Milestone: Moving to blog.nouralali.com

If anyone told me that by 2012, not only would I use my real name in online interactions but write in a blog with my real identity, I would have laughed.

Moving blogs isn’t much of a big deal to everyone, but I tend to use my drama queen points whenever I could.

So anyway, I will be writing in a new blog. I have new interests and subdomains aren’t enough for me anymore.

I even filled out the about me section. Be sure to check it out and subscribe there!

Last post at thearabzy.wordpress.com. It’s been good :)

Short Story: A Full Moon, Cigarette Scents And Tensioned Love

Listen to: Ólafur Arnalds – Fok

You grab my hand gently, point with my finger to the moon and say, “look.” I look, not at the moon but at you; startled. Your eyes, they sparkle for me. They’re too magical for a full moon to beat.

“You can hide the moon with your finger,” you tell me. “But it’s always there.”

You lean closer to kiss me, but I can’t let you. I stop you. “No,” I say. I look towards the moon and it is nowhere to be found.

“Look,” I took your hand and point at an empty sky. “It’s not always there.” Just like you, in a way. You leave and come, come and go, expecting me to always wait for you to shine at night. You’re as temporary as a full moon, but even then, it’s beautiful in a way — the pain you make me feel. Every time you come, leave, come, then leave again and in every instance of you leaving, I hope of your never return.

You lean closer till I can feel your breath on my skin. I look away, in search of a missing full moon. You place your hand on my cheek and turn my face towards you, gently like you always do.

“Do you feel that?” you whisper and the hair at the back of my head stands up.

“Yes,” I quiver.

“Love,” you say.

“Tension,” I counter.

“Love,” you insist.

“Tension,” I repeat.

“Tensioned love,” you waiver.

I do not bulge, “Tension.”

I take a step back, and you let me. You don’t pull me back like you gently would. “You’re right,” you utter, fixing your shirt while in search of a missing full moon. “It’s not always there.”

“Just like you,” I tell you.

You wonder why I could never love you.
I leave with the smell of your cigarettes mixed with my perfume embedded in my shirt. I can’t wash it, it’s all I have left of that night we could’ve never been. I can never wear it again, it’s all I have left of a night I never want to live again.

Sometimes I miss not you, but the thought of being cared for by you, others I stare helplessly at a moonless sky. It comforts me, because just like me, its moon has gone missing.

I call you in the middle of a hot summer night. “Is the moon shining where you are?” I ask in a faint voice. “Are you crazy?” you say with your sleepy tone. “Yes,” I admit. “I am crazy.”  “Go to sleep,” you tell me. “The moon is too big for both of us to care for.”

But I don’t love you. I couldn’t love you then, and I won’t love you now.

“Out of all that is symbolic, you chose the moon, and I hate you for it,” I cry out.  “That’s good,” you say and I hear a lighter in the background. “At least you feel something towards me.”

“Are you smoking?” I ask, trying to change the subject like I always do. “Don’t worry,” you gently laugh. “Scents don’t travel through phones yet.”

I do not reply, nor do I hang up. “Remember that shirt you wore that night?” you ask, trying to break my silence. “Which night?” I ask in oblivion.

“The night you said the sky is beautiful,” you point out with your trembling voice.  “I do,” I flinch at the sight of it hanging, untouched, in my closet.  “I saw a girl wearing the exact top the other day and I remembered you,” you let out a sigh, “If I could ever forget you, that is.” “I need to go now,” I interrupt you. “Let’s never talk again.”

I close the phone, run to my closet, grab my shirt and wash it.

Poem on Syria: Putrefaction

of late

I’ve had this thought

that this country

has gone backwards

4 or 5 decades

and that all the

social advancement

the good feeling of

person toward

person

has been washed

away

and replaced by the same

old

bigotries

 

We have more than ever

the selfish wants of power

the disregard for the weak

the old

the impoverished

the helpless.

 

We are replacing want with war

salvation with slavery

we have wasted the gains

we have become rapidly

less

 

we have our Bomb

it is our fear

our damnation

and our

shame

 

now

something so sad

has hold of us

that

the breath

leaves

and we can’t even

cry

 

— Charles Bukowski, who rarely capitalized words.

Nour | نور:

We complain about fasting in Ramadan for half a day. They have been without food, and some have recently stopped taking water. They’re written their wells and are ready to die. They deserve to be heard. I wish I could do more, but social media is all I have at the moment. They’re only asking for basic rights. Enough is enough.

Originally posted on Latuff Cartoons:

(Click on image to enlarge)

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Jack Gilbert: The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

Seldom do poems leave me wanting more. If this had been a thousand pages long, I would’ve wanted more. “My love is a hundred pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what my body wants to say to your body.” My Lord, this is beauty in its most refined form. This will be my pillar of love; the melancholy of it, the void it leaves, just as love often does. I am speechless. Oh, my. My, oh, my.

The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind’s labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

I’m losing my mind, but I’m okay.

My problem with putting words into thoughts has been something I’ve been struggling with quite a lot lately. I remember when words were like a vivid dream to me; they’d shelter me from near madness, keep me focused and help me discover who I am. When I reached adolescence, music, specifically piano, helped me put my thoughts into words. I never cared about logistics of writing or how beautiful it sounded; I just wrote, wrote, and wrote. I was focused on cleansing my brain; writing was about me, till I discovered pain. I know that I’ve often written about this in previous blog posts, but I can’t seem to get over this one little thing.

Everyone has their pillar of reality, the one they’d all return to in case it all falls apart. My relationships with people I mostly cared about always spiralled back to their fascination of how beautifully written my words seemed to be. There was always one missing variable in that equation, however – my belief in myself.

It’s hard writing about this, I must admit with weary hopes. What’s even harder is admitting it. There’s this thing about wanting to be a perfectionist; it slowly eats you away. Kind of like when you smoke knowing with every breath you inhale, you’re killing your lungs, but you just don’t care about all these health ads, nicotine patches, and your friends telling you to quit anymore. You’ve grown immune to all these attempts to make you quit. Perfectionism is a cigarette that never seems to die out. It’s fueled by this insanity to defy all odds; this insanity is incurable, I’d like to believe we’re either born with it or not.

I’m not a smoker, nor am I advocating it as a habit. But I’m simply, beyond doubt, tired of feeling insufficient all the time. I hear people tell me nice things; I want to believe them, I do. I just can’t look at anything I’ve ever written or played to be any good at all. At times, I’d stay up just reading what I’ve written and dig through it for flaws. I find so many flaws. It’s depressing. I can’t even find the right words to express the amount of sadness I feel knowing I could do so much better, but here I am doing so much worse.

I wish I could go back to seventh grade. I wrote my first poem then. It was beyond lame. I remember being so happy about it. It was then that I started carrying a notebook wherever I went. I scribbled random thoughts here and there. I had a messy handwriting. It was my little pot of joy. I loved it. I recently went through the notebook and was taken by shock at how childish anything written in it is. But it made me so happy. I want to be happy about writing again.

Take me back to happy thoughts. Pain is ugly. I don’t want to become a bitter writer. All great writers of history had shady endings; they either committed suicide or vanished with mysterious reasons. I’m not comparing myself to them. I could never be that good. I just know that I’m living with the bitterness of a writer, and cursed with a black cat’s luck. There’s this unexplainable sadness within me that I can’t uncover. It’s consuming me. I’ve adapted to it. I don’t think about it anymore. I just let it grow like a cancerous tumor that consists of ill thoughts and voids. I’m okay. I’m losing my mind, but I’m okay.

At Night

Listen to: We Can’t Be Friends – Poor Colour Palette

A sun melting into a blue sea
Love; through hearts it seeps

Blue; the color of his eyes
Her heart; a war he could not fight

Tension escalating with fear
Silence, for they could no longer hear

Distance between them defied
Yet hearts can bear no lies

Winter escaping through tears
Moments treasured for years

Her lips curve a smile
His hopes rupture in denial

Emotions framed in veneers
No love, no heartbreak, nothing dear

Coldness puts out his fire
Killed was his desire

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