I am bored, for the first time in a very very long time. Maybe ever. I do not know what it is. I used to be bored when I was a teenager living in Damascus, but books would always alleviate that. Now, I dont even have that sanctuary or relief. I want to blame the summer in Dubai and its oppressive heat and dullness,
but thats not fair. I could get off my butt and go bowling, swimming, drinking, dancing, etc. Its something more. I cant quite define it, and maybe I dont have to. But I have been meaning to write a poem about why I am not writing. And here it is. It has been a long time since I wrote anything,
and already, those who love me have told me that my writing has become less angry, less emotional, less filled with verbs for action to change the world, and I cannot quell the fear, the worry, the thought that maybe, if you live in the desert surrounded by malls, and allow yourself to get old,
your language will mold and wither and shrink and suffer. Who knows. Not good to rant, but trust me, I cannot wait to finish some of the projects I have been working on, I need that sense of achievement, and I have never been known for my patience or calmness.
Dubai, June 15th
On being bored in the desert.
Somehow, recently, I have lost meaning.
By meaning, I mean
the image behind the image,
the fable behind plastic,
the dream behind indelibly mute inner noise.
I used to be boisterous. All alone.
The bed was history. Arms craned, feet
up thighs, necks extended and whispers
personal. Sheets longed to be soiled,
pillows squirmed under tugged curls
and all of the moment was a moment,
mass experienced and individual,
art or desecration, pornography
The table was abundance. Crumbs of everything we spoke about
dropped like a fairy tale trail. Falafel,
chicken, avocadoes. I was always hungry.
We dipped French fries like they were
finger foods of gods.
We slathered sunny side up
eggs, on orange lime-green purple afternoons
like every weekend was a vacation.
Like your face was ice-cold cocktails, and my giggling, the ocean.
The way he ate was laughter, and I,
sipping on lady-like morsels of prayer.
The couch was a garden. We live
in the desert, but who was to stop us?
that fact creeps into our habits.
draped on color, I buy
silk and sequins rustling
hoping peace or orgasms reverberate with
innocent fat-tummied contortions of bodies,
the repose of the lovers who have witnessed years atrophy,
gymnastics, watching clocks tick on walls,
watching time move for so far, nothing.
Your hand clutched my waist,
mine on your hip. Your head
nudged my nape. My knees curved into stillness. Sang.
Little sequences of motion created dance,
We may lie in silence, or speak devil tongues of a thousand
to ancestry. The folds of our bodies now rest, everything else
is seen from a window,
distant and not dangerous. I do not move much,
In Dubai, summer wilts my breasts, my eyes, my belly.
I have no words behind words, no photo behind
repeated consumer snapshots.
A muse found in stupor earlier
recalls palm trees and now barren,
dissipates into civil wars and
awkward quarrels about love and duties.
The bed a bed. The table a table. The couch a couch.
Wood, plastic, fabric.