DELAY

by Dimitra Ioannou

There must be one  –  sometimes it’s accidental  –  sometimes it’s precocious  –  must be one  –  like all things necessary.

To get help –  to find out what happened  –  some days better, some days worse  –  so many inexplicable.

And yesterday even less  –  if facts are false –  it’s likely to start today.

That whisper before the elbow.

Will be close  –  it will be calculated in application  –  the way it always happens  –   of short duration .

It will be quiet – in 24 hours  –  at least a little more –  the slightest use –  and other possibilities.

Any help is precious  –  there are lots of unlesses –  like all the rest.

That whisper, a few times a day.

And then it will be exactly the same  –  and then it’s too late  –  it’s a bit slow –  most likely.

There will be an  inversion  –  in whatever position  –  seemingly insignificant.

That whisper behind the forehead.

Not to hear  –  not to hear anything  –  they shrivel – with small bites –  in a few seconds of absorption  –  on the same straight line.

That cavity and that cavity  –  on a return move past the lobe, the neck, the collar bone  –  kind of silenced.

That reaction on the skin.

The eyes are getting wet  –  with  rawness –  with raw tenderness  –  that particular silence  –  in continuing.

I have you in my mouth and if I spoke now, if I said all the things that I haven’t said until now, my words would not transcend the tongue.  These parentheses.  That enclose, isolate, pull tight.  You are included in their opening and closure.  That mouth with no organs.  That becomes appetite,  excessive secretion, rejection. There’s hardly any sense.  The words become saliva, a series of vowels, wet vowels that are flooding; imperatively, and you raise yourself slightly.  And what happens now, happens from mouth to mouth.  That correspondence.  That complexity.

ΚΑΙ ΜΕΤΑ ΔΕΝ ΕΜΕΙΝΕ KANEIΣ . AND THEN THERE WERE NONE

της Δήμητρας Ιωάννου / by Dimitra Ioannou

λέξη-σύνδεσμος: φάει

word-link: eat

NOTHING CAN HAPPEN ANY LONGER

by Dimitra Ioannou

word-link:  rupture


ΠΕΣ ΜΟΥ ΠΟΣΟ ΟΜΟΡΦΑ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΟΤΑΝ ΞΥΠΝΑΣ / TELL ME HOW BEAUTIFUL THEY ARE WHEN YOU WAKE UP

της Δήμητρας Ιωάννου / by Dimitra Ioannou

λέξη-σύνδεσμος:  απόδειξη / word-link:   evidence

9,5 -11 μ. . 9,5 -11 m.

της Δ. Ι. . by D. I.


λέξη-σύνδεσμος: μήκος
word-link: length

A COINCIDENCE … ISN’T IT A COINCIDENCE?

by D. I.

Doubting perpetually
Everything becomes enormously unstable. Do I have to look at you while I’m talking? Avoid eye contact. I am only imagining; using the mouth and both hands. Love
Supreme to you. There’s something I haven’t told you.
I desire you frantically.
Reliably. Enormously. Does anyone overhear me? I won’t ask this murmuring to stop again. Εven if it stays a remarkably private
Episode.

GEOGRAPHY

by Dimitra Ioannou

They break up, they intersect, faint, asymmetrical, grey, along my entire arm. They don’t stand out. They trace steps, my steps at the same place; between the remote geography and the dusty eucalyptus trees, between the thick traffic and the denser silence, between two hours and two hours. On my palm, they trace the skin lines.

I couldn’t imagine another design on me. Neither a map, nor an imprint, more of a rough sketch; between the sudden mist and the radial roads, between the lit-up playing fields. I feel them at each piercing, though they are not complete but much smaller; between the sharp frequency and the extended sunlight, between two barks.

While they continue, they smudge me.

If you exclude this line, this line and that line, no other veins stick out. Sometimes I would like them to be embroidered, embroidered densely with no anaesthetic, with some threads hanging out; just like one of the excesses of idleness.

***
Translation into english edited by Chrissa Babouris

ΕΥΦΟΡΙΚΑ . EUPHORICA

της Δήμητρας Ιωάννου / by Dimitra Ioannou

λέξη-σύνδεσμος:  θολή / word-link:  blurred

YOU WILL BE SAFE

by Dimitra Ioannou

You’ll live in the suburbs.

You’ll return home passing by family houses with curtains drawn open. You’ll know who is out and who is in. You’ll always leave the ground floor curtains open so that they’ll know when you’re out and when you’re in.

You’ll cut fresh roses from the garden to put in vases. You’ll hire a gardener. He’ll cut off those branches that hang over the partition wall so as not to disturb the neighbours. He’ll root out the weed. You’ll replace all the withering plants with new ones so as to impress your guests.

You’ll turn off the living-room and dining-room lights by eleven. You’ll close behind you the small door at the top of the staircase and activate the alarm. You’ll sleep with the telephone next to you. You’ll call the security company whenever you hear unusual noises.

You’ll tell fairy tales in front of the bathtub.
You’ll have a small store room for toilet paper and detergents. It’ll be used for their punishment.
You’ll go for a picnic in the forest, ten minutes away by car.

You’ll invite me over for a few days. I’ll have my own room. I’ll wake up later.
We’ll go for bike rides. You’ll make lots of long distance calls.
We’ll see each other little. I’ll vaguely describe my time to you.

We’ll spend one of the last nights together. You’ll order food for three. I’ll pop to my room. I’ll meet you again in the kitchen. You’ll talk without ending your sentences. You’ll be repeating “What was I supposed to do?” I’ll leave you quickly.

I’ll get up at night. Only the sound of the refrigerator will be heard. Everything will be in its place.

I’ll wake up from the knock at the door. It’ll be Saturday. We’ll say good bye. You’ll send me a last message.

She’ll be afraid of you constantly.

*

Translation edited by Chrissa Babouris.

3 ΜΜ . 3 PM

της Δήμητρας Ιωάννου / by Dimitra Ioannou

dioannouPM

λέξη-σύνδεσμος: μ.μ. / word-link: p.m.

AT THE TEMPLE OF SAD STORIES

by Dimitra Ioannou

I am an old boudoir full of withered roses.¹

– You won’t desert me, will you?
– Never.
– Would you please pretend that you don’t lie?
– Don’t talk nonsense!
– Who do you like better, me or Eddie?
– You, of course.
– Would you set on tears if I start to cry?
– You’re exaggerating.
– Never desert me.

At the mercy of black passion.

– Do you like to sing?
– A lot. When I hold the microphone all the world is mine.
– What do you feel when you are singing?
– I am happy. It’s like being transfered to another dimension; like living a Cosmic moment.
– Would you sing something for us?
– Of course.

Would you take me to your arms once again? / We have enough time. / I’ll close my eyes for a while. / Please hold my hand. / Do you hear? The rain makes such strange sounds here. / Would you take me to your arms till I fall asleep? / Yes, together for ever. / Please hold my hand.

Are idylls the opposite of decadence?


*

“the beauty was never completed in any single detail of the temple: for each detail adumbrated the beauty of the succeeding detail. The beauty of the individual detail itself was always filled with uneasiness. It dreamed of perfection, but it knew no completion and was invariably lured on to the next beauty, the unknown beauty. The adumbration of beauty contained in one detail was linked with the subsequent adumbration of beauty, and so it was that the various adumbrations of a beauty which did not exist had become the underlying motif of the Golden Temple. Such adumbrations were signs of nothingness, nothingness was the very structure of this beauty.”²

*

At Linda’s apartment. She brings her birthday cake. She puts it on the coffee table and tidies up the room. She wears a wig with white roses.

The energy that exists inside a dream until it is destroyed.

– Welcome home.
– I know what you did.
– I don’t want to loose you.
– Don’t cry. No tears for me. No, thank you. “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” What a joke! You’re getting old.
– You’re cruel.
– Your time is over.
– Just like that?

Can you go on without geting some kind of response?

You’re like sweet poison in me. / You’re in my mind and the time is the past. / The reason for my passion is you. / It’s too late for me now. / This hypnotic song takes me away. / Only your voice has the power to wake me up. / Where are you? / Will you let me go away?

No, you can’t.

*

– Do you like your role?
– A lot. But I’d prefer that Lida doesn’t commit suicide.
– What do you feel when you’re acting?
– I am never so much myself than when I am not myself.

*

Eddie walks amongst the graves holding a big white rose. Lida’s funeral. The wreath has white roses and a black ribbon.

When, O dusky beauty, you shall rest.³

– Look Eddie! The graves are sinking!
– I wish the whole country would sink.
– The ones that haven’t been washed away by the waters soak. They are all artificial, artificial flowers from the graves!
– I wish the whole country would sink.

THE END

NOTES

1. Charles Baudelaire, “Spleen”, The Flowers of Evil

2. Yukio Mishima, “The temple of the Golden Pavillon”, 1956. Translated by Ivan Morris. Published by Alfred A. Knopf.

3. Charles Baudelaire, “Posthumous Remorse”, The Flowers of Evil.

THE PARCEL

by Dimitra Ioannou

They don’t need to breath. They’re turning yellow, they will go mouldy, they wither. They are arranged on top and next to one another in the same package. Neither souvenirs, nor fragile; rather, samples. One more. A few. They were either given to me or I found them. If you see them all together they seem to lie in waiting, not at all idle inside their wrapping―they were gathered; they will get somewhere. The lizard is the last one to be wrapped.

They are sent by registered post. Neither important, nor gifts. The name and address of the sender are the same as the recipient’s. The parcel will normally arrive in ten, fifteen days, and if I delay I might receive it one month later. Until then they will have become unrecognizable. Not to be opened. They will return in extensive rot. I’ll have to remember them as they were. Neither intimacy, nor nostalgia. The lizard was green, with no tale, bigger than the others. A slow organic process.

I’ve been watching them, one by one, for some time now. Bubble-wrapped they become a blur and I know what will happen next.