Sunday, November 09, 2008


Living in a world of two or four languages
affords, for a child, an unplanned blessing;
I find, getting on, I am slowly confessing
to a heart-sore hankering
for childhood's continuous continual murmurs,
for the ould old-fashioned strangeness
of thinking in three parts
as if I had three hearts.

Intertwining interpretations
(lovely words, my dear, but lamentably insipid)
waylay the warp and the woof of childhood days;
even now, brisk and stern, interlocutions
hint at different means and different ways.

What needs a school
who, y' know, don't listen ya?
says my go-ahead sister
in her short tight skirt
and little else:
Needs Analysis, yay, my sister say,
you be so stupid?

Comes easy, sis. No worries.

She wants, she wants,
she wants,
and that sums up
my sibling sister.

America, Hummerrikah,
grotesque, grandiose, insane,
(I love it)
can do a number on your brain.
Very important people
in clomping large black shoes,
expensive teeth and spectacles,
toss Starbucks coffee containers
into government wastebaskets
and make plans for the future
of Afghanistan, Iraq, and maybe Iran,
and think nothing of it:
it's all so wistful.

You stand in the streets
of Kandahar, dear old Kandahar,
and the bullets they come whizzing by,
but if they really want to kill you
that's another thing.

I sing,
I chant my Sufi verses
and the guys laugh at me;
of a sudden there comes a jeep
in a whirlygig of dust--
jigga, jig, jig,
snakeyed and slick,
out of here quick, quick, quick.

Yes, I do get sick,
everyone does, even the locals,
stay away from the water,
stay away from the awful food,
expect the next attack,
watch your back;
watch your front and sides, too.

And when you feel blue
as you sometimes do
you can listen to God
or even better, I find, an iPod
and transport your damp
and heaving soul,
the very stitches in your britches,
towards a transitory temporary win,
a shot on the shifting goal.

If they treat you like shit
don't pay for the toilet;
just rely on the stuff you've kept in store
astride the ecstatic gaps of language,
around, beside, behind, before:
serenely wait for more.

O the water drips
into the sink:
plink, plink

Oui oui, compris,
je m'appelle
c'est Jezebel;
denada, denada,
so how's yer fadda?
Moi, je suis Yarnach
Ola! Chocky ar La
howdeedoo, konnichi wa;
Jai Ram, Jai Ram macushla,
yeh to bahot
BAHOT acchaa!

and ... Happy Birthday to Me!!
November the Ninth