Walking around the rim

There is a volcano in the room with the red stripes on the wall.
I will meet you there but you won’t remember the details of our meeting
You are a man thinking aloud for a woman that loves your voices
If you were a fire you would have chosen to die in that volcano
Having dragged me there to applaud the performance of your death
And if I were a leaf I would have chosen to crack between your teeth
As you are spitting the heap of your truths in my gaping mouth


image: Picasso


Interview in Stone Path Review (Minnesota, USA)

My Interview in Stone Path Review (Minnesota, USA), as the featured artist of the spring issue:

I first read some of  Regina’s work at Northography a couple of years ago before we started Stone Path Review.  I have always been struck by the fantastical world she creates, and the images, some startling, some raw and in your face, that are central to her poetry and short stories.
Below is an interview I conducted with Regina.
- William Ricci

SPR: Have you always been a writer? When did you know this was a part of you?
I was 7 years old. I wrote a short story that my teacher loved. He suggested I should become a writer and that was it. I had already been certain at the time that I was a writer. I liked it.
SPR: What did you like about writing then? Compare that to now.
I liked the fact that I was good at it and I had everyone admiring me. I was something like the «child pet» of teachers. The wonder child who could make up stories and write them in an adult-like way, in order to have grown-ups patting her head saying ‘’Oh this child is terrific! Look at that!’’. Later, when I was a university student, I realized that writing is not only a way of getting others to admire you but a way of fascinating them as well. I hate to say this but writing has always been something that helped me to express my narcissism, my need to allure others, and my self-hate. And this goes to other people. Sometimes you love people and you have to write about them. Some other times you hate people and you have to write about them again.
SPR: What writers have influenced you? What writers or poets are you reading now?
My most favorite ones are Witold Gombrovitch, Thomas Mann, Michael Bulgakov, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Each one for different reasons. However, all the four of them used to see people exactly as they are – magical and dark, striving to find their inner light.
SPR: Why poetry or short stories?
I usually write poetry when I have a strong visual stimulus that amused me or confused me so much that I need to do some magic on it! You know magic versus magic, something like homeopathy I suppose.
SPR: Could you explain a bit more about what you mean by “magic”?
“We all talk nonsense when the dream’s upon us”. This is a phrase I heard only a few days ago in the Mystery of Edwin Drood, a TV series on Charles Dicken’s book. When I heard the phrase above, I felt that I had found a key that could help me explain what I meant by using the word ‘’magic’’. Poetry is like talking ‘’nonsense’’ when we are deep into our dream, lost into its land. It is another kind of language, a spell for our dream. It reminds me of this English expression ‘’A penny for your thoughts’’. It could be ‘’A spell for your dream’’. Where the word ‘’spell’’ could be replaced by the word ‘’poem’’.
Short stories are something different. They need more time, more details, and more attention to their being shaped. And they are hard work. Sometimes even more than a novel, because you have to invent an end much sooner and you have to make yourself be detached from the characters and not let them do whatever they want. My favorite form of writing is the novel though. I enjoy so much writing a novel, do you know why? The heroes are stronger than me. They weave the story and not me.
SPR: What does poetry, as an art form, mean to you?
Poetry is the expression of those who want to destroy the world’s solidity and make it viewable as if it is liquidated by words. Words in poetry have the power to make everything around flow in a smoother way. Poetry is my broken glass. I see you through it after dipping it in a bucket of water and hold it in front of my eyes.
SPR: What role does location, such as the landscape, a city, where you are when you write, play in your work? How much does it influence?
I am not easily influenced by the landscape. In fact, I would really like to write locked in a room all day, a room without windows if possible. I like looking at walls when I write. Walls covered with black and white photos. Light distracts my attention, life outside a window can make me stop writing just to go out and have a walk. Landscapes are distracting, so I try not to be influenced.
SPR: What type of space do you need to write? Do you have a daily routine?
I usually write at nights because it’s when the house is quieter. But I can write in mornings as well, as long as I know that no one is going to interrupt me. The only routine that I have is that I like writing while listening to music. Classical pieces mostly. Any other kind of music during writing distracts my attention. I prefer Vivaldi, Chopin, and Sostacovich.
SPR: What advice do you have for aspiring writers and those seeking possible publication?
I don’t like giving advice but since you ask me all I could say is that they know better than me and better than anyone else. If someone advised me on how to work, concerning my writing, I would get mad at them. Or I would pretend that I am listening to them but then I would do as I would please. Who has certain answers for this kind of things?
SPR: I understand what you are saying, and the point you are making. Let me rephrase the question. If a student made the following statement, how would you respond?
“Everything I have submitted has been rejected. I should stop writing.”
I would definitely say to them “Then stop”. What do you think that they would do? If they stopped, then they never wanted to write. It’s quite simple.
SPR: What can we teach and do to get more children and teens involved with the arts and writing specifically?
I think that education and schooling should make children be more involved with the creative and artistic procedure, as well as philosophy. Today, schools are focused mainly on subjects that prepare children to integrate in a society of technocrats. Technology is something that we need, as long as its evolution and development is driven by questions that arise from a philosophical framework. Cultural and Humanitarian studies help this framework to be built.

BioRegina Bou is a writer. Some of her short stories have appeared in various literary magazines. She has also written two novels and a novella. One of her novels is under publication from the Australian publishing house LegumeMan Books. She has studied English and Greek literature and has a M.A. in Education. Her favorite subject is people’s passions. Big and small ones. She loves literature and art.

The spring issue of Stone Path Review here


Being dead smells like brown colour

She had died looking at the ceiling. Her left eye was full of frozen tears and it looked like a bad wizard's eye. A big beetle was running crazy up and down the ceiling riding a small old bicycle, as if it couldn't decide whether to have a free fall on the dead woman's mouth or to shrug in a quiet deserted wall corner.

''Oh my the dead woman thought ''I can't move! That's what death is about? Just not being able to move?''
And she wanted was to laugh but she couldn't. Her lips were cold and frigid and her right hand was lying in an eternal dancing pose over her head. The white creased pillow was hugging her neck tenderly as a devoted friend.

"But, I like this ruby red blanket more'' she said to herself and tried to remember the deep luscious colour of the bed cover because she was in such a position that it was impossible for her to turn her head and just have a look at it. However, she could see just a little piece of it, her eye was still able to capture some of the red colour.

"I will be buried under the soil''

The idea crossed her mind suddenly and if she weren't dead she would be so upset that she would get up and open all the house windows, as she always used to do when upset.

Nice soft wet soil? Or rough, rocky soil full of tiny little stones? Would the soil enter her nostrils? Would it cover her eyelids? Or it might even stuff the cavities of her ears. But she would be buried in a coffin and this was a comforting thought because definitely she didn't like the idea of soil covering her face and body.' 'Yes..a nice wooden coffin which can protect my sensitive body areas, I can think many of them. I am full of sensitive body areas''
Ignatio used to caress her eyelashes with his long fingers before sleeping, when they were younger. This was one of her sensitive body areas which made her shiver with delight. Her breath was gurgling with deep pleasure into his ear which was one of his own sensitive body areas.

What if her family decided to make her funeral on a rainy day? It would be better, because she liked mud. Heavy mud would cover the coffin lid and if she was lucky enough she would be able to smell the heavy brown color. Being dead, smells like brown color. She had always had the ability of sensing the smell of colours. The grey walls of her room had the smell of a wild Norwegian sea, the white sheets on her bed smelt like a burning fluorescent lamp and the crimson blankets were the steep cliffs of a smouldery canyon.
She sighed deeply but then she remembered that she wasn’t allowed to sigh so she only left herself fall deeper into the canyon. And the beetle was waiting there, she rode on the back of its bike. So all someone can guess, is that she is still riding along with the beetle in the valley of death, as poets say. Beetles riding rusty bikes, had been living in the darkest spot of her eyes’ pupils, since she was a little girl.

image: Christian Schloe



Sleep, sleep, sleep, because there is no waking up. Sleep to the end of death land and let the cats squirm on your shoulders. With the picture of your grandfathers hanging above your head. Like a sword in a tale. Like a cloud in your dream.

image: Roger Ballen



Nora was looking at the mirror,
Her two daughters sewing in the porch.

When the wind shook the house
and the roots of the apricot trees,
Bringing wild smells of the black silence
that used to exist under that roof,
Long before any man set his foot in,
Nora saw her animal eyes in the glass.

The sound of the dry leaves rushed her breath
like the lost god  of her deep darkness
in the room of  solid memories
“Lock the windows’’ she shouted
And her daughters ran, ran like jumping little spiders.

image: From the film La Petite (Louis Malle)


I am a tunnel ( The clockwork boxes 12 and last one)

I had the tormenting and freaking awareness of this incessant trip under the ground. Someone was running after me all the time trying to scare me with his warm, eternal song, inside the  depths of the tunnels. I wanted to force myself to stay awake and search for the security of a loud babbling voice, a voice that would be able by itself, like a strong spear, to keep away from me all my hunters and much more, my own desire to surrender myself to them.

That’s why I have always been afraid of the sound of subway trains and at the same time I have been so much attracted by their underground moaning that I am trembling with anticipation every time a train is approaching the boarding platform. The doors which close and open like the petals of a carnivore plant, waiting for their victims , the soft humming noises of people walking  and running, the feeling of certainty that the earth surface is a floating island above my head, the faces of the engine drivers who are changing shifts…Faces without any expression, with a gaze of superiority as if they have just returned from a palace ball on a royal ship..And those huge window panes that are like transparent mirrors of my multiple idols…But yes I am  certain. The net of the big sleep, of the eternal lethargy, is becoming larger and larger behind my feet and if it manages to grab me, it will keep me wandering in its tunnels for ever.. A possibility,  that I haven’t decided yet if it’s attractive or repulsive. What if I decided to make the tunnels net, the junctions of its webs, be my real home? I should search carefully for its most secret corners and learn how the webs are construced. Then I would be able to construct  my own webs. What a strange thing it would be to proceed without knowing anything but having  the eternal knowledge of all the worlds inside my chest. This kind of knowledge had led me safe and sound in front of the door I had found underground. That day I had come across the spot of the black dust.

I am still in the network. I have been bought by thousands of people and I have bought thousands of  them too. I cannot remember their faces  at all and I am sure that no one remembers mine. The sound of the huge machine which operated like a strap of living exhibits,  has faded into a distant past. After all it was not a special sound, just a sound that I can forget very easily even if it tormented my ears for long. As they all used to say, I was a rather indifferent exhibit, too much ordinary for most of them, slightly necessary for some others, completely indifferent to others. But I can also say, after all this time, that everyone was indifferent to me. Yes, there were some human exhibits who attracted my attention for some seconds but that was all. Now I can buy and sell anyone I want. I don’t even have to enter the auction room. I have become a specialist. However, the most exciting thing is that I can be sold to anyone who wants to buy me, without having to make any bargain.You know, the truth is that I am a secret tunnel. If you approach me you will listen to my underground voices and the creaking wood of my columns.

image: Andreas Feininger 


The melancholy of the voice (The clockwork boxes 11)

There will always be someone in the train that will be talking loudly without any stop. He will be narrating events that marked his life, he may be  narrating what happened during  his  present busy day, he may also be stating outright and straightly how he hates deeply certain racial groups or how much he gets irritated by a mosquito drowning in his cup of coffee. His face will be colored by the matchful, each time, expressions, he will also be coloring his voice tone with the right percentage of detest or with the right amount of enthusiasm.  He will be interrupting the other person talking with him and he will make sure that  his voice can be heard even into the next compartment.

Every time that I was travelling with such a co-passenger, I used to become indignant, to grimace secretly and look at his face profile, over my glasses. I observed  how he was sitting and crossing his legs and I used  to wish the sudden and sweeping opening of a huge hole on the train roof, a hole over his head that would literally suck him out. Him and only him, selectively, like a giant vacuum cleaner. But I was too naïve. And as a naïve, I couldn’t realise the fact of his necessary presence in my compartment..Ah..yes..right now, a man dressed in beige clothes entered the compartment just now, having a handbag across his chest. He is standing next to me, in the aisle, among the rows of seats, indecisive to where he should sit, which seat is more comfortable for him, which window can blow the air more affectionately on his face. I never trusted people in beige clothes. I know that this is completely irrational and that this irrational detest cannot be based on any logic. It’s just a stupid detest, but I cannot resist to this inner impulse which, every time a person dressed totally in beige comes into my sight, yells in my ear : “look, a stupid, a stupid, a stupid!”

But I am getting too far from what I want to say. So..I was saying that being a naïve person made me turn a blind eye on the importance of such a passenger. Or it might have never crossed my mind. How indispensable he was, how comforting his babbling was, how melodic his rudely loud voice used to be, as we, the other passengers, were sitting inside the tummy of the giant serpent, half-sleeping, in a state of flight between the borders of  normal breathing rhythm and the rhythm of a long sleep. Our head was touching the window glass hesitantly every time the train was entering the tunnels whistling, we were getting blind from the multiple reflections of ourselves on the glass panes, listening to the deep dull singing of the engine drive, but without daring to speak about this singing. Each one of us was sure that he was the only one who could hear that singing and that no one else could hear it. It’s a thought that makes the skin shiver wildly. I was clutching my bag tightly onto my stomach, pretending that I hadn’t understood anything, I was looking at my watch, the same watch that I had  looked at, five minutes ago, or I was observing insistently the distant faces of the passengers sitting opposite to me, trying to detect on them the same silent agony I was feeling.. For that song…A song tangled with the rails, coming from the scratching metal sound, mixed with the timid sounds of a resonant male voice which seemed to have been dwelling inside those tunnels since ever.

 A voice that through its melancholy was twisting around my neck like a spider web, knitting slowly and elegantly its nets and squeezing me softly as if it was the lullaby of an imminent death, a death trying to meet me in every shaking bent of the rails, in every loud whistle of the engine, but it kept staying behind, like a delayed passenger who runs breathless on the platform with his validated ticket, buried in his pocket. 

image: International Surrealist Exhibition in London, attended by Miro (11 June 1936). In image: Diana Brinton-Lee, Salvador Dalí (in diving suit), Rupert Lee, Paul Éluard, Nusch Éluard, ELT Mesens 


The masturbation (The clockwork boxes 10)

Hieronymus Bosch

My rave was so big that I didn’t care for anything. I could thrust me penis even in the ear of my stupid owner who was looking at it with his eyes bulging with surprise, trying to understand why I was waving it left and right, moaning and groaning. And for one thing he wasn’t able to understand what I was asking him to do. He seemed completely shocked.

«Sell me! Sell me the fucking hell!»

I pulled his lapels violently and I was almost about to choke him. His face turned blue and he started coughing in an attempt to inhale some air again. Oh my God..What an idiot! How stupid! My body was sweating so much that I couldn’t stand it, I had to get rid of some of my clothes and I did it immediately, leaving myself naked from the waist above. My penis was still erected, driving me crazy. And these three women kept on laughing more and more lustfully. It seemed that the sight of my hard as iron penis had turned them on for good. Their tongues had already blown up like mine. Genuine, chubby, calf tongues. How could I grab one of them without paying anything? Could I do such a thing? I did my last desperate move. I left my owner and dashed myself onto them, trying to pull them towards me by force. Immediately a kind of plastic transparent pane was activated between me and all the human merchandises, or it had already been there without me having noticed it. No, it was impossible..I couldnt grab any of them. My desperation grew bigger and my penis harder. How could I calm it down? I started stroking it, in the way I would stroke an angry friend to appease his anger, but it couldn’t calm, on the contrary on every stroking it became tenser and tenser full of its juices.

My body was convulsing violently from the erotic spasms I was giving to myself. My nipples were hard and I couldn’t hold myself from not caressing them too. I was caressing every point of my body. I lay on the floor, being in a blissful trance that had overwhelmed every inch of my flesh, so I started masturbating. I was more stimulated by my own moaning that was like a wild animal’s moaning, along with my pre-spermatic drops which had begun to drop slow and thick over my hand.


My not so brilliant owner had come close to me again. He was trembling. He was trying to say something but he kept stuttering and a very annoying nerve ticklish made the right side of his face shaking. He had his eyes shut close as he was talking to me and then opened them wide again.

“Bu ububut..but what are you doing there?”

I paid no attention to him and kept masturbating wishing for a quick ejaculation. I wasn’t interested in anything, only in my pleasure and satisfaction. I just wanted to relax my body tension. And if I couldn’t do this I don’t know what I could do. What I was capable of doing. For the first time of my life I felt like a beasty animal.

Shut up at last!” I only told him.

‘Bb..but it’sss ..iitt’s..it’s un..un..unconcei…unconcei..concei..conceivable!”

What a pig! Not even under the earth, to the most unbelievable place that a human mind could imagine, I could find my peace and quiet. Everywhere idiot people! I could have killed him at that time. I suddenly grabbed his hair and lowered his head near my blown penis which was sliding back and forth in my warm palm..I almost touched his head with my penis.

«If you continue talking you  will regret it, so I am saying to you, just shut up! Shut up!»

I freed his head but he didnt seem eager to move away. The cretin!

I didn’t care if he liked what I was doing. I was listening to the women’s laughters and their little moans of their stimulation. I couldn’t think of anything else..Oh..god..oh god....anything else..I just continued and continued and continued, visualising my sperm flowing all around and drowning everyone in its warm liquidity…