miércoles, 26 de febrero de 2014

Basketful of Poems

A Link to Voznesensky

            by Hakim

I was very surprised to recently find

that Andrei Voznesensky

has a new career.

While using that wonderful poetic device ‘Google’

I saw the great Russian poet’s name

listed on Linked-In.com.

Once there, I discovered that

Mr Voznesensky is a

“Senior Principal Scientist at Pfizer

in the Hartford, Connecticut Area.”

And the author of Modern Nature and

ru and

Dead Still

and my favorite


has 50 connections!

And some of my connections know some of his connections…

I am so glad to know that Voznesensky is interested in:

    * career opportunities

    * consulting offers

    * job inquiries

    * reference requests


    * getting back in touch

There is so much we could discuss –

the surreal image,

symbolism and

the use of synecdoche

in his previous position as

a ‘Principal Research Scientist at Bayer Pharmaceutical.’

Would Boris Pasternak be pleased to know

that his former protégé is now

a member of the

Biotech & Pharma Professionals Network?

Are the poetic influences of Mayakovsky and Neruda

useful in his present endeavors?

If I sound disappointed, well,

that may be true.

I mean, the guy’s got a minor planet

named after him:

‘3723 Voznesenskij.’

And shouldn’t he – after all – be concentrating

on poetry?

So I sent him a message, because

there’s that big blue headline:

“Send a message to Andrei Voznesensky”

and right under it, two golden buttons –

            “Contact Directly”


“Get Introduced”

(“7 of your trusted connections can introduce you to someone who knows this person”).

And I wrote,

“So Andrei, how’s it hanging? 

Hey, what’s with the job in big pharma? 

You’re a genius, man, with medals and shit,

And you ought to be writing those pithy poems

that made you famous.

Keep it real, man,

And don’t forget your roots.  Hakim”

And a couple days later I got this back:

“Sorry to disappoint you,

but the poet you write about

and I

are not even related. 

I hope he is not bothered by people

looking for a prescription. 

Dos vedanya, AV”

Look at me

Look at these breasts, she says,
here – look at these hips.
You have longed to possess me
in ten thousand sweat-soaked dreams,
yearned to climb my body like a bridge.
But I am not for
you –
nor for any like you,
and my flesh is sweet for none
such as you.
I wear the hard polish of eyes,
laid on me
and buffed to a brittle sheen
by the crowd
that would have passed over
the chasm of loneliness
using me
to link the shores.
See my breasts, she says,
counterpoints to every woman
who despairs at the image in the mirror.
I am beautiful
(and the refrain
soon becomes)
I am beauty itself.
Watch how I move, she sighs,
consider how the light seems to change
to accept my grace:
I am nothing you could touch.
I am like
some perfect fruit (she whispers)
dew-kissed and ripe with
Spring’s joyous flavor –
but I practice
a careful ignorance
believing my beauty will last,
hoping my happiness will come,
praying to find
my own bridge
in the darkness.

On Hearing That Her Lover Had Died


No reason to live when half your heart is gone.
His weight in ashes
swirls on winds
The cracked air burns
your eyes and
lungs and
your world
clear to every horizon.
No one
– nothing
– every absolute
a fresh skin for you now.
Your husband
cannot fathom the
tearing of your heart –
his own emptiness
after all
sent you to
the other man.
The other man –
a social acquaintance
grown close
too close
but buoying you up
and keeping you sane
amid the maddening
sameness of your life –
is now gone,
an emptiness
you can taste.
And so farewell
the little pink stallion
the pet names and the whispers.
Farewell the strength
the touching –
all transcendence now
is his alone.
Farewell the man
who held you
against the world’s pain
and touched you                  
with bright longing.
Tears run out
across the floor and
might just stop all clocks –
there is no reason
to take the next breath
but it takes itself and
the world is born again

The Silent After

Here is how it always happens:
inside an air thick with promise,
myself expanding, intoxicated
I drink the smell of her,
this other woman.
In her essence I revel, dissolute…
until I am reminded of you.
But when we grapple in the dark
[if I close my eyes
 and if she does not kiss me]
I can almost convince myself
that I am with you
[your long body enclosing mine]
that this grasped and grasping flesh
is yours,
that these fine ribs against which I push
are yours,
the hot breath in my ear
and this is not
the colorless imitation of joy
or some lonely exercise
in mutual delusion
[for she always thinks herself
in love with me]
but actually that sacred act of creation:
the making of love
between me and you.
But if she should
between her cries
seek out my mouth
with hers
and if in whispers she
should kiss me and
plant her taste upon my tongue,
or hold my face
in fevered hands and
look into my eyes,
I am pulled again into
the awful reality, jerked
like a hanged man’s last thought –
then the room grows chilly
and the grappling and the cries
are over.

Owed to TPE:  The Piggyback Etiology of acronyms

       ~  For Estelle Huisclos

    she used the term ‘TPE’ and of course

    we knew what she meant but

    there are other acronyms too

    that could relate to total

    power exchange.

    for instance, she might be secretly looking for a

        Twisted Pair Ethernet


    Theater Provided Equipment

                            and a

        Third Party Evaluator

            making ‘notes’ in a

    Tiny Paper Enclosure.

    or she could have in mind a full set of

        Trainer-Peculiar Equipment


    Therapeutic Patient Education  

        (where the P = adjective).

    perhaps in her mind was a

    Très Petite Entreprise

            or a

    Two Phase Extraction  

                or even a rather large

    Traveling Players Ensemble.

who can say?

    but i think her freudian slip was inclining

    silkily, with raging static, toward

    Trusted Path Execution  


    Total Performance Excellence  

                and most definitely

    Techno Pre Eminence

            a veritable 

    Trading Partner Exchange  

        of swooning moans and excited nerves

            that can be reached by careful

    Teaching Performance Expectations.  

    of course, she might be mechanically minded,

        rather expecting a

    Total Pelvic Examination

            with some

    Transportable Pressure Equipment  

                including a soft but firm

    Thrust-Plate Endoprosthesis


    Total Partner Experience

            on the way

                       To Peak Ejection.

and wouldn’t that be

    True Player Entertainment?

my heart rests in the mouth of love


taken from the motion of my life

as its taste

crawls on the tongue

tongue probing

the grinding teeth

the mouth of love

savoring my no-longer-tender heart


toughened by every caress and absence

resting in the mouth of love

my heart

awaiting the grinding teeth

in the mouth of love




our hearts savored



never satisfied


      sweet or


where all hearts are savored

for love licks

even the dry

and brittle hearts

in the heavy hours of night

another one gone…

another one

vanished in the mist of sorrow and regret,

slipped from the moorings of husband and children

escaped the pain waiting

by a simple expedient

leaving behind

only questions

and tears.

i think of them

when the day comes swinging into night –

those escapadores

who rode the clouds west

out of our sight –

and when the dawn slips

atop my windowsill

pushing the night ahead of it

over the horizon.

what is it about those times of day,

those moments

neither nadir nor zenith –


flat & level –

that brings back the memory

of the ones we loved

and lost?

and when enough of us have gone,

who will tell the stories?

who will remember each embrace

and loving smile?

who will have words

to speak?

who will remember each face

that slipped into shadows

each voice trailed into mist?

~  Sarabanda, Albania, July 2010

The Expected

no matter where we go

no matter what we see or whom we meet –

we will say over and over again

“this is not what i expected”

you can plan

and plan

until your eyelids are tired

you can figure every angle

and rebound

every corner to be turned –

and you will still say over again

“this is not…”

the world is changing

and they say that you cannot

step into the same river

even once –

yet you will find that it escapes your lips

between your thoughts:

“…what i expected”

life is sweet and the world

is large, filled with ponders

of unpredictability

and one of the beauties that greets us

over and over again

is the surprise in our eyes

when we hear ourselves say

   (as if in a dream)

“this is definitely not what i expected”

                        ~ Kavallouri, Kerkyra, February 2010

Walking the Dogs

                        ~ for Kay T.

it’s twilight.

it is always twilight

when these feelings come, always

twilight down in her heart

and autumn too

with the smell of leaves blowing

in the wind and

the slanting light

that signals

the end of a time.

she walks slowly

behind the dogs as

they free up their excitement,

wagging at the ends of their tails,

finding everything

a wonder and a joy. 

she pulls at the front of her coat

and wishes

for the freedom

of wonder and joy.

it’s twilight

and she walks alone

except for the dogs,

but alone

and softly talking to herself

because she has not found

the man to listen,

the man to tell her


much less the things

she longs to hear. 

how long since she’s been

touched?  how long?

she opens the door, hangs the leashes on the hook,

pours a cup of tea

and sits in the large empty room.

the book,

the window, the chair,

the dogs at her feet, nuzzled up together

and wondering when she

will throw open the door of her heart

to someone who

can make her feel

as complete as they do.

she looks at the door

from her chair

by the window,

and tries to not curse it.

            ~ Palm Springs, 2011

Untitled # 43

Somewhere, a girl waits

to hear the summer words.

Somewhere, her plans

take shape to leave

     this sandpaper world

     in a pumpkin-flavored coach

           (dressed like a 3-tiered cake,

             berosed & sugared)

arriving, after

     a trip over the moon,

at Big Rock Candy Mountain

where all the diapers

are filled with diamonds

and the dogs

have rubber teeth.


she practices persuasive moans

and eye-swoons

     while learning

     angelic patience.

Somewhere, a man is


to be not

so much a Turk –

a bit lagging perhaps

to join the modern world

but all of Istanbul’s stopped clocks

slowed the poor guy down.

~ Hakim, Kavallouri, Kerkyra, 2010


Except for old men like me

who thinks of flotsam anymore?

And jetsam?

All those treasures,

dropped for safekeeping

into the depths

still waiting

for the perfect storm

to uncover them

to send them skirling onto beaches


to be found anew….

Except for old men,

believers in legend


hunting in old books

the dusty records of the dead,

who thinks of flotsam?

Who thinks of what is gone

or hiding

safe in tided sands?

Do I know you?

All those possibilities of youth

and our lives like casks

to be filled:

knowledge, money, the houses, cars and spouses.

Could our barrels ever

be big enough?

And here now

after all the days that have

slipped beneath the waves,

so much is gone…

it seems what’s most important

is ullage.

All that’s gone….

the empty place:


On the Death of Tommy Blue Eyes

            [Tommy Odom left in a senseless accident of his own making in the fall of 2004]

And now he is cast out

of the body

that had served him so well,

and from that place he could not

leave before

he is banished


He fell in the autumn night

and whatever springtime holds,

he’ll see it from afar.

The beauties

we walk among

he’ll know now

as spirits do.

His beauty

we can only

carry with us.

Where before

he was trapped inside

that body, and

couldn’t leave

by whatever means

he tried,

now he cannot get in. 

Of all the places on earth

and in the heavens,

it is the one place

forbidden him

any longer….

That single place that was always


and his alone.

Misguided once

he is guided


by the light,

and shall not waver

as he never wavered

for his friends –

the family he


around himself

on that zigzag road

of his life.

Now he is



but in that body,

locked out,

and it is empty

of him



David Hakim is an internationally-published journalist and award-winning author who has run several newspapers – and recently received a commendation for his short story That Man in the London Aesthetica Competition.  He can be reached at dhakim at earthlink.net

© 2013 Hakim - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: use without profit allowed only with author’s express written permission. Please don't wake up my attorney. Please.