“Missing” Murmurs and Trembles

our “missing”
everywhere

khaki and cold metal
hard triggers wrapped
in soft youth
and innocence

The ripper, in zealous love
screams the goal
that sound, like metal tearing itself apart
extinguishing life and hope

On those grounds
ancestral and our own
the red stain spreads

The ground murmurs, trembles
Vibrates with the screams
“run        Run       RUN”
But my feet are two great stones
Wet with blood and urine

Doors and alleyways are choked
Waves of “us” are still running
Rope sinks into wrists
Faces
frozen, pale
like yellow sheets
And so many belts
piled on our school floor
What are we learning today

How did I make it out of there?

Anna M. Agathangelou and Kyle D. Killian

Disappearances/Departures

Memory is dim, punctuated with flashes
abyss, a bright light, despair returns
Night’s quilt covering the fields
Screeches from nearby trees
Accompany the soldiers’ serenade

As shells and bullets shatter and bruise
Words are the first casualty
Lying dead in a muted mouth
in mid stanza, the statue stands
Not one letter emerges from its bronze orifice

The poet wants to hide, but where?
An owl flies near an ear, screeching
Bullets trace the night air, screaming
Frozen, the poet awaits its fate

What was screeching
Owls hunting for lost souls
Or shells in a flourish of history’s fire?
The poet, reaching for paper and pen
Finds instead bandages soaked in red

The poet aphonos, bereft of voice, in his armchair
What are the architects unfolding in front of the poet?
The poet stares at the mission maps as
Dysmonia spreads quickly in every inch of the earth

Off the poet’s cheeks blood dribbles to the ground
Sitting and grinning forever
Red splashes on the canvas
A history in bloody ink

Anna M. Agathangelou and Kyle D. Killian

Cyprus Roars

I am Cyprus and my pain is deep
My womb is in shambles
My head and shoulders ache
all my body cells, one by one, are injured
Male doctors unceasingly excavate my pain
I cannot speak of my dead sisters/their beatings
all the rapes, my anguish

I cannot speak of my colonizers
and all my struggles for justice
At times, I can hardly remember
all the stories I have to tell
When I was an active witness to myself
to a world of abject poverty
and all the sexual violence
When my memories overflow/wanting me to tell
I am Cyprus/and I can be silent no longer

Anna M. Agathangelou

Surrogates of Death/Our Source of Life

ACT I.

The curtains on the stage are dropped
Multiple dramas unfold in front of us
All orators on the stage are dressed in
Crimson and amethyst-studded robes
Rings on their well-groomed-polished fingers
Glittering with emeralds
Elegantly taking their positions
Awaiting the procession

Uncanny repressed memories
Of lost dreams and struggles
Pushing asunder the cobwebs
In the attics
Proceed to contend the secrets

Oh un-national, unhomely gadgets
Owners of power, property, life
unbounded by corporeal prescriptions
incarcerating and suffocating
The very tissue of vitality
That which is deemed killable
black raw flesh ready to be murdered
for what interests, family quarrel and betrayals?

Why this sudden inaction?
Why have the civilized forgotten their laws
Ordering the capture of this source of life?
Who are these captors?
Turning from being antagonists to protagonists
What are they preparing for by murdering?
Accolades?
What becomes indispensable in these multiple dramas?
Honors?

Where are the civilized?
Have they forgotten their speeches?
Forgotten their say?

Why do the civilized call this anarchy?
Wasn't this their order?
Gating the city, wonderful inlays
Of silver and gold
Dazzling us all with their carved thrones
And marble temples

Why are they now scared of the uproars
leaping out of graves
the ethereal figures
vigorously moving through the air?

Did the civilized forget also
The sight of chains on captive flesh?
Just because they broke their bodies
Just because they drove them to graves
All this and the civilized green currency
Did not bury them forever

Their vigorous dancing brings to life
music now for some, anarchy for the civilized

ACT II.

Razed red curtains
the play seems to begin only now
the audience bursting with excitement
joins the performers on stage

Was the white drama a dream?
Was I hearing the voices of the barbarians instead?
Those surrogates who know nothing else?
But slaughter and mutilation even when it is aside
Revering the owning flesh?

Asphyxiating that voice as it may be
Drumming us together “all in manacles”
Turns itself into a seductive call
Lulling us not to rise and strike off
‘revolutions are of the past,’ the voice shouts
‘Viva liberal democracy, viva capitalist dreams’
corpses in chains are what stitch bit by bit our security
surrogates of death drink panegyrically
celebrating Bacchus-the gods, to be exact
Salivating at every drop of blood
thoughts of dry chalices dither
other sounds other voices stronger though
the careless acolytes hear them
“Open the gates...our music has never died”

ACT III.

Drunk with their desires
In and out, the expulsions continue
Desperately acquiring the murdered flesh
Hoping to thrive in its vigor

O the (an)archies of the civilized
Are they turning into illusory scenes of closure
Deadly clamors short-circuiting them?

Echoes, reverberations
Unthinkable expressions, move outward
The dancers in millions leap
Amidst the celebrants, the befuddled
Tumble upon and perturb one another
For they know what sort of (an)archy this is

What they have tried to clamor for
magically appears as the phoenix
transforming the bottomless abyss
the cowards wanted to fill
Myriads of bodies churning them into fleshy commodity
hearing nothing-not fear, not terror-
Only the grinding of the machine
lusting for everybody and everything
even for that reverence that anarchy demands
And like a garden, life pushes up, up through tattered remains
In the visions of life from all this death
We see no civilized, and no barbarians--
Those people are no kind of solution.

Anna M. Agathangelou

Poems By: Anna M. Agathangelou & Kyle D. Killian, Toronto (ON, Canada)

Back to Anna M. Agathangelou’s Artist Statement/Biography