Quint magazine, Dubai


Illustrating "Paul D" Rogers' poems:


Make me cry

Say something saffron and crushed velvet that will crush me.

It's been so long since I leaked from the cracked clay of cheekbone.

I've become hardened and coarse,

barren barely recognizable.

Nothing moves me anymore.

Sing me a novella through ghostlike windpipe. Vibrato me to weeping.

Tell me a poem that will make the demons inside me snap

their fingers and leave me in shame and repentance.

May the Lord forgive them and solder angels' wings to their spiked spines.

Give me an image that makes me remember why I'm here tonight.

Wake me out of this fool's gold doldrums where cubic zirconium stars

dangle from thin strings and tumble on to dull drums.

When that first tear falls,

don't be tempted to wipe it.

Let it trickle down and

do a rain dance like the indigenous

so that more will be summoned

Some will drip from my chin.

Others will run down my neck

under my shirt

down my chest



and form a puddle in the web between them.

Let the dust there

become fertile mud

where a seed can be planted

and a new life can begin.

But first you have to bring me back

to humanity, un-Frankenstein me

and make me cry.


The Phenomenology of Roundness

Life is most definitely round.

I stopped chasing my future when I found it in my back

pocket after taking my clothes out of the wash the other day.

It was hidden in the lint and blue jean matter.

I no longer get teary-eyed when my past pants

in my ears like a loose hyena.

I reminisce my grandfather's laughs in the present

tense although his tombstone where he lies lies

and says he is long gone.

Time is cyclical, and Westerners are dying earlier

from the depressing effects of believing it is linear.

Certain African tribes call it zamani, the "now-ness of time".

I call it the roundness of time

because that just sounds cooler.

I will name my first daughter Zamani although my wife

will call it "ghetto" and swear that I will be cursing her

to a life of unemployment. I will tell her to get "o-ver" it

and laugh at my own inside joke.

Our universe is but one sud in a soda can.

Nipples aren't erogenous zones but baby bulls' eyes.

When someone calls you zero or rates you as such,

take solace in the fact that they compared you to something round.

Nothing squarish is cool except some board games.

Octagons mean to halt. Triangles force you to be cautious.

Rectangles sound like accidents and getting caught in snares.

Circles claim the sun, earth, cells, and wombs as their shape-bearers.

Eggs are this shape and so are buttons that fasten and unhinge.

Want to have an equitable meeting?

Set chairs in a circle.

Get around to it.

Want to tell someone you understand? Tell them, "Oh".

Look in the mirror and say it to see what shape your lips make.

Form your mouth in a round fashion to give the ultimate satisfaction to your man.

Men get slapped by their spouses for getting distracted from roundness.

Ditch the stop lights and take the round-a-bout.

Look around you and all you will see is round.


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