by special request




There were floodlights, a full moon’s worth of light

and turtles can only crawl backwards, into the sea

into the lights they were born in, the

sea of fingertips they labour under and in

the galaxy’s slow revolving, but marked by footsteps… an echo


What was I looking for in the tunnels and caves of this place?

only the sound of a river running underneath the ground

beneath the houses and the glass and the highways

and if it was like an inkspot

a small, unsustainable thing

but liking itself to become permanent, to run into veins and tributaries

choking them off, where the mouth of the river

can only become where the story ends and stumbles

in its hope over dry land like a fish- its bones fragile filaments

almost hollow, almost a prelude to flight

but it may take centuries to become what we are–

it may take shovels and pickaxes and huge earth- moving machines…


We cannot ask for more than what we give

and the hands of a boy were once wings, perhaps they will be again

after the salt of the the ocean dries upon our pages

and remains.

@performed at Mozart Hotel, Beirut. August 2010





I didn’t walk this way, let our hair pins fall to the ground, bent

I filled three king’s parcels with spinach and feta

My ruby eyes gleamed when the eagle lifted

the bush from the top of the rabbit

he felt quite clever…

Oh, my hands ache from twisting your parables into

something that we can make bread with

there, in the tepid bath-water

my clearest sensations yet have been the ones you

left me with after shaking down the pear tree

after all this time, I still cannot break free

from my cage of hammers, steel and boots.

I think that craftsmanship is poetry, that anything

less than drunken revelry will not get me

the prize I hunger for

but I am unwilling or unable to leap

across this wide chasm of desolate voices, disconsolate fears

to watch the humid sun rise over the pink buildings and palms

in a city made for dreamers and thieves.





belief— my own lifeboat

happiness like a shell closed up over its softness

delight in anything nameless and joy-making


a hell closed up to reveal light beside its cavern

a small light, an indescribable delicacy

but even with the keel of a soft ship


three drunken sailors with their hair in upswept knots

and the tide breathing in and out with sleepy satiety

no one needs to be anything more than this

One Response to “Some Poems”

  1. orpheus Says:


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