Two Poems

Maged Zaher


Clare falls in love & Clare thinks of her sister's
taste in men & Clare Clare may be home now & may
be she knows that there is nothing
to remember but birds.

Clare leaves & takes her camera along & calls
me to say: "there are places in this world I don't
want to live in, here for example."

I call her to list the names of all the poets who
died for wrong reasons
she calls me back & talks about taking 22 rolls
of film of herself in a happy dream after the
pills finally kicked in.


Facing death we stick to our
pretentiousness: Some symbolism, some
constructivism, and a tad bit of reality.

How did we end up in an affair with
syntax? - First we did identity politics
in the suburbs, where we found out that
this is the digital age and settled for
these semi-dorky conversations about
content vs. form.

We went to the lecture hall full of hope:
theory is practice. Yet old school critics
& experimental poets were roaming the cyber-
space for a good fuck: alas, we were left in
chat rooms like inferior angels.

Self hate is an expensive skill: indoor
sunglasses, the same set of pickup lines &
voila: we got the fashion industry folks
cornered on the dance floor & we threw
good punch or two before the music ended.

So Paris, come hither, hither
to the cyber ghetto of experimental poets.
The night is freckled with its stars
but my language is yours dear
my dear language is dearly yours.

Maged Zaher

Maged Zaher was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt and came to the U.S. to pursue a graduate degree in Engineering. His English poems have appeared in magazines such as Columbia Poetry Review, Exquisite Corpse, Jacket, New American Writing, Tinfish,, and others. He has two chapbooks, speculations on a second weather, and the wholesale approach, and has taught poetry workshops in the Seattle area. Some of his translations of contemporary Egyptian poetry have appeared in Banipal and are forthcoming in Talisman.