Diana Manesi

Pep talk with Father

One

Good morning. Resilience and patience. I arrived home. Sia got the small room.
cleaned the house all over          in the kitchen worms from leftovers
Tonight the kids are coming                 I bought a mattress for the little –sleep
I am not feeling well.                    Rebound
In Athens I feel better          with chicken pox
Next week          two weeks on pills          to catch me up.
Don’t worry.          Your worries feed happy clouds                    he gave me 1000 euros.
Sia is a good housekeeper. Quiet child.
Be happy          with new blue-s dress
Good morning.          wanna hear my news
Where will you spend Christmas?
We will go to Morocco.          God knows.          Hugs& kisses

Two

Susan is beautiful, beautiful enough for me
Lubul budul          my head skipped a bit          today
two days          after Susan’s visit            her
fewer          bits the merrier Christmas    at shopping malls     car parks
a sedimentation of bags and collections                    in them I trust
I am tired     I will visit professor Gementzi     74 years’ old
Would it help if I lived in Athens?
It’s hard.     I can’t go to the gym
Fuzzy head     can’t collect me
The pills began to work     and I am locked in the coldest bathroom
We will not go to Athens.                Susan fell and broke her knee
My mouth is dry     I can’t sleep     the pills have side effects
How will I make it on my own?        Good question.                he gave me a pair of trousers
Take care of Susan.

Three

I arrived at the airport        How are you?
My migraines are unbearable        Delay/ traffic        my flight is at 8pm
I didn’t get to see you        with the other woman                you left        when
I saw a poster on an Athenian café        about Sankara        and his illusion show.
Migraines are the legacy of witches,
garbage bags of unfulfilled traffic.
I want to witness Sankara’s magic — he might possess the insides of Joan Crawford’s deranged daughter who kills her mother’s lovers.
I hope he cures migraines.

Four

Tattoo artists are the best forgers
What’s your plans now?       It’s late        my throat is quietly tuning with my bowl
Daddy wants a new car          a nice car          double sided
One cut of the dead          and I feel          hardwired to plan inks
He says nothing
He’s just a figment of people’s imaginations
God              replace the old BMW
When we met, you were pretty and I lonely
God save ink forgers (A lot of God in here).

Five

Thank you for confirming which life session you attended.
We note that you submitted a pay claim form for a total of 5 hours.
Why? What’s bothering you? Calm down. Don’t pressure yourself. Enjoy life.
As you only attended 5 of the 7 training hours provided by us,
you need to show love.
Life is beautiful. If you find a job you really enjoy, you’ll feel better.
As you only attended 2 of the 5 training hours provided by Father,
you need to stop thinking too much.
We will therefore not be approving the additional 5 hours.
Start yoga and meditation to live in the now.

Six

Descending into mad, watching the “Shining” on Netflix,           “you are nothing but a fraud”
Decaying replica        of Socrates unwritten words
        The shinning       of    snow              in a full-packed auditorium   with neo-soul sounds
       &nbsp &       &nbsp &from New Orleans
copy-paste          my mind needs          citalopram          placebo effects
    smoking gives a boost       &nbsp &    smoking gives a boost
in the mist of a saddening day    smoking gives a boost       &to Mona-Lisa and back
“you are a fraud”, you hear me!
I am doing my best    it’s not enough
I am really trying            not to desert her
Russian dolls pop         one after the other
snails suck my gastric fluids    and let go of my fingers
godfather died    and with him the golden necklace    of the Russian doll
Bless her, she was a good girl.


Diana Manesi began writing and recording diaries when she was 11. She stopped once she reached adulthood and went into academia. For many years she engaged with feminist theory, social anthropology, and cultural studies. In the last years, she began experimenting with poetic form and playful prose. In 2017 she published her first poetry collection in Greek, entitled “One and whole: One bite” by Queer Ink Publications. Recently she began writing in English. She currently resides in London and whenever she can she travels and attends poetry workshops.

Diana Manesi

One letter

Dearest Cassandra,

      The first time we met the next night we spent it fucking. You fucked me so hard that I felt loved. I wanted to feel loved so much I was prepared to be a nymphomaniac spinster that wants constant attention. Running away from you meant running away from scary memories. I was sexually hurt. I didn’t have anything to do with myself. You pissed your inner guts on my breasts, coated my limbs and starred into my eyes until a feeling of vertigo took over, no more alleys, rooms, doors, corridors, just heights, stairs, elevators, letter birds. Everything was letter birds streaming out of your ass into the labyrinth and back. Still your inner self remains a mystery. This means that I cannot put your words and acts into language. I can only guess at your feelings. Guessing is not really knowing. I cannot hide my cheap intentions. I tried manipulating you, I wanted to extract your tears, pour them out, drink them and make my pain pretentious. I am listening near you, that voice of centuries ago.

      Language comes with joy. It should not be imposed, heaven help anyone who acts as if they want to write statements of absolute truth and glory. Last week I met with my academic publishers they said that I need to dissociate our voices, mine and yours, since it confuses the reader and makes the whole thing something vaguely passable. I hate mediocrity. I hate this truth that manifests itself as the fact that human life is just a negotiation with killjoys, and pain, of course pain, pretending to be in pain, being in pain, I still can’t get in terms with my pain. If it happens that you do not want any further contact with me for one or two months, days, years, I know human desire is erratic and things happen, I shall not stop writing you. What is writing? This is writing. This is it. When I write you my whole body is in control, every inch of me gasps in astonishment, your body comes on top of mine, is this how human is? What stays as a gentle reminder of your presence when you burst out of the room is your ability to make me miserable when you are kilometers away.

      So much I have reconstructed from the labyrinth of notes in painting your pale pink skin. In my spare-room your face flashed like the tail of a comet- three dots- across my trembling letters. Now it is pale pink distance and space, an expanding space in which I took flight as an arrow and the arrow seemed to cross the impossibly wide labyrinth, it seemed to arc on and on in space and not quite to stop. Despite all changes due to emotional swings, gut- spoken headlocks, all the times, you and I have been in different parts of the world, flung out of space, this writing is fuel for love. The pain I write I feel and the pain you write you feel, the pain of displacement, of exile, of separation, of a feminine woman that dies of exhaustion cause she can’t speak manly enough, it’s just the unfeeling tools to build our world. Wish me good luck in this delicate endeavor, it was more than enough for once to have had your arms and lips on me.

Love,
Ntiana

Diana Manesi began writing and recording diaries when she was 11. She stopped once she reached adulthood and went into academia. For many years she engaged with feminist theory, social anthropology, and cultural studies. As years went by she wrote various academic essays. Gradually her relation to language and words began to shift and she decided to revisit her diaries. In the last years, she began experimenting with poetic form and playful prose. In 2017, she published her first poetry collection in Greek, entitled “One and whole: One bite” by Queer Ink Publications. Recently she began writing in English and wishes to continue exploring the margins of language and its relation to the world. She currently resides in London where she teaches anthropology at Goldsmiths College and is about to complete her thesis. Whenever she can she travels, attends poetry workshops and loves making her own milkshakes.