Remember to write as much as I am able. Αs much as I remember. In order to be able to remember. While I am writing I go into it again. Later it is as if I weren’ t myself. Cancelled out, words of another. Nights following one after the other behind me. Women in black that shout and push on the platform to go up almost blindly in a way you can scarcely get down. Waves beating black spit in your face waves going to break the one pushing the other apprehensive of a catastrophe somewhere. A boy held my hand as he got in. Red palm hand on which the blood had scarcely dried. Take hold of something. On the rough red skin cut open blood stealthily hides inside for a while and runs again. Later alone the grey tongue that brought me here from the station, as I would turn back to make out if the sea was still there grey tongue afterwards a more yellowish grey and getting more yellow as I was going along. Up to this place with its walls that enter the sides of the mountain, the afternoon crumbling the soil that darkens as you are heading inside. Black and yellow soil rocks that shine and melt in your hands. Landing, you climb a little higher to look inside the empty tank clods that you break off from the walls, to pieces into your hands what would you expect. Later slowly on the mouldering planks you follow the straps from one to the other further on a small door perhaps what you are seeking. Human traces. Seated around a stool sober-looking gold-miners playing cards the shadows of their hands exchanging then fading they are hidden again in the dark. And then stones yellow gleam, the stones that flare, matches light up again in the room. Later someone takes out and reads, something, a poem. Silence. Silence. Something like chanting. And something else. From the poet’s pocket another paper, he reads to them. The others that listen yaw they lean on each other. How early they fall down to sleep. Heavy breathing growing louder in sleep odies away slowly before you a row. Of dre ams. Later nobody anywhere, yellow mud. The cupboard torn shirts dust dust a stool four five chairs shelf a flower-pot empty. The light which returns to the wall written again like a poem “on a every day more deeply blind, until the end, a race of blind-rats”. Deeper, every day burrowing deeper. Straight head! And later again (as far as the range of a body that digs, the coincidence of a gallery with another). I go outside again, chimneys by the base of the mountain grey light eyes that fall on the sea clear, horizon again more of them coming that side he ad wind without them beating their wings. Flock. of seagulls. From the sky now a bit darker. The galleries sucking the mountain the belts that lead you deep inside, the galleries narrowing as you advance so you turn back again. First a ul as you dig yellow mud softer warmer a hand statue hand broken which draws you inwards among the other. Bodies not mouldering, statues. Mouldering wooden staircase, you go up a white scrap a torn garment, no, a seagull among the clothes something torn grey all around, before they grab them in their claws. New bodies. Rats’ nests. The beams horizontal crosses up on the roof ortho around the walls broken tee from ox. Empty cavities, funnels deeper as you go along. And those who would raid the city what would they find to take here. The shadows of those who return along the corridors between these shafts. One by one to their houses. Mute. From wagons carrying dirty hands shirts holed rocks which detach from the walls like old masks. I turned back and follow again a gallery to another room. If there is a lorry above I can feel it from the vibrations on the broken ellenit the rumbling slowly fades behind me for every mile that is drawing away to a signal of a far-off world fading away. Above. I am still going. I follow a truck. Straight ahead! Num bers on the entrances in ascending order setting a limit. I too became a shadow among them, the last. Props. A big iron hourglass. I saw it before. Well, maybe before, I think I have been here before. From a hole in the roof. Draft. And nevertheless. Life coming from there. A patter again from above me like someone passing, like before. Like the footsteps I ’d always hear when i was there. As if someone were following me. And at night still then in the. Mist whenever I was coming away by the side of the coast. In order to see as far as i could. The demons’ necks raising high. And later again in the dark of the dormitories. That pattering again slowly behind me. Broken slabs. My footsteps’ echo. A hand as if from a statue. Smashed under my feet. Between. Some bird right up to here. Maybe rats. They could in the hollows here. Sculptures of rats between the holes. This sound of footsteps again. The echo. I sit down. Silence. Silence. That sound again. Now behind me. Who.
How deep. Steep climb. This way. Assumption. Why do you stand and look up to heaven. Why do you sit and look upwards. Pulleys. Gear-wheels which you turn in a circle. A circle turning another. And another further ahead. I played. Following them as they got smaller. Not so deep that it doesn’t reach me. The light. Yet drips from the ceiling and a small stream of water with this storm lucky I didn’t go out. Further inside I sit in where I can’t see at all but I hear. A long time hearing the water not seeing how you are swept along into dreaming. I can’t get away from this. I hear only the earth as it buries I hear the water. That way they open into its body. Earliest footpaths. This is the way you want to climb. To leave this God for the Other. The same God. That’s why we all dig. Shadow, that you fade on our hands. Light like coals, ash again afterwards. And the grass roof living above we dig and there is no beyond we suppose, and again, a circle back here. Hoar frost on these forms. You take breath, April meadow brought by the wind, comes in somewhere, the body shelters in a niche searches again. Follows a fissure in the rocks. Ifsoftened by hand will allow you to climb. You speak with those who once were. Who used to work. You see the marble without them. And the wor st as a jet of water on them as if worm by the wood. But the sun is there even if you don’t see it what was he thinking when he wrote this the roo a ll and more frequently as you climb split left right like scissors. Stones that shifted as you ascend. An opening gulley that leads down from above when you are tired of walking you stop wait again little by little the light even more urgently calls you to climb calls you drops before you without words the voice of the messengers. And now you are outside again. From the summit of the ridge downwards now they tremble. In the fields the red yellow sunsetunexpected pipes whistling now in another wind – a bridge not very far – animals gathering around it, a babe on the grass, jewels at your feet where from-mouth-to-their-mouth a song hosan n. When I was, I remember, young one day and I’d heard it was able to hear it now I am at pains to escape from this tune as if someone poured oil in my ear something in memory lost, palm empty and all night long spreading over the pavement gleaming then now the same thing here in the thyme at the wells again and was still deploring me was rolling again to the tubs still waiting at the black tank where song from the toads rising up there existed no other God anywhere except in these empty circles aus picious voices with all their laments a whirlpool turning more quickly still until it burns the lips of
of the and I heard and then in my grief I wept and I prayed in anguish and when the sun had set I saw being baptized in fire fireproof
of forests sea of burnt trunks one beside the other clean one beside the other
to here. Warm, to see people around talking again. You don’t care about anything except hearing them talk. I missed it, warm and wait for a drink. My turn, not yet. He talks looks at you as if you are one among them. My turn, not yet. Talks about some journey, a few days elsewhere, back again. Talks, changes the piece, talks. The drink, now you drink and listen to him look at him almost, with interest, long, grey, curly. Light, low, him, yellowred, and outside the grey more looking like blue. The drink brings you relief. All friends to each other and those standing opposite, all together. Alive. Seven, eight, nine together with you. And one coming in with the cake. Candles, the woman who dowses them, they laugh, she brings you a piece, the rails fresh from the rain probably too late now for a train. You drink, it relieves you. One more. She slips behind me, fleetingly by my shoulder. You smile. And I leave, just a second, to go to the toilet. Μoths darker for me. Until dawn comes and they go to wherever they sleep. On the opposite wall. A crack that looks at her, you. Curtains like winding sheets. Outside the wind blows. W ind-chea ting. She called him to come. A crate of beer, coming. Look in the bottle to see the world fractured the world being shattered. Behind the glass your every glance to be shattered. And later back in their place the pieces apart from that one. Piece from the cake, odd piece left over doesn’t fit anywhere stays in your hand. Wake with that piece. The rails parallel roots long narrow train gardens wet and the rigging runs parallel to their heaven. Something inside you. Under the breath of sadness something like. Inside me. Music that slowly. Lifts you up. I had forgotten how. A beam of light will fill your head and you’ll remember what’s been said. Necks one leaning over the other waiting for what. The animals with the knife above them. That looks like you that looks like me. And those galleries black as Hell how did I come out. Tracking without tracks of those seeking me of those I seek. Drank one more. The current goes down for a little the tv signal is lost, black and white image, coloured, black and white, wave on the opposite wall. Of a storm. Without voice m ind ifthereis music that covers. The lights fail for a while, only a while, a piece that again covers, a drink, muttering and then I see a darkness – and then I see a darkness – and then I see a darkness – do you know how much I love you you drink, the rain again. Prelude for what awaits you, you see their lips following. If the music were to stop suddenly we would be heard. Chorus of stutterers. If she were to kiss me. Like the, for months I would watch him chiselling in the rock a face with a hammer. His rock, her face. Striking. Like prayer. Striking on the face. Comes again, one more, on the house. A little more blue outside, it stayed there, perhaps she might lay her eggs in that fissure. Her breast caresses my shoulder, cigarette, I still have some. You think that, what if you kiss her, your stomach knots, the music that- your breast tightens the mouth asking for more. When did i listen to it last? Jester. Just give me a chance to do my turn for you. Lying together but in the grey of the morning
my mind becomes confused
Between the dead and the sleeping
Morning, Thursday, only with what’s yours. Essence. Joke iss
Copyright 2008, Dimitris Lyacos. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.
Dimitris Lyacos was born in Athens in 1966. He studied Law at the University of Athens and Philosophy at University College London. His trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: Exit, Nyctivoe, The First Death), written over the course of fifteen years, has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian and German and has been performed extensively across Europe and the USA. A sound and sculpture installation of Nyctivoe opened in London and toured Europe in 2004-2005. A contemporary theatre-dance version of the same book was showing in Greece in 2006-2007. Lyacos' work has been the subject of lectures and research at various universities, including Amsterdam, Trieste and Oxford. Various extracts from the trilogy have appeared in literary journals around the world. For more information on the author visit www.lyacos.net.
Translator Shorsha Sullivan was born in Dublin in 1932. He studied Classics at Leeds and has spent most of his working life in England. He has a special interest in Modern Greek theatre and poetry.