Friday, July 29, 2011

The poet should break ribs between breaths.
The last look of these objects;
her unworn shoes & grocery lists,
is an executed man's insomnia.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Musa & Co. moseyed, musing on a river path; if this water ever runs, which bubble do I dub my own? Picky Musa touched this water with his staff to see if his luck would strike twice.

Somewhere swimming in his part brain, did an image surface from when he fled; if the river, now, could speak, would it pipe up with the memory of his mother's hands in the water? Whose hand were these, that played along him, now? The bronze or golden? Which mother set this boy a-weeping? I was born by the river, in a little tent,/ & just like the river, I’ve been running ever since. Musa-Music places his hand on that stream, hoping the water remembers their repertoire. There is softness in this rush; as if the river murmured her. There is home in the river, for those who know the lullaby of water. A home running too far down the nerves to be anything less than pain. A pain that says It’s been a looooooong.

Musa struck home upon bedrock & there was water.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adhem's song

My Gawd, give me distinction
like the devil once sung –

l-l-let what’s hollow float
heavenwards; what’s drowned,

go down. My throat, make it choke
with something sing’lar in you,

or drop thy hook. Give this
fish wings if its flopped, & if

one day it falls, a flood.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Adhem, ahem was an accident;
a name that broke out

from the air, the other end of the barrel
who sung I’m the chosen

, & wondered how to make
the gun say Ah, men


Because I am allowed
to write this then I’m

allowed because it is
allowable to write this then

it’s law because it is allawable
then the rite is God’s wa

’allahi O Lawd
because you rite this then

there is no law but la'
a law who, ach, bar

because each law allows
me less & follows you

to where you’re all
there's been enough allot

Monday, July 11, 2011


The room you shut your language in
was full. There, grew a word
too gasping to be sung;

no sun broke through it, only
blindness, & the shriek of feathered
things, circadianally sound.
A Sufi prayer: 

Lord, if I’ve crossed two lines
that can't, let this work kaboom

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The surfaces of all things
startle, like the sea
that doesn’t drown; I will cover
these letters -- say O.
Give this fish wings, if it's flopped,
& if, one day it falls, a flood.

Monday, July 04, 2011

But this is love; the strain
of the adhan buzzing through
the house & the fact of this noise
never becoming music.
Some letters get lost in Amrica;
they keep a barbar like me damned,
but Sam, they drop the am.

Mr. Adhem, ahem, do you
right or left? Can you sing
our anthems? Stand

down. State your name.
Open wide. How long
have you had this cough?
We fed, that night, on wine, until the night
felt like the day; until day's stars

broke through the dark & night’s had
fled away; until night fell,

winning us the sweetest bliss, while we
remained untouched by care or fault.

If that night was longer, my joy may
have lingered on. But, O, these nights are few.

Ibn Zaydun

وليلٍ أدَمْنَا فيهِ شربَ مدامة
إلى أنْ بَدَا للصّبْحِ، في اللّيلِ، تأثيرُ

وجاءتْ نجومُ الصّبحِ تضربُ في الدّجى
فوَلّتْ نجومُ اللّيلِ، وَالّليلُ مَقهورُ

فحُزْنا مِنَ اللّذَاتِ أطْيَبَ طِيبِها،
ولَمْ يَعُرْنا هَمٌّ، وَلا عاقَ تَكْدِيرُ

خلا أنّهُ، لَوْ طالَ، دامتْ مسرّني،
ولَكِنْ ليالي الوَصْلِ، فِيهنّ تَقصِيرُ

ابن زيدون

Sunday, July 03, 2011

A light got lodged inside my throat,
now I can only go
uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, uh oh.
Your house grows hollow as you grow;
a father’s deafness. Echo, echo.