Poem by Nanos Valaoritis


I heard them talking in a tragic tone in the living rooms of 1880

I heard their sighs in the hotel room number 12

I saw a naked woman running in the third floor of my mind

two human like monsters that growled

to provoke her brazenly — as she walked by them —

their tails hitting the floor rhythmically

when the light rain fell

ash from a volcano, mouth of a woman

I held the hand of a deranged boy before he let his last breath

I crowned the beloved forehead

with a few dry, empty consoling words

(I don’t remember whether it was a boy or a girl

the unjustly killed in a plot of two by one and a half meters) 

three centuries have gone before all these happened

before I transcribed in a clean notebook

the lament of the renounced man

the cry of the newborn child

burials of alive men — dead people who reincarnate

silky shapes that fall back

a person who was afraid to fall in love     

a piece of marble made of flesh

and the unwritten writing

which I saw written in my dream

with fiery letters that burned the paper