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THIRTEEN WAYS

By Angeliki Malakasioti



I
There is fog among twenty mountains.
Interesting,
their eyes are black.

II
I was born from three ideas,
like a tree,
Three black birds.

III
The black bird turned to the autumn wind,
This is only part of the gesture.

IV
Vapor.
They are one.
Vineyards and vineyards.
They are one.

V
I do not know what you prefer,
The beauty of prejudice,
Hungry beauty,
Or later.

VI
There is a lot of ice on the window.
A cup of water.
Black shadow.
I went,
Aptly,
To find a shadow
For an unknown reason.

VII
Oh, men are so weak,
Can you imagine a golden bird?
I cannot see a black bird
Turn your feet around,
Are women better than you?

VIII
I know the right voice
a pure and inevitable song.
But I also know
Bird wings flying together.
All I know.

ΙΧ
I saw a black bird,
Absolute affection,
One of the many tires.

Χ
Face of a black bird
Green light that flies,
Even with a short pathos
I cried.

ΧΙ
Moving to disconnection
Above a table of glass,
I get rid of the fear,
Mistaking shadows
for a bird of dusk.

XII
Rivers flow,
Black birds should be flying.

XIII
It was night the entire day
As if it was buried in fog.
Come to the port.
Get up and lie down by the sea,
Among the cedar branches.

Artist's Note

Conceptually driven, this piece of work reinterprets the famous poem ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’ by Wallace Stevens (1954) in an iterative process of thirteen successive translations of the text through the unconventional use of Google translate system in different languages. Through this digital appropriation process, manifold flaws and imperfections of the electronic medium emerge, such as misconceptions, cultural differences, language particularities and diversities from one language to the other, which are deliberately used by the writer in the creative writing process as a tool for structuring a new poetic form, embedding all these qualities and multiplicities of textual layers, concepts and meanings that arise.

Being initially a poem expressing the different ways of seeing and perceiving the world, the metamorphosis of the text in this context adopts a new form which is permeated by the ‘spell’ of technology. ‘Thirteen Ways’ becomes a metaphor for the contemporary ways of ‘being’ in a digital world.
Angeliki Malakasioti is a multidisciplinary artist and academic living in Greece. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Audio and Visual Arts, Ionian University. Her artistic and research activity focuses on the intersection of technology and human experience, digital culture, conceptual design, and multimodal discourse.