Categories
Poetry

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere

some people only see the world
through their eyes
and think
I know better
I know how you should feel

some people can’t turn themselves upside down
it’s not their fault
it’s how they were raised
to compare themselves with everyone else
to see money as the ultimate power
to breed greed
to spawn ridicule
to undo imagination
to kill the creative spirit
you just have to keep believing in your art
in your path
some people can’t see how the other dimension
is the ultimate high
and being naked
is how you see the truth.

Categories
Poetry

“Measured Teaspoons” from LOVE & METAXA

https://www.iambapoet.com/christina-strigas

If you click on the link you will find three of my poems published on Iamb Poetry and my voice recordings of each one. “Measured Teaspoons” is from my new poetry book, Love & Metaxa, which just went live yesterday, and is available to purchase on all online bookstores.

Measured Teaspoons

Who loves me anymore?
People like to rehash old said shit,

From five years ago …
You punched a door,
There’s still a wrecked hole to remind me.

Pin their poetry on your forehead.
Jinx, touch red, 
it’s identical now. 
Someone brings you red wine
you smile
taking about reading and writing                    
you try to tell a joke
fail miserably.
Look around the room like a stranger.

That’s not what I meant at all.

Who loves me anymore?

They see me with fugitive themes,
Forgive me for always leaving,
Flinch at the sign of my danger
Writers like to
play sex games in the day,            
hunting 
Adventurous and dangerous love.

I can never tell who wants me,
Damaged and wounded from giving away
My secrets for cash or fantasies for free,
Or if they do
My ego never knows,
Did you take out the garbage?

I can never tell time anymore.
It keeps rambling on and on like a song on the radio
you can’t listen to anymore
Indifferent to the wrinkles on my skin.
It’s not Friday today? When was my birthday?

I may be losing my witching powers,
Maturing into the skin of my mother and father         
Perhaps they never existed,
Maybe normality is flowing stillness into my veins,

I have become what they feared.
Old and out of date,
Expired.

I have walked into a party   
In the wrong era’s outfit,
And when you try to explain it:
The meaning of poetry,

When they ask,
Why you’re wearing nylons with sandals,
You keep repeating,
Because I want to.

Yet you realize no matter
How you express yourself

What you really want to say is:    
That’s not what I meant at all.

Categories
Poetry

Praise for LOVE & METAXA

I met Jose Hernandez Diaz on Twitter. We followed each other years ago and I bought his book The Fire Eater, published by Texas Review Press, in 2020. I devoured the chapbook of prose poems in one sitting.
There is a certain magical realism in his writing that reminds me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I also think that Diaz is one of the kindest and respected poets on Twitter. His poems have been published in Litro Magazine, Poetry Magazine, to name a few and he is editor at Frontier Poetry and Palette Poetry, as well as a Teacher at Litro Magazine. I adore his openness and sweet nature.

Check out his poetry work:https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/jose-diaz#:~:text=Jose%20Hernandez%20Diaz%20is%20the,he%20lives%20in%20southern%20California.

You can also follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/JoseHernandezDz

When I asked him to write my poetry book and write me a blurb he accepted wholeheartedly. He said my book was beautiful and he wrote these words:

“In a stripped‐down yet profound verse, the speaker in
Love & Metaxa shows us the lust and magic of her Greek‐
Canadian life, but there is also lingering, painful familial
memory. Similarly, the poet highlights the fast‐paced
world of poetry and its relationship to internet culture, and
does not overlook how art currently serves as a commodity
and a privilege. In this always urgent, sometimes subtle
collection, Strigas wants us to see and feel the heart and
soul of things, and, at the end of the day, chase it down
with a crisp glass of Metaxa, smooth and refined.”
—Jose Hernandez Diaz, author of The Fire Eater

I am so grateful to all the poet friends I have on Twitter who have supported my book.

My book’s birthday was June 8th, 2021, and she is a true Gemini!

Love & Metaxa is available at all online bookstores.

Categories
Poetry

MAKING MY LISTS BEFORE DAWN

even if it looks as if I am living my life

I am always writing in my head

about the time my hydrangeas stopped blooming and turned green

that time I waited inside the Met looking at the Greek statues and you never showed up

going to the top of Tokyo and almost barfing

your manicured hands on my pre-teen skin

the apartment number I lost my virginity in

picking you up after a meeting and having a latte

Crying in a bathroom with blood on my thighs

confessing to a tombstone

never going to church except for weddings and funerals

loving you more than you ever will

expecting too much from nothing

making lists of dog bones, tablecloths and mouthwash

and still you somehow squirmed yourself into my words again

without ever trying.

ගගගගගගගගගගගගගගගගගගගග

I wrote this poem last year in one shot with no edits, and it is the only poem in my book, LOVE & METAXa, that was added in the 11th hour. I removed one poem and added this one instead.

I also read it during my YouTube interview and I explain the story of what happened.

Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think. I am so grateful to you, the reader, for coming back every day to read my blog. It means the world to me.💕

පපපපපපපපපපපපපපපපපපපපපපපප

Categories
Poetry

Foreword by Alexandra Meehan

When I asked Alexandra Meehan, my editor, to do a foreword for Love & Metaxa, I wanted my readers to understand the connection a poet has with the editor. It’s not just a cut-and-dry edit, this poetry editing process for Love & Metaxa has taken us years of going back and forth, it’s a creative process that brought out my creativity, my desires, my words, and my own self-reflection. What did I actually mean when I wrote this poem?

Alexandra is a master editor, her brain is like a computer when it comes to grammar, punctuation, poetic devices. She sees through words the way I never could.

Some of my poems went on for pages and she literally split them down the middle and said, “This is actually two poems. Now fix it.” I would stare at these two poems that were once one poem and try to see what she saw, then I would rewrite, reword, restructure, and she was absolutely correct! I couldn’t see that they were two poems. Without Alexandra, the poems in the book would be very different.

    For all emerging poets thinking it will take you a few months to put your poems in a word document and then publish, I am here to tell you, you are mistaken.  My poems have never been more polished than they are in this book, and this is all due to the editing. 

     In Love & Metaxa, Alexandra Meehan and I edited up until the last day before I uploaded the manuscript. It was an intense last couple of months, not knowing how long the process would take us, and having a deadline for pre-order. 

    I want to include the foreword here for the people who have the original version of the book. If you receive my book with a foreword then rest assured you have the edited, correct version. We had zero control of its distribution as a result of Magnolia Press. To learn more about how this uncontrollable fiasco nearly gave me an aneurysm, click here: https://christinastrigas.com/tag/publishing-love-and-metaxa/

I want to include the foreword because I am so proud of the editing that Alexandra Meehan has provided me in this book. 

It was as if she entered my mind. She nicknamed me “Speedy” because when I was on a writing roll, I could not stop. My pet peeve is the editing process!

I admit it’s all about the poetic ego. I have learned to abandon the ego and go with the best word for the poem. To achieve a perfect poem you sometimes edit more or less. The only poem in the book that was not edited and was published as I wrote it the first time here on my blog is “Making My Lists Before Dawn.”

My next blog post I will tell you all about the creative process of writing that poem.

Here is the Foreword by Alexandra Meehan from my poetry book Love & Metaxa.

If you want to reach Alexandra Meehan you can email her at alexandrameehan@yahoo.com :https://www.alexandrameehan.com/

Her Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/lexmeehan?lang=en

Alexandra Meehan is a writer and poetry editor residing in Gainesville, Florida. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has worked as a creative consultant, professional writer, and as a creative writing tutor. Her poetry has been featured by the Feminine Collective and Rhythm & Bones, among others. In her spare time, Alexandra cultivates Venus flytraps, paints, and cares for her rescue cats.

Categories
Poetry

Montreal Canadians Win

I don’t know how the Montreal Canadians

win games

they were not meant to

or keep holding on

when the world expects

them to let go

this is how the Montreal Sky

has a unique sunset

each night

and no one

gambles on points

or clouds

I was teaching

Go habs go

so I only saw the last 4 minutes

no way

that you can bet on

love like you bet

on a hockey game

love is unexpected

and hits you

most

when you think

you are over someone

when you are rooting

for the other side.

This is not the last time

I will write about you and hockey.

It’s only the beginning of the end.

Remember that time on the couch

when you turned to me and said

I love it when you watch the game with me

even though I was on the phone the entire time

you still felt closer

warmer

less alone.

Categories
Poetry

My Gemini Book: LOVE & METAXA

from Twitter

  Love & Metaxa’s release date is June 8th. It’s a Gemini book because it has two sides, and maybe sometimes more. I started writing this poetry book in 2016, after the release of Love & Vodka. I had no idea what the title would be, but one day it came to me like a revelation, and the word Metaxa kept creeping up into my mind taunting me.

      I will leave the mystery of it alone. No one wants to know too much. No one wants to know too little. 

     Some of you have pre-ordered my book and may have received it by now. The version you have is not the intended final version. At the moment, for a little while, there are two versions floating around. The final version includes the foreword by the editor, Alexandra Meehan.

        Love & Metaxa was uploaded on Ingram Sparks, the distribution channel that traditional publishers, a few months ago, by the third publishing house that had accepted it. Things started to go sour when I and Alexandra edited the manuscript over a few glasses of wine with Dropbox. Editing on Dropbox was the most difficult task, especially when you have a lot of edits to do. Needless to say, it took us weeks to edit the lines, punctuation, and so forth. Alexandra questions everything!  I sent the edited version, but nothing was done to add the changes, and not only that, but I did not hear from the publishing company until weeks  before my book was supposed to come only to cancel my book due to personal issues. 

     When the publishing house set up my book and uploaded it, there was a fine detail that was not passed on to me, hence making me unaware that pre-orders were printed with the version that was uploaded at that time. 

     If you are holding the publisher’s version, I will confess, I had no idea that this would happen. My ex-publisher never advised me, only transferred the incorrect file with a good luck note. 

       Last Saturday, my friend Jacquie received the book, showed it to me via text and I almost died. I cried all day. After years of working so hard to make this book perfect, I realized it was a Gemini. 

   I had hired two professionals to complete the formatting and cover book mishaps that the publisher did not correct. Alexandra and I had edited to perfection that last week of April and my biggest fear happened. 

    “It was out of my control,” Ingram Sparks consultant, Syd said. I could do nothing, but I could purchase the books off of Amazon. That is what I did. I searched for “in stock” and bought them all. “Rest assured”, Syd said to me about ten times, “Your uploaded version is what people will receive as of April.”

    I cried some more.

    I think Alexandra cried some too.

    We were both so sad this happened. 

    Then yesterday, I received the final proof copy of my book and I cried again.

    It was a perfect Gemini baby book.

       Being it’s a duality of a sign, two different versions are floating around for a while. If you get the press version, reach out to me. I will gladly send you the final version. 

   If you receive the self-published version, please take a photo and show me. 

   I want to know where this Gemini book is living. 

Categories
Poetry

In Conversation with Christina Strigas You Tube Interview

I was asked by Kevin Barhydt to do a You Tube “Conversation” one find day in April. We chatted about everything that has to do with the creative process, poetry, art, meditation, painting, and I read two of my poems live.

Everything was spontaneous. I made a cup of tea and sat in my writing room and connected with Kevin. I hope you enjoy the chat and subscribe to his channel.

Kevin Barhydt is a teacher and author. You can find him at: https://www.kevinbarhydt.com/

He is the author of Dear Stephen Michael’s Mother

Dear Stephen Michael’s Mother is not simply a story of redemption; it is a vivid tale of the fall.”From first time author, Kevin Barhydt, comes a memoir of how a young boy abandoned, abused and addicted became a man with the hope, courage and resilience to seek his biological mother.

Abandoned by his mother at birth, Kevin was enveloped in a labyrinth of adoption, addiction, and child sexual abuse. By age 20, a shell of the boy he once was, Kevin succumbed completely to a suicidal lifestyle of drug dealing and prostitution. At 45, after many years of recovery, Kevin began a painful journey to uncover his origins, and the hopeful search for his mother.

“Dear Stephen Michael’s Mother” chronicles the unfolding of these two stories. The interwoven perspectives offer an unflinching look at the myriad ways life can cloak us in darkness and helplessness yet still resonate with joy and recovery.

https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Stephen-Michaels-Mother-Memoir/dp/1735760005/

Here is the You Tube link: https://youtu.be/rtTsARoo4Xk

Categories
Poetry

Blurb for LOVE & METAXA

Marc Antony Owen and I follow each other on Twitter. He won my last poetry book, Love & Vodka in a giveaway. He asked me to be featured on his innovative creative collaborative poetry site in November 2020. If you want to know more about his site please visit and read and listen to all the talented poets: https://www.iambapoet.com/about-iamb where he features many voices of poetry, published and unpublished, famous and not so famous. What is unique about iamb is that alongside your poems are your readings of the poems which he publishes on SoundCloud. He featured three of my poems to listen to and read. Here is the link: https://www.iambapoet.com/christina-strigas

“Measured Teaspoons” is from my upcoming collection, Love & Metaxa.

Mark Antony Owen gives so much of his time and energy to the poetry community. I am so grateful to have been a part of one his “waves.”

Syllabic poet Mark Antony Owen writes exclusively in nine original forms – sometimes, with variations. His work centres on that world where the rural bleeds into the suburban: a world he calls ‘subrural’. Mark is the author of digital-only poetry project Subruria, as well as the founder, editor, designer, sound engineer and publisher of iamb.

This is the wonderful blurb he wrote for Love & Metaxa:

“The only words that should be used to describe Christina Strigas’s poetry – in this volume or any of her others – are Christina’s words themselves. Some readers will find the emotional (and sexual) honesty in Love & Metaxa simply too overwhelming, too raw. But surely, even they will recognise and respect the palpable longing, tender confession and unflinching confrontation of truths exposed by these poems. You want poetry to soothe and comfort? Read another poet.”

—Mark Antony Owen, author of Subruria

Categories
Poetry

Advance Praise for LOVE & METAXA

I started following Leah Callen on Twitter recently, and I adore her. You can follow her here: https://twitter.com/LeahJCallen?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

She is working on her poetry manuscript and I am looking forward to reading her work.

Leah Callen is a poet and dramatist with her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria, British Columbia where she studied poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting. Her one-act play The Daughter of Turpentine came to the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival in 2015, and she was a part-time theatre critic on the island. Her poetry has appeared in The Malahat Review, Vallum Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, Contemporary Verse 2, Scrivener Creative Review, and Barren Magazine where she was a poetry contributing editor. Her words can also be found in a Twin Peaks anthology: These Poems Are Not What They Seem. Leah was longlisted for the 2018 Vallum Award for Poetry and the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize. She has always loved the sea, but after falling hard for the prairies at a Sage Hill Writing retreat, Leah now calls Regina home. And she belongs to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild.

This is the blurb she wrote for Love & Metaxa:

 “In Love & Metaxa, Strigas confesses the intimate minutes of a flammable girl growing up in a Greek family, and her life beyond in Montreal. It’s a nostalgic, heady blend of logic and magic, love and eros, the living and the dead, all poured out for us in emotive “gold shots.” It’s the story of painful almosts where you’re both fine and not fine at all. Sensual memories flicker for the reader like film vignettes glowing in the amber wash of Metaxa. Honeysuckle and kitchen spices bouquet these poems, but also the slow burn of something darker. Carnal secrets pound into cutting boards and hotel beds. Above all, the poet sings about the binding and unbinding of relationships – the ones that are quick and the ones that haunt us. Love & Metaxa shares a poignant desire to “get to the bottom of love.”

—Leah Callen, poet