Hisham M. Nazer -poetry
Εν αρχή ην ο Λόγος, και ο Λόγος ην προς τον Θεόν, και Θεός ην ο Λόγος
‘Cause it’s a poem about Words
Or a Word.
Grab a Merriam
Grab anything you have!
Or you may simple ignore the sources
And divine the meaning instead!
You will find, what you shall know already!
In the music, in the murder
In the euphoria, in the eulogy
In the grand and in the grain,
There are words.
Everything is words in disguise.
The woman you see in the street,
For the mathematical dysfunction of moments,
Or for a prophetic pattern in numbers,
Is only a beautiful ‘word’,
Or perhaps only a melodious echo and equation in the mind
Of the word ‘beautiful’,
That solves all the perplexities of so simple a sensation
So simple that it’s almost unexpected.
The sudden encounter has no meaning
Only the face is meaningful, ‘cause it’s a word
And you have just rehearsed your vocabulary
And have turned ‘one word wise’.
Or the dog you see in the alley
And suddenly feel like fleeing away from it,
Is a word, or maybe two words (but words!)-
‘Teeth’ and ‘bark’. You feel like a cat.
‘Fear’- the word, is your puffy tail,
And ‘run’ is your action of folly.
Whatever, the trees are also full of them,
And a tree is one word, a verbose of leafy alphabets.
It sheds letters in autumn days,
And the poets merely pick them up
And press them inside the leaves of books.
Also the buildings, we live inside words,
And if you climb the storeys quietly you will see
The bricks have piled up into a different story
From the one you just left, or the one you will leave.
It’s up to you whether you like wandering or not,
But if you are unwilling to read the bricks
The corners, the stairs, the skylights and the shadows,
Probably you will have a favourite word,
Or only a bunch of them.
Probably you will say the same thing in all the seminars!
Like this, this world is the draft of an epic written by a fine poet.
That’s why if you simply rephrase a story
Which alone is not that bad,
Work on it a bit, galvanize, equate,
You may even come up with a conclusive story of your own
And call it your own epic!
You may even decipher all the encrypted stories
Some written in crumbled papers thrown away in the streets
Or in the basket- the vestibule for the unwanted.
And if you are so good at it, in rephrasing
And, well, in masterful plagiarizing,
If you have read a lot of these words in disguise
With the details- all the alphabets and then the stories,
Who knows, you may even find the poet,
Who hides behind these words,
Who too is a word,
Was a word in the beginning.
And some say- will be just a word in the end!
In the beginning of the end of light
It was quite a prosaic and dull encounter:
In the three-wheeler me revising the synopsis of the day
(Not remembering the beginning, neither the complication
Nor the denouement, not even where I was and why I was
There where I was then!)
Planning a plain dinner with boiled rice and fish
And after that a porn perhaps, or a movie
Or some episodes from the sitcom I watch for fun
And after that some light snacks I feast upon for fun
And after that some yawns- prelude to no sleep
And after that a dose of dream, injected forcefully
Into the rebellious Insomnia. (for fun?)
It wasn’t in my plan, not for that moment it was meant.
My plan was simple, unpoetic, without any songlike ceremony
And my entire forgotten day wasn’t supposed to lead to that!
(I wasn’t ready for anything but for some idle fun!
That I deserved for saving the world by doing nothing!)
I was just looking at things without seeing anything
And then, some of a sudden, an image
Acted upon itself quietly, but obviously in some artistic frenzy;
Appeared at my brief appearance at that spot
Out from some empty corner of the street.
It was bizarre, absolutely odd and quite a view:
Sitting under some lonely lamp-post
A painter, long-haired and shabby,
By artfully scratching his paper with a pen
Was trying to squeeze some fun out of a skinny beggar
Whose tiny figure lied completely shrouded in some black.
One can easily tell from the way the bum slept
That the shroud wasn’t unfriendly to the chill of the night. . .
The three-wheels of the wheeler
Didn’t stop to enjoy the show
And so was I back to my revision.
But then, like in some less divine apostasy
I even forgot what I couldn’t remember!
And in mind travelled back some five or ten seconds
To sit behind the painter who sat behind an idea,
To watch him watching the bum carefully
And dig a dark story out from his ink.
Just for a few unwatched seconds
The feeling filled me with a lost joy,
Moistened my dried well of poetic passion
And then again became what it was prosaically before-
Just a bizarre image acting upon itself to become
An image for an idle eye.
Then why, why the beggar’s black shroud
Transforming into the night
Is shrouding me tonight now in some dark chill?
Why questions are seeking answers through me
“What beauty did he seek in the otherwise ugly sleeping man?
Where’s the climactic calamity
That gives birth to the silent darkness?”
I had some plans for fun
But with their premature death
And now me sitting before an idea
How can I endure looking at nothing and seeing only that-
The wheels, the beggar and the painter
And seek beauty there to witness
The birthnight of an unwanted poem?
©Hisham M Nazer
Photo: Creative Commons
Hisham M Nazer is a trilingual poet. A T. S. Eliot scholar, currently working on a dissertation on T. S. Eliot and Dante, supervised by the department of English, University of Rajshahi. A prolific writer, published in several national magazines and international anthologies. He is an essayist too, a spiritual speaker and a teacher of philosophy. Worked as a sub-editor for two literary magazines- Shasshwatiki (Bengali, Bangladesh) and The Browsing Corner (Multi-lingual e-zine, India).