Monday, May 9, 2016

Poetry By Ali Znaidi

Ali Znaidi (b.1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He is the author of several chapbooks, including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), Taste of the Edge (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2014), and Mathemaku x5 (Spacecraft Press, 2015). His interests include poetry writing, making visual poems, learning languages and literary translation. He also blogs about Tunisian literature at: For more details you can visit his blog at – and follow him on Twitter @AliZnaidi.

The Poet Ali Znaidi

When Red Lights

inflect the somber sky,

the ethereal odalisques

are divulged—privacy at risk.

When they reach those eyes

known for ogling,

the x-rated flies around them become

files archived in the dark.

And the hidden layers of truth

are just scratching the lunar system,

pushing it out of its comfort zone.

—Hence, a newer metaphysics

gonna be born.

merciless time

nothing is pending in the hands of a pendulum

time rushes by

no mercy at all

time churns

soon we’ll see if we survived the next minute

{a new penance required}

a shivering cringe:

I’m the tragedy which has lived on your pen

it’ all about the terror of a timeless pain

which has nothing to do but gnaw us

a tragic pain a pen hasn’t yet told us about

its ink has never grown up to replace those

scary stainless hands.

Seekers of New Skins

Perhaps you seek another skin –

a skin devoid of warts, acne, & eczema.

Perhaps you seek another mantle –

a mask to hide the beginning of

those wrinkles.

Perhaps we all seek other skins

on the threshold of maturity—

a great rush to confront ageing.

Well, there is also the awful attentiveness

to aesthetics & details, to the extent

of ailment (for some seekers).

& that obsessive lust for newer foliage

adds to the pain, to the panic, to the --------,

with SELF- CONSTRUCTION left unconsidered—

a manuscript draft unpolished.

As Sappho Lies on the Grass

As she lies on the grass
she wipes out her lipstick
because she remembers that

she was born wearing nothing.

She sets her focus over the expanding

scene of the meadows . Nothing solaces her

but the view of the scattered sheep.

...and when the sun reaches its zenith

her lips become naturally redder

because the universe was created raw.

No enclosures. Just expanding prairies.

No lipstick. Just the taste of pomegranate 

and philosophy on the murmuring lips...

A Theory of Gratuitous Death

Fireflies claim their share of darkness.

They want to practice yoga in the dark.

They want to ponder on smoke. 
They want to dwell in the carcasses of the dead.

They want to supervise the shadows of trees.

They want to reach the fleecy black clouds.

They want to creep into the veil.

They want to dwell between the cleavage

of booby-trapped breasts.

They want to explode.

They want to resurrect to devise a theory

of gratuitous death.

A Few Drops Short of Light

Clinging to broken boughs.

Coiling in a snaked dance.

Vibrating while searching for an algorithm.

The rhythm helps with the search.

A vapour and something else,

when the sun heats the verdure.

The drops converse with themselves,

trying to endure, again and again.

sarcastic laughters of fish

fish are still in the sea, and we are all in the restaurant

that boy’s been playing with a plastic fish for hours,

and he’s never going to stop

the waiter has taken off his apron,

then he started playing with a matchstick,

and he’s never going to stop

we’re not going to eat fish, we’re not going to eat fish

and there’s no more lust, no more lust,

and all our memories are about to be hacked,

and all our bodies ooze sweat in the apogee of winter

because there are not enough worms to be placed on the hooks

even, no more hookers to sacrifice their lips for a silent buddha,

it’s just the reverberations of the sarcastic laughters of fish

although the tide is far away, we all hear the echoes

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