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POETRY OF LAALA KASHEF ALGHATAPOETRY OF LAALA KASHEF ALGHATA


My Friend A Verse of Disquiet And They Say, Hope
The Twilight Loneliness: A Mental Indisposition Ruby Youth
Best Friend


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My Friend

for Charles

Let our voices ring
as we reach out
to disown the world
and claim each other.
Hello, my friend.

I tell you I'm scared
of beds, of the minutes
that creep by
before we fall asleep.
I tell you I cry.

Let us close our eyes,
stretch our lips
in a hollow O,
scream out our souls
and claim each other.
Hello, my dear.

You tell me you're scared
of the monsters
underneath your bed,
of swinging your long legs
over the edge.

Let us link our arms,
build a human wall
composed of every atom
we're made of,
let us create
the ultimate friendship.
Hello, darling. Hello.







A Verse of Disquiet

We are the angry
generation, slamming
doors and breaking
hearts, living off
the last lie we told
as we scrape our legs
climbing out our windows,
looking right and left
trying to make sure
we remain unseen.

We are the Jimmys,
and all the Cliffs
are in hiding, underneath
their shame at sharing
this world with us,
or perhaps they're starting
to become extinct.

We fight for the right
to be separate; unique,
so colour me this:
a portrait of the sky
in orange, the stars like
glitter even in daylight
and our hearts on fire.

We are the generation
of no gaps, we wink
at each other cunningly
and yet; there are no secrets.

This is our world
that we claim is filled
with disquiet and yet
with every verbose patter
we ejaculate,
we dig ourselves deeper
into white noise.

 





And They Say, Hope

i.
When we reach
the end of the rope
and come close
to collapsing,
we turn to the wise

ii.
& they say, have hope.
Like it's the easiest thing
to keep a hold of,
forgetting that hope
is slippery

it slides from
between our fingers,
disappears into
the shadows
to make us forget,

iii.
& they say, have hope.
Like it's something
you can have servings of,
a spoonful with every meal.

It is not a drug
(though I wish it were
available, I would
take it).

iv.
& they say, have hope.
Like it's something
they're offering us.







The Twilight

What makes forever so special, when the papers have been served and the cards dealt? Your lips on my collarbone and your hand distracted (signing on the dotted line). Where is tragedy, Hamlet or Paris? The lights are too bright and the lies too beautiful, so stop painting disaster onto my skin, stop colouring the river golden. This isn't your canvas and those are colours I did not choose. The curtains are velvet and cotton is draped around your waist. Kissing me goodbye and squeezing my hand, leaving behind that band you wore (to prove: I am taken, I am not free). Was our prison too cold for you, love, or was it the colour of the walls? I would've painted over them with blood and tears, or at least decorated them with smiles. This band on my finger is staying: I was taken, I am not free. The bell tolls and you think of me as you board a train into the twilight. That's all we ever were, twilight, something caught in between the pages of a modern calamity. Brush the dust away and follow the footnotes, put the past in context before you fade away. I won't close my eyes or disappear; the night won't show me images of you. You left this broken home and the broken vase on the floor; where are the flowers you bought me now? Gathering with the wind, throwing dust in lovers eyes. I wish I could reinstate the thorns. You brought me here and you're not taking me back, so I will bury myself in the blinding white of that bedroom on the river, I'll visit the vineyards for the view. Look here: the skin is still swollen, the flesh still pink. Don't paint disasters where there are none. Don't paint yourself into me.







Loneliness: A Mental Indisposition

Loneliness is not some chosen path
but an obsession maintained carefully,
analogous to mental disease,
the mental indisposition to let oneself
be loved or feel at ease. Loneliness
bites, it severs our sentiment
and leaves us with poetry in our veins.

Loneliness is not a shelter, it does
not give refuge from the storm.
It is bland, colourless and blind
until spliced open, when it chokes
on the metaphors bubbling underneath.







Ruby Youth

You walked around
with a lipstick stain
hovering near your lip,
just missing the curve
of your cheeks,
the dip in your lips.

You smoked
your last cigarette,
your eyes red,
your cheek tainted
with a lipstick mouth.

You shave, nicking
yourself in that gap between
the lips of that lipstick smile,
decaying, eroding your skin.

Wipe that lipstick off,
melt into the wave,
disappear and be found.







 

Best Friend

for taufiq

You will be there
every moment
you can,

which will be
every moment
I need you.

You will debate
all your favourite
bands

and wait to hear
what I have
to say.

You will open up
tell me secrets
until

there's nothing
left
to know.

You will give me
all the friendship
I could need.

You will hold out
your hand,
pulling me out

of a three-year
depression.

You will move,
taking your words
with you

until the distance
echoes on the phone.

You will stay
in touch,
you will love

me, as you have,
more than a brother
ever could.





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