678 entries in Mag: Articles

Exile is Born at This Moment

Oh, my love, while you are in my breath, I am a statue of snow at the entrance to Damascus, with eyes closed, nose breathing anger, ears tuned to the noise of death, mouth speechless, trying to say: when…...

Mad Marathon

And my window flees Followed by my doors My chair is in a rush, too I’m left standing in the middle of a bare room The room can’t withstand the volume of the loneliness It starts shaking Badly…...

Night

Elusive Night Knowledge was born from night’s womb, And from the same womb was light born This elusive night Stretching into a protracted darkness What, still, Will it bring to life? Possession Night—…...

Poem to the One in Far-Off Lands

The one banished by poverty lives heartless in far-off lands and cares for nothing as if it were his and is sullen and tired under the heavens. The one who leaves his house defeated and is dragged along…...

from “Carnia Haikai”

The hour of the dawn When the bedsheets conspire To wage anarchy. * A glutton for you: When my mealtime is over I lick my finger . . . * Ill-mannered, ill-bred: I am ever inclined to Eat with my fingers.…...

A Poem I Didn’t Name

Now is a time of national mourning. Not for the death of a king we have never seen. Now is a time of national mourning during which we all should thrust our heads down  to the bottom of the sea where…...

Word

In the morning, a word from someone else's dream peeks at me like a conspiracy. The minute I open my eyes the word, with an elegant gesture, takes me. The lonely word is a terminal patient: pain and…...

One Bird and Another

Once upon a time we used to talk about a bird— a bird from nowhere brought us levity   and laughter. One winter night—yes it was a winter night—a bird came to us while we were soundly…...

A Grapefruit

I'm holding a big round golden grapefruit that smells bitter. A small knife can cut through what seems to be a thick skin— I begin to shiver in quiet pain. A life without pain is an unpicked…...

Texts Written without the Author’s Knowledge

The screech of streetcars falls silent. Juice trickles from a windfall pomegranate branching— as though a monster had grown through the rails or lung tissue rotted and the bronchi and vessels of…...

Injeolmi Rice Cakes

Once Maternal Grandmother set off, a basin of injeolmi rice-cakes on her head, to sell in this neighborhood and that, I would pull out scraps of glass, bottle tops, a broken pocketknife, medicine bottles,…...

Gamak Valley

During wartime the men die, the women survive. Cockerels have their necks twisted and die, hens sit on eggs. Gamak Valley in Yeonsan, north of Nonsan in South Chungcheong is where sharp hills approach…...

My Wife’s Magic

My wife is sad and seeing my sad wife, I too am sad, then as she answers her mother’s phone call, “Sure, we’re fine,” the wife inside my wife grows sadder still. I want to live…...

War

Men plan wars And women survive in the rubble One day there will be no men And a woman will pursue another In search of the scent of the last man Who touched his lips to her neck. © Manal Al-Sheikh.…...

My Body

A body that is the one I borrowed the first night with you . . .  I watch it every night running toward a waveless sea where the sand of age rests in its veins . . . The wearied ships land in its…...

On Death

When we die the words we haven’t said yet turn to bubbles to inflate the body and smuggle it from the grave while the cemetery keeper sleeps. But we run up against the stone slab over our bodies,…...

Downtown

My share of sleep: four hours eleven minutes.
 I roll my pierced heart across the bedcover: it slams into the door, leaving
 a line of mud behind. I believe a tree
 will come one night…...

A Stray Bullet

After crossing the living room, the library, the corridor and the photo that brings us together on a trip to Nahr al-Kalb, and after passing by the washer and my mother (exhausted in spite of the washer),…...

Mud Flats

She lies there with her hugely pregnant body. At dawn a ship leaves, cutting through her stomach. As it emerges from her body, headed for the sea, trailing its umbilical cord, oh, from within her body…...

Earning My Keep

Mother, I think I'll go pay a visit to Hell. No matter how far away, I'll set off as if leaving for work in the morning then come back as if coming off work in the evening. Don't skip meals,…...

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