asked me could i do more could i spell my words with breaths instead this time move a dream with my mouth letters like lips tongue teeth cheeks and gums asked me what word does that spell and tell me how it sounds will you tell me how it’s pronounced asked me could i let a thought make sound could i let these sounds disintegrate into the air around me let these sounds integrate with the air...
i looked for you every night i looked for you every night could have been you could have been you every night i could have looked for you and you could have been every night the longest dream i could have awake and asleep still my soul spins for you in ceremony could be asleep and still my soul would spin for you the longest dream would have for you on every night and wait for you and search for...
we taught that
we taught that violence is the way to deal with pain taught that we can erase it if we erase someone else always someone else who is responsible always every day taught that everywhere to everyone we taught that well taught outside classrooms and inside classrooms learned it all but tomorrow when we return to class and notice empty chairs and someone asks where the students are and when they...
salaam to the most // leaping
“Self-censorship is self-destructive. Those words you’ve been wanting to say? Say them all, say ya heart. No freedom without honesty. After some silences, speaking becomes breathing. Need it to live. Let ya soul be, let ya soul fly. Times when I feel I can’t find my light, and it finds me. Salaam to the Most: I’m not giving up.” — believe that, i believe that, had to breathe that - was my...
i hear you
who is your audience and are you only looking for applause ? when you speak what do you see whose love do you seek and is it love enough for you? if you speak in a crowd and no one listens will you have made a sound? if you listen when no one else listens will you have heard a thing ? // i try to hear myself even when i am quiet and that is love enough
speak if you must but try to be quiet don’t say too much and keep it vague please universal themes and generalities nothing too specific nothing that might get political no one wants that might upset and offend the audience and no one wants to be uncomfortable - who enjoys discomfort? talk about something we can all agree on here is a list of quotes from people successful at...
gave me a mask made me a mask they gave me a mask and i took it looked good right like something i wanted to look like something others wanted me to look like even thought after wearing it long enough: something i do look like thought after long enough: this is me - they told me there’s no cost and i told them i have no questions then all of me enthralled this is what i want to look...
It may be fashionable to assume neutrality and ask both sides to somehow lay down their arms, but it is disingenuous to do so while ignoring the stark difference in capability between militants in Gaza and the IDF, one of the world’s most technologically advanced military forces, funded and supported by American tax dollars to the tune of billions. It is disingenuous to condemn rockets fired...
whose pain ? whose pain and to whom does it matter? who cares and why care and what does it matter ? - who sees you and who sees your pain and who sees through you and your pain and only sees wall for the breaking? who believes that the hurt must be broken? who demands that you be broken ? who demands that you be always broken? - tell me where is your pain and where does it burn...
who you got blame for ? who you got who you got who you got blame for ? spell em out spill em out spit em out what they got names for? - what you got name for? begin with any sound but who said your pronunciation is perfect ? who said who said ? who said ya name and you never heard it ? who you got names for what you got names for ? these are sometimes synonyms might see them...
can you be cool with your quiet? or is that more attention than you deserve to give yourself more than you know how to give yourself ? can you be cool with it? or does stillness make you nervous make you move ? always looking for words too many and where are they? words can be oppressive sometimes sometimes you don’t need words sometimes i just rather be a poem show you a...
remember when i spent so much time admiring the light from other stars and forgot about my own so caught up in their shine couldn’t see what i had to share but i too was a star and am got light can shine spin and burn and be center for something or someone sometimes my soul got gravity too and all of me revolves thought i saw clear before but not until i saw my own light did i see things...
might stare into a mirror and make a scandal of imperfections and deny that it reflects what light is from you might stare into a heart and make a scandal of imperfections and ignore how it beats what blood is in you might stare into your eyes and make a scandal of imperfections and forget why they see what earth is around you might make a scandal of imperfections and not stare at all ...
mother telling me her child for a while now to drink tea from a different glass what can you see through that mug? she would ask me i used to drink it hidden in ceramic could only see from above what was in my cup no perspective of depth no appreciation of color here is a fool who merely drinks the tea that has been poured as gift her words were wisdom of generations who prepared tea for their...
caring.30 - finishing what i start
might not have been what i expected. might not have done it the way i wanted all the time. or when i wanted — not always. times i fell behind. times i couldn’t see through a headache. maybe i wouldn’t have started if i expected these things. i would have thought about them too much. maybe it’s good to be unrealistic sometimes — not always, just sometimes. enough...
caring.29 - home
the sun sets over a landscape that echoes, familiar enough that you feel comfortable being lost in it. thinking you could see yourself here for a long time if the sky stayed this color. but the sky never stays that color. that’s something that changes. and maybe that’s it. home for you was always a place of transit, something always temporary. it was the movement of things that...
caring.28 - being nervous
stomach all upside down — energy everywhere. heart not making sense. no calm until you begin. probably will make a fool of yourself — but be cool with that. be cool with your foolishness. it’s alright to have a serious case of nerves. if you didn’t care as much, you probably wouldn’t feel this way. when’s the last time you did something new like this...
caring.27 - giving time
hesitant with words, still hesitant with some words. it’s okay. time — things take time. everything takes time. they might ask: how much time did you spend on this? and how much time did you spend on that? did you spend as much time with this person as you would have liked? did you give yourself enough time to become the person you’ve wanted to be? time, time, time...
caring.26 - remembering the past
the past the past — glorify it in its entirety? ignore its roughness and try to smooth it out to sound worldly? cut the bitterness and the anger for the sake of acceptance? censor these truths? indulge in dangerous nostalgias, poisonous remembrances? i can’t do that. i can’t do that. that’s not me. and i don’t apologize. the past the past — do i forget...
caring.25 - driving slowly
not too slowly — just without the rush. that ubiquitous rush. everywhere, always — last minute. why? why do i always leave at the last minute? it’s a really bad habit. and dangerous. maybe i don’t know what i would do if i got somewhere early. what would i do with myself? probably go crazy. i gotta find peace in the ride… peace as i steer, peace as i accelerate,...
caring.24 - looking straight ahead
don’t look down — not yet. i know you want to look at that timer. but as soon as you look down you’ll want to keep looking down. how long have you been running on this treadmill? you don’t know? good. you don’t need to know. you just need to keep running. don’t worry about the time. the machine will stop when you’re done. you’ll know when...
caring.23 - the truth
are we afraid of it? will it set us free? will it help us? will it hurt us? i don’t know — i don’t know. i just know that i want it. i need it. the world needs it. too many lies — too many lies about too many things. lies upon lies upon lies — infusing everything we know, all up in the infrastructure. truth come through and flip everything. everything. is that...
caring.22 - measurements
what’s the distance between a memory and a dream? do we measure it in minutes? meters? i’m not sure. maybe both. maybe neither. i think we can measure it in different ways and still get useful answers, even if we get different answers. but i guess that’s the point: to measure it in a way that’s useful (especially to the person that’s measuring). we create systems...
caring.21 - the voiceless
who are the voiceless? this silent mass of wretched folk staring emptily, waiting for you to name them, waiting for you to give them a voice — waiting for you to save them. always outside earshot. about whom you can say anything and everything. they cannot hear. they cannot hear, they cannot speak — they are simply there. are these your voiceless? i do not believe in them. i do not...
caring.20 - labels
you’re not allowed to be angry. i repeat: you are not allowed to be angry. about anything. you’re muslim. you’re middle eastern. you make people nervous when you’re angry. (is he going to blow something up?) you make people nervous when you’re not angry. (is he hiding something from us? i wonder what he really thinks.) there are certain things you cannot talk...
caring.19 - the comeback
where you been? what you been up to? building. if they ask, tell them i’m building. tell them i’m coming back. tell them i’m going to do it right. tell them it takes time. tell them to remember what i said. tell them. tell them everything and tell them nothing. i’ll show them everything. i will. it’ll be ready when it’s ready. we’ll get there when...
caring.18 - admissions and apologies
few things are as liberating as admitting when you’re wrong, when you don’t know — to unburden yourself of the facade, to realize the importance of this act, how healthy it is for you and your relationships — to be able to breathe because you don’t have to maintain a lie, the pressure in your head and your chest decreasing as you free yourself of ego. it’s an...
caring.17 - innocence, responsibility, and the...
i do not believe in collateral damage. i cannot disrespect the lives of those who have been killed by referring to their deaths as collateral damage. it is insensitive. it is disgusting. it is wrong. i do not believe in constructing hypothetical situations that prey on fear in order to try and convince people that it comes down to absurdly dichotomous courses of action. it is ignorant. it is...
caring.16 - solitude and creation
i think oftentimes it comes down to a question of solitude when creating something. something that is honest, something that truly represents you — sure — every day we create things, even though we may not count many of these creations as our own. (we may not even classify them as creations.) but when the creation is intentional, when behind it lies a purpose rooted deep within the...
caring.15 - thirst and blank space
the headaches of blank space — straining your eyes to see something that you couldn’t see before. believing in the potential of creation, imagination. staring long enough and convincing yourself that you see something. what does it look like? you don’t really know yet — you just trust that it’s there and that it will come into focus sooner or later. maybe you just...
caring.14 - now
everything is now. everything is unbelievably now. everything that has ever been, everything that will ever be — now. right now. maybe different forms, different shapes — but here, always here. everything always asking me what i will do with now. now — always leaving, always arriving, always staying — everything at once, always. i owe you everything. you carry the...
caring.13 - quranic exegesis
i’ve been trying to read more of the quran recently. as i’ve been reading, it has been important for me to constantly be aware of the fact that i’m reading a translation, an interpretation. if i were fluent in classical arabic, i would read the original text. but even that would not be enough, though it would be a nice starting point. i would still have to take so many different...
caring.12 - language and arrogance
cada cabeza, un globo. — alfredo ——— i write this in english. one language — one of many thousands of languages in the world. and each of these languages is its own world. and within each language exist as many worlds as there are people who speak that language. each perspective, one of many billions. my world. your world. so many worlds. and what a wonderful...
caring.11 - looking them in the eyes
i was told: look them in the eyes. look them in the eyes when you speak. everything you say, look them in the eyes. you believe it, let them know you believe it. you mean it, let them know you mean it. look them in the eyes when you say it, and say it all. look until you want to look away, and then keep looking. where else will you look? why should you hide? are you afraid they will see...
caring.10 - mundanities and light
i speak a dozen mundanities in the dark — memory all swinging doors and my forehead laid on the back of my hands, all imaginations projected onto the insides of my eyelids, all movies. i forgot how my breaths sounded until i listened again, forgot how my skin felt until i touched it again, put my nose against it and smelled. why not? i know so little about myself, some days i forget i even...
caring.9 - sports
something about watching sports and that feeling of uncontainable excitement i get in my chest as a fan that makes me, on occasion, think ridiculous things. like that feeling makes me feel invincible. like even though i haven’t seriously participated in any form of organized sports activity since early high school, i can still make it and play under those lights if i hit the gym harder. joke...