by Korkut Onaran


A starfish lives in a five-hour day,
an octopus in October.
Words are crawling all over me!
‘Cheek’ sits on my cheek.

‘T’ is Christian, ‘t’ is born again.
‘K’ is my name, ‘O’ is my last name.
‘O’ is an instigator (my notebook’s blood
oozes in the heart of ‘o’).

Who says the letters cannot be sexy!
I can have an orgasm
just thinking of ‘o.’
Then there is the capital ‘B.’

Add to the mix
a few ‘i’s,
a few ‘I’s, then you have it:
an orgy on the page!

A silence settles in my memory;
I remember only the poem.
The word foot takes over my foot.
It feels as if I am losing my substance.

A beautiful April morning outside!
Or is it that
I make it so as I scribble?
I flip a coin.

On one side it reads: nowhere.
On the other side: now here.
The coin hangs in the air
and does not land.

The word heart
steals my heart.
That’s when I disappear
into the notebook.


Like a spider crab, I change
my shell once in a while,
very slowly usually,
and sometimes I don’t even
notice that it is happening.

But when I try to remember and cannot
certain touches, the names
of certain streets, or colors
of certain gazes,
I realize that
selves that I thought
would always be a part of me
are gone

as will be, one day,
the rest of me.


It takes time to clear up the morning
and leave behind the dreams.
Some of them are really sticky; they
show up in the middle of the day
even weeks after I’ve seen them. The other day
I am in the bookstore going through what’s new
and there it is: one of my dreams hiding
on the shelf behind some books!

My eighty year old self is sitting
across the bar. Next to him
is my teenage self, drinking. They are
in a deep conversation, as if grandson
and grandfather. What are they
talking about? Are they aware
of my presence? Do they know
that I am writing about them?
Probably not! How could they?
There are years in between us.
Then again, anything is possible.
What an amazing world!

Here comes Bach! He is everywhere:
in this very moment, among people,
in the sky, in the architecture of a flower!
On the face of a woman,
eyes closed, facing up,
receiving the sun light on her face
with such delight!
This, as well, may be a dream!

Coda: As I sit here
at this picnic table facing the lake, I am
thinking of how poetry and music
make love! They give
birth to all. No wonder why
I am so loyal to the poem.
She makes sense of everything.


The poem tells me that
she feels touchable today;
she wants me to touch her.

I hold her words
in between my lips,
touch my tongue and taste them.

Then I speak them
with the softest of my voice
ever so slowly

hoping to preserve
somewhere deep in me
their aftertaste.


Live life
as if its ups and downs
are large breasts – you climb

and kiss the nipple: then
before you open your notebook
die a little – explore

the words
as if they are flowers
unconditionally receiving

your gaze, your attention,
your intention!
Let them

seduce you; let them
procreate in your mouth –
in your poem.

About the Author:

Korkut Onaran

Korkut Onaran’s The Book of Colors has received the first prize in Cervena Barva Press 2007 Chapbook Contest. His poem House has received the second prize in 2006 Baltimore Review Poetry Competition. His first book of poetry The Trident Poems has been published by World Enough Writers in February 2018. His poetry has been published in journals such as Penumbra, Rhino, Colere, White Pelican Review, Crucible, City Works Literary Journal, Water –Stone, Review, Atlanta Review, Bayou, Common Ground Review, and Baltimore Review.