A Stupid Night Sitting with loneliness as firm friend on the void verandah, with vagrant moths flying the uneventful blackness of the night, I hear the phone ring monotonously. It is my faraway rustic village friend whose father has been expecting a better job. He tells me around 500 persons are going to be under his father. I think, what power! In the end, what is he going to do? Cutting grass in a cemetery. Anyway, I think it’s better than being like me, jobless and heartless. Switching off all the stars when day comes. Sieving the sand of our public beaches. Playing pop songs in funerals. Monitoring the traffic in desolate regions. Cleaning the tyres of aeroplanes with shoe polish. I think these could be cool possibilities in a world slumping to dire downfall. Back in my old sofa on the verandah, I find that the already tasteless glass of milk has been clearly mistaken for a pool with a moth swimming desperately in it. I feel like a fretful child, lacking the courage to prepare another glass. I whistle stupidly and another night goes by. Trochetia Girl Posing beside the trochetia with your magnanimous beauty you are the emblem of an island whose people‘s hearts have no fences Your elegant hair spread over your young shoulders is like the sugar cane fields undulating in a warm April The tropical sun on your morning face is the sparkling song of turquoise oceans hugging, kissing the afternoon sand and wild rocks The unspoken words on your lips resemble tall filaos whistling like playful boys just before sunset I wish I could call you a vibrant sega, the Creole music of our slaves, danced in patterned skirts and blouses and bush shirts and liberty You are one of those beautiful free girls in Mark Twain’s paradise, with eyebrows brighter than divine rainbows dispersing onto the bridge of a cosmopolitan nose People say it’s not easy being free, but you’ve managed to imitate the wind to turn into honey that’s far too sweet for any pot You must build a few jails in your heart to imprison your grace, innocence and patriotic beauty Glory to thee, trochetia girl Glory to thee Three and a Half Victorious Lions Three and a half lions are returning from war. Dry dust circling around their firm feet. They have dragged down the small sky, Slamming it on their sworn enemies’ bodies. Angry inhaling and exhaling Gigantic pride Muscles rippling A couple of temporary bruises The bells of triumph bellowing in their claws, The livid lions return, intimidating everything. Lions do not fight every day. The clouds are becoming orange, severely tainted by their enemies’ blood. Go out and see! The sky is gone. The delirious lions forgot to put it back. Is it due to complacency, joy or neglect? ‘Only the one who fries the victorious claws of lions and eats them can flatten the bent sky and restore it,’ the lions are heard saying. The silly jungle is dancing, mad in admiration of their peerless protectors and leaders. No one knows they’ve fought against ants. None has the real intelligence to query about the missing half lion. Deep inside, the lions know David has beaten Goliath. Lord Shiva O Holy hermit on white Mount Kailash, the invincible mountain of sacred and eternal bliss. O Lord of 108 names, ardent lover of Benares, indestructible city of eternal salvation! It’s one of your fascinating secrets the way you concocted Sanskrit from the sacred sounds of a Damaru. It’s one of your fascinating secrets the way Holy Ganges flows from your head. It’s one of your most fascinating secrets how you fearlessly drank the poison that threatened to devastate the whole world. Blessed with sons Ganesha and Kartikeya and wife Parvati the Supreme Deity of Shaktism, you have no form and yet all forms are yours. The sun in your right eye, the moon in your left, and your third eye annihilating all evil O Great God of the yogis you are the most fascinating legend. The Turkish Moon The pregnant Turkish moon dies away from the hectic Istanbul sky, leaving in the midst of a void the souvenir of a brilliance bitterly beautiful, again. In the bittersweet sky now there is an empty page, one upon which I am trying again to decipher the promise made by an unfaithful lover. I have travelled from country to country, from simple to starry sky, but the Turkish moon is nothing different. To every patient place I’ve gone, the moon is suffering enormously from those intent looks of hungry artists, including myself. She is suffering from the scars that exaggerate what she wants to unveil, her sore flesh looking like a very pale reflection of a confident Goddess. Is the stained Turkish moon another unsuccessful project of our Creator? Is she another incomplete canvas deserted by a painter tortured by visions too beautifully painful, just like those I see when I think of lost friendship? Summer Desires my tongue howls only for sorbet I dream of wine and frozen strawberries, lovingly, and without your go-ahead I want another moth dance in cigarette smoke, reawakening my heart’s fire near the dead fireplace our pregnant dog ogles at me every hour as if she knows something, as if she feels she can coax me into sharing her nothingness there’s a handful of snow that’s refusing to melt in my mind these days time seems too short way too short to mean anything it is too long to mean nothing everything ends in lost days each time I open or close the door it hits me in my cold womb I’m carrying the child of nothingness in this cruel summer even honey can’t sweeten my thickened tongue Trapped in a Peanut Coffin In an old graveyard in a coffin, peanut-flavored death, the heart too frail to find solutions, I savor stale slices of hope, my vision blinking in guilt. I watch spiritual scenes in my mind’s eyes— foretaste of afterlife. Perturbed with a wife praying on young knees, I try to swear in my mother tongue but make sounds of a faraway father. Punching the ceiling that rebels and coaxes numbness into my fists I aggravate the situation by releasing a handful of mementoes, with them rolling everywhere and I chasing with the slick wings of a raven along an infinite Elysian avenue. Striptease Her emerald dress exuding sensuality, wrapping tightly a timid body and a girlish fragrance unprepared for exposure yet, very slowly, as if against her own will she opens herself and virgin curves began to appear— so cherry and so tender; her protective shield sliding down, her maiden body seems less embarrassed now. Rapt, I watched her rapturous petals open like holy water sprouting out from a fountain for the first time; seductive expressions, a cute lollipop relishing pleasure while giving pleasure. Her stem bending here and there in the serenading wind, I know she’s the rose blooming into the smile of my Valentine— so pure and beautiful. our neighbors neighbors neighbors neighbors bloody imitators a chapter of paradise imbued with books of hells brains like a fine assortment of scintillating flowers, with skulls resembling bottomless vases rich elephants on rickety wooden legs ready to judge they have the dirtiest vocabulary with the most disproportionate antics neighbors neighbors transient eternity; eternal ephemerality a truth of two words: falsehood and duplicity all the importance that insignificance can carry the mere voicelessness of a boring voice beautiful birds in fine feathers, turning into greedy wolves behind your back neighbors the closest strangers, indifferent to your anguish a double-edged sword honey-pots surfeited with the blackest gall as if their teeth perspire in the heat of abstinence, they have to gossip about you, shamelessly neighbors neighbors neighbors! Belle on Soft Belly Your smooth body lying on the smooth lawn Stunning brown eyes looking for a safe horizon You look like a belle flying in the green sky. There’re fierce flames burning in your calm heart. Your lovely navel kissing the grass in melody, Your village hair caressing your sunny sweet back, Your soft hips badly need their purity again. O Bella, I know you love my poetic words. Let your ears hear me; this world will see your beauty. Don’t ever fall on your belly in times of despair— Remember, your fine feet want to dance in heaven And winds of happiness want to kiss your lips, strongly. I’m sure, the wings of my poetry will help you take off; So fly, run, swim, laugh and just be your beautiful self. Let’s weave some real magic in this mysterious life. Nostalgic Afternoons My afternoons are imprisoned in the freedom of my paintings, twisting the long line of suffering into the curves of a half-wrecked imagination Sitting within the low dried bamboo fence covered by lianas brimming with mauve trumpets, I would capture the deepest secrets of her jovial face under the monster-looking clouds, like a proud pilot in the wake of dire adversity The huge acacia tree, the strong scent, the rock bench; they all give me a purpose, hope, an excuse Watching the shiny kids returning from school I would see myself there, oozing innocence, with her black and white photo gesturing in each and every page of my boring books My old painting brushes in one hand I always try to chirp like a merrily sailing bird or whistle, and whistle like the balmy breeze, ending up grieving over myself being a too fragile hourglass of love, with her as a gigantic grain of sand that slipped out when I was capsized in a sea of freedom The Dough of Politics Mould me. Beat me. Make me your vulnerable dough and mould me Undermine me to the content of your mind Rock me on the edge of your sinister fingers Whip me with your callous palm lines and when your tyrannous will is done wean me off to the oven of your dirty breasts. Beat me. Mould me. Make me your dough and beat me into a drink too Let me glide along the railways of your fearsome stomach Cherish me in the infinite ravine of your bosom Let your belches and nocturnal drinks cut me I am the people of tomorrow Mould me. Beat me. Mould me for what is the mould without the moulding What’s the moulding without the mould Beat me for what is the beat without the beating what’s the beating without the beat Mould me and beat me and slash me but let me be myself, a wee bit Golden Apple This apple is not an Edenic forbidden fruit. This apple is not the poisoned apple offered to Snow White. It is not any Desperate Housewives Apple Mug. This apple is one from my own garden of the Hesperides, a sleeping garden that supports nothing more than an apple— a garden never blessed by any elegant Eve. This crimson apple is golden in what it signifies. This golden apple consoles and reanimates its prelapserian Adam deluded and maimed by the trenchant nails of love, for whom life is poorer than popular Sisyphus. This apple is the solid symbol of a weak man who never concocts or tastes any evil soup, bread or wine. Modesty will force this ascetic man to joke that he stole the golden apple from a jewel shop or it is a fake crown brought to his garden by a waterless whirlpool. The modest man might cut— or even slash, and share the apple with the whole world if only an apple is what remains as eatable one sunless day. Chinese Cicada Slough I’m now a civilized hairy monkey, part of the folk handicraft of old Beijing. A Chinese girl’s calm has turned my heart of gall into a delicate ten-by-five millimeter body. She has dwarfed and sweetened the black monster found in my blue blood. Steel has melted into Magnolia bud, shed cicada skin and akebi, in dire winter. I can creep into her room every night with an air of charming naivety, unseen too, being so minute now. But I hear people gossip that she is slipping into madness, seeing a gentle midnight ghost on her breast. It’s a pity she can’t recognize me; I should have stayed monstrous. I'm So Sorry I am the glowing moments I spent with you, I am the fresh air you breathed before. My fingers are those with which you caressed the khaki-colored tea cup every morning. In my absence, I know you would shoot the birds in the nearby forest to think of me. You would spread my virile fragrance all over the staircase. Neighbors tell me they would hear you shout commands at night. I have seen death and people turned to clay while fighting for greedy men. I’ve gone to war, and come back, only to see you dead! Self injury. My tears are stuck in my nose; I’m so sorry I made you mad. Let me assure you my love, I looked my best and gave you a kiss good-bye before the heavy lid of your coffin was lowered. I’ll live like a cracked vase with the beautiful flowers of your memories. You’ll now live in the bullet buried near my lion heart.