Back to Issue Forty-Seven

Well, in Order



Well, in order to reduce you,
I’d have to know your name
or I could proceed in my
by simply making up
but it wouldn’t be
the same.

What’s happening is
not now.
What’s happening is
from the 
of familiar things—

When music moans inside,
no silence can be found

You could go on disturbing,
you could go on denying

but the sound will make the

and the echo
will resound.

The brain is just a well.
When it fills to the brim
it drowns.





It’s true, the architecture
of discovery is a strange one,

a curious art, maybe the basis
of all disaster: what were we

expecting to find out in these
strange stretches of land,

a few boys mining the earth
with whatever sharpness

they could find, scavenging
the construction site for clarity

and wood, to build what,
to drag what out of where?

Am I warming up to some
defining memory
or am I


whatever comes to mind?

Ahmad Almallah is a poet from Palestine. His first book of poems Bitter English is now available in the Phoenix Poets Series from the University of Chicago Press. His new book Border Wisdom is now available from Winter Editions. He received the Edith Goldberg Paulson Memorial Prize for Creative Writing, and his set of poems “Recourse,” won the Blanche Colton Williams Fellowship. Some of his poems and other writing appeared in Jacket2, Track//Four, All Roads will lead You Home, Apiary, Supplement, SAND, Michigan Quarterly Review, Making Mirrors: Righting/Writing by Refugees, Cordite Poetry Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Great River Review, Kenyon Review, Poetry and American Poetry Review. Some of his work in Arabic has appeared in Al-Arabi Al-Jadid and Al-Quds Al-Arabi. His English works have been translated into Arabic, Russian and Telugu. He is currently Artist in Residence in Creative Writing at the University of Pennsylvania.

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