The Aljebraist

That which sings of solutions and hums with quiescent equations in its native tongue means “to make whole.”
Those that mended bones and those that subdued variables both lived under this name.
Breathing in the slightly smokey Arabic that you exhale, cigarette still clenched in between teeth, I wonder if you belong under that title too.
You kissed me wanderingly, as if lost in the alleys of Lebanon and not those of my palm.
The stitches of my ribs were explored at midnight, the way you had wandered Tehran in moonlight.
For all that exploration, of cities and of myself, I doubt you really saw either me or those dusty streets.
Your eyes looked through me cooly, as though I was some mathematical puzzle to solve.
(I was bad enough at calculations that I’d never do it alone)
If ever you answered my complex expression of variability and breathing,
you never told me the answer.
It rained the night you left me,
the night you caressed the bare linearity of my spine for the final time.
Even if you solved me, you failed
as both doctor and mathematician.
I preferred to be unsolved and broken to the false certainty of an equal sign.
For all your brilliance, you never deserved me
nor the water-soaked beauty of a crying Cairo.

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Ornithology (Goodbye, sweetheart)

you’ve often thought that her hurried 
and nervous movements were like a bird,
puffing up its speckled feathers, against the cold.
she keeps pictures of the sky in a locket

over her breastbone.
no one will ever hold that heart, too wild 
and too in love with the wastes of the clouds.
You could not help but notice that you knew 
no more about her now than you did the
starling that perched out by the window every morning
as she sipped your coffee that you held in your hand,
pensively hiding her face even as she took from you.
had you but known better, you’d have expected that
one day (quite soon) you will come home to an empty nest,
with only the lipstick on the rim of the mug by the sink 
to tell you that she was real.
had you studied her with the care required, 
you would have known that migration came with winter,
and that she had flown away

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The wind wants worship
by a cool blue ache of sleep
You are a maelstrom, you 
who returned me to
these delirious lakes as they waxed over
not as honey beneath the languid mist
but as rain above a soaring sea
(but worship you I cannot)

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Solipsists’ dilemma

I’ve so often worried that the world existed only 
within the boundaries of my 
(stark, lonely, windswept)
mind; so, naturally, your entrance into my life 
felt the most unreal of all, a rare
and seething thing, a lightness made visible. 
still, even my vanity isn’t enough to believe I could dream you,
that I could think you into existence as Zeus did Athena. 
imagine the irony now, that you’ve made me the least real of all.
All I am now is a vague suggestion of
psychosomatic sleepiness, that drifts in and out
with my recognition of your seeping absence.
now it is you who is the world, and me who is the creation.
your gifts to me were a shattering of my will
and a rampant inability to get full breath of air. 

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Deep in nighttime,
I’ve washed up on the shore.
In from the sea, I’ve wandered,
lonely and unmoored.
I’ve become a driftwood kind of sadness,
which is a sort of sad that aches and sits and waits.

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spyglass blues

now is the time for slow, dark waters
moving and writhing across an ancient shoreline
a black sky above tells me I’m not wrong to wait for you,
though it is long past the hour of your return.
A sea captain’s wife, I look for you, beyond the prison
of a  quickly fading sun. 
you have seen more years than I have, breathed in more breath
and dreamed more dreams. 
your sweetness has been all but lost and you know,
as I do not know, though I spend my time learning and lying in time. 
still, you don’t hold me much, 
(as long as you don’t see me waiting for you).
I hope it burns you, when you look through your spyglass
and see an empty beach, an empty shore. 

10 notes

I know I always write this, but this has been the longest uninspired period of my writing. I’m not a terribly serious writer or anything but it used to be something I sort of felt compelled to do? I can’t write anymore, mostly because I’m so fucking tired of the same things I always talk about. like I talk about:

  1. the moon
  2. the ocean
  3. deer/animals/but 4 reel mostly deer/also birds like ugh
  4. art (michelangelo, or whatevs)
  5. mythological characters
  6. etymology 
  7. space and shit
  8. gardens ‘n green shit
  9. fires/arson
  10. dreams/sleep
  11. writing 

I’m so tired of myself, and I don’t even want to write these tired poems anymore. They’re always addressed to someone, usually whatever stupid boy I’m pining over, (“oh sweetheart, tell me you know the tides the way you know the folds of my skin” VOM) 

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you are icarus in the morning, 
a vast and velveteen creature
shot through with sticks and feathers.
fallen in early dawn light, you are gold
and growing cold, the gilt of new day 
making dust grow upon your brow.
those hunters, with those fierce cries,
have wounded you now, sweetheart. 
though you are full of arrows,
you have also swallowed sunlight,
which now shines through you,
and goes into me.
shed those heavy antlers,
finely wrought though they are.
die with the taste of new day in your mouth,
with the fresh scent of spring and of berries
on your lifeless tongue. 

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"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."
—Gustave Flaubert

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tide charts

the ocean confuses me now,
for it is all dark lines of waves upon the sand,
each fresh line an archaic and lost language to me.
you were a shell I held to myself,
that whispered me the secrets of the sea.
Now, you’ve left little besides surf and dulled glass.
Only your breathing lingers on,
in the depths of a conch,
where the song of the tides was sung
until it was replaced with something more profound. 
use your map of the currents to come home to me.
elsewise, could you extinguish the melody of your lungs?
it lives loudly in the quiet of my room. 

6 notes

I haven’t been able to write a single thing for months. No poems or anything else. This is my longest period of silence and I’m not sure what’s going on with me. I even have these two or three amorphous ideas in my head about potential poems but I can’t do anything with them; I’ve tried but I just can’t. I’m confused by this…????

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midsummer feels like death to me. 
this heaviness, this limp way of watching the sun rise
and then fall again, away from us.
doldrums have left the sails of my heart lank,
and my blood feels thick and tired. 
I ache with missing you. 
But the wound comes from the idea that you,
you live beyond this summer dull stretch,
that you hardly notice your pulse, as I do.
That you probably watched me with the same apathy,
as I did the sun.
I want to be the moon, that pulls you closer.
But you have action in your veins and I
have only the lingering heat waves of May
and the taste of you on my tongue
to hold me over to the winter,
where maybe I’ll forget and then live again. 

6 notes
My brain, on love

and then you
and then, oh yes,
It’s you.
You, you, you, you, you.
Will it always be you?
Oh yes.
It will.
Oh yes,
It’s you again.

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i haven’t been able to write for three weeks, or something like that. ugh. 

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I won’t survive you.
that mind I live in
cannot weather the storm 
that your mouth brings
when it touches mine. 
I won’t fight the waves
when they consume me,
sloshing over my defenses, hungry.
for your eyes sap the will 
to batter myself against them.
if you have goodness
(and you must for I only love the good)
then you will leave me to 
float on, and live,
though I will drown in banality
without you to buoy me up.
I need your killing tempest
in order to want to live. 

4 notes