Plate 5: Journey to the
An image against the image
of the falling spirit
the small body shakes below with the
when a savage sea
is pounding a depth into both
and the casing is the interior,
grasping, shrinking, wriggling, swallowing
– like a throat or an intestine –
Electric pain throws him out of it
towards the faces leaning over convulsing thighs
to the sky of the room and further
to the room of the sky
rounded over the eye.
Faces, faces and more faces
from the sea, the cities, the burning air –
Bones squeak, crack, split under-skin
ants are crawling down
the eye holes.
Walls are changing into more changing walls:
a cradle, a bathtub, a street, a grave.
Plate 9: Palimpsest
Therefore we've all gathered here
for the expected graduation
stretched out on the grass in the promised land
where honey's being licked from young thighs
and milk being sucked
from our chests
along with the blood, fat and marrow;
we wipe our lips in satisfaction
gloating at ourselves
full of meaning we don't want to have.
But we feel no pain we're munching and shitting,
like a cashier going through a supermarket trolley,
the correct answers
voice and tone
and come out
by the book
in a winged buzz –
a swarm of thoughts
belonging to nobody.
The rest is a piece of cake –
we inherit the earth the beds
Long angular shadows
are cast from the sphere overlapping the sun
on the procession of I’s
leaving heading home.
Here In The Land
Here in the empty land
in the diminishing time
alive yet not alive dead and not yet dead
pacing like immortals on a darkened road
we've never been and are not
and what can befall us
that could possibly hide
the worst of it all?
We rise daily at dawn
to go round and round the city of non-being
in the processions of
and like bruises on a beaten skin
our dragging footprints mark the earth,
Seven times we encircled the city
sounding our throats
but its walls didn't fall
they move round with us
around one more undeciphered
tiding that dawns without light –
and hangs above us
like a lot not yet cast.
Our necks are stiff from staring upwards
with dislocated pupils
soaring beyond our eyebrows and forehead,
agape at a further-on
that blows a new name into our chests
and spreads at our feet
one more abyss ajar,
a box of echoes
for the howl.
Behind the TV, the generations of the tribe are passing:
demons of quilts smelling of naphthalene,
ghosts of a deserted laundry-cupboard,
portraits in an album and store-room mirages;
Repeatedly they peer with a decaying eye
leaping from the corners with a crumbling
and with a mouth full of earth
"We haven't lost hope yet…"
And we all repeat after them
an endless supplication
rolling on like a wild, though unheard, laughter
– Oh, fading God whose name's forgotten,
endow us please with day or
Between the tallboys along the sideboard
and all the way up to the pantry,
we, Destiny’s firstborns and still too young for trepidation,
tread on their faces
ruin after ruin
and through the glaze of our wide opened eyes
seek a mirror or a death
After some time the death-bird
started to cut through the murmurs of night.
On a blue coffin
sparrows were gathering straw-stalks and gleanings for
Keening women, whose breath was getting short,
burst into their marvellous lamentation:
Even he who’s free of everything
isn’t free from being himself.
By The Temple
By the temple / Assad's begging bread / Abdalla's begging
money. Nearby / among the booths of / incense and charms
Mustafa's begging stars / and Issa's begging love / stretching
out / their begging bowls / gaping.
Mansur's begging truth / from every passer by / Jallal
begs freedom / Omar – life.
And he? / He's begging nothing / yet no one gives him
His begging bowl's filled / with glances and stares /
thought-alms / word-alms / air, fire, earth, / kingdoms / elixirs / salvations.
He turns his begging bowl upside down / and empties it.
/ Yet it's still quite full.
"Dear Self," he writes on it / fills it with wine to
the brim / and drinks up in one gulp;
ah, it's not empty!
He smashes his bowl / in one go / broken pieces / yet
it seems to be now / even fuller; / multiplied.
By the temple / Assad's begging flesh / Mustafa – pebbles
/ and Omar – walls.
By him / by the temple / there's no