8. 27. 2017 Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

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27. 8. 2017 Hélène Cardona, John High, and Antonia Alexandra Klimenko will read from their new poetry books. Reading will begin 19hr at The Tennessee Bar

Antonia Alexandra Klimenko was first introduced on the BBC and to the literary world by the legendary Tambimuttu of Poetry London–-publisher of T.S. Eliot, Henry Miller and Bob Dylan, to name a few. After his death, it was his friend the late great Kathleen Raine who took an interest in her writing and encouraged her to publish. Although her manuscript was orphaned upon “Tambi” s passing, her poems and correspondence have been included in his Special Collections at Northwestern University. A former San Francisco Poetry Slam Champion, Klimenko is widely published. Her work has appeared in (among others) XXI Century World Literature (in which she represents France) The Poet”s Quest for God Anthology, CounterPunch, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology,  The Rumpus, Levure Litteraire, Paris Lit Up, Knot Magazine, Big Bridge, The Opiate, Writing for Peace, Strangers in Paris—New Writing Inspired by the City of Light, Occupy Poets’ Anthology (in which she is distinguished as an American Poet), and Maintenant : Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art archived at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. She is the Writer/Poet in Residence for SpokenWord Paris.

Beautiful Lies

Don’t be a stranger !
you said
Just come as you are
if I’m still around
that is
and if you’re not
well then
come as you aren’t

but come nonetheless
ready to peel paint
and poems off every wall
to bid proper adieu
to this tortured chamber
with its weeping window
with its hardwood soul
with its wounded lilies
still licking salt from their pointy spears

Come join me
you said
a last little Nothing
we leave
all this

if by chance
you just happen
to pass a loaf of bread
disguised as a sandwich
or a bottle of water
impersonating Merlot
Hmmm Swiss cheese could be nice
Yes Swiss is neutral territory
but without the bulletholes this time
or just some raw flesh
with a charming garnish
you know
bring her along too

We’ll make a night of it–
a fright of it–
and the rockets’ red glare
the bombs bursting in air
Blonde Bombshells
brunettes redheads deadheads

if they’re still around that is
(you fired your machine gun laugh)
A real party–
a Socialist Party
with red herrings
and my pasta ala pesto
Green Party manifesto
(Not to forget onion soup
sniff sniff
I blubbered)

we’ll stay up late
only to fade
into the suncontrollable light
so we can make Art
and Love
and wordless words
like ooh lala and lahdeedah
tell each other
beautiful lies    like
we’ll meet again
but always in the next life

And if
we should pass one another
on the edge of the Unknown–
the brink of unbearable being
we’ll promise to nod
and look the other way
you said you said
with your one arm missing–
your eyes– two flashing fish
swimming in pools of blood–
to look the other way

if by chance
I said
you plunge your salty spear
into the random dictionary of my grief–
this life I live by rumor–
if by chance
should shuffling one day
find you
on a blind alley in Paris
in the urinal of Forget
the fountainhead of Remember

pissing under
some other melting definition–
a bridge of conjoined parentheses–
the footnote’s crucifix of stars

pretend you don’t know me
that I may recognize you at once
for the stranger that I am

know you
by your ordinary ready-made smile
the one that bleeds offstage
in the unsung cacophony
of your cabaret heart

know you
for your violation of syntax
for your wanton obscurity
looking for a cafe noir identity
to call its own
No one not even
our literary movement
nor the crystal unconscious secondhand emotion
of the astral ticking clock
can claim the iconic Nothingness of you
shattering every mirrored reflection
that has gone and come before you
Everybody is Nobody to Somebody
I sighed
(disguised as myself)
if by chance
we should meet–
my friend–
in the middle                                                                                                                                                                     of this sentence–
surely a life sentence sans paroles
or between the bloodied wine-stained sheets
on some other crumpled page    in time

come as you aren’t
but come




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