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ΕΡΤ1, Μονά Ζυγά Δικά σας, Δευτέρα 27/6/2011, 7-9μ.μ.24/06/2011


ΕΡΤ1,  Μονά Ζυγά Δικά σας,  Δευτέρα 27/6/2011,  7-9μ.μ.


 


16 πρόσωπα και ο Γιώργος Χρονάς «στο μεγαλύτερο σαλόνι της Μέσης Ανατολής», έτσι το είχε χαρακτηρίσει ο Γιάννης Τσαρούχης, για 2 ώρες μπροστά σας. Χωρίς προσωπείο ή ψεύδη το Πέραμα, η οδός Θηβών, η ζωή στην πόλη, στην επαρχία όταν μεταμορφώνεται σε τέχνη!


 


Παίζουν οι:


Ερρίκος Σοφράς


Χάρης Μεγαλυνός


Κώστας Σπυριούνης


Kirios Criton


Αλέξανδρος Ασωνίτης


Κωνσταντίνος Τζαμιώτης


Κωνσταντίνος Μπούρας


Ηλίας Παπαμόσχος


Γιάννης Ε. Στάμος


Γιώργος Χρονάς κ.ά.


 


Τραγουδούν η Γιώτα Γιάννα και η Ελένη Κοκκίδου.


Αποσπάσματα από την «Ευδοκία», «Το λιμάνι της αγωνίας», «Ακατόνε»κ.ά.


 


Ευχαριστώ Γιώργος Χρονάς




Yorgos Chronas The Poems 1973-2008 Translated from the Greek by Yannis Goumas (3rd part)12/05/2011


IMPUDENT TRIUMPH (1979-84)


 


THE OLD WOMAN AND HER NEGRESS MAID


 


The old woman thinks she’ll be her maid's undoing.


She makes her wash the floors, the doors,


the windowsills


She makes her clean the terraces, the stairs,


to water the pots of plants


She makes her eat food not worth eating,


fish that smells of bedrooms


And the maid goes into the kitchen and starts laughing


under her clothes she keeps a photograph


of her native village -- two or three mud houses


and beyond one made of red straw, children with bloated


bellies and naked men with spears


 


The old woman thinks she’ll be her maid's undoing.


 


 


WORDS OF A CARNATION VENDOR


 


These are the last of the field carnations


Sir.


Summer is approaching on white lorries


me and my friend here are leaving for the villages


You’ll see us again as watermelon vendors.


 


 


HOUSE OF FORMICA


 


All his things in this room


and those expected to be delivered some day


are made of Formica


Beds, tables and shelves


chairs and wardrobe


And the others, not made of Formica,


are products of naphtha and petroleum.


And dust comes in through the open windows


and settles on things


leaving marks when he’s away.


When he comes home from work -- the statues


collapse when he goes by -- he enters the hall


wearing high shoes of Formica


he halts in the kitchen, looking for traces of actors


who not having received from the chorus what they wanted


turn to address themselves to the surprised audience.


 


 


HALF-BAKED REBELLIONS


 


At night I pray for your private life


now that they deprived you of the right to live


as schoolchildren on empty sites, as interference


on state radio broadcasts


National Erection Programmes


And now I can see how everything is done


without meaning, noiseless behind the wall


Your body when you lie down


The distance from the ceiling


The line beside the main road


The visits you’ve cut down


Your scant words squandered in the day


I know now how you live, since we've stopped writing to each other


and we have no other means of arguing


I knew only one road in your town


with a view of the law court and the lost cases


I wonder whether in your sleep


he climbs in through the open window


and insists on your giving him a fag


There’s my friend, alone in the crowd


drinking to the health of us all.


 


 


BREEZE


 


When you get to the station


don’t do anything needless


Don’t walk to the newsstand


or the tobacco and fruit sellers


Stand under the large gateway


motionless in the daylight


letting people’s dust settle on your shoes


in the cupped lines on your palms


Because we shall recognize you


from the distance


beneath the clock that will sound


wasted time.


 


 


DEFEAT


 


Young tattooed wrestlers


hold Defeat in their hands


The locks, the arms of statues


nor today could they set up a new record


Puppets of Chinese earth


demonstrate their desired victory


They go to the lavatories speechless


they get lost in amusement parks


Now the zippers’ noise


is taken for trumpets


in their sleep


I go first, says the voice


I come after, says its echo.


 


 


LA PAROLE


 


It concerns an ancient warrior who survived wars and now lives quietly with us,


looking after his shoes and the companies’ smokestacks.


A lie.


 


A


 


In the way trains whistle


as they bid farewell to the shapes of houses


The streets on which bathe


embalmed ancient warriors


Midday, the afternoon uncertain


Midday, shirts torn


sweat-soaked summers


Discarded fruit mellowing on benches


Spurned sap of trees


I see you --


low down you are placing some chairs


Higher up you are putting a lamp


 


B


 


He was selling cheap toilet water


and the street smelt sweetly


 


He was selling cheap toilet water


in blue, green and mauve jars


 


He was selling cheap toilet water


to those who went past him.


 


 


OFFICERS’ W.C.


 


There are seas yet to be discovered


and carnal pleasures not refined


Four feet five inches tall songstresses who slowly sang


of ships’ arrivals, bodies never touched, workers in check


shirts, blacklegs from Perugia


There are soldiers’ bodies never counted


and hunger of people now dead


As the night advances and the day defends itself


bugles and cries abate


The scene is always the same


showing geese paddling


and artificial lakes drying up


Opposite is the escalator with babies in their prams


Buildings and sheds in the greyness


a sailor from the Potëmkin


talking without prevaricating


with sailors from Póros.


 


 


THE STUDENTS OF THE SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE


 


The others to come -- students of the School of Agriculture


will have the windows closed during study hours


In vases they’ll keep the secrets of the plants’ lost life,


of the dead trees.


Down on the floor, next to cups of coffee


and cans of sugar


they’ll wear striped pyjamas.


When the city sleeps they’ll lean


against the windows


and only they will see


ejaculation’s starry sky


the angel of the night.


 


 


LAUDATORY


 


Live in peace


Love strangers


Stop the green motorbikes


Go in the gardens, among the trees


and leave your zips unzipped.


 


 


ACTORS


 


The most brilliant, the most assertive young man on stage


lies dead on the boards under the lights


Next to him his mother cries as she strokes his hair


A little aside his sister stands motionless holding her head.


The lights go out and the three of them move in the dark


The lights backstage


make out him changing trousers


his mother putting on lipstick


his sister giving her hair a smooth


 


A new scene is being prepared before us.


 


 


THE PORT OF KALAMATA


 


Yesterday as if I were dreaming


from where darkness one seeped in


now there was a spot from the film’s light in the lounge


and I thought I was looking at him


It was getting late. I’m cold, says the leading lady


And he?


He must have opened a store of electric appliances


in the main square of Kalamata


-- barbecues, ovens, glassware in the shop window


In the afternoon he’ll see in the port


the ships that aren’t sailing


A lad will call to him to come home


someone brought dirty magazines.


Frankly, I prefer him


in dark porn cinemas


to merchant of electric appliances


in the main square of Kalamata.


 


 


SOCIAL ARDOUR


 


We’ll go over the scenes once again


without him a protagonist between us


He’ll come on the road


bordering the factories among trees


by the basketball court


without his players now perspiring


He’ll lean his moped against the wall


and come towards us.


 


 


THE FRIEND OF THINGS


 


Not in beds, nor in low-voiced chatting


with the lights switched off


but with you he’d go out to cafés and barracks


to particular cinemas and football fields


He’d leave you just for a while


and disappear behind doors. Bare arms, lime-ridden fingers


exacting looks would summon him behind black screens


For a moment you’d be in suspense -- you wouldn’t know where he’d gone


Close to empty carts, to old women collecting waste paper,


Next to stevedores -- give us a hand lad, they’d whisper


you’d warm your hands in your pockets


on the street’s gone glances.


 


Then, after a while


-- tidying his collar and belt -- he’d find you


knowing that behind the exacting looks, the screens


only you knew what he had been up to.


 


 


THE SACK


 


This is what I remember of that morning in Patras


-- neither ships nor old houses in a row


but a window, on the first floor of a home, open


white curtain hanging still -- there was no wind that day


and below a limousine


with a tall, dark and handsome chauffeur


waiting.


Behind the curtain passed a hand


and threw down in the dirt


at his feet a tied sack


He with a single move, poker-faced,


picked it up, got in the car


and vanished.


 


 


THE GREY BODY OF ALTER EGO


 


For days he’d disappear


and afterwards warmed-blooded he’d make his way to the showers


there where damp funerals begin


with warm towels


Maybe he was dead or the grey body of alter ego


that used to come down the stairs on its own


-- underground stations


and a few -- those extremely vulgar beings


with bodies untouched by choice encounters


can make it out in the crowd like a gunshot


and a voice thereabouts


and inevitably they make a move


 


Then sound engineers create noise


Musicians mistake the noise for melody


Singers imagine recordings in their sleep


 


So for days he’d disappear


until the night his face


turned to where came


the music of night clubs


 


I invite again tonight


the grey body


of alter ego


to come down the stairs on its own


without looking back


 


I invite again tonight


the grey body


of alter ego


to come down the stairs on its own


without looking back.


 


 


 


FANCY GOODS SHOP (1983-97)


 


IN THE FANCY GOODS SHOP


 


The new models


from Paris and Milan are arriving


the shop window and the décor


must change.


The fancy goods shop


must be converted


into a deafening feast


of fashion.


 


-- Madam, I’m quitting.


 


 


RUSSIAN PRINCE


 


Boris Alexeyevich Zelenin, Russian prince, twenty-four years old, blond, like Nijinsky, is asleep on his white sheets. Wearing red trousers. Like blood’s remorse where it hurts. All night long he was dancing alone in the bar; he was the only horse among all that poultry. Afterwards he clapped his hands rhythmically.


He was too warmhearted


and well-mannered to be an addition to the night’s denial.


Well, these are not romances, or love affairs, but ways of dying in Venice


as you arrive on a rainy day in a white suit and he has been in the showers for days now.


Afterwards he passes his shape on the surrounding windows, or when bath attendants


watch him in despair as they bring him towels.


 


Mauve didn't become him. A tinge of sky blue when it rains.


Up to your height.


 


 


TOUCH, Or DARKNESS


 


He spent his life


on roads and back streets


in dark alleys.


Now for him


the trumpets are blowing.


For him the buses leave room


to pass.


 


Look at him,


he searches like a dog for a place


to rest.


Look at him,


he searches for a grave to go in.


 


 


HE STUCK LIKE A LEACH ON ME


 


He stuck like a leach on me


I’ve no one in the world, he said.


My mother left us


for a man in Corinth


-- I was two months old at the time


We were brought up by our granny


kóllyva* and incense on Saturdays


Sugared buns and rain


for Christmas.


 


He stuck like a leach on me


he won’t take the train


to Lárissa.


He won’t go to bed


to see how he has aged


in the mirror.


 


 


FOUR


 


One day this is how men’s bodies crack


a line, a mark where skin used to be


as at bus stops, in The Green Goose cookeries


waiters from the provinces


take their time serving


chanting strange tunes in the city.


 


 


SCENE


 


Go to sleep! Go to sleep!


Shouts the Angel to the junkies.


Enough is enough.


No one cares about you.


Neither you


yourselves


who are dead-like.


 


 


SACRED PAIN


 


I feel I have no origin


that I am of no descent


wherever I end up I am covered


by music


by the towns’ illuminated quarters.


I go over the border


wanting to be caught


and confess


that I was and am nothing


but a sacred pain


on my shoulder blade.


 


 


DNA


 


O Lord,


who grinds knives


in meat markets closed


to clients,


crown this vegetarian


lad


who works in tears


before the bodies


of dead animals


as they lie crowned


in blood.


 


 


THE DOGS’ SQUARE


 


Nobody knows where all these


stray dogs came from


these friendless faithful friends.


They look for their masters


under the foliage


by the church’s stairs


as if praying


to an unknown faith


with black priests


who comply with medicine out of mercy.


 


They’ll never hear their dear ones


calling their names again.


That’s why they remain silent, muzzles


moist on the ground.


 


 


SUMMER FEVER


 


I imagine you running a temperature


to be below par


Pressing your lips


to the empty mirror


The sheets


white sheets


with no room for your legs


Your needing a haircut


and not able to get up


to go to the barber.


 


 


POLICE REPORT


 


1


How handsome he looked


when he came into this story.


 


 


2


Cold morning baths


Slight electroshocks


Under control.


 


 


3


On this coast


its shores pounded by the waves


I’ll lay my legs


and then disappear.


 


 


4


Sleep, my love, sleep.


We are sleeping


and suppose


that everyone else is sleeping.


 


 


5


In the stolen car


were found two seventeen-year old schoolboys


and two workers.


 


 


6a


I asked


what became of the fisherman


lost at sea.


And an old woman told me.


-- The fish kept him


for their own.


 


 


6b


I asked


what became of the cow


browsing in this field.


And a boy told me.


-- They slaughtered it.


Its parts were allotted


to four butcher’s shops.


 


7


I’ll never know


what your secret is


What is the reason


for your sorrow.


 


8


A poor, crazy woman speaks


and the statues move


The doors of sealed up churches


open wide.


 


9


What a handsome young man -- and he is praying.


 


10


Ah, the miseries of mankind.


 


11


An ancient law provides


that large families


should give away one of their children


to the love


that poets lauded.


And Nico, who is an only child,


what is he doing here?


 


12


Dear girl,


this passion will be your undoing.


 


 


SOMNAMBULAR MARTHA


 


The sun is up in Omónia Square


and you loaf about with a baby in a pram


you met two of your junkie friends


outside Katsélis bakery


where once stood


the café and milk bar “Britain”


After exchanging kisses you look


at a star


in their bleary eyes


You got hold of each other’s arms


so as not to fall




Yorgos Chronas The Poems 1973-2008 Translated from the Greek by Yannis Goumas (2nd part)12/05/2011


from THE LAMPS (1973-74)


 


 


SCATTERED WORDS, Or LONG WALLS


 


Since they could never paint them or sing them with one back missing, as if in a bowl of water with a fish from the baptismal font, plastic and green, resting on the bottom, like a Saturday robber and brawling judge, they gave her a mandolin, or maybe a bouzouki -- their sound unknown in the century -- and those smiles of toothpaste ads, bond loans, air conditioners, next to a pasha, or maybe a vizier, always under half-waxed moons, always deficient and mice-gnawed singing of our sorrows, their sorrows, perhaps even of their slavery. Now in our sleep on our sarcophagi and our beds near artificial lakes -- the palace at the far end -- some men’s faces high on the walls, enigmatic and lone, embroider next to the plummeting of the industrial monopoly’s stocks and of prosperity, the vizier’s downfall, the vizier’s downfall.


 


 


WINDS OF INDIA


 


A


 


The unmentioned horses no one ever mounted


are now trees behind worksites


behind pulled down quarters, are now rocks


following local silences


those winds that blow in India


When children leave their desks and sneak off


in the rain to go and find them standing alone


lengthening under trees, knocking on


empty pastry cartons, drum of a feast now finished


without the arrival of that crazy rider who bent down


to drink spring water and observed


his scratched face.


 


B


 


It’s raining and you are a haemoptysis in the Sunday fêtes


a patch on their trousers from the usher’s torch.


A dog you are under the car’s bonnet as it passes


along these avenues and throws you bread


And it is nighttime and you are from the villages of Mantineía


alone in the rain and not afraid to see me bringing letters for those killed


It’s raining and you are the cashier at their cash register.


 


 


THE FIRST COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION


 


The first counter-demonstration lies under the park’s waters


as your first ejaculation is cupped in your hand


Beyond the trees, white housetops


turned-off lights leaving on rafts


A few unsuspecting excursionists


Sunday newspaper issues


 


You can’t hear their slogans or they don’t know them.


They are almost commonplace


Superfluous


Adonis singing in Hades


the dolls of Tanágra


then a missing letter is no big deal


but the name of the addressee


his mother looking at him in tears


 


Being abandoned it’s as if I exist


as if learning how to swim, to breathe


When I'm ending it’s like I’m starting


like rain that erases streets and numbers


and I lost and looking for you


My body hating me and as such slowly dying


and my table a sunken, vanished island


 


Talk to me you can’t


Kill me you can’t


Because you know me


Thus you resort to small details


you walk as if on a tightrope


talking about an unknown to me repatriation


about a strange dead man


mentioning the actions’ insecurity, the shame


a day’s wages, the reception desk


of the Carlton Hotel


 


At the time of your siesta


imperceptibly I become a dog at your feet


with buttons


inhibitions


and penicillin injections


I become a dog


I change quickly, dress as the last-appearing chanteuse


along with two or three other blokes -- who barely know how to play the bouzouki


and I record you


in empty hotel rooms


Then during the interlude in the Garden of Allah, in Domenico’s bar


a heavy darkness falls in cinemas


deep mourning in my house,


in between Béllou I give you an apple


a smile from the magazine Bouquet


In the other hand I hold a knife


I don’t care about my health


In the palms of my hands I bury my final silence.


 


Gentlemen


leave me alone


The nocturnal, the principally mournful demonstration


is proceeding past the buildings.


 


from INSULIN MORNINGS


 


HALL OF MIRRORS


 


In the end she decided to do away with herself like those Huxleian heroines -- she slept with nothing on by an open window


Next morning when she woke up slantwise so as not to see the clear sky above her, she said in a juggler’s voice


Tonight I travelled widely within me, uncertain travels that are travels for you don’t know where you are going, what you want, what you are looking for in the squares at night without clothes or a sheet before the elementary schools of a lost province, and tonight I am rain, cholera, duodenal ulcer


Tonight the rain obliged me to cover myself on the road with trees whose names I never learned -- my friends were none other than waiters or soldiers -- and I don’t have a vagina, I don’t have breasts and I can’t feel


Yet I am supremely happy -- travelling as I am, walled in on a train, headed for Lárissa, and what music will adopt me, and what river will empty me into the sea, and what sea will drown me, and what boneless fish will eat me, left with wearing gloves and that cement lying softly on the marble kitchen sink as it issues with cemetery silence from the Eleusian chimneys day and night, and I throw dust, throw vitriol, cursing the published profits of your employer in front of the neighbourhood’s plastic windows, and Mrs. M., you have my iron, and Mrs. D., you’ve taken my children away, and God I am left without stockings.


I don’t remember and I don’t want to remember all the things I have forgotten before they happened, even as trips never taken, unfulfilled and immersed in islands below ground, like oil wells or gold mines in the Black Continent belonging to Swiss businessmen, and today we are celebrating the victory of the White Race, and today we are mourning for Lumumba‘s assassination


However despite the tolls as I am travelling to Lárissa by train, third class, next to the WC’s and the Euboean Sea, I am thinking of that room above the ancient marbles when at night I’d come wearing the pyjamas of my murdered cousin and I’d see you all


It’s not so much the journey’s duration as the idea of the journey and the journey within the very journey


And once you arrive places will be dead on its face


I declare a revolt against myself


I am a man


Woman A: I am happily married


Woman B: Me too.


Reporter: What do you say?


Man A: I don’t know, this is women’s stuff


Man B: Me too


I declare a revolt against my glands. I am a man.



 


TWO CINEMATIC SKETCHES BY OCHRA ASFOTEF*


 


On the night of Andrea’s nameday, Andreas and Manolis danced to an old song by Bill Haley --


hard rock, all instruments playing the same theme song, the lyrics assiduously harsh.


Later on Manolis got drunk and said to Andrea’s mother: You are my mother.


 


1. Polybius


 


Enter the boy Polybius with his mother in the temple. Figures and motifs designed, perhaps, on pots, on walls and on the floor. The mother is seen going on in front. Tall and slim, wearing a long white robe, head leaning -- tired of working in the fields or modesty? She holds a salver with dead flowers and roots of burnt trees, flowers in the hands. Behind her comes the boy Polybius. He moves along as if at a loss -- shouts from the gallery: like a vision in Hades. Thin, in a white tunic, and rather unhealthy-looking. Up front are visible the temple’s columns and a priest, he must be a priest, welcoming them with open arms. At the far end are discernible a line of mountains and a river.


 


2. Nikos


 


Enter the boy Nicholas with his mother in the station. The mother walks ahead. A plaintive popular singer. Her dress with patterns of embalmed flowers, disgusting. Low-heeled shoes. Hair dyed with green walnuts. Swarthy skin. Black circles around the eyes. She holds a handbag and a white candle. They have just got off a tram. Nicholas is dressed in white. He is wearing sneakers. He is a good-looking boy but rather frail. His mother queues up in the narthex for tickets, and they enter in silence into the main neo-station. Priests, night hawkers, strollers, travelling salesmen, a gypsy with a monkey, a lady holding a copy of “Readers’ Digest”, sailors, airmen, soldiers, prostitutes-cum-priestesses of the Saint George Hotel, conductors, a hermaphrodite, a lad who takes cortisone, Arcadian deities, Egyptian deities, a singer, hair parted in the middle, a gentleman with an issue of “Estia”, Angelos and others are moseying along, hardly visible in the half-light. Nicholas scrutinizes faces, bodies, movements, inhibitions.


Mother, when shall we be on our way? He asks.


We have been on our way for hours, Nicholas, she answers.


She has lighted the candle and sits on the concrete, head bent over the lines. As she sings “That murky river…”, she weeps.


 


 


THE END OF THE CITY


 


Then one morning they pulled them down. That no dust should be raised by the crumpled yard wall, they used the facilities of the Water Board to spray water on it with a green hose. Perhaps it may be written for the umpteenth time the ?????? adage, in lieu of spleen, in lieu of urine. At the entrance they raised a wall. The stones were the colour of those looted from a humble quarry by builders working like a horse. They were transported on “Virgin Mary bless us” trucks, on “I am coming to you” horses not to be found on any racecourse. The mason, an old eunuch who had remained at Hadrian’s side. At the library entrance, reduced to a ruin, Hadrian’s demolished property. It was ochre-hued. Its interior was divided into seven sections covered over by thick oil paint. Down, at the feet of comers, the drain of water and urine was to be found. Oftentimes the plumbing did not work, whereby the whole space around was enveloped in ammonia mist, and other times the water spouted like a fountain, showering the unsuspecting comers. Moreover, and not uncommonly, fag-ends, matches, weeds, sunflower seeds and fallen leaves blocked up siphons, commonly called traps. A hanging wall between the thoroughfare, Mars Road, and the interior, could well protect all comers, as well as people walking mindless along the road -- the walls of Mycenae presented the same picture to young students and evening schools. It was not considered necessary to have a ticket collector at the entrance. But very often now, as the gramophones are playing, I remember being discussed the idea of placing a box in a corner to collect a few pennies. One day someone shouted:


Hey, don’t throw money on the plates, they’ll start building!” But how was it possible for Pausanias to imagine that his mother would be a party to his death by blocking the entrance. With perfect aplomb -- he was, after all, a Lacedaemonian general as well, and loved seeing his mother with powdered face roaming the backstreets -- he applied himself to his rash death.


It did not take long for the wall to be raised at the entrance. Besides, there was no organized reaction, or demonstration, or even on the first night of celebrating the field of vision for those walking up the rising Mars Road, above the Monastiráki electric railway station, it collapsed like Arta Bridge or a poem that could not withstand criticism.


The following nights shadows and ghosts hang around the alleys. For a long time. For a moment we thought it was just a construction, a nothing building, and even if fallen, the priests and the faithful would not fail to come to the temple.


Vain hope. Shocked, we scattered along other roads. In due time we disbanded.


Friend Aphrodite was wedded for the worse. Geórgios. Christos. Orbius. Pythonices. Pythagoras Schools. Maark. His mother has cancer. He forgot to leave me his motorbike. Leonidas has been called up. Troumba. Saint Barbara protector of the artillery. So what, where’s the lolly?



 


from THE BLACK HEELS (1973-79)


 


Then he jilted me


 


Then he jilted me


and left for Zagreb in a lorry.


Mother,


I am through with working


loitering and asking


 


Part of what I get


 


Part of what I get from my clients


I give to those beggars pressed against the barriers


and banging spoons on their plates as I go by.


Part I use to settle the water and electricity bills


and some I keep for Mimis.


 


I spend the rest with Rena


she is short and ugly, and no one wants her.


 


We at least


 


We at least stayed at home


and didn’t venture into the gardens


nor did we go on those terraces holding a would-be


drink


We lie prostrate on the floor as in the past


on large divans


Look, the sun has just set behind Salamis


and Déspina has just come in from work


First she takes off her fake rings, places them neatly


in empty wedding boxes, and wipes off a coal mark


Afterwards she brings her hair to her face and covers her eyes.


Déspina, are you still alive?


 


I BEND DOWN TO PICK UP MY THINGS


 


I bend down to pick up my things


-- combs and compact its mirror broken


And from here I can see Omónia*


 


I lived in a bedsitter that looked on what?


 


Indefinite time has come


Dancers, I think, dropping coins


in upturned hats


There are others who lay jackets on the floor


Beyond are children with dogs of an unknown breed


 


I a helpless done for whore


how can I roll on my mattress


the one I couldn’t convince


 


Signora Nora, my departure from your brothel


is again postponed.


 


 


*Omonia (Concord): A square in the centre of Athens.


 


 


BECAUSE WHEN SHE FELL


 


Because when she fell on the floor


her hair was loosened


and she saw her face on the ceiling


standing by her without cries


And she didn’t move, but alone as she was


she just stayed there


A mere thing, a damaged object


Ugly as the day her mother gave birth to her


voiceless in the dark


Until the fish left


the manholes and the proper drains


for the river mouths


when the bodies arrive.


 


SINGER FALLS OFF BALCONY AND IS KILLED


 


From our correspondent in Mytelene. Yesterday evening, at 6.30 p.m.,


the twenty year-old singer, Nektaría Varayánni, fell from the third floor


balcony of the Blue Sea Hotel and was killed. Instance of suicide.


 


Night clubs have a shape


Black and grey ceiling


Silent angels on the eyelids


Visitors and passers-by listening to


where no singing voices exist


 


Night clubs play odd rhythms


when others outside stop in front them


Their eyes are clinical and their hair


sets the tar on fire. Above all they are


no longer children


 


Afterwards at an uncertain hour


they come on with false eyelashes


And the stage is empty


when they see to the microphones


and fix the lights


-- Besides, mother, I find nothing in the songs


they give me strange organs of dead organisms


And this was no way of living.


 


Let the blue women


 


Let the blue women in the brothel


and the dear old lesbians


sleep soundly on the double divans.


Look, far on the horizon


the fleet is entering port;


God, silly sailors will again be dressing


and others will help them put on


their vests.


 


Today I went down to the craggy slopes


 


Today I went down to the craggy slopes


I went to kill myself


And far off I saw ships


Below I saw the sea blackened


Birds crying overhead


Behind me factories cutting the day


into shifts


I also saw the seamen pulling hard


on the ropes


saw them altering course


 


And thus I stayed for very long


I came back


I wasted away.


 


THERE ARE WOMEN


 


There are women who attend funerals


They attend funerals before they are born


Wearing black overcoats, green petticoats


Wearing just their dressing gown


A wedding ring on their fingers, a faux ring


Their eyes have no other rings


Other funeral wreaths to lay.


 


There are waiters too


with steady dancing movements


who place red roses


on the black faces of the dead


Saturday after Saturday


Wednesday after Wednesday


They also walk over their graves smoking a fag


They bend down as if kissing false beaver eyelashes


Other times they drag with them aunts and cousins, and a Nóta


from Chaeronea.


 


As the city withdraws into inner spaces


behind soundproof glass partitions, he orders


They meet in places of their own


well shut by the successes of the times.


 


On suchlike journeys their hearts are broken.


 


 


 


From THE J.S. BACH BAR


 


Late on Saturday


 


Late on Saturday I watch death


stamped on things old, wooden


ceilings, indecent beds, ochre-painted parquetry


Its shadow is towns in Mexico, Chaeronea


Bangladesh. In their backstreets they sell warm mud


and photos of the emperor's coronation.


 


Why do you cry and stay up all night


 


Why do you cry and stay up all night, my friends


doesn’t Zéphos come to us every day


when he knocks off


And the dead don’t they smoke


strong cigarettes in our dreams


Then again those leaving don’t they wear


dark glasses at the window


or don’t birds flutter quietly


above our heads?


 


I’m not looking for more hope


 


I’m not looking for more hope


nor do I want any


I don’t happen to be lost to shame


some skilled workman


fetching and carrying for those who pay me.


Doors open and close at night


Windows still retain the darkness


My only hope is this day


As it passes headlong and stops at night


As it leaves all sounds suspended.


 


A number of things I shan‘t do, in fact nothing


since the upset of love is heart-rending.


 


MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS


 


Now he takes his coat


and remains on the stairs


believing that someone will be greeted


in the light of his eyes


Until winter comes


and his shirts, mother-of-pearl buttons


on other shirts, buttons of melted plastic


and fire-treated combs


A little further down


A Saint


a Saint


is his undoing.


 


Sailors love laddies


 


Sailors love laddies


in short trousers as they go to buy cigarettes


from the kiosks


as they shake their bodies behind the spokes of bikes


The way they bend down to polish their shoes with white lead


or when they slowly roll barrel hoops


in gyms and arenas.


 


Ye gods


 


Ye gods


new faces are coming to our parts


and they don’t know where to place the soap


where to hang a shirt, how to undo their laces


That’s why they beg to differ


In the morning they come down and won’t speak to the hotel owner


to the stranger who occupies the triple-bed room


Sometimes they leave the tap running or smoking a cigarette


they stay up all night


 


 


I found Luke


 


I found Luke


Soldier from Thebes


Leaning against lamp-posts


In Omónia Square


Waiting to be demobbed that afternoon


 


-- General mobilization caught me


one day before I was discharged


One day before I could wear


my white shoes.


 


 


It seems he met some woman


 


It seems he met some woman


after me


and embarked on a new life with her


I saw him this morning at the station


and later on hurrying past the Turkish baths


Hasty movements of one who thought


he had changed


by putting on his raincoat inside out


Paying heed to leave his laces undone.


 


 


Only he walking ahead


 


Only he walking ahead knows where he is taking me


A twenty-three year-old accountant just discharged from the army


he has a room, he says, completely safe -- so quickly?


This Parliament building, he says, and that of the Foreign Office


these private schools for plumbers, and across the way evening




Yorgos Chronas The Poems 1973-2008 Translated from the Greek by Yannis Goumas (1st part)12/05/2011

 


BOOK I (1969-1973)


 


from NEGATIVES OF IDOLS


 


ALEXANDRIA


 


They set out at dawn for Alexandria


Antinoos


Nikos


Ibycus


Karaïskákis


The dancer of Saint Hilaire


Sotiría Béllou


Christ


Marilyn Monroe


Grigóris Afxentíou


And


The flamenco guitarist


 


 


NEGATIVES OF IDOLS


 


The moment the church bells are tolling


The negatives of idols in photo shops


Will remain negatives


Each ring a nail


Requiem. Lament. Epitáphios. Graveyards. Roses. Jasmine


On the hands


On the legs.


On the left the thief


On the right the thief


In the middle


You


A negative in the hands of a photographer.


At the time of Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani


The photographer


-- A little to the right


At the time of It is finished


The photographer


-- Ready. Come back in three days.


The moment the church bells


Are tolling


The metics in the trucks will look for lodgings


In Athens, Alexandria, Rome


At the door a clown or Alcebiades


At the door Cavafy or Márkos Vamvakáris


At the door Cardarelli or Pavese


-- Our photographer did his best


Your photo is spoilt.


 


 


VERSION


 


for the ships that did not sail from ports


for the trains that remained hushed in stations


for the children that summer found them naked


Orestes killed his mother Clytemnestra.


 


 


KEEP THE TOWN CLEAN


 


The letters behind the lights cried out


“keep the town clean”


The letters on the walls,


on the rooftops, cried out


“cleanliness is good health”


And we’d come out of our houses without throwing down


bus tickets and cigarette ashes


You see the bloody lights were crying out all over


“keep the town clean”


What day was it that we saw written


“only gentlemen in bow ties


and ladies in ballgowns are permitted”?


What day was it that we saw written


“today all the elite will be at the opera Madame Butterfly”?


What day was it that we threw down the tickets


and the ashes of our cigarettes?


 


 


INTERCALARY


 


Vladimir said to me: Don’t be swayed by vodka and the dogs not starved with cold and so remain uncovered in the snow on your way to Vladivostok right in the middle of Annova’s wedding; the ceremony was heavy-going and Fyodor standing next to Nikolay looked funny trimming his beard in the door’s mirror; and when you get to the square go into the tavern and give me a brief call “I’ve arrived” or “I’m going to rest”.


Vladimir said to me: You should go to Salamis for Shrove Monday’s feast and pray to the Virgin Mary for a bottle of wine or olive oil that might cure you of your TB, my friend


Vladimir said to me: In Lagadás and in Kozáni the gendarmes come out at night and take photographs of you when you are asleep, when you get up, when you forget; employees come out with their wives and children and seamen ready to sign on in the future “today I can’t, I’ll attend to you tomorrow…”


Vladimir told me to quit and forget


certain youthful memories, those wooden stairs of old hotels,


called off rendezvous, precautions, inhibitions


 


Vladimir told me to refrain from doing the iconography in the prisons of Arcadia and Yedi Kule.


 


 


PERAMA


 


The day I came and found you


down in Perama with the old men


by the seaside cursing the room


you were born in and Xerxes


I stood next to you and said --


the tiles will become cement


the wood stones


and love money.


 


The day I came and found you


down in Perama with the old men


I stood next to you and said --


they’ll forget all about us on Thursday


on Saturday, on Saturday the same time


we’ll be resurrected.


 


 


from NEW YORK JEWS


 


 


ODE TO THE WELDER FROM BEIRUT


 


Where did he go


The welder from Beirut


Late at night


From our town passed


The caravans of naked young Sidonians


Bearing on their lips


The desert


Of Saudi Arabia


Of Libya.


Death’s hourglasses


On the cabinets counted the sun


As it was indicated when the lads


Hang on their necks


The circles with the days in the sea, the river


The empty ancient theatre


With the mute forgotten characters.


 


Now that the fame has spread throughout the town


The dogs will pour out into the night


Strewing the sounds of Agamemnon’s voice


The night they killed him on the sly


In his bath


Whilst outside the wind blew as usual


And the news spread that Agamemnon


Apparently drowned in his bath


In a voice


Brought to an end by the water.


Where did he go


Where has he disappeared


The welder from Beirut?


 


 


FROM SATURDAY’S MYTHOLOGY


 


Those who died


On Saturday


And those who will die


On Saturday


Holding their bags


In ports


In railway stations


With stories never begun


And stories never ended


After the office


Some vague promises about trips


In the ocean of passions


In the philology of lavatories


The philosophy of new buildings


 


On leaving he said to him


-- Love is like small birds


That in the autumn migrate to warmer places


On ships with the crew on deck


 


Those who were born


On Saturday


And those who will be born


On Saturday


Your mother who is doing


Household chores


And you moving


In dubious promises


In agreed extension


Of days in the ocean of passions


Days with wine and flowers


 


On board a ship


Slowly sinking


The ensign


Flapping


On the highest mast


And the crew


Shouting


To the passengers


And you


“Remain cool”.


 


The days end


Late in the afternoon


With sounds


With silences


Of people of unknown identity


Who were stabbed


For a cigarette in the shack.


 


 


from GUILD


 


FROM A PRIEST’S SMASHED NOCTURNAL SONNETS


 


His mother seeing his shadow disappear in courtyards with strange doors


Seeing him changing shirts before the sun’s mirrors like snakes their skin in the spring fields


Afterwards walking silent to the telephone booth in Brutus Square


with its fountain and the flicks, the onlooking cyclists


Going in and out with wet fingers


red lips, hands full of bullets


Disappearing in taverns, cafés, billiard rooms, parks


That morning standing by the windowsill she wondered


whether that television announcer (tie, cuff links, engagement ring, smiles) who took pains in presenting the evening news -- there followed the laying of wreaths and the grand military parade. Young women in national dresses threw flowers on the officials… -- forgot to mention Andreas’ murder at the racecourse in pouring rain in the Emperor’s presence.


 


 


NEGRO SPIRITUAL SANG IN VILLAGES OF MACEDONIA


BY A GYPSY WITH A MONKEY


 


Basically you should bear in mind that you were fired on Monday morning without explanation or justification and afterwards they banned you like a lament for someone who hadn’t died or a love affair that never took place


And you left in a hurry for a railway station or a port with hair in your hands and a water colour of Xanthe.


And as the train incuriously welcomed the mythology of stations, of dozing recruits, you smoked pages of Paparigópoulos’ History up to Fársala, the encyclopaedias of Ilioú and Eleftheroudákis up to Lárissa, and once you left the plain of Fthías, you fell asleep


And that night in act three, scene two, as your operetta role demanded, you came forward and said: Her Majesty is in excellent health, she gave birth to a baby boy, and king Alexander is still living and we the inhabitants of Áno Lióssia and Káto Patíssia pray to God for Your restoration to health and strength and Long Live the Nation.


Basically you should bear in mind that you were banned on Monday morning without explanation or justification and afterwards they fired you. All else is crap.


 


 


UNTITLED


 


Anna


what happened to those poems of yours in the magazine of the Society of Thessalonian Farmers and those others in the capital’s weekly periodical


Those about the wedding of baroness Rothschild, the birth of the heir to the throne, Cleopatra’s pseudonymous death in the Nile what happened to them


You still send empty heliographs to the corn gatherers on Samos, to Vangélis and Athanásios Diákos*


You still dress as a bride at night and go out in the fields with lighted candles to meet Dionysus, Harmídis and the son of kyra-Frósso.


You were also supposedly dressed as the Maiden of Lamia and handed a dowry booklet before the officials, the television cameras, the Metropolite, and your figure is no longer ours but an aquarelle of Górtyna in the corridor of a general hospital in the capital during visiting hours with the clocks showing 5 p.m. as usual and the critical phase of football matches and aunt Koúla I am much better… and well there was no other way… and let them go to the devil…


Now that you too have on a blood donor’s wear, you take a deep breath until they draw blood from you, you burn fifteen syllables and sign the telegrams sent by the Community of Káto Anthohóri in support of the Government under the name: Anna of Lower Romylía, Aragon, Serbia, Komotiní, Xánthe.


 


 


STUDY FOR A PHOTOGRAPH YELLOWED BY TIME


 


When Salome cold-bloodedly asks for the head


of another John, the morning newscaster of Mesolonghi Radio Station,


on a 78 RPM disk of vulgar popular songs


You, Herod, having promised her so when she started painting her face


with tile and ash in the door’s mirror,


will move on and disappear into the back chambers


that look out on the stadium and the palaestra,


as sorrowful as on the day your lover died


and you wandered in the streets in a garment that looked like a white sheet in the wind


And after you cut off the generator’s current with the care of one untrained


you will leave him alone, a stranger in front of the microphone of Mesolonghi Radio Station advertising school aprons, vermouth,


salt, coat of arms, national ballads, commemorative stamps and drinking water


You will leave him alone in front of the microphone to stifle


the dreams of women who felt no sensual pleasure


and will die without sensual pleasure


Now that their joy has settled like black dust


of an ancient custom on their faces, their bodies


ready now maidens of Pompeii, Epirus, Lamía


their only protest having become vulgar popular songs


which they don’t tire to dedicate to Tássos, Grigóris, Stamátis


who works in Australia, America, Germany


When they are again peeling potatoes for Capodistria (1)


and light the wood


you will leave him alone in front of the microphone


to decapitate the qualms of a life full of despair


cries and fetters, to kill birds in cages


to bring one fruitless love of death after another


You will leave him alone in front of the microphone


of Mesolonghi Radio Station to sing odes


over the saline stones, the lagoons


the streets where wheat was sown but never sprouted


 


Then the Exodus from Mesolonghi (2) will take place


Then Dionýsios Solomós (3) will write anew


his The Free Besieged (4)


Then Marilyn Monroe will meet Sotiría Béllou (5)


and kyra-Frossíni (6)


Then I shall deposit in silence in the demolished


WC’s of Mars Street these papers and burn them


 


If you search your pockets tonight


you will find some small change for the phone


some coins since withdrawn and the button


that remained in your hand as you boarded


the last bus


 


Make sure, while there is still time, that you won’t die a bachelor.


 


 


FROM THE INNS’ JUKE BOXES


 


SONG ONE


I never take, never have much money on me


when I go to the steam baths -- but did I ever have any?


Just enough to pay to get in and to buy myself a meal.


But yesterday I learnt that Strátos is arriving from Knossós


so without further ado I sold


my bookcase for a song -- some written matter by Plato,


Euripides and Seneca, and a letter


from Epicurus with a marvellous drawing.


If I’m not conversant, I know how to excuse myself.


 


SONG TWO


Someone should guide me to the temple, because


I don’t know the temple. Only once, I recall, I went in to fetch


a barrel hoop which had come off and left in a hurry.


And again whenever my mother sent me -- I suspect for the purpose of


either getting candles, frankincense, or sending word to my aunt


I’d leave quickly.


Someone should guide me to the temple.


 


SONG THREE


Some damaged juke boxes are playing our songs


On a rainy night girls from the cabaret hum them


while quietly smoking hash under bridges


On Saturdays some pissed, down-and-out soldiers in Thebes


and Chaeronae dance to them


In the daytime neither in trucks nor building sites are they heard.


 


SONG FOUR


Of what you saw and what you learnt


nothing is certain, more like fleeting impressions


in a plain, as you were going by train.


 


SONG FIVE


His mother passed away on the dirt road in the afternoon.


Don’t ask. It’s raining and he put his hands


in the fire to warm them.


 


SONG SIX


And as he came out he cried bitterly, like a popular singer or a farrier who, after a bout of drinking and eating, felt his stomach floating like an airship or a red balloon slowly and steadily landing in an oil-polluted sea, without knowing it can float on water.


As he threw himself in the sea, I can’t stand this music from yards and black suns, he managed to shout: My name is Peter.


 


SONG SEVEN


Actually it wasn’t the 7th but the 5th of the month. And not Friday, but Saturday. I imagined you taking the electric train and after a couple of minutes walking to the square.


Noon.


A load of applications in your hands. Noon. As you got on the bus all your feelings had been rejected. Come another day. Not at noon. Dress more transparently and remove the nicotine from the water’s surface like free guilt in a dream or publicity without reciprocation. Impossible. I can no longer remember Tsi Yu Fi coming out of her house and walking on a Japanese road clad in a kimono which is nothing more than a kimono and a culture -- what culture? -- dust devoid of ochre comments. Impossible. In the back streets I happened upon Saturday as I had found it on Friday.


It was never the 7th but the 5th of the month. And afternoon by now.


I didn’t have time to bathe. I killed myself.


 


SONG TEN


At night in the square, with all that display of fireworks, Prometheus wasn’t there. I, the mayor of M., tell you that after the show Prometheus was rushed to Tripolis in an ambulance. I, the mayor of M., wish him a speedy recovery… K. said coming on stage, and interrupting the folk dancing and tabors in the middle of the square. Who is Prometheus? asked my mother.


 


SONG THIRTEEN


It is rumoured that when it became known in Athens that Philip of Macedon


won the battle of Chaeronae, Isocrates, a staunch friend and follower of his drift, refused food for fourteen, some say eight


days, and died of out-and-out chagrin.


 


SONG SEVENTEEN


On Sunday afternoon he was visited in


the hospital located in the square by a blind bouzouki player,


a folklore dancer and the chap who played


the lute in a company of wandering musicians in the provinces. Yannis


didn’t come. He said he was expecting his mother from Tríkala.


 


SONG TWENTY-ONE


Banned.


 


SONG TWENTY-FOUR


Kaput. Dead and gone.


 


 


SUNDAY


 


I cable my arrival and I postpone it and call it off and remain alone in front of a window open onto a refugee home’s corridor with a sheet for a curtain and a snapshot of an imaginary trip, Wednesday or Thursday, amid plastic ceramic figurines, plastic knowledge, statements, demonstrations, washed out voices, touches and outlying islands.


 


It was raining, and you said that as long as it kept raining we would remain naked. Once it stopped we’d have to wear that transparent music worn in Afyon Karahisar when they pick poppies and at night they smoke Classified Advertisements - Situations Vacant in newspapers, and in the evening they say I don’t exist because I have no more fingers and they sleep like babies, like in a painting by Giotto -- Emmanuel in the church. Emmanuel out on the street. Emmanuel with his father tries on a new pair of pants at Petros’ tailor shop, and his mother weeps at the sight of cobwebs and empty gabardines, before a chanteuse and a lawyer who lost his case -- Ioánna came to court with her baby and the judge got up and shouted: This is not a nursery. Out!


 


In the morning they call me Jim and invite me to fly to Chicago for a recital. In the afternoon Ioánnis and I fill in applications. In the evening Dimítrios and I don’t exist. Tonight the radio will broadcast on the shortwave the enactment of Christ’s Passion, Salome’s dancing, Nero and Alcibiades will sing, Chaliapin, and my mother, “The old woman went to fetch water”.* Gorgeous Pelayía calling St. Yerássimos master-Vangélis. Over. Gorgeous Pelayía calling St. Yerássimos master-Vangélis. Over. Zingouála, my sweet love.**


 


In the evening they declare me king of a non-existent, ungoverned, sunken kingdom of Oklahoma, Cameroon and Drapetsóna,*** and come the Three Wise Men, the football pools agent, President Nixon in a wheelchair, the Plebeians, the welders of Lárissa, those stories about fish and plants which were never caught and which, via imagination, attain mythical proportions, because they now live at a great depth and you see them only once either in a dream or an apparition well into Saturday and they demand copyright, a percentage, signatures, documents, and a photo of Dimítrios. And I non-existent in my dubious existence get up. I hurry along the corridor. They follow behind. I enter my queen mother’s bedroom and say: I resign!


 


Nowadays no military parade or fashion show will convince me that I was born before the discovery of prep schools and the cure for oral syphilis


Since I joined up for only one summer, I celebrated Christmas on an unreal flight over Rome without veins and fingers, I sing some old tunes -- Eurydice in Hades. Boy playing droughts with another boy. Excursion to Salamis on 28th October 19.…, the morning broadcasts of Amalias radio station and among boutiques, Heroes’ Square, Town Hall Square, Hesperus Hotel, National Hotel, I grant the great unknown God-the-Father of sin remission of his sins and declare my name without vowels and consonants.


Amen.


 


 



ΈΝΑ ΑΥΘΕΝΤΙΚΟΤΕΡΟ «ΤΡΙΤΟ ΣΤΕΦΑΝΙ»04/04/2011

 


ΈΝΑ ΑΥΘΕΝΤΙΚΟΤΕΡΟ «ΤΡΙΤΟ ΣΤΕΦΑΝΙ»

 

Γιώργος Χρονάς, Η γυναίκα της Πάτρας. Διηγείται η Πανωραία, εκδόσεις Οδός Πανός, τρίτη έκδοση οριστική, Αθήνα 2009, σ. 232, 15,00 €.

 

Ο καλός κόσμος πάει χαμένος. Αυτή ήταν η ζωή μου, το βιός μου. Όπου να γυρίσεις τα δικά μου βάσανα δεν θ’ ακούσεις. Τρεις γάμοι, που ήτανε σαν να με κυνηγάγανε, σα να μού ’χανε κάνει μάγια, κάθομαι τώρα και κοιτάζω τα στέφανα. Τι να σκεφτώ, πού ’χω χάσει 6 παιδιά, που ήμουνα με βάγιες και γκουβερνάντες, που μου κάνανε αέρα με τις βεντάλιες και που είχαμε υπηρέτριες τις νύχτες για να μην πνιγούνε απ’ τις πιπίλες (σσ. 186-187).

 

Λόγος πυκνός, κρουστός, σαν κέντημα, θυμόσοφες ρήσεις, γνωμικά ή παραφράσεις δικής της εμπνεύσεως (σσ. 28, 29, 45, 75 κ.ά.)… Η Πατρινή πόρνη Πανωραία, 47 ετών και χιλιάδων συνευρέσεων «επί χρήμασι», ξετυλίγει το κουβάρι της ζωής και της σκέψης της. Μια σκέψη αγκιστρωμένη από το Θεό της Αγίας Γραφής, όπου η ταλαίπωρη αυτή γυναίκα βρίσκει τη γαλήνη και την παρηγοριά της: Ούτε ξαναμπλέχτηκα, ούτε πρόκειται να ξαναπαντρευτώ, αλλά ούτε και στην αμαρτία, πέντε χρόνια τώρα, είμαι σχεδόν άμεμπτη, σ’ αυτά τα πέντε χρόνια, με 5 ανθρώπους, πήγα δεν πήγα. Έχω φοβηθεί την πορνεία και τον μόνο, που λατρεύω είναι ο Θεός μου. Προσκυνώ την χάρη του, έναν Θεό λατρεύω. Είναι το Α και το Ω της ζωής μου (σ. 186).

            Λόγος δραματικός, πηγαίος, με έμφυτη θεατρικότητα. Τη μεσαιωνική ρήση «όλος ο κόσμος είναι μια θεατρική σκηνή» δεν φαίνεται να γνωρίζει η «Γυναίκα της Πάτρας», που για να ζήσει έγινε πόρνη, ξέρει όμως καλά το «Ποτέ την Κυριακή», θαυμάζει τη Μελίνα και άλλες ηθοποιούς, και δηλώνει ότι έγινε η ίδια ηθοποιός πρώτης τάξεως προκειμένου να επιβιώσει: Η γειτονιά, να πεις ότι είμαι σ’ ερημικό μέρος, υπάρχουν και μαφίες εδώ πέρα, που δεν σηκώνουν κάτι τέτοια. Αλλά είμαι τόσο τόσο πολύ μαφία, τόσο τόσο πολύ δασκάλα, τόσο τόσο πολύ στην ηθοποιΐα μου είμαι πρωταγωνίστρια, που στην δουλειά μου παίζω μεγάλη διπροσωπία, μεγάλη υποκρισία. Έχω μεγάλη υποκρισία, που όχι Κιμ Νόβακ, όχι Μελίνα, όχι Ελίζαμπεθ Ταίηλορ, δεν με συναγωνίζεται καμιά στην ηθοποιΐα μου. Έχω βάλει κάτω τις ξένες και τις Ελληνίδες, να πούμε ηθοποιούς, αν έρθουν στο επάγγελμά μου (σ. 217). Η σπάνια Πατρινή εταίρα, που έδρασε στο δεύτερο μισό του εικοστού αιώνα, είναι τελειομανής στην πτωχική και βρώμικη δουλειά της. Είναι η Μαρία Κάλλας της πορνείας. Είναι τσαούσα, διεκδικητική και ξεχνάει τη χριστιανική αγάπη, αν χρειαστεί, και οι περιστάσεις τη ζορίσουν. «Πάνω απ’ όλα η επιβίωση», μοιάζει σα να λέει. Ας ακούσουμε όμως τα δικά της λόγια: Εγώ, ξέρεις, σας το ’χω πει ότι γαμώ και δέρνω. Δεν τρέχει τίποτα να πούμε… Είμαι Ρουμελιώτισσα, γαμώ και δέρνω. Η μάνα μου να βγει απ’ τον τάφο θα την σκίσω, όποιος μου την βγαίνει καλά, θα του βγω καλά, όποιος δεν μου βγει καλά θα του φάω τα μυαλά ή την καρδιά. Δεν υπολογίζω κανέναν (σ. 229).

            Είναι όμως καλή εργοδότις, συμπονετική με τις υπαλλήλους της: Ξέρετε είμαι ιδιότροπη, δεν θέλω να σας βάζω γριές γυναίκες, βασανισμένες, να μπλεκόσαστε με τα κλύσματα και μ’ αυτά. Δεν θέλω, δεν κάνει, δεν σηκώνει. Δεν είμαι εγώ σαν τις άλλες, που μου λέγατε κάτω στην Αμαλιάδα και στο Αγρίνιο και στο Μεσολόγγι και σας κάνανε τη ζωή ποδήλατο. Εγώ δεν είμαι… Εγώ σας έχω το περισσότερο για την παρεούλα και να κοιμόμαστε παρεΐτσα, για τίποτα άλλο. Νομίζω ότι έχω την μανούλα μου δίπλα και μια θειά μου, τόσο πολύ απελπισμένη είμαι, γι’ αυτό σας έχω εδώ, γι’ αυτό σας αγαπάω (σ. 223).

            Η Πανωραία είναι φιλόζωη. Κοιμάται με γατιά, είναι ανίκανη να σφάξει κότες και περιστέρια, έχει μια βαθιά ενστικτώδη, θα έλεγα, συμπόνια για όλα τα βασανισμένα ζωντανά: Αγαπάω περισσότερο τα ζώα απ’ τους ανθρώπους, γιατί όπως κατάντησε η ανθρωπότητα, τα ζώα αξίζουν περισσότερο την αγάπη μας. Βλέπω το γατί ή το σκυλί το κλωτσάω, γιατί είμαι νευριασμένη, ή γιατί έχω κάτι, το κτυπάω και την άλλη ώρα έρχεται και σε χαϊδεύει. Ενώ ο άνθρωπος, όταν τον πειράξεις και ας έχεις και δίκαιο, θα σου βαστάει πενήντα χρόνια μίσος (σ. 200).

            Είναι νευρασθενής, εξαντλημένη από τις αλλεπάλληλες αναγκαστικές συνουσίες, φοβάται μην την κλείσουν κάποια στιγμή στο τρελάδικο, πέφτει συχνά-πυκνά σε θρησκευτικό παραλήρημα, λιβανίζει τον οίκο ανοχής της σα να είναι μοναστήρι, έχει κάνει 200 ή 300 αμβλώσεις (σσ. 173, 179), όπως ομολογεί, κατηγορεί άλλες που ρίχνουν τα παιδιά τους, όμως η ίδια δηλώνει ότι έχει τη συνείδησή της καθαρή. Και πώς θα επιβίωνε, άραγε, αν δεν έλουζε, μαζί με το κορμί, και την ψυχή της; Διαθέτει μια μεταφυσική πίστη σε άνωθεν προστασία: Όποιος με κακολογήσει κι όποιος με αδικήσει, είμαι τόσο πολύ τίμια γυναίκα κι έχω συμβόλαιο με το Θεό κι ο Θεός δεν πρόκειται να τον προκόψει ποτέ στη ζωή του κι ό,τι έχει θα το χάσει, γιατί είμαι πολύ πονεμένη γυναίκα (σ. 134). Η λαϊκή μαγεία, δεισιδαιμονίες και προλήψεις του λαού, φόβος θεού και φόβος θανάτου.

Η πόρνη Πανωραία τιμάει τους εχθρούς της μετά θάνατον, και συγχωρεί, όπου τα συμφέροντά της, και η αδήριτη ανάγκη της για επιβίωση τής το επιτρέπουν: Μετά, εγώ επειδή ήταν μακριά από δω, δεν μπόραγα να πηγαίνω τα ταξιά είχανε και λεφτά. Είχα μια νεωκόρισσα εκεί και την πλήρωνα και πηγαίνω μια και τόσο, όταν πάω στο Αίγιο, σταματάω δέκα λεπτά, ανοίγω την κασέλα της, προσκυνάω τα κόκαλα και φεύγω. Τώρα που θα πάω, θα της πάω και μια μαύρη κορδέλα, μια τον χρόνο γιατί ξεθωρίζει με τον καιρό και πρέπει να είναι μαύρη φανταχτερή μες στο θανάσιμο (157). Κι όλες αυτές τις προθανάτιες και μεταθανάτιες τιμές τις επιφύλαξε για την κακιά μητριά της, που της φέρθηκε σκαιότατα, όταν η Πανωραία ήταν ορφανό παιδί, που τη χώρισε από τον δεύτερο άντρα της, τον Ζακυνθινό, και την εξώθησε στην πορνεία. Αλλά τής αναγνωρίζει ότι κοντά της έμαθε τη νοικοκυροσύνη και την γηροκομάει σαν μανούλα της. Βέβαια, η Θεία Δίκη την καταδικάζει να μην λιώσουν τα κόκαλα της κακιάς και άσπλαχνης μητριάς, όμως γι’ αυτό η καλόψυχη πόρνη «αμαρτίαν ουκ έχει».

Κι εκεί που πάει να σκάσει από τα σεκλέτια και τους καημούς, η Πατρινή «κοινή γυναίκα» παρηγοριέται με τα λαϊκά τραγούδια, τα νταλκαδιάρικα (σσ. 185, 219 κ.ά.).

Αγαπάει τους ομοφυλόφιλους, αφού δεν έχει αποφύγει και η ίδια τις ομοερωτικές σχέσεις (κεφ. 17, σσ. 128 κ.ε). Ομολογεί ότι κοιμήθηκε με πολλούς αμφιφυλόφιλους, ακόμα και με παρενδυτικούς. Ενδιαφέρον είναι το γνωμικό Πανωραίας κοπής:  Πας πούστης άγιος και πάσα πουτάνα σκατά (σ. 75).

Διαβάζοντας αυτόν τον χειμαρρώδη λόγο που σταχυολόγησε και χώρισε σε κεφάλαια ο ποιητής Γιώργος Χρονάς σκέφτηκα: «έτσι θα μιλούσε η ίδια η Ζωή, αν είχε λαλιά».

Και αποτολμώ μια σύγκριση με τους παράλληλους μονολόγους της Νίνας και της Εκάβης από το «Τρίτο στεφάνι» του Ταχτσή. Διαφέρουν όσο διαφέρει το «Τραγούδι του Νεκρού αδελφού» από την «Τρισεύγενη» του Παλαμά. Το πρώτο είναι ζυμωμένο μέσα στους αιώνες στη συλλογική ψυχή του ελληνικού λαού, το δεύτερο είναι ένα εργαστηριακό προϊόν ενός σπουδαίου ποιητή-τεχνίτη. Η Πανωραία μιλάει ως διδάκτωρ του Πανεπιστημίου της Ζωής. Η Νίνα και η Εκάβη του Κώστα Ταχτσή μιλάνε σαν πλύστρες που μαλώνουνε στο αντικρινό δώμα κι ένας διανοούμενος τις καταγράφει. Όμως οι διαφορές των δύο κειμένων δεν τελειώνουν εκεί. Μοιάζουν και τα δύο ως προς τη δραματικότητα. Φέτος ανέβηκαν – συμπτωματικά – και τα δυο αυτά κείμενα στο θέατρο. Έτσι έχουμε την ευκαιρία να τα συγκρίνουμε και να τα κρίνουμε, όχι πλέον ως βιβλία, αλλά ως δραματικά κείμενα υψηλής φιλοσοφικότητος. Θα δούμε ποιο από τα δύο θα μας κερδίσει, θα μας μαγέψει, θα μας «ταξιδέψει» στην άβυσσο του συλλογικού ασυνείδητου.

Η μυθιστορηματική βιογραφία «Η Γυναίκα της Πάτρας» κυκλοφόρησε − σε τρίτη έκδοση − παράλληλα με την παράσταση στο «Από μηχανής θέατρο» −  με την Ελένη Κοκκίδου, σε σκηνοθεσία Λένας Κιτσοπούλου −  του μονολόγου της περίφημης Πατρινής πόρνης Πανωραίας, που κατέγραψε και συνέγραψε ο ποιητής των στιγμών της ζωής, και των ανώνυμων.  Το κείμενο πολυτονικό. Οι περισπωμένες δίνουν ένα άλλο ύφος στην ομιλούσα μάσκα της ταλαιπωρημένης πανέμορφης, πόρνης Πανωραίας, που με άφησε, κυριολεκτικά, άφωνο.

 

Κωνσταντίνος Μπούρας

 

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