The Poeticians.

Poets sharing words from the Middle East to haunt the lyrical world.

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Archive for January, 2012

Infinite

Its really not very surprising that one of my favorite albums as a teenager was Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness.
I still write like a teenager. That’s probably a bad thing.
But to love, to love like a child, is probably necessary for the often aching adult brain.
This one is for Nees, Alex, Rach and JJ.

Infinite
(For everything that is over)
Dubai, 01/02/2012

crush of lassitude
longitude of screen solitary, electric
impulses
don’t glow that one curve of smirk your lips anchor
on my neck,
once offered,
or your fur brown of eyes unaccustomed to
open language
and its pitfalls
that abyss of my violent hands moving to fool the body into rigor
how the ashtrays fill up so quickly
throat still hollow
how wasted were all those muscles yearning
in my face
whether grimaces I sobbed haunted you
or smiles bewitched sadness
I robbed of your dreams
how nothing shifts in sleep scapes
dawn, no longer narrow,
how fat everything feels
the swell of fingers repels dry
exteriors
you could always find your path to stroke
my spine
reclined
as swing for merriment, my skin,
pool of aqua in my waist when all was
once shed rotten red
and sick yellow,
how even the trashcans fill up so quickly,
and I have more evening
and I have more morning
cheeks sallow
conversations in logic regurgitated
masticated in that gift of
infinite delicacy
of
friends who
empty out junkyards in my ribs,
who insist, despite the seeping bellow
that logic will stamp code rules on all this sorrow,
how I keep explaining of feet bereft, still peeking
behind stumbled movements of white
grey numb collision,
once mellow,
all drab setting of teeth ground against reason,
against limping to bedrooms empty,
mornings silent,
that peculiar lassitude of shoulders,
embraces, counted,
treasured,
now stored parchment crumbles,
age old love letters you never agreed to send,
hunger barking in stomachs
reading,
words, cheap,
words infinite,
vile words that twist, flare and echo.

Barren

Thoughts on having children. Or not having children.

Barren
Dubai, 28th, Jan 2012.

It is meant to be the animal will
the divine right
the one cry of my aging aunt against the light
the cupcakes in smeared chocolate
the small hugs in the dawn
the squeezing of hands at a doctor’s assessment
the unflinching fear of disease
and betrayal
the alarm clocks for school
the every every day of sameness
comfort and death in every
ritual
the one demand your Arab parents make
guilting you into procreation
and the flurry of midnight jaunts
now impossible
now absent,

the reason our thighs intersect
make musical wars
tempests of drums blaring pleasure
the only suitable adornment for my chest as skin graces skin
as gods would
laugh
or touch one another
or playfully banter
as heaven might feel under your feet
as only sleep can bring salvation
as morning sun is to forgetfulness
as the moon is to private weeping
all one day,
swept away by the toothless
miniscule smile
stamped by DNA
tarnished
or sane,
all loss diminished by a first word
or a tottering step of hesitation
and that mesmerizing ability to suddenly read,
upturned eyes with expressions interpreted best in
holy books
written in water
only by mothers
and fathers
perused for eternity by the type of love words can’t define,
measured by sacrifice prisoners of conscience
dare not put into memoirs,
spun silk like fingers clutching,
toes, five little perfect cherubs, drawn in grand design
I cannot will myself to decipher.

It is meant to be the meaning of woman
and man
the solution to decay
life ongoing, ever moving, a
machine so rampant
I am breathless at its beat,
at its harmony,
its brutal candor,
its bludgeoning of the senses, deprived of logic,
or rationale
or mathematical symmetry
or even humor.

It’s the completion of my breath,
the atonement of all sins,
the mirth of glee familial,
agony of responsible admonishment,
that unique creation of spirit separate from your body,
the frantic fear at every second
of every street intersection of
departure
and danger lurking
in even small plastic objects,
and in shadows of
bombs heralding horror,
and for those in war zones,
trees aflame
sky ablaze
the ground a funeral
not a playground,
not a landscape natural.
How do they do it?
How does skin extend?
How does the heart bulge to encompass lavishing nurture?
The pocket as deep as thoughts can grow?
The mouth vessel for wisdom
for punishment
for the lyrical naming of animals,
and clouds,
and clothes,
and continents
and galaxies,
and the explanation attempted at
feelings primal,
alleviation of hunger,
vital
for the type of caretaking without deadlines
or schedules
or tangible compensation
or fame
or fortune,
or the keeping at bay of real life monsters,
how do they do it?

I think of you
I think of you, my love,
that bed you sleep in,
those pillows I gathered,
far from my restless center,
the way our love created only embers,
the way our love created only questions,
unventured,
your brown eyes in memory
slowly diminished,
once proud,
sky bent,
now
as dull and as quiet
as chopped greyish lumber,
splintered
silences between us,
the lines forming on my face childless,
nothing but fear cavorting in our
dusty corners,
the hands we dislocated from one another,
the way our feet don’t curl up
in slumber,
and how
how do they all do it?

Maybe there really is no planning the future.
Maybe even poetry is incapable of committing to a suitable answer.
Maybe slow steaming love is decisions made
in afternoons of somber
sober reflection,
a careful ascension to personal thrones
of lineage
as grandeur,
and not that furnace we flung ourselves into,
lit brightly,
briefly illuminating a universe entire,
to be then a charcoal portrait
a work of splendor,
inanimate,
frozen,
extinguished and without name,
barren,
forgotten, without even a tremor.

For the days are all my own,
and the nights are all my own,
and I am as far as desire can go,
and as lost as the calling of wind takes me.

In the Womb.

For you, sir, who thinks you have any sort of say over what my body does or does not want to do.

In the Womb
(For those with a penchant for ludicrous laws over my body)
Dubai,
16/01/2012

Hey you,
yes you, with that smirk on your lost face,
that beard you hide behind
those eyes of yours shrunk like whatever manhood remains
that manhood you think
can be inflated at my expense,
yes you, you
with the preaching
and your hemlock words
all that insidious pretentious posturing of wisdom you drape like a
sodden halo around your tired sense of self,
you think anything can stop my rampant galloping body?

Hey you,
yes you with the temper tantrum and the clenched fists,
you with the turgid failure that penetrates nothing but spaces of rape,
yes you, with your holy books
stained with putrid bigotry,
yes you,
you with your weeping failure of a mother,
and silent father, and your sons, faced glazed over with loss,
and daughters too pummeled to speak,
you with bank accounts as fraudulent security,
your nepotistic presidents as ammunition,
and guns as loudspeakers chanting faith,
and what you decree as heresy,
You,
you with your idolatry and persecution,
living on myths of what your ilk considered history,
consider this. Consider it at length, and with fear,
and finality.

My body can croon children to sleep,
to laughter,
to satisfied bellies of ecstasy,
can tumble through serene mountain slopes to rivers angry,
can jaunt across all the mental spheres you don’t notice
in your hurry, in your business suit, in
your pathetic finery,
can tell the world of love only glimpsed at in your stale heartbeat,
can tell time, and space and the angels to write poetry,
before banishing all that to
relegated abandoned memory,
can sing,
can dance like the moon never stopped rising,
like the water never dried,
like melody never had to stop pulsating,
like fruit hung off my tongue at every crossroad
of thighs, thrashing,
this body can thrust and yield,
can donate life and
can eradicate it,
can careen off the stars to land on your lips,
foolishly whimpering,
while I entwine the trees in my fingers,
my palms from heaven,
a rhapsody,
this body can conjugate verbs,
differentiate math equations and understand
biochemistry,
can bark orders at will, and embrace for eternity all disciples,
this body can run,
and swim,
and offer a thousand strokes of a smile,
healing medicine and witchery,
can laugh till all thunder dies down,
and can storm a lightening love wail to drown all our misery,
can reach across the table and hold the hand of a friend bereft,
can sew, and stitch all the places ravaged by lunacy,
can dream up constellations and sink to ocean depths of
harmony,
can revise all your sciences to a single snapshot of
the face of
mothers baking cookies,
and can inscribe political slogans of anger you
dare not even formulate, no matter
the savagery, the battery, the tyranny.

Hey you,
YES
you clamping to your skin what you may think is the word
NO
To all my unrepentant sluttery
sisterly
motherly
womanly bravery
all my effusive Arab prowess and seductive history,
you, you who may think
shackles become me,
or modesty,
or invisible self inflicted misogyny,
you who doubt that I can smear war paint
on my eyelids
at every bar in town,
slam dunk sentences of reprieving answers to
every cunning attempt,
every violating treachery,
you who think I cannot find my way home in the dark,
brandishing battle scars and
flourishing integrity,
yes you,
listen,
from your apathy,
snap open your slothful slumber and
barge a battering ram into your patriarchy,
fuck it,
send it slinked to a wormhole of contempt,
and our collective mockery.

This body,
my body,
was sculpted for months in a miracle in my
mother’s body,
was breathed out in a moment of sanctity,
was embraced for decades by her matriarchy,

how the fuck do you ever deign to suppose you can harness me.

Had you met my
mother, you
would bow your head in respect,
relinquish arms,
retreat,
sunken so called masculinity between useless limbs,
your terror arrested,
your decrees of lawful honor nothing more than
ancient tales
of useless
insane
banality.
Yes, you,
you
you aflush with that murderous lack of bravery.