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Poem by Dimitris Lyacos

Dimitris Lyacos (pictured) was born in Athens in 1966. Eyewear is very pleased to welcome him this Friday to its pages. His trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: Exit, Nyctivoe, The First Death) has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian and German and has been performed extensively across Europe and the USA. The English version is out from Shoestring Press, UK.

A sound and sculpture installation of Nyctivoe opened in London and toured Europe in 2004-2005. A contemporary dance performance based on the same book is currently showing in Greece.

For more information see www.lyacos.net or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyacos ...

This poem is translated by Shorsha Sullivan, who was born in Dublin in 1932. He studied Classics at Leeds and has spent most of his working life in England. He has a special interest in Modern Greek theatre and poetry.



Z213: Exit (extract)


Tell those who were waiting not to wait none of us will return. The sky is leaving again, the newspapers rot in the corridor, the same trees pass again but darker before us, the people who wrench the doors looking for a place, those who are coming in at the next stop. The light from outside cutting the evening in strips, harsh evenings that fall among strangers, the story shatters within you, fragments, lost in the ebb of this time, that dissolve one into the other before you fall asleep. And the snail hurries to go back on its tracks, a tale you remember unfinished, wrinkles that still hold a colour on memory’s transient seed, birds that awake the dew on their wings and you set off with them into the white frozen sky, but you wake and are baked again. Not the fever, the remembrance of sorrow exhausts you, you don’t know why, before you are well awake and the barren feeling comes back to your hands, the rest suddenly vanishes, you are one recollection a broken box which is emptying, after the tempest this calm, you search for support, get up like an old man, feel cold, remember birds’ wings, magistrates’ sticks decorated with feathers the bones of an angel, sink again images and words monotonous as prayer.


translated from the Greek original by Shorsha Sullivan; poem by Dimitris Lyacos
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