Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Poet As a Man Mocked by Dreams

So! His mind had been snapped
up by turtles,
an unheard-of soup, last night
the night before, he had spilled the beans
to the paper staring at him blankly,
a real mess, no matter, i am a poet,
i like to fish, fresh air
feel out the sun, deep cool wells, go on

through tall reeds, banking
on the river

she had said, be careful
the moonbeams,
the road narrowing
along the river and the long grass
gather me
about your knees,
the good, black earth.

in the white house,
cobwebs and a lizard's
tail. please eat this

on the wall, a black
form, weeding.

deep eyes, a neck
braided with wrinkles:
my mother, she said
do drink this water.

no, just sunlight, please.
then the night, a clumsy
spy, a mock turtle losing
its cover.

and a strange cold inside.

(from Sentences, 1976)


  1. I'm glad to see this old friend return to the light of day, Vassilis. Lovely!

  2. Vassilis,

    this one is terrific.

    to me, it feels a bit
    Durrell-ish. a dream scape
    along a delta, at night,
    (set, you know where).

    twisty, full of oblique
    and interesting iconography.

    i shall return
    to it, often.


  3. Wonderful words, and so haunting, Vassilis. The turtle references remind me of Lewis Carroll. I like to be puzzled by words and ideas to then have unexpected images swirl before my eyes.

  4. Joe,

    Yeah, you must be one of the "myriad" owners of my first book! I remember asking you where you picked it up but can't remember if you answered or not--not that it makes any difference! Thanks for the comments.


    Good to see you were drawn to this one and that it conjured up images of Durrell's "Alexandria Quartet"--one of my favorites. Thanks for the perceptive reading.


    Your last sentence says it all! Thanks for taking the time and commenting.

  5. Hello Vassilis,

    i came here by following the link on William Michaelians blog. I like your poems a lot. It brings all kind of images in my mind, your words linger.
    I'll be a silent follower though because sometimes i feel like commenting can break the magic of such lovely words or simply enough i have no words after such little treasures.

    Sweet greetz from Holland.

  6. Momo,

    I see our mutual friend William is up to his usual mischief again! Thank you for your kind words.


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