when the sad go out to play, sing the sad song, kill time with either a rope or a hammer (don’t matter) - when the sad take the lonesome road, walk the tortuous line, kill time with either a rope or hammer (don’t matter) - but it does, it does: when the rope runs out, the hammer loses its head -
Which fragment of geometry is soil and which is property? Do you have enough plastic to wrap it all up? Do you Have enough rubber to bounce off your impunities, enough metal to drill them further into the abysses you have dug through millennia? Whose fire do you use to burn down houses? “we don’t really have to go down there anymore, we have a button for that..” Does your shrapnel seek little Zaynab’s permission before entering her heartchamber? “we now have algorithms for that..”
there are a million yous maybe two give or take a half mil and there are as many loves furious selves as many others & then a billion or six more give or take a half bil & then there is capital the ladder of poems one at the top calling others non what about the billion yous loves selves poems give or take a half bil no you say that won’t do thkuverymch-
i. at the edge of some beginning lies the humanoid lacking requi- site evolutionary cogs & bits to fully process daytime (it’s blinding but so is karma) it blushes & retires - ii. where water goes to quench its thirst, there it is that the bumblebees bumble, where herons and heroines speak sky & the courage of humans falters, mixes with the rust of trees, the moss of beginnings & the roots of poems past & here - iii. it would have been a new poem had it not been for the oldness of knives, the oddity of pale, the sunken brevity of the odd word, the fondness of being strange & still -
This summer, the nights are woven as livid ash – sunken tombs are once again called to make their faces known This summer, nothing is moist save this livid ash – heathen tombs are allowed to mingle in open secrecies This summer, demythified doors wear livid ash – leaven tombs are broken in & doctored as a single machine -
I met him on that untrod road & he eyed the menace in my eye, said “look! behind you, there’s the buddha you were looking for.” I looked back, nothing, and the buddha went a-scamper cursing that oft-quoted license to kill, yearning for that time under the tree, when hunger & fire sat side by side with love in them howl eyes and menace -
Look into the mouth of horror & you’ll find everyday foibles wanting to sleep by the kerb side, if only for a few more minutes of untarnished dream -
Is my mouth political or just its corners, when it turns not mind ful of euphs and misms? Is the Twitch of my nose mere biology or is the canvas larger, mindful of the oophs, the eeks & the isms?
– there are no silences, only doors that refuse to open to let the mute sun in
– if silence was certain, doors would be humorless
Each story runs late
the verbs are hassled, thunderous grammar is a tasseled adjunct to power that refuses to give tao runs dry but no sooner than the parch soars, new words begin to form as grammar vows blood – the story as parchment & love
A resonant lamp
resounds distance is three harks away 1. come no further than the eye’s hover 2. seek no earth that claims sky as father 3. while away this distance as you while away your grandmother’s patience
In the murk the Way advances as the knife of the slow word - in the murk there is a mark that breathes which poem gets lost in that breath? the knife of the slow word cuts only when the river flows - I collect quills and count moons - where the worries are taken to pitch and the quills remain, there I anchor my poem -
I do not know its name– Lao Tsu
I style it “Tao”
Until her knife had pared– Sylvia Plath
The moon to a rind of little light.
I did everything in every field, I just didn’t like cleaning jobs like sweeping and dusting. My mind was always towards creating different things. If in a day I wasn’t able to make something, or complete something, I would feel my day is wasted.
I had so many questions about religion. I go for logic, you know, unless something convinces me with logical reasoning, I wouldn’t accept anything.
Being a mother… I don’t know… I passed the formative years of my children very busy in my work. I would stitch clothes for children and supply to shops. Most of my time was busy in stitching away…
…and I don’t remember how much attention I paid to them… though my children are always saying ‘Mummy you did so many things for us, you made such lovely clothes for us, you cooked such lovely meals, you did everything for us,’ so I don’t know.
In a way it’s a good thing to get yourself ready for your final exit from this world. I created so many things, so many things, I’m proud that I did so much work…I’m not materialistic, I like to collect art, that’s it, I like beauty…I made something, for everybody, I took interest in so many things and it was worthwhile living life like that.
Quotations are from an interview Khadija gave to Sakina Marvi (her cousin’s daughter) a few years ago.
Mother-in-law, Creator of all things beautiful
January 23, 1940 – February 10, 2021
In my daughter’s nameAudre Lorde
I bless your child with the mother she has
with a future of warriors and growing fire.