Avertings

Prodigal

If I was sometime hidden
under electric lights
turning my need into breath; heartbeat

And if I was enchanted
by incomplete forms
trying to watch the stars with no telescopes

And if I looked for
And if I got lost

Now I’m here
to show you the non-existent path

It’s only that you’ve been used to my silence

 

Small nights

I look at you
There are no words

I have to avert my gaze from you
in order to be -perhaps- capable of speaking
(Isn’t that what you’ve always waited for?)
To avert myself

Small nights call on me
to dry them
sipping blood off their fingertips

I keep sleeplessly dreaming
I touch your absence

Loneliness makes poets out of us

 

Just

There exist no hidden things

They just exist

Waiting for you to see them

 

Schoolgirls

The best time to ride the city bus
is around eleven pm
weekdays
downtown to uptown
when
girls
fifteen to eighteen years old
return home from prep school
neither innocent enough
neither guilty enough
to smile at you.

While windows reflect beauty
and air fills
with sweet voices and soft perfumes
you think
all that
will be yours never again
or just never.

And you have this half crazy desire
to caress their hair
put their head on your shoulder
whisper to them
that nothing has yet ended
that nothing has yet started
that it’s still too early.

Guilt
may wait.

 

Things

There are things I’ve said
and things
I haven’t.

Things I should have said
and things
I shouldn’t.

The problem
is the lack of respectiveness.

 

Savoir-faire

It’s a great skill to know how to deal blows
but it’s even greater to know how to take them.
Life is large
and buys time in the most improbable hideouts.

Imagine the worst-case scenario
and when it has been realized
be sure
that you will be able to imagine an even worse one.

Have a big soul.
The bigger you can.

Construct inside your head an elaborate network
comprising the needs, the desires, the wishes
of the people that surround you.
No matter if they don’t explicitly regard you.
Everything is relevant. Or, it may become so.

Always act according to it.

Go wherever you’re invited to.
Wash, shave, comb your hair, wear clean clothes.
Talk pretty.
In general, be pleasant to others.

Don’t say anything
of which you suspect the tiniest probability
that it might discomfort them.

Love, even if love is not returned back to you.
Be patient.

And when you go insane, hush.

 

Scenery

Tonight
I have decided to get you out of my head
and put someone else in there
Just like that
For a change of scenery

 

Everyday is like Sunday

He must had been sleeping around the clock.
He got up and went to take a leak.
He returned to his room.
He grabbed the cigarettes, and lit one.

He didn’t pull up the curtains.
Nevertheless, the light that passed through them indicated the strong probability of a lovely day out there.

He looked at the books on the shelf
waiting to be read.
He thought of words
waiting to be read, to be written, to be heard, to be spoken — whatever.
He thought of time
existing only to be little.

He wiped out the cigarette.
He got into bed
and fell back asleep.

 

A random averting of the gaze

I don’t look for her anymore.
I don’t revolt.
I don’t try.

Her eyes
leave me indifferent.

I’m full
of small moments
we never shared.

Full
of love
I never gave her.

Intact.

Wish.
Desire.
Fantasy.

The kids that were playing outside my window
have gone to bed.

 

An exercise in melancholy

We die young
Sunday morning
with the sun shining
flowers blooming
kids playing in the street
me, caressing your hair
against your will.

We die alone.
We live alone.
Whatever we share
is too little.

 

Don’t let Beauty catch you by surprise

So, it’s your time to wander.
Everything easy and accessible was not enough for you.
And that small universe of yours
was too lonely.

If you happen to come across Beauty
just don’t let her catch you by surprise.
With a clear head and a full heart look her in the eyes
and embrace her.

And if you don’t have words, so be it.

 

Cephalonia

Just be cautious
not to get shipwrecked on some deserted island
with no hope of escape
and sole company
those
who padded with waxed ears
while you
were listening to the sirens singing.

 

Love

I have a broken heart.
It is a ticket to stars already wiped out.
I’m still here
I, who never were.

I have a tired mind.
I have a stopped clock.

I have a poem you did not deserve.

 

Published poets

Perhaps all we had to say was worthless
driven as we were by some post-adolescent urge
or some unconsciously half knowing.

And perhaps we would be better off
remaining forever life’s mute lovers
and wisdom’s passive receivers.

But who should constrain us?

It is ourselves the only measure of ourselves.
Everybody’s worldview is incomplete.

 

Asterios Toutios, Thessaloniki-Serres, 2002-2005 (In Greek)
Private Print, Thessaloniki, 2005

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