A few recent poems – Omar Sabbagh

The Outstanding Curse
Marbella, Spain


I was an outlaw in all of Space
And the place was a caper of a place.
There were arcs of arching scallywags
Hurrying through that yellow ground
And the shriek-shock of my face,
A smile to scurry for a veil, a round
Smidgeon of grip and grace, a noun
Grouped with verbs, papyrus to a rag…


I tried to outdo the damning, I tried.
There were whole, there were consummate essays
But a masterly nose roaming the place,
Scenting to the apogee of a sniff this
Prison forged for a stag from leaping gifts
And the challenged barter of my pen…
My curse, a clown, stays a man within
A man within; this grim vertigo of grins…


The Narcissisms Of Rhyme


The harmonious thing: I see the ID everywhere,
The tallying reflections of me, me, the waterless…
I’ve often thought of what Zero means, the blinded zest
Of a shining madness, living in Naught, too prepared
For all that comes, stinging and alive, to stick in the net of
Me, me: ID everywhere: an arid, errant, barren kind of love.


Reading In Ellman’s Joyce


Here’s an ear like mine,
Busting juice,
The dimpled green-glazed glass
Of the bottle


Of its vase-like throttle.
He knows what I know,
The viscera mined


To exfoliate
Without shrapnel
Nor truly phony rhyme.
Here’s the peripatetic mind.


Here’s the drama of use
And the saga
Of a neck too big, too fat for the noose,
A Jew


Like all of us, we few musk-
Ridden suckers,
We luckless winners, we,
Of music’s constellation


Across the fear-filled years
Of the poster now of the roasting-grin,
Sham, fake, foil,
Udder-less, rudder-less


Here’s the sublimation
Of its dear and cherished lack.
Here’s the immanence of crap. Crap.


Things To Know About The Artistic Genius,
Mocking The Hero (Mocking The Hero)


I count
The motive waves
Of a terrible ocean
As my peers, coevals, boasting-near.


I’m the kind of chap who gives
Permission to his fears.
A wand like a father,
Salt for meat.


And if the damnéd-gape of the hollowed-out
Death’s my


It’s because the knots
Of my humanity are
Not quite tight
As what they are.


A champing champion,
I munch the predominance
Of lineless-ness, and lies. I
Lunch on muddied swords


After the felled
Of the lance-like scene,
The purpose behind the wits


Of mankind’s teeming dreams,
Their slipshod logic’s
A tumescent product
Of all I seam.


A weave behind a weave,
I graft, a minister of need,
The world, a soulless monk within
A dying rut,


A nerve-grey circle –
Desire, the bilious reed
Of loss, forlornness
The boss, the chief


At a gathering of
Balding wolves,
At the moon, a poisonous leaf –


Bitten, written
In the commonplace heart.


My art is art’s day of rest:
My value, a vein-less vase
Beaming with flowers
And the smile of color.


I’m a warrior,
Bigger than the lice
Vexing the erstwhile midgets
With their itchy bite.


An eye, bigger than sight.
An I: quiet as the mouth
Of the man who’s said
The tot of things with spilling lips


Brimming bulging Mind:
Twice or more.
I’ve seen the Oneness of the door
Unto knowledge


Turned wisdom.
I’ve conned it all,
My Latin
An English shore.


Meanwhile, the waves
The won patterns of a mincing brain
Rendered Soul (that bowl) without a hole


Bombing the future;
And the sting, and the dressage
Of the soap and sage
Of his mane; strands, stray strands


Become the hirsute pleat
Of round of rhyme.


A Morning Hope


Verily, I can smell the creaking opening
Of a door. Shriving, it’s a kind of mourning
By which a deep-bowelled respect is given
To the shunning side of a shunning face.
It’s a kind of grace, I suppose. Within
This mastery, I’m woundable. Hate
Can hurt me, thankfully. The plate
Of my existence is cleaned-out, only
A smear of some sauce remains.
I hunger to be sane, a chink in the machine
Of the operations in my life. A clog.
A ratcheting against the sovereign
Mistakes, the errors of my eyes in fog.
I hope. I’d like to die – but unlike a dog.


On The Day Before Her Birthday
For Faten


So. Imagine it like this.
A man’s asked to spell the words
‘To spell.’ A Spell
Overtakes him.


He spends days and weeks
In the carousels of enchantment,
Riding the big, spinning wheel,
The kneeling truth
At the arrowed heel
Of the absurd feeling –
A far-fledged love like
The square root
In the old and busy suit
Of zero: nothing more real…


The heroine berthed
Here, among these visceral worths,
Syllables from the North
Of her hero’s


A Calculus / an equation
By the fleet of fleeing reason –
She’s like a species
Unto herself (Aquinas
On the angels…)


This romance mythos is Quiet because It knows


That fate is character, blow by blow:
All the tragic misfit
Of a yore-filled pen
Finds its glove, a sheath of
Swan, a comic fit
Where the wound is sewn.
For Faten, on her birthday


I stood there, a fool, dragged by dull wonder.
The place diced me, peopled by the glumness of the real
Wagging its grey finger. As ever, I wanted it all, all:
A coroner of myself, a dead body in the world…


One girl, though, offered herself, her eyes
A tray: I was a passive beak to that provender.
I said to myself, be sad. Be the hothouse of their lies,
But slower, the green of your development, demur…


And then the turning of the tide. My wishes
Began to map a newer country, an un-guessed nation.
The politics there would lope, the idiom of kisses,
And the language of her laws would be bird-sane.


I turned a wise-man in that bar, the drink, a mane – my
Savanna, watered, solved of a sudden by her name.