- Greece -
Eleni Tzatzimaki first aappeared as a poet in 2009 at the age of 23. Her first collection “The magic of upthrust’’ was well received by the critics and made her a nominee for the “Diavazo” magazine New Poets Award in 2010. Described as “a new and mature poetic voice”, Eleni’ s first collection is dealing with the human situation in a subtly lyrical way that leads to the revelation of feelings at their own discretion.
In 2012, her second book “Beyond Adulthood” turns to be Eleni’ s adjustment to the new self in the adult world: her poems are the bitter confession of a defeat, this of getting older while taking distance from innocence. Romantic love becomes carnal, frustration and personal obsessions seem to be undeniable. Cryptical and allusive, Eleni records this stepping up of the new reality both in a harsh and tender way.
“Who does a story belong to?”, in 2015, highlights Eleni’s political agony towards the relation between history and the individual. Are we the victims of History or History is our victim? Barbarism, Nazism, social injustice confront revolutionists’ visions, most of them women that fought against fascism and dictatorship in their country. Brecht’s “Love is like war; it always finds a way’’ is the moto of the book. With an eye from the collective to the individual, Eleni deals with big questions that have yet no answer for her. Her poetic voice is realistic and what makes poetry come out is life’s antitheses themselves.
“The twin paradox: a poetic transcription to Giorgos Heimonas” is Eleni’s fourth poetic collection, in 2018. It is an innovative attempt for her to develop a poetic form where poetry and creative thinking go together: based on the texts of one of the most acclaimed greek modernists, Giorgos Heimonas, Eleni tries to decode his torrential texts that come straight for the world of unconsciousness by transcribing them, in a metaphorical way, through her personal poetic style. In this way, Eleni creates a dialogue between different literary genres, while underlining the role of Perception in literature. “The twin paradox’’ is dedicated to the memory of Giorgos Heimonas.
Shhh ... / Σσς ...
the bodies breathe
left wide open
on the edge of the night.
Beyond the hands’ light
and the gentle murmur of the flesh,
with half-mast dreams
rattle the desire
in the deep-freeze.
With a kiss
sealing the lips.
With the silence
They sealed the kiss
not to happen.
Static / Στατικό
This is my world.
A mouth asking of a body wetting
the world hour after hour .
A woman, courageous in the sea that smells
modified from the reaction of iodine with the aroma of summertime
she would have guessed
the magic word of the age of her infancy:
With new manifestations of ways of doing
now in her ephebe world
for the flying broom to adulthood.
The sole fairy tale of her life.
Alternately / Εναλλάξ
The wall was almost beige.
Brown diluted in white
The pupil of the eyes threatens
the inseparable lips
and said, when we saw each other.
The rest wasn’t heard safe from the scars of the rocks
salted golden shadows and a bright scream from
curling shadows until the end of the sight in the gaze or
the gaze in the sight. The angle of the focus changed
and we became small.
The solidification of the noiseless face, grinding either the
memory or the will, or alternately.
[until they take the shape of a heart]
If I was going to be my own enemy / Εάν επρόκειτο να γίνω εχθρός του εαυτού μου
If I were to become my own enemy
I would create a myth
With tensions and upheavals.
And I am not unable to observe my nature
I’ll run for my life.
And I am not helpless,
hurt myself as I want.
a dose of imagination.
And the imagination
A history of unknown diseases.
it will not have value
An incomplete revenge.
it will be nothing
Without at least a reward
for my own self.
The victim is worse than the perpetrator.
If I were to be neither of the two, eventually
I would choose nothing above all.
Putting together the stupidest parts
I would try to prove
A small importance.
Methodically I would kill myself.
And I would make it seem
a crime of passion.
The twin paradox / Το παράδοξο των διδύμων
In the memory of Giorgos Heimonas.
Poet, life is the affirmation of ignorance.
We do not have much time for other answers.
All time is the distance from one part of me
with the other
And while everything will happen,
beyond my eyes,
I will still look for
the most appropriate word.
Poet, the stories of our vision is written by others.
And until, of course, the eyes see themselves
We will never have
actually known each other.
Poet, some pretend embarrassment,
I will definitely have my back slightly bent
You will look over me
my permanent hump.
Poet, there is no absolute immobility
And until we define
Our relevant starting points
We will not understand at all
What have we really agreed on so far?
I do not understand the poems / Δεν καταλαβαίνω τα ποιήματα
"I am not interested in complete poems"
"I do not understand poetry"
Preferred to be bad rather than not be at all
To be a victim of coincidences
Of this heavy fate
Of rare punishment.
Could not find time now.
Looking for a way to find out
How to say
All relatives are witnesses
The worst enemies
words . His words
Lackeys ordered in a row
He was playing lame
Used to jump further than his height
Then ate the soil
It scared him he knew the chosen word
'' My monster wounded the head of Medusa
You are holding it in your hands now
My most guilty secret
My hermaphroditic sorrow
Write, write, write and you
Until you find it
The perfect idea
The literal that comes after the end
That’s the way it is
it will come
Fallen on all fours
Write again [semicolon]
It equals labor pains
denouement of death ''
Inner exile / Η εντός εξορία
I am all things. My ignorance and my knowledge. My de-liberate erring. The futile, unsolicited pain. My pending joy. My weary joy. The mind’s vacillation and the heart wide-open to the sky and the dream. Through the correctness of take-off I determine the inevitability of fall. I regulate the level of the gaze in keeping with the voice’s depth, prepar-ing the alignment with people. I greedily exploit their pas-sions within me. I obsessifythe debt concerning tomorrow. Then I arrange the debt concerning forever. I worry about my obligation to ‘always’. I locate love’s centre and compete with loves consumptive, diverse and incomprehensible: it’s their truths I defend. Like this, comrades, I count the first steps towards death, Before I depart, I’ll have denied the second-rate humanity – we the people are destiny’s lever. And passion for life our lifelong noose. And life gone by a plastic bag on the sea’s back barely visible from the shore. Comrades, do you know how to vibrate history’s womb? How to repaint the water’s colour? How to re-find the untra-velled waters? And all together, you gestate the unborn child in my red carnation. And I keep my hand always held out, that your fervour might slowly revive me, while stark naked I await the dawn. And day dawns. And I dawn.
Which is why I never denied the truth – I always knew it would come to find me.
The hedgehog’s dilemma / Το δίλημμα του σκαντζόχοιρου
The hedgehog’s dilemma (or porcupine dilemma)
Refers to the inevitable friction
Caused by human contact.
We can’t love each other without pricking each other And hurting.
Hence, not even hurt is possible without love.
We participate in this experiment of nature
Sometimes less victorious and sometimes less vanquished
But pain doesn’t await the victor
And the one who loves more
Is more hesitant in love
and retracts at the point of impact begging that his defeat be declared so that at last,
he may be free to hurt.
Reply to a question  / Απάντηση σε μια ερώτηση 
Though I am always gripped by an untrodden landscape
One I haven’t walked over or even seen yet,
It’s a mystery, but,
it’s as if I knew it already,
Before it even existed within the confines
of my experience.
Successfully two decades and but for a little one more
Before the counting of my time is punctuated once again,
I request an extension to investigate the dream.
Because, I want to study it from the beginning Carefully,
So that it never loses its basic characteristic: to be
hostile to reality.
Because, from now on, and I know it full well, Whoever talks of dreams traces an arduous future and is eventually prosecuted for inability to adjust.
Yet, most likely, I’ll persist with the winds.
Because, what’s a dream anyway?
Life at an extreme temperature.
/ If I shot the moon