David Jalajel

qasida #34

to you, a child’s a sinkhole & you are
a none-too-subtle scream for gaiety

of manner, so much so we fear to balk
against your woolly mirth & buoyancy

but what you say rings true, hits home, compels
our tastes, refined by your bulk brevity,

to rise enough, engage your wit, disarm
your sighs & know contempt is levity

qasida #39

you’re just as important, you blithely assured all
the other kids, clinching their friendship, but they

went a little too far & sequestered your surname
& the names you were given, in a vain bid to stave

off measures their futures were bound to be fuel for,
but yours would be different, that’s how you’d be raised

then you went on to dawdle, a newly-named child,
& weather the burdens of coming of age

when you found your desires aligned with their scheming,
you stepped forth, ungainly adopting the ways

you were groomed for from birth, so at last you could truly
live up to the prospects your parentage gave

then you sought new ascriptions, fresh-minted for you by
outsiders, like those at the clinic, who made

their livings disclaiming, so you begged to read every
report they recorded & dutifully saved

& all of this time, they were backed by your trust fund,
so the time that you wasted was daily displayed

then the staff at the clinic pronounced the conclusion
that your turbulent spirit’s been fully allayed

but in dubious frankness you sadly asserted:
for public consumption, your life had been staged

you’d been made out a mascot, to vaunt the great gift of
institutional focus & play out your rage

you’re an example to ponder, you hastily argue,
since you’ve flourished, but somehow feel deeply betrayed

Brief Bio:
David Jalajel is the author of Moon Ghazals (Beard of Bees Press, 2009), Cthulhu on Lesbos (Ahadada Books, 2011) -- which is book-length poem in Sapphic stanzas -- and a chapbook in Dan Waber’s This is Visual Poetry series (2013). His work has appeared in a number of online and print journals, including Otoliths, Shampoo, experiential-experimental-literature, Recursive Angel, The New Post-Literate, and Gulf Coast. Poems in the “qasida” series have appeared in The Ghazal Page, Anti-, Lynx, Mizna, and Eclectica.