Kiki Dimoula, 81,

“wants to transform reality

into something less real” –

Greece having to suffer

austerity measures

because “a hundred people

abused power

and the whole country

is asked to pay…”

The financial scandal

has left families broken,

children herded into orphanages,

& poets facing

“darkness and chaos”:

the waste land reverberating

in her poems

the reading millions would affirm

in their squalid souls…

She has raged

against the rule of colonels

who “put under surveillance

and [imposed] limited freedom

on leftists…”

Is she denying what transpired?

As if to revise the manifest


of her Freudian dreams?

O But she remembers

the metal phoenix on her desk

& the memory of resistance

& hope…
“How could you get back

what has disappeared,”

she asks.

“All poetry is about that.”


Look at the bigger picture,

the flâneur says,

& it is just about objet

petit a.

He turns pedantic

as he lectures on the trajectory

of Lacan’s desire.

Examine if it is her

that you really long for…

The madman is jolted by

his arrogance,

& bites his lips to concede.

Is he happy at the logic

of the truth?

She doesn’t exist, at all?

An auto-projection

of his mind?

He stares at the trees

outside the side café –

he is suddenly tired

as if from a long journey
to find only a small pebble,

not an imagined bar of gold

at the foot of the rainbow.

Was it the journey itself, then?

Jouissance is inversely

pain & suffering,

never the alleged pleasure?

O Never has he felt so alone,

sinking helplessly

in his chair

like a wasted emperor.

Only memory remains –

& even that

would vanish in his heart’s horizon


Is it therefore

the trap of ad infinitum?

That you must suffer

for your illusory pursuit –

what the forces

tell you to launch

on phantom wings

toward an invisible moon?

It is not I

but what the Other

insists on what you must do –

this hell that rages

is the Outsider’s eye

that freezes

a matador’s bull in its tracks

& you agonize

for knowing nothing of the beast

that rears up

from the inside of your soul.

O the Nothing of it,

the wanted energy of it,

this life’s enterprise

that makes you tumble

like dice rolled on the gaming table…

Unreal is your grief, monsieur,

what about

the philosophy of it?
What if the fort-da narrative

is false?
What if the here won’t reappear?

Ever total indeed

in the cosmic rupture…


This Sunday,

a memorial for her cousin,

Colonel P,

would light up the service

with a secret hilarity

of the lightness of his being:

the unspoken of having fathered

bastards on the side

while on so-called “borrowed time”.

He was a man

who had lived out his life

cavorting with women in the boondocks

whom he showered

with a pensioner’s attention,

ruling the roost

like a lord of the manse,

as if to recuperate his power

over a retired command.

His family

in California

he would visit, now & then

but couldn’t stay longer

because it’s so damned cold,

the blast of icy wind

chilling him to the bone.

O He reasoned out,

they might send him

to a retirement home –

he must have his native

tropical freedom…

Now his first family

would collect his ashes & fly him

to a place he refused

to call home.

O So brief was his life –

But how they also secretly

envy him

for savouring his quantum

of a life

to the last drop!

Yet the deceased
had left a legacy
to strangers
his family has never encountered:
He, they testified, was
tender-hearted & generous –

laudatio reserved
for militants
never a
commissioned officer.


She’s holding

the urn of ashes

of the once beloved.

All these years

they tried to maintain

a long-distance affair

thru the telephone:

But he’s now forever gone,

forever cold.

The morning after

is what mourners dread:

how to pass the day

without tears, emotion.

That would not however

be impossible.

She has long perfected

the art of separation.

But how should she


with the new-found freedom?

This is a fresh storm


but she’s strong

after all these years –

she could cope

with her heart’s dictum:

For the past into non-event

to transpire,

for today to reinvent

a complex of desire.


Kill the father

[of your text],
advice to the novice
who wants to master

the art of writing.

But that’s impossible,

almost immoral.

Am not inclined

to murder & create!

The acolyte seems to protest.

O He misses the point,

a smile on his mind.

It dawned on him

the young man

won’t prosper in the world,

but will surely gain


as well-paid jester

in the royal court.


They mention him

to grace the workshop

for literature

to help the young

pursue the shaping of the craft,

like a knife sharpened

to cut, & cut, & cut…

But he turns down the offer –

he has nothing to say


it is all wordplay:

how can one decode the signal then?

Nada is nada

& words, words, words

do not a mentor make.

None can lead the flock

to leap over the open mouth

of the gargoyle…

All words are empty as air –

& silly as the combatants

who seek refuge

in the illusory alcove.
O This is how the world
prospers & moves;
Nazi soldiers

would shrug off
the victim’s pleas at
the gas chamber…
It was, after all, the general’s
orders; they simply followed
& persevered…
They didn’t hold themselves


All love poems lie
about love & its labyrinthine passion.
Figures in the landscape

of desire

have blank, blank faces

like masks

that will not signify

but only ice or fire.

Where the you & the I

mean only to exemplify

what no one means

but chaos or brief delight
like disparate atoms

that continually collide,

spinning off to nowhere

in a nanosecond

then expire.

Yes, all love poems lie.

So you presume to bleed

for her –

the imaginary wind

that rattles the windowpane,

but stops at the blink

of an eye.

Is there justice here?

There is only the fleeting event

& you cannot even cry.

Nada to nada

of heart’s maddening desire.


So he was told

by a fellow beer drinker

she is just a “blotch”,

echoing Zizek & Lacan,

in the bigger frame

of desire –

but a blinded fool was he

who turned out

as if hypnotized.

O how could have he

fixated on her

as if she were a totality

of elemental parts?

Objet petit a

of a “mark, a stain”

that could engage the eye

but would turn zero,


in an anamorphic sight?

How strange that the art

of love & passion

would spread a spectral dot

all over his lover’s map.

Only philosophers

know it too well

as a repetitive archetype:

“fools rush in

where barely tread,

satanic angels…”

O time wastes itself,

& the journeyer, alas,

never knows what has caused

so much pain, disaster.


No, it’s not the money, dude,

from the Marcos estate

that would serve

justice’s ends –

[Who can balance

the weighing scale?]

B. thinks sadly

of his sister R. who disappeared

in ‘76,

crushed at the hands

of ML functionaries…

& himself too,

who still marvels

at how he survived

the long detention & bestial beatings –

& wished

his mind could blank out

at that time

if only to survive the pain

of a piece of stick

inserted into his dick…

[Who can balance

the weighing scale?]

O Time does not heal all wounds,

always some memory cells

would refuse

to naturally die away…

It’s not the money, dude,

but the recognition

that would give the lie

after 50 grievous years

to the dictator’s son’s


their family never brutally abused.

O They keep repeating

the humongous columny

as if we could not see

their monstrous “gift”

through blinded eyes!

The fascist executioners

are still roaming the open field,

their white, white fangs

dripping blood & gleaming!

How to score real victory then

over pain & laceration

& deaths that will never be forgotten?

[Who can balance

the weighing scale?]

O He would be forever mourning,

swearing like a mantra.

O never again, never again!

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