Edition III

March 2018


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More Wholesome Than This - by Maya Kaabour (Photo by Nina Sharabati)Photo credit: Nina Sharabati

More Wholesome Than This

By Maya Kaabour

You are skin and bones –
sticks and stones.
You are blueberry chapstick
and cigarette-infused hair,
cellulite, stretch marks,
and abandoned books on self-care.
You are a woman with a boom-box pulse.

You are lonely (but not really) –
and you talk kind of eerie
and you walk like you’re in search of the moon or
something that can ground you
when the silence surrounds you.

You hip-hop –
and you beat drop
and you go to clubs where no one knows your name.
You dye your hair pink
and you wear lace panties

and you fuck whomever you fancy –
but
it’s never enough
to calm the hurricane inside you –
or solemnly remind you that
this
too
shall pass.

But learn to run as fast as you can
towards the ocean.
It is vast and endless –
Its tides are relentless –
just as you are tonight (that’s alright.)

And learn to hold on tight
to the things that make you special
like the freckle
in your left eye
and the exceptional veggie stir-fry
you learned how to make
at a very young age because you had to
fend for yourself.
Befriend yourself and
don’t bother trying to mend yourself.

Women’s magazines have accumulated millions of
dollars
out of the false ideology that if something aches then
it must be broken.
But you are not.

If you must lie in the dark then
light some candles
and feel
what you need to feel.
You’d be surprised by how it may
delight you –
let the introspection invite you
to a new chapter of your own story,
bask in all your glory
and know that right now
there
is
nothing
more
wholesome
than
this.


Exorcism - by Sara Houmani (Photo by Ahmed El Tayyeb)Photo credit: Ahmed El Tayeb

Exorcism

By Sara Houmani

Exorcise
Them demons
Of mine
& Wear them for me
Like lace
As dark
As your intentions
For me tonight
You Sigh
in my direction
Once
& Oh the heavy breaths & The sweating
Like a french flower
At Dawn
in Versailles
“Arrosée” et “Interdite”.
Say her name
Instead of mine & Watch me
Reincarnate as Satan
& Slowly take them good deeds
Off
Like lace
As itchy
As your neck
Will be for scratching & Honey
I have a thing
for verticals
When it comes to drawing lines
And it just happens
That I don’t just draw

I SKETCH.


Beirut - by Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Nina Sharabati)Photo credit: Nina Sharabati

Beirut

By Namal Siddiqui

I walk on your cobbled streets
searching for a sanctuary within my soul

I walk under your black sky
high like the street lights hanging above my head

Beirut

You are the crafty and eloquent lover
who sins and seeks absolution together

Beirut

I left my heart on your streets
for a stampede of humans to crush it.
Pain after all is the only real thing.


Coffee Lady - by Hanna Abi Akl (Photo by Rene Böhmer)Photo credit: Rene Böhmer

Coffee Lady

By Hanna Abi Akl

My first mistake was
asking her out for coffee.
After that
I only remember sipping the dark liquid
from a mug off the bed stand
while we lay in bed together.

She was a good woman –
A good woman who didn’t believe she could make it
like all the good ones did –
She knew her poetry;
She handled her alcohol
decently.
She was always sharp,
far sharper than me
and I could feel her
scrutinizing me
every time
we sat together.

She didn’t want to be held,
she didn’t want anyone
to have to walk her anywhere
or take her to places;
The world was hers
and every time she sipped her black coffee
she owned another piece of it.

I go back to my books

I go back to my writings

I go back to pictures

of old
to try and understand
why good things
always evade us
so narrowly;
Why the things that seem to bring us joy
are the ones that ultimately cause our downfall
and why we cling on to them so dearly
like weak tree branches
moments before being ripped off
by the heavy storm.

Now a black line of coffee
is all that separates us;
And she is still a ball of fire
untamed, uncontrolled, unfiltered
cruising alone
riding the high tide
and I wait for her by the corner
of the coffee shop
that tails a small bookstore
in a forgotten back-alley

and the next time I see her
I will ask her:

Do you want

to go

out

for

coffee?


Swallow - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Pablo Heimplatz)Photo credit: Pablo Heimplatz

Swallow

By Omar Kayyal

A lump in my throat:
swallowing like a river
flows around a bedrock-

Knowing that you are there,
reminding me of my flow,
I feel my river against your stone hide,
caressed by your granite bone.

As lumps go,

consuming thoughts about stone hide
threatens to turn water to stone.

Torrents crash in colliding zigzags;
invisible salmon ride the zigzags,
up to where the river mouth blows.

The salmon wonder if they are
particles of a lightning rod-
struck by the first swallow,

or

struck because river met stone.


The Wolf - by Flay (Mohamed Cheaib) (Photo by Christian Langballe)Photo credit: Christian Langballe

The Wolf

By Flay

Close your doors
turn off the light
you’re finally warm
satisfied and fed.
Close your curtains
to keep the night.
Check the closet
and under your bed,
but did you think
you’re safe or might
escape the monster
in your head?

Another day,
you escaped my claws,
you rolled your dice
of fate again
and luck again
was on your side,
but do you feel it
closing in,
roll and roll
and play your cards,
but the worst of curses
are deep within.

I am the wolf
who lurks the night,
I am the shadow
of your light,
I play the leaves
pale of blight
and haunt your brain
frozen by fright.
So keep your time
through sin and crime
because all I need,
is just one bite.

All I need
is an ugly break
All I need,
is a slip you make
All I need,
is a strike unmade
And all to take,
when your card is played


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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Beirut Poetics edition
send your poem or request to be a “visual artist” to poetry@beirutpoetics.com

Join us again in our Poetryhood!!


You can check out our earlier editions of 2018 here:

Edition I
Edition II