Friday, April 18, 2014

Skipping Stones

October 12, 2012Print This Post         

Stone Garden, Kazuyuki Ohtsu

by Yahia Lababidi

Poetic Ideal: a language scrubbed clean by silences.

If we listen, the air is heavy with poems, ripe for plucking.

Branches are roots, too, in the sky.

Perhaps it is not poetry that purifies the language of the tribe, but Silence.

The true poet, or mystic, is not too proud to admit that, in matters great and small, they cannot proceed until they receive further instructions.

One never becomes a poet, except when they are writing a poem.


Dark Room

Awoke, with an unseen
reel of dream film
I’d found wandering

And, now wondering
where does one develop
such unreal pictures?


Love in the digital age: I hang on your every tweet.

There’s nothing virtual about connection.

Virtual world, real emotions in real time.

Social media:  the art of living out loud.

Most of us lead double lives, nowadays, online.

Social media might make us feel less lonely, but it also makes it more difficult to be alone.

A watched tweet is never retweeted.



Perhaps, we are negotiating
not just with one, but always two
-who share the same soil, it is true-
one who lives, another who is dying

A shift in balance begins to take place
once a love of silence is confessed
its roots run deep, its shade a world
and her fruits impossible to forget

From the first, we surrender something
and, gradually, consent to be emptied
transfixed by so much soundless music
drunk and sated through lipless mouths

What use to name this silent master
preparing us for dying or the Divine
(I’m not sure there is a difference)
but know in embracing it, we let go.


How modulated the voice of the hours – from dawn’s tremulous hope to dusk’s winsome ache…

The great whale hunt of the spirit life is also pursued in dreams.

The play of ideas is eternal. We merely shuffle onstage, and off, to introduce them to one another.

Fear of ridicule keeps us mediocre.

We can easily become prisoners of certain memories; remember, there’s freedom in forgetting.

How the present and future are always shuffling the cards called past.

This is the symbolic life, the previous and the next are the real.

Cover photograph by Baz Masters

About the Author:

Yahia Lababidi is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and the author of three books: Signposts to Elsewhere (aphorisms) Trial by Ink (essays) and Fever Dreams (poetry). Most recently, Lababidi collaborated on a collection of literary dialogues, titled: The Artist as Mystic. For more information, please visit his website

Editor's Picks

Inherent Vice’s Two Directions

Albert Rolls

The jokes certainly strike one as sophomoric and the latter one as clichéd, further below Pynchon’s intelligence than one would like to think he would stoop, at least in print. Discounting them and moving on, or throwing the book across the room as Parker half implies we should do, however, would be to lose sight of “that high magic to low puns”.

Read More

Auden, Larkin and Love

Ron Rosenbaum

I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb” contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”

Read More

Plato, Our Comrade?

Daniel Tutt

Not surprisingly, there have already been critics of Badiou’s translation. The first is that his translation breaks the formal rules of translation to such a degree that the original meaning of the text has lost its significance. But this critique is inadequate at face value because Badiou’s hyper-translation is forthright in its intention of taking Plato’s concepts and modifying them into his own lexicon.

Read More
Copyright ©