Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Life, in its grandeur,
flickers at the corners of my eyes.
Arms screaming wide,
chests heaving to the skies,
the salty smell of warm sweat
threatening to break out;
I hear a buzz,
a hum, an excuse of being.
Life is elsewhere,
some other time, somebody else,
a fantasy of pixels and skin.
Not me—
this doesn’t count.
And yet the ticker never quells.
All that is left is to observe:
elongated moments,
the relentlessness of nightfall,
others living.
The dead recede
into a memory of features
and stories half-recalled,
less vivid than a dream.
Tomorrow I’ll remember you:
your weathered face, your thinning hair
matted with sweat and anger,
sitting on the kitchen sofa,
the paint chipping off its cheap metal frame,
its florid fabric heavy with the weight
of too many tales unfurled.
And the silence you left behind,
echoing cold off the terrazzo floors.

This time I didn’t visit you
because you aren’t there.
I hate to think of you watching
all this and longing.
It’s the longing, always the longing…
Like I long for this smell
antiseptic as a vinyl hospital hallway
under fluorescent light:
brash, ominous and thumping.
At the end of the hallway
a window looks over the parking lot—
this is what you’re missing:
another day coming to an end,
the hazy twilight of an ugly city.
And this—my anger,
always the anger,
at your not being there.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Blend @ Blue Bananas Café

Poetic Arts Performance Project Presents:
Blend @ Blue Bananas Café
(A new series featuring poetry, spoken word, and music;
1st Thursdays of every month)

Ashraf Osman & Brian Markley
May 7th, 2009 @ 7:30 – 9:30 PM
$5 for entry

Blue Bananas Café is located next to the Laff House, 223 South Street, Philadelphia PA. Their website features their tasty menu as well as directions to the restaurant:

Ashraf Osman was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon and has been living in Philadelphia since 2002 where he works as an architect. Ashraf has been engaged in online poetry since 2002: in addition to his award-winning personal poetry blog, arch.memory, Ashraf hosts a website of Philadelphia poetry links and calendars called PhillyPoetry.com. His poetry has been featured in the Mad Poets Review, Comstock Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal and Islamica magazine, and has been selected for inclusion in several anthologies including Queering Language and The Other Voices International Project.

Brian Markley is an emerging song writer and musician from South Jersey. While being classically trained on the trumpet for over twenty years, Brian has studied and explored other instruments such as the guitar, mandolin, piano, and harmonica, as well as various tribal instruments such as the didgeridoo and wooden flute. His musical journey has taken him on both American and European tours and has afforded him opportunities to work with and learn from accomplished musicians such as Frank Foster, Dennis DeBlasio, Maynard Ferguson, Nathan Davis, Toby Lightman, and other rising South Jersey artists. These experiences have inspired him to pursue a very eclectic approach to music incorporating acoustic, funk, spoken word, bluegrass, political folk, hip-hop, reggae, rock, country, blues, and of course jazz.

* To sign up for the open mic, or if you have any questions please email allavilnyanskaya@earthlink.net
* Blue Bananas Café can validate parking at Abbott Square Parking Lot, 3rd & South. ($4.00 to park all night!)

Friday, May 01, 2009

This Sunday: Playgrounds for Palestine's Gala Dinner & Concert for Gaza, featuring sublime Lebanese Singer, May Nasr

Playgrounds for Palestine is hosting a Gala for the benefit of the children of Gaza. The evening will feature a concert by renowned Lebanese singer/songwriter May Nasr. (You can listen to her music online. Her voice is mesmerizing!) Trained by Zaki Nassif, a composer for Fairuz, she is one of the few artists who can truly sing Fairuz songs with their full meaning and liveliness. It was the knowledge of this potential that brought Zaki Nassif out of retirement upon hearing May’s voice.

Because we want to bring joy to children in Gaza.
Because we believe that they deserve to play.
Because they have suffered what no child should suffer.
Because we have so much to give, even in this economy.
Because building playgrounds is an act of Love.

Sunday, May 3rd @ 4-9pm

ACE Conference Center
800 Ridge Pike
Lafayette Hill, PA 19444

How much:
Adults: $85
Children, Seniors, Students: $50

What else:
Dinner, raffles, silent auction, children's activities, music, community, awards, and more.

For more information, go to http://www.playgroundsforpalestine.org/news.php?ID=46 or call 267.391.5386.