There, We’re Whispers

Website Version Here

By Christos Floratos

In grainy corridors calling distant lights

Where shadows erect pillars of blight,

The wooden walls beg down upon me,

And here I am left quaking at its fee.

 

No, it is not that cold snap,

Nor is it that summer’s shimmer,

The houses left tender – just a whisper.

In howls of the past; here they entrap.

 

Arsonists of hate and weavers of sorrow

They gather like dying moths to flickering toilet lights.

“Isn’t that him?” They whisper and spray,

With their stuttered voice and eyes disarray,

 

Like Satan is on their door step and all they can do

Is whisper and point at him.

The farmer of salvation dug deep in mud yet

No one utters a word to him.

 

Neon lights echo a howling gale through the grey jungle

Flashes flash as Utterers utter

“Tell us more.” They demand then hide,

However, they’ve been blinded by their gaze to the blaring sun.

Yet here I am in this humble abode,

Ants follow and sheep’s tune to anode

For you see,

It all came with one simple mist…

 

Because of those whispers

And those damn spitting lights

It shook me here in this necropolis disintegrating

And all those sheep are going,

And here in the back of the cities I must confess,

 

There, we’re whispers.

And I followed the shame.

 

© Christos Floratos 2019

This is one of those ‘death of the author’ poems I alluded too that would come in this collection. I am so interested in what other people think this poem is about, so shoot me a message on my social medias or leave a comment below!

Other poems of the Autumn, That Bastard collection:

The Penelope Complex – What the Heck am I Rambling about? #6

In ‘The Penelope Complex’ I use the character from Homer’s Odyssey to draw comparisons and reflect on my own fidelity to the craft of writing and my own literary identity.

You can check out the poem here before reading ahead!

As promised in the author’s comments section, I will expand upon the River Nile and Styx reference. Although this comes from Egyptian mythology, I also use Biblical mythology along with the more poignant Greek Mythology to represent the conflux of my personal writing identity. When writing, I often feel I need a period of going down a metaphorical ‘River Styx’ to get me to flourishing and blooming, similar to the bounties of the flood that the Nile produces. Usually though, it is hard to articulate this.

But who am I to suggest such a flow

A stream of vacant words is all I know

The most obvious reference to Penelope is about me standing tall and waiting for sailors. I say I usually wait for the right idea, wait the right prose to hit me, wait until I have free time to end up writing… but, yes you guessed it, that’s a lie. Focus is usually hard that erupts in life and usually I miss chances that I could use to further hone in on my craft. The cave I refer to that other sailors, which are interchangeable with other authors or other ideas for writing I might have, go to is a metaphor isolation that is often paired with the hobby of writing. Similar to that of a grave, which is why I use the rhyming scheme of grave/cave.

I wait, wait, wait. But wait, that’s a lie.

The alliteration of ‘typewriter’s’, ‘tent’ and ‘temporary’ attempts to produce the feeling of short-lived moment, such as the purpose of ‘tent’ and the nostalgia of writing on a ‘typewriter’. Unlike Penelope, I make the remark saying that I am unable to wait, calling back on the Adam reference in the last stanza with the rib. The quickie exorcist is reference to trying to find ways to revive old stories, that have been lost to my own dedication to my craft. Stories, characters and entire worlds I have cast aside to remain loyal to a specific piece of work. Below, I do see grass in terms of fertility of ideas but remaining forward, I will be burdened by not being able to tap into everything I would love to work with.

More ghosts undulate through this hall everyday
Scoured by a quickie exorcist who shall prey.

Thank you for getting down here and getting to know a little bit more of what I am rambling about. If you have any interpretations for yourself, I would so love to hear them in the comments or in my social medias!

The Penelope Complex (Poem)

By Christos Floratos

_

Perhaps (unlike the earth) I am still.

A foyer of glass.

This God’s broken – he’s ill!

I should take a seat for this pen-ship will be a while.

Perhaps from this River Styx

Flows the River Nile.

But who am I to suggest such a flow,

A stream of vacant words is all I know,

For what else will stem from my mouth’s door.

Resistance etches past like a broken claw.

_

Poor devil. Afar, He is so wounded.

I am not a sinner. I exist in this garden, guarded.

Pen to paper, and where I sit, a lost Eve.

The red bite of delights was added to my fee.

I am eager, I am complex, I am strong, I am indifferent to Adam.

And I am in no mood to forget this ill requited spasm.

_

This is a hero’s (Ulysses) hall which hails from the great south.

I am its champion as established by word of mouth.

A step forward should jilt the glass,

And I will fall through, the death-bed of the middle class.

_

Out the window the evening tide calls,

When I see a bulbous light on the horizon, I stand tall.

But cocky sailors arrive from beyond the grave

They go home, back to being buried in a cave.

_

I wait, wait, wait. But wait, that’s a lie.

Under the hollow fogs that sprout I must confide,

I have no time for consistency in my crafts construction.

See me in my paper hut, all is friction.

_

This typewriter’s tent is only temporary

Though I experience such a parry

When the birds, crickets, cicadas and barks fill my ear.

I cannot always hold beauty out of fear.

I like glass for its not opaque.

Nothing to tempt, no crimson quake.

_

I must not damsel on the notepad foyer for routine grows dreary on me,

It bags and sags, ages like skin, and Goddamn my old works weren’t the key.

In my wake as I move forward, I produce black smog

I cannot wait for you, take my rib now and sit like a dog.

More ghosts undulate through this hall everyday

Scoured by a quickie exorcist who shall prey.

Below me, I see grass.

Above, I shall fast.

_

© Christos Floratos 2019

We Need to Address Racism – What Happened at Christchurch and to the Muslim Community

First thing, I would like to extend my thoughts and support to the Muslim/Islamic community and towards our global friends in New Zealand. If anyone needs some support after this event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local support services. I also extend this post as an invitation for anyone affected to message me on my social media or email if they need to discuss what happened. (Those should be in the side bar or bottom bar)

Second thing, please consider donating to support the victims here:

https://www.launchgood.com/project/support_for_the_families__victims_of_the_new_zealand_mosque_shootings#!/

Every racist persons needs to be held responsible for the creation of this tragedy. Every man, woman and smart-ass person in the comment sections on Facebook need to be held accountable for what happened to the Muslim community. Every politician who victim blames needs to be exposed for the supremacist they are.

Although censorship is always a tricky area, contributing to knowledge on this disgusting event by watching his video or reading the work does nothing but exalt radical right-wing ideologies. Please, do not expose yourself to it. Do not give this horrid creature what he wants.

Instead, support our Muslim friends, our Muslim children, our Muslim family, workmates, students, religious leaders and even strangers of our community. I am very much invested in the concept of Ubuntu (“I am because we are”) and since I found out what happened, I have been hurt and shocked.

For people who say this happens to other countries regularly, I am hurt for them as well. But the reason I speak about this more is because I am accustomed to western society. This happened in the western world, in a country so small and so close to where I live. In terms of number of deaths, it was equal to 3,125 people if the same percentage was in America.

Please consider donating to this link:

https://www.launchgood.com/project/support_for_the_families__victims_of_the_new_zealand_mosque_shootings#!/

And please in this distressing time, take care of yourself. Right now, I am fuelled by anger towards how this could have happened. Because I know how. Racism created this terrorism. There is no other way of putting it. Xenophobia, ignorance and hatred has been stained onto the Islamic community, unjustly! A community that I share knowledge and culture with has been traumatised by the acts of terror.

Don’t forget that racism created this terrorism.

Happy International Women’s Day from Christoast!

Today is International Women’s Day! I want to take the time to mention some of the positive women who have influenced my life!

First would have to be my mother:

Most of my values of just being a good human being and respecting other people have come from her. She is a sweet, fierce, kind, forward-thinking, collected and assertive woman. She has helped help shape my values of helping others in my profession but also with being genuine and real with people.

Secondly would be my sisters:

All three have taught me different lessons, about being myself, about how to take-care of myself and how to stand-up for myself. Those three have really shaped how I assert my self in my everyday interactions and how I keep things mellow.

Thirdly would be my friends:

I would mention them all by name, but in reality all of my female friends have impacted how I am a man. Many have taught me emotional tolerance, inspired and instigated my own creativity, and have given me the avenue to explore my hobbies and interests.

Thank you to all the females in my life! Thank you for making me a better person. I aspire to help in anyway I can to contribute to equality!

You’re a Feminist but you just don’t know it yet!

Sometimes, people are so afraid of being labelled a ‘feminist’ they will start their sentence, thought or idea by saying…

“I’m not a feminist but women should be treated equally.”

Some guy at some point in time, probably.

Feminism as a movement has been and will continue to be about getting equality for women and advocate for the same rights and decency that men experience. Although some people think ‘Egalitarianism‘ is a good word to describe it, feminism focuses on gender usually (without going too deep).

“But Christoast!” I may hear you say, “I’m not a Feminazi!

To which, I would reply with the following. You don’t need to be afraid of that term, and you should really reconsider the usage. ‘Feminazi’ is used badly as another way (well, as suggested by the oxford dictionary for political slang) of saying a ‘determined feminist’. It is actually quite a derogatory term and when someone is labelled a feminazi, it usually isn’t because of their radical ideas but rather miscommunication or vilification. There may be extreme ideologies but you will find them so few and sparse within the theory/movement.

You are a feminist if you do these things:

  • Respect women (and not for your own benefit but because you genuinely respect them)
  • Thats it. Thats the catch-all.

Some who may be tilting their heads may say, “But men suffer problems and don’t get attention and have higher suicide rates and not being able to express emotion… etc.”

And if you are concerned about those problems, great! You are even more of a feminist! Because those are feminist issues. Because toxic masculinity deems you cannot cry, you cannot express emotion and permits this harm. It categorises emotion and ‘girly things’ as ‘not manly’ and as such, you become a target for expressing any femininity. Yes, those issues stated may affect men, but they are rooted in assumptions of what is appropriate gender expression for a man which is often seen as not anything that woman can do.

I wrote this article/blog post in response to common people being afraid of identifying as feminist. You need to know, that being a feminist is not a bad thing! This is particularly targeted to men and women who think negatively of the term feminist to help challenge assumptions about the word and about the lens and movement.

However, I am always interested in continuing this discussion so leave a comment if you so inclined or hit me up on one of my social medias!

When Winter Is Expected – What the Heck am I Rambling about? #5

“When Winter is Expected” is the poem where it all (conceptually speaking) began for the ‘Autumn, That Bastard‘ collection. I wrote this poem after my dog, Lilly, passed away. The poem is a reflection of both her and myself in the Autumn that is ageing and time.

You can check out ‘When Winter is Expected‘ here.

There is one or two characters in this poem, depending how you look at it. These two characters are, symbiotic. The only defining character trait of both that unite then is their genders being the same. This is a reference to both me and Lily being young and old, both of us being both of these things at once. I intentionally confuse the audience with who the girl is and who the other woman is. Although it does not make for crisp reading, its a way for met to express the discrepancy of ageing and how confronting it is in this situation.

Her eyes are washed with cerulean;
Of the stream and the moss afloat,
Of hybrids of delphinium, iris and hydrangeas,
Of afore her eyes, the girl’s yellow dress and the sky above.

Stanza 2

The river’s are another reference to our lives being on the same trajectory and slowly branching off and running away from the girls sprint ahead. ‘No false mower’ is a reference to not denying her favourite activity, which was to go on walks and be ahead of me (which is the girl is a head of the lady).

At every glance from the girl, she can’t help but turn aside.

Stanza 3

The tagline for the whole ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ collection comes from here. “Savour the warmth for winter is expected to come.” Savouring the warmth refers to keeping up the good times with her in her final weeks and preparing for the winter of grief that would come after. Again, this is applicable for both me and for her.

Run into the sun that sets, swallow the light.
Savour the warmth, for winter is expected to come.

Stanza 7

Thank you for checking out this little discussion on my poetry!

Follow my blog to be up to date with poetry releases and projects I am working on!

Check out other poems from the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ poetry collection.

When Winter is Expected (Poem)

By Christos Floratos

Website Version Here

By the rocking chair,

Birds and wrinkles have brought her.

By the river,

Lilies grow and summer shimmers on top.

 

Her eyes are washed with cerulean;

Of the stream and the moss afloat,

Of hybrids of delphinium, iris and hydrangeas,

Of afore her eyes, the girl’s yellow dress and the sky above.

 

The girl runs through the grassy field ahead.

Unchained she is a madman. The poor insect she tramples.

Yet in excitement she goes and goes, and doesn’t stop, oh no.

Where does the horizon end she ponders?

 

Her smile turns to ploughshares; the girl runs off.

At every glance from the girl, she can’t help but turn aside.

She has a bouquet prepared for the girl, with a card

 “Go and go, before the horizon is met!”

 

Adjacent the girl, was the river.

Her feet drifted to the side, parallels were an expectation.

She got lost in the grass, high as her. 

No false mower to cut her down, a maze she’ll burn.

 

When her feet are oiled again,

And her gears tune in motion,

Perhaps she will follow the girl

And maybe the flowers won’t rot in her hands.

 

Up, up, titanic like the Southern Cross.

The girl is fading into the grass, skipping to the rhythm of her soles.

A smile is broken for her, vaguely.

Run into the sun that sets, swallow the light.

Savour the warmth, for winter is expected to come.

 

To that horizon where she presumes the girl wondered,

She places the bundle, arranged full of bulbous colours.

The rivers ran off, cowering from this line.

She lets the weeds catch her, so she can watch.

There as it dried out, she stares just to watch the flowers die.

 

© Christos Floratos 2019

What “No Politics” actually mean for forums and comment sections?

Comment sections and forums across the internet often have some kind of ‘no politics’ rule. Depending on the type of post, this usually robs a certain voice that must be heard. Of course, if it is a picture of a puppy liking peanut butter, then I better not hear about Trump’s wall in that comment section. But if it’s a discussion on say, Liam Neeson and the recent confusion of a journalist for a psychologist, the implications of his thought process have larger ramification that need to be addressed.

What I really like to try emphasise in a lot of my academic, creative and social thinking is that we are all political.

I don’t mean that we are all eligible of being the Prime Minister of Australia in the next minute (although that is arguably highly likely considering) but that all of us have power to affect beliefs and ideas of others all around us.

So a comment section or forum that talks about some kind of news story or event or idea, which isn’t allowed to be discussed in a ‘political’ way means a whole voice is robbed. A whole conversation about the power dynamics of a post is lost. The voice that would want to challenge what’s happening isn’t able to be heard. Power remains the same, lost to the authority of the ‘no politics’ idea. This becomes oppressive and weakens the chance for civil opinions to be heard.

An example I want to use is, as alluded too, the Liam Neeson fiasco. The link escapes me at the time of writing but I came across a thread that basically said ‘Let’s not talk about the politics behind this and appreciate how good of an actor he is, regardless’ (not verbatim).

The article highlighted over his name suggests that if what Liam Neeson did was done to a white person, race would not have been involved and he wouldn’t have sought out a white person. This is due to the assumed whiteness that is vicarious in our western society. So in a comment section that disallows the voice concerned about racism, in order to instead celebrate the mans accomplishments… it unconsciously accepts the dangers of lived racism.

We need to talk about politics, but not in the way we all think. We need to recognise everything we do has weight. Every single action affects how those around us perceive their world and how they enact their lived experience of said world.

There is no such thing as ‘no politics’, rather, only the politics that certain people want to hear when it would otherwise challenge human rights and basic human decency.