Lucas Samaras

The flesh of the temporary

 translated by Yannis Goumas                                               



                                                        He was born in 1936 in Kastoria.

                                                       His father left for America in 1939


As children we laughed and cried

we threw bullets in the fire

which burst and we skedaddled

one by one we all became works of art


we leaked in history

we looked goggle-eyed

                                childish eyes

buttons in sockets, we jangled

afterwards we played in churches

                                with bones

we never ceased inventing games


father you left in 1939

– I was about three years old –

                                 I’m waiting for you

looking at a tree outside the door

at mother indoors – a check tablecloth –

                                 I’m waiting for you

water’s running, I spill liquids here and there,

                                I’m waiting for you


You come either as a letter, as defoliation

                                or like a voice

– like a coloured voice melting away –

and finally as a picture’s explosion

                                 like a flood

I became a work of art, father


Whenever I paint, I make a father

of myself


        The flesh of the temporary  (2015)  


*Lucas Samaras (1936): Greek-American artist



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