Showing posts from June, 2020


Yusuf Saadi writes: I had just finished reading One Thousand and One Nights , where, famously, Shahrazad must narrate a story to the king in order to entertain him all night so he doesn’t kill her. I was thinking about the interaction of language and sensuality, the kinds of sensuality on the surfaces of language and beyond language, and how the body incites language and vice versa. Pleasuring Shahrazad In rosewater I rinse my final words, dip them into your body. Your slow, saline drip on my tongue. You eclipse Medinan dates soaked in honey, saffron rice with diced pistachios, a single pomegranate— surah carved in Kufic on each ruby seed. Camphor recites its being inside a kerosene lamp. Don’t plead, simply ask for pleasure pleated upon pleasure past tongue-winding rinds around words. Damascus musk settles on damask pillows. Iced watermelon wine gushes in crystal glass. Hebron peaches blush; sea-coast lemons             cleave in halves. My nails moon


Sadiqa de Maijer photo by Cat London Sadiqa de Meijer writes: This is the title poem from my new collection. I've always liked the riddle of how to get the fox, goose and grain across the river, when some will eat the other if left alone. Older versions of that quandary sometimes feature a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage. I wanted to ask, particularly from a multi-ethnic and diasporic perspective, what if we look at that cargo, and even the landscape of the river itself, as internal to the speaker? Sadiqa de Meijer THE OUTER WARDS I saw that I would have to cross the river, and that it was the Rijn. I had a fox, a goose, a sack of grain. I said, I love the gay men in kufiyas on the Rembrandtplein, and the muted half of me, from a land of five converging waters, with an upstream alphabet— so what makes me yours every night, slow current, floodplain of drowning grass? Then the goose was in the reeds. It had an egg. Twigs and quills, the ruckus