that’s holding back its tears
He stands he won’t go in

- both from my first book of poems, The lifesaver [To sossivio], Kastaniotis Editions, 2008, and both translated by myself and Stephanos Basigkal.

[photo: p.i., viii.2008 - from my ongoing visual diary]