Ali Znaidi HeadshotAli Znaidi  lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He is the author of several chapbooks, including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), Taste of the Edge (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2014), and Mathemaku x5 (Spacecraft Press, 2015). For more, visit

of symbols & cymbals

still alive, the little bird’s
breath is steamy

small snowflakes are like
bullets aimed at its gray feathers

but a bird is not an aggregate
of feathers

a bird is a flying soul in the air
a bird is an aggregate of symbols
chased until
they chase us

to have listened to
the cymbal-like feathers clashing together
means something mythical:

each snowflake plucks out
a feather, performing rituals in the shieldless nest

no one will question the symbols
because everything is a symbol
(& because) in winter a vulnerable little bird becomes
a statute drenched in great myths

Tattooing a Blood Moon in Her Navel

There are ways to turn the wound into a red smile. When it is spring you can
tell by the shape of the moon, the glossy blood, & the aura of warmth that there
was once a flame here. See the gardens varnished in red light as the Freudian slips
still glitter like embers subdued by ash! Something to ponder. Post-modern dreams.
Replace the cultural artifacts w/ symbols & concoct a repertoire of objects of
desire in alphabetical order! Set your desire free, bleach those memory stains!
Rehearse! Experiment! Chew some mint instead of regurgitating useless cud!
Forget everything you ever learned about how to forget about the past!… Delete
those useless emails from your inbox! {Memory is a trap.} Scan the hard disk
of your memory! Smash that mirror & embrace novelty as absolutely essential!
The moon is always painting a kiss on the lip of darkness. [Smouldering embers.]
Do not mourn the past! Slap that decayed door & embrace positivity! There’s
another way: Tattooing a blood moon in your navel. I mean the moon is an umbilicus.

Shades of Silver & Neon Gray

When mist adumbrates all the pixels
of the moon, dog barking emerges from

the dunghills. Dogs begin tracking the scents
of the ghosts.—An archeology of unknown frescoes.
An excavation into invisible mud.

Forgettable pieces of news fall into the wastepaper basket
of the cosmopolitan anomie.

Stereotypes & bruised memories are thrown into
the prettiest shades of silver & neon gray.

Above the bushy mist post-modern smokes curl over
the broken chimneys of ruined houses.

Solitary mosquitoes and clayish mountains
rise toward the perforated horizon.

Psalms step from the mirage-flavoured mist
and float into the leaves of the palm trees.

Big fields are still fenced so people scale a new theory of freedom.

Outside wind is still blowing, and thus deliverance. The windows
are still open, and thus the epistles between the earth & the moon

vanish into the air.