Monthly Archives: January 2010

Kevin Simpson- York Lewis and Clark.


Kevin was kind enough today to share one of his poems with us. He is one of the first poets to respond to the Dubai call out for the poetician events and has a gorgeous, deep and powerful voice. Pleasure having him read his strong words with us. His bio is under the page on poets. Enjoy.

York, Lewis, and Clark

It’s the bicentennial they celebrate

But almost forgot about me.

In many books you will not see

Or hear my name in history.

Lest we forget from whence we came.

I am the past of many

Africans who lacked a name.

Yes! Lewis and Clark played a big part for I

Will not deny.  Post expedition no money and no

Land would I see and all I could ask was why?

I was strong, able, intelligent, and tall.

One who took on the expedition call.

A member of the great expedition I was named

But for me in life no fame I would claim.

Did you know I was the first black American

To vote and the first black American to cross

The U.S. coast to coast?

The Indians would come to see me

As a friend not an enemy.

On this journey many Indians had never seen

A man all black.  A skin color that saved us

From starvation and attack.

To Indians black was a sacred color

Adored more than any other.

“Brave Warrior”, “Big Medicine”, and “Black Indian”

Some Indians called me. Without my color

and their aid no pages would be a part of history.

Ten years after the journey Clark declared me free.

What I longed for most was recognition along with Lewis

And Clark for my brave part in history.

York, Lewis, and Clark

Should be the official title to include my role

and important expedition part.


Mazen Zahreddine- I be the poet.


First poem from one of our regular and favored poets. Bio is found under the page on top titled “Poets.”
The opinions in this poem do not necessarily reflect any human opinions aside from those of the questionably human author of those words.

Excerpt from “I Be The Poet!”

I be the poet
I be having all the scars to prove it
Look here
This be done while muttering curses at my loved one
This be done in the bathtub after I grew tired of living
And this, oh this, this horrible this, it be done while shaving

Being a poet be very very hard my little rascals you
But I
Not content to just poet around
I be happen to be a bad bad poet
Not bad as in “oh that is so baaaad” kind of poet but more of “oh that is so baaaaaaaaaad” kind of poet

For I be the poet…

Being a sick poet as I be
I would have to have a sick muse with me, No? I say yes.
So most of the times because I be a poet
I stay at home to look after my sick muse

I never leave home
I have responsibilities you know
Wetting the napkin over and over
And placing it on the head of my muse
And she refuses
Hallucinating and imagining health
“I be fine.” My muse says to me “Walla, ya poete maudit, 3anjad, I be fine.”
So I hold the feet of my muse and massage them
Then I decide to have a walk
So I leave my lair pour changer un peu d’air in my usual debonair air, and hek hek I’m out, I decide to buy some needs
And while I’m at it
I make sure I pass by the baddest of streets
To say hi to all the whores I never dared to touch
And when I get back
With hundreds of whores laughing at me
And when I get back
Under a wave of derision
After that a heart has been pierced with so much precision
I go back home and cook for my muse

I be the poet I tell you
And I’m only washing the dishes now because…. Because there’s so much of it lying around

I go out
I go to see my favorite nun
Impress her with an innuendo and a sexual pun
Make her all red as I tell her poems about things I’ve never done
About things I read
And after we’re done, me and my nun
I go back home
And wait for the sun to rise

I be the poet
So I stay at home
I never leave home
I have responsibilities you know.

On a Bus, traveling.


Working a lot this week, in production, moving constantly and dealing with events and deadlines and battling sunsets and light. Not much time to update our poets section and start introducing you to the fantastic group of writers who have joined Poetician events. I promise to get to that next week.

For now, I leave you with an exhausted poem I wrote on the way home from filming in the desert yesterday.

It is inspired by a colleague and is very simple.


Written on a bus

UAE, 26/1/2010

A man I worked with

for twelve hours in heat rising

in the deserts and big cars of our gulf


takes out his homework on the endless road home

to beds and ginger tea and sanctified sleep

and studies, quiet.

Why are you learning Spanish we ask,

watching him pour his last few drops of power into curling lines

new words

new meanings

new language life rhythm music and spirit

my wife is from Argentina he says

simply, answer enough

I am silent, envision a faceless woman he

will hope to hold forever.

I had a lover once who learnt Arabic for me.

He asked for coffee and spelled it kahwa

never wanted sukkar

he learnt to put the correct h in habibti

he learnt to say help me, ana mareed

he chose to call my eyes small almonds

to make love

dirty words in Arabic breathless new found intimacy and patience

I call him lover because he loved me

repeating words from countries alien to embrace closer the woman he pronounced

out of millions of bright eyed strangers in New York city

he took on a language a life music rhythm and spirit

and today

a gulf


we travel

and I cannot get you to even take on our possibility.

First post will be favorite poem- if that’s possible.


Welcome to the Poeticians’ new site, a place where you can find local poets from the Levant and the Gulf, readings, video of our events and links to poems we love from around the world. Plus whatever silliness we decide should be inflicted on the world.

It is impossible to decide on a favorite poem. One would have to look through over 30 years of being imbued with various influences and moments and differing needs and tastes. But if i had to pick- and obviously I dont HAVE to pick, I just want to- it would be the poem below by a certain Margaret Atwood, who is a literary genius.

Variations on the Word Sleep.

By Margaret Atwood.

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen
I would like to watch you
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway

again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.