Monthly Archives: October 2010



I have a wonderful friend in DC, who sends me poems and love and thoughts and support and encouragement and confidence and musings and inspiration and courage and light, color, glitter and always, laughter.

This is a little poem he sent me today, I thought I would share. He is a long timer in poetry, and a literary activist, and a lovely man. I miss you too E.

(for Temo)

We will all lose our jobs
if not today then tomorrow.

A writer calls me asking about
how to get published. They are having
a difficult time. I start to explain
the journey we are on, the poet’s path.
The writer interrupts me and says-

Cut the metaphysical bullshit. I want
a Mercedes Benz.

What do you want?

Today I returned my poems to my lover.
I filed for unemployment.
My heart stopped.

E. Ethelbert Miller


Knowledge at the back of my throat.


I have so many tears. So many tears.

The Back of my Throat

Dubai, 09/10/2010

There is a slight burning chafing at the back

of my throat where this knowledge resides

somewhere between tear ducts and my lips that purse.

I cannot ask you so much. What should we call my newborn daughter, how to tell

a good watermelon from one that is dry,

just how to sweeten the faces in adversity, and why your eyes

remain bottomless green ether, unbounded by

words. Does he love me enough and

for how long, and maybe you can yell at me to get

off the couch to the gym, we could possibly

cry- together- at the endings of films we will forget, having remembered

nothing but that your curls were close to mine,

and you, thirty years older, would drop the same tears,

and sip tea with mint like we were friends, like this was ordinary family. You would hold me against

divorce papers, and hysterectomies,

tell me this shade of red hair dye makes me appear a washed out

tart, or encourage me to bead more shine into

these robes, or maybe teach me the patience it takes to

carve eggplants into the satiated bodies of

our guests. You could drive my sister cross

states to hang Christmas lights, with no one but

Fairouz and all the Palestinian spirits bequeathed us, for company. You could ring doorbells

like it was no miracle, and usher in the light of all the hidden corners of the world.

You could string together ropes of my broken pieces, wrap

a heart with hands that sculpt birth, make a unit one

of the ways the world breaks me.

I miss you, in all the memories that never happened,

in all the mornings that could have been

a future, in all the words

you never got to say,

in the faces of strangers who did not know to love you. In the countless

mundane moments where only

you would have sufficed.

Everyday,  the knowledge burning at the back of my throat,

searches for doorways of forgotten private

languages, hunting the one symbol

that could summon




Who could claim a lover is more important than peace, in a world where the trees are apathetic to us and our tears. Everything is relative. Someone loses a child, we lose our kisses. No one determines the appropriate amount of mourning. This morning is full of contradictions, assuaged only by the power of communing with words. And possibly you, anonymous reader.


Dubai, 1/10/2010


the sun has been feeding the leaves

so life could insinuate itself into

a variety of folds

ubiquitous, and cruel.

Maybe a flower will blossom in the absence of wind

the grass is hot and in here,

pulse hides in the eyes of this statue

the way words between us are frozen.

In Africa, a child pleads flies away from his lips, hot too, and thinks of a

future green,

I have seen the yellow faces of famine in Pakistan, a

white trembling of stagnation descended

from the sun and its ocean. A small hand inches across the soil,

inert, their bodies strewn are river paths of hurt that the wind

whistles to me, as useless as the

Middle East peace process,

Jerusalem and our flesh lost in the tumult of money speaking to your unfair god.

In here, my restless toes want to wrap our morning

in sheets private, and warm. The ageless sun blinks

white lights into maps forgotten and wayward,

illuminates a path to your arms, overgrown in nettles

and poison.

Elsewhere in my mind,

a suicide bomber takes the path of least resistance,

rendering poetry useless to safeguard this love.

Limbs shatter across concrete, telling us we have arrived too late.

A man shifts feet in the slow prayer of a Friday afternoon, his heart

pumps faith through a waist that kneels in hope

for requests to a higher entity that could hold us. His form is the prostration

of desire through servitude to the power he imagines

he can wield over death.

I die a little every morning, where even the chocolate of your skin

and all that they baked is tasteless.

A woman bends over the drying lake, scooping hope this taste of liquid

wont make her offspring sick,

but this salt water in my throat, seeping across a face that flies

a horizon of highways to your bed, is parching.

An old lady picks a rose from her bush in the abundant garden of

apathy, wondering why her husband seemed to ache

in his sleep last night, a world of mystery to

her aged hands, now appeasing thorns to find a petal to soothe him.

I have no blossoms inside.

The earth still spins in defiance to my rigid hips.

The moon will come out again tonight to tease me.

The fajr love moans of shoulders entwined will keep the sun in time,

another day mourns this night of indifference

you bequeathed me.

A young woman in labor, racked, holds a bundle of possibilities to

swollen breasts, in hospitals where others have

seen their mothers chopped and stifled. Everything is relative, I think.

But not the frozen words between us,

for they too,

have physics of symmetry and rotation necessary to survive motion, apart.

I am still.

My lungs lose their battle with nicotine, breathe the way my waist

could turn in angular circles to mesmerize

you. You win.

The leaves outside are now making love to the breeze, in playful energy that mocked

my lethargy, and this void.

In here,

in the space of my fingers to this voice, swallowing

dryness, a moist memory of you

is vapor rising, and

I awaken.

I awoke this morning longing for what you dreamt.