Fady Joudah

October 13, 2013 Fady Joudah



The blind hobo who returned

or it seemed that he had followed me before

had carious teeth and his lips were like those of stillbirths in Fallujah


Cyclops aren’t a fable some nascent human genome could have pulled

and other monstrosities off

into viability


in our version

of depleted uranium no baby

makes it out of nativity alive


The blind hobo wore laceless tennis shoes sockless style

didn’t smell his dishevelment

wasn’t threatening his hearing


kept on my tracks

as he mouthed off menacing things

but that’s only hearsay


I drubbed the ground as fast as I could

with hands and feet

as if I were Hagar ‘s tremors for holy water


And I when I lost him

I lost the way home

Fady Joudah’s second collection of poetry, Alight, was published by Copper Canyon Press in winter 2013 and Textu is available as an ebook. His translations of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry have earned him a PEN prize and a TLS/Banipal prize. He is the 2007 winner of the Yale Series Younger Poets Competition for his collection The Earth in the Attic. He is also the winner of  the 2013 Griffin International Poetry Prize. His translation of Ghassan Zaqtan’s poetry is available from Yale University Press.