Sad but true

November 26, 2018

Sad Fact: Only the dead have seen the end of war

Longing is raw

November 26, 2018

Longing is not a mind game and that is why I’ve always trusted it. Longing is raw, longing is real; it makes one listen and be attentive to what’s inside. There is mad honesty in longing. So mad that it feels suitable. It is very suitable for me, I’m telling you – I don’t even want to write it or write about it, I want to be it.

Anne Sexton
A Self-Portrait In Letters

What use is knowing anything if no one is around
to watch you know it? Plants reinvent sugar daily
and hardly anyone applauds. Once as a boy I sat
in a corner covering my ears, singing Quranic verse

after Quranic verse. Each syllable was perfect, but only
the lonely rumble in my head gave praise. This is why
we put mirrors in birdcages, why we turn on lamps

to double our shadows. I love my body more
than other bodies. When I sleep next to a man, he becomes
an extension of my own brilliance. Or rather, he becomes
an echo of my own anticlimax. I was delivered

from dying like a gift card sent in lieu of a pound
of flesh. My escape was mundane, voidable. Now
I feed faith to faith, suffer human noise, complain
about this or that heartache. The spirit lives in between

the parts of a name. It is vulnerable only to silence
and forgetting. I am vulnerable to hammers, fire,
and any number of poisons. The dream, then: to erupt
into a sturdier form, like a wild lotus bursting into

its tantrum of blades. There has always been a swarm
of hungry ghosts orbiting my body—even now,
I can feel them plotting in their luminous diamonds

of fog, each eying a rib or a thighbone. They are
arranging their plans like worms preparing
to rise through the soil. They are ready to die
with their kind, dry and stiff above the wet earth.

Kaveh Akbar

Snow –

November 26, 2018

Snow
falls on snow —
and remains silent

Santōka,
Haiku: An Anthology of Japanese Poems (edited by Stephen Addiss, Fumiko Yamamoto and Akira Yamamoto)