Mohammed Al Hamwi

(Syria, UK)

My little Odette

She has the right to dance
at her wedding,
the burn-faced.

Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky
did not mind a swan for being lame.

I raised her in my womb for 8 dry months, 28 days and 4 hours
I could hear her eating my mind, drinking my milk-like hallucinations.

Now she is 34 years old
and I am 30.

Once I was her
God, my little Odette.

She has the right to dance
at her wedding,
the burn-faced…but

do I have the right to
monstrously pity her?


Birds are all females:
I simply cannot imagine a bird with a phallus.

The soul goes up to the sky
when somebody dies, some folks believed,
ancient and wise birds disagree: when a bird dies
‘her’ soul falls down.

To Charles Bukowski

I sold some books
Few were badly written
Few were beautifully written
Few were read two or three times
Few were not finished
And few were stolen from half, alas, close friends.

However, I sold them all and
bought some fags and some rollies…
and a cheap, second hand table of course, of course;
I wanted to mourn Charles Bukowski’s death.

That ‘sonofbitch’
though lived like a wounded hyena
passed away on March 9, 1994
and left us no more black lusts to live on.

Pedro’s Grocery Stall

Pedro was too amiable
so he ran a grocery stall down the street
for 33 consecutive
fierce years.

Pedro used to sell brushstrokes
warped with a few skies
from all parts of the world.

Like all the unknown people
Pedro fought for an empty skull
with only tall horses waling on nearby hills
Nobody could be an intruder,
Pedro’s stall was firmly locked on
Van Cogh’s roses.

One late morning I saw Pedro myself
He handed a book in at the circulation desk in Albert Sloman’s library,
He felt, I could tell, like a kid given heartlessly to a day nursery;
Pedro was a friend.

Now he is lying peacefully in his pink grave dig
I knelt down and whispered:
Sorry, dude, I couldn’t keep you company any further
and I had to go home
feeling relaxed,
unlike all the others
at the cemetery.

Nothing Matters at Night

We slept tight
Two little birds
Two heads lacking thoughts and feeling cold,
We tried not to open the door
But, the storm came
Whistling, as usual.

Nothing matters at night
Piercing voices could turn the clock back.
If you insist, turn it back yourself.

Nothing matters now
Love is gossip
You tried to make meaningful,
Nothing matters when you do the dishes
Like somebody crying feeling guilty of doing nothing.

In the very same room
Passion and Washing liquid could coincide
What matters is her HANDS.

It's winter now in the dorm
Few students are singing
One man is opening the door
For the two birds to depart
So long then
So long for a while
“Regards”.... as we used to end our lies.

Nothing really matters when you are alone
Deep in love with somebody simply snoring next to you.

My Cold Republic of Losses

What does a loser do
before a very promising interview?
Face the mirror,
Three or four times a week
Rather to wash
the was-one-day-pleasant-to-look-at face;
to comb the parting with some moisturizing gel.

Employers are waiting,
Interviewers will be happy to talk to you
You come in and you talk it through with them
Then you head home
leaving behind your failure and screwing-ups
for them to rake.

Somebody encourages you:
Make your CV more selling
It is your only chance to shine
Be as positive as the ads on Google
Demonstrate your stable previous work history (if any)
And so on and so forth.

OK, then
Everything goes to plan
But you…what about you?

Sorry, the position has been filled
Apply again in six months
And don’t forget to make your dreams cheaper.

Easily and happily as your patience grows thinner
you flush your sorrows away
What remains, next to your blackening rose,
is definitely your black rose leaning against a big lie
called: my CV.

Now, between two Microsoft Word commas
you sit bewilderedly in your cold republic of

Christmas Without Her

I told my friend, Narcissus
to remain silent:
she was crossing the shabby room
with some pale flowers.

Wrinkles on the butt
could tell a story
of so many knobby palms
that patted the same mortal flesh.

We sat on top of our sorrows
basking and thinking on the patio:
‘Why is death the most romantic idea?’
and barked as long nights went on like thirsty tigers.

Urged by her laughter
we enjoyed our ignorance;
we wrote some happy
bad poetry.

why on earth
on Christmas Day without her
did unripe oranges


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