"When It Comes to the Arab-Israeli Conflict Am I Bi-Curious" and "In From Peripherals"

When It Comes to the Arab-Israeli Conflict Am I Bi-Curious

The music is kneaded like dough and pulled like taffy
until we each have our own space in the jam. Drops
of acid give anyone a touch of the Weir.

Army to dig up graves at Arlington. Boyhood cereal dinnertimes.
Baby’s first credit card. Since the earthquake in Haiti
even more child slaves. Clothing-makers in Asia have a riot.

Arrested for espionage and then ridiculed by journalists
on television. Rhythm and harmony. Let us

attempt to see the vastness of correlative perceptions. The visions
of man. The movement of eyes upon the world
is rhythmic and has an honor of constraint. Expression does not
avoid an art of imitation. Light plays the organizing role
of the visual relations of objects. The synchronous movement of light

is a Delaunay reality. Farmworkers washing feet. What’s outlawed
on page one is excepted on page two. The drone
of predator audio and predator video. Oligarchic consanguinity.

New police powers enacted in secret practiced without consent
ransack, pick combination locks on front doors of non-cooperative
community organizers. Break the homeland. We are feudal
or look it but aren’t even as well-off. Oil slicks glut
coastal kidneys. Largest mass arrest in Canadian history.

She walked from Miami to Washington to tell people
she is here, an undocumented seven year old from Ecuador
now with a bachelor’s degree. Twenty-six thousand
for each country. How long before Iceland
depopulates to the United States? At twenty-six thousand visas
per year per country, documented Mexican immigrants
have a ten to twenty year wait. So they walk.

No one is misremembering the palette of the 1970s.
Opening photo albums we see the world
really was, that I came of age in Orange
County, California. Even close-ups looked farther away.

Reduce your debt. Call now. Die again like it matters.

Attractive this season is a woman who looks like a man who looks like a woman.
Tied together by a manmade web of water. Anya provides much needed sarcasm.
I would love her if she loved me.
The girl whose fuse is always lit. She’s so hot I’m that trail of ashes leading away.



In From Peripherals


Think about infinity
How hard is
It to do

The floor is deep relief
Tombs where I lost my knees

Each face
A hook to
Hang by.

Rescued, she
Holds over her mouth
A towel

The poet cannot be
To a musician’s

(Take up your stumps and paint)

Tommy is the girl
Who can put me right.



Gravity having yet to be settled
Saint Peter denies the Holocaust
And the Genocide

[Entering Vegas Montage]

The end of the world as real as the history we swallow
Uncovers a Maslow complex of characters

Heroics in the Holy Land build an igloo
From the wreckage of financial products

Millennia of marbles circumambulate the Mediterranean Basin
Temple loyalty to brand identity is not politics unusual

Slaves to the narrative sandwich are toasted
When Magical Realism meets Apocalyptics

Smuggle out a riff
That poses a question by implication.

(Asleep, she was talking to me in her sleep
I thought so rolled over and touched
Her breasts. She wasn’t asleep
Touching herself she came in my dream. I woke
Before breakfast and the plane landing.)

Across the canal a waffler floats on the fire
Chamber strings and woodwinds in the cloister

Another Chinatown to eat out Dutch
Street signs in Mandarin and Roman

Who else this Mind
Has been.



Picking apples from trees in front yards. Tart in government oats, butter
And brown sugar. Reagan Cheese, day-glo and under the broiler
Would not melt. Guitars and Happy Hours. Tip jar for beer.
Arcata Food Bank rice and beans and broken
Tortillas. The wood stove
Summered where it never heated our musical bedrooms.

The hypocritical years. The philosophical years.
The farmhouse flanked by 16th & H Streets

Of string instruments whose phrases were transitions between terminals
I now pronounce.

Midday in chapels of the Miracle.
Rain, milk, juice.
Out for the night. Though the Kingdom’s
DJ wasn’t dumb, I left &

Came back for the suicide ballad
Opening song.



On the Amstel a Dresden action figure’s
Head hurts from forgetting
Life on earth arrives geologically.

The soft and warm join popular fronts to spread their pain
Evenly as buttered bread. I belong
Listening to covert music make its kinky assaults on time.

Inside the pyramid the dead pharaoh is not alone.
Tea boys visit from Fatih in the Valley of the Wolves

Harvest the organs of the Conspiracy:
Crusades – Poles that held closed the Gates of Vienna – And the Vedas
Really happened, too.



Today an Indonesian housemaid was beheaded
The maid was found guilty of suffocating
Her female boss and stealing her jewelry

Beheadings usually take place in public

The FBI passes
Information to grim

Tied up for a month and left without food
A 25-year-old maid from Indonesia was sent to hospital with gangrene

When she asked to be paid she was beaten with a shoe by her employer and his wife
They injured her eye and knocked out several of her teeth
The wife had accused her of dressing immodestly around the house

When she developed gangrene in her hands and feet they made her sleep in a bathroom
And locked her up whenever they went out

Doctors have amputated some of her fingers

Police arrested her employer and held him for questioning
The man's wife was also detained for questioning but then released

The couple bound her hand and foot
And left her on a bathroom floor without food
Her hands and feet developed gangrene after she was locked up for a month

Nour Miyati had several fingers amputated
Doctors say they may have to amputate her toes
A newspaper showed the maid black and blue, with bandaged hands

But it’s those Entwhistle songs that smell of the dark

An investigation has concluded the gangrene came from an existing but unspecified disease
Other injuries were caused by cleaning fluids used in the maid's work
The bruising was self-inflicted
Or caused by a falling wardrobe

The most serious charges against the man and woman for whom she worked
Have now been dropped while the maid is accused of making false allegations

Claiming she has now withdrawn part of her original statement
Authorities have charged her with making false allegations
Last year the Indonesian embassy received more than 800 complaints of torture

​Nour Miyati has now been charged with making false allegations

One world
What if




I have showered and after this song
Would go out to get milk for coffee
But did not keep that step ahead.

Richard Nixon had to sign the Endangered Species Act.



Stepping further back yet reaching in deeper
Dusky shapes on the edge with goofy grins

The wolf in the woods took my daughter
Locked her in the boardroom where she took
Down that dummy corporation
With only straw and a spinning wheel

As long as it is before I fall asleep
That is not sunlight though could be
Father and son hooligans
Servicing the State.



Home from the holiday after tomorrow, I insert
A sentimental muse of bitter water.

Deified police ban on public protests. Anti-whaling standoff in the Antarctic.
Hostages in guerrilla hands. The BBC asks what football means to me.

Look through papers. Change the subject. Get used to answering
Questions. A protestor wants what was had before the border squeeze.
The vodka trade in sausages and cigarettes. Madagascar’s
Flowering palm’s suicide cycle: Hindu-Buddhist

America is the end. It means you’re never coming back.

The sun rises mid-morning now in The Netherlands.
Ships run aground in China’s iconic river when a Maori poet dies in English.
After a disputed election the bodies politic lie in morgues.

Steakhouses of Argentina. Irish Pubs with English Breakfasts.



No one shoots the guns we see people shot
By but people are.

Who is shooting is the comment of the camera
To the baby from the mill.

Shino, marry Rikichi. After Yukiko, only he could love you.
​Katsushiro is just a bandit. There was more honor
In Kikuchiya’s samurai ass.



Textual sources for italics section in “In From Peripherals”:



Nicholas Karavatos

Nicholas Karavatos is a poet who often performs in spontaneous collaboration with musicians. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata and New College of California in San Francisco, he currently teaches literature and writing at American University of Sharjah near Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Friday, August 19, 2016 - 00:31