2 poems by Tufik Shayeb

Bad Fight, Bad Storm

there is a storm, gathering its skirt
and stepping over puddles

it is ready to hobble away
with a huff and a puff and a blow
your house of cards down

he is too funny for his own good
somehow, a friend laughed himself
to death

it was written on the toe tag

it was written on the coroner’s report,

so it must be true

lightning always strikes
in the same place twice, for him

it is kung fu fighting, fast 

as blackbelt clouds-

his shoulders are worn down hills
rounded from gloomy karate chops,
he is the cinderblock

he is much less related to Benjamin

Franklin than he ever imagined,

this was his invention

there is a no kite-string, for him
there is no brilliant arc 

and no flash, there is no lightbulb
going off in the dark

only the punchline of a joke
dressed up as a martial arts attack,
only a bad story teller

only himself,
placing all seven cards face down,
and going out for a smoke in the rain

Paper Shredder

grinding, like teeth

in the night


like dry coffee beans

like broken bearings

like a disposal drain

where your whispers

tear apart

where your bills

are past due

one more month

where credit cards


when someone

has stolen

the only part of you

that mattered

and old pictures


when someone

has stolen

the only part of you

that matters still


you are stuck

with stop lights

for winking eyes

and a jaw,

all jammed up

About the contributor

Tufik Shayeb is author of three chapbooks and one collection, I'll Love You to Smithereens. (Loose Mannequin Publishing; 1st edition 2009) his poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including Backchannels Journal, Potomac Review, Sheepshead Review, The Menteur, and others.

Related Articles

Kathrine Yets, Poetry

Librarian and Poet, Kathrine Yets.

1 poem by Kathleen Holliday

A welcome return from poet, Kathleen Holliday

2 poems by Vivian Wagner

Vivian Wagner is an associate professor of English at Muskingum University.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More Like This

3 poems by Deborah Purdy

Deborah Purdy's work has appeared in Gravel Literary Magazine, Cleaver Magazine, and other publications.

2 Poems by Beatrice Szymkowiak

Beatrice Szymkowiak is the author of RED ZONE, a poetry chapbook

Poetry by Carolyn Martin

Writing poetry since her twenties, Carolyn’s first project was to rewrite the Bible. ‘My poems attempt to be simple in words as they grapple with the complexity of being on earth right now.’

Poetry by Hilary Sideris

Hilary Sideris's most recent book is 'The Silent B' (2019 Dos Madres Press). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Poetry by Jane Rosenberg LaForge

Jane Rosenberg LaForge writes poetry, fiction, and occasional essays in New York. Her next full-length collection of poems will be Medusa's Daughter from Animal Heart Press in 2021.