Yórgos Panayotídis
Unbearable Beauties
Translated from the Greek by Yannis Goumas


And when I’m asleep my words sit up
and wait for the written ones
to cuddle those yet unwritten
and all together in the same texts
disagreeing on and on
as to who am I to have uttered them
why did I condemn them to eternal sleeplessness
without saying good night.  Good night.

The words of this Spring I’ll find
in the books’ faded purlieus
in the poems’ sombre squares
lost to virtue.  All in an empty
pocket, a mere alphabet.
And that petty dream of a sole hungry man
so great that it brings my thought to its knees.
With alpha and omega I walk
in the night.  Good night.

In present tense?  Yes.  A prolonged
present tense, with no past tense
without a future perfect
and without a present perfect tense.
I am born, an active voice.
I grow old, a passive voice.
Yes, counter to grammar.
Counter to all tenses.  Good morning.

Yórgos Panayotídis