multivalence is the new ambivalence

Category: own copyright

falling into revolution

(written between May 2011 & October 2012)

I’m walking back from a dream where man-made canals
led to shopping malls of disaster and beauty,
where once I was saved from a sinister bus stop
by the smell of rain and the thought of sailing,
walking back from a black cushion and a wooden table
and these postcards blue-tacked to the wall and an empty
wine glass in lightning greens and all of it
in a mirror the size of my palm
reflected and reversed,
walking back from the early hours of grown-up
armed with a jar and a spoon, tripping
on the rhythmic possibilities of coffee and words.

Coming home
to a sand-dunes-and-sea-water-skied
cube of sunlight and dust,

free diving

On the way upward
I feel it:
umbilical cord
with the effort to feed me.

a holding in of,
a clinging to, the epitome
of the precious banality of my attachment
to this earth.

A few long seconds,
every doubt wiped clean,
sheer animalistic longing
to taste the air.

I break the surface and gasp,
born again
from the womb of the water.

*   *   *

Found clip. Random but relevant. And beautiful anyway.

This is your universe

You wake up every morning and you hope.
Or turn to a warm body beside you.
Or pray to no one in particular.

This is living
at its most essential.
Bared down
to a shelter,
a meal of bread and time,
a book by candle light,
a perpetual scraping together,
of loneliness or a bomb
that grinds to dust
the house across the street.

To the absence of panic,
the drawing of the next breath
the fullness of nothing,
or love,
which is to say,
the necessity of faith in the reality of what is impossible
with or without a god.

One day you walk,
alone with an hour to spare,
past a dozen empty streets,
and stop at the sea.

Peace is the quiet you do not question.
Freedom is to take your shoes off
Possibility is a stillness that equates
your being
with the salt in the air.

You spread your arms to cover
the solid land behind you.
you will ever lose
is here.

things fall

Things fall into place today

Every small death
an opening
to a distant future history.

So what if we’re doomed
to suffering then oblivion,

a whole generation lost
down the spiral of its love
for itself?

Something else
some other time
will prevail.

Every nightmare begins
a dream.

Who knows what
it may become if
beyond the jolt of panic
there is still sleep.

فلنفتعل الأسباب

clay n colourtrain ridesautumn lightscattered wordsdancing handsdoodlesafter sunrisememories of headsspring greenpeacesea translucenceanklets in low lightfootsteps on sand


فلنَفْتعِلُ الأسْبَابَ لِنَحيَا..


للكلماتِ حُرمة

المواطنون الشرفاء يعتدون على الثوار.. والثوار الحقيقيون يطيعون الحاكم.. والعملاء هم من يساند حقوق العمال.. أما رافضي التعذيب في السجون الحربية فهم الخونة.. البلطجي يصرخ بكلمة حق في وجه سلطان جائر.. والساكت عن الحق ليس الشيطان الأخرس بل الأغلبية الصامتة..

يخلقون الأكاذيب وتصدقونها فتضيع المعاني من الكلمات..

Paris, 2pm


The city moves you

as it moves me

In long strides soft boots rhythmic ease through pastel

coloured crowds painting lavender fields across acres

of pavement and snow

We go

from café to cinema to umbrella search at utmost speed breathing

without pause for breath you reach for my hand as I find yours

not missing a touch a word a look or a beat

We cascade down the steps to the metro pour fluidly through the barriers

the bodies the plastic posters above invisible lives in ancient tunnels we hover

like water through the cracks in the rocks

we flow

Over daydreams of brassy tunes impressionistic strokes fragrant steam of

morning coffee Japanese food gulping wind frozen on our faces

feeling no hurry no time no cold no need


We are the city that moves me as it moves you


We are the moveable feasts of what we know what we’re about to discover what we forgot we knew


We are urban butterflies with wings of steel scales of glass reflecting sky whites snowy blues


We are unicorns of porous stone galloping through the warehouses the palaces the alleyways of one long afternoon



precious .. precarious

Two flat tyres .. one early morning .. have me sitting on a plastic chair under a tree by the pavement of a side street.. outside a mechanic’s shop .. not far from the house where I first learned to speak ..

Waiting while ..

a savvy sassy boy in his early twenties ..

his girl watching from a few metres away .. out of sight from his boss .. her arms resolutely crossed .. her colourful veil in contrast with everything around her ..

fixes my car.

I’m aware of my first coffee of the day .. waiting .. on the other side of all this.

As the savvy sassy boy goes .. back and forth .. between my car and his girl .. I expect to feel impatience ..

I don’t.

I make two phone calls .. I take out my notebook ..

and continue to sit.

My breathing is slow .. my thinking is slow .. I’m slow to recognise the grounded lightness that I’m feeling as the pleasure that it is..

Pleasure rising like perfumed steam .. from the breath moving through my body .. the sunlight dripping through the leaves above .. onto my arms and onto the page ..

Rising from the heat of the pavement caressing my bare calves .. from the methodical frenzy of the ants .. in and out of the cracks .. in patterns that must make sense to someone somewhere .. but don’t ..

From the glistening playfulness of the red of my toes .. and my hand gliding over this page .. and my memories of these streets .. as old as I am .. as tenderly relentless .. as gracefully obscene.

There’s a faint pulsating pain in my stomach .. that reminds me there’s more to life than this lightness ..

I step aside and watch my pleasure .. precious .. precarious .. powerful as an instinct.

It could easily belong to that moment in the life of a fish when .. with all the natural confidence of a being in its element .. it runs with the current .. and opens its mouth .. to savour the bait.

Here for now .. I luxuriate in the delicate layers of this moment..

and continue to sit.

Fayoum 2010

I have finished my last cigarette, have stretched my arm to where a white marble ashtray lies on a low wooden table, have slowly brought the burning tip close to the ash-trodden heart and pressed.

The ashtray doesn’t seem to mind or suffer. It seems to accept everything with grace. And so my mind is made up. I’m becoming an ashtray.

I slowly lower myself to the floor. I bend my knees, curl myself around them, arms clasped around my legs, my neck stretched and my head pulled towards my belly. Lying on my side, I breathe slowly into the new shape, limbs relax and lose their heat, stiffness and intention. I don’t want to move and I do not try, so it doesn’t matter that the boundary between arms and legs is becoming blurry and mercurial.

The nakedness of this body is natural and unplanned, as are the pores that open on its skin revealing bubbles of still soft clay. My inner clay is reddish brown. It oozes out across the uneven circle that I am, and into the space of air in the middle, filling, closing, spreading, until it fully claims me, engulfs me, and hardens.

I’m a clay ashtray, the size of an average human hand, the shape of a woman lying curled on her side, her features, limbs, hair, bones and heart all merged in grainy mellowness. I’m rooted to my place on this earth, finally becoming the heaviness that has always burdened me.

I’m picked up and placed on the low wooden table, where I will have to stay, pondering the purpose of this new life.

ل أ

The ability to refuse is what makes humans more than the sum of their natural instincts..