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brand: the indelible mark made by searing iron whereby every manner of felons and criminals are stigmatized
Tramps upon the chest with V for Vagabond
Homicides on the thumb with M for Murder
Liars on the forehead with P for Perjury
Fugitives on the fingers with R for Refugee
Fully in effect in Great Britain until 1829.
brand: (by extent today) the widely known trademark, the marking by which a product is recognised with certainty, no longer for deterrence but for attracting the buyer.

Acolytes faithful followers suitors and devotees
Besiegers hunters supplicants worshippers
lovers and willing servants of the deity
possessed by fierceness savage and maniacal zealots
Jostle and elbow each other squeeze trample slaughter
devour crush gnaw dismember
become vaporised and volatilised
Out of desire

But the deity is a ring
Cannot be shared
Only it passes from finger to finger
Under swooning noondays
then by night's vigilant candles
Then under the veils of dawn all the way
to the last dusk and again under the curtains of midnight and again the gray talons of morning
dew the sun's upright chariot and again till sacred
twilight and once more the dark of night with stars
and comets and again the rose-fingered Dawn a wind-up beauty of precision and
Out of the sea legions and rows of coils, spirals,
meanders and arabesques
In the incomprehensible language of desire
Thousands of neophytes with fingers spread
Before the fingerprint-diviners

My son,
Your finger is trembling still
With ancient lust
It shall never steadfastly touch
With the pristine indifference of the select.
Who would deliver the engagement ring,
His kitchen's holy equipment,
His scarce and soft music
To someone who is still aflame and leaps up overturning everything in his wake?

But even if you strode through the gates
Found yourself alone inside the arched chambers
Your black feet sinking in purple carpets
And opened with a sure hand the Key of Solomon -
You poor wizard's apprentice,
Behind you the cave blazes
The broom rises from against the door frame glancing your way
A long throat that screamingly swallows
a dragon maybe or a boa
An arsenal conceived for your humiliation
Poor wizard's apprentice,
It will drag you in its wake down in stairs and halls underground toilets
Again and again you will set up their yellow sign
Mind the slippery floor
I kiss the immaculate floor
I anoint it with precious myrrh
Tears of hope and spite
And wipe it dry with my tresses
Wizard's apprentice, their weapons transform in your hands
From golden staffs to snakes.
Their pleasure mathematical
Divided with exactitude between advantageous and advantageous
Carries with it a curse on usurpers
In your hands it will turn into junk food, smoke, whores, beers, brawls and gambling
And their prudence
Between abundance and abundance
Their leisure time in wellness studios, therapy sessions and
a one hundredfold yield -
For you, woundings and an upset stomach
And a bitter gang cussing as they squat in the park, stewing in their juice -
Poor renouncer,
The ring that makes them immortal
Will send you last in line to their hospitals
"Name? Religion? Next of kin in case of an emergency?
Any knowledge of english my friend? What am I going to do with you? Do you know what cancer is?"

If you want to be like them
Gently hide yourself away
Like a pearl in sand
Allow the storm to wash you down
like they used to think people get washed in it who are special
Let them find you half buried
With one of your teeth glinting in the sun
Like Crusoe like Odysseus like Enoch Arden
Resplendent heroes each one unique.
But even if they promise you the evening TV show
Or the Guinness Book
Think twice before you follow them
Beware that you are not succeeded on screen
By some traveling cook
Wielding a frying pan
Condiments and exotic meats like yourself
Ha-ha, how droll!
Entire worlds are worn thin in their hands
Better half buried
With one eye glinting in the sun
Hide that too as Nausicaa comes round
In the white bathing suit with her girlfriends
And the beach ball under one arm
She will pass you by on soft feet
She will stumble on your non-existence
Hard as stones are the non-existing
Hard like the monument we'll build for them
That it may harshly remind us
How each one softens us in turn
Every time he no longer exists
Our red blood besieges our heart
Now that his own bluish and cold
Spills onto the sea anemones
A luxurious filling for every empty shell
We will set up a statue for him
We will nail his feet so that he can stride on water
Towards the shore with arms outspread
No, no we don't want him for a heinous abomination
Rather as a case study of an abominable will
The ideal step of no-arrival

Hide your desire from their gaze
Their virtue could not withstand seeing it
Inexperienced maidens moonborn not
In the least created for desire
Don't break down the door in vain
The maiden embroidering at the window is a mannequin
She has no hands to fend you off
Nor a vagina for you to forcefully seed

As soon as Nausicaa gathers the shells the snowy umbrella
And the net with the starfish
Throw the cloak on the waters and leave on it
For seven years and another seven
One treacherous maiden and another
and a third deceitful one and a fifth a sixth unfaithful also -
Treacherous maidens and years in sets of seven
They always drowned their lovers, did they?
They always wanted you in the depths ghostly pale
Lying there uncovered and blessed
Yet wrap yourself now with the black cloak
Accursed, rise up
Upright with purple sails high in the sky
The ghost-ship that will haunt their future legends
If they ever sing again

from the book
It' s hard to stumble on stones
translated by Konstantine Matsoukas

Two poems

Concentrate, he said, so that you'll see
When you yearn for something
How the soul bends back like a bow
It shoots the arrow to itself
And drowns in its own blood


I see that every day you take your lamb out for walk
Hadn't you better slaughter it and roast it, feed someone else as well
But then gather the bones
Into a handkerchief and plant them
According to the Brothers Grimm
A tree shall grow


from her second book of poems
Skliro na skontaftis se petres
[It's hard to stumble on stones (Patakis Editions, 2016)]

[translated by Panayotis Ioannidis and Lenia Safiropoulou]



The mourning of the offices

Without warning
Falls out of all the windows at once
Shimmering with weary gleams
Its wicked folds
Now hanging over the drop

The towers are breathing out upon the square
Syllogisms and projects left unused
They sow silver shining bullets
Each one identical inside her womb
A barren pleasure without risk

She twirls her eyes
Around the erected towers
Oh this engagement
That is repeated insufferable
And unchanging every night

Is the simulacrum of an action
Or the action itself
Protracted through the eons

Why are the bells keeping silent?
How long has it been
Since the day the temple screamed
The latest looting?



The days fly westward
Belly up
Claws retracted in the air
On golden wings

Until they can no longer make them out everyone
Watches to see who fails anew today
Out of his own fault

Force is everywhere like a spirit
Smelling of iron food and dust
Scent of a military expedition

The discerning ones at the observation posts
Tied with suspension belts
Hang in mid air
Shooting at the golden beasts
Scattering their plumage

Everyone gathers some of course
Casting grateful glances upwards
Thanks ascend like votive incense
But shortly before heaven the snipers intersect
It was for them they were intended anyway

And now where to with all this gold?

To the treasure houses
Underneath the city tarmac

The guards manage the protective electricity
They walk it about
Holding it back with effort by the leash

You in the middle of the great hall
Feigning an attempt
Opening up your black suit in two
And making appear in your hand
The gun

Giant gates
Will close before you and behind you
And the guards
Will set their electric dogs on you

The purple transoms behind and before you will equalize
As final verification
And you will be ejected with a spasm of rapture
Upon the high ramparts



Marvels on the horizon
Verdant islands growing distant
They saw not
For hours unmoving on the bow
They started to tremble
Looked about excitedly
Thinking they were being made fun of

Upside down smiles
Joined two points
Which they intended not to go near
Behind them the Orient blew up
The West rose like a dream ambivalent
The currents err

Certainty increases
With every westward mile
The sea becomes richer in lights
And ancient foam

The rivers are still churning out
Bleu royal
Upon the swell the books turn their pages
White bones of royalty
And blond tresses

In their parts the sea
Led nowhere
Invaded the houses
Dragged behind it the smoke from the walls
And the sour smell of the streets
The explosions kept up

They spent years before the paralyzing sea
Counting the suns
which perished to the West irretrievably

A land where storms are spawned
And travel about purple
Sowing the ocean with refuge
And tirelessly narrating the dead.

translated by Konstantinos Matsoukas