If

If the water on the windowsill

could be your molecules

they would give me a paper

to smell

a pen to place safely away

near my utensils

think of me when it rains

how the droplets

become you and me

falling from the sky

like bullets on a battlefield

like trees in the rainforest

sometimes still

most times turbulent

aged and chopped

preserved and honoured.
From “Love & Vodka”

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Physical Pain

I met you at a time when I felt lost

and all the physical pain

collided with my emotional state.

You were the last person in the room

to approach me, and the first to notice.

I told you a story about how lovers

were stuck between all the worlds

they created and you rolled your eyes at

me. Oh, God, you said, another poet.

I’ve never met another one, I said.

Don’t fall in love with him I told myself.

Although I knew I would be the first

to fall for your dark eyes before you

even noticed mine. They were

as dark as my thoughts. You’ll

break my heart and I’ll lose count

of all the ways you want to love me

and other stupid thoughts kept

pestering my brain. shutthefuckup my brain.

I just want to get over someone

so badly, you said.

Me too, I said because it didn’t sound

so pathetic as (well step right up handsome

I’m the one). It’s funny how my mind

says one thing and my mouth another

or my mind thinks one thing and I type another.

No one really knows me then.

They just think they do.

I went to the bathroom and you were gone.

I thought that was just perfect.

A perfect ending to an awful night.

I had concocted all these ideals

that you were  the one

and other such bullshit

but in the end

you were  another character in my poem

I never knew.

I scared you with my witch eyes for sure

and other such nonsensical thoughts

raged my brain

of why men leave me.

 

 

 

 

Review of “Honeyface, Hers Truly” by Maria Magdeleina Lotfi

I met a poet with an old soul trapped in the body of a twenty-two year old. I told her I was trapped in a forty-eight year old body and we understood each other.

We both come from Montreal.

We both come from immigrant parents.

We are both poets.

We exchanged our books on Sherbrooke street. It was a meeting of the minds. We both agreed that we come from a different world and not many people understand us. Upon reading the first page of Maria Magdeleina Lotfi’s poetry book, I felt the pull of her words upon me.

The feeling you get from reading this book is one view from a poet’s life. You delve into her art and admire her way of writing and view of the world. The isolation of being a poet, the freedom, the yearning…all these emotions are poured onto every page.

 

I especially love this poem:

poets

poets

are like

werewolves.

their true selves

come to life

under

the full moon,

howling

their soul out.

 

I must have folded a dozen edges on the corners of my favourite poems. I will go back to read them and that is what makes a poetry book stand out. Going back to read it again.

Her book is full of wonder and knowledge, soul searching and experience. If you want to get drunk on a poetry book, get drunk on this one. If you want to read a refreshing poetry book full of culture, family, love, pain and love, this is the one.

In her poem, “crazy.” Maria Magdeleina Lotfi writes,

” when people call me crazy,

it’s as if they’re pointing out

a mental disease.

i am not a freak.

i am you are me.

i speak out loud

your darkest thoughts.

i wear the details they miss.

i love what is ugly.

i am overwhelmed

as the water

that fills sirens’ lungs.

i don’t twist words

you hurt me with.

i remember them exactly

like old photographs,

and the tone of your voice

with which they were said,

and the hesitation

that surrounds them

never escapes me.”

It is in these effortless ease with words, that Ms. Lotfi writes all the words you cannot say as a writer and poet. There are dozens of poems and prose that leave you breathless.

It was a pleasure to meet such a soul and it is the beginning of a poetic friendship that I will hold dear to me.

Below are some links where you can discover her work.

 https://www.amazon.com/HoneyFace-Truly-Maria-Magdeleina-Lotfi-ebook/dp/B01FRU7212
 

 

 https://mariamagdeleinalotfi.wordpress.com/books/

And her Instagram, where we met…

Trapped in a car

The things that are new

become old when you snap

my bra strap from that distance.

I get a kick out of irony

and sarcasm.

Left to decide on document

sizes, book sizes, illustrations

and all the help in your eyes

is never enough. Best to keep

all your distance and never

tell me when you come to

my mountain or tease me

with your clip art magic.

Never forgive me

for running away

I keep on wiping your footprints

off of my conscience.

I will swallow the words

I cannot say

and make them poetic

or die trying.

I hope you know

I do this mostly for the dead

who watch over me

the angels who saved my sanity

and hid death under a tire.

I do this mostly for my trapped mind

in a car stuck up and down the streets

going in circles along the avenues

because Mont-Royal festivals

never change anything except traffic

and how desperately

I want to run from the city

into the fields.

Being trapped in a car

for seventy minutes

and confessing my sins

in Syrian comfort food

relapsed me

into self-doubt again

hatred

edgy sex scenes

novels turning into movies.

Most days I don’t want to be you

I pretend I don’t see our similarities

I say no

like you’re a drug I want to inhale

I say no

to your darkness

at how it sucks me up

whole

like a fucking vortex

takes my romance

and chokes it.

 

Where I lay my nest

Along the shores of my bank,

I spotted this seashell; it was

the color of my childhood.

In a tiny plastic bag, knotted twice,

I was given ink-colored rocks

along with a note,

written by his aunt,

Greek tiny writing.

 

These rocks are from Voulagmeni Beach. For you with love,

so you could always have a part of Greece with you. 

Your aunt, Tasia. 

 

I did a DIY and recycled

glass lime pies

cute decorative bowls

I could not throw away,

along with Petite Maman jam jars.

Covered the note under them

like a lost treasure.

 

Who will find it next?

 

The dead

have so much more to say

after their death.

Tiny handwritten notes,

photos from 1956, first passport

upon entering Canada,

more recipes,

my own cards with no dates.

 

It was my father’s birthday yesterday,

he would have been 76.

I said Happy Birthday to you,

to the ice cold day, parked in

front of the cemetery on my way

to Starbucks.

I lay my nest in all the places

where I lived.

On Stuart Street, 1974,

running across the street

to elementary school

while the bell rang.

Grade four, suburbia nightmare,

large backyards

and poker parties.

I lay my nest

where my children are

my husband’s hand

my dead father

my mother’s midnight panic attacks

my brother’s sweet soul,

while

everyone else

begins and ends my days

with artful quotes

maniacal attacks,

while everyone begins to think

they are just a character in my next

novel. The truth is

no one exists

for that long

except characters.

Lay my nest within

for soon enough

everyone will be gone.

 

 

 

 

 

hallucinations

Once he saw my eyes

and left me blinded

by his look.

I told him jokingly I would be

his Brooklyn Baby from Montreal,

but he never listened to Lana

as closely as I always do

and

my boyfriend was singing on stage.

I’m too old to love him; I’m to cold to hold him;

I’m too sweet to know his bad-ass;

but he holds my feathers

and sees right through me.

transparent, he whistles, as I walk past him

then he holds the door open for me.

follows me to the sortie

and is gone

but he

watches me smoke

i thought he was gone,

as i stare at the stars

ignoring the chatter

of who wanted to know

how i shared my mind with the world.

i have no choice

i say, i’ll die if i don’t.

he waves from across the street

and i wondered if it was

my mind

hallucinations again

playing tricks on me.

pass the bourbon, i said,

once the dark became light,

serious, intent on getting so drunk

that i wouldn’t reflect

on the exact blue of his eyes

and why the specks

even mattered at all.

Sunday morning portrait, 2015

You may wonder

who I am

or who you are

or who we are together.

or apart?

leading highway lives

from the end to the start.

I saw you first

you were talking with friends

embarked on your high horse,

the room was hazy,

smoky, jazzy, of course.

Did you forget your desire?

At first glance,

was there a burning fire?

Were you in a poetic trance?

or a real life dance?

I am no one you want to love

been there and done that,

let my need float up above

blend with the sky

I fall out from

like a gift from the Greek gods’ nectar pie

here to ease your numb

feelings from life,

the blended coffee strife…

which to choose?

I forgot, you take no cream,

you never lose,

you are high above all the sports’ teams

the judgement call

you like to watch me fail, fall –

admit it –

nothing would please you more

than to hear me

moaning

like a paid whore

You do not have to put

your hands in your pockets,

I am free, I need no wallets,

no words of lies

please wear your secret lockets

and cover my eyes

in seductive disguise.

I should be asleep

but the words are heavy, knee deep

in your sweet-smelling mud.

I like it

when I am drowning

in my own flood.

Not any closer to who I am

just take my fucking hand

eventually we will land.

More than ten

There are ten poems everyone needs to read,

there is always the one missing that makes my heart bleed.

Read Daddy

since feeling is first,

if you forget me,

or still I rise,

and forget J. Alfred Prufrock?

Who comes up with this silliness?

articles of futility

poems one cannot hold on to

read them over to change direction.

Bring that handsome face over

fill me with your surprise

it appears that every day

is a special one

for those who never carry a gun.

Use those hash-tags

for today to promote the crap we buy into.

They need to find reasons to love

and weep details

not even skin deep

it’s not a shovel they need

but a tractor

to dig up all the days that mattered

to create new ones

to crush depression.

My guns are so far

and only your hands will do,

oh yes,

they will feel the night

through my soft skin,

my handwritten notes

yes, their gentleness will definitely do,

do Us,

do Them,

do Both,

just tell them to leave us alone

you’re better at delegation, direction, distraction, damnation.

my triple d’s will knock you over

can they not see?

how our thoughts submerge

under the salted bath water

under their microscope of past lives

(in public, among the sheep

in private, among the wolves).

It is five a.m

and words wake me up from my slumber.

I have secret morning passages

to my soul

and I wonder

how you have

always held the key

before I willingly gave it to you.

Did you skip to the best parts

of the poem? did you vote?

(did you run far down Broadway)

I am your pretty downtown girl

with suburban angst

who is feisty to the core

and you are my cute blue eyed boy

who is such an actor on many stages

and beautiful to admire from afar.

Tuck me in with a poem

kiss my forehead with a rhyme.

I hate that place with fake accounts

and writers I chase down Park avenue.

do You really care to see my pictures

from last night’s shenanigans at The Rialto?

Keep some love private,

some pictures to myself,

can’t show all my flaws

point them out and act like some kind of fucking star

I’ll meet you at the famous bar where all the poets go

the one at Hotel 10

drinking wine and acting like groupies.

It is what I do best. Pretend.

And tonight another night of Book Club

love affairs under five star restaurants

trying Indian, Mexican the latest trend.

High heels and poetry

tight jeans and coquetry.

So much more than ten measly poems

to read. So much more than ten. So much more

than this.

Urges

I fell into his dream

did not want to wake up

are you believing everything you read again?

stop that shit

believe in nothing for a while

so drove into the city

bought vampire socks from sports stores

and white boots on St-Laurent

from a cute Parisian

twice his age and twice the addiction

everything is a message in the air

around me

straying and trespassing

into those brief moments

we shared

help me through

the long day

the snowstorm residue

lack of sunshine on my soul

press your lips up against mine

I will write you a romantic love poem

about how much of a beast I could be

instead of a beauty

block my love from your ego

my hair always hangs down

and when it doesn’t

that’s when you should worry

or never think of me at all

better off

ignoring my rants

poetry

books

you’re more of a pleasure seeker

more of a traveler into dark passages

I will lay on the grass

alone

staring at the sky right above Montreal

as if

a sky needs a name

or a poem

needs a title.

As if

you could ever understand me.

Your language

Language is wine upon the lips. – Virginia Woolf

You made me reckless

and I loved that about you

for

you are like the star in the sky

I can never reach. There is always

that one

that catches your eye

my grasp can only reach

the forest. The sky is

another space I will one day

fall from as I do in my dreams.

Drink wine from my glass

head out into the party with me

St-Laurent is still trendy

you just have to know

where to go

my friends are waiting with

their high heels and Facebook quotes

ready to take my picture and tag me

as I so abhor

as they ask “Do you mind?”

Yes, I fucking do. 

Jack White once told me

“the heart never ages”

and we spoke for a while

but he hates to be famous

and he hates to conform

as most artists do.

I storm through my messages

ignoring most

reading yours over

until I delete

forget over this wine

giggle like school girls

wait for our husbands at night

to wake us up

from our drunken stupor

late night cab rides.

When the fuck are you going to grow up?

Never

That’s what I fucking love about you.

Your lips still taste like wine.