Tuesday, December 7, 2010

About Poetry: The Human Condition

Poetry taps into the human condition through the use of specific sensory stimulants, narratives and metaphors. As such, the more specific the stimulants, narratives and metaphors the MORE relatable it is to the reader and their own lives.

This blog is an attempt to tap into your emotional state and life experience with both narrative and abstract poetry.

Poetry has come a long way over its history. Revolutionary innovations, such as William Shakespeare's breaking of traditional iambic pantameter, are now considered extremely restrictive. Rules about meter, rhyme and punctuation, as well as format in the computer age, are basically non-existent.

Poets are now free to express their work in any way they see fit. The only repercussion that exists is the perception by readers of its quality.

These changes are evident across cultures, as even traditional poetic societies, such as those in the Arab world, are adopting less strict and formulaic guidelines as to what constitutes good poetry.

The number one criteria of good poetry nowadays is its ability to move you, as a reader, into heightened emotional states which trigger the memory of a past event or series of events. I have also made presenting to you material which accomplishes this goal my number one priority.

First and second-person narrative tends to accomplish this better than third-person narrative (although it can be done in third-person). As such, you can expect most, if not all, of the narrative poetry here to be in first or second- person.

Do not confuse the narrator with me, as the poet, because even those poems that reflect actual events in my life contain a narrator who is not me. As long as your comments are appropriate, feel free to contact me at Seifeldeine@gmail.com and I will get back in touch with you, as well as share with all my readers any high quality mail. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Comas dripping
 from periods
an ellipsis
of bruise
on the forearm
We loved
with a dagger
that slashed
our wrists

an asterisk
our trademark


Rhythm rolls over your poetry
like green hills roll over your countryside,
wet with words as the grass with the morning dew.

Tend to your stanzas as a shepherd would his flock.

And when the poem reaches maturity, carve it with the precision of a butcher,
but drink only its blood.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

For Lost Love: Arab Fruit

Habeebtee cuts a circle around
the top of burtokall,
spraying citrus in the air-
I cannot stand my ground.

I am bare-

as an orange, peel discarded and seeds sifted,
I, by my roots, am lifted-
never to find my places-
a Golan Grove among Syrian maces.

Collecting the Universe

I ride the stream of comets
beyond barren dust particles emerging
as matter bent into stars. I hear helium burst
below itself and collapse Chaos committed to realms
of anarchy clouding chemistry in mundane galaxies. I wish
your swirling auroras of dust blue could fit at the very edge
of an atom like you once had. It was a simpler time then
your atoms enlisted each other to become planets,
comets and helium fizzled into star dusting
galaxies and all this my mind blow.

The Refuge

The barriers kept cars out of the Palestinian neighborhoods,
windows boarded, the balconies crashed down to the sidewalk.
The apartments rose from the ground like ant hills. The Palestinians swarmed
to collect enough to survive.

A girl stood white against the Syrian neighborhood,
her skin mud against her teeth.
With her hijab, she looked like a girl who rose with the sun to pray
fajr. A man, too thin for his years, drank sun-dried lebnae: crust
white on his beard. He shouted orders.

The girl came to me and took my hand.
Men on the block took knives and dug them through the skin of lambs
and twisted until the blood
flooded the street,
the lamb’s eyes frozen
forever in shock.

She led me to her home,
a hummus-covered rug - the dinner table,
the pillows placed on the floor for seats,
the chairs bent at their joints, the old oven
and a hole in the ground at the back.

The girl’s mother sat on the edge of one of the chairs
and rocked its joints looser
and looser.
Water from her eyes wrinkled her skin
and wet her lips,
puckered on her white rosary beads.

The girl took my lira
and then took me into her bed,
weaved straw like a bird’s nest.

A lamb billowed as the butcher slaughtered her.

I finished and walked to the door.
The girl’s mom left her chair and ran her hands,
slick like the pages in the Quran,
over my fingers. She began a prayer:
“Bismee ‘llah ah rahman ah raheem,”
In the name of Allah, the most kind, the most merciful.


The bright desert sun shines down on the tram,
overlooking clay biniya that sit between-
grassy mountains and the sea, cradled like a new-born.
The Mediterranean crashes
against large, rounded boulders like the stomachs of customers
bloated with shawarma and cous cous.

Cars speed through red lights
cruising around al-humra- 
malls, jewelry and clothing stores
 of impenetrable glass.

The other buildings hide in bombed-out clay
and broken stone like the Wailing Wall.
A twelve-year-old janitor
mops up endless sand from the marble floor-
as I grab my hose and puff on arguilay,
wrapping my mouth around smoke rings-
just to prove I can.