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  • (i)

    Self-destructive self-indulgence
    substitute subsistence
    in a seaport.
    Sadly self-confident
    sure of himself
    solitary’s drunk on survival.

    (ii)

    Marissa came to me in black
    natural carefree & fun.
    Within an hour she’d conquered
    taken the money & run.


    (iii)

    The nineteen-year-old excites me
    the thirty-year-old pleases.
    Which of the two shall divide me
    make two halves into one?




    Some Things Are Bilingual


    Son las doce menos cuarto y siempre estamos igual
    empezando mañana poniendo fin al día de hoy

    It’s a quarter to twelve & we’re always the same
    starting tomorrow putting an end to today




    Some Things Are Not Bilingual


    Cinco años juntos y estamos igual
    yo contra las rocas, tú navegando normal






    I Shall Always Love You Çiğdem


    From Anatolia you have come to this country
    Byzantium to my door.
    A hundred of your ancestors to move Constantinopolis
    to Istanbul. A hundred more to bring our lives together
    in Laietania.

    A thousand suns setting west
    a thousand crescent moons rising up in the east.

    Not to be you & I.
    Like boarded-up windows
    two-feather arrows,
    horizon & the aim have gone.

    In the dim light with a quiver
    I shall always love you Çiğdem.






    Welcome To This World
    (for a Spanish newborn)


    Welcome to this world.
    This time & space.
    Welcome to this world
    of measurement & shape.

    Welcome to this wonderful stage.
    We are all very fine actors, been
    rehearsing this drama forever
    we have ways to learn quickly.

    Welcome to this world economy
    multinational mesh.
    Welcome to this twenty-first
    applied science chess.
    State-of-the-art executive cloning
    & we are texting not phoning.

    Unknown spark of celestial fire
    welcome to this world.

    Two molecules can fuse
    in the middle of nowhere
    a cosmos engenders
    synapse fires
    the neuron leaps.

    Welcome to the magic
    welcome to this world.






    Slow Lava


    “Where are my elephants?
    Where are my councillors?
    It’s time to drive to Rome!”

    Hannibal was hungry, burning with desire
    Carthaginian general yearning for a war.

    Europe be careful, you still condescend
    speaking of Africa do so with respect.
    Just one of its deserts could dry the Rhein or Rhone
    half its torso cover the totality of your homes.
    History repeats forever goes round
    barbarians are restless hungry at the door.
    Heed then the hooving, heed then the Moor
    what is left of your empires must be given to the poor.






    Windowshopping On The Avenue


    We drive it bottle-green & fast
    new-home loan it
    shoulder self-importance, sling it
    like it meant something.

    As if this plastic borrowed existence were real.

    Ask the tree in that curved glass display
    how singular it was
    before becoming your dining room table.






    Mirror Mirror


    Longingly pat
    her handsome locks
    firm breasts & buttocks
    in the sweater & trouser
    marked

    beauty reflected
    nostalgia welled
    wet on the vanity
    memory fell






    Just Doing A Job


    She said to me sincerely
    half of the girls
    were inhibited.

    That with clients
    they got to places
    with husbands
    they’d never been.

    Thirty-year-old salon girls
    swallowing milk for money.
    Hubbie will have to wait, one
    can only swallow so much money.

    Maybe some day he’ll drop by
    disguised in his mind &
    pay for her professionally.

    How could any of this really be?
    Truth takes over when the
    fiction wears off.






    Standards


    7:45 a.m.
    overcast Tuesday in ‘86
    packet of Spanish-made Marlboros
    coffee & a newspaper
    cost 300 pesetas

    Loaf of fresh bread
    cheese & a bottle of wine
    would be about the same

    Coffee is my petrol
    cigarette measures time in one place
    newspaper unfolds yesterday’s dream

    Meanwhile
    taxis, trains & buses
    carry the workers into the fields






    This Hapless Luck


    Time too short love
    this dance upon the round
    purgatory challenge
    thrown down like a duelling glove

    But do let us in
    malefactor & imperfection
    fling free the gate!
    Wide the window throw
    to welcome love home!

    Such the hapless luck
    that love should back
    toward us stare
    its ship sounds
    takes its leave
    another port of call.








    On Occasion


    For you on occasion I bring
    wild flowers from wooded walks.
    Withered rather suddenly
    they decline our domestic lot.







    Listen!


    no silence in the city
    nor any countryside space
    only in the vast interior landscape
    quiet peace can find a place







    Genie From The Lamp


    It came out of that opening
    exactly as supposed,
    nebulous form
    from nubilous realm,
    and spoke to me these words:

    “You want a seascape sculpted into your front window
    you need the blue sky clean overhead,
    outback you wish a tall pine forest
    with birds that sing this song.”

    And that is all it ever said
    all I ever hoped.
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