Laila’s Love

I—Laila
you have created
for every
glimpse of majnun
from desert-to-desert
grains of sand i abandon
turn into rosary beads
-tying prayers
to lonely sky
to an estranged land

–Noor Aisya Buang

Aisya has been writing poems since 2011. Her poems and short stories have been published in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia newspapers. Her first poetry book Kastil Aisya (Aisya’s Castle)  has won book prize in Malay Literary Award, Singapore 2015 and shortlisted for Singapore Literature Prize 2016. Her second Malay poetry book Cahaya Dalam Sunyi (Light in Loneliness) has been published recently. She is now in preparation to translate her poems in English and publishing her first Malay short stories. She can be reached through email kastialaisya@gmail.com

Micro Poem 29

Silence sings

whenever
the life’s wheel
hurdles on the gravel
dispersed by tiny minds.

–Soodabeh Saeidnia

Soodabeh was born in Iran and received multiple degrees from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. She has being worked as the University researcher, as a professor for 10 years in Japan, Iran and Canada, and has published about 150 scientific papers in prestigious journals as well as books in both English and Persian. Now, she is living in New York with her husband and 9-year-old son. She is interested in writing science fiction and poems in English, and has published a book of her poems in Persian named “Words for myself”, which you can find here, as well as her Facebook and Twitter.

A Night’s Tale

wonder how many times i exhale a breath,
like a sword–slicing up the breeze
then. mete out to the surface faintly
utmost quietly.

 

dear, the lantern dazing a twinkling light
its gloom can’t be read; in darkness embedded
an ancient of silence so fond of recording sounds
from a century panting-hymning the sky’s psalms
smoothing stillness, hushing up meaning
creating a distance between you–me, till our eyes
unable to touch sight, even no more
unable to grasp lght.

 

“from the slices of breeze i have executed,
only sign language is being picked not
been assessed by thee of its howling…”

 

(and like yesterday, dear;
the breeze and night are still singing majnun’s qasidah
through the breath of nafs: heart.)
–Noor Aisya Buang

Aisya has been writing poems since 2011. Her poems and short stories have been published in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia newspapers. Her first poetry book Kastil Aisya (Aisya’s Castle)  has won book prize in Malay Literary Award, Singapore 2015 and shortlisted for Singapore Literature Prize 2016. Her second Malay poetry book Cahaya Dalam Sunyi (Light in Loneliness) has been published recently. She is now in preparation to translate her poems in English and publishing her first Malay short stories. She can be reached through email kastialaisya@gmail.com

Now and Then

She disappeared for a week.

Waiting for the bruises to fade.

The she disappeared inside herself.  

***

A dark satin ribbon

against her milky white skin.

Up against the crease where

thigh melts into her pelvis,

where no one will see.  

===

WEEKDAYS

Wake up

Breathe

Repeat 
 +   

WORK

hours on the internet

looking up the price of flights

Places she knows she’ll never go.  

Places with names that melt

like spun sugar
 +         

WEEKENDS

sleep that eludes weekdays

falls like a deluge

Sleeping. Ceiling. Netflix. Ceiling. Sleeping. 

@@@

HIM

Pretending it’s normal.

That she is normal.

That nothing has changed.          

_____

THEN

smoky darkness

waterfalls of liquor

a trickle

then a torrent  

a guy, not her guy, watches her

the guy isn’t handsome,

isn’t charming,

isn’t smart;

but what he is,

he thinks…

is here.

blurry face she shouldn’t have kissed

wanting to go home

hands around her throat

streams of silent tears

coursing over her temples

into her hair.

####

HOW

it begins:

A birthday.

Moth emerging

out of a cocoon

of lethargy and apathy.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  

She picks up the razor.  
Back of her knee –

a shifting mountainside

contours and indentations.

The razor slips.

She hisses.

Blood trickles

There it hangs

a Rorschach test

wherein she sees herself.

She smiles.

For the first time in months

^^^^^

NOW

the razor

or pin

or her nails

into her palms

 

This is real,

she thinks.

I made this happened.

 

It’s okay,

she thinks.

I only do it now and then.

–Kylie Goetz

When Kylie was five, she wanted to be either a nun or a lounge singer. Luckily (for the church and lounge patrons everywhere) she discovered a love for storytelling around the same age.  This eventually translated into a B.A in theatre from Florida State University and a MA in creative writing from Macquarie University.  You can buy her book here and follow her Word of the Day Poetry Project

The Well

upon which cup of thirst

should i pour

beverages essence of dhkir

rinsing to cleanse the conscience?

 

gulping various

potions of sentence

to slumber of sanity,

fantasy jostling

in positioning

space unknown to nuance,

unattainable is the light

of enlightened and knowledge of self,

in between the distance and proximity

at the peak of nirvana’s love

tribulation in substantive sufferings

 

upon which cup of thirst

should i pour

beverages essence of dhkir

in facing the shadow of Allah?

–Noor Aisya Buang

Aisya has been writing poems since 2011. Her poems and short stories have been published in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia newspapers. Her first poetry book Kastil Aisya (Aisya’s Castle)  has won book prize in Malay Literary Award, Singapore 2015 and shortlisted for Singapore Literature Prize 2016. Her second Malay poetry book Cahaya Dalam Sunyi (Light in Loneliness) has been published recently. She is now in preparation to translate her poems in English and publishing her first Malay short stories. She can be reached through email kastialaisya@gmail.com

 

Three A.M. High

By Nicole E. Woolaston

There’s a certain element of New York City that can only be seen between the hours of one and about five a.m.  The deeper into the city you go, the more interesting the crowd becomes. Around 42nd Street used to be a hellhole: sex shops, prostitutes (both male and female), twenty-four-hour DVD stores. Then Mayor Edward Koch cleaned it up. Now, it’s just another tourist trap.

I found myself wandering around the Village around a quarter to three. There were a lot of young people out; college kids with no place in particular to be. And tourists….you can spot the tourists. They’ve got “from out of town” written all over them. They just look out of place. Sometimes I think about going up to one of them and asking them what the hell they’re doing out in the city at such a late hour? Are they completely unaware of how dangerous the city can be, especially to one who doesn’t know anything about it? It was the same way, when I went to City College. You could always tell, which students were from New York, and which ones were from Montana or some damn where.

I moved past all of the tourists and college kids, and entered a tattoo parlor. I knew the guy at the front counter: a burly guy named Jerry. He nodded his head when he saw me. “Hey, man,” he said. “What’s up?”

“Not much,” I said. “I was wondering if you could work on my tattoo?”

“Sure,” Jerry said. “Your wife’s middle name, right?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I wanted you to fill in the letters.”

Jerry gestured for me to follow him towards the back of the parlor. Another one of his artists emerged from behind a curtain, and nodded towards me as he walked past. I turned in time to see him walk behind the front counter and stand.

I took a seat in Jerry’s chair, and sat back. Jerry got all of his tools in order, and pulled out a small, yellow cigar box. I’ve seen this cigar box many times before. It’s where Jerry keeps his “good shit”. He removed the contents: a dime bag and some rolling papers. As he carefully rolled a joint, he looked up at me, and asked, “You want?”

Of course I want. “Sure, man,” I said.  He passed the joint to me, and dug into his pocket and pulled out a lighter. He lit it for me, and I took a drag, and leaned my head back. I rolled up my sleeve, and exposed my half-completed tattoo of “Delcina Marie”. Weed and ink are my new things.

Jerry went to work, and I tried to pretend that needle he was using to fill I the letters didn’t hurt like a mother fucker. The weed helped a little…a little. It’s one of those pains that won’t kill you, but it hurts just enough for you to acknowledge its happening. Like a minor toothache. You may not need to see a dentist yet, but the pain is there.

Jerry asked me how my band was doing. I told him, we weren’t doing anything at the moment.

“What’s the matter?” Jerry asked. “Writer’s block or something?”

“Yeah, you could say that,” I said, taking another puff. “Nick is the one who writes most of our songs, and he’s been having some trouble lately. We’ve all got shit to deal with. I found out my father isn’t really my father.”

Jerry paused, and looked up at me. “Say what?”

I forced a smile. “Yeah, man,” I said. “It’s complicated, but it explains a lot of things, you know?” I took another puff. “My whole life, my father treated me like shit, and now I finally know why. I’m not his son.”

“Wow,” Jerry said. “That’s heavy, man. That’s really heavy. You okay?”

“I’m getting there,” I said.

Jerry finished my tattoo, gave me some A&D ointment, and covered my arm with gauze. He does really good work. I shook his hand, and told him I’d probably be back again for something else. I had already finished my joint about an hour ago. I walked out of the parlor, onto the street, and looked around. There were even less people out now. I knew if I walked to Astor Place or Union Square, things would be busy. I took a deep breath, and started walking. A homeless guy stumbled up to me, and asked if I had any change. I dug into my pocket, and handed him a ten. He smiled at me, and thanked me over and over, before wandering off into the night.

I thought about my tattoo. Delcina Marie.  Dee was probably wondering where I was. At that exact moment, my cell phone rang. It was Dee, calling me as if she was telepathic. I cleared my throat and answered her call.

“Hi, honey,” Dee said, with a sigh. “Just making sure you’re still alive.”

“I’m alive, all right,” I said. “Sorry I didn’t call you sooner. I’m just walking around the city, but I think I’ve had enough, now. I’m gonna head to the subway.”

“Okay,” Dee said. “I’ll be up.”

“See you in a little while,” I said. “Bye.” I ended the call, and I knew she was pissed at me. She won’t stay pissed at me for very long, but I do shit to make her worry about me and that’s not fair to her. I’m an ass sometimes. Then again, I guess every guy is an ass.

As I headed down into the nearest subway, I decided to stop at the all-night convenience store on my way home, and pick up some gum. I’m pretty sure my breath still smells like my three a.m. high.

Nicole is an author and artist from New York. She has been writing and creating since early childhood, and is the author of four different series. Most of her work is a reflection of her interests in Japanese anime, manga, and punk rock. You can check out her website, find her on Facebook or Twitter, or email her at woolent@hotmail.com

Untitled

Ich liebe dich
I still cannot believe you love me
Wo bist du?
Come be with me.

Te quiero mucho
You’re beautiful
Te necesito
Stay by my side.

Mahal kita
My heart screams your name
Halikan mo ako
Promise me that your love is true.

Ya lyublu tibya
I yearn for you
Padari mne svayu lyubov
You’re near and yet so far.

Je t’aime de tout mon coeur
Say you’ll never go
Tu es ma joie de vivre
You are my muse.

I love you
Take my heart and keep it.
I need you
I am yours.

–Sarah Montenegro

Sarah is an NYC professional by day, a writer by night. She writes horror and tragic stories, and sometimes, about past lives. Recently, she tried dabbling into poetry. You can email her at sjcm1721@gmail.com  and you can check out her short stories at sorenlysander.wordpress.com.