Monday, August 22, 2011

Review: 'Love & Fuck Poems' by Koraly Dimitriadis

You asked me if I’d be long and I said
‘Why, you expecting someone?’
And when you didn’t answer I said
‘Call her and tell her if she comes
into my house I’ll kill her and I’ll kill you’
‘It’s not your house anymore,’ you said.
I gave you back the keys.
‘Don’t worry,’ I said,
‘I’ll be out of your hair soon
and then you can fuck her on our bed.’

Such is the pulsing, unchecked emotion that rages though Koraly Dimitriadis’ second self-published poetry chapbook, Love and Fuck Poems. Melbournite Dimitriadis is a young, outspoken, Greek Cypriot spoken-word ‘newbie’ with a brave, no-holds-barred approach to poetry. Since storming the Melbourne spoken word stage some eighteen months ago, poetry has all but wooed her from her first love of prose, and her much-laboured-over first novel-in-progress.

Love and Fuck Poems is that most curious of poetry beasts, an entirely erratic collection. While the inclusion of poerotica such as Fantasy and How to get a fuck might startle poetry purists, there are also moments of stillness in this book: perfectly captured family tableaus which leave your heart aching, poetic polaroids which cut with razor-sharp precision into the writer’s psyche and life. In Best friend, for example, Dimitriadis captures her post-marriage mindset and her family’s culturally ingrained shame at her changed circumstances:

The wedding dress in a cardboard white coffin,
telling Mum I’m going to sell it on ebay,
Mum, taking the box, saying the dress is hers
she paid for it, watching her take it away to her room...’
My life is over,’ she said.
‘Me evales ston tafo.’ You’ve put me in my grave.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the poems which deal purely with graphic sexual encounters which let down this collection. That said, the more emotive poems are certainly no simpering dedications to everlasting companionship: they too, are fuck poems in their own way. They are complex, angst-ridden, volatile, eloquent and honest:

You say I’m like a volcano...
...There’s one point you overlooked
as you fought me naked in the night:

Nobody is crazy enough
To go near a volcano
And the ones that do
Never survive

Love and Fuck Poems showcases, Dimitriadis’ versatility, moving ably through humour, passion and heartache. The poem Gotcha is a side-splitting social-networking send-up of a disgruntled ex:

...Found ya bitch on facebook.
Fucked her page over.
Saw her ugly face.
The wedding photo.
Her profile’s hidden.
But facebook made changes.

Dimitriadis’ second chapbook is slightly hindered by the classic hurdles of many self-published collections: though the cherry-red cardboard cover is apt and eye-catching, the writer’s line drawings add little but distraction to her words. Then too, a reader might wonder at the logic behind the ordering of the poems.

But Love and Fuck Poems must be embraced for what it is: an unashamed poetic celebration of one woman’s liberation from the chains of marital convention, sexual repression and cultural obligation. All in all, it is a gutsy, defiant firecracker of a chapbook which demands to be read angrily out loud after half a bottle of red. Readers who approach it thus will doubtless be satisfied.

Love and Fuck Poems is available at or online at