Week 15 of Syntax Sundays: Adam Abbas

Syntax Sundays has been graced by the poetry and prose of Adam Abbas, whose attention to rhythm and sound gives his work a graceful and slick musicality. His poem Cool, reminiscent of Dylan Thomas’ famous villanelle Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, provides a modern take on this form, intertwined with his own message of growing up and change. His prose piece, Supper as the Linoleum Curls, tickles the tongue with a carefully-chosen syntax, intricately interweaved in near-rhymes and flow that create a sound that is impressive in itself. The wide range of vocabulary and array of allusions make this work that much more enticing, exciting the reader with a constant flux of visual that parallels its music.

Adam Abbas is more interested in what’s muttered after the phone call than the phone call itself. His first poetry book A State, A Statue, A Statute will be published by the Vancouver-based Steel Bananas Art Collective in Spring 2014. He lives in Toronto. Check out his twitter here!


Cool

Can’t you do anything you want?
Youth is wasted on the young every day
You have parents to silence and arcades to haunt

You’ve mastered the art of staying nonchalant
You’ve learned that journalists will change what we say
Can’t you do anything you want?

You wish for more innocence to flaunt
But when the long-awaited leaves bloom in May
You have parents to silence and arcades to haunt

They’re waiting for a chance to taunt
But as they get ready to pray
Can’t you do anything you want?

Your life on the walls in a mysterious font
Tells tales of friends who blindly obey
You have parents to silence and arcades to haunt

When death comes, taciturn and gaunt
Your last words will tell us how you found your way
Can’t you do anything you want?
You have parents to silence and arcades to haunt


Supper as the Linoleum Curls

Lingerie ladies lounging in boulangeries spy on black widows spinning lies in windows and endure mirrors of sneers when grinning men pry open the panes to voice their thirsts as their spit splutters into the gutters of Eden. One girl leans on a doorway about to cry and a passerby posh old duffer doffs his fedora and hands her delusions of grandeur with ivory banter. Empty charm and a drunken lust sways the girls’ trust. The elder melts into the kitchen and broasts in the oven, a cook with his own coven who bade to take a ladle from the marmalade laden with grayscale swirls and give the girls a taste of the real world. He hosts a feast for the best. They come from a promised land, ignoring Jesus’ seizure on the mica-spiked sand…

“We promise you pumice and hummus, let’s play,” the elder exclaims, wanting to overload overlords with smorgasbords of gorgeous whores in a corny porno cornucopia where they suckle on a sickle as it tickles teeth like weevils weaving around the sweaty brows of well-endowed sows. An abode’s aubade plays from the calliope in hopes of luring cowboys as the coy elder lays out plates on the long table. Inspired by insipid fables, the guests raise their glasses to give a toast to their lachrymose host who grossed grandiose doses of sad jokes to poke at the guests. The Kurds eat curds and whey and wait for boiled potatoes. The knights bemoan the jets, who’ve already feted their tepid fetid tea, as an oregano aroma drifts from spaghetti all covered with cheese. Party boys play hard with their dumplings as their plum-shaped rumps grow royal purple. A Berber Gerber baby gurgles from the bulgur he ate, he avoids a sneeze from a wheezing senator who screams Pease Porridge Hot as he drops to the floor with a boorish flair, grabbing at a Moorish matron’s apron as she serves Adumie’s tabouli to Joe McCool and to Jimmy Hoffa all hepped up on huffers and hopped up on heffers…

“…And that randy dandy, his sugar daddy’s named Brandy, and that’s his friend Chadi who’s a catty chatty Cathy.” Dollops of gossip plop on the floor for the dogs. Then the shuddering muscle of a dogsbody with a Godhead tears against chains in chains in chains in desperate hunger. A mouse’s meth mouth mumbles of glyphics inscribed by a sylph who once gave the slip to Sapphic disciples by riding a Griffin. The table squirms as an automaton talks in boustrophedon of the phenomenon of Ramadan…

The ancient interjects and tells a fable of winking imps with eyes like stars in glass boxes. “Pouring out of the thickest of thickets, they fought a cross-eyed monster with their rhythmic sonic motions and tragic black magic as the hellion bellowed toreng, baseng, toreng, baseng, death knells in the names of its deep dweller lovers, the naked krakens of polluted lagoons. It took a forest to build its coffin. A Baptist hissed “tsk-tsk” at the wake but quaked with fear at mourners quacking YAA YA YA, YAA. Dryads perpetually petulant in a cabbage patch stared at the procession rife with confessions of deep prejudices, in tune with dirges sparking urges of convoluted whispers. The Baptist walked with the hirsute funeral mute carrying a face etched with song…for him, the Hymn of the Hyena’s Hymen was silenced by Hymie and Simon’s violent fighting over the stone in the monster’s stomach…

“The stone told the story of my son, Chris Christ, crisscrossed, cross dressed, lip gloss, gosh people change even when home home on the range. He read phone book tomes to cope with his Stockholm Syndrome from being kidnapped by a polycthonic cult with goals of shifting tectonic plates and resurrecting Teutonic gods.”

“I tried to help him, I really did.”

The guests roar in delight, feign fainting from laughter, rise as one and leave the elder seething in denial, breathing in the women’s perfume, remembering how queasy he felt when his son started teething…

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