Kostas Anagnopoulos

Maybe Later

On the first day of spring
Everything runs the opposite way
We react
I hurl a rock at the oracle
The birds chirp in agreement

Forest of clouds
Best of their kind
The night shouldn’t begin with the moon
Let the moon act like the sun
To get you up

Start of Chinese New Year
Not without a parade
Folding laundry
Separating darks from lights
Sing me that Greek nursery rhyme
About rabbit

In a pinch I choose the afterlife
After canceling my policy I feel so much lighter

Never trust what you write
There’s a thought
Then the wind picks it up
I love that stuff
Maybe later
When you’re not so cranky
I only know it from this minute on
How to take myself apart
Milk thistle
Sea cucumber

First thing I did
Unplug anything that needs plugging
I am not a mystic
Staying awake is my greatest accomplishment
Here they come
Let them go first
Walk behind them

When I walk down the street
I don’t know
I feel loss
Where shall I go
To the shade
Where it’s damp
I walk by again
And the loss is still there
Aspirin doesn’t help
I regret every step
Here – buy a bag of cameo apples
You like their tartness
Walk everywhere

My Life as a Baby

Here’s the last of my advice
After this you’re on your own
I resisted knowledge too
Until I caught a dose of death
Then I became a man
I preferred the company of women
My advice to myself was listen
Can you listen?
I’m sorry
I can’t put a complex sentence together
Even though the meaning is simple
My grandmothers crocheted the whole world on a bedspread
It made them blind
My beautiful blind illiterate grandmothers
Now they’re close to death
Speaking gibberish
Greek disappointments
You and I grew up as babies
Eating cream of wheat
Having our feet washed
In warm soapy water
We did our chores
For example every Wednesday I wound the clock
Helped with the laundry

I’ve translated this from the Greek
It comments on other people’s wealth
How everyone works for someone
Someone they’d like to forget
Now I feel like a dummy
Peeling apples
My life is all peels
Why is that?
The maintenance of organs
Many of us are born with weak ones
Some people give theirs away
A life of nothing
Circles with nothing inside them
Nothing outside either
Except echoes racing
A gentle water spray
Waking up to something overlooked
Like light

Two Pots

Grandma’s letter-poem tacked to the bulletin board
I haven’t solved anything
Maybe raise chickens
Instead everything is negotiations
Tomorrow is Easter
The body is still missing
Let’s ignore it altogether
How am I going to break down all these boxes?
Forget about them too
Boil potatoes
Another pot gets a cinnamon stick
And I’m still translating you into English
As if I could
Here’s a dish of kohlrabi with capers and parsley
I like these things you can just peel
And there’s the sweet potato
Depending on the size bake in 400 degrees
50 minutes or less


Guido works on his fresco
An account of what’s what
You can’t provide for others
Just by sprouting wings
I’m not complaining
On the contrary I’m satisfied, even laughing
We’re not organized
Squirrels took a wrong turn
Came in and were escorted out with a broom
Think of friends of long ago
What they were to you
Guido blows through a straw
And their faces appear

To Ann

Happy New Year
Needing help and refusing it
Do it yourself, that’s who you are
Dying alone at birth
Warmth of tears
But that’s too much biology
Never enough time
To scramble all the eggs in the world
Did you want to take that on?
The little pressure valves of air
Touching and feeling it
I see you always
You don’t move
Pulsations will move you later
Beat the carpets
But don’t touch the pictures, that’s your family