Basilike Pappa, As Rain Inside The Brain

Proud to be on Dodging The Rain today. Thank you, Neil Slevin!

DODGING THE RAIN

MELINDA’S LONG SCARF SYNDROME

Melinda stores memories inside chickens – uncaring birds.
Buys groceries.
Eats. Cleans. Makes a cup of tea.
Sitting by her window she knits long scarves. Hobbies are a good thing.
It all feels like calling home and speaking in a foreign accent, or like a strange cat sitting on her armchair.

Melinda used to have her rooms full of nightingales. Sometimes she flashed them at people. Well, she is only human.
But counting nightingales before they sing all their songs is a cheater.

It comes as a missed train, as rain inside the brain; as unequal exchange, torn page, minimum wage. It comes as derealization, depersonalization, as minding the gap but still getting your foot stuck in it; as varicose vein, chest pain, not so sweet martha lorraine. It comes as blue, to paint blue the heart; as human factor, x-factor, max factor. It comes as…

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A Picnic in Oblivion – Basilike Pappa

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

It was fluffy and green as far as the eye could see, with the bluest sky above. Maro said it smelled like cotton candy.

She had to argue a little about it with Pandora, who was sure it smelled like cream pie. Thea said it wasn’t that important. To her it was honey cookies; the place smelled different to everyone.

In any case, all three agreed it was a beautiful day for a picnic. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the stream sounded like harps, Pandora said. Or Venetian lutes, Maro said. Or flutes, said Thea, tilting her face back to meet the golden caress of the sun.

‘Do you think it ever rains?’

‘I really hope it doesn’t,’ Maro said, taking some fruit out of the picnic basket. Fruit was all that was allowed – every kind except apples. They were a touchy subject.

‘Did it…

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Nation & Decoration (part 5): Bojana Stojcic & Basilike Pappa

BUY ANY PRODUCT FROM OUR DECORATION GALLERY 1, GALLERY 2, GALLERY 3 OR GALLERY 4 NOW AND GET TODAY’S OFFERS FREE!!!

 

GLOBAL DELIVERY AVAILABLE

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A number of experiments have revealed it does not take more than five seconds for someone to judge you when you meet for the first time, forming an opinion based on the way you look and behave. Take our advice: don’t be yourself or you’ll spoil it. Making a positive first impression means pretending to be someone you are not – civil, considerate and law-abiding. A smile is always a winner, along with a handful of promises and a positive approach. Do not despair if you flop badly though as supposedly it takes another twenty experiences for someone to change their initial belief. If you are not sure about your mannerisms, demeanor and language, let your house do the talking. Wow your guests by offering them an amusement ride through your brand new world but check first they hold onto the bars to ensure they survive falling off the horses. Do not worry if the experience seems surreal even to you. On the bright side, it’s better than real. It’s pretend.

amusement park, Seph.PNG

Joy ride (the wheels on the car go round and round)

Inviting people to your newly-decorated house is intended to invite good luck. Still, it may be as frightening as ceremonial ship launching. What if a sacrificial bottle of champagne does not break? You can relax. Nation & Decoration assures you your guests will be so fascinated by your fancy driveway that they will hardly get their own name out of their mouth, let alone talk about serious stuff, which generally scares you to death. Here’s a quick tip: use sarcasm as a mask for your insecurity and a lack of knowledge in a particular field. If you have a bad sense of humor, forget about it, and help us help you by advertising our business and products, specially designed to withstand whatever wear and tear your driveway may see, including extreme temperatures, freeze-thaw cycles and extensive everyday activity.

Driveways tend to be unfairly perceived as nothing but concrete slabs. Big mistake! In our opinion, they need to play a big role in your home’s appearance and are crucial in image management which should by no means be a one-time thing, but rather an ongoing process. Let’s face it, your current image does not say much about you. Actually it says you are a stressed, unreliable, and dangerously arrogant and promiscuous jerk who has garnered plenty of attention for lambasting other people’s (presidents’) policies and actions. With a little help from our eminent designers, you will get a great-looking driveway that will boost the value of both your precious home and your not so precious self. In short, we will assist you in determining ways you could change to project a more positive first impression and/or control what others see, which will hopefully enhance your status and induce likeability in the long run.

The quality of flaunting your wealth invited hostility long before you came on the scene so don’t be surprised that your spending habits have become one of the most common topics of discussion in the media or elsewhere. Other people have it too, but not necessarily your talent. Imagine making a frugal car purchase or, even worse, not knowing what apartment buildings, hotels and aircraft to buy. Pathetic, isn’t it? Your willingness to invest in the driveway will show visitors you are a force to be reckoned with. Therefore, instead of spending your precious time on improving yourself, you ought to invest money you have in abundance in resurfacing your driveway (that is things such as decorative brick or cobblestone, block paving, gravel or decomposed granite). Keep in mind a well-designed driveway is supposed to provide a framework, whereas an extravagant car collection every billionaire needs to have in their possession will be more than enough to provide the content.

Although some people might think refinement and size are just about everything your land yachts have to offer, you should know better. You will be envied one way or the other. The bottom line is some like it hot, while others like it big and classy, obviously to compensate for their apparent smallness in other departments, but hey, at least you have the cars. Take our word for it – few people can resist sheer luxury and spaciousness. Besides, it’s not every day we see such beauties cruising down the road, let alone come face to face with them. To keep everyone’s mouth shut, show off your awe-inspiring collection of expensive cars, from the most obvious models such as Rolls Royce and Mercedes-Benz to the inevitable Ferrari, classic Cadillac, good old Chevy, stylish Lamborghini, and a beastly extravagant limo, all coming with some great stories. Do not forget to put the most incredible car you own on display, built to suit your needs and lifestyle, that is equipped with the James Bond-type safety advances (read: the ability to withstand small arms fire and small explosive devices).

While thinking of the ways to trick the Forbes list into showing your wealth has declined, make sure you have your coat of arms created and give some spare change to charity every now and then. The latter as a rule helps make a great impression and gain/keep a clear conscience. Come to think of it, the whole charity thing has made you pretty tired, right? Why don’t you board your private jet with leather seats for 43 passengers, 24-karat gold seat-belt buckles, TV screens, two bedrooms, and plenty of gold-trimmed details, fly to your super-luxury water villa in the Maldives and let your guests wonder – what’s with the gold obsession anyway?!

Guns n’ Roses (do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around)

You long for appreciation and like to be in the center of attention but fail to have a standing ovation due to the morals of a scam artist and the methods of a shyster. A guest-ready garden speaks volumes about your character so keep your mouth shut whenever possible and take your visitors out front. With a few tricks, you can achieve a more aesthetically appealing environment, in which it will be easier to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses. Mesmerized by your world of make-believe, your guests will gradually stop frowning even on your readiness to go to war to make a profit and boost your ratings, despite the fact you have never served in the military and are disrespectful to veterans. Our acknowledged experts will assist you by choosing comfy outdoor furniture that fits your garden style, as well as your personality. For one thing, you may want to consider investing in premium-quality pieces that are built to last: corner sofas, ottomans, sun umbrellas, a bar table, stools, BBQ, and even a small outdoor heater when evenings get cooler. One of the recent changes in interior design trends has been the use of curves and smooth edges as a way to get your way. Wooden furniture with its sophisticated natural look is always a smart choice. Luxurious teak is another great option, which, if properly maintained, could outlive your frivolous tweets while at the same time preventing your garden from becoming ‘a dumping ground for everyone else’s problems.’

Lanterns, sun-loungers, and national flags of friendly, rich countries are a trendy addition that could add a personal touch to your outdoor setting. You may need to steer clear of ‘extraordinarily low I.Q,’ ‘inferior intelligence of black people’ and ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now’ rhetoric when your guests ‘come from shithole countries’. To avoid the feeling of discomfort due to their refusal to stand for the National Anthem, the least you can do is ditch the Flags of our Fathers if you haven’t been able to stop seeing radical Islamic terrorists everywhere. Moreover, rumor has it you actually have to include Jews in your anti-Semitic ideology. Show your guests you can be the perfect host by (temporarily) getting rid of front and backyard fire pits, hate speech and attitude on border walls since they pose environmental hazards, along with a global change in thinking.

Garden ornaments have recently been welcomed back into the fashion. Hand-crafted stone statues of meditating frogs, cherubs on pedestal, gargoyles and dragons will satisfy everyone’s taste. Our professionals propose impressively powerful crouching griffins as gate keepers, that is guardians of the divine, suggesting you ‘abandon every hope, who enter here’. Bitumen sculptures that look like melting molasses are equally effective, accentuating never-ending transformations and transience while smartly concealing your love for tarring and feathering. Grotesque garden gnomes are gaining in popularity as well. Whether they pursue a leisurely pastime, fishing in a pool without fish and napping while the world is falling apart or wear executioners’ hoods and stab each other in the back, you have to admit they are adorable. However, as they are traditionally male, showing that sexual equality in the gnome world is only a pipe dream, don’t forget to hide them if you want ardent feminists off your back. Having a small garden pond is very modern nowadays too. Even though it might be a reminder you are a cast out of the duck pond, often teased for your own faults, make no mistake you are slowly turning into a narcissistic swan that will eventually be accepted among other animals and treated as an equal. Bear in mind at all times your guests’ attention needs to be kept so strongly on the water, luscious greenery, works of art and juicy Mexican gardeners and grilled meats that they find it impossible to look away. Under no circumstance are you to mention the past since they could realize the hollowness of the value system and remember better days easier than you think. Voter shortsightedness is your best card so do everything in your power to prevent even a mild degree of myopia from being corrected by disposing of glasses. If they start to question though, pour them another drink. When needed, turn to bribery for total memory erasure and lasting voter gratitude. It may be early for history, but it is never too late for historical revisionism.

Whatever you do, do not allow the house or garden to steal the show for they ought to give a grandiose view of your own appearance and emphasize your talents and aptitudes. No worries, other people’s pursuit of truth cannot and will not overshadow your relentless lies. You and you alone have weaponized nonsense that, thank god, never goes out of stock so they better see ‘the bigness of it all’. After all, you are the real Shady. All other Slim Shadys are just imitating.

 

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I owe a big thanks to Bojana Stojcic for writing with me. If I wasn’t me, I’d like to be her. Until we do this again, I’ll be enjoying her dark but true verse, addictive commentaries and caustic sense of humor. If you want a taste but don’t know where to start, try her memories from war, Weber for parents, and a poem you shouldn’t miss.

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© Basilike Pappa & Bojana Stojcic, 2019

Photography: Seph Lawless

Lines in the Sand (part 3): Jimmi Campkin & Basilike Pappa

Saltburn VI

 

You are my glorious disease and I have been fighting the cure ever since. I long for emptiness these days. No more cigarettes, no more drink, no more love. Just morose boredom and a meaningless fuck in dust. But still I think about wide hips and burgundy lips, thigh high stockings and your foot gently pressing on my groin like the gas pedal in a car. I remember your breath before you came in for the kill, and I remember the light dancing off the contours of your arched back. I remember wet, horrible sin.

I’ve tried to find alternatives but I only end up staring at the backwards writing on the base of the bottle. I go to a different store every day so the vendors don’t pity me. You drift into my mind like smoke under a door, and I never know whether to open it and try to escape or to stay and hope I pass out before I burn.

I walk into the bathroom and wash my face in the filthy sink, trying not to look at my own reflection and the betrayal of my dilated pupils. I tell myself I am done, that we are two cogs turning the opposite way, destroying each other.

But then I think,

one more time…

One more taste of red salt…

*

The poets of sweetness that made us cringe tell of a place where lovers live ever after in castles made of perfumed mists, saying to each other things like ‘forever’, ‘I swear’ and ‘always more’. We are too smart to swallow this, and yet here we are, all stars, fires and poetic license.

I claim to wish for your silence but, when I see you aren’t done, my heart races over the seas. You pull me back, tear me apart between lust and fear, doubt and trust, fire and ash. Controlling my sequences of movement, ordering contraction and release with the tapping of your fingertips, you make me lie in bed aching, holding on to the memory of you pinning me down with your body, with your brutal mouth, sinking so deeply inside me not even smoke can drift between us. It’s still you who drives me into the dance; memory becomes flesh as I squeeze my thighs together and think of flowing into you in gasping motions – wet, exalted.

The kill is on both of us. Pierced by the same blade we fall.

Here’s the truth: I can’t go on. I’ll bring you my tongue on a platter, my song out of tune, my sanity, my senses, all my silver jewels. I’ll even do the stupid stuff, like say ‘forever’, ‘I swear’ and ‘always more’. I’ll pass you the salt. And if we become material for the poets of shit, we’ll blame it on the weather or a collapsing bridge.

The words you wanted to hear were always there when I said bite / fuck / hard / eat / suck me, kávla – at the last one you’d say ‘what?’ and I’d say ‘guess.’ Always there when I was carnal.

Let’s take it from the start.

Say again: ‘Tell me something you’ve told no one else.’

This time I’ll say yes.

***

© Basilike Pappa & Jimmi Campkin, 2018

Photography by Jimmi Campkin

Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here

Lines in the Sand (part 2): Jimmi Campkin & Basilike Pappa

Portrait II

 

I tremble too much these days. I can barely light this cigarette without burning my fingers. Perhaps it is the drink. Perhaps it is memory, weighing on my soul like a lump of lead stretching the fibers of my arms.

I look up to the stars and the constellations spell your name, or the ripples of your laugh, or the contours and folds of your glorious sex. I am a weak man, which is simply to say I Am A Man… there is no strength emotionally, just the naked and vulgar grabs of power from that which we all fear the most. I stand on spiders because I fear them – you place a glass over spiders and release them because you fear them.

Your little black dress drove me crazy. Ever wonder what happened to it? So do I. It didn’t burn as I intended, but evaporated and, caught by an autumn breeze, drifted out of my desperate hands to be made anew elsewhere. That dress, those eyes, that smile, that mind… the endless churning of impenetrable cogs and gears, like a pocket watch.

All that I could be; carnal. All that you could be; my everything.

I still shiver, or tremble, or perhaps my body is rejecting memory, shaking it loose in self-preservation, like a wet dog. I just know I still wish to smell your early morning breath. When I go to the store I look for your footsteps. When I walk into the sea I look for your sand-ridden panties in a little pile next to the lapping tide. When I wake up, I wait for the pinch on the bridge of my nose to tell me it is time to rise.

My song is finished.

Your song is only just beginning.

*

You made me cry.

The wings that spread over seas, the wheels that turn on roads like these, have lights that can be taken for stars from a distance.

I have new dresses now. I am in them when I drink and dance and laugh at something someone said. The magazines are right about little black dresses. I can almost hear the cogs and gears behind erections, so I laugh a lot on days like these.

You speak of weakness. I’ll tell you what it is:

Weakness is a phone ringing with no one to hear it.

Mind covered in rust, shaking hands, what makes this body move among cardboard props is a mystery to this person in the mirror, eyes open wide, these walls know each other, this person inside them a stranger, attack it, heat it up, shorten its breath. Hand holds a cell phone, quasi real, at last an idea almost tangible, digits are the smallest grammatical units in this type of communication and you don’t even have to remember them because a device like this claims to have a memory better than anyone’s.

Weakness is a phone ringing ringing ringing with no one to hear it – where are you, fuck your god? You suck the air out of me and keep it in your lungs when we kiss, bring it back, bring me your voice, your skin to touch, it must be real or nothing is.

A face melting behind hands that come away wet, water on fingertips tastes like the sea. And where were you, fuck everything you’ve got, where was your voice, the smell of home, where were you laughing at something someone said?

You made me cry.

I swore you’d pay for it.

As I turned myself into a little light propelled by an engine across the sky, you were not looking at the stars. You were opening the package I’d left at your door, a gift that was terminal, reading the note that said ‘talk to this’.

I know my hands now and they are steady as I hold my glass. One cigarette dies and another is born – even cigarettes can look like stars from a distance. I have new dresses now, I drink, dance, laugh at something someone said when I’m inside them. But sometimes I dream of us deep in the orange grove, so no kiss is as terrible as yours, no body as warm as yours, and I have no song the way I had with you, singing out of tune to make you laugh.

Memory is weakness and I’ll burn it on a day like this, the way you burned the dress, just wait, you’ll see.

You did burn it, didn’t you? Unless ‘evaporated to be made anew elsewhere’ is your poetry of saying you gave it to someone else.

Take a deep breath, exhale and hate me, don’t make me cry, don’t drink and drive, eat your food. Then I may get my song back.

Could end this ‘with love’ – I’d rather sprain my hand.

 

***

© Basilike Pappa & Jimmi Campkin, 2018

Photography by Jimmi Campkin

Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.

You can read Part 1 here

Dyserotica-Basilike Pappa

Playing dead today on Sudden Denouement.

Sudden Denouement Collective

He wants me to play dead in a clearing on Hymettos, under the open sky. I lie down on a flat rock surrounded by anemones and chamomile, and he spreads my hair in a fan shape.You are so pale,’ he says, as if he sees me for the first time. He arranges my limbs in different positions, and I can assure you his touch is clearly academic. He walks around the rock to look at me from different angles, talking all the time about aesthetics. His vowels are precise, his sigmas soft and his nus ring of the best education money can buy.

He drags a finger over the childhood scar on my knee, asks how I got it. I could invent a heroic story; but the rock is smooth, the sun gracious, the breeze carries the scent of thyme, so I just tell him the truth: I…

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