Sunday, 25 October 2009


“Old Men”.  That’s what they’re called.  Not Andrew, George,
Elias or Theodosis, but like ants
that live beyond good and evil
without special physiognomy,
as dogs and horses,
like masks: wrinkle-lipped
terra-cottas, drowned feelings, wounds and holes.
That’s what they look like.  Sometimes they remember them
and stick a knife into their bellies,
shove soft pears down their throats
or cut off their finger wearing a wedding ring.
They themselves wrap a bandage round their hand,
say nothing to anyone  
and it’s a if they expiate themselves in white,
they feel better,
as if having gone through a snowy night
but the heavy snow blinded them
they can no longer bear the white
and so they sink even deeper
in memory, sewers, black,
there where everything shines ageless,
there where for a few pennies they have a kiss on the lips.
But sometimes they make love (well,
so to speak) --
and instead of closing their eyes like those strange fellows
they open them wide, astonished, abysmal
and transparent.
They suck the horny penis
like their mother’s nipple
and afterwards rub gently the milk
on their face
deep inside a forest with ivy and wild strawberries.
They click their tongue.
They hand over their wallet but keep
some old black-and-white photos
and are careful changing the bandage on their hand.   

Translated from the Greek by Yannis Goumas

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