Category Archives: poems

sympton solutions

he always said ‘take
one for the headache

you can
feel coming’ swallowing down the impacted
for the headache that
isn’t an

Event yet’

filling the glass once more he said
three for the

headache you already have’

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may day

the children lining the park on houston
street crawling
clinging to the black park grates barely
from joining the brooklyn may day
march just arriving

we are the people
they want to see
they are the people
we want to see
we say, i love you
they say, yeah yeah yeah

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may day

may day they made for workers
may day they made for me
law day they made all regal and legal cause nobody paid them attentions

may day they made for action voluntarily
law day they made to sharpen the blades of all of the hecklers and henchman

may day they made for bailers railers and taylors and failers it might be one afternoon under the sun

it might last until may 2

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playing records with cash

I’m with Cash in the anteroom
drinking apple pie.
A phonograph Cash bought
playing, he’s saying
all we have right to expect
is music in the evening.

Cash’s hands have yellow blisters
sobbing from nail tips and multifarious
splinters. My hands are hilarious
with the thought
of Cash’s hands hovering over the needle and black
circle; or alongside mine, mine
which have not even clasped
over a casket. Cackling
, are my hands and Cash

whose mother’s photograph
has not been photographed, she is
finally asleep without the noise of Cash’s creative
racket beneath her

It’s mostly music I’ve never heard before:
Mamie Smith; Johnny Shines.

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sun dance of life

You are in the shadows.
How far can you see?
The worlds they’re unheard of,
where aging children have to be

Open the windows look around you
Promising wind is rushing in
And once the loving comfort found you
It never leaves like in a dream

But what if leaving has no meaning
And blackness follows all the rest
Where ancient pirate’s useless kneeling
Was too much wisdom to possess

Strike up a spark
In every heart
You meet along the way to me
And still we know we are a part of
Powerful images within

The valleys of the hopeless seasons
All left alone on the Other Side
your breathing heals
Creating rhythms

The never ending dance of life

Oh sun dance of life!

(written by anya skidan)

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We Will See


That promised day
Chiseled on tablets of pre eternity

It’s inevitable We, too, will see

Pyramids of tyranny Floating like wisps of cotton

The earth shaking and rattling Beneath our stomping feet

Swords of light flashing Over the heads of oligarchs

Idols flung out
From sacred monuments

Crowns tossed into the air Thrones demolished

And we the pure and the rejected (Standing in Liberty Square)

“Our hands blossoming into fists” Will rend the sky with a cry

“I am Truth”
Which is you as well as I

And the beloved of earth will reign You I We Us


(Translated, from the Urdu, by Rafiq Kathwari

Translator’s note: This is a translation from the Urdu of a poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, a great 20th Century South Asian poet. 2011 was Faiz’s birth centennial. He died in 1985. This poem, written in 1979 in San Francisco, foresees the Arab Spring and, by extension, Occupy Wall Street.)

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She often expects

the apples she eats

to house a worm

that is cheerful


full of song

and cameraderie


; a cartoon.


They are usually just

white and small

and have little



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after sunday service, 10:31am

I indulged my stupid

when everyone ate

smarts. Large s-

miles: brown egg

speckled chalky large

teeth. I never pondered


their authenticity. Skin

doughy around their eyes beneath

glasses. Mouths, superfluous

chins. (sallow, droop

-ing). All the faces only

one(never knew names)not looking

down as I tried to bully

a way through the aisle

to an exit at service

‘s end.

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she’s from the future

I know of nothing more serious

than the woman waiting on the street

corner for the traffic

light to switch, tapping a sneakered

heel, the only time in her life

when what she wears – sweatshorts

too high and t-shirt too tight– does not

matter to her, a music device hidden in a sleeve

or sneaker somewhere running a cord from it to her two

ears, maybe she wants to shave-a the legs and all the pits

stink, wiping perspiration anywhere it will go, the music

in her ears just a wallpaper – like the street, other

pedestrians, traffic, buildings, what is back

home and someplace else. She is nothing

but forward

looking. She exudes

the present – to the extent that it is

the future – and an overt way of communicating, ‘I am

a woman running. You may talk about me all

you like. I’m from the future.’

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