DIMITRA XIDOUS / KEEPING BEES
Poems that push at the limits of respectability and solitude until those limits dissolve.
— Dave Lordan
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Cover art: Ria Czerniak
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DIMITRA XIDOUS is originally from Ottawa, Canada. Her poems have been published in literary journals in Canada, Ireland and the US, including Room, Penduline and Colony. The featured poet in the Spring 2014 issue of The Stinging Fly, Dimitra’s was a finalist in the 2014 Malahat Review Open Season Awards, shortlisted for both the Bridport Prize (2013) and for the Over the Edge Emerging New Writer Award (2013), and long-listed for the Montreal International Poetry Competition (2011). She curates The Ash Sessions, a poetry and music showcase in Dublin and co-founded and co-edits The Pickled Body, a quarterly poetry & art magazine.
Whenever anyone asked him about the symbolism
he’d answer ‘a bull is a bull and a horse is a horse’
and really, he’s right about that. Still, it was there,
in the horse most of all — a spear through the body,
throat tight, mouth like a vulva ajar choking on the meat
of an intruder — yes, it was there, in the horse most of all
where Picasso got it right, the way a living thing will react
to an attack on the body: he knew to paint it open;
agony exists best in the open, and sometimes also,
where there is a hole.
Leading up to Guernica, he practiced by painting
a horse with a beautiful body — healthy, plump, and
strong as any woman’s before she knows to fear
the sounds of guns, bombs, and unwanted sex. Next to it,
he painted a figure, thin as a stem, hung like a boy.
Pull the wing off a bee and it will still
die for the sting.
I think about the times I’ve pulled my feet
out of shoes too small to fit,
how many times
I tore the nail free from the toe
and I wonder
if this is dying for the sting for pulling off a bee’s wing
until it hits me that a toenail is more like the myth
of a complete other thing with wings.
Skin breaks for being thin as a bee’s wing
and as I feel your cock go soft, pull back,
it’s clear you died a little death for the sting of it too.
Bodies spent, a myth
with wings stirs:
in the ash, death reigns fertile;
from the ash a bird rises —
from the ash, a new toenail begins.
LINKS TO ARTICLES, INTERVIEWS & REVIEWSAuthor website
Article in the Galway Advertiser
Article on Writing.ie
Interview on RTE’s Arena as part of the Dublin Book Festival
A review in Hot Press
Reading and interview on the Poetry Programme on RTE Radio 1
Guest blog on the Stinging Fly website
The Pickled Body (Dimitra is an editor)