Thursday, March 23, 2017

new from above/ground press: Open Island, by Faizal Deen

Open Island
three poems
Faizal Deen

Wrong Essays

begins a mouldy turn into kaiso
Archie “and Muslims in general”
better than the hippogriff Kali come to life
behind Sinbad
little master in Mom’s panties
read more hippogriff where the masters let them
Ray Harryhausen a thousand arms
head griffin claws
hooves horse tail
Moors from Afrique
In hybrid hands; Ottawa special effect.
“see, Orientalist!, see?”
every funeral, the 4th takbir, remain standing
without wing or hippogriff
Moderns grow lush in their dream of an open island
Okroes in the grabber of scotch bonnet
a dying shoreline Hellshire’s fried Dancehall
love affairs
“The Indies,” a moonlight Haji shears history
At Plaza, hands everywhere Sinbad.
At Plaza, read more hippogriff mister.
Mom turns walaikum into laughing Sparrow
blows loud balloons
this secret petition to Kali

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
March 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Faizal Deen Forrester
is a doctoral student in the Department of English Language & Literature at Carleton University. As a contributor to the Migration and Diaspora Studies initiative at Carleton, Faizal seeks to address the ways in which the cultural production of Caribbean populations in Canada—in particular, the work of poets—encourages us to rethink existing notions of diasporic identity. Faizal has studied at Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus), McGill University; and, most recently, received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor. As Faizal Deen, he maintains—along with his scholarly endeavours—an acclaimed poetry practice, beginning in 2000 with the publication of Land Without Chocolate, a Memoir, Guyana’s first LGBTQI poetry collection. His most recent collection, The Greatest Films, which, in part, addresses Caribbean queer Islamic identities in the post-9/11 era, was published by Mawenzi House.

[Produced for Deen's participation in Ottawa's 7th annual VERSeFest, March 21-26]

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at

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