Ali Znaidi (b.1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia where he teaches English. His work has appeared in Mad Swirl, Stride Magazine, Red Fez, BlazeVox, Otoliths, streetcake, & elsewhere. His debut poetry chapbook Experimental Ruminations was published in September 2012 by Fowlpox Press (Canada). From time to time he blogs at – aliznaidi.blogspot.com and tweets at @AliZnaidi.
A Desert Dream
Whenever I go to the desert I find myself
astounded by its depth and extension.
I have nothing to do but inhale its grandeur.
The more sand piled up on this waterless sea
the more desert creatures resist.
How wonderfully little creatures maintain
symbols of life!
What an astounding story of survival!
Little worms become jubilant when they find
prickly pears debris to feast on.
Birds peck the succulent stems of cacti,
& dig beneath searching for water springs.
All creatures are wrapped up in a quilt
made up of survival, dreams, & love for life.
Living in the desert is but a grand narrative
of intense dreams.
Life is beautiful when (your) dreams work well
in a vast place.
Nothingness is a gluttonous king disguised
in an octopus.
Nothing can satisfy his gluttony.
He always feasts on souls and cocoons them
in vicious circles of emptiness.
His only foe is Time. So, he disables the clocks
and devours the hands.
He is never satiated. He is very fat
in every direction.
Even when he eats a soul, he wants more & more.
He wants to grow inside souls.
He wants to show them around his darkness.
He likes the empty souls to dwell in his temple,
& devoutly worship him not as a king,
but as the God of Nihil.
Complexes Inside Us
Complexes are inside us all.
We are all but bags of complexes
put on a hump of a three-legged camel
whose legs are sinking into
the abysmal thick sand.
Our perception of straightness & linearity
is in fact demolished by that image of
the staggering camel w/ uneven gaits.
Our psyches are contaminated in one way
or another. Our psyches are not pure.
Our psyches are not singular.
They are plural, indeed.
They are not only present,
but past and future, too.
Our psyches go back and forth.
They are sometimes as crystal as pure water.
Other times, they are filthy gutters.
We are humans because our skins have pores.
We are humans because our psyches have holes.
We are humans because we have
a bag of complexes that burdens our backs,
& every morning we welcome a new day
searching for newer ways to hide that bag.