Five Poems by Mr. S. Thalassinos
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FIVE POEMS BY MR. S. T H A L A S S I N O S I. HAMPSTEAD Like a bird with broken wing that had traveled through wind for years like a bird unable to endure tempest and wind the evening falls. On the green grass three thousand angels had danced the day long naked as steel the pale evening falls; the three thousand angels gathered in their wings, became a dog forgotten that barks alone and searches for its master or the Second Coming or a bone. Now I long for a little quiet all I want is a hut on a hill or near a seashore all I want in front of my window 64 is a sheet immersed in bluing spread there like the sea all I want in my vase is even a false carnation red paper wound on wire so that the wind the wind can control it easily as much as it wants to. The evening would fall the flocks would echo descending to their fold like some quite simple happy thought and I would lie down to sleep because I wouldn't have even a candle to light, light, to read. l 93» 65 II. PSYCHOLOGY This gentleman takes his bath each morning in the waters of the Dead Sea then dons a bitter smile for business and clients. 66 III. ALL THINGS PASS AWAY We forgot our heroic dispute with the Eumenides we fell asleep, they thought we were dead and they fled shouting "Yiou! Yiou! Pououou . . . pax!"* cursing the gods that protect us. 67 IV. FIRES OF ST. JOHN* Our fate: spilled lead; our fate can't change— nothing's to be done. They spilled the lead in water under the stars, and may the fires burn. If you stand naked before a mirror at midnight you see, you see a man moving through the mirror's depths the man destined to rule your body in loneliness and silence, the man of loneliness and silence and may the fires burn. At the hour when one day ends and the next has not begun at the hour when time is suspended you must find the man who then and now, from the very beginning, ruled your body you must look for him so that someone else at least will find him, after you are dead. It is the children who light the fires and cry out before the flames in the hot night 68 (Was there ever a fire that some child did not light, O Herostratus)* and throw salt on the flames to make them crackle (How strangely the houses—crucibles for men— suddenly stare at us when the flame's reflection caresses themV ν But you who knew the stone's grace on the sea-whipped rock the evening when stillness fell heard from far off the human voice of loneliness and silence inside your body that night of St. John when all the fires went out and you studied the ashes under the stars. 69 V. NIJINSKI* He appeared as I was staring at the lighted coals in my fireplace. He held in his hands a large box of red matches which he displayed to me like a conjuror taking an egg out of the nose of the person in the next seat. He struck a match, set fire to the box, disappeared behind an enormous flame, and then stood before me. I recall his crimson smile and his vitreous eyes. A hurdy-gurdy in the street went on repeating the same note. I don't know how to describe what he was wearing, but he kept making me think of a purple cypress. Gradually his arms began to separate from his taut body and to form a cross. Where did so many birds come from? It was as if he'd had them hidden under his wings. They flew clumsily, madly, violently, knocking against the walls of the narrow room, against the window panes, then covered the floor as though wounded. I felt a warm layer of down and pulsations growing at my feet. I gazed at him, a strange fever possessed my body like a current coursing through it. When he'd finished raising his arms and his palms were together, he gave a sudden leap, as if the spring of a watch had broken in front of me. He knocked against the ceiling, making it echo with the sound of a cymbal, extended his right arm...



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