Poetry while still not jogging (yet?)

It’s been a long winter

The hookers have come out of hybernation and are now in full hunting season to make up for lost body weight

A traveller is making plans to settle down

To and fro

To and fro

Conquering fear and learning to grow

Life changing at a speed of 1000 km /second

Dizziness and queasiness befriending uneasiness

Freedom recalculated, renegotiated, regurgitated

Definitions reinvented

Breath shortened and deepened not effortlessly

Happiness exists

I swear I held it in my hands one night and put it in my bedside cabinet drawer for keepsake

It’s pink

Ever since

It keeps coming back to me every five seconds or so


Lake morning run

The silver water is sending shiny sparks all around, glazing the trees and the grass and the morning runners. We’re silent. No words. I am stretching my tentacles, feeling the air between us, to check whether it’s vertical or horizontal and what temperature it has. My calves are sending signals and I ignore them. I’m bathing in the silence. Finally. No agitation. My solar plexus is quiet at last. Sometimes it whispers. Careful there, it says. Careful with this force you’re handling. The more I’m sweating, the happier I am. Has this city ever been so beautiful before?

Later on my chest is burning and I’m coughing it all out

“Are you the one that I’ve been waiting for?” Nick Cave’s voice sings to me as I’m breathing the cold air around the lake in Herăstrău Park, this time with a running companion. It’s past 10 pm and we are running.

“Give me something I’m afraid to lose” Bruce Springsteen continues, sending sharp knives through my stomach. (Yeah, I often speak to myself in songs.)

While my body is happier and happier from the effort, I gradually start feeling this inner pull that’s creating a sort of distance as if to prevent a tragedy from occurring when you are at your most vulnerable time. Looking for flaws, for pretexts, for borders, conflicts and gaps. I try to ignore it and then to fight it and it still reaches out and scratches like sharp cat’s claws grabbing hold of your thigh as the hysterical animal is climbing your leg as if it were a tree. What do I do with this? I try to sweat it out of my system. I try to befriend it. I try to love it. I try to kill it. I try to work with it. I try to live with it.

“You gotta have patience with me”, I tell him as I’m running through the graveyard of my past relationships, trying desperately to find the exit. No matter where it’s taking me.

How to get a cough in 15 minutes

I put on my running clothes over a pair of leggings and a sweatshirt and give myself a pep talk to stir up my faded enthusiasm before shooting out into the cold evening. I am so angry, frustrated and puffed up that I can’t postpone this any longer without running the increasing risk of killing someone. I’ve never felt so much aggressiveness built up inside. And I need to sweat out the demons.  Fifteen minutes later, I am back at the house. Frozen fingers and an icicle stuck in my throat. I’m determined to find a gym. It’s more a matter of mental than of physical health. And it’s urgent.

Why chemistry is a must. A miracle brought about by endorphins

Last night I don’t just get out of the house and go buy water. No. My body is determined. I watch it head for the closet, open the doors, take off the day’s clothes, search on the lower shelf and take out the running clothes, put them on and get out in a hurry.

I stopped my exercise routine three weeks ago. Because it had become too much of a routine and I need variation, because of the bike fall, because of Turkey, because of overindulging. Pretexts. Now, out in the street, I don’t have patience for a warm-up, so I just spring like an arrow finally having escaped the tension of the bow. I shoot through the dark streets, dodging people on the narrow sidewalks and cars when the sidewalk cannot contain me and I know it’s too early for hooker spotting, but I still run by their usual spot just to pay my respects. By the time I finish my run and get to the supermarket, I am so happy every cell is singing in ecstasy.

“Habibi, I am so happy. You know, I am finally, finally, at that point in my life I have always been waiting for. I am totally free. I’ve spent my entire life waiting for this moment. I feel so free and happy. I can do whatever I want.” I tell Hamodi  and we’re both laughing as we start our phone conversation while I’m still panting. “Isn’t it funny? You smoke weed and I’m high… It must be because of the good connection.”

The evening shoppers are all looking at me and I know I am glowing. Thank you, God, you’ve done a good job!


There’s a party in the white house, opposite the bamboo forest on the corner of my favorite street.

It’s 10.30 pm. I got home an hour earlier and tomorrow I am working from 8 am to 9 pm. My place is a complete mess – bed not made, dust bunnies creeping up in corners, sink full of dirty dishes, piles of clothes thrown on chair backs, cat desperate and me dead tired. I send some messages to keep up the illusion of a social life and I just leave everything as it is, put on my running clothes and go out. I don’t have patience for warming up, so I start running. I check up on the hookers and nothing interesting is happening. I’m writing in my head as I am running, so I pay little attention to the surroundings. The guardian at the embassy of Jordan doesn’t come out of his kiosk to greet me. It’s cold. The lack of respect offends her majesty, who speeds up, perking up her butt. It’s midnight when I finish writing, so I disappear before the spell breaks.

A dead white rose lying on the hood of a grey car

Was it the impact? I wonder. What is it transitioning to? Everything seems to be a transition. This day is a transition between yesterday and tomorrow. Life is a transition between birth and death. And so on. I didn’t invent this, of course, I’m just expressing truisms. That’s pretty much what I do all the time.

I’ve been thinking about how people need to mention their profession when they introduce themselves. “I’m a driver.” “I’m a teacher.” “I’m a writer.” “I’m a lawyer.” “I’m a manager.” I like the ones ending in “-er” – they seem easier to get out of, easier to change, less dramatic. You can be a doer of something. But when you are a doctor, a judge, a nurse, a model, a director, an artist etc, it does seem as if you are that profession instead of just a doer. It becomes you.

What about the hookers? Two of them tonight, all black from head to toe, leather, hair, everything, smoking while talking on their phones. Transitioning between tricks, cars, clients, hairdos, outfits etc. Hooker is an “-er” ending profession, so they are doers. So it must be easier to change than other unfortunate professions. They can get out of it, right? Unless they are prostitutes.


like the moon
I empty myself of my self
and become new
once a month
I’m again
so full of myself

the hookers shrouded
in their heavy perfume
their faces covered up
in their heavy makeup
wearing their heavy breasts
their heavy hearts

the church is dark tonight
no candles burning
for the dead or for the living

“How are you?”
“Fine, I guess…”
“What’s with the sadness?”
“Oh, that… It’s just the bottom side of happiness.”
“You think? Looks rather deep to me…”
“Oh, thank you! I’m working on it. You know, the deeper the sadness, the higher the happiness that follows.”

“Move that heavy ass!”
the robot voice
of the wheelchair night prophet

PS I want to sleep early tonight, so I figure out a way to make my run last shorter: I make it more intense. The same must apply to life.

I’m curious if I still have it in me

I take my running nose out for a run tonight. I love my town again. I feel I live in this small town on an island in the city center, where we form this cosy community, in which everyone knows everyone. We all shook together in the earthquake three nights ago and no one talks about that. We just send compassionate looks to the cracked walls of our houses and distant, encouraging hugs to everyone we meet in the streets. I’m in this countryside part of the city and I love it. I might even start growing my own tomatoes again, who knows.

The hookers and their pimps, all wearing black tonight, are cracking seeds, spitting their shells on the asphalt around their feet and stepping on them with their black shoes, in their dance around a black car where music is coming from and a driver is checking his phone. It’s still early.

And there is hope. I feel it sprouting underground, all covered up in black soil and dead leaves. The gnomes are keeping it warm and molding it into a diamond. It shall sprout in spring. And in our community of hope spring can come anytime.

PS The earthquake helped release some burdens, so it’s goodbye time again:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpDLelAnecE&w=560&h=315]

Only one hooker tonight

High heels, black leather pants, a stripe of skin showing between the belt and the hem of a tight jacket, arms folded over her ribs in a tight hug, long, curly, red hair, big everything. I look at her. She looks at me. Shortly, a taxi pulls up in front of her and she slowly walks to the back door on the right, opens it and gets in. Is he a regular, I wonder.

Having stopped to witness the scene, I rub my right ear feeling a little embarrassed and then resume my run. If I were a hooker, I’d probably look something like that, I think. Though my hair would probably be shorter. And not red. Probably. But the thought is quickly chased away by a wave of nausea. Dinner again. The same type of very fat cream. This time under street lights, while walking home.

When I used to smoke, if I was sad, I used to make myself sick. I smoked until the source of my tears became impossible to trace. Am I now trying to repeat the experience using cream instead?

Two guys fight over a parking space. One three times the size of the other. The small one is like a pekingese – hysterical, rude, not very bright and annoying. His opponent, a rare crossbreed between a pit-bull and a fluffy Newfoundland – intelligent, strong, quiet and with the self-confidence of knowing exactly when to deliver the final bite. I disappear before the show ends.