Poetry by Maria Schiza with Photography by Tassos Schizas

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Poetry by Maria Schiza with Photography by Tassos Schizas

Sequence of Ekphrastic Poems by Maria Schiza

Body Boundaries


from an abundance of faces
down to one
then many again
minus that one
—that specified singularity—
a different multiplicity emerging

the light flashes

the faces stare directly
at the eye of the camera

who does this

who doesn’t flinch
or close their eyes
to grasp at a few
crumbs of rest

clutching at a photo
is – almost – like
caressing a face
only minus the texture,
the smell and one dimension

a loss

or many


something remains

staring right back


Really, there are three
ways to mark externally:
ink, knife edge, and fire.
They print themselves
on surface or skin
and linger
for life.

Even when removed or exorcised
some shadow stays in place.

Unlike us, I mean.
So much quieter
in our comings and goings.

A day in the life of—

These lights come on
every night
or they do not.
You sit on a bench,
curled casually,
or you do not.

Neither the lights
nor the bench
single you out
from the rest of
the crowd.


intimacy of indoors:
leaning against a counter
means there is more
holding me up
than my own muscles

we hold all things that shatter
carefully, warm inside our palms,
keeping them contained in spaces built
for their keeping

and yet,

I stumble,
the glass hitting the floor,
coming apart in shiny shards

the floor is now the site of a massacre;
the mirror and the lights witnessing
what used to be
a whole


the light in here
does not obstruct
the shadows from wrapping
themselves around corners

a screen would have made this easier
as would a painting

as things stand
the table only allows
for writing

the wall supporting it
is as blank as the page

the pen does not want
to be held
and my wrists are tired

the room allows for leaving
of course
or living

yet these can be found anywhere

which subtracts
from the experience of them


a performance of
death does not constitute an
exorcism tonight

instead a process
of integration into
escapist daydreams

the betrayal of

the body against its own

perfect symmetry


Maria Schiza is a freelance writer and translator from Thessaloniki, Greece. She has graduated with a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Nottingham and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Edinburgh, studying ekphrastic poetry. Her work has previously appeared in Persephone’s Daughters, on the website of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies, in Voices, and elsewhere.

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