an excerpt from “meant to wake up feeling”

Currently, I am reading “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park, which is based on a true story from Sudan. A story in two parts: 2008, where we follow a young girl who spends day after day walking back and forth to get water for her family. 1995, where we become part of the frightening adventure of a “lost boy of Sudan”.

What are you reading? Need a recommendation?

Here’s a poem from my recent book of poems, “meant to wake up feeling” published last year by great weather for MEDIA


 synonymous with homeland         opposition of ribs made from concrete         soil and lattice wall       tension earth     animal insulates weather   dismantle for camel transport     there is no need to commit to this     sacred     circular     jurta     ornamental strength from cosmos or fire   kherga     expansion of tree shave     wool insulation         gifts from sheep     ropes     Russian or German or Turkic     xayma     compression of heavy     you     only two hours to make this home     pattern dragon metal   collapsible   stain heritage into alphabetized books     lyrical station of angular

circular framework of solitude.

We don’t really need much. There is water. There is food, which can be found hung on trees or sprouting from ground. There is air. While hunting for a place of resuscitation, I think of what is necessary. As a writer, all we need is some paper and something to write with. If there is no paper, there is skin. There is concrete to carve our letters on. There are buildings and bathroom walls. There is memory. As a writer, all we need is silence, but even the new york sirens and screams can yield enough words to work with. These days, I long for a yurt. A circular structure that offers enough seclusion to welcome in some words. A house without outlets. Windows with the scent of wood smoothing its way onto skin. An avenue for rest and translation. As a writer, we live so much of time in solitude. To home-birth the words out. I search for the soil to dig my nudity in and live out days to unwind these letters.

the time breath forgot itself

“If there is something to desire,
there will be something to regret.
If there is something to regret,
there will be something to recall.
If there is something to recall,
there was nothing to regret.
If there was nothing to regret,
there was nothing to desire.” 
……………………………………….Vera Pavlova.

Dear Rebel,

So much of this is about persistence. Did I tell you about the time I forgot how to breathe. I awoke on a Saturday and my chest was sore like April in mourning. I googled: steps to take when breath is forgotten. Videos and imagery emerged. Yoga poses. Lots and lots of kundalini. Some recipes for tinctures and toxin-reducers. Am I housing foreclosed energies that are tying up my lungs into suffocated pauses?

Name one thing I regret: letting that ring rust away from  my finger. Call out the first sounds I heard this morning: steam and persistence of cold. What happens when we recall: lost time. You called yourself pregnant and I told you about the time(s) I thought I was too. Last year, I miscarried my mind. This year, I may find myself giving birth to a mountain; how many stretchmarks will add themselves to my body from that push.

Rebel, in a room full of poets, I was reduced to a stereotype. In a room full of metaphors and freestyle’d verse, I was called dirty and abused. Sometimes we have no idea who sits beside us and the routes of survival.

I used to desire the wrap-a-round of somebody’s fingers into mine. I used to desire monogamy and breakfast. I used to regret my inability to close doors and keep them locked. Now I desire music and tuned colors. Now I regret not wearing sturdier boots.

Rebel, I still think about that yurt and the ways in which bodies can resemble this portable dwelling. We can airlift our bones anywhere. We can escape this cold and travel toward the moon or dig our way around it. I’ll bring the paper, percussion and manuals on how to breathe. I’m still gathering.