March 12, 2014 § 2 Comments


She waited on that bench. There are places that come back to you. She just had to wait.

How often must one tell a story to believe it? How often must one listen to it to forget?

There were names written on that bench.

For whom had these people carved their names? Who was their reader?

Maybe she could choose one of these names. Stand up and walk away named like that. A name has always a story. The story would be hers then.

A man stopped right in front of her and looked at her. She held her breath. Was he her reader?

Some places come back to you. You just have to wait. Your name can bring them back. A stranger can bring back your name.

Come on, darling. Come on, Helen, let’s go home.


My dear, on that bench

I’ve forgotten all the poems

I’ve written and read.

Letter to a Young Lady

March 7, 2014 § 1 Comment


8th March marks the International Women’s Day as the Google doodle will keep reminding us for a day or so. Should we celebrate our femininity and feel good and proud of it for a day, but then go back to being the children of the lesser god we’ve been since thousands of years?

I won’t bother answering this question, sisters.

And yet, this doodle did make me wish to join the community of my sex for a while, share experiences and exchange knowledge and strengthen each other for… life.

So here is my poor advice, alas, just five pieces of it. You see, I’ve only come till my forties so far and sequel advice is uncertain, but if circumstances allow it, I’ll keep you posted.

1) Read lots of books and poetry while you’re a teenager. As years go by you will gradually develop quality criteria, so don’t worry and don’t be too ashamed for ‘bad’ choices of your youth. You’ll never be that emotionally open and thirsty for knowledge and experience in your whole life again – well, you will, but your soul will never again be so fertile for those literary seeds. Although I’ve forgotten now more than I wish to admit, these readings have formed me and are the ground I now plant my thoughts and verses.

2) Go out, travel, and have lots of fun and sex as soon as you’re old enough to hopefully know how to protect yourselves, dear sisters, and trust nobody to be better qualified or more willing to protect you. If you’re living under religious, political, or other restrictive conditions, then do not miss those sensualities either. Use your fantasy! We humans are gifted with an incredible mental power, our imagination. Travel and sexual experiences by the book? No problem at all!

3) But fight for your rights too! Use your voice or pen, your name or a pseudonym, the street or the internet, use what you can to make circumstances better for you and others in your society, because no freedom that you wish to have is illegal, or immoral, or an illusion as long as it doesn’t restrict the freedom of others. Period.

4) Don’t dismiss, or accept, the idea of motherhood too soon. I won’t lie to you: it’s not easy to be a mother. You do give up precious personal freedoms, sleep and solitude, and against what you were told we are certainly not well equipped for this job just by being a woman. But there is wisdom about our own humanity that derives from parenthood. And there is love. Both are to find in other places in life too, but I thought I should mention.

5) And. Age. With love. But. Be loved. Too.

What? This all is not advice solely for women?

Oh, sorry. My mistake.

Migration at Night

February 21, 2014 § Leave a comment


The time was the night.

A migrant’s fingerprint is a map of movement.

Where words would only make sense if in verse.

Canyons of love to fall into.

The promised land without you.

But all in sight. All palpable. All falling like rain.

You took the boat and went under.

The sea at night is just the night itself.

Your body now, a waning moon.

A sigh on the other side.



Photo by Giorgos Moutafis who has dedicated the last years to a long-term project on immigration, focused on the European paths – gates of immigration.

No Shortcuts

February 11, 2014 § Leave a comment


I started running again last weekend. I’ve put on some weight, places I want to go have moved away. I thought I could catch up with both.

He thought: Who are we writing for? Our words enter someone, transform them a little, then run all the way back to us and tell us that story.

These roads know no tricks. No shortcuts for thoughts. They go all the way down.

Three Kinds of Morning

February 8, 2014 § 1 Comment


In the morning the winter is trying hard to remember a bird song.

In the morning the world stands still and waits for us to jump on.

In the morning we eavesdrop our heart beating, our blood running, feel our breath over our lips. Our small planet in orbit.

In the morning we stretch our limbs to the places we want to travel to.


In the morning it’s our truths that wake us up.

In the morning his words, her hair, his hands, her smile and how the light erases them.

In the morning we know other people’s dreams.


In the morning we’re lost and found.

In the morning all the poems we’ve read are street names in the town we live.

In the morning we’re never lonely. We still have ourselves.

Three Stories

January 27, 2014 § 1 Comment



He hasn’t spoken to anyone since months. He speaks every day but to no one in particular. Spoken silence. In the mirror this other man.

There’s insecurity in her steps. She slows down, she stops. I’ve been here before, she thinks. Have I run in circles? Her maps are burned.

She draws the curtains exactly at 5pm every evening. That in winter. In the summer she must bear the light longer while the night ripens.

His first day at the office. He spent it with one palm open on the desk. He liked the cold surface. He liked touching.

“The warmth of his palm leaving a print of his hand on the cold desk, before it too disappeared. No record of his existence.” by @countersilence

Our thoughts are obvious to others and a mystery to us, she thought. Otherwise you wouldn’t know what I’m thinking, would you?

It’s easy to forget death, he whispered in her ear. It’s the life before death we can’t forget.

One more day.


She drew the curtains.

The Flight

He liked promising things. Everybody nowadays was against promises. But for him they were his own footprints on the snow to follow. No risk.

He’d promised to be back for dinner. The snow outside was getting thicker. She watched the parked cars disappearing. Willingly.

We all like hiding, she thought. Not to be seen is a great sensation. We’re always in a picture. That’s so tiring.

The Return

My hands are cold. I’ve used all my breaths. My cheeks are red, my eyes are glowing, the evening is turning blue.

This snow is going to melt very soon, and people can see me again: dirty, lonely, a stranger. I better go back.

He came back holding his own photograph in his hands. A proof of being. An expat knows that we consist of photos other people have seen.

She had chosen a poem to welcome him back. She stood in the doorway. Birds were flying in formation. Their voices threw shadows on the snow.

But he didn’t come.

All The Words: December 2013

January 15, 2014 § 1 Comment

Change: there is chance and there is age in that word.



Earthed: too heavy.

Train: long sound in the early morning hours or a tired head leaning on a window, the late afternoon sunbeams on and off on the closed eyes.

Journey: we are our suitcases.

Departure: two parts: one here, one somewhere.

Travelers: divided; not whole but when on the way.

Way: way more than one.

Arrival: not a time, not a place; a pace, a phrase, a face.


In January 2013 I started writing a private dictionary searching for a personal meaning of words, accepting its flux.

The year started with ‘big’ words; there has been a death in the family, heartaches and failures, unfulfilled but also fulfilled longings.

I’ve repeated, redefined, some of the words more than once during the year documenting the Heraclitean flux of their meaning.

In the last days of December 2013 I returned to the very same words I started the year with. What has changed, what not?

A year in words’ motion.


Love: always disproportionate. #Jan13

Love: always out of date. #Dec13


Death: three lines, three photographs, a hundred days, a lot of numbers. #Jan13

Death: a name on door bell that we need not to read. #Dec1


Promises: Promised not to give any lately? #Jan13

Promises: The not given can torment one more than the ones broken. #Dec13


Death: likes numbers. #Jan13

Death: ignores Logic. #Dec13


Love: can have a body or no body, and sometimes nobody. #Jan13

Love: takes a body, leaves a body, changes body. #Dec13


Dream: am #Jan13

Dream: My dear, in our dreams we whisper all the secrets denied by daylight. #Dec13


Loss: the one gone won’t be there and you fear that you’ve never been there for the one gone. #Jan13

Loss: one missing is not a loss but the one missed is. #Dec13


Snow: without class consciousness; egalitarian beauty maker. #Jan13

Snow: ? #Dec13


Tenderness: to apply onto the deeper skin after we’ve peeled off our first; still pink and all thin and diaphanous. #Jan13

Tenderness: these light steps when the sick child sleeps; these new words; that love, this love #Dec13


Age: too much life and not enough of it. #Jan13

Age: our body’s cage. #Dec13


Death: after time.

Sleep: no time.

Sex: extra time.

Appreciation: true time. #Jan13


Memories: equally adored and feared for being our future. #Jan13

Memories: at the end of the year they hang together like grapes, some sweet , some sour, and wait for us to taste. #Dec13

Memories: they live in photographs, in scents and tastes, in suitcases. But some of them are also homeless, forget-me-nots under the stars. #Dec13


Time: more, less, enough, never, always, again, gone. #Jan13

Time: the last night train, with its cargo of thoughts, that always says goodbye in the longest way. #Dec13


Soul: What we leave behind at places for others to find when wondering alone. Sometimes we find it ourselves too. And so on. #Jan13

Soul: we know where to look for. #Dec13


Friend: the one in the end. #Jan13

Friend: We touched each other on that photograph, now we’ll always touch each other. #Dec13


Snow: slow. #Jan13

Snow: no. #Dec13


Fate: the game we play. #Jan13
(But fate certainly taught me better through the year.)

Fate: an ongoing debate between us and now, then, or if. #Dec13


Inspiration: that tab dropping in the middle of the night; you just want to shut it off but find yourself writing on the kitchen table. #Jan13

Inspiration: Oh how we dread its expiration. #Dec13


Light: the idea of a tomorrow. #Jan13

Light: where shadows move with great delight. #Dec13


Sleep: the invisible door to an empty room. We put down our luggage, next to the stairs. Upstairs, there are people talking. #Jan13

Sleep: that house has become more quiet; but a wind still howls outside, and whenever it slams a door shut, there, I’m awake. #Dec13


Home: this now. #Jan13

Home: anniversaries of how. #Dec13



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