Omar Kayyal

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Understanding our emotions requires objective introspection. Films help people forget they are introspecting. It is my pleasure to play a role in that self-conjured ruse.
Beginner screenwriter and video editor, I am on the quest for identifying by reflecting on my experience, the interdependence existent between man/woman and his/her surroundings. My quest takes me to hidden music pubs in Aschrafieh, storytelling nights, philosophy and psychology manuals and biographies, lectures and meditations. 
I am an amateur poet, and have a collaborative poetry & art book in development.

Edition April 2020

fizz - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Simon Buchou).jpgPhoto credit: Simon Buchou

fizz

By Omar Kayyal

I turn to rest my cheek on yours.
Its warmth reminds me of sharing
stories,
songs by the fire, melting
long-forgotten sores.

I think of writing a song- of that
moment.

Gooseflesh is a Hurricane Crush-
ed in a Can of Cola

I’d call it.


Edition February 2020

Songs & Alice's Wonderland - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Shadi AlMihmadi).jpgPhoto credit: Shadi AlMihmadi

Songs & Alice’s Wonderland

By Omar Kayyal

Some songs are like the elixirs and biscuits
found strewn about
in Alice’s Wonderland.
They take you into modes of being
with the flick of some switch
within.

You find yourself listening,
seeking,
certain songs
for the way they make you feel:

like an instant giant flowering through
a tardy, myopic rabbit’s roof
making clock arms blurry &
insignificant
Or like a nimble mouse slipping
in a judgy, grimacing doorway too small for
a stubborn spirit.

Sweet, crumbly melodies
you hear play.
You hear bitter slimy castor oil ones
too,
notes accentuating
a swallow
gulped in pain.
Like a sketch artist scratches out a face,
you draw its dense lump
and of what it is made
with each bar and its crashing waves.

These, odysseys of the eardrum
are distinguished by segments
of silence
and
of the music of everyday things.
You flow in and out of these modes of being
and this On and Off of music
creates its own rhythm as well.
Some songs are like the elixirs and biscuits
found strewn about
in Alice’s Wonderland.

Sometimes you flip one on
to remember a certain part of you
and you find you don’t have it anymore.
You’ve defeated the Jabberwocky
and the Queen of Hearts,
and you’re a different person
since you last listened.


Edition XVIII

September Thirty One - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Omar Kayyal)Photo credit: Omar Kayyal

September Thirty One

By Omar Kayyal

“I’m done.” She says
A laptop shut
on the hinge
of her jaw’s constrictions;
like a snake charmer
her MacBook Cobra
Assumes the tightness in her cheek.

The day is won-
Rays of sunshine tied

in an intricate knot.


Edition XV

Ocelot Automata - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Omar Kayyal).pngPhoto credit: Omar Kayyal

Ocelot Automata

By Omar Kayyal

Organic material spreads thin.
A truck driver crosses distances
fueled by his children’s growing,
in his absence. This hole is semi-
filled with smiling photos, cursory
voicenotes – with journal entry updates
Like “I’ve decided to study computing,”
and “Today I let myself cry. No other
emotion or positive notion fit to describe
my experience.” In viewing their life,
from so far, each destination – to deliver
parts for cars, the new iPhone, the latest sensation,
becomes an abscess, black and
swelled with missing, love, and emptiness.
Its center of mass is him,
Sipping a stale diner black coffee cup,
washing down the dissolving glazed donut,
looking on the buzzing roadside horizon.

Organic material spreads thin,
and the map of this truckers journey
becomes a pelt of leopard skin.
The more he drives
the more it becomes authentic leopard skin.
The holes grow darker, and the skin ever more thin.

The times are changing.
Soon empty trucks driven by
pre-programmed robots
will carpet the horizon.
Finely crafted leopard pelt
weaved with missing, love, and emptiness
will be replaced,

By the skin of an ocelot-
Sewed together by the automata.

They’re the same but so different.
Organic material spreads thin.
And soon the booths in diners
won’t exist.
Perhaps we need to take stock
of what can be made at home
when truckers return, riddled with holes
primed to be filled.


Edition XIV

Stone Jeddo - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Omar Kayyal)Photo credit: Omar Kayyal

Stone Jeddo

By Omar Kayyal

Grandpa doesn’t know how to cry.

His ma used to smoke,
relieving stress in lazy Sunday tokes,
exchanging love for the nicotine in Marlboros.
Soon Sundays became everydays-
Nicotine fills no hole. It digs new deeps.
Although he had mama Fatima,
a sweet, motherly-

Grandpa wishes he could cry,
that he, should he choose,
could burgeon a volcano of tears from his eyes,
and relieve himself of a pain in his life.

This aspect of him, still a child,
Grandpa cries,
inside- a little him, lost, in the dark of his mind.
Yet to big Grandpa, it is but a sharp phantom knife
stuck in the reserves of the inner ear,
damming the water so tight-
it never even squeaked.

In moments where he sits with us,
one leg over the other, calm, reserved,
silent,
Grandpa’s eyes telescope down to that little him,
so little he might peer in,
so he might know in us,
in mundane conversation,
from where within this,
springs the first sprouts of emotion.

Who lies behind those stoney eyes,
surrounded in veined cobblestone,
wetted with wet from the inside?


Edition XIII

Some Way - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Omar Kayyal)Photo credit: Omar Kayyal

Some Way

By Omar Kayyal

We sit in a circle.
These faces I know,
but behind them are fields,
fields,
fields of snow,
and I have yet to leave a footprint,
for the unnamable wind to blow away.
Is the film reel on a loop?
Stealing time from me,
to regret in excess,
on frets yielded in my weight in gold?
Again with that, there I go.
I’ll continue to imagine trudging through the white.
In a sit, we circle

around a mantra-
a chant with the aim of dissociating meaning from sound.

We draw these invisible smoke rings,
one after the other,
with a melody that is playing,
and so,
this one- ship of smoke,
sails along,
even in the silences and the in-betweens,
as long as the cigarette is…
Again and again,
we begin to create a rhythm.
Hare krishna hare krishna
Krishna krishna hare hare
Hare rama hare rama
Rama rama hare hare

Where it goes,
traversing the unknown fields of snow,
behind faces familiar, for so long,
we don’t know. Not crucial.
Where it goes,
Behind sleep-deprived blue eyes,
through beards trimmed for the right smile,

alongside chubbiness-
donut deposits of misappropriated love,

there is a vastness in which songs with no words,
can create- villages, rivers, wells and roads.
Today they’re hanging a villain,
who stole donuts from the baker’s home.

The villain is the rain;
he broke the window pane,
and soaked himself all over steam,
and the theft of donut smells
extinguished the baker’s flame.
Where the rain falls,
and where the clouds form,
become one,
and we’re painting it all in one go.
Brush strokes
rope together
dot spectrums of our egos:
the hunger for donuts,
the desire to be together,
the need to be alone,
the want to win,
the dream to be thin.
We paint a portal.
It’s to a world.
It’s mortal.
Its lifetime, vitality, its spirit,
rides on our chant. We are the heartbeat.

In the alleyways, and on the roads of our sounds,
Hare krishna hare krishna
Corner discount shop, banana grocer, cardboard beggar, hungry street dog,
krishna krishna hare hare
aimless officer, breast-less mother, blind student, school day,
Hare rama hare rama
church mass obliged,
love at first sight,
hidden porno mags,
afternoon nap mosquito bite,
Rama rama hare hare
blurry stare into nothing,
flavorless cigarette,
whiskey trailing to a street sleeper,

red balloon held by young you-
i recall, hurrying to buy paint

to color in underground wells.
You used to tell us tales, of these rock beasts who snored through brick blowholes.
You felt color in a frame, would tell their story.
Sing, ring, bring it all, let it fall.
It’s okay, to let it fall.
It’s okay.
You’ll still be there.
When it’s all gone.
As it weeps through you,
deaths, sorrows, unnamed chaos,

And regular, whiskey-covered mosquito donuts,
it paints you a new color.
You wouldn’t speak its name.
You wouldn’t know it.
But with it you would paint.
You’d start with this circle.
All together you’d make a mural
around the portal,
to color the outlines of that song,
for wind to take to the train tracks,
you have laid.
You’re life.
At least in some way.


Edition XII

Saccades - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Ravi Roshan)Photo credit: Ravi Roshan

Saccades

By Omar Kayyal

Moccasin socks look for room to breathe.
On the coffee table? No-
crossed, under opposite knees.
The couch is soft.
Sinking a little is a must.
Toes crinkle, to and fro-
    Seaweed,
    caught in the wind,
    of the ocean floor.
To this side,
Two dominoes have fallen,
catching each other on a thin,
boundary. In each other’s arms,
they speak of love, you see,
but not love you see in movies.
Their embrace is one of The Deep.
It colors in another color wheel.
Toes swim away, to leave them be.
As it should be.
To that side, there is the one who sleeps.
An eye opens, to the tickle of seaweed.
It gleams although it is droopy.
The eye moves in a reflexive study.
It sketches the outline of moccasin socks,
In the blinks and betweens of a -tock.
Reflected in the moonbeam gleam,
Swaying to and fro the ocean wind of the deep,
Moccasin socks shimmered shimmering.
And room to breathe, room to be,
Was found in the saccades, in the in-betweens.


Edition XI

Home - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Alice Jones)Photo credit: Alice Jones

Home

By Omar Kayyal

Home is mama’s goodbye smile,
shining through tears uncried.
I have never seen teeth so white;
My eyes were pricked,
by careful, cemented bricks of Sensodyne.
They formed a tower you see, 
reflected in the apple in your eye.
Although for me,
It was but a shed,
in the garden of your mind.
For I know your Tree,
is rooted deep;
Its fruits I have yet to find.
Maybe mama, to its heights I can climb,
in one of our talks,
into the night.

Home is sous’s laugh,
cackled at comments her brother makes,
pointing out what it takes,
to tolerate her. Even that sounds
spoken through gritted teeth, when really, it is a token
of her personality.
Home is sous’s chuckle,
at my casual, shriek of horror,
sung upon passing her room:
a hurricane of outfit attempts,
and unfit shoes. 
Home is sous’s hoot,
at my attempt to play,
“Sous’s Uber is Late”,
a one-man show,
of me screaming through the phone,
“Hey driver, I’m angry at you!”
Home is sous and I preparing dinner:
escalope, wedges, honey musts.
Home is me doing the dishes,
while she does not.

Home is baba’s sob of joy, 
shared to a room of strangers:
Honest, a book read by its cover:
My Dad’s Happiness, at being,
one with another.
Home is discomfort,
to have to make space for more.
Home is finding there is always another door.
Home is where the hearth is – 
the fire that grows when you add more.
Home is the roughness of baba’s beard.
Home is baba red-faced, in fits of laughter,
nearly falling, over a game of leekha.

Home is the creation of a tear.
Its ingredients are a smile, a laugh, a cry.
Seen as a sequence of frames, a spinning zoetrope,
memories come alive.
Although as a fruit born of a tree of memories,
a tear is filled only with salt water,
its synthesis is photos, 
seen through a sunlit eye:
mama’s smile,
sous’s carefree laugh,
baba’s joyous sob.
Home is moments. Home is flowers.
Home is seconds turned to hours.


Edition X

Trade Places with a Sound - By Omar Kayyal  (Photo by Steven Ramon).jpgPhoto credit: Steven Ramon

Trade Places with a Sound

By Omar Kayyal

We are in a room together,
surrounded, by beer-fumed,
hasheeshed, laughter.
We are in audience to each other’s performance.
Each holds a mirror, because we’re told
its manners. Play it genuine,
but only as a reflection
of her or him.

My presence
is a spotlight. Its focus is: not that, but this;
It swings from: “Where do you now work at?”
to an eye-contact-held-beer-sip.
It jerks from a pride-clung comment,
to her
flirtatious, tight, ripe
eyelid.
Was that morse code for ‘midnight kiss’?
or simply Almaza’s relentlessness?
Then, for one moment,
it all goes quiet. Everyone playing
‘Not that, but this’, stumbles upon
a musical, silence.

My spotlight takes control now,
and looks for this Sound:

As it slips away,
and they, all turn to play,
‘not that but this’,

Spotlight touches sounds, around:
his, he laughs, voice, low to the ground,
hers, she speaks from a peach-shaped cloud,
his, excitement bubbles from a geyser underneath,
hers, she trembles fear at excitement unsheathed,
I notice a song arise. There! Anger plays with the stomping of feet.
From silence, this song
plays a phenomenal beat.
Its rhythm is the definition of free
and so I couldn’t capture it.
In that defeat,
I was relieved.

When mirrors are set aside
and the play deems no need for lights
shined
in directions otherwise unkind,
there emerges:
an invisible dance.
Carrying a mirror and a light,
is a weight we need not bear.
Gravity was designed for us.
Not that, but this.
We need not miss
a chance.
Dance with feet
bare, in a dark room, without care
and experience-
weightlessness.
Not that, but this.
With a sound, you can trade places.

My light shines on those who perform,
effortless. All reflect on their secret.
My light shines on those whose effort
is all there is.
When their spotlight shines on frustration,
on boredom, they hide it.
A play is both its audience and performers.
To hide your light, you deny the play its hard won intensity.

I shine my light upwards.

There is a raincloud of anxiety –
evaporating confidence.
Reflection caused heat to rise.
Swirls of smoke meet our eyes.
We’re all in the sky, playing ‘not that but this’.

We brew over a man born in 1706;
He is the boy still holding the string of the flailing kite,
the man who risks his life
to catch lightning by its own strike.
He begins to cry. He doesn’t know why, he is alone.
Not even thunder turns his heels
towards home.
Thunder tightens his grip.
He holds the string, firms his hip.
The boy closes his eyes.
The man lets go.

Lightning.

Sound.


Edition IX

Bacteria, the Virus - by Omar Kayyal  (Photo by Miachel Schiffer).jpgPhoto credit: Miachel Schiffer

Bacteria, the Virus

By Omar Kayyal

All I know is Bacteria.
Information is prioritized
by arbitrary criteria.
I am Omar. I am a son.
I am a brother. 
My ears pick things up,
that’s sonar. 
The plastic in this cup
was molded by oil
so that it wouldn’t turn back into soil.
That’s bad
because there’s only so much dirt
to go around.
That’s scarcity.
Not a city built on fear, 
that’s Pyong Yang
but a notion that things don’t last,
that life is a dial and time is falling sand.
That’s good because it makes life worth-while
and while Worth can be 
quantified,
like in Scrabble the word “worth” is eleven; it’s made of five tiles
like Tesla’s dream to globalize the solar powered mile.
Worth can’t be qualified
because that’s intrinsic.

All I know is Bacteria
that a long time ago
decided: it’s time to split.
The divide made what we call
Good and Evil,
Evolution and Religion,
the Two State Solution,
World Wars and Technological Revolutions.
Darwin parted the ocean
between Moses and ancestors 
with a devotion to instinct.

Should the question,
The chicken or the egg
be directed at Darwin
-who is not the authority
on whether you agree.
He would answer:
The egg of some other unfit selection
decided to split, to mutate it’s DNA,
and it’s courage was rewarded, with the birth of the modern day chicken.

Courage is not being afraid to be afraid,
the mother of Bacteria
said to its child as she gave birth.
She was a Virus, the last of her kind;
her name was Truth
and in the absence of lies she had to die.
Before Bacteria, I know no other,
save for its mother. The mother of all wombs. She died giving birth.
Bacteria wanted to forget. Bacteria feared fear. It decided to split. 
All it could manage was two:
Half into fear half into courage.
Soon it divided into bytes and bits. 
Truth was relative. Trump was president.
Free will was threatened by the 0.01 percent of religious fundamentalists.

All I know is Bacteria, the virus.
I know we have the courage
to look in
Information 
and see truth.
Bacteria left it for us,
it’s the fear in us all.
We’ve inherited a chance
to meet the mother of all wombs.
We only need keep our eyes open
when closing them is what we would choose.


Edition VIII

Pinwheel - by Omar Kayyal  (Photo by Ruba Badwan).pngPhoto credit: Ruba Badwan

Pinwheel

By Omar Kayyal

Clarity is water thin-
here in this room I’m in,
the walls keep changing.

To keep my eyes level,
is to tighten my lip.
It becomes quite the load to lift.
Upon struggling,
I sink.

My limbs stiffen-
once

Driftwood

Of a ship
atop which
I stood-
one fatal collision,
was vital to maintain Order.

A cocoon refusing to open-
to adhere, with it’s binding unspoken,
with that which moves the seconds,
was pierced by a thorn of ice.

The ark.  Two by two,
they filled me to the brim.
Animals of old,
wishing to cross Evolution.

A desperate kick
drives my flinging
above the surface.
Lips release to let the air in.

I breathe. Once. Twice.

I am on my back
Floating.
Ever so slowly,
I spin.

I wipe my glasses.
I can see
where the sky meets the horizon.
The border is crisp.

Upon it
Will tilt
This ship.
It was built
within
this field of vision.


Edition IV

The Tunnel to Grace - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

The Tunnel to Grace

By Omar Kayyal

I set out to leave cement meadows,
flowered by familiar smells of Malboros,
offhanded looks of curiosity, tamed
by taught looks of judgement,

I set out to leave looking for darkness.
It lies beyond the boundless.
Reality and darkness are bridged by this skeleton.
Where the golden gate expands in the summer, and shrinks in the winter,
the tendons of this – chalk carrier of excess,
make rooms for bones that sweat and swell
in times of emotional duress,
and
tame taught bones from shrinking away with emotions run dry.
Dryness is an excellent mode of self preservation, but to it, there is owed no life.

I dig for the tunnel whose soil has no grains,
but is packed nonetheless.
The Soil lost Sand, because in darkness, there is no rain.
This tunnel lie behind a series of mazes,
all packed unto one another, to form the labyrinth
that is my mind. All these paths I know.
All these paths are mine. The sound which others use
to beckon me to their amuse,
may have held different phases, but once.
Otherwise however long I rewind,
however thin or thick a road,

When I dig a straight line,
in the soil of shadows,
I know I am so old.
My know, comes to me,
as does the cold, of the sandless soil, beneath.

I cannot dig anymore.
The shovel I wield is curled fingers, sore.
I know not where I go, and this gives me more.
Though I aim not to score, I feel pain whenever I enjoy,
the windless wind coming from the bottomless bottom,
to the side where I settle, for respite, from this crucial chore.

The tunnel I dig, digs me.
At its core.
Beats.
An old man is releasing a wake-up-snore.
Better get back before I stir him. or her.
Snoring seems to power the universe.

Im smelling Malboros again.
A cigarette is put out,
as heel rubs cement.
Or is it a seed – for the flower of regret,
watered by a curious cloud,
needing the sun to come out.


Edition III

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.


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