Sycophant by Nova

We were always at odds, my father and I. He’d take a swift left, I a shaky right. His feet were nailed to the ground, and my fingers clung to the clouds. Numbers, algorithms, elements whispered into his ears and swirled him into becoming a stoic man, whose every thought was stagnant. He could never find the right words, only the right possibilities. He tried to teach me many things, but I never listened. Questions that had no answers didn’t appeal to him. He never liked what he couldn’t understand; he never liked me. One day, I felt wronged by a teacher at high school; so, I confided in him. Continue reading

Sycophant by Bader Shehab

There was that single playing on the Homepod you said it was a hit in the eighties even though we are both children of the nineties. You spent a hundred-dollars of our money, most of it is my hard-earned, on a ‘best hits’ record of 80s various artists. You grew out a ‘fuck off’ handlebar moustache and dressed in hot pink shirts, it made me laugh if anything… The hairspray mullet, thick Ray-Bans, skinny Levis jeans and your lanky physique; let’s just say it stood out very, very well. Then you sold your old KIA for a 1980 Trans Am. You surprised me on my birthday pulling up in the muscle car while blasting Bon Jovi – here, I knew you lost it! And it was all because of that one time I might have said: “I find the eighties interesting…”  Continue reading

Inspirations: Painting by Toby Al-R

Today I wear my holy hollowed halo from hell
And I say hello
I have managed to break through
The hard shell has induced in softness
The indoctrinating veil has shaken in panic
I cross over with a different mind and views
Through thorough thoughts… though
To be able to step on the other side
What is commonly known as heaven
Is to be able to see what your mind sees
When it makes you see what you are supposed to see Continue reading

Inspirations: Painting by Amira Sheikh

Here I am, in the middle of this superfluous wheat field, no walls, no isolated corners, no stern nurses, no weeping visitors, no tormented patients, just me, the fresh air, and you, my beautiful canvas. Oh, and those voices too.
You have always been by me when my best muse, someone who I inferred to be my soulmate refused to save me from those four walls, when my brother saw in my eyes the yearning for liberty and inspiration yet left me for those vicious doctors or when my very own audience petitioned to send me to the asylum when I thought I conveyed my sorrow to them through you, dear canvas. Continue reading

Inspirations: Painting by Ali Alshammari

Preparing myself for a halo jump into the great unknown. No windows in this pressurized cabin. Just the visage of my superiors behind a cloud of cigar smoke and 10 inch glass. Cuban cigars were always a favorite. I find they take the edge off, but when you’re in what is essentially a zero gravity oven, you find more coming off than just an edge.

Thoughts of her flood back to me as Zero begins his countdown to mission start in a boisterous Bristolian accent. Like a triathlete, I’ve trained countless hours for this in both VR and field ops. Numbers on a board mean nothing when it comes down to the nitty gritty however. When I see her, The Boss (a title earned after several acts of bravery on the beaches of Normandy), I don’t know if I’ll have the resolve and discipline to do what’s right. She is…was my mentor. Continue reading

Warmth by Bader Shehab

The way your mascara tears ran down your breasts, the line it left behind of charcoal and coffee-black, dried in every pore and curve of your skin. The scent of your perfume mixed with the humid sweat, authenticated by the golden shadow of the sunset hitting the smog-filled window panes. Your Lady Marisol-like demeanor and aristocratic elegance in the ruin of a few rails. Colombia’s finest and bloodiest at the tips of your fingernailsThe 2004 Yamazaki shot glass with your fingerprints still on it, it sits camouflaged with the sun’s dying light fighting what’s to come of the devil’s hours.  Continue reading

Jetlag by Ali Alshammari

Across from you in a restaurant you read about online,
intoxicated and I haven’t even seen the menu yet,
maybe it’s the blue fluorescent lights layering our skin like anthropomorphic Smurfs,
maybe it’s how our reservation was on a throwback night, complete with loud pulsating 90’s euro techno,
I choose to think it’s the way I’m caught up in you,
we laugh because we only hear the beginning of each other’s sentences before that Aqua song comes on again in a roaring blast,
I don’t mind because it gives me a chance to see your smile, Continue reading