the world is moving– into a 50 miles per hour flat

the room’s an elephant,
scratching its grey&leathery skin along my chest,
bacK,
sQuishiNg me
into a corner

my mom places words against the walls,
in smalltalk& the slit-eyed tigercat
snores old sophisticated melodies
as if she was a diva on an opera stage

apPlause

–and sileNce

“i still bake my own cake”

“oh, i–“

a small bed against the wall
“she cannot take her wardrobe” i think
every quarter minute

some weird lines cross
and they both talk, wrapped
in different worlds

“i’m moving in this january” my mom says,
she couldn’t sleep last nite
too excited/sad/unnerved

all the steep stairs
in the old house
breaK
into a madman’s dance,
a catch-me-if-you-can,
a french cancan
stripping their shaved and sun-tanned legs
gath’ring uP blueredwhite skirts
a flag,
a detoNation

i start breathing
after 7 hours
after worlds did fall apart
after i held the car door open
for my mom
“you’ll be fine” i smile
and count the headlights

of a million stars

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i’m guest-hosting at dVerse tomorrow and we’re writing about emotions – just your emotions – not anyone else’s – using specific images and metaphors, avoiding generalization – and so on… smiles
3pm EST tomorrow…

the final pullout is next to the Johanniter-bridge

the night walks circles on a path
un-authorized
equipped with only a thick cane
leaning dark&meaning-ful
into the weak cone of a streetlamp

i can hardly see him as i bike by
realizing my watchman’s been asleep,
covered with the mud of–

“i need to name things” i think
“otherwise– “
a fresh wind blows powdery diamonds on my face
i cross the bridge

the water underneath’s a thousand stories deep
&who can tell exactly
what you’ll see once you’ve pressed the minus 20 button

when i swam there yesterday i saw the dark shapes of big fish
moving through their own world, undisturbed,
unrecognized, no passport in their pocket
as the border control stops them in their tracks
“can you identify yourself?”

i grab my swimsack (folded 7 times to keep my clothes inside dry)
shake my head
as i circle round a buoy, the ferry–

in the dim light of the lamp, the watchman bends his head

“i see you” i say// with a light nod to the shore
to myself more
&the fish rub glimmering scales, searching their bags for proof
with a lost expression on their face

.

 

for dVerse where we’re writing Watchman poetry today

the pledge of happiness

painting inspired by a visit in the refugee camp where my daughter teaches german

painting inspired by a visit in the refugee camp where my daughter teaches german

.
a stream of blood runs through the middle part,

her eyes// dark earth
&deep wet ponds
where you can only guess the sky’s light silhouette

“cup of coffee?” she points with a slight shift of her head
in the direction of the barrack that contains the kitchen

i run fingers ‘cross the table’s wooden face
“bondage means the black bar of our flag”

she takes her hand
&puts it to the heart, hums
“The quarters of Levant are towers in height—-
A land resplendent with brilliant suns”

the cup she hands me is black burnt air
yet as i sip, sweet
like a dance upon my lips
&hot
like the spit of firearms

“I’ve lost everything”
her gaze a single billiard ball across a played down field
“&my city— finished

the third stanza is about the people–”

“ours about unity, justice and freedom/flourishing– big words”
i take off one of a hundred shirts, wrap my arms twice
round the earth that in the spinning tears&scratches
&breaks me//open

“how is it that we can’t hold anything?”

“what is the last stripe of your flag?”
“the gold– stands for light &liberty”

we see the world as through a looking glass
an ant
throws bombs over a dried out landscape
“so we walked–”
a silent
suffering wanderer

ties clouds to certain places in the sky
“can you free them for me?” he asks

and i take
a last deep gulp,
place the cup close to the planet’s lofty waist

&bow

to take my shoes off

.

at dVerse we write national anthem poetry today.. mine contains snippets of the syrian and german national anthem

a game//of chess, played (not so) straight forward, don’t underestimate the rabbit

i on my first schoolday...smiles

i on my first schoolday…smiles

.
it seems as if there is no context

Schultüte in bordeaux-red
i in a short pink checkered dress
on our first floor balcony

*clicK*

only that one pic exists

i make a serious face
trying to digest the weight
of education

did i walk in silence that first schoolday?
with a friend?
my parents?

between huge black towers that swayed slowly
side to side,
unToucHable,
breathing myriads of stories

i remember clearly following the rabbit,
bold&tireless
across polished wood floors,

the soft grey shine of concrete in the schoolyard
as the sun ran fingers over chalkmarks,
huge oak windows touching the sky majestically
with wrinkled forehead

despite the A’s
i lose key after key in tunnels
of equations

“what’s behind that next gate?”

master rabbit puts a furry paw onto the door knob

i didn’t think the world could be so vast
beyond apartment blocks, a sandbox
and a million letters later

i lay on my back
“i need a spaceship” i say, pointing
at the silver glistening sky
“you wanna join?”
the rabbit smiles
with wise and knowing eyes

&lifts his right paw
for the millionth time

.

for dVerse where we’re writing “School” today
will be a bit delayed with my commenting as i’m about to leave for a little trip to Strasbourg… see you later

to the girl who cut out papermoons &hangs them in a nut tree–

the story in a story is a hidden one sometimes
as if i could paint “making love on thursday afternoon”
because
which color would i choose?
so i have never
even started

she sits in her room
pretending
that between the scissor’s mouth
&papersheets exists
a stream, a forest
a breaking into funparks or the seaworld of imagined cities

&she’d guide the whales&dolphins– giants
of the waves back homeward, to the ocean

from each cut
each moon, each shape
escapes

a story
on thin threads, hardly see-able
she puts them

in a parchment town on the branches of a tree
that stretches gnarly limbs
towards the checkered tunes
of a thousand lunar landings
swaying contemplative in the breeze

“does she ever paint them?” i say to the tree

he shakes his head
“it wouldn’t stick, you know– too many stories”

&i lean against his trunk,

observing her,
head bowed, scissors in hand
a tiny ray of light steals
through the open window
“glad that she can trust you” i nod

&he hums

like only someone
who’s been seen
would.

.

today at dVerse, Abhra asks us to remember history and pay a tribute to all the unnamed artists whose works go forever un-credited

i swear, they camouflage their faces– some have crooked teeth–

IMG_4630
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they hide// behind the earth’s
soft smell of musk &sweat that builds
a cushion between my back and rucksack

as i bike towards my workplace
sun’s not yet up
but the humidity already wraps moist limbs around my chest/hips–

“what ya doing?” i confront them

“giving you a pause–”

they’re all messed up

knees skinned, crashed upper case
“is it the heat?” i ask

last night
my husband stole my blanket in his sleep
&i lay with the night’s hot/humid breath

against bare skin
while packs of dogs barked outside in the dark

behind the veil a bunch of words play
“catch me//if you can”
stretching weirdly into apostrophes, accent aigu’s–

i cross the bridge
just as the sun crayons the sky into a melting sea of paint

“it’s going to be hot again” i say
but they have disappeared

as loudless//as they came

.

 

for dVerse… Dog Days of summer…

CNL40478

i hear the train in clear nights in my bed

“i’m loaded with thick clouds of rain” says its
metal scented lips, high voltage

&the wind whisks
over half-closed blinds

in the distance barks a dog

&bats fly
round the streetlamp
right in front my window

it’s still hot

“tell me” i plead

“the stories of each passenger that rides you
half-asleep to Amsterdam–
heads sunk on the chest as
landscape fragments cLakClacKcLakClak by”

“i am almost noiseless” says the train
“oh, it’s the wind–
if it heads in my direction i can hear you”

&he nods// bows// just enough to fit
under the bridge
my newest painting,
leaning against the wall yawns
silently in the next room,
stretches limbs
against the wooden frame

“pssshhh” i say “it’s almost midnite”

&a balmy breeze blows
travel songs across a thirsty landscape

.

we’re writing trains at dVerse