Friday Finds: 13 Poems by Mona Kareem

Over at Poetry International, Nisrine Mbarki has written up a short introduction to Mona Kareem’s poetry, “captivating and visual miniatures of day-to-day situations,” and Robin Moger has translated 10 poems:

Dying like a statue

At twenty-three,
you arrive with your sad family,
thinking you’re a girl who goes to airports but never …


Dear Kumari,
I, of course, do not know if Kumari was really your name,
It became a custom in the Gulf to change …


Mounting the toilet seat, we stand
On one foot each so that it takes us all.
We watch in the building next …

At the bottom of the cage

You can love yourself
But better to waste your days somewhere
Unmeshed from the …


The way a tottering boy tempts death
You leant against the shoulder of regret.
Our shadows inter-
-twined & …

Fragile joys

Why does loneliness rob a woman of her compassion?

Why is it they make copper statues of their …

Who hide their eyes

Gleaming in the marches bordering hell:
A single highway keeping us from Plato’s city.

Here, no one …


She sits at the kitchen table;
A table for a man, a woman, and three children.
She settles her hand beneath her …

A poet

She wrote a poem about her love
and left it on the balcony.
Her lover came and stole it.

So very alone …

The room of darkness

I am from darkness, my
homeland is an aging butterfly,
my prayers are the desert

I wash in …

Also at The Brooklyn Rail, three from THE MINGUS POEMS, Kareem’s first poetry manuscript in English.