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  Jayson Iwen
Jayson Iwen is author of Six Trips in Two Directions, Co-Winner of the 2005 Emergency Press book contest.

Jayson Iwen
Six Trips in Two Directions is a smart and arresting account of Jayson Iwen's first years teaching and living in Beirut during renewed political upheaval in Lebanon and the onset of the second Iraq war. Six Trips alternates between a rare lyrical grace and straightforward, dire dialogue punctuated by dark humor. The result is a journey across borders and between worlds rooted in the poet's best kind of travel-that of the lost philosopher seeking some kind of sense in the present, and for the future. Iwen combines well measured, discursive forms with a rendition of the traditional Arabic Zajal, giving readers multiple angles on global debates over identity, economy, religion, and science.

from Six Trips in Two Directions

Jayson Iwen
they're not going to kidnap
staring off to sea

rolls through her memory
for protesting their policy
death list they say
safe as arabs in america
this time jo says
as if the sniper's bead

washington wants us to leave
we're on esbat al ansar's
who the hell are we
but someone everyone

wants dead sometimes

seems i heard this before
by scrim of spectral cloud

arrove what they replaced
till they seize their final form
handsome boys surround me
says ibn iwen
war is over they say
the world was unmade

before light or word
my muscles tick off the seconds
says abu hasan
raise your cups to charity

hold this pose forever

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