Thursday, December 22, 2016

Silent Night

Here, where the silence is delicious,
the end is garbled in fragments of song
—repeated, stale, and resounding—
echoing in corners of rooms dimly lit
with bulbs on a string, stars
—dangling and scratched—
like lives spilled into kitchen sinks.

Here, where the drain chokes with leftovers,
a cat snatching a piece of half-chewed meat,
and a voice telling of what should have been,
I fall through the cracks of the silence,
a promise broken at the end of the night
when acquiescence is no more than lack of resistance,
and nods are all there is.

Here, not because it is,
but because the memory of it resides
nestled underneath my breath,
peering from behind my fevered eyes
at the moment as it lapses.
Here, where we persist,
you and I, stumbling eternally,
aimless drifters in a world half-lit.

(Originally posted on December 26, 2007)


Ishvara said...

Your work is great. I read some of your stuff in Islamica. Beautiful.

pot.of.tea said...

1. Congrats. Finally. It's about time you wrote something.

2. Chou hal horrible, pathetic start? I wanted to shoot myself reading it. Looks like everything you have written (typed, actually) so far.

3. Then it gets cooler with the stars dangling, then in your kitchen sink I see my own life spilled.

4. The first three lines of the second stanza are powerful. The two after them are merely fine. The two after them have very good music to them. Your second stanza is the one I liked most, actually.

5. Am glad you finally made written that unwritten poem. It is horrible I am actually starting to relate to it.

Ton frère Ahmad

arch.memory said...

Ouch, that hurt! Damn, you could be harsh, Ahmoudeh! But from you I can take anything.. (Well, almost.) Still, I'm glad to have you back (even if scathingly so); I missed your brutal honesty.

Ishvara, thank you! I am so glad to have found new sets of eyes in Islamica! I actually wasn't able to get a hard copy of that issue, unfortunately...

katy said...

i realized, my dear, that you have a formula. i don't know how i didn't pick up on it before. i think you must not do it on purpose, it's simply the way your mind creates an image...

Here, [insert setting],
[insert subject, object and verb]

Here, where the drain chokes with leftovers,
a cat snatching a piece of half-chewed meat...

you do it often. but not too often that i'd noticed until now. maybe i only noticed because you use it here to begin each stanza.

as for the subject... i am picturing the mess of a post-christmas eve party, the sink clogged with bits and grains. the host and partner disgusted with their neighbors, each other and themselves. and all the while the cat doesn't even have the decency to notice.

cheerful indeed.

i love "fragments of song" and "cracks of silence"
you play with sound like a master here.

there is so much sound in "silent night"

arch.memory said...

Thanks, dear. But yes, it's true... I realized that as soon as I read Ahmad's comment. What can I say? Seems like I've grown tired (of poetry). Which is why I haven't been writing. Maybe I'll turn this into a painting blog, if I ever get back into that. Till then, there's online Scrabble, and that silly old thing called Life (looking for a new job, etc.)

mazen khaled said...

Don't let the critics pull you down Ashraf. :)

I don't know all your work and whether you have a formula or not. Anyway, it's better to look at each work in absolute value. The beginning may be a bit blockish but it did make me want to continue reading.

I enjoyed this piece.

mazen khaled said...

By the way, your blog doesn't like me. I tried to post the comment twice before it finally let me in. :)

arch.memory said...

Thanks, Majen! Now, if these were any other critics, I probably wouldn't care. But these are probably the 2 people who know my poetry best (and whose opinions I care very much about).. But thank you for the reassurance; I can always use some--especially these days!

arch.memory said...

And no, no, my blog likes you very much; it's not personal at all. I just comment moderation on :)

LL said...

where the drain chokes with leftovers...
is an awesome line and a great metaphor.
Hope to read more of your poems. I just started with my own Blog of poetry. Come visit. Let me know what you think.


Russell Ragsdale said...

Hey Ashraf, there's nothing wrong with patterns, as all poets know - all that matters is how well you use them. I thought this was a fine piece and
when acquiescence is no more than lack of resistance,/
and nods are all there is/

touched me with that unsolvable sorrow you experience at the end of a film noir movie. You really got me there.