How Are They For

a day of dappled seaborne clouds

Running the pictures into the spaces around my eyes, that is, feeding them moist careful not to papercut my fringes: “here, more pictures, brain. More dead, more children have you noticed how discolored they become?” Let me describe in brief the colors of palestinian children as I’ve seen them:

Light brown
Dark brown
Milk brown
Dusk milk brown
Like soft cardboard, not quite so dark as wet cardboard but maybe slightly moist cardboard?

Not the color of dust, of blue dust paper dust, not the color of drowning of death, man, the things our life force does it colors us.

In a discussion last night in a room full of Palestinians and Foreigners, “why does Hamas fight?:”

A palestinian man, “foreigner boy, sweet seraph let me tell you one thing, give me your hand,

for 14 years I have lived in hell. Now it is their turn.

What do you say?

What do you say, fuck someone;;tell me how you rationalize nonviolence in the face of so much violence, it’s true: violence breeds violence… People here are Proud of Hamas, not necessarily supportive, but proud that For Once Palestine has a word in edgewise, “now they attack and think we die but now we shoot back, now we show that we do not go without fighting wehde wehde wataniye

It makes sense. It’s symbolic, it’s pride. At the big protest in Nablus, at one of the checkpoints, we marched 4 miles from Nablus and collected with the filaments of others and a group of people about 400 strong [here I stop using “we” and use “they”], they cheered and cursed and lit things on fire. The Israelis, the IDF stood on the hillside far off and watched and eventually begun shooting tear gas and concussion grenades…

There was one moment that I loved: a couple of the protestors begun shooting fireworks at the hillside, for lack of real weapons they filled the sky with fireworks by daylight and everyone cheered pulsing, the touching of nonviolence and violence and symbolism really dusted on my nerves, fingertip plucking on my nerves, you know? It was beautiful and ironic and so completely symbolic of this conflict. Fireworks against guns, fighting and screaming for the sake of screaming for the sake of not knowing what else to do. Knowing in your heart of hearts that something is wrong but never having known freedom to put a name to it,

It’s deeper than hate, it’s fatigue, you know? It’s senselessness it’s watching movies of the beautiful White people in beautiful White People cars free, I want free, I want beautiful white people muscles and beautiful white people cars and beautiful white people homes, i want beautiful white people christmas and beautiful white people thanksgiving, I don’t want this shit life anymore, fireworks in the daytime and blonde eye blue haired israelis shitting on my father telling him to get out of his car in intentionally broken arabic as if my language were a very small bird in a very small cage and they hold that cage and crush it slowly until the bird and the cage are as one, its feathers sticking out its bars sticking out its beak snapped, it is like that! It is like that image of a bird and a cage bloodying into One, the image I just shared with you, these blonde eyed children spitting on my children, shaming me in front of my children, “get out of the car please,” “spread your arms please,” “spread your legs please,” and they don’t deign to touch me they push me with their boots, everyday I am shamed–How do you tell them not to hate?

And elsewhere the bombs fall and the bombs fall and the bombs fall and the bombs fall Israel releases “defense” statements and everyone knows it’s wrong but no one does anything and we collect ineffectually yelling and cheering with no intention no purpose

I understand the violence,

What do you say to pictures of dead children, what do you tell a woman who’s lost her husband and 3 of her sons? What do you tell the people of this nation who’ve been shoved and kicked and spit on, their water sources peed in, their shepherd families abused and mistreated, How do you tell them that nonviolence is the answer? How do you tell them that fighting makes fighting that the IDF only PRETENDS to be afraid to garner global and local support, that these pass-me-down rockets stand no chance against helicopters and jets and drones and billions upon billions of dollars, how do you tell these moist cardboard children not to fight–?

The Palestinians are proud to be able to fight and sick of being hurt…

bloodied kids, what do you do with these images? Hate is not the answer. Boycott life, boycott life! Stop fighting, stop living stop everything! Boycott life, choose not to go on, boycott life don’t fight god — lie down, beautiful, old man put your cane down, unpack your pockets of papers and crushed cigarette and place them before you and sit and wait, and young boy with violence in your eyes like a crushed caged bird bleeding tap twice and let it out, boycott life, sweet angel sweet seraph open the windows and let the wind in and don’t forget you live for this wind, you live for the days that come after the days, you live for tomorrows and yesterdays and mornings and sadness, you live to live, little angel little chained angel when you see the rocket coming, touching brushing up against its highest point like a dolphin going up for air, dipping out of earthspace for the hate that vibrates in superspace smile for it comes for you it burns for you and it comes for you sweet boy with your eyes like split figs in the chocolate milk of the rest of you your fingers like dripping so small and fragile, smile angel for the rocket comes for you, the missile comes to shatter you into what you were originally, boycott life old man and young man and medium aged lady with your eyes glued open, link your arms and your knees, link your eyelashes and your fingers tongue around tongue and looking up at the missiles that come that touch at the surface of our planet to come back filled heavy with anger,

angel baby sweet seraph touching beautiful creature of god, hyperphysical recreation of the digitally sound Eat the pain and — Wait for what comes after.

What comes after after after after after after…

How do you speak nonviolence to the angry,

how do you make the hate go away when it is so justified?

Someone, tell me. tell me and i’ll do it. tell me what words to speak and I will speak them completely. If they cannot be spoken and only blown, then i will force my lips around ears and eyes and noses, mouths and assholes dicks and vaginas and i’ll blow as hard as I can, if they cannot be blown or spoken but only bled then i will slice at all the places of me and lie on the ground and roll a red carpet of nonviolence dripping through the slices and if it cannto be spoken or blown or sliced but only fallen then i will run around this city this country with hooks on strings and unbeknownst to everyone hook them to beltloops and earloops and hanging lowerlips and the little space between fingers, i will run weeping through the teargas clouds that are filled with chemical rainbows and tie strings to everyone and go to the tallest mountain in the world and pull and pull and pull until they are all poised a giant ball of squirming, some people beginning to suffocate and i will let go

another day

It’s not people that are bad it’s power. It’s Hamas and the IDF and government; it’s aid money and support money and weapons money; it’s not people. The Israeli’s hate because they are taught to hate, the Palestinians hate because they are taught to hate and I do not blame people, I do not blame people for hating for choosing to look at one side over the other, people are small and timid and weak and let the priests tell them what God says instead of reading it for themselves, they close their eyes more tightly when asked to open them more widely, they have been frightened into forgetting how to see and how to think for themselves,

One must renounce the bad taste of wishing to agree with many people. “Good” is no longer good when one’s neighbour takes it into his mouth. And how could there be a “common good”! The expression contradicts itself; that which can be common is always of small value. In the end things must be as they are and have always been—the great things remain for the great, the abysses for the profound, the delicacies and thrills for the refined, and, to sum up shortly, everything rare for the rare.
Beyond Good and Evil, 41

We are inundated with imagery upholstered to infiltrate our deepest sympathies: power sways and maintains itself and only acts when its supremacy is endangered. And power is not political parties, it is not even big companies, it is the veneer. The super-necessary top-most layer of activity; it is not a single person or a series of peoples but a vesperous mist that takes silent and instant account of “muslim voters” and “jewish voters” and “sugar consumers,” it is ceaselessly and innermostly hyper-conscious of the being of all man and adjusts itself accordingly. It moves to protect itself and cannot be dismantled.

In the static space of the architect, he might’ve used a double integral now and then, early in his career, to find volumes under surfaces whose equations are known — masses, moments, centers of gravity. But it has been years since he’s had to do with anything that basic…in the dynamic space of the living Rocket, the double integral has a different meaning. To integrate here is to operate on a rate of change so that time falls away: change is stilled….’Meters per second’ will integrate to ‘meters’. The moving vehicle is frozen, in space, to become architecture, and timeless. It was never launched. It will never fall.
gravity’s rainbow, pynchon

there are people sleeping in bomb shelters tonight

packed into jars joints snapped backwards cheeks and knees pushed against the glass people are pushed into the earth, the jar turning as it fits itself into the earth.

There are people sleeping in bomb shelters tonight, holding each other their wet coming to the surface, they stick to each other sweaty and teary and waxy the earth around them turns moist and fertile,

I am ashamed at how ineffectual I am. How clear, how clear, let me be clear about clear: skyclear waterclear glassclear, rainbowclear cloudclear dirtclear gritclear, clearclear, habibi, Clear Clear. I am Clear Clear how easy it is to stop this shit. I am ashamed at how ineffectual I am, ashamed at how easy it is for everyone to hate everyone because they speak a different language have a different nose and different skins, I am ashamed at how easy it is for me to see: the jews are not evil, the palestinians are not evil, no one is wrong and no one is right. The answer, it’s never been tried before, stop hating. Right? Stop letting your parents and your governments, the people who are older and more powerful than you, teach you to hate for their wars, their profits. Stop letting their power invest in itself because that’s what power does, don’t you see? Power preserves itself and it preserves itself by labeling enemies and filling you with a need to be protected and providing that protection have you seen the pictures of bombs and missiles being shot into the air how beautiful they are? Their smokestreams are filled with rainbows (bows of rain! like opening a door you are filled with an unconscious expectation of what lies behind it: beds and clothes or pots and pans, but these doors, these doors that missiles spring from are filled with Bows of Rain, when angels cum they shudder.

When angels cum, they shudder, and hairs on a women’s thighs like tiny worms, these missiles come from angels, habibi, when angels come, they shudder, and they are not made from the same metals we cook with they are made from hyper light and hyper intouch metals, metals that don’t feel the air that can Fly, right? That take up the light of the sun not in a reflecting but in a drinking and being saturated with and fill the air with a great thirstful sucking, Dear Hamas please kill for me and my safety. Dear IDF please kill for me and my safety, please fuck them, please take that brown man, yes that one there, take him and first break his teeth so he cannot bite me anymore. Please bend back each one of his fingers and snap them so they cannot strangle my throat as I have seen them, yes, now please cut open his eyes, he is undeserving of such a beautiful perfect machine as I have, these eyes placed into me by god as a child I protect them in my sockets and grow them day by day they are mine i water them when i blink with a thin sheen of tear, now please smash him in his unseeing bring down on him the fury of your might please fuck him, please pierce him with you, please protect me.

Please, protect me, father, there are people sleeping in bomb shelters tonight, I am frightened. I am filled not with hate but love, so please hate for me. Hate the terrorist man, hate the yehudi man, hate them for me, take them all up in hands and crush them together to reveal to me their own wet surface beneath the dusts, empty them of their oceans, and their organs that are boats and their perfect eyes,

I am ashamed that people are sleeping in bomb shelters tonight, ashamed at how easy it is for me to see why people build walls around people, because it’s easier to rain bombs on them, easier to turn them into zoopeople patrol their ins and outs and control their population by bombshot zoopeople but never so much as to enter into the recordbooks, what are 5000 dead arab men they are not men, silly! They are zoopeople, see how they shit and fuck in cages? They are not women, silly, they are zoopeople playing with zootoys and drinking zoowater that is scummed and scraped from the caves of the inside of the earth zoowater thick with crystal? It’s not millions, just a few at a time, clog them with generators of smoke, machines that steal air and replace it with fog, and pack everyone into jars and snap them along their joints to fit like tongue depressors,

Don’t you see, how wrong it all is? How wrong it all is how wrong it all is how wrong it all is– stop letting your parents dehumanize your enemies and instead humanize them, realize that they are filled with breath, they are more than how many soldiers they have, how many guns they have, they are people. God, don’t you see? They are actually People, not figments of satan put on the earth to threaten you and your family, but people. Their body is a surface of pain, a surface of pleasure, don’t you–? Isn’t it–? There are people sleeping in bomb shelters this night, there are missiles in the air that drink the light of sun and beneath them sing the imams calling the arab man to prayer, pray for your gods, pray for your gods they will protect you eloah akbar

back and forth… … … In a conversation of violence both sides are equally right and equally wrong.

From examineropinion.wordpress.com:

Gaza has an estimated 35,000 Palestinian fighters, no match for Israel’s F-16 fighter-bombers, Apache helicopter gunships, Merkava tanks and other modern weapons systems in the hands of a conscript force of 175,000, with 450,000 in reserve.

It is easy to hate Israel, but hate makes hate. Hate makes hate, Palestine dear Palestine, instead of killing to spare, spare to spare, love to spare, be to spare, breathe to spare, Palestine dear Palestine you cannot win a war of violence, Palestine dear Palestine you’re going about it all wrong.

The Yeshua army

Shalom dearly beloved:
We are at war with Gaza and the Hamas. The Pillar of Cloud Operation has started after Hamas launched 150 Rockets against the Neguev this past week. We must pray intensely for our IDF soldiers and for all the citizens in the Neguev all the way from Gaza to Beersheva.
All studies have been suspended in the Neguev and many people are sleeping in bomb shelters tonight. People are not going to work.

Pray for a great offensive operation and a very thorough operation. That all rocket launchers and the heads of hamas are totally removed. It is high time to finnish with the terror against the Neguev.

Rockets are falling at this moment even in Ashkelon and Ashdod a few minutes from Tel-Aviv. The Head of the Hamas terror army has been hit already
And also the rocket launcher that was planned to hit Tel Aviv…

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It’s so simple: violence begets violence. It’s odd, no, how many times we’ve heard the exact same story? Yet, it doesn’t stick. Yet, “well they attacked us first,” yet “no, but a few days before that…,” yet “ah yes but a few days before that…” It is easy to rationalize violence in a dialogue of violence. It is not a conversation of Sense; the problem is that the entire dialectic needs to change; Palestine must stop trying to find reasons and sense within a system that is without sense. It must choose not to fight, it must choose noncooperation. Palestine must choose to Be free, not fight free.

In Gaza

Thanks to John Glaser for his compilation, below.  All words his own:

Israel has again attacked Gaza. In its aerial and ground assault that began on Saturday, November 10th, at least 7 Palestinians have been killed, 5 of them civilians, 3 of whom were children. Up to 52 others, including 6 women and 12 children, have been wounded.

One of the wounded is carried into a hospital in Gaza City following Israel’s shelling (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

As in every vicious military offensive Israel carries out in Gaza, the dominant narrative is that it is a response to rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel. This is how it’s being reported in the US, and this is how virtually every American understands it.

And it’s a lie.

It’s true that on Saturday, prior to the expanded Israeli bombardment, the military wing of the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine shot an…

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tastebaby

I have been filled at recent with a paternal desire, a want to buy up the orphans of the world and fill a house with them. And also fill the house with those plastic balls you find in ballpits, and pizza. And then mix it all up. I would be the best father–?

Two men on either side of a stone wall, they speak different languages, they are imprisoned for life. They cannot hear each other’s voices, but they can make out each other’s tapping. Can they create a language, a means of communication?

1. The first tap they each make to each other contains in itself an unbelievable amount of communicatory data: “I am,” “I am forgotten,” “I recognize you,” “I want to know you.” All in a single tap, a single note. This leads me to want to think that more could be said. If you can communicate a thing as resounding and infinite as “I am,” then all else must be possible somehow.

2. Language has notes and pieces and etc., in the language of the tapping: cadence, volume, location of tapping (assuming that they can differentiate when a tap is made in one place but not another), tamber of tap as in scratches, using nails, using flesh

3. First attempts at conversation would be based in their respective languages, simple 1 tap = a, 2 taps = b kinds of recipes that would fall short. And in their tappings, their one-sided tappings, the oneside filled with purpose the other side filled with unsurety, they would communicate eventually something else: “we do not speak the same tongue-language.”

4. The first tap they make might take on a kind of safety, perhaps in a moment of confusion both figures beating their bodies against the wall, trying to turn that wall into a great stone tongue, one would revert to that first tap or 2 taps, and the other would respond in kind, a kind of “ok, let’s start over,” or a “let’s take a break,” a clearing the table and beginning anew

Meetings, conversations, trying to come to conclusions, a foreigner conversation that reactivates itself with each new foreigner here, seeing the west bank for the first time, enflamed and desirous superficially to make change unacquainted with what it means to live here, to be of this place. Have you noticed how close speaking is to singing, the things we sing at each other, the things we whisper at each other. Written word and spoken word, each in possession of a depth the other lacks. In absence, there is– A thingness.

Is it ever amazing how we can any of us manage to come to the same place in the world so big, how roads don’t change to take us someplace else how amidst every place there is in the entire world I can wake up in exactly in where I fell asleep: what are the chances? She held herself over me, hanging over me, hair hanging and slowly came undone, her skin as dust starting to fall upon me in a thin and dusted rain eyes closed filling with her, then looking up when the skin is finished dusting and the eyes begin to come undone, screwing in their sockets, herself a girlshaped surface of blood washing over the dust now the organs like thin strands of paint collecting on me, “are you ok?,” I ask my mouth filling with her choking, “is this normal?” “Yeah,”

Specific moments that are beautiful that are real or specific moments that are beautiful that are unreal, there is something special in specificity, in a single time a single place a single person a single moment, conversation that centers on tiny details, on how different people tie scarves around their necks, or the details of a sleeping boy, darkskinned his eyes and nose sticky surfaces that collect all the things he’s done that day: dusts and pencil scrapings, he sniffles when he sleeps trying to pull his nose back into his body, we do that: we try to recontain ourselves, like folding dough trying to knead the dough of us back into us and we do the same as a collective each of us a kind of separate dough that endangers constantly to come back together in a single great mush, trying to get stuck in doorways and etc., in tiny spaces until we melt kneaded back into the original dough we were handfulled from.

Standing in doorways or just standing in a friend’s room staring at the walls, walking in tiny circles: something specifically American or Western about that idea, about people having tiny cute indie movie moments together, “i just don’t know what I’m doing with my life right now,” “i’m so comfortable with you right now, like, i just feel like everything’s ok,” contentments, western satisfaction, western verbalizations of satsifactions where we’re all so each of us specifically perfect, houses lit by christmas tree, rooms filled with objects that are ours, we are all main characters, see ourselves in all the stories b

Bars, physical objects that are unmalleable, that are strong. The things that are meant to protect that need to be protected, the first coldness of the year, fog and things that are new, completely new: maybe trying to see the new in the details, not expecting:::what about the sky is so magnificent to us? Sunrises, sunsets, stars, the sun, the moon, lightning storms, clouds,– What is magnificent about saying “no”? A friend, “we look for a martyr, someone Else to fight for us to die for us to make the decision easy for us. We love gandhi and rose parks because they took the onus off of us, ‘finally, i was like going to do the same thing but like you know i was like busy'”

sounddrip soundwind lilacwind lilacpaper lilacbaby paperbaby childbaby tastebaby tastewind windtastes windbuttons skinbuttons lilacbuttons, a world filled with gifts. Hidden in tiny unbelievable places, behind a single leaf in an entire forest is the ability to see through walls, hidden wrapped in a hershey’s wrapper under a mountain of trash is the ability to run without cease, how would the world be different if we knew its magics: when will something change everything completely and instantly. Not slowly and delicately, but who will take the first picture of a flying child, a hole opening up in the ocean, the sky– Something totally different, again a hoping a writing of fictions. To be satisfied in the beauty and excitement that is; we are violently unempowered, unowning;

waiting for someone to hang over me and fall apart in rain on me.

there are people in you

Angel, you are filled with people.

Angel, you are a building filled with people.

Angel, your wings are brittle sugar

Words belong to everyone once spoken; there is no ownership. That’s the magic of words, you bare yourself and your thoughts to be reproduced and taken and stapled onto walls

It is easier to fight for your life than to fight for freedom: easier to worry about food and water and housing than to worry about pride and injustice and love. How do you overcome this–by conflating Life with Freedom, by convincing people that you cannot separate the two.

“I love the way that lightning fills clouds,”

“I know what you mean,”

“how a strike of light is held by the thick air around it, how the cloud become saturated

Everything we are with others is a kind of trust: we only know people’s outsides, as detailed as they might be there is this thing at the center of their outsides that controls their outsides that is somehow what they Really Are and everything else is a detailed net of light and sound and fog: something like lightning filled clouds. And we take the outsides, and do our best to know their insides, everything becomes a kind of evidence.

Angel, you are filled with people. Angel, you are a building of people. There are people who taughten your muscles and blink your eyes people that live in your teeth children that play on your tongue when you laugh, here a conversation between two of them:

tongue child 1: I love it when he laughs

tongue child 2: It is like an earthquake and we can see the world around us

tongue child 1: it opens just for us to stand here hand in hand, nestled in the fleshy bulbs of his tongue listening to the laughter of him smelling the breath of him, he is a thing of echoes this great person that we live within, do you notice how he echoes we become thick of it also in our playing,

There are people in your tears, ejected and streaming down your face screaming trying not to fall, people in your sneezes and in your breathing. You are a vending machine of tiny people, angel, your wings brittle, don’t scratch too hard, don’t cry too often, angel, you are killing them. The children you kill them when you sneeze don’t sneeze angel, you kill them constantly when you touch things they become smushed, they cry for you they love you and you kill them, angel covered in a thin diamond dust

a thin diamond dust, do you remember as a child finding things you’d never seen before? Objects that made no sense? Gelatin cubes that were perfectly translucent that were wet to the touch but left nothing behind of their wetness, the first time you saw a bag of diverse marbles, the things you can put in glass and keep there, new chemistries and physics and objects that that betray our understanding: balls that bounce and goops that don’t stick, spaghettis and metals and plastics that were new to the touch. Have you noticed, angel, that you can blink your eyes but not your ears or your nose? Why is that? Why can’t we force ourselves to notlisten or notsmell the way we can close our eyes.

Coming to a new place for the first time, filled with the previously unknown streets that go noplace and trees you’ve never seen: how twisted that world is, that world of the first time, like holding ice cubes in your hand for the first time, “what if everything melted when i held it,” how malleable the whole world is your brain uncertain is seeing new things everytime, “i have found a place that never stays the same that is different each time” until it begins to cement, Orphan children, “i’ll be your family,” “i’ll be your father,” “i’ll be your brother and your best friend come with me child all i have is a backpack and a sleeping bag but i’ll buy you new clothes. I’ll teach you to see how beautiful the world can be. We’ll get in trouble, and you’ll learn to love me and then to hate me, orphan child come with me and let me be for you everything you’ve ever wished for. I’ll be your family.”

Words like growths that grow on each other, tumors that spring from other words, a fungus that congeals from us sticky. An experiment in missing, falling asleep in his hair.

gay arab love stories

that there are people trying to do good here does not undermine or mean anything for the bad. 

Looking out over the city of Nablus, I see no Palestinian flags. In the market, I hear no words no action. They are tired, these young boys who have never known freedom who don’t know to fight for it. 

But they are also as unhoused machinery, exposed wires and clickings and berrings it would take little to set them on fire again, a crumpled up piece of paper jammed into the beepings the sparkings. beautiful brown boy with eyelashes that tangle with wishes like whispers, we are crumpling papers big and small, for the people here, beautiful gray girl with light webbing your fingers sticky, hold it up to your eyes and see through it, 

put the knife to yourself and cut away the skin to reveal shivering the muscles and bone, the eyes quivering in the wind unhoused, we will cover you again but this time with something stronger than skin, with copper and iron, smoked glass for your eyelids you will never have to close them again they will never catch you unseeing again, 

have you ever turned your eyes to the sky with your eyes closed, seeing through the skin, knowing its there in front of you, the stars that is the streaking stars that is have you counted them caught them in your memory to play back to yourself while you sleep the ticking dreams that are your hopes lilac colored ahmed whispers to karim, do not be afraid they will not find us, and if they do god will protect us. How can god protect us if he hates us? Silly, you listen too much to the stories, god does not hate us, god loves us. He put us here to be his messengers, they both begin to shiver, “shiver with me, shiver at the same time as me so that we can be a single vibration,” “it is something special to smell you like this, alone, for the ways we smell to mix together,” “god will protect us he loves us

he has made each of us exactly perfect, 

he has made each of us exactly, 

I am afraid to wander, afraid to become lost, or to realize that I am lost, to realize that the place I called found was a mirage, that the mountains and the lilacs are rubbed off the same great hands afterthoughts that a little girl with light caught between her fingers crystal webs has lost her sight looking into them and blind sees for the first time how she has always been lost, 

how the made-blind vs the born-blind populate their minds, to be born-blind and populate a person with the touches of them, the smells of them and the sounds of them, maybe not even realizing that all people are roughly the same, roughly two  eyes and roughly two ears, but instead a specific mist a human mist of voice and smell 

our hearts are boats in the blood of us, raising sails through our ears and flags through our eyes–looking out over nablus, i  see no flags, i see no thinking no knowing that this occupation is. 

what words must be written on the paper of fire, that crammed into the machinery of people, or shredded and sprinkled in between their gears their sparkings will light them to be untired and unafraid

mothers and fathers and families, not people but the relationships you have with others, not a man who makes bread but a breadmaker, not a man who makes shoes, put your ears against the invisible walls around you and listen to the beating of the universe, put your ears into the invisible holes in the invisible walls and see the people who have been skinned of skin and muscled of muscled and are left crawling and pulsing on the floor, a mess of biology forgotten by time 

“i don’t like to wander,”

she said, “it’s a gift from god,” she said, “to wander that is,” she said. A student, unable to allow words to fall from her. Is it really so hard to let go of sense, to closed-eyed fill your pockets with olives, to divine and wheedle reasons for the flickering of streets lights from a distance, the passing of ghosts invisible clouds–We are all a kind of invisible cloud people and in our passings and noisings unsettling dust and popularizing sound into the air around us we are more than the lines of our body. I want to believe it is important to wander, to believe that we are constantly peeling, palimpsests our oldness showing and in shedding we allow ourselves to reach for new things, not settling in thinking “olive oil” when I say “olive” or “concrete” when I say “wall,” but a liquided mind, true to its somehow “ownmost self,” not operating based on what it is told to think, how it is asked to think, but somehow in touch with a deeper… Thing.

I believe, firmly and wholly and completely, that this occupation can only end when people learn to master their wanderings. Instead of being clogged with the hopelessness that Israel has slowly fed them, dripped between the layers of exposed flayed skins, the Palestinians must be able to reacquire the world around them; on their own terms. See the wall not for a symbol and an object of history, but as a physical, somehow mystical object of thought and being. See the towns in the West bank being emptied of people, taken by Israel not as another step in a long series of steps that will lead to their destruction, but as a thing that is wrong that needs to be made right. People must wander, must untie the knots that Israel has tied… Does that make sense? The solution must come from these people… But again my foreign naivities, my foreign ignorances trying to impose a kind of movement and thought pattern that is wholly alien;

“I don’t know what I want:” is that possible, to not know what we want? Is not everything we are everything we think a fraction of what we Want, do we not necessarily want every breath we take? Do we not want every word we speak? We are, completely and only, a thing of want. A physical surface of wants of pains and pleasures and an internal surface of wants of loves and sadnesses. Yet, “I don’t know what I want,” we become divorced from allowing ourselves to hear ourselves, fearful of what people will think the world around us is made of so many “right wants” and “wrong wants,” it is wrong for a man to want a man, it is wrong to eat fatty foods, it is wrong to stand too close to other people while they are peeing, it is right to sit around a warm table at thanksgiving and be white and beautiful, it is right to want to have big muscles and a big penis, it is right to build fences around our home so we know where one house begins from another, a line of dead grass. Overflooded with thoughts, we “don’t know what I want,” we “are unsure what I’m feeling right now,” we “wish I had some direction,” but inside of us untempered is a dusty piece of foil that is us. That yet reflects, that yet conducts, that yet crumples. A dusty piece of foil that is all that we need the most in the world. We are dense with want, full of it, swirling with it our internalities are only a machinery of wants and envies and hungers yet we “don’t know.” Shoulds and coulds and woulds sitting on our shoulders plastic bags filled with yogurt and vinegar and heavy beads of clay the way that skins contain, how they are fat and heavy sitting on the earth and sprawling, our skin is tight and rigid, containing us in shape, tied to our bones and muscles.

Fabricating the science of our insides, filling ourselves with electricity, with jelly, with love, with mist, our feet our heavy and keep us tied to the earth, the feetless rise up.

Wandering must be important. Wandering leads us to throw things off, to learn language, to go out of our way to make black friends, to do to speak to everything unsystematized and spooled perfectly shining coins flipped to be caught in open palms but burning hot dropped to the ground, “you never finish any of your stories, mahmoud. You build a skeleton for the world, an iron and wooden web of shape and standing over it spread a great cloth that skins it with red and greenish clays, red waters and purple grass,” the air comes passing, blowing them both where they stand inspiring their hairs and clothes to come undone, their lips and ears, it is clear where their bodies sympathies and loyalties lie, “you blow your own breath into it, blowing at the waters until they begin to move of their own, blowing from the back of your lungs clouds that are first still then begin to drift, You’ve made the Clouds, Mahmoud!, and you turned tornadoes and touched electricity and at last spit life in globs, sticky balls of people peeling themselves from your mouth juice with their fists in the air angered at being so thrown into being…” “And, yes, what is your point, Ahmed?” “Why… why don’t you spit onto me?” “Oh ahmed,” “Oh mahmoud”

I don’t think I’ve said a single syllable worth saying in 22 years… How many gay arab love stories do I have to write before I write one worth writing?

most afraid of

I wait for the day when I will be lifted by the tiny string that ties me to the sky

A room of human liquids, warm liquids minted and cold liquids iced passed from hand to hand and into the old men that occupy that space blowing flavored smoke from their eyes, mango and citrus and cinnamon pepper they leave color, and looking at her eyes a light blue cut with gold it is as watching the sun’s setting, “never you are looking at my eyes but watching them why?” There are walls that are missing bricks or cements or are filled with holes and those holes take on the qualities of unbelievable adventure. A solid structure that stands 15 feet high that stretches as far to either side as I can see yet there is a space big enough for my eyes, my eyebrows, my nose, and my upperlip: a window to see into to be into to go into and a fear to look, how we are made to follow the rules, I walk through a checkpoint and my bag goes unchecked and my instinct is, “hey, you forgot to check my bag! Hey, you should probably also put your fingers in my butt! And also please, let me make it worth your while it’ll only take a second I don’t mind” I don’t care, and shops take on that same quality of windowness, tiny doors wide open one that is filled and being constantly further filled with sawdust, young men sit in it up to their necks and it washes into the street through the door, the sound is a buzzing and everyone smokes cigarettes which often lights the sawdust in the air creating lines and patterns of fire like fireworks

one that is filled with strings and cloths and needles, young men with perfect motions their arms are also as great strings their body a spool and slowly the string is drawn through them as they hover over shoes or shirts or pants that become complete by the string that is drawn as from their heart. One that is filled with heat and flour, giant machines of fire and a perfect machine of humans making and making bread

When you build a wall, you begin the necessity for walls.

Can you tell what country a person is from by the way she sneezes?

Overwillignness to trust to be led this thing again called hope that is a stick to the center of us through the quicksands of us to some part of us that is unbuilt that is unchanged from the day we are born that says that anything is everything and nothing is everywhere, that things can go right in spite of all evidence to the contrary walking through huge crowds and abstracting our vision to see peoples on the whole the ways we are all so identical, piled into rooms with similar objects and similar wants and needs, walking the same and thinking the same and we deviate occasionally, walkingsomewhere new or tryingsomething different but raratively. It’s easy to generalize it’s so easy to generalize so easy to say that I feel hate in white neigborhoods and love in brown ones in black ones in tan ones, denial of the frustrations of racism, the struggle of the black man today still villainized and animalized and feared, the black sheep problem the words we don’t want to use how we are abstracted viral choosing to live our lives according to our personal hungers and fears and how can we be expected to do different, how can we expect to stand outside our erection pointed at god pulling the hair from our bodies in patches, “this will be change, this will be new,” and in my father’s wettest dreams I am a doctor and in my mother’s wettest dreams I am asleep in my bed at home and in the dreams and wishes of people which are the clouds, you know–have you noticed how sad cloudy days are it’s because of all the dreams and hopes that go dreamt and hopet clogging the sky and raining back to us, “no more of this, keep your dreams to yourself!” says the sky. “But I cannot hold onto them they desire to be as clouds!” we say “If you do not keep them closer, we will take them and never give them back we will ball up your clouddreams and blow them out into space” so we built giant paper cone that we erect into the sky, into the clouds and twirl them to collect our dreams back up sticky and bring them back down, “get your dreams here get your dreams here…” Artifacts of the past sounds and machines and rememberings that still shape the way that things are presented to us, things divorced completely from function the way that cell phone rings sound and the way that buttons are shaped, the way that things work, do you remember those red magnets, the ones shaped like U’s? They sort of just stopped existing, yet I have a memory of them as a thing that once was. Or what about “four-eyes”? Do people still say that, so innocent now they say faggot and I am aging and each one of us, god this is amazing, each one of us is a personal perfect historian of a single perspective of what once was, “The History of Raghav by Raghav let me tell you about these red magnets. You see, they were an object that I only saw in real life as a result of a recreation of an original kind of u-shaped-red-magnet-thing that once had a specific form and reason but was recreated because people like myself saw them in cartoons and were somehow interested in them for their oldness, for their attachment to the past. But only in american culture and only amongst people who had the resources to watch tom and jerry and–”

Windows windows windows Israel will not attack will not inspire the Palestinians to conflate danger and the occupation. At the moment it is only shameful and inconvenient, the memories of the gaza strip being air bombed, thousands killed but dying off like the memories of red u shaped magnets. I was called out on saying that “everyone gave me dirty looks” in Jerusalem and it’s true that that is untrue that I exaggerated, but it is words to stand uncertainly for other things to be as symbols and rhetorical abstracts for something else. It is untrue that: everyone in Jerusalem gave me a dirty look, but it is true that the way I felt walking through that city was one somehow rhetorically akin to how one might feel if everyone was looking at you badly. Hah, well, isn’t that convenient then! How every word somehow means every other word how nothing has meaning yet, you little shit, you jungle book piece of shit hiding behind “everything is complicated” and “nothing means anything,” how are we talking now then? How do we speak and make sense of each other if nothing means anything and words words words, what do words do What do words do What do words do?

they waste time, they are silly and don’t do anything they come out of you like lies you sweat it I can smell it on you just like I can smell it in your piss after you’re in the bathroom, it fills the whole fucking room a mist. A filthy mist what have you been eating that your piss smells like that, like warm chutney and salt, like hot sand and vinegar? But… words… Here I bide my confidence, I look really deep into myself and say, let me tell you what words do. words do everything there is to be done, with words I pull the clouds down from god and wrap us in them to feel how warm they are in the center how cold on the outside with words I fill streets with rain and eyes with tears with words I speak to that Hope, that thing, that evolutionary gall bladder in our hearts that makes us fall in love with angels and lets us make love to them in our dreams, waking up sticky from their stardust picking it out of our eyelashes. With words there is nothing that can go undone and the shit of the world, the leftover fuck of the world, the filth of it can and does go unseen for the way it feels to be spoken at exactly. To in a place of voices meant for everyone, to have a word just for you is as something unbelievable and you go fuck yourself with your conversations about politics and “real change,” and “conversations that matter” because people like you will go through your whole lives self-satisfied in accomplishing nothing but convinced you are changing the world, the scaffolding that makes it possible for shit to erect into towers not just filling the streets, a phallus of feces that undoes the rotation of the earth, “conversations that matter” keep amas terrified of being homosexual in this city, convinced that one day he will be woken up in the middle of the night by all the people who are his friends and family, first to say “I hate you” then to say: “Goodbye,” “conversations that matter” matter in a dialectical system that is corrupt and imbalanced in its distribution of values, any conversation that “matters” must be wrong and I will until I die speak in nonsense mighty erection toward god trying to undo not do

It’s always words with you, always words. Go fuck yourself.

No you.

No you.

No you.

No you.

No you.