Edition XXXXI

October 2019


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داخل جسد أثيري - by Yassine Kadech (Photo by Ahmad Odeh).jpgالمصور أحمد عودة

داخل جسد أثيري

بقلم ياسين قادش

من وراء العتمات أسأل عن نفسي
عن موسيقى الكون في همسي

عن حروب راقدات بخيام الأمس
 تتلاقى في سحاب أسود، بركام رمسي

ترصد الأجساد ظلا بين قوانين البأس

أصرخ صرخات لإنبعات أفكار
 تهشم رأسي
وفي الموات أرى خطواتي
بإنتظار الكأس
وأجساد عاريات تشخص، لا شخوص
فالكل لليأس

ربما أحلم روحا لاهثا لشهواتي
 دون حسي
.. ومن وراء الفعل، عدم سكون
لا يسأل من أنا
من في الأرض، من زرع
السنابل بلا فأس


The Default State of a Writer - by Humairah Jamil (Photo by Joshua Fuller).jpgPhoto credit: Joshua Fuller

The Default State of a Writer

By Humairah Jamil

The default state of a writer
isn’t a cigarette-smoking,
alcohol-swigging, typewriter-banging
character. It isn’t sitting by the window,
admiring the flowers in fall,
overlooking the blues and greens 
while waiting for a ray 
of inspiration to descend. It isn’t 
an inexorable flow of the pen.
It isn’t picturing Bukowski 
and his cats, Murakami and
his jazz, or the films that put 
the writer in a rose-tinted light. 
It isn’t sitting in libraries or cafés
looking pensive and poised
with words jumping at you 
as you write, write, write.
A writer is neither ridiculously
knowledgeable nor wise.

The default state of a writer,
to be honest, is a mess. 
Not one-size-fits-all. Clueless at best.
With a burning desire to discover
the self, and the constellation of cells 
that connects. It is laborious. 
Languorous. It is 5am routines. 
Discipline. It is language 
edited. Backspace. Embellish. 
Write. Erase. Write.
What am I doing with my life?
Save as draft. Enter. Delete. 
It is tears on paper; of disappointment,
of laughter. The writer as a light bearer
is a romantic conceit.
21st century ones are the strangest.
In between meetings and
an avalanche of work,
watching films, after arguments
dripping in disdain, through eavesdropped 
conversations in the train.
It is furiously typing on iPhone Notes.
It is scribbling on folded receipts. 
It is unmonetizable. It is foolish. 
Foolishly stubborn 
with hope in hand. So here is where 
the writer sits. Or stands. Dreams 
and does. With nothing
but a pen, spilling all the voices
that won’t sit still. Tending 
the mind garden, no matter 
how long and excruciating, patient 
in curating haphazard thoughts 
and sentiments and lessons 
into memories.
Into language.
Into words.
Into worlds.
Into life.
Into light.


A Memory - by Veronica Byrne (Photo by Rebeca G. Sendroiu).jpgPhoto credit: Rebeca G. Sendroiu

A Memory

By Veronica Byrne

My grandmother washed the potatoes in a bucket outside the back-kitchen door

Using the handle of the sweeping brush she swirled them around in the grey water until it turned a rusty
Brown

The misshapen potatoes recently plucked from the ground, let go of their cloaks of clay

Revealing a pinkish hue like a newborn’s skin on a fine September day

My grandmother lifted the zinc bucket
a weight in an eighty-year old’s hands
and discarded the water
black and used, down the outside drain

My grandmother tall and thin with hair silver and long

Took her baptized fare inside before the Angelus rang


ألف عامٍ - by Alaa Samir Ghannam (Photo by Joshua K Jackson).jpgالمصور جوشوا ك جاكسن

ألف عامٍ

بقلم علاء سمير غنّام

ألف عامٍ
أبحر فوق یدیكِ
ألف عامٍ
ولازلت أغرقُ
أخبئ قصائدي
الخرافیة لدیكِ
لیزهر الغصن المورقُ
فیغدو شعري حدائقٌ
اذ لاقى الشعر عینیكِ
و أصیر أنا شاعرٌ
كلامه من محیاكِ یسرقُ

من فوضى الوجوه خذیني
إلى وجهك حیث أنتمي
إلى وجهٍ من الیاسمینِ
خذیني إني ممتلئٌ بالألمِ
فأنا مرهقٌ من تكرار سنیني
هل لي بحضنكِ أرتمي!؟


Iris - by Anjali Chhabra (Photo by Aimee Vogelsang).jpgPhoto credit: Aimee Vogelsang

Iris

By Anjali Chhabra

Once upon a time
there was a little girl
with a name as soft as her playful twirl

Iris loved
to waltz around
in little circles like merry-go-round

Alas.
This was never to last.
Little Iris haunted by demons from the past.

One was a witch.
Her name was Sorrow.
Decided Iris’ freewill was hers to borrow.

She tricked
Iris when fast asleep
and weaved her into a web of crimson deep.

From that day
Iris’ days became small,
punished with dreams and flashes of nightfall.

She looked up
for help from her kind friend Mr. Blue,
hopeful his skies would dissolve her crimson glue.

Young master Sun drew in
determined to play his part,
his bare hands burning the crimson strands apart.

Just then,
her pristine white chambers started to flood
with drops of water turning murkier with blood.

She slammed hard
those shutters to force the last drop out
which saved and squished her in equal bout.

[This poem imagines that the thin, circular structure in our eyes is a little girl named Iris, and the blood vessels that become more visible as we age represent a crimson web woven by a witch named Sorrow to trap Iris into this white chamber that we call our eyes, which blink and punish Iris with flashes of darkness and dreams. The act of staring to the sky and sun fills the eyes with tears, effectively flooding Iris’ chambers, and the only way she can survive is when the eyes blink – protecting and trapping her in the same act.]


Paper Boats - by Jolene DSouza (Photo by Bruno Kelzer).jpgPhoto credit: Bruno Kelzer

Paper Boats

By Jolene DSouza

Every time I’d think of you
I’d send a memory to the sea
Riding on a paper boat
To somehow bring you back to me

Time and time again
I’d send dozens and dozens more
Till one day I found all my paper boats
Washed up on the shore

While I was sending you paper boats
A storm had settled in
Brewing and stirring the ocean depths
Taking my boats I sent within

My paper boats never reached you
My paper boats came back to me
My memories are now upon the shore
Haunting me endlessly. 


Check out our previous editions from 2019:

Edition XXXVII
Edition XXXVIII
Edition XXXIX
Edition XXXX

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