Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This is a new(ish) poem I have only performed a handful of times. People seem to dig it so I chucked it up here. I guess it's a love poem. Sort of.


She tried to apply her architecture to our lives.

She tried to build our lives along straight lines
of order, ladders, latticework, brickwork and mortar,
and deep aqueducts underneath to keep us nourished with water.

I never told her- "I have travelled unshod
along distant and pockmarked highways
to meet you here my dear.

I sailed on oceans of eggshells.
I camped in deserts of charcoal, burned spinifex and hurt,
resting in hovels and outhouses,
pieced together out of debris making form
outta chaos no payoffs in a life attempting to make joy out of pathos
I travelled unshod for you
my scarred flanks holding histories of love and loathing,
grudges clubs, drugs and cruel liquors, and me here hoping,
all the time with you in the distance,
a dreamlike lighthouse,
the raw glow of an open flame and a siren's song
with that skin a darker shade than bronze, and your promise of
perfectly pieced geometry, mosaics, skilfully drafted architecture of love,
I should have told you how far I'd come to meet you."

But when you told me you had been pregnant
with my child but decided not to keep it,
I didn't think of the airy domes, the picket fence houses where I could raise my
never to be born son or daughter, I didn't think of the women
in my hometown whose faces were inked with loss and the men
who raised the back of their hands or went running.

Instead I built coliseums of amber bottles
to lie in,
like a mock latter-day pharaoh or emperor,
staring upwards.
In the nadir of febrile nights
I would swim up through the sweat, shake myself awake,
and go stalking and
snarling into the cosmos.
I watched the prophets of my age preaching in parks creating myths or
strapped up with Krylon cans painting street hieroglyphs,
smoking spliffs in alleys reeking of piss.
I stared deep into TV screens as if into the black bore of a gun, numb,
I patted the heirloom diamond ring that I would never give you
and under the manifold lights of weeping suns and whirling moons,
neon billboards, halogen lights and blacklit rooms,
You would appear
stepping solemnly like a sleepwalker,
beautiful, wounded and haughty and severe.
I would freeze your tears and crucify you with them.

We both loved to suffer didn't we?

And there are two sides to every poem, aren't there?

You will be my Iliad, my epic.
You will be my Petra, my relic.

The desert is laced with ruins,
threaded with the skeletal remains
of boom and bust cities
once opulent with water
and the architecture of hearts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see a more 'conventional' poem from you, Omar. English poetry is a noble and long-lasting endeavour and is always evolving, while what was written in the past and how it was written is an essential part of the whole.