Alex Athan Kof


Over the past five years or so, people around Europe been 
telling me that Athens is the new Berlin. And I been saying 
                                           ‘No, bye.’

And then a smart boy told me, ‘Come on, grumpy. Why so 
salty? Relax! This is no graffiti contest.’

And I said,
                   ‘Well, if it were a graffiti contest, we would admire 
the Londoners using silver Montanas for their throw-ups, while 
los Madrileños would paint funkier, vibrant colours. Then we 
would both thank a vandal universe of heterogenous styles -not 
mannerisms- for this holy diversity. 

Why should my city be defined by your city’s throw-ups? I 
don’t think Theseus and 2.5k years of history would approve of 

                  ‘Has Berlin ever been mean to you, man?’ said the 
smart boy. ‘Well, know this, what a glass is for a pool, localism 
is for nationalism.’

                                                 Insightful little devil, I had to admit. 


I saw the greatest minds of my generation destroyed by the 40-
hour-week, slithering towards the office, swollen wrists of 
tendonitis, aching 90th degree spines, blue-blood daughters of 
white-collar genealogies, pale-eyed sons of insomnia and 

who left their siblings’ wedding parties before they were over, 
to rush back home, save their bristles and sleep for a short hour, 
so that they present themselves as decent and productive for 

who hid their Black Flag tattoos and their past in autonomy 
under Vardas suits and gaudy, golden cufflinks, 

who covered abortions with designer shrouds and suicide 
attempts under bracelet-handcuffs,

who argued with their cyborg spouses about whether SEGA or 
Nintendo would make the better nanny for their new-born 

who quietly sobbed in fetal position over a lost promotion, 
partly covered in hyacinth-scented essential oils in four-legged-

who believed in trickle-down economics, monotheistic male 
divinity and the theory of the two extremes, even though they 
should have known better, damn, 

who lived a year of winter and ten days of summer and 
experienced no climate change between the transient seasons,

who spent their BAs in pot ramen and their MAs in overboiled 
pasta, trying to catch the deadline of fine dining in their 
Michelin forties,

who paid three months of rent in front, as a mortgage of trust 
and respect to the landlordman who will overcharge them for 
pre-existing damages at the end of their contract, 

who sometimes blankly stare at their computer screen, vacant 
eyed workplace-sleepers, trying to grasp onto a beautiful 
moment of paused nothingness,

who have competitive CVs, drive sunroof SUVs, share 
concrete STDs, watching a POV of themselves working harder 
in VR.
The kicks and the checks, the brekkies and the shakies. 
Bollocks! The filthy lavatories and the lonesome slums.

Johns and Maries of this world!
I’m with you in Tiredsville.
Copywriting and copyrighting,
content puking, 
where poets get hired as social-media executives.
I’m with you in Laptopland.
In plastico!


See this Doric column?

It was ordered by an ambitious politician,
dedicated to a wise goddess,
designed by a skilled architect,
built by a punctual slave,
butchered by a hate-filled Christian,
stolen by a prolific art smuggler,
displayed in a showcase, innit?

‘Yet still the gods are just,
 and crimes are cross’d 
See here what Elgin won,
 and what he lost! 
Another name with his pollutes my shrine’ .

*Lord Byron, ‘The Curse of Minerva’in Lord Elgin and the Marbles, by William St. Clair (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1983), p. 261. 

Alexandros studied Journalism in Athens & Writing in Brighton. He explores the grotesque & the unholy. He really likes custard cookies & believes Hofner basses are only good for firewood.

Flights, Issue Six, September 2022