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Category: literature


Backlit in D

The Oil in the Arctic

drilling for love in all the wrong places

his face was the arctic,
and his eyes were the oil wells
when i looked at him i could see all the beauty and pain
and it made me want to cry

Olivier Samuel Albinus Laden

better known to his wives, his children,

poetic followers and brothers as

O. Sam A’Bin’ Laden

past away

peacefully in his sleep. weird.

March 9, 1957 – May 2, 2011 RIP

At a red hot light

At a red hot light

a bang like a shrill vacuum

stampeded my father who


looked up through the blue in his windshield

at the small-town sky in anticipation for

death from above.

Instead a crying girl

apologized for the bumper


she drove the black carriage

that transplanted him back

to his mostly suppressed youth in a

monastery in Lebanon

where he’d buried the dead between bombings

because the other boys were too afraid of ghosts.


Maybe it wasn’t 88

but that’s how I always remember it.

88 Ashkars I will never meet

slaughtered under cars, in their homes.

30 years and 7,000 miles away I’m safe and

I couldn’t imagine losing 88 (or so).

Through the internet

I saw your face change into
how I recognize you today.
Where technology is your first hand
it is my second.
I could always match the capital with its lower-
cased partner.
Sometimes, I’d confuse M and m
with N and n. Now I only confuse east and west
and I think I might’ve learned them wrong.
Because we can’t say love yet
we also can’t say hon or honey.
But, babe is safe and we both use it too much.
Now that you’re gone the offers have been rolling in.
I’ve been respectfully refusing, because I’m waiting for you
to come back so
we can fill in the blanks and make stupid meals together.

Barbie, pronounce bobby, was from 39

But that was 20 years ago
The pictures have changed,
gaiety’s dead.
Now the
actors wear
and no one
in white tails
with a champagne flute.

sandi petrie mario ashkar queerocracy symposium

Queerocracy Symposium Submission

I worked with a close friend, Sandi Petrie, who is a fiber artist working out of Cleveland, LA, and now Delaware. I wrote this poem and she drew the image based off it. They were accepted into the Queerocracy Symposium zine at the New School in New York City.

If a million tourists

told me to leave
my home I’d
probably leave
my home.
Even if it were
just one hundred,
I’d be worried.