Two Poems by Yahia Lababidi


Shuttered Windows

To speak of the smell and feel
of books, the erotics of the text,
has begun to sound perverse

One by one, the old places of worship
churches, bookstores, Nature herself
become quaint and are vacated

In their stead a gleaming, ambitious screen
part shuttered window, part distorting mirror
full of wandering, restless spirits

Like so many ghosts in limbo –
free of the tyranny of bodies,
yet aching for their phantom limbs.


Liberation Song

He walks with a convict’s gait
a dream-ravaged, slip of a man
formally summoned to confess
before a suspicious audience

He makes music with his chains
the one with wild, hunted eyes
disoriented and unaccustomed
to such confusion of light and sound

His throat burns so, he’s uncertain
how he might find a voice to utter
his strange sin to the huddled faces
attending his trial and to every move

Then, a hush descends as he’s introduced
by members of officialdom at a podium
and the crowd erupts into polite applause
for the invited poet at the reading.

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). Coming soon, is a series of literary conversations with Lababidi, in collaboration with Alex Stein, titled The Artist as Mystic (Onesuch Press). For more information, please visit his website