RR
Home2018August

August 2018

Ever since Shaden Fakih first owned the Cliffhangers storytelling stage in May of this year, with what has become her signature mélange of bawdy humor and unapologetic candor, she has had us collectively gasping for breath between raucous fits of laughter. Shaden is belovedly known for improvising characters and comic scenarios which make a mockery of polite society’s cherished ideals, using humor as her foremost weapon in her hilarious war against hypocrisy. Simply being a female storyteller in the male-dominated world of comedy deviates from the script ‒ one that demands that women be seen and not heard. Her music

Read More

The debris       rose from the fire the air thickened with the name of God I missed it      by a mile or two far out where the land had begun to expire. I rode    my family’s last surviving vehicle And all my belongings    traded for board with my mother’s three thousand     lulls our memories thrashing around in the water, cold. They catch you      on the streets of Izmir We will catch a cold in this    downpour       they know you by the chains you drag here    and even there they don’t know if we’ll survive the White night Forty swollen eyes in a twelve-seat bus, blackened windows Fifty-four on a flimsy rubber

Read More

Deemed as “Mexico’s greatest novelist,” writer Yuri Herrera presents his readers with an incredibly multilayered, fantastical, yet oddly-realistic narrative of border-jumping in his 2015 novel, Signs Preceding the End of the World. A necessary read in current times, Herrera’s text accurately transmits the complexities behind the relationship between the U.S. and Mexican border towns, and in doing so, brilliantly reproduces geopolitical tensions found between both regions. Set as a conduit character between the two locations, the novel’s protagonist, Makina, all-too-realistically foreshadows the dawn of a tragic, slightly horrific new world, where the notion of an “authentic” Mexican border identity becomes

Read More

By Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin and Translated from the Amharic by Nafkote Tamirat The English translation of Yekermo Sew was developed, in part, through a collaboration with Masrah Ensemble in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2014. Masrah Ensemble is a nonprofit theatre company and organization that makes, develops, and fosters research and criticism of theatre with a focus on the Arab stage. Based in Beirut, Lebanon, the Ensemble aims to reconfigure audiences and to encourage transcendent, riveting theatre. ACT I The town of Gola is in the belly button of Addis Ababa. Moges after paying for water and electricity has rented a kitchen-sized, one-room hut for thirteen birr, pasted

Read More

  to the Assy family: to my family, which means that one day, when my vital organs fail me or when karma decides it is no longer interested, in trying to counterbalance gains and losses I will be put to the ground, and buried alongside others whom I have had the serendipity of encountering these past few years. Although they would be tempted to, the earthworms will not segregate — "this is my grave, that is your tombstone"; we will all wither wickedly away just the same, and decay decadently just the same, irreverently irrespective, of any interjections issued up, by our DNA that flails its tentacles shamelessly shunning out misfits and miscreants that it so conveniently dubs, diverting blame to all those who happen to be hampered by missing members. I belong to a gravesite — one

Read More

It was dark where I was, near the corner where the shadows slept. The night was cold. A discarded plastic bag tossed and turned in a chill northern wind. A dog barked somewhere. A siren wailed in the howling wind, somewhere beyond the scaffolding of a building under construction. I heard something scraping on the ground nearby. I looked around, but couldn’t see anything moving or tell where the noise was coming from. Then there was a tapping sound, and then the same scraping noise again. A shadow stirred. For a moment, a street lamp flickered and came to life before dying

Read More

The disgusting scent of oily hair fills my nostrils. “Salma, Salma, there’s someone here,” Aisha called out. “Do they look rich?” I asked, instinctively pulling the neck of my shirt down, baring the shoulder that I’d rubbed dirt onto earlier that day. It was evening, and I’d come back early, having made enough money for the day. “No, stop, you can’t ask them for money! They’re guests!” “W-what? Guests?” In the twelve years I’d spent growing up in this forsaken building, never once did we have guests. The water man would come, bringing three big bottles of water every week. Ali told me he got paid

Read More

1. Dreaming in Arabic, flying red clouds hang over the high Chouf village. A young boy dresses early by lamp light, does his morning chores in the cold sun. Leaning heavily into the cedar wind, he lugs firewood into the kitchen to keep the heat going. In this dream his parents live, his sisters have long dark hair they sweep up into heavy braids. Julia, the young one, wears olive wood beads and carries buckets of rainwater to the garden while their mother steams milk with cardamom and sugar for them. In this dream they live to grow up, marry, even have children of their own. In this dream, the boy is not yet a grief-  

Read More

How presumptuous – this love. Waiting at the edge of my sanity. Confident in its future. Secure in the belief that it will sit so heavily on my chest, forcing my fragmentation whole. And then? I will wade. Limbs placid, neck, head, torso swaying lyrically into this new disposition, inebriated by the sudden rush of respirating silence into insides clogged with thick sap of melancholic thoughts. Hardened into corporeal helplessness. Into the quiet. Into the stillness that lives in the eyes of the other attuned to every tremble of my pupils. He who lives for the upward slope of cheeks, the narrowing of eyes, the gapped smile that exhales a self finally pacified by a benevolent boundedness, an altruistic indenture

Read More

I am soaked in you, Like an old white rag drenched in murky waters. I wring myself, Hoping to watch you drip. Or lend out your musk to warm daylight. But I am saturated. Like an arrogant fruit, I dry myself under burning stars, waiting for you to be swept away, and preserve what is left. But you refuse to disintegrate, Clinging to my skin. --- Perhaps you are soaked in me; I am the water and you are the resin. Perhaps it is me who has to transpire, And leave your accumulation behind. But I am destined to wait for the moonlight; The sun does not dare approach.

Read More