Edition I

January 2018

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Track Toxic - by Daniele Farah (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

Track Toxic

By Daniele Farah

I don’t know how my words whisper themselves back to you,
I don’t know how a line of thorns melt as you look at them,
But I know the art of talking and miscommunication,
I know blades and wars,
I know your heart.

I feel clouds ripple apart, making wide open spaces for rain.
I deal with three raindrops on each cheek,
I don’t listen to the white, sheltering talking walls, I listen to dialed phone numbers while I sit. 
The flickering beats blow the dying light,
They tell me to unveil treasures of lost trash lands.
I read out loud, brain and eyes, I have trouble doing so.

I am a sinister mold that formed a jail cell,
Site for the wars and catastrophes.
I am a heart of knowledge and adrenaline.
A heart of lust and desire, of fate and quiet, of roses and cascading autumn leaves.
I know a heart of fever, a heart of passion,
I know an intoxicated lover.

Heartbeats - by Hanna Abi Akl (Photo by Myriam Nehmeh)Photo credit: Myriam Nehmeh


By Hanna Abi Akl

I crawl inside your breast
Reside on your warm chest
And listen to the soft sound
Of your heartbeat

Liquefy me with your naked soul
And show me the burning truth
About what it means to love
With passion
Ardently, furiously
Write on my back
And stitch your words on my skin
If you have to

Because today I am a lost man
A wanderer roaming in the name of the truth
When really I haven’t been pure in a long while
I haven’t washed my body in water and incense
For some time

I bathe in sin, love,
And if I may keep calling you that,
Let me also address you with the following words:


I’ve dug a hole so deep
I no longer see the surface
And every day I sink
A little lower
Like two ice cubes
Positioned at the bottom of a whiskey drink
I sip from
While thinking about you
And other women

I think about you
And other women
And I think of myself
And the one person
If any
Who will save me
From the demons
I’ve patiently created
Over the years

And now these demons
Are out of the chest;
They’re out to get me

Tell me love,
Can’t you hear my cries
Can’t you hear my soft whispers
Over the noise of the tree branches
Swaying in the wind
Outside your window?

Think of me lying
Next to you
In your bed
Think of me when you drink
Your warm coffee
Think of me
When you read kind
Romantic words
Think of me in every love scene
You watch in a movie
Think of me when you cry
And think of me
When you write
When you light a flame
And you’re all alone
And the power’s out
Think of me
When you’re afraid
And reaching out
Of the darkness

Because I’ll be holding out my hand
And reaching back
To you.

Prayer - by Farah Chamma (Photo by Waleed Shah)Photo credit: Waleed Shah


By Farah Chamma

I cannot stop myself

from looking up

often confusing my weakness

for strength.

I started praying two years ago, back

when my cat had trouble breathing

and died.

(that’s also when I started smoking).

I am beginning to see you everywhere I go.

I often say,

you are filling a void.

Talk to me.

This forced spirituality is making me reckless.

Tell me you love me too.

I need you.

Tell me you’re feeling it too.

I’ve been putting my phone down, trying to channel my soul to you.

This also happens to be

a prayer.


Waltz - by Sara Houmani (Photo by Mathew Wiebe)Photo credit: Mathew Wiebe


By Sara Houmani

You Put your words

In my Palm

Like Coins

In a Jukebox

As we

Waltz around

White Paper;

Who knew our

Dancing Pattern

Will be just as


Or are we

really Over?

الضباب - by Mohammad Ashker (Photo by Nina Sharabati)التصوير من قبل نينا شرباتي


الشاعر محمد الأشقر

حطَّ الضبابُ على مدينتنا الخراب
أدلى الإمام برأيهِ
لا للضباب
وتظاهرَ شعب الإمام
مسانداً فتوى الضباب

أدلت حكومتنا رؤىً وتظاهرت
ضدَّ الذين تظاهروا
ضدَّ الضباب
قططُ المزابل أعلنت إضراب جوعٍ قاتلٍ
ضدَّ الضباب
وحمارنا نهق نهيقاً حاسماً ضدَّ الضباب

ملأ الخرابُ مدينتي
حطَّ الضبابُ على يدي
فعرفتهُ من زيفهِ
هبَّت رياحٌ هادئة
ذهبَ الضباب مفاخراً
ومضى الجميع مهادناً عَودَ الضباب
ذهبَ الضباب ذهب
وبقت في مدينتنا الخراب

Insomniac - by Zeina El-Hoss (Photo by Ben Blennerhassett)Photo credit: Ben Blennerhassett


By Zeina El-Hoss

Night falls, I lay my head to sleep
then the sedating silence is broken
as thoughts begin to creep

Guilt calls, saying “It’s been a while
that we haven’t gone over failures,
or the memories you had as a child”
Sleep’s gone, and so has the peace.

If only our thought patterns had a switch
I’d turn off the anxieties
I’d rest my head on that pillow
and dive into a sea of tranquility

And while this body is weary
I can’t meet its simple needs
because the heart is roaming freely
and the mind’s agenda impedes

Sleep is a necessity
only when there’s nothing to miss,
when there’s no inspiration to guide you
through a world of writing bliss

Sometimes I envy the oblivious
who are not shaken or stirred
their hearts are void of anguish
their heads are void of words
that they must unload like baggage;
too heavy to carry around

If only I were just as unaware
if only the world just passed me by
without a trace, without a sound

The Snake and I - by Samir Georges (Photo by Samuel Zeller)Photo credit: Samuel Zeller

The Snake and I

By Samir Georges

I rode the snake up to my heart

and we coiled up neatly

warmed my blood

and cooled in venom,

so we did,

so we did

the snake and I

we fit well together

us, with that gleam in our eye.

Insomnia - by Malak El Halabi (Photo by Waleed Shah)Photo credit: Waleed Shah


By Malak El Halabi

I call him Insomnia

His hands, larger than my immense dreams.
His hands engulfing the stars and the planets in their passage

I call him.
I call him Insomnia

His hands measuring my waist like a restless tailor,
swirling around my body like a deadly hurricane,
planting roses in my hair. His hands,
drenched in my hair, ripping rose petals.

I call him.
I call him Insomnia

His hands, waking up all the sleeping bats of my heart with a single stroke.
His hands keeping my weary eyes wide open.

I call him and will always call him Insomnia,
so that my nights and his days remain forever the two sides of an unfinished moon

Spit Blood - by Jamil Adas (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

Spit Blood

By Jamil Adas

Do you ever spit blood
because you try to taste life too much?

Do you ever max out on a human experience?
like “I love you”
but you promised your psyche
“I will never say these 3 words again”
but when the compass points, you follow.
You find out – truth is not on a straight path;
it is on a spiral.

Sometimes life is limiting
so you lucid dream
realize every desire is at the finger-tips of your mind
and so is every despair.

“Tread-carefully” is an advice that enters your right ear
and exits ear left
you are left with 4 stitched spots on your head
a broken finger
a broken shoulder
a chipped tooth;
spit blood.
“Tread-carefully” almost robbed you from your life,
as you’ve seen it swindle many others.

Try it all and try it now…

Emoticons in a poem  😉
     – stupid – spit blood

A metaphor about the taste of life in your mouth
     – no one got it – spit blood

Speak to God in your own language – بما أنّك العليم, السميع, الرقيب, الشهيد, الباطن أقرب إلينا من حبل الوريد
     – everyone claims God solely for their tongue – spit blood

Spit blood out of your jugular veins
and don’t forget to taste it

Spit blood

Spit Life.

Thank you to every writer for the thought infusing poems contributed and
thank you to every passerby for reading the art of our talented poets.

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