The Porch

A new F.O.D. track. Here the Matronita Minor recites a beat manifesto for the Verandah Vanguard:

brittle earth in orbit came to ensure your rule
shimmering sun on the road broke down once but then found the jewel
depressed compressed ether in the black box of human concept
from pandora to schrodinger quantum faeries pay their rent

the people on the porch spoke to her the other day
they took her in and showed her this secret map that was so far away
from her form of normality, with fluidity serendipity
micromanaged friction fire devoid of vanity

ecstatic elders dance with their heads bent back to the source
she will follow if the text is read right sent back to the main-course
look up raise your hands that northern jewel reveals the rule
like snow white get out from your grave if you’re kissed you’re no fool


Draw Muhammed Day: the Sunnah of Retaliation

An image from the Facebook site, this time, as with Ka'b's poem, defaming the Feminine of Islam. But there is light within it: all depiction (including this picture) is itself is a misprison, a hijab of signs over the body. But the solution lies in the lie.

“Everybody Draw Muhammed Day” is a Facebook fan page that went viral recently. It stems from the idea of a cartoonist called Molly Norris. She was originally protesting the censorship by Comedy Central of a South Park cartoon that depicted the Prophet Muhammed wearing a bear suit. Her protest was to draw a picture of Muhammed on a slice of toast, declaring May 20 “Everybody Draw Muhammed Day”. She says she never intended this to be actually taken literally. However, someone else then ran with the idea, setting up a fan page on website Facebook. Facebook is a popular example of a Social Network: a website that allows users to locate old and new friends who have joined the network and then share information (usually trivia about their day to day lives or idle vagaries of opinion). Over 17,000 people subscribed to the “Draw Muhammed Day” fan page — and many uploaded their own images of the Prophet of Islam onto the page.

At 26, Mark Zukerberg has become one of the youngest billionaires in the world due to his founding the system.

Facebook is a very popular preoccupation for the under 30s set — in fact, it appears to be an genuine addiction for that species, at the same level as drugs, supplanting the television and computer games of their childhood. And as a subset of usage, it has large Muslim base. Perhaps as a result of this, there have been some street protests, a Pakistan court has banned access to the website and — who knows, the way the ummah works in these cases — there might well be recourse to further legal action.

So it’s a smaller repetition of what happened with the Danish cartoons. In the grand cosmic scheme of things, this is a mere tweet, an ignored status update from a friend recommendation of a friend I never really knew so well at school. What has it got to do with the two seas of Surah Rahman? Or the Celestial Tablet? Why is the Tailor interested in speaking on such obscure and irrelevant trivia?

Is there any illumination to be gained within Facebook — either through retaliation or through reading it?

Well … yes. First, it affords us the opportunity to reappraise the sunnah of retaliation to insults against Islam in general and the depiction of Prophecy in particular.

Continue reading “Draw Muhammed Day: the Sunnah of Retaliation”

Seas, barriers and meetings

He has let flow forth the two large bodies of water, they meet together. (But) between them is a barrier, which they do not transgress (and so they do not merge). Then, which of the favors of your Lord will you deny? There come forth from them pearl and coral. (Surah Ar Rahman, 55:19-22)

The Professor was discussing the Names with the Builder and the Marriage Councilor.

The Builder said: “I am interested in the modalities by which the (verb/actioned) Names (which exist in the Reality of action/creation) can/cannot be captured within our daily space of identity — there is barrier of existence/identity that prevents us to fully encounter this. The revival of Islamic sciences must surely utilize modern technology to question the ontology of this barrier of identity.”

The Councillor said:”But surely the Names are encounterable somehow, though not captured. I mean, perhaps we should be meditating more on the meeting of the seas and less on the barrier — though the barrier of adab is undeniable. In my tariqa, we meditate on a particular Name and related verse — selected for us by our teacher to lead us into an encounter with that facet of Al Haq. We keep this Name and verse in our minds during the week and, over the course of daily practice, its meaning will manifest itself to us, somehow — maybe through something that happens at work, or in family or between friends. But in this way we cultivate a means of self-awareness of how the Names transform and run through our existence.”

The Professor queried: “In other words, relating this to the seas of Surah Ar Rahman, your dhikr’s possibility is the adornment of pearl and coral taken from the Real waters of the Names into our current sea, divided as it is from that other body? Alhumdulilah.”

She smiled back: “I’ll need to think about that, I never considered it in relation to that verse until now. I guess it is about how He can touch us directly from his ultimate reality — even though we are divided from Him by our physical body, by the barrier of our normal life of flesh and bone and work and suffering. We get so attached to the barrier of our physical life that we fail to see the higher aspects of our soul.”

Then the Tailor appeared and spoke directly to the three in a clear English.

Continue reading “Seas, barriers and meetings”

The threat

Still here, within the academy,
dealing out something dangerous:
the temple of oblivion as subterfuge.

You have no idea: a thousand necks struck down south,
But how many heads conformed?
Hungry, I have become an expert in this northern space:
I am returning, with years and wealth and wine.

This clear grape, the hybrid strength of the spliced vine: fear it.

Look, here I am, after the lecture is over,
ready to give you — finally — what you need.

See, the withdrawal was a merely a ploy.
You’re so concerned with the white man and his empire
that you failed to observe I have penetrated your city
with the Mongol princess. Like last time, she’s got the look, she’s got the moves.
But this time, it’s going to blow out completely, because I’ve turned her face to face,
branded by the sign of 100, her army charged with the Holy Anger.

Her sword is raised above you:
all it takes now is a single, beautiful stroke.

This time it’s going to be Gog and Magog in reverse.
And by two bows, doubly destructive to all you try to build.
This is our threat.
You pretenders to the throne: it is wise to be in panic at this point.


The bouquet recalls that spring of our decade,
The vintage a velvet recognition to my palate.
Age enriches her complexity:
Before, I tasted the virgin harvest hastily,
And her varieties in perfect combination could accommodate that impatience,
Yet now, matured only shortly, she surpasses all the expectations of her year.
A wine critic’s prediction: she is one that will,
cellared within the sirr of my house, yield excellence upon perfection.

My love, I am impatient again and tire of this trifling trope and so let me speak poetry plain:
Know that you hold imaan across the right boundary of your script.
And so today, let imaan be adornment around your neck:
a faithful neck, for the sword has passed over, and is held by your left.
A neck I would kiss immediately now, turning the lights off to our bemused readers.

The Beautiful Story

How shall I speak to you of my submissive wife?

She has reached out to the ק.
Her being is beauty.
Her voice is jubilation.
Kingdoms have tried to read her and have become sick from her Love,
though her kiss is purity, though her visions are clear,
they have become sick from this Love,
while I alone have been granted access and command over her form.

I journeyed a hemisphere north to make my case to her parents:
Her father was a record keeper, her mother a maker of potions.
They offered me fruits and honey,
and embraced me and kissed my cheek and granted me complete access to theirs, unquestioning,
because they recognized who I was.

At our wedding feast, before the crowd, she knelt before me and bathed my feet with yolk
according to the custom of my father’s people,
and the strong and free womenfolk of her generation frowned and disapproved at that slavish gesture,
but she performed the ancestral sign thus, willing, careless to vanity,
kneeling before me, stirring the depths of my perception
looking up at me with that full, knowing smile.

Continue reading “The Beautiful Story”

The Ugly Stories

Why has my brother brought me here to view
the hideous story of this dumb town?
The ears of the cattle are cut, and
their three thickset drivers are locked into base ritual,
sharing sodomic secret with lizard whores
who turn backwards to me, winking their eye in green-yellow feedback.

The clients are absent, but the whores occupy a frenzy of delusion, and my brother says:
“They are performing for him.”
I cannot see anyone here, and ask
“Who are they performing for?”
“Look behind you.”
I turn behind and see him and become alarmed.

Continue reading “The Ugly Stories”