i bräcklig farkost vågar
sig på det vida hav,
över honom lågar,
brusar hemskt hans grav.
så är hans ödes bud,
i djupet bor som uti himlen Gud.
vessel frail, the lonely seaman dares
venture out upon the mighty wave,
firmament of stars above him flares,
him the dread roaring of his grave.
behest is: Onward ply!
God dwells in the depths as in the sky.
If thou regrett’st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable death
Is here: – up to the field, and give
Seek out – less often sought than found –
A soldier’s grave, for thee the best;
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
Tired of general
assemblies, tired of
consultants, tired of the colour
white I took flight number OY 621
To Athens. At the airport I
The aircraft standing on
the cement like
a blue dragon or a fallen angel
that had got its wings slightly soot
Ed in its fall. I didn’t
drink any export
Beer in the departure
or buy any cigarettes. Once on
Board I fastened my safety
concentrated my thoughts on the pil
Caput Mortuum in Missolonghi.
Just come to Missolonghi if
This place is still abandoned by all
and sundry in the midst of its salt marsh.
Here there is only room for
Poets and utterly failed
Here there is room for those who have
To do their military service for
Satan every fourth year, or
Who are to die. The
mornings smell of silver
sulfadiazine and avens and a
Trumpet of crushed porcelain resounds
the emblems of this town par
Excellence are the playing cards ace of spades,
diamonds and the black cocks.
Right opposite my room lies
of Heroes. And at its centre stands
Byron forgotten for ever. For it
Is our own image we have
raised there in
Marble, it is our own vanity.
And tell me why are so many stones shaped
like hearts in Missolonghi and decor
Ated with white medal
ribbons of flint?
Because we are celebrating
our own de
feat and reconciliation with death.
But among the dark fire of
the four cy
presses that are blazing from the Under
World his heart is being purified
times in his emerald’s secret solstice.
God Almighty, I say. Is it
am to find you, God, under this mercur
y column. Are you here, God! I cry out
On this Ash Wednesday in
The town of the expelled
green with mala
ria. Can you see the dog in the oil
barrel and the sheep that I eat with re
Lish for dinner in some Greek
Other of a dish. Do you see
caught sight of this morning: the sawn-through
Bones and the king of the
Are you here, God! I cry out once more. Is
It here among the
walls that I shall at long last find you?
When I stand at the centre
of the square’s
pythagorean rectangle paved with
the shards of the dead, I can see it. it
Is de Chirico’s painting:
Meditation, that here has gained
ity. The inner image projected
from the sluggish shadows of the hypo
Physis. Or conversely, only
Reality manage to catch up
its visions and its blue metaphysics.
That is the reason why time
veals us as being the bitter
Argonauts who sooner or
shipwrecked in a town like Missolonghi.
Outside the town in the
of reclaimed land you can in these salt
marshes sometimes suddenly come across
Satan’s mirror. It is
framed by certain
Flowers that I choose not
to name by
name, and you can find the signs of the
fallen angels chiselled into its
Surface or on a rather odd
That I threw out into its
I have reflected myself in it today
The nineteenth of April in
but I will not tell you precisely where
It can be found. Only this one
dication: God’s breath also clouds it.
I went to Greece in order
to get to
know about the light and the first ax
ioms. I arrived in my blue bomber
Jacket in order to purloin
But I became initiated into
into sleep and into death. For I
slept in the Pullman coach through the Eleu
Sinian labyrinth, which was
Cobwebs. I later took these
embroideries to be a sure sign.
Through the Elusinian
labyrinth I these
black. And I became convinced when
On the fifth night I dreamt
veiled head that had an averted face.
The regular Lord Byron café
does not exist
in Missolonghi, so you have to go
right out into the marshes to find him,
There where he rode in all weathers
Whirlwind, a waterspout of
along the salt expanses. Though mostly
through rain that poured down like rice grains
From the urns of the dead
and that certain
Ly cost lives. There where
he rode like
a god of war without territory
And only his horse left any
on the naked republic, while he
Himself disappeared in
in which he lost the thread of his love.
Then the rain also came to
Greece. Huge drops
full of secrets are falling in the
darkness over the oxalic acid
And formaldehyde of the
Bubbles inside the meander
border of the
great dam. I remain seated in
my own megaric circles and listen
Would he have done with a rainy
evening like this one. Would he also
Have transformed it into a
Or would he have stayed on sitting there
Until late at night and have
on what one does with fallen angels?
Shall I smear my forehead
and nose with
mussel blood or with Greek butter
rub them with camphor or with hair cream
To alleviate this searing
The sun of the dead has
been crueller to
my skin than that of the living. I’m so
badly sunburnt it’s as if I was wearing
A mask of clay and bitumen.
Has stung me during this
opposition to Jupiter. And
As yet I have not found any
prints here in the marble of immortal
Ity only a statue that has
raised in honour of the public.
But no other path to
exists than this beautiful and danger
ous outermost embankment, where a
Swallowtail butterfly (with
Signs on its wings) entices
and further out towards the nothing
ness. Here where the king of madness has a
Gleam that’s almost black
with salt and blindness.
Out here you can find the morning
that has plunged down into the breakers.
‘Hercules’ made for the
shore this way towards
the mirages of Missolonghi. The town from
Here resembles a huge
that is covered with white silk damask.
Look, this broken white
column – do you
think that the other end of it reaches
all the way down to Hades? – Perhaps
It bores a path right
Garnet throne. The marble
see as white are the underworld’s shadows.
Our statues, temples only mirrored only
From their there there. Plaster
casts only re
Flections and the appearance
of shadow ima
ges. And the eagle there resplendent in
Its basalt in immortality
flying and in its flying in
And its. Are we ourselves
shadows of the dead, their dreams?
It is true that we have to
dead if we are to get any further.
The busts (even the black one of Byron
In your imagination) and
Leums have their
significance. Are not
in vain. In onyx does humanity
carve the experiences it has gained.
We see ourselves staring
out of white
Marble. We see the stones
of our errors
and the granite towers of our conquests.
And ourselves in our
ments. And and also the statue
Here on the plinth of
defeat that is
whirled around by butterflies. Also is.
The poet’s answer to the
is to a question from the past. In the
middle of this double piece of obsidian
He wrote his poem after the
Do not be afraid of the
baster of the crosses’ sardonyx.
They are also answers. And but and. Living
And and new questions from
To young living their their
not perhaps perhaps. But poets
Also exist who have velvet
in gloves of iron, that answer
The past by asking the future.
Or they write the present in stone.
I go down once more to the
Heroes: there in sunshine like a raven’s
wing of jewels. And and or perhaps
There is no mystery.
Is simply the poet who happens
resemble us most. Pride, the black crest
of our dreams, our glorious defeat.
And from the heart. And to
This epitaph over him: he
about dying. He died from writing
Poetry. The peacock
feathers of our
vanity. These and not forgetting
Fame and glory Perhaps from
echoing to the mystery. Or.
Missolonghi. The seventh
bowl of anger.
There. There. In the sun. Shouts. They shout.
This. Me. Shouts and punishment strike
Everyone. Revenge unfailingly
Ee-ow! Ee-ow! the shout
soon an echo
between. Also. Those from the heart swamp.
Up to the ears. Pew-Pax! And chasing.
And Between the pillars,
the letters. Shouts.
The stone pines. Why are
they following me. Guilt.
Chasing in this poem. My punishment. All.
All. I. Mine. Do not
And from the shadows this flight to
The shadows. Whose colour
Mortuum or dead jackdaws.
Odos Kyproy: urn of marl.
Odos Ladia: of quartz. And. Its.
Shine. And Odos. Zalakosta: Dazz
Ling swallows. Soon. Odos Lord
Lowered visors. Gleam. I walk
Odos Dimitrious Sideri. Glisten.
of pink potsherds. And turn.
Odos Mavrokordati. Slants
Afan Pasi: axe of glass. Odos
Damaskinou. Of. There. And. Odos
Deligiorih: mask of bronze
and hammered silver. This. Walk.
transparency. Walk further. The street.
Aprilios. Mesologgion. I
Epono. Hotel Liberty. Kje. I
ouzo. Psari. Kje. Kje. Kje. Line.
Afto. Afto. I stasis. Kje.
Dhia mesu. Dimarxeion.
Isos. Afto. Sindoma. Ine.
Asteria. Dhamaskino. I priza.
Lamba. Ine. Choris.
Dhia mesu. Dhen. O
Afto. Meta. Dhen. Ego. To kreo
Polio. Meta. Kje. To
lio. Sindoma. Meta. To Kozmima
Mesa. Hotel Avra. Meta. Avra.
Aprilios. Kje. Mesologgion.
Iatreion. Meta. Afto. Andron.
Meta. Afto. Gynaikon. Choris. Ka
Relia. Meta. To Eksofila.
Fistaria. Afto. Apo.
Megaron. Kje. Zigaretta. Kje.
Grammotosima. Meta. Vivlio
Polio. Kje. Kolonja. Ouzo.
Liberty. Mesa. To rola.
Kje. Kje. Aspirini. Kje. Kje.
Afto. Ine. Meta. Kato.
Ine. Meta. Machaeropirona.
Kje. To parathiro. Mechri.
Sinalagmatos. O niptiras. Meta.
Odos Zaphir Rapesi: damascene
sword. Of. Odos Kosti Palama:
the desert. Odos Pasikotrika: scorch
Ing and like boiling
Odos Komitos Roma: Lit de
Already. Odos Christ: Kapsali:
meridian of gold. And when then
Odos Metaia: alembic with
From. And. Odos Petaludi:
Am busy now. There lies Odos
Makri: burnt umber. Its.
Twists. Odos Kleisupas: lavender
Branch despite all. On to
Ixion wheel. From. And. There. I.
Missolonghi. Death’s head.
Salt. Arsenic. Seven suns and light so
I burn. Seven angels. Throughout
Morning. Burn with anger.
And the day
Of red sulphur. Only the
ing. Which. I. This. Or. Or.
Or. Clarity. Bitter purity to
The bone. Town of purgatory.
Seven trumpets from Heaven
and seven from
Hell blow down the poem. Ruins.
Walls. These. Blow over. My.
Blow: Words. Sentences. Entire son
Nets over. With statues of
Castrum doloris of alabaster. To.
These sonnets have also
a memorial park. The fieldstone of the
letters their colour like aloe. And the
Paths through the sentences
Nowhere. The name:
the monuments of the proper nouns. If
you lift here, the woodlice rush
Out to the side. Scorching.
Tical sky as pure as
turning blue in one maze after maze.
And between the words: the
of death that fill up and the emer
Alds in the palm trees, the
cannon muzzles cast in the semantics.
Can it be oleander leaves
the empire of grass. Can they bring my
answer to the other side. Somewhat
Rusty ships laden with
That nevertheless are soon
But to what side, to what far shore.
Do the asphodels bloom in both places?
If I have returned, there
In Hades. That my shadow,
shadows did not flee from me.
And and the shadow of the
Shadows cast no shadows. So goodbye,
And only return with your
Answers in our green dialectics.
Can a fruit of the olive
the tree of sleep onto the hard soil
of reality. Can you wake up with
The fresh fruits of the
Your lips. Why then all
this talk of the
flaming black cypresses of the Under
world? Because the poem is the gateway
To the land of the dead. Among
You can find the way down if
you seek long
enough. Among the vines of the sentences
From which a forgotten king
stares at you.
The message, this entering among
The stones, the letters,
the shadows of the
columns that point into the stillness.
I sit throughout the
this palm tree and wait. I must have
fallen asleep from time to time
For suddenly the light has
echoes reach me from the far side
of the soul, the side that turns out
Wards towards the mighty heptagon
Salt marshes. Hardly or
observe the fate line that also ends
Out there, full of salt and
From this but to I run or.
And I almost believed that I
forgotten until I got this reply.
It is one of those days when
enclosed within myself like an
urn in a locked cupboard or a bust
That is wrapped in black
gauze and string.
I do not know what day it
is. I have
no idea at all what colour my
socks are and there is a faint stench
Of paraffin in my sinuses.
God! – I then say, bloody
hell how I
hate this life you have created, where
Everything devours each
other. And I know
this is blasphemy. And I hear the
Black cock crow thrice. And
I know that I
am standing with one foot in Hell.
The boundary of madness
lies on O
dos Kyproy! From here the expanses
begin violet like polecat fur
Beneath the quartz light. The
arum lilies stand
Full of rabies in the small
mirroring each other to death in the
whiteness. And when I ask a young
Fisherman the way, he
I look up at the sky, which
once more infected with radiant
Purity: not a merciful
Then I go out once more into the
Salt hell to carry out my
task as a poet:
to bring down God’s wrath on my head.
In a foreign country you
will find yourself,
but not your home. That is the law of the
spirit, that bluishly evaporates like
Meths from the great
Conversely George Gorden
Byron found in one sense his home
on the death-bed of vine leaves and black
Laurel leaves in
Missolonghi, but not
Himself. And whether or not
ever managed to find his way
Home is doubtful, even
though his body
was brought back to England on
Board the brig Florida
collapsed Doric portals of exile.
Mister! – a girl calls out
from a parked
lorry. – You speak English? – It must
clearly be visible in me like some
Disease: idiotic tourist. I
look up from
Under my broad-brimmed
megistos hat (bought cheap in the Lord
Byron Street) and try to look mys
Terious. – Me Olga, and you
But nothing really succeeds
Suddenly there is a crowd of spectators.
All right! – Me Klaus.
Where is Sideri
Street? – She shakes her iron siren
Curls and smiles. –
Goodbye! – I must
be off again on my psychopompish walk.
Why I have to go all the
way to Hellas
to visit the dead, I do not know,
where every night I sink down into
Their realm. But now at any
rate I have
Been photographed standing
in front of
Byron’s statue in the second quad
rant, which is full of red admiral
Butterflies. And I have
never seen so
Many gathered together on
one spot. They
carry the night’s falling stars on their
Wings in honour of him who
For what can a human ultimately
Give more than his personal
his health, his love and his life?
Was it in this ruin of a pa
trician villa that Byron died. There are
faeces everywhere on the floor, but
On the ceilings strange
Been drawn as well as
coats of arms: the Devil’s signature. Visit
it when evening approaches when the
Sunset is in the west like
Paraffin lamp and a breeze
Station adds a faint whiff
de siècle to the scene as well as of
Soda. Was it in this
house that Satan fetched his favourite.
I cannot tell you why these
exert such an attraction on me.
These great reservoirs in Ha
Des, these great tanks in
Conscious full of evil, these
normous fixation vats that are full
of blindness and acid. I cannot
Tell you why, but each and
I search further out in
of sea walls. Perhaps so as to find a
New Lernaean hydra, or
perhaps so as
to see this mysterious red colour that
Only exists in Missolonghi
bottom of Hell’s large retort.
Even though the swallows
are building their
nests right outside my window at Hotel
Liberty, I do not have any feeling of
Having returned home. And
Itacha is practically lying
at my feet bathed in violet
salt. But the sea is not any bluer
Nor is the sky any bluer
It is anywhere else, so is
reason why death should be as blue
As it people claim that it
is in Greece.
Even so there is something holy
About the light down here
It originates from geometry?
If he refuses to come to
me, I will have
to come to him. That is how I reason
things on this last day here and place
Two copper drachmas under
They taste of arsenic and
one side there is a ship and on the
other there is a portrait of Konstanti
Nos Kanaris, whoever the
hell he is.
The boat I am crossing on
blue stripes on its stern, just like
The toy boat I had as a
child. And just
as then the trip is nerve-racking,
By which I mean it is truly
There is only my own shadow on the sea wall.
To anyone who has been
fired to clay
in the marshes of Missolonghi, nothing is
the same any longer. To anyone who on
The Devil’s anvil has had
his brain transformed
Into ochre, there is only
thing left: the sun, salt and
your own singing pain. Out here
The potash of your worries
is spread out
Across the great expanses. Spurge
your thirst and cockles provide you
With food. The shadows are welded
away from beneath the sun’s flaming zenith.
To anyone who has been in
there is only the Kingdom of Heaven left.
I have been in the
(with one leg in Hades and the other in
Hell, split between the Greek and the
Christian spirit) and
sought him here. But
Byron was not there, neither
So God must have fetched him home at
the last moment. That is why I also
Fly calmly home once more
OY 622. It soars like a
on niobium wings over the Acro
Polis in a converse,
But what poet could do without
The stigmatisation of the
or a deal with the Devil?