Maqam

Abeir Soukieh is an Arab-Australian poet, writer and David Bowie enthusiast from Canberra.  A former Acquisitions Editor for be:longing and a former Reader for Frontier Poetry, her work can be found here at be:longing, in the poetry journal Not Very Quiet and in Cordite Poetry Review.

a soukieh. Maqam image

Maqam*

“There’s nothing noble about becoming a savage in the despair of your own people… I am the most ignorant savage of them all… I cannot interpret the words of my Dreaming.”

Samuel Wagan Watson, The Grounding Sentence (iii)

been more revolutionary not to speak a language
other than English           lately

they seem to like it too much when we–
are so charming

are so charming.

I don’t give my name to everyone
to anyone
not always because they won’t…
they’re just a little too eager sometimes to…

sometimes.

I have never been fluent;
too easily distracted
by endless

negotiations
reorientations

and always me
coming up empty.

* Maqam is an Arabic word meaning place or position.  It is also the name of the melodic system used in Arabic music.

© Abeir Soukieh, 2020