Cross-Continent War talks
You begin to wonder
if war is war
when nothing else binds us to the enemy.
New war, old war, holy war.
Divergent points of reference?
And if not, can we build a formula
To get to that place
you have to exist
within the borders
that delimit everything to signs.
War or peace, you have to push
beyond the limits.
After you die
you shall inherit the blondes using
fresh, strawberry fragrance, polishing
In translucent paradise it never rains,
or foggy mists, but you are bound
by the ticket and dreams, telescoped to illusion,
opaque reward for skinning the innocent.
A torn doll
dangling aimlessly on piled ruins, staring at me.
In its gray carcass,
my soul reaches out to it.
It stares indestructibly at
the labor of mayhem and destruction visiting
us from no where, like a shrewd salesman of
I know, I know
how it will be
that I am now accessory to a
Islam and Barbarism
Can Islam be barbaric?
I pose, in my head, rhetorically,
meaning, I suppose, that it can’t.
But I can’t be sure.
Apologists spin out attentively
Islam’s message of peace
& co-existence, past the rivers
of commands that gleam
in blood of infidels, sufficient color
to make a carnival.
Truth is, Islam’s religion of compassion
Needing to purge the barbaric within.
Walls have fallen before.
Berlin wall was so easy.
We clapped, and cried happily,
yearning for a souvenir piece.
But, when the thunder shook the world
and the graceful towers turned to
monuments of barbarism,
walls that came down, down
joining ceilings, vaporizing bodies
and souls, the tragedy hit home like a
pain of my own.
And each day I look back
in the dark alleys of my mind
at walls that captured a
corner of our existence,
speaking shiningly to
New York lies long, its strength fizzled,
scattered to and fro;
It is painful to a city’s glamour
laid in ruins, with expired energy;
its towers bowing in sympathy
to fallen comrades.
Money and joy once strolled the streets
wandering among pleasures
finding no rest.
But at this hour the city
seeks peace, its grief fields over
to mercy and faith.
A Time To Kill
Shall we kill terrorists together
you and I?
Murder to save the world
and keep the good times?
Shall we organize vigilante,
as part of our overtime, or
Hope and confusion mix into acids
making every day a commitment
to kill together without any
timetables, or remorse.
We’ll have the time of our lives.
My anger does not yield easily.
I live in ground zero, sightseeing,
mourning, praying through
a vague memory of
once upon a time dialogue of civilizations
floating like ghosts of firemen past
staircases set in blaze.
The spirit stirred on that brilliant
sunny September has crept
into bones, permeating veins,
insinuating air corridors, echoing
along Hudson shores with
The blows dug in memories,
deaf to times’ bell, blinding.
That is the language of horror,
giving sustenance to our
Living the ancient psalms speaking
pain, death and disease.
My mind has tipped over to their
parched lips, onto the felled body
of faith, past the open gate
Only the nightly report of
troop buildup soothes the pain.
When the planes sliced into towers
and turned lower Manhattan into a ruined hut,
like fish gutted on pavement,
conscience cried out
Barren remark, like a blasted rock
tumbling into the bay.
Our conscience, built firm as a fortress
slices into oblivion.
A Hideous Jar
Remember Pearl Harbor?
And which aspect of it?
Can we ever disentangle Hiroshima from Pearl Harbor?!
History’s hideous jar, we saw it for magic
that will never be maddened on us again.
Per thought it grew more powerful,
carrying up our level of historic contrasts.
And bang, the doomed grasp of analogy.
Cowardly acts proclaim our sentiments.
Time is working to their benefits.
If no one moved on analogies,
Would they kill still?
Watching the Planes Plunge
We must retrace a murder’s genealogy
with fair sacrifice.
Any hesitation isolates.
I hear the cockpit voices,
hijackers making demands.
Vulnerability inheres in all skies.
We must find a trail to security.
Darkness closing in, fragile is
the thickness of courage,
subsidizing cost of
living with the (hostile) other.
This terminology does not really belong to any dictionary.
I keep looking around for the right words,
and get lost in my wandering.
Today driving in the highway I look over the sign
that instills the right element of fear: Speed limit 55.
And then think of the size of ticket for
ramming a plane into a tower.
There are times I wish to be a traffic cop
on the ground and even in the air.
I want to be the merciless teeth of justice
teaching Zen of Counter-terrorism:
know thy enemy, the looming
price of their mind.
A loud break in my rear
pushes me back to my element.
Karachi on TV
Young, angry throng
Long Live Bin Laden, Death to Bush.
clenched fists to cameras’ angles.
Through their feat of fury, a reminder:
this cancer has monstrously grown,
and grown it must be amputated
in every Muslim’s heart and
In Their Bags, A Will
In their bags, a reminder
to stay steadfast, and look to God for strength.
They shared a will you see, and
and by their ATM photographs,
embraced death with smiles, traveling
the whole length of
You have the right
steps of Abraham.
Come sit at the table
so long as you
have life and might
and remind us
that if kisses of death blow in your direction again,
there would be hurricanes torching their homes.
Come sit by me
and once in a while remind me
that you still have a heart.
I’M A Survivor
No, I was not pulled from underneath the rubbles.
I was never even in danger’s vicinity.
Nor have I been cross the Potomac to Pentagon.
And yet, I carry all the symptoms:
My hands shiver as I write these lines,
feel structurally broken inside
fear resides in me permanently,
and I relive the horror by the minute, 24 hours a day
I feel trapped on the 94th floor
with the firewalls closing in on me.
I feel hopeless in the back of American flight 11 calling
my loved ones goodbye.
I feel reading a fireman’s last rite before
getting struck in the head by falling debris.
I feel numb, nothing, nothing at all.
You see, we’re now a nation of survivors
grappling to set things straight again,
to live a normal life
by internalizing fear and vigilance in daily life!
We survive only in unity and compassion
and by the wrath of our oceanic anger
& resolve — to make this a better world:
our new manifest destiny.
Awake the Pacifist
This morning I finally breathed in.
The deliberate warrior has eased past
the calendar for war.
The Sun instructs me to gradual feelings.
A few drops of Autumn leaves
wave the season’s memory.
I carry on life again until I hear
on radio: “Listen,” someone said, “More terrorists
are apprehended with city maps.”
No wonder our city maps are in short supply!
Enough to hold my breath again.
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