Reasons To Be Cheerful

BECKY SAYS THINGS

Oh, brave Listener. We’ve all had a bit of a rough time recently.

There are several reasons why we are all feeling a bit peeved, irked, and somewhat vexed:

1) It is February. February is an obnoxiously depressing month, it knows it, and it doesn’t care. February is insufferable.

2) We are still paying off our Christmas credit card bills. This is intolerable.

3) Our New Year’s resolution diet and exercise regimes have failed miserably and we are eating more doughnuts, peanut butter, and full fat milk than ever before to cope with the depression of February and Christmas credit card bills.

cheerful5

4) The couples amongst us have had a relationship-busting argument on Valentine’s Day, and the singletons amongst us have just been reminded that they are SINGLE and ALONE and destined to remain that way for the rest of their sorry lives.

5) There is nothing to look forward…

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Cigarettes: Just Like Candy

Carla Prieto

Cigarette Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

My love affair with cigarettes began at an early age. The first one I ever tried had no filter and had a bumpy and chalky texture. It came in a long, flimsy, red box that read “KINGS” with a crown underneath, which I had gotten in a goodie bag from a friend’s birthday party. It was candy.

I took mine out and began chewing it after my mom took hers out and lit it, the smoke billowing elegantly above her and blending into the hot summer air like thin branches of an infinitely tall and bare acacia. She sat on our hardwood porch, lined with impatiens and gardenias and buzzing with bees, while I sat on the green summer grass not too far away, watching her lounge coolly with wonder and admiration.

At four or five, I didn’t know much about cigarettes. Why didn’t she have to…

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Voices from the Syrian Tragedy: Three New Poems

Arabic Literature (in English)

Fawaz Azem has translated three new Syrian poems — one from Dima Yousf and two from Nihad Sayed Issa — all responding, in some way, to the nation’s current landscape:

By Fawaz Azem

Dima Yousf, courtesy of the author. Dima Yousf, courtesy of the poet.

Dima Yousf, a Syrian Palestinian born in 1986, graduated from Damascus University with a degree in Arabic literature and a teaching diploma. She teaches Arabic in Damascus schools, and is pursuing a graduate degree “but with a stay of execution.”  A recent post on her Facebook page reads “I have so many stories to tell, if I survive.”

Yousf’s poem is untitled.

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Oh, if I only had a knife
like those that are forgotten on necks,
after massacres.
If I only had the fingers of a murderer
and his unblinking eyes.
If I could only utter the cry of his victim
the moment he gathers in the voices
from all four corners…

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Senyum adalah bahasa keramahan yg universal. Ketika tersenyum pada seseorang hal itu pasti diartikan sebagai sebuah sikap ramah.

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