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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Severed; A bullet-train full of celebrities

By: Hussam Jefee-Bahloul


How can I explain to my mother

            that solitude is unique too?

how can I explain to my brother

this indifference?

how can I create any meaning

            while my words are being pureed for the next man’s dinner?

how can I fathom anything

            in these scrabble-filled chronicles?


          here’s a mockery of my meaningful life:

          delighted, I keep eye contact with whoever’s running towards

          my deliberately escaping–


A  bullet-train full of celebrities

Life and what it passes on, remind me of you— panoramic elevators and Richard Dawkins’ book about              some selfish genes weird colors and that “hippie” scent illuminating the air roasted coffee beans the texture of old books the sound of a window squeaking on its track                and that moment when winter blows against the glass life and what it passes on, remind me of you— peoples’ necks             moles spreading on bountiful acres of flesh             like a chair rocking alone                             on the porch of this universe life and what it passes on, remind me of you— Julia Robert’s smile Monica Bellucci’s tan and that wicked attractiveness of              Scarlet Johansson life and what it passes on, remind me of you— dancing reflections on store fronts hunger and crying babies              the smell of French fries and the taste of the blues after midnight so, it becomes a habit… every time I sit in a bullet-train going from B to A I close my eyes dismantle the wheels and windows enter the memory space— and use your carefully uploaded portraits to build a               photo exhibit.


Hussam Jefee-Bahloul is a Syrian poet, writer, and psychiatrist. He was born in Lattakia, Syria, in 1983, and currently an assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts. He published his first poetry collection in Arabic in 2008: فتّاحة الأمل المعلّب (The Opener of Canned Hope). His second collection was released in 2017 طيور تدخن الماريوانا (Birds Smoking Marijuana) at Al-Moutawasset publishing; Milano, Italy. His first English book of poetry (The Chronicler of Indifference) will be released in early 2019 in America by Červená Barva Press. He published extensively in the genre of creative non-fiction and is currently working on a book project for the MIT press on the topic of psychology of war and displacement. He is the founder of (ta'sheeq) project, a collaborative artistic project to present poetry in multi-media performances.


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