Friday, March 31, 2017

Things are different, here

this is what I tell you,
things are different here

I don't speak of the world as if it has 'corners'
because this is an invitation to walls

one that sat on the street
on your breath too long

but I assure you, taking your hand
is unmatched of silk to skin

you witness the sky, a bit clearer
with all shades possible of the same morning

twitter of a bird or two,
crazy is gradation of the day, very clear

a building crumbles like paper
on the heads of its inhabitant to make more way

for trees, for houses, for a man's dog
some men are more worthy than others

it is different here
what's most holy has killed the prophets
we survive because we have lost faith

green hand

once spring made the trees glitter green
at your touch, you said, a green hand makes the soil grow
long held out the grass is yellow in the garden
it misses your green hand

in the crease

Between your smile and your hand sifting flour 
I find my footing, this is an obsessions, 
to find the path to make of the bread- a meaning 

in the crease of your wrinkles, 
I find my homeland, how the wrinkles 
of the olive tree, like olive skin generate newer blood

this ancient being has no heftiness
I find my energy in the lightness of your step
cane-bent, but like sugar-cane, you still stand tall at church 

perched on the old desk, that is pinned to the glass
I find my reassurance that once young 
can mean a potential of the future folded in a wrinkled crease 

between your smile and your hand 
I find the remaining bits of thread for a thob
a dress, stitched gold and red
the colors of royals and peasant, contained like my homeland 
on cloth, wrapping around your hands, grandmother. 

re-watch, re-tell

night descends while the window flickers with a soft breeze
I sit to watch the stars align one more time,
tell me another tale, then
my lone shadow

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The woman who spoke about other women's freedom

Found chained to the bed
a bruise around the head
the woman who spoke about other women's freedoms
was heard howling at a familiar claw
tearing fast at a white robe, now red

the beggar, the visitor

Thief, screams the beggar
at the ant
that begged for a morsel of his borrowed bread

forget (v)

like a man does
comes the advice about forgetfulness
as if the brain picks a gender to place a heartache into
systemically like a lost brooch 

 like a found treasure chest
bury astray, the given 
forced over like a bent shadow 
the careless hand that pretends to feed while it's empty

take down the music, where the memory 
captures a rapture that can only be replaced 
by photographs smeared over with fingerprints
like a Christmas tree fold the branches and tuck it away

there's something very surgical about a removal
a death of some sort forced onto the living
a rush of a thousand meteors 
without answer or reason 

how many ways were these atoms formulated to make two bodies?

maybe it is neither a job or a demand 
to keep the bodies under check 
a jog, a dance, a walk 
is enough to let new air in

this is a kind verb 
it allows us interpretations with leeway
if you play with meaning, do you arrive at the desired end of the ocean
or where you really just a few kilometers down your own shore?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The dead

Close the store fronts and add a poster to the ones fading
out of our sight, the youth will remain young
mothers will continue to carry their melancholic anger
like a badge stitched on the chest, over the heart
just where the youth should have been still standing
brothers will carry a different anger
unwashed shirts, stained with the smell of those gone
players of football in the usual streets, dreamers under the windows
loving quickly and realizing slowly, how it ends
the sister will stitch together poetry, a word that binds another
with gold thread malak, the royal used in weddings and for kings
the land, where they had fallen sprouts flowers
in winter twigs to keep warmth, in spring poppies for blood
in summer jasmine permeating the night and in fall cyclamen the flower of death and glory.


Take aim for free
a shot at words done in anger
put out into a trial

Saturday, March 25, 2017

For sale

- lipsticks
- a lampshade
- an old washer
- fridges without doors
- photo-frames, never used
- three sofas from the 'avant garde' phase
- the jewelry box with the broken ballerina
- sweaters that could have easily gone to charity
- the florescent stars that hung on the ceiling, like galaxies
- coat-hangers with clothes weighing them down, pretending to be of use
- the accessories rack bought with good intention, left to bad weather and dust
- the mementos, all of them, the stuffed teddy-bears, the i-love-you, the silver earrings;
- the flower-pot, the goldfish, the soap-dish, the navy dress that received compliments at a wedding
here I am selling the things that made sense, things I can no longer glue your memories will go first I am sure.

papers and word

it is like dumping
what? your words on paper
floating out like flowers in March

Friday, March 24, 2017

a passing note

one nudge
she will be sold

the woman who diverted
a river of tears in a foreign city

too cruel to love her, the streets
too new to know her details

it is hard to be a passing note
three nights here and then you are gone

travelers lost, follow the north star
how many, do you reckon, find their way home?

The echo

The echo answers her voice
with jokes of his own, tinted with pleased laughter
it is funny the room is full of answers
but the echo finds his voice regardless.

No longer your story

Look how the grass sprouts
cutting out of earth, without question

this is what you learn from nature
but you haven't been looking properly

there are no holes in the grounds
where the seeds fall

the hand that feeds is the same hand
that sows but after careful consideration of the elements

who wouldn't choose spring?

look ahead
to where winter leaves its trail

Snow leaves this mountain
exactly when it is supposed to, without begging or reverting claims

it grows out into puddles,
wets the edges of my feet and your old overcoat

how could we not have heard, snowfall?

perhaps this is our obsessive flaw
counting time with our twenty fingers

it takes courage to make up these words
I understand a lie needs one person to fold

but look again
how snow and spring can sprout from the same mother

without your intervention
this is no longer your story, at least, till next spring grows

until you understand how tall grass can stand.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

these nightly terrors

Are we alone,
the man with the mask whimpers
at the throat of the girl abducted at night.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

White shawl

White shawl, wrapped around my head
there is not a drop of rain today
I could have been a new Gandhi
but the world got to me faster

Thursday, March 16, 2017

how she treats him, an indentation

He gave her the only rose that bloomed in winter
she, returned the petals with a soft blown kiss
that- has made all the difference
for a small child with a book on their lap


I have known a river
that runs against all others from sea to source
blinking with an undercurrent, it pulled the pious
but left me and you

maybe I should stop using pronouns that identify too close at home
our features, but it can be masked- this habit
the same way we learned that the map is what we see
but maps lie all the time

can't you see,
this it the first kind of discomfort that you note
there is disarray in the simplest of movements
an unnerving settlement in the way you carry your body

from left leg to right leg as you shift your weight
a dance breaks in the middle
then, it is not the same
who said it should ever be?

the wall behind me carries a torn out photo
on I had kept in my pocket for years,
disarray comes in many shapes
then there is you, another ball of mess

Bite at the wind

Bite, twice with the same teeth
at this passing wind, too close to your lower lip
don't expect anything other than blood to spill out.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


is all that is yours but never truly so at touch

all that is yours within a hand's grasp

the work of a genius in a captain's arms, along with his lover

eight work hours a night, no lovers in sight

praises to the empty chair, the charred key

jokes on the rust climbing the key, nailing the chair to the ground

a denouncement of the pleasure of living

intimacies over a glass of wine for the fine art of living

this statement you sewed to your forehead

is the way I kissed away the numbness of the stitches

the way your eyes danced with me opposite your door

in your arms we would dance with the door open

perfume, exhaust fumes, three howls for old fruit

use the same spray deodorant, cannot afford to howl at one another with a broken down car

this devotion to denounce, pleasure and other measures

in a space where pleasure is publicly denounced
I wait for you to make private what's public
for us, alone.

Travel and read

A ticket to a land, I leave on the table
I see the question in your eyes
have you read another book?

R is for Rudea

We have long stopped caring about the alphabet
what makes a letter more special than another, but its order?

I was born under the letter A, Alif, I call it in my mother-tongue
an alpha, a first letter, a significance and a resonance

it takes a while getting used to other letters;
how they curve around you like an artificial tongue

you are the letter R, for words borrowed
like this what we share a Rueda

a circle is a Rueda, a wheel is a Rueda
a rounding of stomping feet and glared screams is a Rueda

Rueda is when you offer me a hand
then close it off with another form of a crooked smile

Rueda is when I cannot be a mystery
but I can have enough freedom in me to dispel

myths about round wheels and their harbingers
not doom, not gloom but a wave of sound and motion

an intention to receiving, loved once
rejected  for reasons above the waist and below the chest

Rueda is three claps, five couples
ten stomping feet and a free-beat music
R is for Rueda
like A is for the start of this alphabet.


What use is my pen
if I cannot use it
when my hand is tied behind my back
yet still, expected to write?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

the men around me celebrate women's day

One's deep in his head with football
another gives me a flower, too red

one with a fierce eye and a long obsession with calves
another with a flame for a tongue licking fire widespread

one with a divorce at the end of his aisle
another with a woman for his shadow, standing

one woman buried under his beard
another a shake released in the hips twice

one with a battered wife
another with one long dead

one with an arm the length of a high-rise
another with a lame leg

one with words takes me,
another brings me bread

the men around me celebrate
what it is like to be woman
hefty, but not dead.

a short springy feeling

There's something about spring
the way your skin covers around it 
making the folds tight for the sun to arrive 

my right hand, itchy, 
fails me at touching back those 
that touch me

if I told my mother 
I would imagine her laughing 
with a sound so loud my ears will shake 

to the act that was once boiled on a grandmother's chest
that spring touching us is green, like money
like things used once and never fully 
left behind 

Monday, March 6, 2017

kept knowledge

Breaded in you
like old butter,a knowledge
you hurt to truly find

Sunday, March 5, 2017

a fairy-tale origin

Three pomegranates fell from a tree
down to where a horse was drinking 
sprouted three young maidens and a prince
this is the preface to a short story about 
where I grew and how I came to be, a woman

Writing to you is like witchcraft

Writing to you is like witchcraft
I usually barely make of the ingredients I use, a complete pot

I throw little parts into the mix
without realizing how potentially damaging I am becoming

one day there's a complete drought
like one promised seven good years and seven bad ones

another there's a flood of smoke, smells
uncontrollable fumes to linking my destiny to yours

it seems careless, this disposition
to the many attempts I am making

at failing to make comprehensible, a sentence
without shortlisting any bias I might have for you

this is the effort I put into my words to you
seemingly surfaced with honey, glazed with potion

when did I become a witch?

was not wizardry an act for the brave
the cowards like me have to wait

for the right time to brew what was kept
bitter in jars not ours, yet used and borrowed

like my writing to you, these days
pinched and quick, without an origin or an explanation

save these old tears that needed using,
save this old pen that doesn't write any more
save fatigue, my writing to you is like witchcraft
we both don't understand it but we wait patiently for the result.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


I am on top of a white cliff
with no direction or sense of a value
unable to move a muscle
you are the lake bellow the cliff
that will contain my bones

paint wars

Vastly uninspiring
this war against my self
with red paintbrush
to sedate the rest who paint with white

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Opening chapters

The start is always crucial 
it is how you make an entry 
choosing a form, a matter, a void 

this is why we stress first word
because after the spirit became 
the letter, a word, its conjunction 

how does a month open 
a flip in the day's dent 
then roll the days 

this is how you stand on 
two rocks 
without effectively falling 

to balance is to counter 
where you line the ground 
with dirt, roads and trodden footsteps

this is how we avoid 
rugged photographs 
let the past rest folded

beneath its hands 
a reverse spelling 
of spells, cellars and suited strangers

a bunny furrows in my garden 
between the mallow and the daisies 
for once I don't recall

where I last placed tenderness

like a dream that escapes me, 
this density of the bones
that cannot bend 

keeps manifesting itself 
in the company of opening chapters.