Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category


My love,

I can endure everything away from you. One I can’t: waking up next to your vacant pillow.
It’s hard to get used to coming back home alone at night but the morning wake up is unbearable.
I’m truthful to you I open my eyes and shut them right away. I don’t want to wake up. I can’t endure to stretch my arm on the empty side of the bed.
The bathroom misses the sounds of you shaving and the fragrance of your after shave.
I cover myself to the head with the bed coverings and wish light wouldn’t come, time won’t come when I’ll have to go down to the kitchen to make coffee.
In the morning!
The breakfast I prepared for you and the coffee we had together.
When I took you to the garage door and kissed you good morning.
When I looked at you as you drove the car away.
The day that has no reason to commence, no expectation for your return at night.
Every day from now on.
Day after day until I get used to it.

Το πρωινό ξύπνημα

Αγάπη μου!
Όλα μπορώ να τ’ αντέξω μακριά σου. Το μόνο που δεν αντέχεται είναι το πρωινό ξύπνημα δίπλα στο άδειο σου μαξιλάρι.
Είναι δύσκολο να συνηθίσω το βράδυ που γυρίζω σπίτι μόνη, αλλά το πρωινό ξύπνημα είναι ανυπόφορο.
Αλήθεια σου λέω, ανοίγω τα μάτια μου και τα ξανακλείνω αμέσως. Δε θέλω να ξυπνήσω. Δεν αντέχω ν’ απλώσω το χέρι μου στην άδεια μεριά του κρεβατιού.
Απ’ το μπάνιο λείπει η μυρωδιά του πρωινού ξυρίσματος και της κολόνιας σου.
Κουκουλώνομαι ξανά στα σκεπάσματα κι εύχομαι να μην έρθει η μέρα, να μην περάσει η ώρα, να μην πρέπει να σηκωθώ επιτέλους και να κατέβω στην άδεια κουζίνα να κάνω καφέ.
Το πρωινό!
Αυτό το πρωινό που σου ετοίμαζα κι ο καφές που πίναμε μαζί.
Που σε κατέβαζα μέχρι την πόρτα του γκαράζ και σε φιλούσα για καλημέρα.
Που σε κοίταγα μετά να φεύγεις με τ’ αυτοκίνητο.
Η μέρα, που δεν έχει πια νόημα ν’ αρχίσει, χωρίς την προσμονή της βραδινής επιστροφής σου.
Η κάθε μέρα, από ’δω και μπρος.
Μέρα με τη μέρα, μέχρι να τη συνηθίσω κι αυτή.

~From the book “Can you hear me?” by Tzoutzi Mantzourani/ Translated by Manolis Aligizakis, Libros Libertad, summer 2015


“It was a Dream”
First was the heat, then the damn dream that found
him this dawn talking to himself; sweaty he walked down the
stairs looking around, his nose like a hound, as if some bad omen
lurked in the corners of the room. He rushed to the garden. Soon
it’ll be daylight soon! He thought, taking courage in the doubtful
projection. The lights shone at the far end of the sea on the opposite
shore. Everything was undisturbed, the island, the lighthouse
with its signals, the little moon, the far away songs of the drunks.
He threw himself on a chair and recalled the dream that filled him
with agony.
He was a tailor — in fact he is a tailor, a very talented one.
Though it was like a dream where he worked, a shadow approached
and froze him to death. An old man in rags, with a toothless
smile looked at him: “sew me something, young man, I’m about to
travel!” Hairs floated over his shiny head. He took out of his coat
something rectangular and showed it to the tailor. It was a bar of
gold. “Young man, I have no time to spare, I’m about to travel” he
yelled in his ear.
“The way you look, the only place left for you is the other world.”
“That’s what I mean”, the old man agreed.
“Damn you, you want me to sew you a shroud?” The tailor was
The horrible image took a step and sat opposite him: “a long
shroud with deep pockets to put in them all my treasures! I’ve
lived a miserable life. I have turned all I amassed into this: gold!
This life is too short” he stretched his bony finger showing
upward, “the other is more important. I want to take it all with
me and I want you to sew me a shroud with deep pockets.” He
widened his soulless eyes. “Hurry, otherwise I’ll take you with
The tailor felt a chill and his chest got heavy. He wanted to cry
out but his voice wasn’t there. With eyes glued to the out of this
world eyes of the old man he managed to at last wake up in the
condition we found him earlier.


~Book can be purchased at

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Please come and join us at the “Poetry and Prose Night”, at the Pelican Rouge Cafe, 15142 North Bluff Road, White Rock, BC, October 24th, 7:00-9:00 PM. Poetry by Manolis, Cloe Koutsoubelis and Alexandra Bakonika, Prose by Ron Duffy.

Σας προσκαλούμε στη λογοτεχνική βραδυά “Poetry and Prose Night”, στο Pelican Rouge Cafe, 15142 North Bluff Road, White Rock, BC, October 24th, 7:00-9:00 Μ M. Θα σας παρουσιάσουμε Ποίηση του Μανώλη Αλυγιζάκη, της Χλόης Κουτσουμπέλη και της Αλεξάνδρας Μπακονίκα και επίσης Πεζό Λόγο από το μυθιστόρημα του Ron Duffy “In Turbulent Times”.


Prose and Poetry_poster_Oct7

Manolis’s Greek short story titled ‘ο Εχθρός’ (The Enemy) is published in the new issue of the Greek literary magazine ENEKEN.

Find ‘ο Εχθρός’ on page 214 in Eneken No 21. The issue was just released in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Here is a link to the website of this acclaimed greek literary journal:






The Circle
Review by Roxana Necsulescu

Born in Crete, the publisher, poet and novelist known as Manolis moved to Thessaloniki for his childhood, and went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Panteion University of Athens. He served in the armed forces for two years before immigrating to Canada in 1973, where he took classes in English Literature at Simon Fraser University. Manolis now writes in both English and Greek.

Primarily set in Pasadena and Los Angeles, his new novel The Circle features two Iraqi men, Hakim and Talal, who are studying in the United States. The third-person narration follows the relationship of the two men as well as their relationship with the United States, which becomes further complicated when the two of them fall in love with American women. Emily and Jennifer are the wife and daughter of Matthew Roberts: a member of the CIA Intelligence Unit that had a direct role in the decision to go to war with Iraq in 2003.

The relationships between the Iraqi men and the American women manage to be both subtle and passionate. Arguably the strength of the story is that Manolis takes care to neither over-emphasize or underplay the importance of differing nationalities.

Manolis’ background in poetry is apparent throughout. When describing the love affair between Talal and Emily, he writes: “Talal sits listening to the song of the wind through the small park where they sit, a song that unfolds slowly and methodically like a majestic eagle spreading its wings to the heights of the sky.”

As the novel unfolds, Hakim gains a greater awareness of horrific events that transpired during the American/Iraqi war. He also learns to gradually accept the past and move on. Under the guidance of his wealthy uncle Ibrahim Mahdi, he learns not to be prejudiced against the Americans that he meets in his daily life in L.A. and to avoid punishing Jennifer for her father’s involvement in the war.

The artful writing conveys a sense of humility that all the characters share. Hakim and Talal do not monopolize the dialogue. There is an overarching understanding provided to all the characters. Even Matthew Roberts, the American CIA Intelligence member, is written with a high degree of compassion rather than judgment.

The Circle was conceived shortly after the beginning of the war in Iraq: “It’s a look at war from the point of view of the citizen, what happens to him once the bombs stop falling,” Manolis told Surrey Now.

Learned hatred for a previous national foe is something Manolis knows firsthand. Growing up in Greece, children were routinely taught to hate the Turks, their former occupiers. “When a child hears this again and again,” he says, “you carry it inside you no matter what benign form it might be in, and it comes out eventually.”

Driving a cab in Vancouver in the 1980s, Manolis once picked up a fare who asked him where he was from, and in return he asked the passenger his country of origin. When the man answered Turkey, Manolis said the intensity of his reaction to the man shocked him, especially as he was in his 30s and an otherwise mature, rational person.

Nothing passed between the two men, but it did inspire a story that was published in a Greek magazine, and that story has provided the context for The Circle.

The Circle
By Manolis
ISBN 9780978186524
Libros Libertad 2011