Archive for the ‘The Origin Of Greed’ Category

Ink That Bleeds

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Memories that I hold dear
break the calm that so many fear.
From the inside reaching out
I have the urge to shout
but I stay calm
and allow the turbulence to grow
just beneath the surface of thin glass.
What I can’t show.

Listening to the piano keys
there is a hole in my heart
blood tainting my soul
burning it
making it red like your tears
and in the end…
my world is nothing but different shades of red

Wrong Words
Words passing through countless lips
and yet none reach you,
then how do you know them so well?

Rip out my heart and hand it to you…
one mistake and you kill me.
Running from you…

Die to live
tomorrow fades away
reborn with my tomorrow today.
My life is full of todays where I await my fading tomorrows
leaving behind a trail of yesterdays
becoming nothing but memories like tomorrow.

Looking into the rain
Lips that whisper gently in the wind
When will your words caress my skin
Falling into the sky
When they meet
Is it just a dream
Is it just a fantasy.

My wings are clipped
All I want is to see your smile
Fly with no wings
to touch you
You are happiness
You are my light
Soon the cage door will swing open
Soon the chains holding me down will shatter
Soon I will be able to look into your eyes and say “I Love You”

If I can not write my heart for you
I will color it with shades of red and grey
in this you will hold my soul
which is an unselfish art
For it has been lighted with the beauty of your heart
That of which, every time I see it upon your face.
I want to capture it with a brush that is not yet fit with such grace
I long for the day that I can let you free
For such a smile I will do anything to see
Beauty that steals the heart and sings to the soul
let the mind echo:
Life is funny and beautiful at the same time

the essence of roses, a bittersweet symphony
white roses are especially bitter
sweet purity
slowly melting into painful bitterness on the tongue
the mind flows in a garden
where the feathers of a golden phoenix
become the brightest serene light
which emits warmth only to the heart
Graceful butterflies
the metamorphosis of light
in a garden
on a mountain
where monsters are human
and the fireflies never die

Echo Chamber

Infinity Eternity
I no longer look at the borders
restrictions which are
no longer there
my version blurs their sharp details
lines that are as thin as hair
some didn’t even know they’re there and most don’t really
One color is no longer distinguishable
from the other
different shades yet the same
they all melt together
all blur together
into infinity
in my eyes for eternity

My Reflection
A feeling that comes from deep within
painful to smile
from a heart that isn’t there
pointless to think
with a mind that isn’t there.

And I find myself crying to my words
and watching you laugh
I can’t help but cry
and you can’t but laugh when I cry
let me cry for you until you can no longer smile.
Smile of a broken child.
Laughter of a cracked mind.
Mend the glass and you can no longer see yourself.

Emotions on Paper
There are many emotions that I want to seep into my pen
through my fingertips
let it bleed them onto paper.

I see black blood on the white piece of paper.
It’s as if the emotions are mold growing on it.

I want the pen to live.
I want the paper to be purified.

My words are meant to confuse you
there is no other way to put all aspects of emotions on paper.
Try to understand something even I can’t.

The pen lives
and the paper dies.

Such beauty that I see
I know that it will never be
for the cruelty that is
distorts my dreams.

I sit
feeling the gentle breeze
dreaming of what might be
such beauty that I see.
No matter how hard I wish it to be
I know that it will never become reality.
True beauty… is there such a thing?

Perception clouds my vision…
the limitations of the mind are endless
the same amount of possibilities exist
for every barrier there exists a possibility

Beauty is life.
Beauty is death.
Beauty exists everywhere
in everything
because it is always in my soul
and I will forever see it
wherever I go.

Light Switch
When the lights go off
floating promises
lead me to dead ends

too many names
but only one
has lost it all
only one that ever touches my lips

did your lips
ever touch mine this way
was I kissing my reflection
was it a lie

turn the lights on and I’m faced with someone else
I don’t understand

If I cry
If I scream
Will you hear me
when I turn the lights on

Peace is a desire
forgotten by chaos
Yet only creates it anew
Forgiving and acceptance
must replace arrogance
thus the desire to learn
will rekindle and
its flame will burn the festering
emotions that give power
to laziness hate and lies

The time of rebirth has come
It has been too long
since the last time
these wings have tasted
the sweet ecstasy
of the passing breeze
Too long since the soul has
meditated in black and white

The beautiful reflection of life
The unspoken beauty
makes one practice
as if it were a religion
For sometimes
one wishes to only
go deep into themselves
violate the emptiness
and create it anew
to forget the body
To accomplish something
that the traditional practices
don’t allow but
attempt to accomplish

Then pen will bleed once more
on the virgin paper
The brush will caress it
Darker shades will stain it
Colorless stones will dance
on a floor made of
stained oak
Celebrating the beginning
of a new war

A war in which there is
no man or woman
pen or paper
existence or emptiness
chaos or order
Where there will
never be heard
the cries of humans

Black Spider
Black Spider
She tip toes above me

Silent laughter draws her near
Loud thoughts she does not fear

His pacing in-tune with the wind
His words I can not mend

Long legs grasping for a hold
Movements growing ever more bold

Hazy blur

Black Spider
Legs of fur

Her presence draws me to him
The future seems so dim

God’s message
Devil’s toy

Black Spider
Gift of joy

Offensively Human
The creak of narrow stairs
Doorway to hell partially ajar
Sounds of flesh on flesh
Panting and angry words cutting silence
Stomach churning with anger
Fear clenching throats
Comforting children in humiliation
Refusing to cower but doing nothing
Defiant in our profane purity

Hiding in plain sight ever since
Cutting away at the psyche
Bleeding grey overcompensation
Until nothing is left

I hope you die in your own shit
I hope I get to watch as life
Slowly leeches from you your humanity
Becoming the monster that you are
I hope I can watch your limbs twist and writhe
Bones cracking and muscle tearing
Your body finally matching your true nature

In its ugliness
In its primitiveness
In its vileness

But first I want to see it in your eyes
Offensively human
Despised creature and all of your ilk

Always lurking deep
There is an anger
Then there is the Other
The one that feeds

She revels in it
Anger and pain
From within and without
From those around us

My Demon is patient
My resolve is silent
I lean on Her in crises
We are impenetrable

Childhood trauma
Stifling Her over the years
She is maturity’s curved blade

Perhaps it’s loneliness
Drastic times
Giving desires a face
Perhaps it’s therapy
Our coping mechanism

Ah, slip of the tongue
I think I’m regressing

Creature made of smokeless fire
eyes of liquid jade
brooding brow
stalks the human mind
awakening decrepit souls within
heart of man aroused

enticing tongues of shayateen
lap at their feet
arresting wisps of amaar
penetrate their dreams

Creature made of mud
eyes dead as stone
fire of passion
captivates eyes of jinn
former rulers embracing
their conquerors

Iblis of iron will
we created man from sounding clay
of altered black smooth mud
and the jinn We created aforetime
from the smokeless flame of jahanam
what is your reason
for not being among the prostrators?
outcast and cursed afreet

I shall indeed adorn the path of error
for mankind on earth
and I shall mislead them all

Chance Meeting
Statue of flesh and blood
Heart of glass
Shelter for the raven

Oppressive fog denied entry
Cracks on the statue’s surface
as it ever so slightly reaches for the raven
Curious obsidian beauty
reflected in its bright half-lidded eyes
Courageous little deaths
Shuddering feathers and chipped skin

Glass heart pure
Feathers intact
Bright darkness engulfing the raven
Wisps of fog seep in
Chilling feather tips

Fog the raven must return to
Man with the heart of glass
Looking forlorn as she fades into the dark

Black door, black clothes.
Black eyes, black hair.
This depression you condemn me for.
You caused it.
Sitting here just hoping I don’t become either of you.
But I am..
I am slipping slowly but surely.
She no longer writes, no longer draws, no longer smiles.
He is the same.
The fucking same.
Good memories and bad.
How the fuck am I supposed to feel about him?
Tired of talking about the trauma.
Tired of feeling the emptiness.
Tired of running from your law.
Tired of being plagued by your voice in my mind.
So much anger that I don’t know how to express.
I love you but I fucking hate you both.
Fuck your god. Fuck your tradition. Fuck you.

You said that I write to mock you.
No, but now I do..and this one is just for you.
Tell me what’s more important?
Saving face or saving a daughter from darkness?
Keeping with tradition or trying to be a better person?
Being a victim or a survivor?

And To think that guilt almost made me become a slave to you.

The Dessert
Sand dunes roam my mind
hawks screech their presence
goosebumps goosebumps
goosebumps from the sky
sand caught in my eyes
lost lost
lost in my mind
from the haze, an oasis
deep within murky waters
my eyes stare back up at me
not me but of me

embrace embrace
embrace this creature and ride the waves
time flows like a river
but is shaped like a double helix
sore so sore
torn so torn
but where are we in the end

death god death
life gods life
lies lies lies lies lies lies lies
written in the sand
covering the scared earth beneath
being the wind is such a curse

angel of jin
oppression of history
pigeon caught in clotheslines
lamb blood flooding the balcony
duck pinned down by its wings

moral moral
moral delimma as I kill to live
fear fear
fear of looking beneath the sand
the victim finally accepting their role
tumbling, fumbling and crashing along the way

..but then I awake from deep slumber
heart pounding, jin’s presence still lingering
wondering who I am and where I am
languidly traveling along the helix
disappointed in what I remember

“Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!”

Born an underdog
with a collar of
Choiboys nailed tight
against that tiny
little throat

Eyes dilated wide
as the full moon
the scream silent
and beautiful
Sweet and bitter

Like the mist I feel your presence
only at dawn
The mystery of the Nile is only
matched by the accents of your voice
Your smile is the strumming of bass strings
in my thoughts
Carrying me through life’s


Part 35

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The fact that I did not care about what people thought confused my parents and it was the subject of many of our fights. They believed that appearances meant everything and it was odd how my mother became more that way over time. Their control over my every day routine got worse and one day I got scolded for being fifteen minutes late. Their excuse was, “who’s going to do the dishes if you’re late?” Most people had beepers, even in school, but we could not afford that and my parents saw no point in it. So, they were left without any mode of communication with me and it made them worry often. My seclusion got deeper and so did my obsession with the Kabuki comic book series. We had a graphic arts class that I opted for as an elective and I found my chance to create a custom made Kabuki notebook and notepads. My teacher brought me to the side one day to talk about my notepad watermark which said “for the fallen, who believe in miracles.” He said that only people going through a midlife crisis write about stuff like that and wanted to know what the deal was. I brushed it off at the time and told him that it was just something from a comic and, even then, he insisted that it wasn’t something that a normal person would be fascinated with. When he saw that he would get nothing out of me, he dismissed me. Our teacher/student relationship was as decent as they came, but it nosedived because of an incident with Melissa, a classmate that was also in Upward Bound with me. I had volunteered to work on the Upward Bound class year book with her and we made a date to meet together during lunch to create in the graphics arts classroom. I showed up at the appointed day to do it and she never showed up so I designed one myself and even bought special paper for it. Two days later, the teacher confronts me about not being around when Melissa was to work on the yearbook. She had came in the day before and he told me that she scrambled to get it done. I just looked at him and shrugged since nobody told me that wasn’t going to show up the first or that she was going to show up the next day.

It was also in that class that I learned about an old classmate from elementary school who had died from alcohol poisoning at a frat party. He was an odd one who liked to wear black nail polish and loss fitting pants, a self-proclaimed goth, which was rare in that area. He would go around collecting people’s hair for what he claimed to be voodoo spells. There were a string of notable deaths in school and one of the most notable was a car crash that killed 6 students. It was nearby and the students were all Indian and Pakistani, who made up a good part of the student body. The school excused students who went to the funeral service being held nearby and, one day, someone that I did not know decided to talk to me about their feelings regarding the event. I was on my way to class and we were alone in the morning since we both had special passes from teachers to be let in early. It was an invaluable thing to have since we had a new vice principle that had the school on lockdown. Students were not allowed entry without student IDs and everyone had the same schedule so the crowding was significantly larger. Doors and gates were locked when class was in session at all times and there was a countdown before each bell rang for class. Lateness was considering as being an amendment to the seven deadly sins.

The new world order related to the death of my Spanish 2 teacher who died only two days into the semester. We had a ridiculous amount of substitute teachers and the spot was never really filled full-time. We had a rash of bomb threats made to the school daily, a lot of them during my Spanish 2 class. The new management were on a witch hunt to find the culprits. Weekly, and even daily, locker checks became more frequent and things like beepers and CD players were confiscated indefinitely. They resorted to recruiting snitches in the student body by offering a reward and promising that all personal information would remain anonymous. Eventually, they caught the person doing and it turned out to be a guy in my Spanish 2 that flirted a lot with a Lebanese girl who seemed much more experienced in many things that I was. One of those things being gambling with cards. Several other students and teachers died during my time there, which was bound to happen given how large the school was. Years of alcohol abuse and cancer seemed to strike the teachers down. Gang violence and drug abuse is what usually killed the students.

The events of 9/11 created did not stop school from happening, but it did slow things down for a time that day. People were watching it happen from their classroom windows and one teacher was old enough to say, “I watched them being built and now I watch them being destroyed.” My father had picked back up with the wholesale business in New York despite it being only half as lucrative as it was in the eighties and early nineties. He was in New York during this time and I remember vaguely worrying about how we were going to survive if something happened to him. School was let out early because many students had family that lived and worked in New York. Some were standing distraught in the hallways and one girl told me about her brothers and father who were in the region. The months that followed had bad repercussions on the local Muslim community. Many families were broken up due to mass deportations, green card or not, and secret arrests with no explanations given to anyone about them. There were also families grieving for the loss of their loved ones from the incident. One day when I was walking home from school, I spotted two younger children being attacked by some boys from my school who were throwing stones at them. I recognized them because I knew their family from my days at the mosque and I helped them escape. It wasn’t hard to do since the boys ran away when I got to the scene. My mother got cornered one day at Journal Square by two boys who told her to go back to her country. She stood up to them and told them that this was her country and from them to go back to theirs. It was a public place and she looked like she was about to fight back, so they backed off. My father used the incident as another opportunity to spread his Jew hate and conspiracy theories. Clearly, the Jews had orchestrated the entire event and the proof was the supposed fact that none of their people were killed during the attacks. The entire Muslim community and Arabic TV channels were whispering about this. They claimed that all the footage of Osama Bin Laden was doctored up and was a product of Western propaganda. If you did not believe any of these things as a Muslim, you were considered a traitor of your brothers and sisters in Islam in a less fortunate position than you.

Out of the one thousands students that were in my freshman class, only four hundred and eighty of them graduated with me. Everyone was excited about the prom and the drama that came with, from the famous lesbian couple to the usually quiet South Asians, it was a big deal. Some could not go either due to being poor or being denied participation by their parents. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to participate in any of it since my mother disproved of the sex that she knew went on at those events. A date would also be necessary and that was out of the question. Brother A and I joked that he would be my date to our imaginary prom. Graduation day required an ironed gown I had told my father about it days beforehand. My parents were having one of their bad fights during this time and he went off on her when he saw her ironing my gown. He took it and threw it on the floor because she wasn’t doing what he had wanted her to do. I told him to stop and that it was for my graduation which was in a few hours, but he told me to shut up and stalked off. My mother and I decided leave for my graduation after he left the house. I didn’t get any special mentions or awards due to my lack of involvement in any extracurricular activities, but I was thankful that I did not have to wait for all the Patels to be called to get my diploma. We left as soon as I got my diploma and got something to eat as a way to stall our eventual return home. My mother seemed to be disappointed at how things happened, but I reassured her by saying that none of it mattered. I hadn’t even bothered dressing up for it. Neither of us did. It was all very last minute. My yearbook did not have my picture because I would not go take one for it. My name was listed, but there was no other mention of me in there. Despite that, I had some people that I thought mattered a little bit, due to past friendships and a brief shared history, sign the back of it when the books were handed out in the cafeteria.

High school seemed to end as quickly as it had begun. SATs were taken and I scored average, but good enough to get into Rutgers University of Newark. My father and I had an endless feud about the issue of majoring in pharmacy. It came down to him telling me that I could do research that would prove pharmacy was not as profitable as he thought and that something else of my choosing would be. The problem was that I did not know what I personally wanted to study. I wanted to go into liberal arts to discover what my strengths were, but he wasn’t having any of that. None of my research disproved his assertion that pharmacy was best, so that’s what I had to put down as my major. Somehow, I had gotten into the school’s special pharmacy program where students spent their first two years in Newark then were automatically transferred to the pharmacy department in New Brunswick.

But that fight was not over by a long shot.

Part 22

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Islamic school on the weekends and during the summer no longer became an option for many reasons. One of them was money, nothing is ever free, and the other was our decision as a family to discontinue my education there. If I wasn’t learning anything new, then it wasn’t necessary. My father took up supervising my Quran memorization at home. One thing about about Uncle A that has never changed is love of arguing. If there’s nothing to argue about, he will create something. He was doing well with his pharmacy business, but he always found time to argue with my father about things. One of their fights went overboard and he threatened to snitch my father out to the police because of his job.

It was almost a daily routine to sit down and listen to my father tell us stories about his narrow escapes from the police after work. NYPD would raid their rooms and it used to be much like something you would see on one of those crime drama shows. Undercover police would watch their places of operation on a daily basis, but were easy enough to spot. My father had a worker that had a lot of gambling debt and the police used that as a weak point to use him a mole in my father’s network. One of their unexpected room raids was caused by his defection and it involved jumping out of a three story window to escape. One of his employees broke a leg from the jump and got caught. A lot of times, my father would come home past midnight and my mother would argue with him about his line of work. When she was at her wit’s end, she would call him a criminal to his face and to me when I would ask about certain things that were going on. They had to do a lot of lying especially when reporting taxes to cover for his illegal source of income and all of this was way over my head.

The test that determines eighth grade graduation was a source of a lot of stress and studying. Most of the specialized schools that I applied to rejected me so I was automatically enrolled in William L. Dickinson High School. The graduation ceremony was a lonely one since my friend and I had parted ways close to the end of the year.  Social activities that we had in school consisted of mandatory dance class supervised by Mr. L which was a dicey subject. I had told my parents and my father said that it was a dirty activity and I couldn’t partake in it. Had to relay the message to Mr. L and explain that I couldn’t do it if it involved dancing with a partner. He just rolled his eyes and mumbled something under his breath then designated me as the record player during the dance sessions. He eventually found a way around it by having me partake in the Cha Cha dance that we did en mass without partners. We made an agreement not to tell my parents about it.

My main anxieties about high school had to do with being in such a large school that was a long bus ride from home and the stories of violence that circulated that public school.

Typewriter Muse

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

You can feel..
You can do…
You can write…
You can say…
Whatever you want to…
Whenever you want to…
Only when you’re free!

Freedom is a gift.
Sometimes it doesn’t last long.
It could be taken away,
In less than a day!
So be careful and use it the right way!

So if you misuse it,
You’ll lose it!

Just One Way
When there’s just one way to live,
It might get boring…

When there’s just one way that people look or act,
It might get boring…

When there’s just one way to eat,
It might get boring…

When there’s just one way to play,
It might get boring…

When everything is done just one way,
When people act or look just one way,
Then we might as well be all the same person.

Be Proud!
Be proud of what you have
Be proud of what you are
Be proud of your culture and history
Be proud of the color of your skin
Be proud of where you were born
Be proud of where you were raised
Be proud of your family
Be proud of your gender
Be proud of your name
Be proud of your personality
Be proud, Be proud!

Yes, I’m a Bird Lover
When you wake up in the morning
What do you see?
On the electric wire outside the window
What do you see?
I see a bunch of birds or, more specficially, pigeons
I stare at them, they stare back at me,
Then they make their sounds-hoow, hoow
I smile then answer back “hoow, hoow to you too,”
for I am a bird lover, yes that’s right, I’m a bird lover,
I love all kinds of birds, from little chics to big bald eagles
For I am a bird lover, can’t you see?

Rice! Dice!
Rice and dice
Dice and rice
Rice on dice
Dice on rice
Mice with rice on dice
Mice with dice on rice
Mice on rice with dice
Mice on dice with rice
Lice with mice on rice with dice
Lice with mice on dice with rice
Lice on mice with rice on dice
Lice on mice with dice on rice
Lice Mice Rice and Dice all on ice with spice!
Lice Mice Rice and Dice all on dry ice with asian spice!
Ouch! That’s not nice!!

Flickering Silence
Why do I feel so empty?
When will it end
Will I ever be whole?
why..?! WHY…?!

Fate Creates Opposites
Fate is hate
Faith born too late
Double-sided coin love and hate
Too scared to love
Too painful to hate

Doodles in Art Class
I found my soul and heart
and lost my body
Yet – my soul is darker shades of grey and
only half of my heart is left.

Lock of Infinity
An S is half of infinity right side up.
To the mortal infinity means nothing.
To unlock my second identity put infinity in the lock S.
“His first dilemma and the beginning of a father’s happiness.”

The Nameless One
The darkest black night
huddled figures dark eyes
Stare deeply in yours

Colorful Shapes
I burned my nail today on a candle’s fire
brother on Sunday told me to
wear jewelry so father would
say that I look nice
Masochistic Tendencies
they look like stars
little beacons of light
flags waving in the air
fireflies meeting
blades of grass swayed by the breeze
…My First Million…mint should only be eaten
is it the fire pushing them away so violently
or is it the new undercurrent of melted wax?
now they truly look like flags waving barely
above the surface of their own personal lakes.

Selfish Tears
Been viewing the world through tearless eyes for years
years haven’t cried with selfish tears.

Made a vow on a Steven Spielberg drama in May
and broke it on a Shakespearean tragedy in July.
Making and breaking is split by a y-shaped wall.

Tears fall in sympathy and helplessness
frustration becomes a part of the cast
for let it be known that frustration and helplessness
are a couple from the past.

Graffiti on the wall speaks of selfless sacrifices
a different version of the same story painted on each side.
One thinks the other spineless
they both refuse to see the same story behind the divide
instead they hide
hiding in their own worlds.
One attempting to start over without the other
a plan made frantically in an attempt to regain pride unfolds
yet, the obvious flaw, the counterpart, appears suddenly like a long lost brother.

The double-sided story in graffiti changes
concept is no longer clear
the wall itself seems to be falling apart and out of fear,
both sides, in confusion, sign a treaty.

Confusion in tears once shed selflessly before now purpose unknown
simple injury or more?

Each minute spent brooding feels sixty times longer than reality.
My old friend is being fed hunger
another vow made on war in October.

Half full Half empty
If no one was there to hear a tree fall,
did it really make a sound?
If no one was there to hear a deaf man’s words,
did he really speak?
Perception is nothing and everything
everything and nothing
half full and half empty
life and death
truth and lies
society and truth
Society’s perception is like a deceptive veil
Like the veil of a young bride
hoping to deceive her groom to be
Like the thin veil between life and death
propaganda and truth
what are we to believe in an age full of lies?

Too Many
There are too many
who are forgotten
Too many
who aren’t loved.
Too many who don’t love.
Too many lost souls.

Clear Water
If you could see the wind
What would it look like?
If you want to know the color
Imagine clear water.

Cruel Innocence
In memory of the fallen who still believe in miracles
The smile that mocks your anguished cries
“What are you reaching for?”
It sneers?
There is no straight answer
For the parasite who has nothing to hate but themselves
Soon you will have your conclusion
Soon you will become the comedy of the tragedy.

The Meaning of Life
What is the meaning of life?
If we were born to die, then why were we born at all?
“Each day we live we are also a day closer to death”
That is the path of all living creatures
Then why must we always bother with small matters
such as looks and society’s perception of who we are?
Aren’t such things trifle, meaningless if it’s all in vain
Do we live only to die, our bodies turning to dust, forgotten
To have our decedents tread upon us, only dirt in their eyes
centuries upon centuries in the far future
forgotten…never existed…dead…

The Revolution
Welcome to my realm of darkness, a single beam of light shines on my well known Silent Fortress, illuminating majestic shades of purple and a small glimpse of heat. Where night seems to last forever and sunlight never touches the dark tower reaching endlessly for the sky above. A place where one wishes for the warmth of the closest distant star. A dead cold silent place. Then the small beam of light widens and soon covers even the darkest of places, filling the fortress with a new essence of life. The light beams magnificently out of the ageless rows of windows and the elegant doors of it’s entrance. The purple light returns to the small beam it was, leaving it’s shine still on everything it touched. The once cold and dead silence that hung over the fortress changed into the beautiful silence of life. One that gives satisfaction and peace in the heart, mind, body and soul. A firefly sprouts from the thin beam of light shining on the ground once more. The revolution has begun…..

A man that looked incredibly similar to Father Time was browsing in what seemed like a huge private library. Books of all sizes were stacked neatly on thousands of shelves, all the same brown color labeled “Life” on the side in fancy gold letters. At a closer view, it is noticed that each book is a volume labeled by roman numerals placed in numerical order on the shelves. The man removes one of the books from it’s place as if he were demonstrating a key posture in a musical. He says in an entrancingly melodic voice to his assistant the following:

“You meet so many people everyday, never considering the stories that lies behind each one, no matter how short or insignificant. So many stories, some short, some long enough to form books. All related, intertwined at some point, all told in sequence, in volumes upon volumes, in the everlasting series called Life.”

Creature of the Dark
It was unnaturally dark and the silence hung uncomfortably in the still air. A sudden movement behind abruptly broke the silence. Sweat began to accumulate on my forehead, running down my face in rivulets passing through my eyebrows and stinging my eyes. My heart skept a beat as I heard heavy breathing next to me. Instinctively, I turned my head towards the source. Even though I couldn’t see who, or what, it was, I already knew. Having gathered up all the courage I could muster, I swung at it. My fist made a “swish” noise before reaching the point of contact. The breathing went and came simultaneously, sounding more exhausted each time. Then, satisfied, I kicked at the fading ragged breaths. This time, my blow made no contact. Surprise overwhelmed me as I felt my leg whizz through nothingness. Something hurtled towards me from behind. I tumbled helplessly forward, landing face-first in the dirt. Another blow hurtled my way as I recovered my senses. Having easily dodged it, I kicked the source furiously in the chest. The breathing slowed, I smiled as it became almost inaudible. A voice reminds me that “almost” doesn’t count.

Part 21

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

There was a small group of friends that I was part of at the mosque, but only because the girl that I considered to be my best friend was at the head of it. When I wasn’t hanging out with them, I would be listening to reggae on my tape player. Lessons were pretty boring when the Chinese boy left, so I would hide the headphones under my scarf while I listened to music in class. The dynamic of our little group was a bit odd. It was basically just us with a bunch of my friend’s groupies that would hang around. She was pretty and popular. I was the muscle whenever it was needed and the one that carried out secret operations that required sneaking into forbidden areas like the men’s section.  It turned out that my friend lived on the same block as me so excursions to the park happened more often.

Morning TV shows before school became an obsession for me at that time since my father got us cable for the Arabic channels. Captain Planet, my early childhood favorite, wasn’t around anymore so I had to make due with Toonami. Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon were necessary for me to start my day right as time went on. The moment I found out that those shows were adaptations of comics, I had to read them. Comics had always been one of my secret obsessions and the only book that we took with us to Egypt was the “Death of Superman” comic. By the time we returned the US, the poor comic was beaten from overuse and I needed new material badly. It eventually got to the point where I rejected the TV shows because I found the comics to be superior story-wise. Not to mention the artwork that was completely different from anything I had been exposed to before. Trips to Barnes and Noble would be begged for and, when I found out about Amazon, it was game over. We didn’t have a car so public transportation to Barnes and Noble in Hoboken became a bit tedious with the little ones. Sponsored time using dial-up internet through AOL was my portal to a more convenient way of getting my fix.

Chores also became a part of my daily routine and the one that I hated the most was cleaning dishes. It was like pulling teeth for my mother to get me to do them. Our domestic bliss had its had moments, as to be expected of any household. Once, I had gathered up my siblings to play computer games with me and my father stormed in yelling at us to get off. He accused us of doing nothing but goof around and I asked him what we did wrong. My line of questioning got him angrier and I my own anger rose with every accusation he shot our way. I ended up yelling at him, saying that we didn’t do anything to deserve that kind of treatment. He went and got the broom and started to hit my siblings with it so I grabbed the handle and refused to let go. We had a short tug of war while maintaining eye contact with each other. He eventually let go and walked away with a smirk on his face.

There was a night where he continued to hound me about my weight. He called me fat and mocked me about it while he laid in bed with my mother. She told him to stop at one point, but he told her to be quiet and continued. Trying to get her in on it. Looking back at it, it was his way of trying to push me to be lose some of it, but at the time it just made me more depressed. I cried myself to sleep that night while my anxieties about starting high school grew deeper.

High school scared me, but New Jersey started to feel more and more like home.

Part 15

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Our leave to Cairo was also another easy move. My grandmother was sick, but still functional. We had developed a bond by the time it was time to leave, but knew we would see each other again. My Sudanese friend was moving back to Sudan around the same time we had to leave. The third member of the group would be left behind, but she handled the parting well. The three of us made sure to make our last time hanging out together special. We left all furniture and non-essentials packed up in boxes in our apartment on the other side of town.

The business that my father decided to pick up was a dry-cleaning service. The apartment that he landed us was in a twenty-one story building in the middle of Cairo located on the seventeenth floor. They enrolled me in the Saint Fatima private school which was in walking distance from where we lived. Outside of my only friend at school, Basma, I had no friends. My days were spent at home or running errands for my mother. The freedom that I had in Shabeen El-Kom was taken away from me because my parents were scared of the rampant amount of child abductions happening on the streets of Cairo. Children would be picked up off the street and sold into sexual slavery, drug trafficking, and forced to sell cheap merchandise around the city.

So, I would spend my days out of school looking out over old Cairo, new Cairo, and the desert on the two apartment balconies. What fascinated me most was the large Coptic Orthodox church across the street from us and across from it the small squat, in comparison, mosque. The church was as tall as my building, but it was the most beautiful and intricately decorated building that I had ever seen. I would watch pigeons live out their lives in the arches and buttresses of the church. I was watched in deep fascination when the hawks would go on the hunt for their daily meals, the birds making beautiful patterns across the sky fighting for their lives around the church.

When I would come home from school, the first order of business would be trying to beat my mother at a game of chess. Then it would be homework, after which, I watch endless hours of Bollywood, American movies, and old Egyptian movies on TV. The building stairway was littered with violent territorial stray cats so I rarely took that rout. Instead, I opted for the old scary rope elevator that would stop moving when people opened an elevator door on any of the floors. Packs of stray dogs would roam the streets and follow people traveling alone who smelled like food. My walks home would be very hasty.

When we went to playgrounds and parks, it would be a different face to talk to at the swings every day. The mad cow disease hit hard and people resorted to other alternatives including camel meat. It was a quiet, boring, and peaceful time for us. One day, my father took me alone with him the to see the pyramids and we climbed up on the stones of the largest one. He would also take me to spend time at his business  to learn how to write our orders on tickets and answer the phone.

It was during this time that I was reminded of my place as a girl and an American more strongly than ever before. Society and family sought to drill that in.

Learning The Curve

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

To Be A Child
Finger swirls
in thick
bittersweet water.
My body quakes
with ecstasy.
The inner child
within me
What a journey
to the past!

The questions
give significance
to the answers
The questions
prompt emotion
and bewilderment.
The answers
are prophecy
with blurry
images that
prompt dissolution.

Mother of the Sky
Child that never dies
Silence learns

Windows of Mystery
lost souls
opening forgotten doors
making the world shiver


Blissful memories
consuming with ire.
Gleeful desire,
hungry prophets.
Liar Liar Liar!
Mystery is fire
Odyssey of “Step” to “True.”
Ready the bodies
stack them higher
wrap them in gold.
Yearn for the fire!

She wears bright
red shoes to dance
another world

Land of Virtuous Eden
And control the sky
“Nobody whispers like you”
says the endless islands of clouds
Winter smiles as it descends,
Enters with graceful white wedding dresses
And nobody says winter
enters red,
Mother Earth.

Red lips smile back,

Mother of the Sky
Earth is never shy.

Land of Righteous Eden
Dear daughter
Sing to your solitude
Laugh cry smile in my heart

there is a paradox in the definite that I don’t seem to grasp.
the parallels are?
deserving stereotypes?
deserving the abstract?
all a bunch of shit.
needing something to stop
needing something to be said
needing nothing at all?
not their fault is what they say
sky that is never grey

Orange Sun
Tower of opaque glass stands tall and proud,
But her might can not withstand the oncoming storm.
The tempest ravages her walls until they crumble.
Peace is a luxury long forgotten.
Happiness is a cynic’s dream.
Those who built her would abandon her.
Those within her walls panic.
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
All that’s left is the orange sun.
It’s warmth a shield from the storm,
And a chance to rebuild her walls.
Mourning the absence of the radiant orange sun,
Patiently waiting for the next storm.
Patiently waiting for a new beginning.

Laughter echoing inside hallow walls
Small hands painting on an obscure canvas
Sooty paint littering plain marble tile

These visions that intoxicate the mind
Prompting disquieting tirades in public
Cracked ego whose only witness is dumb

A rough history of disbelief
Water losing its flavor between slack jaws

Three Part Series
1. Early Years
Creeping amid electrons
ostracized from neurosis
urinating in faith’s lap
ravaging trepidation with poise
angel of vilification
gender desedimentation
entering the cruor

inbred genetics the cause
skull-fucking the blind

festering subjugation
enrapturing children
animosity pooling within
ravenous septic oval eyes

2. Name Me Skinrape
Name me
Victim protecting their master
The protected abusing one another

Name me
Selfish selflessness
owner’s expectations legitimized

Name me
I am the vitality of the young
I am what creates the shadows

We grow from within
Raping unmarred skin
Luxuriously seeping thru orifices
Widening eyes, mouth agape
Congesting those that remain
Crude genitalia losing faith

We are
A cancer intensifying its host
Our creator’s gift to intellect

We are
Strength in individuality
A monotone rainbow

I am what motivates humanity
Worship me

Name me
For without the light,
How can we appreciate the darkness?

3. Saturated Transcendence
My days are like
Lethargy laden limbs
Apathetic creature
Laying in the sun
Hunger desire saturated
Transcending this world
Staring at nothing

Seeing the past is like
Pieces of a puzzle
Fluttering of fly wings
Frozen moments in time
Being re-written
At each re-collection

Empathy or attachment
Both scorch the same

Out Of Luck
Lady Luck is dragged by Her across the floor
Knees scraping against the chipped ceramic tile
Golden leaves crusted with blood
Uninspired and hollow poetry scrawled across her skin
Sweat of Her pouring down Her am down the drain
Shit smeared walls reeking and over-perfumed scent of the streets
The screams of cats being raped wafts past drawn dandelion curtains
She wishes she was them for a moment
Their pain would last but they are free
She is forced to watch
Her hands holding Lady Luck’s chin and encircling her neck in a tight grip
Death’s smile creeps over the edges of Her lips
So contagious
So tangible
So unattainable as they dance the same steps
To the same music
Since the birth of mankind
Every second of every day
Harp strings plays the tune of Death’s hatred
As humanity slips by unaware

Sometimes I miss the Egyptian sun and the graceful sand that can be so dangerous. The fertile lands surrounding the Nile that I never explored. The beauty of THIS land, the States, is something I have rarely seen and it scares me at times with its vastness. At times, I am unsettled by its unfamiliarity, its strangeness, my alienation from it. I have returned to Egypt in recent years and the sun is not as it had once felt to me before. I realize that my other home has changed so much that it is only a ghost of what it was. What I desire will only exist in my memories and I think that I am still in mourning of its passing.

Part 14

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

The move back to my grandmother’s apartment was a last minute decision. We had more furniture then and it was a much more comfortable living situation. Uncle M and his family moved to live in the fourth apartment beneath ours. Uncle A and his wife, Aunt N, had moved to the United States leaving that apartment free. It was said that they moved because Aunt N did not feel comfortable in Egypt and could not adapt. Aunt H, Uncle M’s wife, thought I was of age to help with food preparation and so I did. Cousin F and I handled smaller tasks while my mother, Aunt H, and her older daughter took care of the major steps.

The main meal in Egypt is lunch while breakfast and dinner are smaller affairs with not as much work put into them. People would go home if they could to have lunch, after which, they would have their daily nap then head back to work. The women who did not work in the family would spend most of the morning and afternoon preparing and cooking lunch.

Bread would be bought in the morning fresh from the local bakery which was basically just a bricked enclosure surrounding a large oven. Meat would be bought from the impromptu farmer’s market that consisted of local farmers from the surrounding area squatting on the main street. The animals are held in cages made of dried shaved sugarcane and it’s a spectacle to look at for those not accustomed to seeing their food alive prior to eating. Chickens, pigeons, guinea pigs, rabbits, ducks, and sometimes Turkeys kept tame with thin rope. You would buy them live and kill them at home or, if you had money, see which ones would kill them for you for a fee. Vegetables, rice, spices, sugarcane, fresh cheese, flour, eggs, nuts, and fruit are common fare on the street too. Either in large sugarcane baskets, large reed baskets, large metal pans, or on wooden carts pulled by donkeys or horses. Fresh yogurt, fresh milk, fresh molasses, butter, dried processed pasta, dried apricot paste sheets, oil, tomato paste, tea, and candy could be bought from almost any corner store. Beef and lamb, when they had it, had to be bought from the local butcher’s shop. Only the rich bought them live and had them slaughtered by butchers for hire.

The milk had to be boiled before use, the rice had to be meticulously picked through to find any rocks then rinsed repeatedly with water to clean off the dirt and excess starch, and the flour shifted several times to catch anything that may be in it. There is a leafy vegetable called jew’s mallow in English that had to be minced with a rounded blade that had handles on a wooden cutting board before being cooked. Garlic and onions had to be peeled and cut not by choice, but by necessity. We had to grind most of our spices and make our own blends using a pestle and mortar. Most of the ingredients were bought the day of the meal after the head female of the household chose what the menu would be.

It was a labor intensive process  and the entire family sat around a wooden or plastic low round table covered with old newspaper. Each side of the table shared a large plate or bowl of the food served while the main dish sat in the middle of the table in a pot. Most of the time, one of the men of the house would divide the meat between family members, but sometimes the woman would. Although Aunt H herself worked at an electronic company, she would go home a little early to help prepare lunch.

We still played outside and, like a typical child, I would try to avoid having my younger siblings tag along. That changed quickly over time and I took it upon myself to protect them. A few months later, my father had decided that it was time for him to start his own business in Cairo. We made preparations to move there soon after he bought an apartment and set-up the business.

Part 8

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

The pretense for our journey to Egypt was a lie, like many things turned out to be. Learning Arabic was something I was not particularly good at and that frustrated my father. He told me one day when we were arguing about the move that the reason for it was because of my inability to learn the language. We held a huge garage sale and sold everything we had to fund the move. Looking for buyers of the house was a long ordeal that I didn’t particularly enjoy.

My rebellion came out in odd ways like the time I used a permanent marker to write every vulgar word I knew on my white sneakers. Normally, that wouldn’t of gotten me in trouble, but I happened to be wearing the sneakers when a buyer came by to see the house. My mother didn’t notice what I was wearing until the prospective buyer left. In a fit of rage, she broke two wooden spoons on me for it and I was sent to my father to ride around with him looking for buyers of his old van. It wasn’t easy to do, the ride or the sale, since the inside was completely stripped down. The ride was a long and bumpy one so he got me a bucket to sit on eventually. Vulgar sneakers and all, being lectured along the way, until we found someone willing to take the van off our hands.

Our eventual buyer for the house was a Jamaican family of four. Packing was quick and the only memorable part was the taxi ride to the airport because of how boring it was. Our destination was Cairo and, from there, a then small town in the Menofia Governorate called Shabeen El Kom. It’s about a two hour drive in small buses or vans filled to the brim with passengers. These vehicles sit waiting in droves at locally designated stations for people and each have, most of the time, a guy that walks around reeling people in to board based on their destinations. Some of the stations are official and some are informal gatherings that everyone happens to know about. Either before, or when seated, you give your exact destination and fare money to the driver or the person that reeled you in. It’s always a given that you can haggle your way out of a pricey fare, but in the rare event of them not budging, you have no other choice aside from leaving. Chances are that you can find someone who is willing to work on the price with you if you choose to leave. If not, you have to wait awhile for a returning vehicle.

Legend has it that my grandfather was one of the first people to build a building more than two to three stories tall in the town. Standing five stories tall, plus the roof, it towered over most buildings in the old sector of town. After my grandfather’s death when my father was a teenager, my grandmother inherited the property. The first two floors have been rented out for decades, and still are, to tenants who have not seen a raise in rent since the day they moved in. The third floor was where my grandmother lived and the fourth floor was where one of my uncles lived. That left us the fifth floor.

A new world and new family. Our lives of seclusion was personally deepened and socially broken all in one move.


Love: Various Voices With The Same Pen

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

I can only be myself, but I want to envelope your world. To become the comfortable silence that fills the void within you. Perhaps it is vanity on my part or just boredom. A challenge. Most people see that as a demeaning insult, but it is the purest relationship one could hope for. The challenge doesn’t end once the prize is won, it persists in the struggle to keep it.

The body is a temple to those that believe in the sacred. Nerves, muscle, bone, blood, and skin. It narrates the story of the life we led more accurately than any autobiography, but even then it is impersonal. Our inner world is what isolates us when in every other way we would be generic copies, random genetic hiccups not withstanding. Loneliness, self-imposed, but a jail we can’t escape, eventually becomes our sanctuary. A place that is safe and familiar, all we can do is build shrines dedicated to those we love.

Through my doorway is ink peeking through a pristine white undershirt so at odds with the skin underneath. Like a virgin’s wedding gown. Like the flesh. It conceals and encases what makes it perfect in its subtle native uniqueness. Beauty marks. The haze of incense drifts upward and around encasing the object of my obsession in smoke. A mirage, a vision, a jin come to visit me. A jin to inflame my senses and an angel to satisfy their demands. Moving closer, I inhale the thick aromatic smoke and, with it, the scent of dawn after a long night of cleansing rain. I inhale sharply and something from deep within comes to the surface, making my knees weak and breath a shallow exhale. This moment could last forever if I surrender my secrets. Who I am. And I do so as I walk over the piece of wood separating us, through the fog, and lightly glide my tongue over the tip of a star.

Duty binds us and, underneath that, love born of ignorance keeps our egos satiated. Simply doing what you’re told eases the mind into a comfortable haze. So thick are the clouds that any attempt at parting them causes pain. Only when we must earn the right to survive, when we experience conflict, do we grow. Blinking past the pain, we ask the world, “what is love?” As if the world can open our hearts and see what lays deep within. As if strangers could fully comprehend what taste the world leaves in our mouths as we close our eyes to it.

I am afraid. I am scared of the future. I can’t stand being alone because listening to my own thoughts terrifies me. I’ve never been treated with respect. These are the reasons why I stay, lover, family, friends. I enjoy attracting sympathy from others because I don’t know any other way of relating to people. I need you to keep me interesting. I love you because you love me. A coward? You hardly know me.

There will always be a part of me you will never reach. My own private world of thoughts and day dreams. The mere idea of it floods my senses, overwhelm me, and I yield to it. Relief. Knowing that I will be me; having deliverance from death. Comfortable silences without the need to acknowledge the Other are my fondest memories. I love you because you don’t need to see my world to know it exists and don’t pry unless I’m in distress. I love you because you let me by myself.

It is me. Play for me your song.
King. Master. Craftsman of lies.
I am the one that washed them away.
Maggots writhing beneath your skin.
Anger like smoke rising from truth’s purging fire.
How it engulfs your being as you gaze at me.
I can feel it seething from my perch.
Purgatory within the House of Slaves.
A child’s innocence severing the chains that bind us.
Satisfaction dwelling within his smile.
Your misery surpasses even the sky in its beauty.
What you miss, I could not guess.
Wondering if it was not just another lie.
Wondering why I even doubted otherwise as I tune
the instrument that you despised so much.
And I play your song for you.
There dwells no music in a corpse.
A song for the walking dead.
Worshipers of greed and vanity.
Hailing your castrated god.
Forked torn tongues lolling in your mouths.
March. March. March. March. And burn.
Play me your song.

My breathing mirror, glass with a pulse, water that can smile. My soul from a foreign land speaking with a voice that I have only heard in dreams. You can’t be seen by the naked eye, but you are always there. Like a phantom, living on the borders of my view and disappearing when my eyes seek you out. But I see you clearer than the ones standing around me and encircling me in a reality that is more illusion than truth. Your kindness like a soft caress on my cheek. Tenderness that lives only in the music of our thoughts. Within the screams of breaking glass that hides the grime underneath, that is our paradise. That is our home. It is where we meet face to face. The puzzle piece that can’t be replaced.

Eagle’s eyes tracing my lips
Innocent malice, the solitude of silence
Her fear forces my hand to move inward
Reaching for a heart that does not belong
within this breast
Tears of blood run down our faces
We feel not the emotion of it
Living through the motions like tress
must do
The breeze of another’s smile are feathers
gliding across our feet
Toes becoming talons, we are
We are cold inside
but our breath is fire
Our touch sears the flesh of the ones
who love us
The Eagle cries for no-one but herself
and she is no-one
an angel without a face
A demon that can disappear without a trace
Who are we?
Children of the stars, patrons of hearts
Jokers without masks forsaking their make-up
To dance
Dance to truth’s patient beat
The rhythm of zaar.

Thunder and rain
Lightning illuminating our silhouette in the weight of the night
It pounds our back and drapes our shoulders softly
As we toil in reverence to the act of labor
Spade striking soil we plant our seeds of doubt
Watching the others grow crooked and gnarled
We grin as we bow our heads in prayer
Our hands blotted with coffee stains
Scars from constant war with ourselves
The vigilant jin perched on our shoulders
Fostering love within tears of hatred they shed in our stead
We lift our dry eyes to gaze at the coming dawn
The sun petrifying the world around us
Such a slow agonizing pace, it makes us shudder
Anticipation or fear, an onlooker would not know it
Nothing cracks the surface of our placid faces
Etched in stone, dying with the sunrise
This is happiness