Four Poems

  • PIERRE JORIS

 

Minutes Before Breakfast with Bennis

at the Hotel Zelis in Asilah
writing outside looking at
harbor & beach
here sun & air dry the ink as fast
as I can trace the words
as far as the eye can see
sea meets land
& lands its waves
spermatically white
spill over flat prostrate sand
an islandology meets a nomadology
here where Sidi Okhba danced
his horse into atlantic
waves
did not yet fore-
see America
that other shore
mirror maghreb west of this
west same waves lick same
reversal with
different distortions

 

*

Sudanese Saying

One of the non-
bourgeois of Calais
on one of the last days
of the Great Emptying
i.e. the Shameless Hiding
of the “eyesore”
Calais refugee camps
called “the jungle”
where “jungle” is a translation
from Pashto of “dzhangal”
meaning “forest,”
one of these non-
bourgeois of Calais
reported
a Sudanese saying
to object to their,
the refugees’ dispersal,
a saying that says
solidarity
alleviates pain,
& this is how
it goes:
“if we die all together,
death is a feast.”

 

*

 

the green tanker
sways at anchor
the red bottom
shows an empty hull
the hydrocarbon load
pumped into Jersey
tanks, the green
tanker sways,
light on the waves,
stern toward Man-
hattan, bow toward
the open.

 

*

 

RAINOVER DALLAS with
some lightning, spare
thunder like
clearing one’s throat
— at dawn
the lion, unperturbed,
doesn’t roar,
sips the water in
a river flowing high up
on the wall looking
straight through
my 7th floor hotel
room window,
myth-sized in
the ad reads
“earth shot on iPhone” —

no horizon left
only Verizon

 

****************

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