Jessica Sequeira: Three Poems

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Liza Zhakova, from “fuckmehard”. Source: lensculture.com

Boathouse

From this red block of pure substance we look toward sea, separated from it by tiny flakes of white paint. Some finger has stuck itself in the same pot to draw wave tops, a line quivering but unbroken. Doctors speak of low iron levels in the blood and say things, “a nice broth is what you need” “a good cut of meat”, while the strength of the soul goes unmentioned. Yet here we rest, Soul and I, knowing better. I talk to you as if I’m old and you’re innocent, and I keep a shell in my hand. We sit in the shell of the boathouse, and my body remains a shell for you, and nothing passes through my mind except that I want to write lines clean and new. The wave top looks like a dishcloth wrung out, and the speed I move is not the speed of the water.

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The truth is, I don’t believe all that much in writing. Starting with my own. Being a writer is pleasant—no, pleasant isn’t the word—it’s an activity that has its share of amusing moments, but I know of other things that are even more amusing, amusing in the same way that literature is for me. Holding up banks, for example. Or directing movies. Or being a gigolo. Or being a child again and playing on a more or less apocalyptic soccer team. Unfortunately, the child grows up, the bank robber is killed, the director runs out of money, the gigolo gets sick and then there’s no other choice but to write. For me, the word writing is the exact opposite of the word waiting. Instead of waiting, there is writing.—Roberto Bolaño

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Cairo by Piri Reis, 16th century. Source: Wikipedia

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Julian Gallo: Hoxha’s Children

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Alex Majoli, Scutari, Albania, 1997. Source: magnumphotos.com

Tirana, Albania — April 11th 1985

1

The foremost leader has died.

National mourning. Black flags flutter from the windows along side our national flag. Tears, agony, grief, everywhere one looks.

The television shows nothing but tributes to our fallen comrade.

I sit in the café, sip my coffee, watch the grief stricken faces of my fellow comrades. I look out the window at everyone just standing around, consoling one another, seeking comfort in another’s embrace.

I turn my attention back to the interior, continue to sip my coffee, occasionally watch the old films of our foremost leader when he was young, healthy, strong.

The café is crowded but most people don’t speak, most sit with their own thoughts, grieving, as if a member of their own family has passed. In a lot of ways, one had.

A woman sits by herself at the far end of the café. She isn’t crying or gazing at the television. She simply stirs a spoon in her coffee cup, smokes a cigarette, gazes out the window with no expression. She looks sad but there are no tears. Thin and pale, deep lines  crease the corners of her mouth. I can tell that she must have been very beautiful once but either time or hardship had nearly erased all traces of it. It isn’t until she glances my way that I realize who it is.

I can’t look at her.

If it weren’t for those eyes, I would have never believed it.

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أمجد الصبان: قرباننا

By Youssef Rakha

By Youssef Rakha

لمح مجدي – بالصدفة – إعلانًا كُتب بخط صغير أسفل زاوية في إحدى صفحات جريدة محلية.
ولأنه فضولي، أزاح طبق الطعام جانبًا، دفع مقعده الخشبي إلى الخلف وقام ليبحث عن عدسته المكبرة حتى يتبين تفاصيل الإعلان.
وبعد أن أعاد القراءة مرة وأخرى، شعر للمرة الأولى بأن هناك طريقًا للنجاة. كان الإعلان عن عودة مسابقة “قُرباننا” بعد انقطاع دام عقدًا كاملًا.تم الإعلان عن المسابقة أربع مرات، نُفذَتْ مرة واحدة وألغيت ثلاث مرات، على الرغم  من الإغراءات الكثيرة التي قدمها القائمون على المسابقة لحثّ الناس على الترشح. شروط الترشح أن تكون سليم البنيان، حسن الهيئة، خال من الأمراض. والفائز سوف يحظى بجنازة مهيبة تُذاع مباشرة على قنوات التلفزيون المحلي. وسوف يُقام له تمثال صغير يُوضع في مدخل المدينة.

استمر في القراءة

Market Intelligence by Rudy Descas

HUNGARY. Budapest. Szechenyi thermal baths. 1997.

Martin Parr, Budapest, Szechenyi thermal baths, 1997. Source: magnumphotos.com

“So this Senator’s son runs a corporate training development and implementation business—they create slick interactive slideshows, the kind that large corporations force their workers to watch at their desks for a few hours every year, what Human Resources calls mandatory compliance training. And if the workers don’t sit there, watch the slides, and take the little quizzes along the way, the compliance system sends an alert to their boss who’ll be forced to tell them in person, hey, this is mandatory, so, for real, sit down and watch it and take the quizzes or I can’t sign off on your next paycheck. Companies make their workforce do a bunch of these each year, depending on the worker’s role, things like how to avoid fraud, waste, and abuse; how to avoid sexual harassment lawsuits; how to promote diversity in the workplace; how to handle awkward conversations.”

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Julian Gallo: Pieces

Benoit Paillé, from "Rainbow Gatherings". Source: lensculture.com

Benoit Paillé, from “Rainbow Gatherings”. Source: lensculture.com

New York City — The Recent Past

There’s that “something” in the look she is giving you, something in her gaze which tells you that she thinks you’re interesting. You pretend not to notice it, of course, try to maintain your “cool detachment” but you aren’t sure why you’re doing it. You don’t really like to talk about yourself too much but she asked about your writing and writing is, at least to you, essentially the “core” of who you are. How could you not talk about it?

“What do you write? Would I know anything?”

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