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CHRISTODOULOS MAKRIS

 

Christodoulos Makris

Christodoulos Makris was born in Nicosia in 1971. He studied in Manchester and has also lived in Preston, London and Dublin. He is now based in north county Dublin and works in the public library service of Fingal County Council. His poems have appeared in several journals (including Southword 13) and his chapbook entitled Round the Clock was published in March 2009 by Wurm Press. He is the Dublin regional editor for Succour magazine and co-founder and organiser of Poetry Upfront, a series of poetry readings and events in north county Dublin.

 

 

 

 

Dubious Words

 

(Shura Wevill died with her mother in March 1969, aged four.)

 

 

What might I have grown up to be, mummy –

a tap dancer, a marketeer, a maître d’?

A poetess, perhaps, like your legendary rival,

or like her daughter – the half-sister I almost had.

 

Animals and dolls, wooden toys and petticoats

spring from my stunted memory—jumbled

like the artefacts and accents you picked up with aplomb

and carried in your luggage.

A man we began to call daddy would vanish—

and return sometimes with gifts

and with food and siblings that turned us – briefly – into a family;

then again vanish, denounce and banish us

from the royal records of his feats.

 

Who decreed we had to hang on to that man’s caprices?

 

This was post-war England

with its peculiar certainties and mistrust of foreignness

and all things remotely German—

yet she’d been much more the hausfrau you could ever be:

that was her one aspect you refused to copy.

 

You settled into her effects and ended up possessed by her.

 

You composed your own epitaph.

A lover of unreason and an exile,

you felt rejected by a man you deified:

this could crush women hardened in post-feminist times.

Add your society’s mistrust of you

(borne of your whims and indiscretions, I know)

and the labels people stuck on you

– the other woman, she-devil, fateful enchantress:

you, not he, were the death of her –

and your final solution seems almost rational.

 

Why must we be a footnote to someone else’s story—

now spawning books attempting to explain us and our death?

Who are these people claiming to know us, mummy—

who gives them the right to invent for us a voice?

Pictures on glossy paper and dubious words

is all they have of us.

 

©2009 Christodoulos Makris

 

Author Links

Round the Clock's page at Wurm Press

Makris's Blog: yes, but is it poetry

 

 

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