WE THE MORTALS
Away from what you leave behind
a five year old Amine in Guatemala
a tormented gaze in Ras Beirut
or bulging eyes missing the ceiling
eyelashes napping for eternity
your destiny awaits you.
Grief for the ones who cared
decomposition for your filaments
calcium your only index.
We are here to go.
The meaning of life is that it stops, said Franz
to dwell for a little while
draw a line or two
grow a plant, an ego
leave traces of our wills
the fruits of our loins
impressions of emotions,
then depart in style,
with a delusional spirit
and the wrong signature.
(Beşiktaş, Oct 7th, 2021)
LOVE AT TWO SPEEDS
When you fall into a woman’s dream
you are likely to be lost
no red flags waved in your face
and no alarm to wake you
limbs and abdomen
with male genitalia
ecstatically pointing to a black hole.
When a woman nestles you in her dream,
you are likely to be done for
no siren’s screech will startle you,
like an idiotic sailor
boring through a steel wall
bells deafening your ears,
while the ship sinks
(Şişli, Sep 27th, 2021)
A CEMETERY, A HOTEL AND SOME NAILS
I visited intermittently, on the same day
a Francophone cemetery filled with sculptures
and several times I went by
a memorial chiseled in semi-precious stone
with only the word “autel” inscribed there.
At its base, coming from the boutique hotel opposite
waves of foreigners with small shopping bags
kept offering libations of rare coins and Euro bills
leather-less wrist watches of solid gold.
By the marble stairway of the hotel itself
a large woman with curly hair named Nada
pointed at the burial site
reminiscing about her little sister’s hard life
priests attempting to exorcise her demons of depression.
Then I saw two more words carved on the gravestone: Nails Save
speaking of said sister’s holding onto life
or of what she hid in her forearm
or else a reference to the end of her. Nails Save
a scripture that brought no solace.
(Kadiköy, Sep 25th, 2021)
MEDITATION ON NEW FACTS
Sitting In the artificial penumbra
of a rock and roll bar in Kadiköy
properly named Rock’n’Rolla
trying in vain to read the sleeve notes
of a 70 Leonard Cohen album
Death of a Ladies’ Man
bringing it to my eyes
pushing it back
widening my eyes to bring the light in
but it’s no good
even when I move to the table under the spotlight.
Then this deep young voice:
It’s your lens, it has thickened
and will no longer give you
the focus you took for granted.
Then I saw the elegant hand, arm extended
handing me a card: Vamp & Ophthalmologist.
(Kadiköy, Sep 23rd, 2021)