Reviews:

 

https://jacket2.org/commentary/arabic-language-0


 

Selections:

 

The Inferno

At lunchtime, we took our khaki pants, meeting agendas and went there, the fourth circle of hell, by the espresso machine. I saw him, with plastic tubes coming out of his body, my drinking buddy, the one who told me that I can be romantic, trustful, and still practice safe sex. Dante was there too, sipping bad wine and flirting with the girls in the massage lounge. He told me: Beatrice was a mid-life crisis thing, a career opportunity, and when the damn paparazzi surrounded the Ritz he smelled her death in the eyes of the bell captain. I asked: master, master, is Barry White a great romantic? Which should I work for: startups or established? Which is more truthful: the DOW or the NASDAQ? He looked into my tearful eyes and said: Son, search inside thyself. The Trojan War is just a myth. IPO’s are your best bet. Don’t search for Beatrice, and don’t repeat my mistakes: Whenever you buy a pack of cigarettes ask not for one, but two sets of matches. Your friend was right: you can be romantic, trustful, and still practice safe sex.


 

For the love of ideology

I dreamt of chairman Mao jumping between skyscrapers. NY cops were after him. He told me that he never agreed on the separation of the spice girls. I found myself screaming: “I LOVE CHAIRMAN MAO. I LOVE CHAIRMAN MAO.” He taught me how to use chopsticks and stole me watermelons in his truck. He told me that I don’t need flowers to fall in love. Chairman Mao never killed the people he disagreed with; they volunteered their death.


 

Love letters from the middle class

. .

Yeah, me too, I love you. Sorry for the dramatic title. I am

working 9-7. It’s a reality show out here: magic princesses in

BMW’s will cut your throat for a dollar, but it’s also so lovely to

have free soda all day.

 

I miss you

love, sarah

 

Yo Sarah – have you found the never never home of your dreams Yet?

I hate civilization sometimes, say hi to your boyfriend – I miss him too.

most love,

Ramy

 

Ramy, John says “Hi.” we went to a small nightmare yesterday and

swam with the ducks. It was okay.

 

I miss you too. And by the way, how’s corporate America treating you?

 

Have you received the Baudelaire book I sent?

send me a poem please

love, sarah

 

I found a magic carpet yesterday and flew east but you were busy

so I spent the rest of the night in a tuxedo pretending that money

doesn’t matter, and bought you some west coast wine –

 

sorry about the poem I am not writing much lately

ramy

 

damn it – why do you always have to be so tragic? – got the

pictures you sent. shave your beard.

love, sarah

 

Sarah, back to square one (I used to call it loneliness, now it

feels great) come over next time you’re in town. I gave up on

casual sex, but a threesome isn’t such a bad idea. or is it?

love, ramy

 

Ramy, yes, it’s a bad idea, but an orgasm may help you get real.

I am thinking I will come with the butterflies and we can torture

each other kindly

 

love, sarah

. . .


 

Desert prayers

The Christian monks of the Egyptian desert are flawless. They are there for no apparent reason. Beautiful women come to their dreams and strangle them or take them on short trips in fearful cities. The deeply troubled of them are saints and they usually make it to the next world without psychiatrists. They are praying for me so I may overcome happiness. & I think of them & their black clothes & I – too – pray for them & ask for a second chance in the Egyptian desert. But I am not sure about living without skin or fingers. So don’t turn the light on yet & let me give it one more shot using candles – just wait & pray – & I promise that I won’t be happy.


 

Her

don’t let that white space scare you –

even the decadence of artists

 

your throat is clogged

with her name

you fall in love with the idea of her

or the reality of her dualities

 

you tell her:

I am from far beyond your skies

 

you tell her:

they are not kind here nor there

 

& you tell her that you will project your thoughts of ideal love on her & that you will overload her voice with meanings – then you wait for her to touch you or leave forever – & silently you take the far corner of the church & pray that she would stay


 

Love letter

Today I enjoyed waking up with you

and watching your first sentiments,

before we started building

the corners of our sentences

to isolate each other.

Before we started gazing

at the empty part of the room

that defied both decoration and intimacy.

This part of the room

where yesterday’s condom rests

and acts as a symbol of something.


 

The city with round dining tables

I thought then that I need better nightmares. Nightmares that reflect my inner conflicts. Take for example, a nightmare about women in men’s clothes ordering take out in a Chinese restaurant. Imagine the insights such a dream could tell me about myself.

I knew that I have (sic) to ask for forgiveness, but I was not sure from whom: As a start I excluded Michelangelo’s saints. This fracture started from the heart and went all the way to the concrete wall. In the middle of the foggy streets I called for Rimbaud. I told him: exile is a sexual position. He disagreed: exile is a state of betrayal, and at night you don’t have the right to look yourself in the mirror.


 

21st century Bellevue

21st century Bellevue: a tall woman with dark skin assumes that I am her lover. Picks a wedding day & tells me: no sex for now.

There is inevitability in what she does. She tells me: take your fear of sea lions elsewhere. Screams: bring me happiness. In the parking spot designated for lovers, I touch my knee and tell her: we are fucked: nuclear power, ethnic hate.

She stands there, you know, every passerby is a potential sperm donor. She cries: love me but don’t love my body. Suddenly, I remembered the dry blood from last night’s accident on I-5, the tortured flesh of middle-eastern political prisoners, and Prague. Prague, your women out drink me. Awkwardness. The continuation of a thought that was never fully formed: your dreams, ah, your dreams are not choreographed appropriately, let someone else decide.


 

A love song for Paris Hilton

Facing death we stick to our pretentiousness: some symbolism,

some constructivism, and a tad bit of reality. How did we end up in an

affair with syntax? First we did identity politics in the suburbs,

where we found out that

this is the wireless age and settled for these semi-dorky

conversations about content vs. form.

We went to the lecture hall full of hope: theory is practice. Yet old

school critics & experimental poets were roaming the cyber-space

for a good fuck: alas, we were left in

chat rooms like inferior angels.

Self-hate is an expensive skill: indoor sunglasses, the same set of

pick-up lines &

voilà: we got the fashion industry folks cornered on the dance

floor & we threw

a good punch or two before the music ended.

So Paris, come hither to the cyber-ghetto of experimental poets.

The night is freckled with its stars but my language is yours, dear;

my dear language is dearly yours.