Sunday, October 16, 2022



  Tournedos of barley

    crammed into thick honey 

laced with thyme, stubborn

  in the roof of your mouth

    and how it grows on you, 

after penitent flows of salad 

  of cucumber and olive oil.

    And how its crumble like sand 

reminds you of the 

  arid blanched cliffs

    of the Cyclades of your parents—

A few slippery kernels

  drop back to the paper plate. 

    And it's always the barley, 

nimble as beads

  from a snapped necklace, 

    whose misgivings you scoop 

in your hand under the sermon 

  for the dead at mass, 

    a palmful of religion

you raise your wanting mouth, 

  the barley graced 

    with powdered sugar 

to soften the blow 

  she was dead 

    while we ate in the pew 

together, children again, 

  crying and swallowing

    at the same time, 

while the altar boys 

  presided over a parade 

    of more tins of barley 

from chapel turned kitchen 

  stirring this mixture

    the sugar binding the barley 

brown to white, dirt 

  to dreams, consuming it down

    with red wine slipping 

from the gold spoon 

  along the cheek, worse

    than tears, whose trails

you still follow. 


Stelios Mormoris is a resident of Boston and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, 
and formerly lived in Paris most of his life, working as an executive in the 
beauty industry. Stelios is currently Chief Executive Officer of Scent Beauty, Inc. 
He studied architecture at Princeton University, where he received his BA, and he 
received his MBA from INSEAD (Institut d’Européen d’Administration des 
Affaires) in Fontainebleau, France. He has held positions on the boards of the 
French Cultural Center of Boston, ACT-UP, Historic New England, and The 
Fragrance Foundation. Stelios is also a contemporary artist, specializing in abstract 
oil painting: His interests range from rugby to sailing 
to gardening, while continuing his passion for reading and writing poetry. 
The Oculus is his debut collection of poetry.


We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an 
opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of 
poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors 
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to 
hear it.

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