1. Late letter to Bernard Pivot
Back in the day,
three princes of the word
Mohammad Choukri, Charles Bukowski and Marc-Edouard Nabe
graced your show on three separate occasions.
Before a live audience, along with mediocrities
you collectively scorned and bullied Choukri,
whose magnificent retaliation framed your pettiness in a flash.
You disdained and pushed Bukowski out of your set
for legendarily being himself: a celestial drunk.
And with the help of half-witted guests you demonized the young and fresh Nabe
for being brilliantly talented, sharp-tongued, with tons of integrity.
You cur! as Charlie Parker would’ve put it,
who gave you the nerve to treat prophets like underdogs?
I see the mighty Charles Mingus from his chair in the sky
lifting you with one fist and throwing you head first
behind the bandstand, right next to Juan Tizol
who’s been passed out on the floor since 1953.
While you’re there,
wake him up!
2. The forthcoming season
Let us say
we’re in the folds of some obsolete labor
holding our lives to ransom
Call it, if you will,
a decisive battle of wills
or a nerve-wracking biting of the bullet
But truth be told I foresee
an unprecedentedly savage chapter
leading us into the eye of the proverbial vortex.
3. And then this
Is it the allegorical inferno ad infinitum
or a literally unbearable, protracted pain?
Is it an abstract, unspeakable fear
or the concrete existence of others?
Is it the mythological Abyss of Hades
and the doomed souls in it’s Styx
or is it an actual intolerable crime
permanently plaguing your conscience?
It could very well be that boundless common room
for endlessly contemplating
better known as eternal bliss.
4. Palestinian Sunbirds For Eyes
In my native village
as long as the sun shines,
Palestinian sunbirds fly through our gardens:
similar to the nomadic hummingbirds,
for they too come round for the nectar.
The sunbirds of Palestine trust our branches,
take their time kissing the flowers in our trees.
They are the size of my eyes all black and shiny blue-green.
Past them far away over the mountain I see
olive groves glittering in dusty green silver and gray
and across the hill just past the mighty fig tree
precious Palestine stretches before me.
5. Spontaneous Combustion
In the darkness
of the power failure
leak out the pores
of my freezing skin
What if my forehead overheats?
What if my lungs burn?
Your spring allergies
are your sole companions
Your intermittent friends,
O quadragenarian hermit
7. Wintry Living room View In The PM
(In memory of the poet Mohammad Al-Abdallah)
– I –
In a rectangular living room
like a fridge on its back,
I try In vain to take refuge
in a gray burlap couch
from the sneaking cold of the street.
– II –
In the shade of dark clouds
with my quadragenarian eyes
I try to decipher
the overlapping shadows
of the trees
‐ III –
In the white iron facade to my right
frosty glass trembles up to the ceiling.
Looking down my window,
I catch a glimpse of a large silhouette:
Muhammad Al-Abdallah’s bald head unveils itself
glittering in the light of a fire
sparked by a street bum
marching straight ahead
between two lines
of dormant light poles.
towards the sea
where the corpses of three dead cafes lie
where spirits of long-gone friends wander.
8. An overnight stay
Lying on my side
I open my eyes and I meditate
on the whiteness of the wall facing me.
Then I drop my sight on my cellphone screen.
I modify the luminance of its rays,
and on the virtual keyboard I type these words:
A soul withers in a corner
and a corner is half a house
or half a tomb.
9. What goes under a Sparrow’s wing
(To Charles Bukowski)
In my bedroom
that’s on the fourth floor
the glass windows are so thin
I can hear the mite
under the red sparrow’s wing
10. The Three Deaths of So And So
So and So was buried
in his life
in his dreams
and six feet under
11. Thelonious reptilian
I’m a fast moving chameleon
with 360-degrees hearing and vision
that vertically and horizontally scans
the urban landscape and its dwellers plans.
I hibernate on the outskirts of the Capital.
I wake up sometimes to the sounds and smells of the living-dead,
unbothered by pseudo-hipsters
and estranged graffiti con-artists,
whom I occasionally, for amusement, drag and gulp
with my supersonic bolting tongue.
Otherwise I’m a stoic disciple-monk
of the order of Sphere Thelonious
who religiously reads Sargon Boulus.
Three brief facts before I brutally merge with the concrete:
I’m plagued by seeing through humans,
I don’t feed on insects – I just hunt them for practice,
and I never step in dog shit.