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Syndic Literary Journal

I Am a Tiger in a Cage with Polar Bears

Written by Konstantinos  Bouras

Translated from the Greek by Eleni Karapa

Narrated by Bill Wolak 

I am the dead man who was dragged up

From the electric railway. I committed suicide in a state of

Mental rapture without thinking of leaving a Note behind. No, it wasn’t despair

But something rather deeper, like happiness . . .


I am the woman who was raped And became pregnant. Now she is struggling

With knitting needles To abort the seed of shame.


I am the child who was physically abused

Because he stood out and was brighter

Than his close relatives.


I am that innocent person Who thought that he resides in heaven

And made a mistake when he mis-heard: “Welcome to Hell.”


I am the guilty one who assigned all by Himself his own punishment,

Even more severe than any other court In the world could assign.


I am the captive who did not escape

Because he had no idea what to do with all of this Freedom.


I am the poor man who tossed away the super-

Lucky New Year’s lottery ticket in the garbage . . .


I am the rich man who renounced

His palaces in order to beg.


I am the homeless person with the fat bank accounts.

I am the unemployed one with the endless typical and essential qualifications.


I am sorrowful when everybody around me laughs,

I mourn at weddings And I celebrate at funerals,

I am happy where there is no reason to And I make everyone sad

When I refuse to imitate Their antics.


I’m a Jew for the fascists

And a fascist for the anarchists,

I am an unbowed man among submissive people

And a proper person among clumsy individuals.

I act pretentiously around simple people

And in a folk way around the intellectuals.

I impersonate roles, not the ones that

You like, but the other ones

That I script In the amphitheater of your mind.

I teach clichés And I conceal wisdoms,

I ruminate meanness And I deride the despised ones

With love. I am negligent in the slaughterhouse

But deep inside I am a vegetarian. I am unable to drink

Because I was stigmatized as an alcoholic By the former relatives

And I hate drugs Because I am intoxicated by Light . . .


I am a White polar bear in a cage with Black tigers.

They take care of Me, they pamper Me

They even make Eyes at me, they state

That they are in love with Me. Deep inside, I am fully aware

That they are going to savage me one day,

When—hopefully—I won’t care anymore . . .

Until then we live well imprisoned in our Habits.


Konstantinos Bouras was born in Kalamata, a town in the Peloponnese region of Greece in 1962. He has studied mechanical engineering at the National Metsovio Institute of Technology in Athens and has been working in this field since 1985. He has also graduated with honors in theatrical studies in the School of Philosophy in Athens University. His post-graduate studies were done in theatre (D.E.A.) at Paris III (La nouvelle Sorbonne) in Paris. In 2019, he was awarded his PhD (with honors) in Literature, Foreign Languages, Translation, and Theatrology from the Ionion University in Corfu. Currently, he is a visiting Professor at the University of Athens. Forty volumes of his poetic works have been published as well one novel.
Eleni Karapa is an eminent, self-employed architect living in Athens, Greece.  She received a Master of  Architecture degree in 1996 from Ball State University.  She also translates from Greek into English as well as from English into Greek.








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