Poets

Search more than 3,000 biographies of contemporary and classic poets.

Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke

By This Poet

1

The Body Is the Victory and the Defeat of Dreams

The body is the Victory of dreams
when shameless as water
it rises from slumber
its pock marks, its scars
such signs still asleep
its dark olive groves
in love,
cool to the hand.

The body is the Defeat of dreams
spread out long and empty
(if you shout, you hear the echo)
with its anemic tiny hairs
unloved by time
wounded, sobbing
hating its own motion
its original black color
fades steadily
when it wakes it clasps its bag
hanging on to pain for hours
in the dust.

The body is the Victory of dreams
when it puts one foot in front of the other
and gains a certain ground.
A place. 
With a heavy thump.
Death.
When the body gains a place
in a town square
after death
like a wolf with a burning snout
it howls, "I want it"
"I can't stand it"
"I threaten—I revolt"
"My baby is hungry."

The body gives birth to justice
and its defense.
The body creates the flower
spits out the death-pit
tumbles over, takes flight
spins motionless around the cesspool
(the world's motion)
in dreams the body triumphs
of finds itself naked in the streets
in pain; 
it loses its teeth
shivers from love
breaks its earth open 
like a watermelon
and is done.