If in-authenticity was a perfume
Antonis Katsouris is a writer based in Athens.
Antonis Katsouris is a writer based in Athens.
– – there’s always some group-therapy for your literary symptom(s)
the aquarium of aphrodisiac aphorists
the minaret of manicured metaphorists
the nursery of nervous narrators
the parthenon of perfumed parodists
the clique of charismatic correspondents
the elysium of exhausted experimentalists
the arcadia of acrobatic acratics
the tea-party of timorous time wasters
the esplanade of eloquent essayists
the menagerie of myopic mythomaniacs
the brotherhood of barefoot bards
the pagoda of prosperous pessimists
the carousel of cacophonous critics
the hive of hilarious haiku-hackers
the maison of mesmerizing memoirists
the vacancy of vitriolic versifiers
the alcove of alienated appropriationists
the panorama of perilous poets
the exile of elusive elegists
the lifeguard of lilliputian laconics
the refuge of repressed realists
the quartet of quotable queers
the plaza of platonic plagiarists
the cabinet of colossal columnists
the glory-hole of gregarious ghost-writers
the circus of clandestine cynics
the unity of undefended utopianists
the eden of euphoric experts
the mass of miraculous mysticists
the diaspora of dilettantish diarists
the feather-bed of fairy-tale fetishists
the terminal of turbulent twitter-tricksters
the north of nocturnal nihilists
the labyrinth of laborious list-lovers
*after an idea of S.H. & D.L.
Antonis Katsouris is a parodist, and a list-lover. He lives in Athens.
PAINLESS POINTILLISM At the suburbs of Thebes, I met my Conceptual Father. Welcoming the New Nothing. words-links: “patriarchy” from the poster or graffiti “Death to Capitalism/Death to patriarchy.”
Clandestine practices and other room rituals of an Agoraphobic-in-Revolt.
Try the Proletarian Desire with your clothes on.
As the sun rises over Obediencia…
From a distance, Vila Violence was perfectly visible.
Your Lyrical Laceration, your charms, your air…
Systemic Splendour: a rather melodramatic synonym for success.
Grow your own Ennui Noir.
The contemporary aesthetics of Atelier Abuse.
Capitalist Fairy’s favorite motto: We can pay for the coffee so we have the dawn.
In my Digital Dreams all doors are closed.
The Arrogance Academy is shining under the spring light, freshly painted ego-white.
Someone strongly circles the words Coded Conflict.
Guiltless magic, with the essence of Enforced Normality.
Meet me at the Lower Eden.
Dear reader, we are trained to not confuse art with the Bourgeois Nightmare.
Avoid eye-contact with the Scattered Signified.
Driving to model houses on the hills of Privileged Porn.
Provide a separate place for petting Nervosa Negativa.
Autobody loves to cancel pathos.
From this state of paradox the Punishment Plethora has bloomed.
Resistance Reverie: a glamorous and especially virtuous activity…
Systole and diastole of Patriarchy Parody.
Advanced Roleplaying is not everyone’s cup of herbal tea.
Banality Bureau’s comforting message: Repeat after me, repeat after me.
Hatewave brings yellow weather and some aura from Hell.
She loved the menu at Decadence Deja-Vu.
Survival Set sample.
In this Identity Parade, where everyone is performing a prayer… “Please tell me, how do I look?”
Did I mention the Throne Room at the Hotel Humiliation?
Exit Text. There is a book with this title, too…
Are weekends becoming too expensive at Safety Simulator?
Rejection Letter: the smart way to move through the world.
The Twilight Trauma and the new theory of colour.
Readymade Revolution. Available in S, M, L and XL.
The Official Forcefeeder promised me more forbidden food.
Dear Dead Muse,
The Nausea Narration has something for every taste.
It’s screen-time again and my Shark-Eyes can’t hide their hunger…
Various Dooms updated.
“In an era of Political Maximalism, politics invades all phenomena.”*
As the sun sets over Ruinette…
Never underestimate the obsession of the Hyper-Rich for funereal flowers.
*from “The Neutral” by Roland Barthes
Antonis Katsouris is a writer, and the editor of the reading series “The Closet.”
At the suburbs of Thebes, I met my Conceptual Father.
Welcoming the New Nothing.
words-links: “patriarchy” from the poster or graffiti “Death to Capitalism/Death to patriarchy.”
a love story in THE SPEED OF LIGHT
a hate story IN A FIT OF REPUGNANCE
desire moves / eros is verb
tenderly traumatic / tenderly I tremble
a love story in which EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED
a hate story WILL BE SUSPENDED
flesh pink / person-to-person pink / heart of pink
mauve poppies / at the heart of the adonean garden
a love story THROUGH THE RECONFIGURATION OF IDENTITIES
a hate story by AN ERROR OF HANDLING LANGUAGE
on this page / I will wait for you / you will rewrite me
from the south of your mouth / from the I of my eye / from the pose of your nose
a love story RIPS ITSELF IN HALF PRODUCING A TWIN
a hate story FOR THE DURATION OF THE HOLIDAY
echo / you always make me / doubt
when is it late / when is it too late?
a love story TWISTED FROM THE BEGINNING
a hate story EPIDEMIC TO THE END
a passive activity / an active passivity
my poor Daphne / how did you end up / a little green bush
On the door of my refrigerator colored
magnetic letters form once again
Robert Indiana’s LOVE.
Cress, curry, coriander
and oregano, salt, and white pepper,
chili, clove and cinnamon.
With the coffee filters, the ashes,
the withered flowers, I throw in the trash
your farewell letter too.
On the fried breakfast egg,
my yellow heart, and all around my
slightly burnt white fate. . .
And Mary, who is drunk again, fixes
her lipstick while holding the kitchen knife
as a real mirror.
I look again for something to cook for us
at Betty Crocker’s recipe book “Just the Two of Us”
and I expect you for dinner. . .
And the faucet is leaking and leaking
to remind me of the small repairs
that I need to make in my life. . .
I look at the dirty dishes of our failed
tête-à-tête … For the last time, I say to myself,
before I begin to wash them. . .
The housewife’s vanity;
to rise to the occasion, wearing
my favorite apron.
On the table a still life with fruit,
flowers and two magazines to remind me of
Wolfgang Tillmans; or, perhaps, Jack Pierson?
I place two ice cubes into your drink
and I melt as they melt thinking of you
in the next room…
I’m looking at my collection of
twelve different plates and I think
I’ve found the most beautiful…
(in my kitchen
I always know
who I am. . .)
On her new dress,
one flooded by yellow polka dots
and green motifs,
there stands like a crazy
powdered April Pierrot,
one and only,
A young man of 30 Aprils, presentable and well-off,
wishes to meet
a young lady of 20-25 Mays, presentable.
April is the real esthete of the calendar. A faithful servant and keeper of Beauty he is exclusively interested in blossoming (an esthetic value) and completely ignores fruit-bearing (a moral value). For 30 days he sets the tone and the decor by attending to the wallpapers of Paradise, the carpets of Eden, and the ephemeral glory of the Flora. A nocturnal esthete also, April spends his evenings close to the fire burning rare copies of The Portrait of Dorian Gray and secretly reading Psyche (1898) by Louis Couperus.
When the gold thread is unravelled
and the rites of April have begun…
When we bury our clothes under the big tree
and our lives are caught together in the spider’s web…
Then I’ll know that our love has become
bigger and stronger.
A walk in the garden of April
along with the drunken insects…
in the heart of a clearing
the back of a headless marble statue,
with two divine buttocks
looking at you straight in the eyes…
Venus or Apollo?
Apollo or Venus?
April from the latin word aprilis, contracted from aperilis, which indicates a beginning (perhaps with no end…). On April 1st witticisms and lies become de rigueur and the person who gets deceived gets the title of April Fool.
Half hidden, at the garden’s edge,
an April violet
is winking at me.*
And the circus (punctual as always)
has come once again to our little town.
We went on Saturday
and there, for the first time,
we saw a live orgasm up close.
It was very big and dangerous
and it was locked in a cage,
with gold letters on the door reading
It scared us all.
And at least it was worth
its full share of
April’s secret love is yellow… Rare in nature, and occupying only one-twentieth of the light spectrum, yellow is the brightest colour and has April as a patron saint. It is only he who spreads it in abundance wherever he may pass, fulfilling his esthetic duties and ornamenting his lies… Since this is how he sets his traps, tricking and deceiving insects, birds, animals, and people, or even Satan himself – who famously loves to swim in yellow – the utmost (boy? girl?) of the out-of-tune chorus of April Fools.
How I would love
my last breath
amidst the wildflowers
It’s getting dark in the forest and the wise owl gives me its oracle: “Don’t let any temporary setback worry you. Shed any inhibition and follow your inclination – the only guarantee of fulfilling your wishes and aspirations. From April a new, leafy path-without-end will guide you. Follow it.»
Lusty, fresh, wet, and excited from the relentless ecstasy around him, April is constantly aroused and comes… comes… comes… without ever finishing. Like a happy Priapus enjoying his protracted erection and adorning it with flower garlands, April will end in May or even June, extinguished by an overdose of sun – without actually knowing if his orgasm came from a masturbation, a fellatio, a penetration (or maybe something else?).
An April afternoon
and the smell of carnations is
so delightful, so exciting,
that its flip-side
couldn’t be anything
an unconstrained sneeze…
Back in those years, every April, women from good families, shepherdesses and shepherds, handsome adolescents, and young devotees of Diana (see virginity), would rush to hide in fear… To protect themselves this way from the divine rage of Zeus and his gang who would storm down from Mount Olympus to indiscriminately chase males and females for a quick fling. The female victims of this sexual harassment would usually bear demigods and new, wonderful creatures and species. As for the boys and girls that dared refuse the gods, so much the worse for them… Since they would invariably spend the rest of their lives transformed into a tree, a bush, or even a beautiful April flower.
Who knocks? That April-
Lock the Door-
I will not be pursued-
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied-**
The perfume shop Mon Avril recommends:
Eau de Camille by Annick Goutal,
Vanities by Penhaligon’s,
Apres l’ Ondee by Guerlain,
Magnolia Nobile by Acqua di Parma,
Michelle by Balenciaga
(and for every hour) Bouquet Imperial by Roger & Gallet.
**Words by Daphne (a tenant of Hotel Women).
Little by little the smell
of Kate’s burning cake
spreads in the fresh country air.*
It took me almost an hour to burn 30 songs onto a CD for M., but I just can’t leave her without music. She likes to listen to these lost songs from the sixties in the kitchen when she bakes cakes for her small patisserie. And sometimes she borrows their titles to give the strangest names to her cakes … Riki Tiki Cake, Blueberry Blue Cake, Color Your Daytime Cake, Mellow Yellow Cake, 10.000 Sunsets Cake, Misty Mirage Cake… My favorite one, full of psychedelic calories and dangerously fattening, is the Fat Angel Cake. She bakes it every Monday and Thursday.**
A spring picnic. What a marvellous idea! The day is perfect. What shall we take with us? All the good things. The small portable ice box with two bottles of white chilean wine. The basket with the chicken sandwiches, the carrot pie, the cake that I’ve just baked and the hot tea thermos. Paper plates, forks and knives, and lots of napkins too. But we can’t go on a picnic without a tablecloth and a car. Do you have a car?
My older sister wears her checked dress; for dad.
My older sister lets her hair to grow long; for dad.
My older sister prunes the garden roses; for dad.
My older sister knits a grey cardigan; for dad.
My older sister returns home early every Saturday night; for dad.
My older sister makes her super Sunday cake; for dad.
(a folk tale)
In the small village I come from, on the first week of May all the girls who reach marrying age have to pass the test of a secret recipe. They bake the groom’s cake and if it doesn’t rise, then it is taken as incontrovertible proof that the girl who baked it is not a virgin anymore -and then what groom would ask her to be his bride? This May I’m not a virgin anymore, but I am an apprentice witch. And my cake will rise of course, as it will rise every May; though this is not important to me. After all, a serious witch never gets married. And if she truly wishes so, she can have all the males of the village. And if she truly wishes so she can have all the children of the village.
I found the table as we’d left it the night before. With the wine bottles, the glasses, the dishes with crumbs from T.’s cake, the flowers that A. had brought (white and yellow carnations), the eyeglasses that P. probably forgot, and next to them my fortune cookie from the chinese take-out. At last night’s cookie game we decided to read them aloud by adding the phrase “in bed” at the end. Ι won easily -a suspiciously subversive “fortune” for a rare monogamous male like me … “Now is the time to try something new” – “in bed”. Everybody laughed knowingly except me and T.. I smiled at him and kissed him. I’ll try it with you, I whispered.**
Like a pebble
Kate’s cocoa cake is sinking
in the transparent water of the swimming pool.*
If Emily Dickinson was a cake, she would be a lemon cake.
If Susan Sontag was a cake, she would be an almond cake.
If Marguerite Yourcenar was a cake, she would be an Academy cake.
If Jacqueline Susan was a cake, she would be a Vanity cake.
If Virginia Woolf was a cake, she would be Kate’s cocoa cake.
If Joan Didion was a cake, she would be a cake with no sugar.
If Ann Sexton was a cake, she would be a cake-with-no-mercy.
If Katherine Mansfield was a cake, she would be a ginger cake.
If Sappho was a cake, she would be a pergamont cake.
If Gertrude Stein was a cake, she would be a cake-well-is-a-cake.
May I offer you some cake?
It was a rainy Tuesday when this rather cute and harmless incident happened. I felt sorry -perhaps too much so- for the drenched postman and I invited him for a quick hot tea which I served on the round table at the entrance hall along with some cake that I bought yesterday from M.. I asked the young courier not to call me “sir”, and as we were making small-talk about the news of the neighborhood, the domestic “accident” happened. A small piece of cake fell on his trousers and I instinctively kneeled to clean it with a napkin. And, without wanting to, I touched lightly his own “cake” – although, thinking back, it might have been just my imagination. I thought that he was turned on but maybe it was just my idea, although he definitely blushed and looked at me with eyes full of embarrassment. We ended our chat as if nothing happened, we started for the door, I reminded him not to call me “sir”, and I told him that there is cake every Tuesday and Friday. It was not raining anymore and I hurried to the phone to call M. and tell her the news about the success of her cake and that from today on I am the second member of the postman’s fan club. The first member is M. as it goes for almost all the fan clubs we have already created; ten or maybe more, one for every unknown young attractive man of our uneasily quiet suburb.**
Make somebody happy today-bake a cake!
A chocolate cake for the man in your life.
Or a white cake with peppermint frosting for “the girls” coming for bridge.
Make a sponge cake for Grandma, as lovely-light as the kind she used to bake.
Bake a cake-have a party.
Bake a cake to take to a party.
Bake a cake just because you feel good today.***
Kate fails for the sixth time
to bake a simple cake
and decides to change her small oven.*
I’ve made up my mind. The older I get the more I hate winter. I consider it my enemy and a very serious threat to my activities and moods, and I’m not ruling out at all the possibility of going into hibernation at a more advanced age. And today the winter that seemed to have forgotten us returned uninvited threatening us with frost and snow. My reaction was predictable; I subjected T. to my hypothermic hysteria. I strictly forbade him to bake his seasonal cakes again. The ones he usually stuffs with dried fruits and nuts so as to remind him of his childhood in that hyperborean land where he was born.
Not even one?, he asks.
I don’t need any of your forest products to be your little bear, I answered him and returned to bed.**
If you have already failed in all of your efforts to arouse the erotic and sexual desire of a new person you’re attracted to, or to rekindle the spark of a fading passion, then don’t get disappointed too fast… You have one last chance to succeed by following the magic recipe below – under its spell that person will be truly unprotected and vulnerable.
Choose a Friday night and start!
First make a poppy seed cake in a round pan. Bake it and let it cool.
In the centre of the cake’s circle light a purple candle and let it burn for nine minutes offering its flame to god Pluto.
Now write down in a pink sheet of paper the name of the person, the number 22 and the symbols for sun, moon, bird and wind.
Burn the paper in the candle flame.
Take its ashes, the candle and the cake and bury them in the east side of a park or a garden.
Repeat the spell for three weeks at the same time and day with devotion, faith and patience.
With a Chios kerchief over her hair
Kate is trying again and again
to make a proper mastic cake *
∞* From the 33 Haikus for Kate, 2011.