Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Panos Panagiotopoulos - One Poem

Comp B

Had the phone rung a few minutes later,
had my mother been an atheist,
had I been asleep when they broke into my house,
had the bus arrived on time,
had I not known how to manipulate silver nitride,
had I been loved any less,
had I had a singular face and a name to brand it,
I'd wear a jacket and walk in the rain
and I could be
someone else.

Everything could have been different
and I could be someone else,
someone like the sudoku girl sitting at the table
on the other side of the cafe, legs crossed,
white framed sunglasses and pierced lips.
I could be that.
I could be the guy on the train with the three-day stubble
and the spark in his grey eyes, an ever glowing spark,
present even when caught with an invalid ticket.

Everything could have been different
and I could be you
and I'd be wondering if I could still be me
and not her or him or them.
But I wouldn't be

I'd be some other me,
I'd probably walk by me in the rain, walking in the opposite direction
in that jacket, with the sirens blaring and the fleet of
ambulances hurrying to pick up the departed
or the would-be escapees.

I calculate the variables and the superficially random patterns,
log the parameters that create each different day,
an infinite cache of facts and non-facts, a colourful catalog
of what ifs and why nots,
a projection of rainbow-textured convictions of today,
all the reasons to conclude why I walk out being me into the night,

I walk out being me into the night looking for people who wear
skins of negative refractive index, people who are you and her
and who dare walk in the rain not wondering
about what could have been done differently
and if they could not be themselves.

Second hand chances in a second hand life,
second hand sex and second hand poetry,
I am relishing the moment my second hand house
will crumble down and a first chance to experience everything,
everything, again, will arise,
through the first hand eyes of an 'I'-less new kind of plague,
a flexible alloy of primal instincts,
of people who are people and not a new breed of mice,

and then all will be different and I can be me but live
in someone else as well, the sudoku girl and the grey-eyed handsome
devil, I can wear my skin of negative refractive index
and slither among the crowd on the subway, being anyone,
being anyone and sitting in anyone's heart, make it my new home,
forgetting the 'I's and 'You's and start being 'Us' again.

Had I studied Law instead of Poverty,
had I not been pregnant,
had this case not been full of ammonium triiodide crystals,
had my father been an architect,
had I chosen to bear my pen like a haiku accident,
had I loved you any less,
I'd wear a jacket and walk in the rain
and maybe I could still be

Panos Panagiotopoulos is a Greek writer, a notorious author of public lavatory poetry, post-it notes on strangers in malls around Europe and regular party-crasher. He believes that poetry can change the way people see the world and that through poetry humanity and reason can be re-claimed. He smokes but doesn't drink. He believes that a little madness and a lot of determination can recreate the active side of society and banish inertia.

1 comment:

  1. This is my first encounter with the work of Panos and I certainly hope it is not my last.

    Donal Mahoney