Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

I Have a Melodious Name

Academic journal article Parnassus : Poetry in Review

I Have a Melodious Name

Article excerpt

Perhaps the window where I used to sit

held out the promise of unusual glory to me.

I'd write on my notebooks

"Iman ...

student in the Iman Mersal Elementary School"

and neither the teacher's long cane

nor the bursts of laughter from the last row of benches

could make me forget.

I thought that I'd give our street my name

if only its houses could be much enlarged

and secret chambers constructed

to allow my friends to smoke in their beds

without their older brothers seeing them,

and then, after I'd destroyed the roofs to lighten the load

on the walls and moved the shoes of dead grandmas, the dishes

and the empty cans our mothers had moved outside of life

-after long service-to another street,

and maybe, after I'd painted the doorways orange as well,

like some encoded expression of grandeur,

and installed pierced doorhandles to make it easy for everyone

to spy on large families,

maybe then not a soul would be lonely in our street.

"Pioneering Experiments Are

Designed by Great Minds":

that's how passersby might describe me

while they saunter down the white sidewalk

of the street that bears my name;

and yet, because of an old antipathy between us,

its cobblestones left their scars on my knees

and in that I discerned how unworthy the street really was. …

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