Saturday, March 28, 2015

Question for the war's son

On the recorder, his voice is faint
a mixture of rubble and shrapnel
this is the third time I have seen fall the tall Minaret
God doesn't live in houses made of lime and sand- I tell him
but neither does God send elephants to fairly parade the skies
one cannot, I suppose argue with the logic of God nor the believer's
after the pause he says he can now see the stars
through the roof of my bedroom, I once stuck stickers 
florescent, shining with sunlight- which I am sure doesn't lack here
Nor would the rain, spared into being for the months of misery and transition
till the roofs bridge themselves once more into effect
I turn to ask him, lastly how he feels
fine as long as I can still play under iron without scratching my leg 
I throw to him caution of the salty, chemically seasoned air
he assures me, faintly that he is made from rubble,
because he's brown he says like the sand and the lining of earth
it is you I am worried about. You will never get used to this
How many times have you seen bullets in the night sky?
how many times can your house fall onto your head?

Nanny's stick

The children have refused to leave behind 
the flowers on their roots, the gold star in the sky
they need to know how the trees take color 
how a grandmother's walk, her tales carry 
the day forward, shield the bed monsters away

the monsters will not visit tonight, they are busy picking up
left socks in the field, savaging the greenery of the story

tracing the grandmother with the hunter 
the children will talk the night away, 
but her hands wait on the book
for the next monster hunting after the joy,
she leaves her stick nearby, that's what it's for 
mama once explained.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To lost objects

If it is a drop in the ocean or a sole earring
you wonder where the next piece might be,
where the irritation spurs initially
from knowing that once missing starts
it trails without needing to access or ask for a breath
or does it start at the meeting of longing to the warmth
of the scarf buried under white snow, the ring
mislead into the playground's sandbox
these are things you cannot count on now, long gone,
not to be forgotten, like the cemented footsteps
of those who'd walked past your door
there are more serious matters, to be by yourself,
a drop in the ocean, a sole earring looking
for the pair you misplaced, somewhere- you just cannot remember.


Peek, you say, promising strands of color
through a lens, past times packed inside
a circle

trust starts with a promise
usually mono-syllabic, you state an ability
to make a dress out of gold-rays and the night's sky

little things like that can ruin a woman's appetite
to growing up, natural for her to expect
roses by the bedside, to make them, sow the petals on

to make history happen,  sow it
add coloration to any mixture
mix shades and ban others from toning red,

justify it with purity, discoloration and the exchange of skin
none human, not fleshed out on fur
we've banned cruelty to the living

not the dead, the dead gain our respect
bunched, thrown into tears arranged
handkerchiefs tinted with our glorified sadness

without much refrain in your voice, besides the caroling
you stretch a hand towards me, to return the  kaleidoscope
There's a foreign sound on you,
like spice, like sugar, necessities taken for granted
heavy in my hands, are the rainbows of childhood.

Swan Song

If you want to hear it, you should expect death
it will start at the tips
like all else, a soft moaning in preparation
to the ultimatum of ends,
rising inside you like bile, like burnt out sugar
this is the song that will miss when it comes to a close
an end like no other
this is the first sign

forget about the pulsing sensation beneath the skin
there's more than just blood in this body, yours
you lay a space inside for it all
for the oxygen, the damage,
the notes in the forms they come
by midnight, forced
by water, exalted
this is the swan's song

it is Odette's cry on the surface each night
after leaving a feather on your mattress
a feather dunked in candle-wax, to light
to delight, to protect you from the imps
and the brazen fire arches landing
when you are not looking

there will soon be a whole, tightly
strung up, on the tips of the fingers
where death starts first
like frost spreading over the lake
you'd forgotten how pain
stringing, strumming
will transfer into music
swan song
just before the sun
breaks on the waters.

toning of flutes

The toneing of the shepherds flutes by sunset is a hobby
You cannot tell when the note begins and the bleating ends
There's normality in the shepherds step, easy use for lies
One lies on stone like a mattress, sharp out of yesterday's
click and clack of the hooves
to whispher, to whimper
Exhaling the stars

the flutes bounce with the afternoon as one fears the wolf
Grey, prey and loud like thunder,
scream against a fabrication of fur and phantomhood
And such act of fiction entertains and draws the blinds off the window
So one composes a story

This one shepherd lies,
Lies to protect the flock and drown
The girl who dances with a wolly sweater, knit by
Stitches of fanatsy, each day a brighter shade of rose
weaved  round her neck, round her face
weaved from the night's valor

Under the same latin moon, one lies on the same stone
Covering up with the sound of sheep
and the confessions of other shepherds, noting slowly other music

This is how easily one lies
to drown the flock and seize the dancing girl
by the ankle, by hand and mouth.

Over the mountains- a lost poem

Never take lightly the view from the mountaintop,
Fragile yet soft you are higher
You will change flight, you come here alone
Still, you do not seek loneliness.

A poem I thought I had lost, read the full version here.

Wheat braids

Fall between the dreams
Like two gazelles, wide-eyed
Seeking the pasture by rivers,
fall beneath her gaze, like the fresh dawn
blossoming like the smell of bread
One she braids out of wheat into being
one she braids out of her dreams into your breakfast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

writing towards an imaginary son

I will not start by addressing this to you,
no one can load you with the language of bibs
when you still don't know these fingers are yours
how would you when I do not explain?

Full poem published here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

in the village

It is the season of apricots
the sun dries up fruits and jams them into jars, with pips
white and round like the road bellow my head

I have walked this road too many times
I know the distance between the gravel
the swing of the three yellow flags, near the roundabout

there's a mulberry tree, owned by my grandfather's childhood friend
entitling my hands to the fruit, sweet and dark
like wine spots on my t-shirts, the tinge of borrowed pleasures

I have never known my grandfather but I know of the tree
it is a secret you told me, like I told you of the way
 I am used to calling out other the names,  chants into space

this is where I call out to you, practice spelling your name
out of air. You turn your head to the fields
point and say; green is a good sign, this is a good country

we don't originate from this piece of land, nor you
neither I, we have refined the taste of sugar cubes
and enough fair dancing in mirrored rooms

we know when to stop beating the tree for jokes
after sunset, the collection of apricots will stop
while the collection of stories starts with sugar

You laugh at the spots of jam on my shirt
your lack of better judgment shows me off
like a trophy in front of your women

the women are decent, they braid my hair
teach me to make sugar syrup and new ways to tuck my legs close
women skills rough hands cannot teach, despite the finger's soothing effort

when you turn your back to my schooling
of the kitchen habits and the domestic fires
I run after you, and after the fruit basket at my lap

you have watched me sweeten, it is harsh yet
your voice in the distance, pleads like a sheep
bleating, I am a dweller of cities
and this is a villager's hunger.

Dear God

Dear God,

This is me, again
sorry I haven't called, we have been
out of area. For vacations and the crisping of skins
for the dreadful amount of answering back and forth like a pendulum to someone
with a chair higher, cleaner than ours. For the running and the re-baking of my daily bread
I have hungered for light after lunch and before dinner, like a pitcher
see-through and clear, clear of sedimentation and the clamming of mud.
I am guilty of sleeping in sermons, of using an effective mind
with gazelles, trees dangling of pomegranates and poets and prophets
and poems like prophets hailing toward innocent laps
I seek the scent of a man, in my lungs
like oxygen, taste like apricots his tender flesh
and flush away, like fruit ripening under his arms,
we sit by our dreams and think as the world spins
how could you forbid us fruits you created solely for us?

Dear God,
last night I passed a beggar on the street, pleading for a shot at decency
I told him to answer to you,
when the bread grows moldy and when the ashes of the day turn
arid to the exhalation of sunshine in the evening sky.
to ask you instead of me
for a start at the opposing ends

Dear God,
I have trusted that you will pave the way
give flowers for the spring and blazes hefty with snow for winter
then regenerate summer, like the cauldrons of hell
sharp for the issues we make between noon and night-time
I leave to you the remaking of clay in the pots of summertime

in recent years
I have seen my house tumble, stone by stone
the corners soldered out with dust and the shapes of shadows
prancing round where once I've sat down and prayed
dear God,
as this house tumbles, it is me again
allow me to  turn in my bones before hardening
after the flood
sweeps me in the current

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Short versions

With trembling hands she holds, poison
there's a shorter version to the withering
Smoking kills every living thing

Jehovah's Witness: a testimony

Bibles, booklets, brains rearranged into stamps
you seek me to understand facts I already know by birth,
like the moon is grey and God lives eastwards
where there's heat and sunshine
yet He answers prayers in different tongues

the coat you wear is whiter than your skin, porcelain
tall enough to the thrashing of the wet skies
short enough like my doorway patience
You extend a hand, offer me this and that, reading into lines
I know by heart, like arguments I have mistakenly frowned at my mother for making

I have nothing to offer you even if I tried,
I ran out of bread in the morning
 you stand in the way, there
on the last remaining piece of cement before my house
you repeatedly forget my name
 but remember  what you make of a God,
just salt he fundamentals of faith
pray, fast, obey

the frost  covers the lawn, covers my lame chest
I try to breathe in enough power to decline
the watchtower you mean to set up in my house,
I know holy by tracing the edges and back roads of my city
by wasting an afternoon under a braid
by my blind mother's instincts of love

You convince me with leaving
to warmer weathers when I should show you the distance
between lands and the sky
mention Jerusalem and the walls of Jericho to start
Why would I pilgrimage to the holy cities
when prayer has left
before me, before words
to care and heal, and wander.

The birdwoman in my head

Sometimes she is covered with feathers
sometimes she hails dust instead, but she knows her lines
exactly how to manipulate a head
like saying grace falls true
when you bow towards the rising wind.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Bed conversation

Turn off the lights,please-
I instruct you to leave a space
between us, a riverbank's length
for comfort, for discovery
use enough of the sheets
silk linen or normal cotton to make way for the arms
to drown space for the ears
to hear and let go of the rhythm,
beating, breath that rises and falls
inside, outside

Alright, honey
you turn off the lights, edge then with your squinted eyes
at the new darkness, clumsy to my voice that shows you the way
right, left, top

Easy now
we wade like creatures made for half the water, half the time
and the top half for softening skins
certain that one day this smoldering of silver and iron
will get us closer to heaven- if not possible otherwise

You are ok
Fall into my silence, I tell you
against the drums of envy, of anger, of tiny blocks
we throw like children's legos to pack the floor
tantrums are second nature to hunger, joy and pride
All tucked, arms and legs and chin
we descend onto the darkness, the color of coal

Good night-
we turn our backs,
let's deal with our riverbanks and old rifts

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Why Sam left

Before he steps out to the foggy morning,
Sam lifts his face to the nearest mirror
the briefcase tucks the years
a paper here, a shade of her lipstick there and photos, scattered.
Somewhere between the nightstand and the door he's left
the old slippers, filled with days untended by laden steps
somewhere else, the torn shirt that got caught
like a bird to a thorn, into the flaming grill
there's a lot you leave without notice
old crumples into the background and becomes part
of the picture, a picture painted with objects of endless
ends. Same carries himself out knowing
he left,

He left, because the food comes in cans
because the cans need a crooked edge opener
not everything opens with closure and then there's the smell
of cracking something to gulp
for future references. He left because the smell of fish reminded him
of the ocean, now rocks away-
smothered in iodine and extra lemon for easier swallowing
he left because wine is too much on his stomach
because the discoloration happens mostly on his tongue
where words become squeezed grapes in the sun
he left because of the neighboor's cat, meowing
moaning with grief each morning, missing cans and softer pads
and also because of the baby, the baby's crib that remains
to dust. The music, the soundless sleep among other things
but as Sam stepped out on the threshold
he knew some things are left to rot on purpose,
some others are opened and closed
like  lids, like jars , like morning conversations
food is contained in tin, to  save from undeserving teeth
sharpening for long conversations

Thursday, March 12, 2015

If I die younger than time

If I die young, leave my belongings
to the faces I never thought of,
the books- go search the tracks and the hills
for a girl asleep between daisies, and plant, like tulips
papers at her feet. Give the music to the child whose violin strings
were torn by practice and stretches in the sunshine.
Let my clothes feed the fire, where no memory or hue of discoloration
pinches the sight or the plans of others, weary by the lack of serious
Just leave the bones to my mother, she's the only one praying
and leave the fingers to my lover, where by my hands
he will know the ways.


To think I almost died in mid air
stuck between the seat and the bleeping  sound
noise, and a plastic cup with horrid orange juice
the shaking, earth-bound and earth-made is much to question
there's wind where one cannot see his shadow,
there's void in the voice that tells me, confidently
clearly, that the winds will stop
that the world will keep turning
the things that fall out of the sky are received by earth
duly, loosely, with the right ingredients of love and darkness
I shake, left axis, right spots
hoping that the fall, won't be like angels hitting clouds
on their way to earth
to kill and give birth
to deem and doom.


we've parched-
earth for the lack of wonder, wilts again at the thought of thistles
left to graze at dirt

the sense of devotion, kneels to a place eastward
praying for a deity or God

sight of the eagles, seeing with one eye
many blind-spots unrequited

against white skin, doting as if morals
are made by washing off anger

the names of several games, jokes playing
against humans in effort to produce pictures

unreal cities of stone and metal, linger westward
in the direction of the traveling merchants and illnesses

departures of the swallows, flying in flocks
to warmer lands

our excess of  milk and of honey, we exchange
for primal water to wash our heads

the consideration of ownership, you hold
the tanks and we shiver in thirst

begging for a drink at the river bank
for a prayer, we parched for a new baptismal
that relieves us the need for clear waters.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bench memory

Green, rusty on the side
uncleaned for years by the need of graffiti and noise
non-fighters, we love like secrets underneath the trees
I run my hand in the holes of the chap green painted wood
 figure real miracles like these are motionless, maps
how can these benches, old and stout
renounce our carvings
when they mark our names?.

On the field

Speak with other devices than hearing, there isn't much trouble
not tonight. the battlefield is clear,
there's less haze in the air despite the poignant smell of humans;
some days we bite the apples inside a cloud, made of sulfur
in the afternoon, the mist takes to making women we miss a vision,
tall, slender and ripe of envy among other things.
There's no rash fire around us, not any more
once, three weeks ago I saw a dead-man walk the plains
head bowed to the snow and to hunger
there had been screaming here and there but these
like us are sporadic, non-violent callings for the stars
these days the grounds dismiss the roaches, hunting for beings
who were here by virtue of being, talking to moonlight
when the breaking of fast drives dawn, we find places for the silent new bones.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Morning watch

The washing hangs high on the slit roofs,
clean  linen smells of faint roses and sunflowers
packed into label boxes, the faces of here mark economic size smiles,
blistering with candy, left done enough at the corner shops,
flailing the socks, the little wind messes out with
the jackets, the t-shirts. Lace doesn't hang outside
things that are set for the indoors, stay indoors
shut behind a wooden drawer

like my habits of uniformity in color,

a schoolchild morphed into womanhood
by short white socks, high pony-tales and basic black underwear
minimalist, there's no use in elaboration,
I enter the speech of women like a whisper
too low, I keep it mine
too high, it becomes a scream

I hear the sounds of my balcony,

like soft moans and whimpers
there isn't much unusual activity
the trees are parked in their own space,  the wind doesn't question
its blows-
there harsher wind doesn't move the dogs into the other side of the street
you teach me how to treat order
as graceful as a bean sprouting
there are sounds of gossip and exchange of jam fruits in theory
the balcony's stranger hides no moss

on a book corner under the sun

the ladies wrap their muffed conversation with linen
some pillowcase over the shabbier clothes, making of the rooftops
a forest of foliage, a taste of color
in a while the ladies bite words, 
Smuggle the washing into round baskets 
and disappear indoors 

on my balcony, I sit 
I am knitting you a sweater, unaware
you are looking outside
like it had rained here, like it will rain again
like cracking one egg ruins the set-
you eye the ladies and me
I stitch onward a pit on the green design
I don't receive jam recipes
unless it rains, the fruit can wait

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Confessional poetry

Now the cat's out of the bag
grey with fur the lining of comfort,
I do not confess my secrets, to poetry.

In a blue room, one morning.

Blue is the right shade for the corners
for future boyhood, uninhabited by feet
or any trotting of  milky skin
blue is my forgotten boyhood and the void

blue is enough for the cushions,
it drapes well the sides and centerpieces of this room
I picked the shades to cover what I didn't want to touch
the photo-frames, all lined against the shelves
the pads where he'd rest a head

In the room, the women flow
whispering warm water giggling at their throats,
in whisper, I louder moan in fear
of celebrations. The finer my cries
the longer they whisper, as if only angels
hear when two women speak
unknowing to them that the sick too
have ears

clammed, clasped I rest my head by the wall-
it's left untouched, this body,
a land that's loveless to the knowledge
of other bodies the size of stone,
carrying meteors in their eyes
this body is immune to jealousy but not pain

here is another blue morning, dissociated from days
in his blue, my shaded room
the women flow, greeting with lilac the walls
the hands shaking, the eyes trembling to my frizzy hair
their tongues roll like cigarettes discarded for stronger pipes
I know I am right- blue is the right shades for the corners,
 the right size for his round, perfect head
like a paper sheet under weights I stand blue with ink and a small head,
pulling and tugging
must I feel this soreness in my joints?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Leaving fire in the house

Part of a longer poem under construction: 

there's use for cracked fingers
between the iron and the tinder
hooked like padlocks, there's use for fire
melting is s form of surrender

to ash, the ultimate grey 

Infamous words

Bread, half broken on the table again,
 feathers gather for the lesson on the windowsill,
how many birds die of hunger, each morning?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The jacket

the pot brims of today's
downpour, roses, dog and fish have fallen
to earth. I move to the side, careful with the produce
not mine and not yours
there's so much to think about
like the fact that I am wearing your precious jacket
but there's a dead rat by my feet
like the fact that the streets are now unfamiliar
to the beating of horns
but the corners are just the same.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

If I listen

The tap drains, I haven't fixed it
the little drops could have made an ocean, that's what you would say
I drag my tools, to put math into the equation,
I plant a stone in the waterfall's way

the bread lacks salt and good yeast, but I only make bread
with the residue of  yesterday's corn and today's disappointments
and my day has been charming, so far

in the room, I sit reading, in a dress of sunflowers
I tangle concepts into eight figures, try to make sense of
the way commas run and stop, from the leather chair rock
the dress is long but the eyes are short, 
and the riffs are strong, yet the strings are from threads
what you see is what you get

today I have leased a room from distance,
the dripping in my bathroom is loud
in the kitchen bread is grey with grief
if you were true, the waters we swam
could become an ocean
 we stop tasting the riptide to know salt is an addition,
a primal necessity-the material makes due the man-
if I listened I wouldn't look the grounds for active ants
if I truly listened I wouldn't have the river for a bed.


deceased, time when you walked
straight from head to toe
hard, it seems for a generation
 not to count on a pill
to save the days.

Monday, March 2, 2015

natural disaster

nature takes shape to form it's surprises
takes her steady stirring to make broth of
lambs dressed in snake-skin, moldy
their bites are sharp. these surprises can be
small, effective
like goat mothers becoming childless
like milk drying up for calves.

In an art gallery

I enter, alone-
think, you haven't been with me to any gallery
where laid out is what we've put up
as life. The ceiling here changes,
 it's high with plaster, angels and sardonic faces
downing us like the start of the Apocalypse
this is where the world starts, in reverse.

I walk the paved corridors alone,
take my time to stare at the portraits
each one, a decade, long enough
to dictate features that could have been realistically
another face in oil, another baroness
begging in the afternoon for a piece
of stale dignity.

in here, I can think, separate myself
from the noise of who I
take for granted to be, my face
my features, my smile
things that could have easily been
in a decent portrait
had I found the artist

sometimes, in galleries I see other pilgrims
like me, hiding
some latching to colors, to light as if it will dust off
the breaks they have from thier packed lunches
or packed guilt for sheer lack of luck
in creation

in most art galleries
colors save face, then lose some
in the indignation of winter and restless heads
there's no cure to hunger for the summer
to aspiring, to better lines on old material
what matters is left, mattering

I march back, alone
think, how many humans seize to become
portraits and become pictures instead, flashing
down like thunder, steadying my steps
I exit and the portraits
walk me to the doors.