marioashkar

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Category: poetry

This Should Hold
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

ceremonially

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

unaware

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.

88

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).

Warhol Ekphrastic

I’ve come back here

I knew my way this time

and I come to you because

the others were taken and

you excite and upset me

your contrasting shadows and

white features

your leather jacket

and painful ejaculation

you thrust forwards and I know

your 1/2 and 1/2 grey scaled neck

your new-born nose sprouting from

out of the blackness

two ghostly disks fall phantom

over your eyes your forehead

an unmarked page crisp and inviting

and just as intimidating

and your cheekbones

are perfect your lips

perfect your hand with

no distinction or detail is perfect

the light feels its way around your

cheeks and finds your ears

cowering crying and your white neck

my teeth in your white neck

your blue jeans have color and so do your

legs that I bow before intent

and all for Andy

and all for art and I know

and you know that this is real

your eyes for the first time

I see your eyes the way your

mother saw them and

the razor bumps on your neck

my teeth in your

porous and corrugated neck

the light unknowing and unintended

sweeps away the dark from your pupils

and shows me your pupils

you smoke striking

inhaling lazily

exhaling wondering

what this is

I continue

you are unattached

removed and bored

the bricks behind you crumbling

and raw show more

than your body tells me

lifeless and reactionless

and I paint you now like Andy

filmed you then but I see you

on my knees and I know

more than your mother knows

and I know more than

Andy knows but you know

less than all of us

you know what your wristwatch tells you

the unbiased light now

opens the floor in your hand

of dried valleys where the skin has

been folding for 24 years

and your forehead and cheek

bones perfect and saintly as the minutes

count down to seconds 16

15 a light flashes and white dots

replace you in my eyes

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
undershirts
and no one
waits
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.

004_22A

That our legs fuse and cavities form into breathing holes on the backs of our necks

i want to hang out in the ocean
with some beluga whale boys