January 31, 2021: Nothing Yet

Nothing yet. Nothing still.
I’ve been waiting for her
for years.

The muse. My muse.
I think she’s dead.
And I cannot begin my writing career.

That is why I have emptied
many bottles today
and yesterday
and the yesterday of every today
until today.

On my desk I have a thesaurus and a dictionary,
and the best search engine in history
one tap away.
I have access to all the words
and every word’s definition and etymology,
yet today’s page is as empty as yesterday’s.

The problem is the recurring question:
How about another drink?

I Am Not the Devil but I Bring Hell



The smile his chapped lips tried to keep
Was not supposed to last so long…
For years and years, he swallowed tears
Until one night, he said: “No more.”


“In heaven you are born
Maker of the underworld
In hell you burn
In hell’s your throne

The god of fire
Bringer of light
Black is your color
You king of the night!

I’m calling you, now
So answer my prayers
Because the Good One
He never listens.


Justice walks with the devil!”




“Last time I walked this earth, things were different.
Now, the news spreads quickly and that might work against me.
Yet again, I never walked as a man;
That’s why I’m tempted.

You summon me now and ask for my help.
You offer me not just your soul but your body as well.
Vengeance, I suppose. I assume you want revenge,
Yearning for a thousand souls to burn with you in hell…

You must love me, boy
Or you must hate them all
To bless me with this gift
And curse them and yourself, forevermore.”


“The world is not beautiful, nor is the universe, nor is man.
Imperfection is everywhere – it permeates; man!
Everything is flawed, lacking, pretty darn defective.
But the Good Almighty King saw that it was good!

Tell me, son,
What’s so satisfying about this blue tomato?
And what of the big black mysterious balloon?
And the naked monkey who claims to be wise?

There was work to be done on the seventh day,
Believe me,
But what a procrastinator is your creator!
For instead he went to rest;
Tell me, how can he be the best?

Most of the good things are man-made.


“But!” They say, those of faith, blindly
The Great One knows, unquestionably
Surely, He must have a plan!
It’s a sin to think that He made a mistake.
Wait! No!
I’ll tell you what sin is, priest!
I say…

Man is God’s sin.


“Tell me,
Why should you be laughed at and kicked around?
And some pity you. “Poor you!” they say.
Say, when’s the last time they’ve offered you help?
Boy, like a dog, they shooed you away.

I’m glad, however, that you’re now aware
To make them suffer is only fair.
I am, boy, the one who cares
Maybe evil but your only friend –

Oh, I tell you, my boy
This is going to be fun.
Just wait and see…


Justice walks with the devil!
So, what have we got to settle?”




It was just another night on Hamra Street,
But things were about to change, alright!
Death! Hell! Fire and flames!
The Devil wants to play a game.

Boys and girls were at the bars
Successful men sucking cigars
What a life! Look at those stars!
Fun, eh? And classy cars.

“So, come inside; and drink and dance!”
“Live your life, man. This is your chance.”
“I’m so glad to be here with all my friends.”
“I wish this fine night never ends.”


There was a stench now on Hamra Street
The smell of sulfur and of something sweet
Death! Hell! Fire and flames!
The Devil wants to play a game.

The ground shook, the music stopped
and the lights were out…
There was silence, and now it was dark
Something cold and wicked laughed.

The sinister cackle echoed in the street;
Evil in the atmosphere…

Hell! Death!

Justice walks with



Meanwhile, (screeching sounds)
Silver-black rats from hell
With red, hellish eyes
Were digging their way up
To feast on –




Fire! Fire!
The world’s on fire!


The street, now, was swarming with rats and fiends;
Beasts and demons and other gruesome creatures.
People squealing! Begging! Crying for mercy!
Screams filled the air.

“No! Please! No!”

“My eyes! My eyes!”

“Oh, God!”

“Don’t kill me, please-don’t-kill-me!”

And the poor boy who wanted revenge,
Now possessed by the devil,
Was laughing,
And his cold and wicked laughter echoed.


Robert who had once laughed at a boy
A poor boy selling roses,
Ran until he tripped and fell.
A hairless, pig-faced, apelike creature (spider legs for fingers)
Came snorting, sniggering
Plucked Robert’s eyeballs out
And heartily chewed on them…


Sarah who had once pitied a boy
A poor boy selling roses,
Was tangled up, caught in a spider web.
Something bit her between her thighs
And ate its way inside her.
Screams of pain, but more rats came
And ate her from the inside.


“I am not the devil,”
The boy said to the good man,
“But I bring hell.”



Morning came and the boy woke up
As if from a vivid dream.
He found himself in nature,
In his mother’s womb,
Next to the river, Nahr Ibrahim
A boar killed the god of love and beauty here…

Blood in the river!

The boy was thirsty.

He drank from the river and the river was dry.

I drafted this poem in 2011-2012. I revisited it in 2015 and that is the version found above. “I Am Not the Devil but I Bring Hell” was also published on my older blogs.

A Stroll in Geitawi

Taking a stroll in Geitawi — July 8, 2020

Whatever isn’t supposed to happen

Darkness is heavy.
Darkness is so heavy.

My footsteps are louder than the night.
My future is as dark as

The moon keeps hiding behind
thick clouds. It isn’t
It’s just the silver eye of a cowardly god
peeping in.

Beirut can’t afford a good night.
Beirut can’t afford light.

My footsteps are louder than the night.
I can’t hear
my brothers and sisters crying.