Photo credit: Rami Kanso
By Marc Chamieh
A call came through
flatlined on the stretcher laid
all the same,
all reduced to ashes,
A bad trip
A devastating shock wave,
Songs of happiness to screams of melancholy
Tears of joy to tears of despair
Laughter to sadness to indifference to bluntness
Hope to dejection
Bandanas to bandages
Tattoos to scars
Piercings to stitches
Soap to Betadine
Accessories to braces
Flatlined on the stretcher,
Shops to dust
Trees to dust
Cars to dust
Glass to pieces
People to heaven
Windows of hope to windows of death
A lethal mushroom
A bad trip
A critical condition
Vendors to victims
Pedestrians to ERs
Doctors to duty
Dreams to nightmares
Hopes to prayers
Aspirations to aspirators
A collective grieving
A collective struggle
A collective misery
A collective agony
An ambulance dispatched,
a glimpse of hope too late
Blocked by bureaucracy
Blocked by traffic
Blocked by corruption
A never-ending dark tunnel.
Where is the light?
Photo credit: Daniel Curran
A Contemporary Romantic
A contemporary romantic
contemplating but not contended,
comprehending that he cannot comprehend it,
His hand around its neck he lifts life into the air he breathes,
he beats it to his heartbeat and eats whatever beads brake,
a modern William Blake.
He lifts life –he chokes it;
it’s a joke that chokes him,
it is God, it’s a sin that he created.
But his creation is not honey dew,
what’s dew for him is to pay his dues –
He is the Knight wonderer of “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”,
a slave to the idealism of Keats, he dwells in the belly of the beast.
The beast is his imagination;
he is Frankenstein
and his creation is the fear of a nation.
His nation is a notion of roman ovations,
ovations ovulating in oceans of no evolution,
revolution is a revolt anti-vaults,
vaults of faults, their faults, our faults,
teenage hormones and a hundred volts to the penis.
Ovations ovulating in oceans of no evolution,
oceans of teenage revolutions,
a desperate need to feel alive,
a desperate need to follow a Moses as he splits the oceans
and runs away!
spines split and lean,
spite and spleen.
Did you ever love yourself for hating yourself?
Did you ever make a scene, for the sake of it?
Make no mistake,
modern William Blake,
he paints the Great Red Dragon as a snake
and the woman clothed in sun, with the sun, to him, is the beast from the sea.
Do you see?
The snake slithers to the smell of the incensed innocence in the Sistine Chapel,
the Sistine Chapel is the gap between her thighs, and he worships it with lies
while she lies in his bed.
As he fucks the act of loving, black paint drips from his head,
drops burst ahead, into her throat,
she rocks like a boat, and he floats…
10 thousand floats of his imagery gloat,
he is God and he commits the act of creation,
commits the crime of creating,
a comity of characters
inside his theatre
where She is the utopia of him, deep and dark as a cave, and he craves
deep and dark.
Graves deep and dark.
After all, how can an artist be one without pain?
We create sadomasochistic veins,
arteries of artistic artifacts.
Art effects affect defective art, and we pray.
We pray to ourselves to save us from ourselves,
make ourselves suffer.
We are our own last supper.
The contemporary Romantic,
the modern William Blake,
make no mistake,
he likes to play God.
Photo credit: Adrian Swancar
By Rayan Sammak
I just came here to express my thoughts that are fragile
I do not apologize for the following information you may not be able to handle
I raise my glass of confidence and proceed to lift my drunken spirit
This is where two pathways collide and form exactly how I feel
I bleed with the same intensity of when I yell out and say: This is life and that is how I live it
I couldn’t help but notice your pain
I couldn’t help but notice you
I couldn’t help but notice
I couldn’t help but
I couldn’t help
How deep can a word cut through your metaphorical pain
And what about the overexposed heart you’ve been carving for a couple of years
The problem is that you used a knife
When you should’ve been slicing with the sharpest smile you can cry out
My brain knows better than to be a slave to this crooked perspective
Evil has offered me chains to get locked up, yet I have used them to choke myself instead and get
killed, I die helpless and resurrect as my destructive descendant and dispose of danger before it
realizes its disrupted senses are now defenseless
I share DNA with the grave and I’m still able to have room to prosper
These words will break their backs for this author but when it is time to fight and survive, the
syllables will automatically grow up and fix their posture
My body is an instrument of its own
My heartbeat is composed into war drums lead by dead bones on the battlefield of emotions
And every vein is pulled as the strings of the aftermath melody rises to play the music of
And I dare you to listen to that symphony
I only shoot when my soul has its hands up
Enjoy the mess I made
Good luck knowing who the guilty party was
And when you find them, try explaining to yourself, you are that guilty party
Good luck knowing the question to how much blood you’ve wasted
And good luck knowing what the fuck you are doing on these frontlines
I double dare you to try and find out who the fight is really against
And if you ever thought you really knew
Now find out if that answer truly satisfies your void
Oh, how you want things to be different so you go looking for hope
Well I’ll tell you where that is
Hope is the bum on the street begging for change just like your cause
There will be damage
There will be blood
There will be a lot of people and in between them rotten minds with the intent of dying with
Die on your own, dig your own intellect and bury your wisdom with a ‘fuck you’ to toxicity and a
smile for yourself
You deserve it
These are conjured thoughts waiting to be painted on this mural using the blood of my hungry
I fight only with the reflection of my distorted mirror as I proceed to shatter an image just so I
can upgrade it
My self-esteem is a concerned citizen who gladly walks through clean streets filled with snipers
on roofs that only target his precious anxiety
And feels that he may be terrified of the remedy but injects the poison regardless
He calls what makes him stronger death because he firmly believes that what fucking carves you
is the same disturbing element that stitches you back
He says the word “he” because sometimes it’s hard for me to confess
Sometimes we want to take turns
It’s mine now
I speak without a mic
I barely shut my eyes to sleep because I would love to see what a nightmare looks like
And when I say this is as real as it gets, it’s only to sound as raw as I can
This is when you are able to see the smile from my scar
I live from death, so I live to die and when I’m resurrected I die again so am I truly alive
I bet that if I firmly believe in wisdom being my wealth
Then I’ll die so slowly my growth is gonna miss out on death
What a tragedy
I bet all of you wanted to witness me merge with dust and become a casualty
You keep trying to slice my path of a great life but not realizing your souls are all amputees
And that is something you can never reattach
Photo credit: Shahin Khalaji
You Come to Me in the Night
And just like a moonbeam
you come to me in the night,
igniting me with your steam.
You do a number of things to me…
penetrates my body,
invades my mind
and dominates my will
like an ink does to a quill.
because the spell you put me under
makes me doubt and wonder
what is real
and what is surreal?
see right through me
even if it were past three [AM]
they bring out the dread in me
which makes me bend the knee.
With you around,
I’m like a slave
to your world bound
where my reality spins round and round.
I start doubting what I know
and begin going with your flow.
You give me no proof,
telling me: “I just am and we just are.”
But I don’t have a mind of steel
nor can I conceal.
You come to me from the deep
to mess up with my sleep
reminding me that every night
needs a good old fright
and that you’ll always be there
when my dream transforms into a nightmare.
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