Bio: Kareem Tayyar’s novel, The Prince of Orange County (Pelekinesis), received the 2020 Eric Hoffer Prize for Young Adult Fiction. His essays, poems, and stories have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Brilliant Corners, Prairie Schooner, and The Writer’s Almanac. His previous books include Immigrant Songs (WordTech), Let Us Now Praise Ordinary Things(Arroyo Seco), and, Magic Carpet Poems (Tebot Bach).
The voice of Ringo Starr swims like a slow-moving merman around the room. He’s been deep below the sea, he swears, in an Octopus’s Garden, & maybe that’s why I’ll spend the rest of the evening wishing the ocean wasn’t so far away, & that my sofa was a raft I could paddle past the waves.
A Winter’s Tale
On the evening the street became a river three crows were there to witness it. They flew low above the slowly rising water, their dark wings flapping at roughly the same speed as the tide. From a nearby rooftop the ghost of a long-dead poet wrote a sonnet to his former lover. He liked the poem, but wasn’t sure how he should end it. After several hours of agonizing over the final line, he decided not to have one at all. “Here it is,” he said to himself, considering his creation. “A thirteen-line sonnet.” The moon, which had been reading over the dead poet’s shoulder the entire time, thought he had made a good decision. “A rose by any other name, & all that,” the moon figured, recalling his Shakespeare. A few hours later, & after word had begun to spread about the river where a street used to be, hundreds of local automobiles snuck out of their garages, drove to the river, & promptly turned into fish. Which is how, while walking home from work that night, I found myself seeing a 1986 Buick swimming down what used to be Hollywood Boulevard as if it were a red salmon on his way to the sea. Is there a moral to this story? Not really. I just thought you should know that these are the types of things that happen in Los Angeles.
On the Winter Equinox
the sky is as blue as the elephant of your childhood the one who walked beside you to school who shot baskets with you at night in the park who would wrap his trunk around the moon & pull her back to safety whenever she lost her balance as a result of the winds the elephant who never told you his name who said prayer was to living what water was to earth who said he owned a pair of gray wings that would someday take him away from here wings that (if necessary) could also carry him back