Poems by Ali Znaidi

Ali Znaidi's Experimental Ruminations (2)Ali Znaidi (b.1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia where he teaches English. His work has appeared in The Rusty Nail, The Tower Journal, Mad Swirl, Stride Magazine, Red Fez, BlazeVox, Otoliths, streetcake, Ink Sweat and Tears, & elsewhere. His debut poetry chapbook Experimental Ruminations was published in September 2012 by Fowlpox Press (Canada). He also has a short-short fiction manuscript waiting for a publisher. From time to time he blogs at – aliznaidi.blogspot.com and tweets at @AliZnaidi.

Searching in the Gravel

They are so tired of searching for that coin
in the gravel. Every child has enough dreams.
But searching in the gravel is sometimes tiring—
a kind of an amorphous gesturing.

Before their psyches scarred,
still, they must scar the ground,
& muckrake the abysmal sand
to find a clue.

[Their faces       tainted w/ dust.]

If only they could find the clue
inside this flummoxing fabric.

That coin for them is
a fortune.


Withering Heights

Atop the oak tree
leaves were swaying
in a carnival-like ritual.
They fell down on the ground
& withered— a banquet for ants.
Ants just said, Oh, my God!
Even those on top
are not immune
from withering
and falling.


a new top model

This is a new top model stretching out the long
black sleeves of her dress on the podium of
the inky sky.
[What a wintry midday!]
Though fainéant, the sun has nothing to do but
breathe down the neck of the inky sky, while
pointing at me w/ her scintillant black-varnished
nails—ants scathing my skin.
[What a wintry midday!]
The top model’s eyelashes have nothing to do but
whishper black shadows—victuals for my hungry


A Place/bo

The desert is a place
where creatures are
submerged by its endless

The desert is a placebo
reinforcing impatient

Waves & dunes

When our feet sink
into the sand,
must give us might—
a steroid invigorating
our sinews/
an exercise to bear
the stings of scorpions/

The missing s in desert
is a placebo
for weak hearts/
a dessert clean[sin]g
our limitations,
& limitation is not
but a version
of a sin.