My brother e-mails me about how, of late, people have cast words like stares that tell him he has not provided well enough for his family; that their financial struggles have been a burden, like […]
Shall I tell you of the bad bard whose vices know no known bounds? Shall I drive my quill over the papyrus, to the life of one worse than Loki of Norse? He is the […]
I never knew my mom and dad. I remember them though. I remember the way they felt, the way they moved, across silicon and light. The way they spoke to each other. Even the way they fought.
I remember so clearly how my dad felt the first time he met her. The first time he lost her.
He was barely a thousand years old, still a kid, really. They’d both had their bodies back then, and genders or sex. Whichever. Either way, she was still a she, and he was still a he. It’s strange, looking back, how important biology was to us human beings then. Just a couple thousand years later my dad could barely remember what it meant to be a man. I suppose it couldn’t have meant very much at all.
They met at a waystation in what we then thought of as “deep space”. He was in an Artistic Cycle, trying desperately to capture, in oil on canvas, the effect of radiation streaming off a nearby quasar.
She’d arrived on a raft destined for that very quasar.
I remember that he’d found her cool, objective as a mirror. And not very impressed with his work, a failure in judgment that he wrote off as a consequence of the cognitive reassignment that came with her switching from a Legal to a Scientific cycle.
Who will marry me? Who will marry this smeared calabash on my head? It sort of looks like treasure passed down from my three mothers: one who wore stolen necklaces made of gold plated silver; […]
Underneath the heap of rocks and stones a restive but captive stream waits, listening to the hilarious uproar of tumultuous world and of gaudy nature and cries to be a part of them and a […]
Congo. A bongo. A drum and a joke. A man on his knees with a knife to his throat. Bombing The Congo. A Belgian pastime. Lay out the bodies and dust them with lime. Rubber, […]
I was set at the very onset of the olden time when history was just born engraving me on a piece of stone, diagonal to the eyes but still straight to touch the universal heart […]
Something stirred inside Duma. Something dark, restless and wild. It called to her from the depths of the jungle, luring her from a life where nothing ever changed. Her tribe had spent centuries dancing to […]
Abdulaziz sat on the floor and listened to the screams and the music through his window. Outside, everything was wild. He wasn’t old enough to remember the last election, but he couldn’t imagine it being as loud as this one.
He was scared.
All that noise, those colors… It was too much.
When his bedroom door creaked open, he jumped. It was only his bibi, though. It was only the old woman who took care of him. He loved his bibi. She was the only person who treated him like a normal child.
“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “You’re safe in here. You’re always safe in here. That’s why your father keeps you inside.”
“I thought it was because of what happened to Mama,” he said. He looked down at his hands, at the little, dark wrinkles that crisscrossed his palms.
“That too. Dear, you know you’re special,” she said. “It’s just a precaution.”
You chant, plead and pour libations on tethered stones,
call forth lost gems trampled beneath desecrated soil
while palm trees wave to dried up sappy sap.
Amulets are but charmed wishes, imaginary
baits of burnt out fretful fishermen.
Treasures are only worth a dime to the hungry.