The Greek poet Vasilis Steriadis [Βασίλης Στεριάδης] was one of the leading figures of Greek poetry during the period 1970-2000. Steriadis was born in 1947 in Volos and died in Athens, where he was working as a lawyer, in 2003. He studied at the University of Athens and at the University of Perugia in Italy.
Steriadis played a key role in the evolution of modern Greek poetry; his aesthetics was balanced between late modernism and postmodernism, expressing the peculiarity of a rare individualism. Lately his work has regained resonance with the younger generation of Greek poets, some of whom are prominent as his typical imitators; even though he remains wonderfully unappreciated by the critics and the academy.
Air of snow
I open my eyes and I am not myself.
The white blood of my neurons
Flows down and makes the weeds grow.
Outside the night has descended and it snows.
Probably in Eretria.
Kimon had spattered the woods with petroleum
And was asleep.
The other night Yannis was expecting me
With that poem for Morpho.
You write again and again like an idiot.
What you never wrote
Is how beautiful she is.
Even if all the poets of the world
In Perissos the phone is ringing
They will be looking for me.
The guys from the State Bureau of Legal Service
But who gives a shit.
I’ll go to Papagou despite this heavy snow storm
Even at the sea.
To Oropos on the ferry
Of that devious executioner who sells kebab meat.
The massacre at Chios
On the first level comes the smack.
You walk with a lottery ticket on the top of your head.
The white paper is drizzling smacks from here
Up to Thessaloniki.
The rain damages the stadium
Destroys the football match.
The same way you come to me in a dream
Not worn out from your illness.
And you break my balls
You give me such trouble.
There is no Sophia, Ourania, Maria
Any more, the lottery is drawn.
There’s not a poem which fucks and spanks.
Wherefore the sport is exhausting.
~Eretria, Perissos, Papagou, Oropos: names of places.
~Kimon, Yannis: names of the poet’s friends
~Morpho, Sophia, Ourania, Maria: names of the poet’s girlfriends
© The poems of Vasilis Steriadis are presented here with the permission of Kedros Publications.