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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life
Four Poems
by Maged Zaher
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The Picture of a Smiley Couple on a Picnic in San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge Area

Him: He was in the process of abandoning the whole notion of French kissing. Searching for a different morning coffee, a different explanation to the universe than God.
     Ideologically, the differences between sitcom and soap are immaterial. The flow of cosmetic commercials is what really matters.
     Bridge: The Golden Gate Bridge bridges Marin County to San Francisco where you can use your body to forget your soul. Which might make sense sometimes. Yet without a designated driver you need to settle for more convenient forms of happiness i.e.: Watching yuppies with their endless supply of laptops and wireless phones.
     Irrelevant Question: Can you still be honest and give every woman the same love poem you wrote ten years ago?
     Child: So, it was not the sex, nor my romantic inclination to drive slightly under the speed limit. You are telling me that lack of a child together, or having a child together will ruin us. Is there a third option, say start with a pet and down the way drown it in our tears as a symbolic objection on the seven-eleven hiring policy.
     Miracle: In the morning, at work, they told me that we had to change the deadline: converting water to wine is a God job after all. I disagreed. It was much easier than staying together: me, you, and the child.
     She: She thought "How beautiful is the sunset on the Pacific. How big the Golden Gate Bridge". And - finally - asked for divorce.

The Inferno

At lunchtime, we took our khaki pants, meeting agendas and went there, the fourth circle of hell, by the espresso machine. I saw him, with plastic tubes coming out of his body, my drinking buddy, the one who told me that I can be romantic, trustful, and still practice safe sex. We stopped by the gift store, where Charon stamped our hands in exchange for money. Virgil, I knew him from his name tag, in a worn-out tuxedo was our guide. He showed us the sound effects, we rode the Minotaur, paid our tips, and bought mementos: cans of blood, and bags of bones in pink glasses. Dante was there too, sipping bad wine and flirting with the girls in the massage lounge. He told me: it was a fake metaphor, Beatrice was a mid-life crisis thing, a career opportunity, and when the damn paparazzi surrounded the Ritz he smelled her death in the eyes of the bell captain. I asked: master, master, is Barry White a great romantic? Which should I work for: startups or established? Which is more truthful: the Dow or the NASDAQ? He looked into my tearful eyes and answered: Son, search thyself you. The Trojan-war is just a myth. IPO's is your best bet. Don't search for Beatrice, and don't repeat my mistakes: Whenever you buy a pack of cigarettes ask not for one, but two sets of matches. Your friend was right: you can be romantic, trustful, and still practice safe sex.


The Greek's were too much into their mothers.
     Rednecks, Muslim Fundamentalists, Orthodox priests: My idea of a good orgy.
     Loosing weight was more of a sexual admission than masturbation. It implies a hope in Freudian Psychoanalysis. A possibility of casual sex. Is there any, but casual sex? I cannot forget your skin color while inside of you. Was I ever inside of you?
     Divorce was the best thing that ever happened to my couch. It did not change my spending habits, or my intellectual interests. It only changed my perception of coffee-shops as pickup places.
     Post-feminist discourse is excluding poets from their sexual fantasies. They frankly prefer LA dudes. Which accelerates their identity crisis. My identity crisis is enacted. I brush it every morning. I value it as a rare African parrot.
     To love or not to be?
     "To love or not to be?" Was not the question, it is merely a stupid Shakespearean quotation. Do you thing Ophelia dying before having intercourse was just an accident?
     Who do I want to be: The man she loves, or the man she makes love to?



She stood in the morning rain, asking the universe for a belly-pierce. All what she got were birds and heart-broken Dinosaurs. Do I need to assert that super-models are not the UFO equivalence to biblical angels?
     A note to self after reading Marx: "I can not value the surplus-value theorem as long as my market value increases". It is a job security thing, you know, that I need to take the meaning away to force you to stop watching sitcom TV. Let me build a support group to support groups that need support.
     They told you, remember, you were fresh out of college, that silos are used to store rats, corn, and video cameras. The rats were partially your fault.
     To worship God or a Woman is irrelevant, to remember that
     pop-stars are neither Popes nor Stars, that your window to the world is bound by your window to the world and the taste of microwave heated pizza is what might bring you true love.
     I disagree with you: golfing as a suicide plan is not the solution to third world countries lack of porn industry. As a plan B you can
  1. send them Cruise missiles, marines, and Asian pears.
  2. as always, declare the Saudi's ultimate upholders of Christian values.
     I warned you, I could die from cancer, brain tumor, bad Chinese food, manic depression or lack of closure.

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