I love how you dress for weddings: the repetitive movements of your fingers when you knot your bow-tie and that splendid nakedness of the white rose on your lapel, a true nuditas virtualis that makes me dream of the birth of a god in the zodiacal sign of Virgo.
I miss the glow of your face in the candlelight, the vibration of the wine glass’ crystal stem between your fingers, the memorable tunes of the waltz coiling around your senses.
It is dark. I lay on the sofa and the smell of pain killers and sedatives dwells in my nostrils. I can hear the noise of the withered leaves coming from outside. It frightens me. The sweetness of the nuditas virtualis fades away. I think of Emma Bovary, the so-called narcissistic self-deluded character, the adulterous woman, the daydreamer, the nuditas criminalis par excellence.
How pathetic and enslaved by time our judgments are. If Emma were a man, she would have had the masculine license to thirst for the feminine. No judgements would have been passed. There is no masculine equivalent of Emma Bovary in literature. Profoundly telling, don’t you think?
Emma committed the mortal sin of having affairs. She killed herself as self-punishment, we are told. How ignorant people who think so are. Turn the page and think of Emma as the woman who pitied the birth of her own daughter. Have you ever stopped to think why she would do that?
Those winds and the frightening noise of the withered leaves.
Where are you?
You do not visit anymore. You forgot your white rose on the head on my sofa. I need to tell you again. I love how you dress for weddings.
My poetry is neither the chronicle of my sufferings nor the chronicle of my loves as many seem to believe. It does not contain the description of my marital status nor that of my accomplishments. It does not record my joys or my passions with the precision of a timeclock. It does not dwell in my sadness. Sadness is the place where I dwell when I write the word sea and I cannot understand its meaning the way Elytis understood it. I was not born in Hellada. I can use that as an excuse for my poetic inadequacies.
My poetry is that which comes from the realm of the unfulfilled. It is the echo of the waves that you can guess but cannot see because they are not born yet. It is the voice of the blood that dries on the feet of the prophets. It is the dream of my cheeks that you will never touch. My poetry is the body of a Sunday that forgot to put walnuts and cinnamon in its baklava. It is the promise of tomorrow.
Three years ago I bought a silver icon at an auction. The icon belonged to the M. family. They used to be one of the most preeminent families on the island of Crete. Hellada was tattooed in my non-Hellenistic soul by the will of my parents, not by mine. You cannot stage a coup against your own baptism when you are four months old.
I was in love in Hellada. So much for “Let’s fall in love in Spain.” Every time the church bells tolled, he, the one who loved me, used to bring me daffodils. One daffodil for each bell toll. When the church bells stopped tolling I had so many daffodils that I could not carry them anymore. I had to let them fall on the ground.
I ran and I took the first ship out of Piraeus.
Until this day he – the one who loves me – still waits for the girl that will keep his daffodils and marry him.
Of course, he does. There is always the promise of tomorrow. There is always my poetry and there is always one more night of passion.
I paid for all the happiness that was bestowed upon us by the Ides of October.
I used to feel the presence of the child all around me.
A woman said I should pick a piece of slough cast by a snake and wear it against my skin.
I did it.
Flushed as a young peach every sunset became a resurrection.
Roses wrapped around my waist and later in June the child was born.
A new October sets our pictures on the Spanish chest.
Emotions animate your cheeks.
Every night above the trees the moon nurses the stars.
When I see cocoons of the larvae, I think silk as soft as the hair of the child.
When I say I love you, I think death as the harbinger of birth.
Your lips tremble and your voice flattens.
I know you love me.
With nude fingers the Ides of October betroth us again.
[Ides as the 15th day in March, May, July, and October according to the Roman calendar]
I can see the woman who assumes things. Every night she picks the flowers that I throw on the road: withered lilies of the valley. She wants to be me. She wants my blood. She does not know I rearranged the bell-shaped whites so no one else can breathe their sweet scents. No one else can be me. No one else can make you, you.
The woman puts the withered flowers in her bag.
A new moon rises over her left shoulder. Bad luck.
I rush to protect her.
Before he died my father said:
If you try to do justice to the wicked, you will forget to do justice to the virtuous. And if you forget to do justice to the virtuous you only work for yourself. That is the biggest sin of all.
Motto I get drunk on love, charity, and passion. These are my professions.
I walk into the three days we spent together.
On the first day, a nude silence wraps around my lips. Shortly after I can hear the noise of wine poured into glasses.
The hour to get drunk on love has come.
I touch your skin and another you is born.
Birds invade the sky.
A banquet of candles floods the streets.
A white thread ties my blood vessels at the exact moment when a religious procession walks by.
On the second day, drunk on charity, my sights descend upon the earth.
The dirty hands of the woman who owns wells touch my skin.
I hear your voice. I will not counsel her or belittle her desires. All she will do is sell her fake dreams in the corner of an empty street for her entire life.
I forbid you.
By punishing her you would have ruined the very thing you set out to safeguard: our love.
On the third day, stars melt in our palms like soft grapes in winepresses.
The intimations of you and I, with their smell and softness of grass and late autumn roses, invade the room.
A convulsive joy impregnates your eyes.
Words have no pigments and no form. Their register sinks in gravity, shiny coil by shiny coil, musical key by musical key, sleepy touch by sleepy touch.
The perfection of the afternoon’s poplars blesses the air.
Possessed by passions, under the wing of a bird, we died three days ago.
Feminine sexual scars: real, invented, and in some cases only dreamed. Wounds exposed in plain view in order to obtain something in exchange. If not justice, then sympathy. If not sympathy, then the attention of a certain male prototype.
A desperation to direct the masculine imagination toward the submissive feminine with its painful blows; blows exacerbated by the brutality of our patriarchal society. Yet something more was added to that: female purple skin calling for the asperity of males’ touches, abandon, suggested nudity, swollen lips, tons of adjectives filled with a sickening excess of sweetness.
I remember him saying.
An entire arsenal of attraction built on wounds that should be sanctified not used to incite maleness. Those women hang their sexual lesions like paintings on walls for the sole purpose of giving males glimpses under their underwear.
C’mon. You know it.
I did not. However, he was a man of high intellect. It was difficult to go against him. I had to wait. I had to outmaneuver him.
So, I played my feminine submissive part. Add some madness to that and I am quite sure I looked like Ophelia running from room to room dressed in black negligees incapable of understanding my own distress. What a nightmare.
The forgetfulness of summer, a poem from my poetry collection Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings [available on Amazon here]
On my left mountains of passion lost in lunar light. On my right poetry. An African violet beats her eyelashes. Spanish moss lingers on the waters of the Bayou. The smell of fresh cocoa penetrates my nostrils. Old wounds crawl on my skin; columns of ants searching for honeydew on a tropical tree. The forgetfulness of summer. The silence of a blue lagoon. You.
and another review of my book posted on an online forum on May 17th.
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings was one of the most beautiful and well written collection of poems I have ever read. Each word was so perfect and beautiful, and the prose were wonderful. With each installment of the prose it added puzzle pieces to a stunning love story with what looks to be a dramatic love triangle between friends….
Please read the entire review here
oh, let the summer come and go wrapped into my dreams coiling on your pillow son of the desert you look like the founder of gods eyes hunt the cracks of pyramids sands nest in your folded lips under your sight my breasts blossom voices of the children of the moon cupped palms filled with tears son of the desert tonight I play my notes close to your skin
My deepest thanks to Timothy for the wonderful review of my book: Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings [available on Amazon here]. Timothy is beyond talented. Please visit his site to find gorgeous and professional videos clips, pictures, beautiful poetry and songs.
Are you an animal lover? Look no further. Visit Timothy’s site.
On a different note, Timothy is very generous. I was gifted a tree on Timothy’s property along side the Rio Grande. Actually there are several women on WP who have trees on Timothy’s propriety. I am just one of them.
Here is an excerpt from Timothy’s review. You can read the entire review on Amazon.