Kaleidoscope walls of melted mascara and pockmarked acne scars on breeze blocks a cultural cathedral a cant of the underground a nestle of invested bettors and becultured betters. St. Michael’s grime a dirty realism a wait-and-see optimism a lyric cynicism an aged athleticism a Babelic Phoenicianism a battle hardened stoicism a war battered orthodoxy a warm blooded equinox a severed phalange pointing at where may be stars in the smoggy woolen sky a divine desire flitting a stone’s throw to Varouj’s alleys a long shot to Abou Jamil’s wadi a squinty-eyed skeptic sitting surly and spitting out the seeds of yesterday, fruit of tomorrow. The habitual hipster harlots and the leprotic limping loutfish and wimpled Webster wordsmiths all about the weathered warren of choked sidewalks sundried runoff, asphalt webbed like unstrung cries.
The long stairs cooling my feet with their colorful keys, climbing into the embrace of a Catholic genealogy a demagogue democracy a synagogue apology a Sursock aristocracy and onwards and upwards the concrete mountain to an existential certainty this cosmic transcendence unflappable people winging it all about flannelled flaneurs at happy hour and gothic towers parking gorky porky Pygmalion gestations. Staccato street from Jesuis du Monot past Bustros and Babaris, Sir cinq heure, rectal ruminations ribbed robbed recalcitrant. I thought a book I bought a look I caught a hook besot by crook or crock of shit a lifted rook a fighting fit a fist a-flurry a listless jury a gist amiss a tender kiss a tendril piss on a memorial veneer of a lost vizier gonna come running along with a dog desisting a cat insisting a beggar o’ Barbary blocking my way and tripping my pace and stamping my gait with St. Michael’s autograph.
Mario Jamal lives in Beirut, where he writes short works of fiction, poetry, and an experimental blog called Hana’s Lemons.