If Reality Doesn't Work Out

Maged Zaher

Fall 2014




In this long poem of poems, each poem page reads as if it could be the last. If Reality represents the end of the world (the end of politics the end of love the end of the poet) in its middle. It is the poem I have wanted to write, the poem that approaches an expression of the pain of the success of Nothing, the united statesian/global obliteration of the shared space of the tragic upon which it proliferates. It is the poem about end, without end.

--Rachel Levitsky

The unlivable days we never lived through. The opinions & assessments we performed & endured. The former was work. The latter sociality, no, wait, work, the latter was work. Both were dead & buried. Thusly, they had to be killed! But how, & when & where? These were the days of the feeds, those rivers of coffins & chickens, eggs & nails, poetry & money. One day in my feed I read a poem that so diligently scrambled all of this it forged an arrow, which shot through my heart. I heard Cupid say "nothing's ok.” Seduced, I followed him up to the cloud, & there I found him sleeping. Surveying his various clothes strewn about, I noticed a book in his pocket, it was If Reality Doesn't Work Out by Maged Zaher. I pocketed the volume myself, & tried to sneak off without notice. As I tip-toed away the cherub said "Spoiler Alert! It turns out that whole book is your heart." True story. This book's a big part of what comes first, next.

--Dana Ward

Maged Zaher’s If Reality Doesn’t Work Out is a text made of “body and blood” in which our discerning and earnest global subject imbues versified sentential units with desire, loss, and a sweet buoyancy. This book is honest, strong, and bright as it navigates manifestation and dissipation, in love, in revolution, at once celebrating and mourning intimacy and its opposites.

--Alli Warren

Maged Zaher is the author of Thank You For the Window Office (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012), The Revolution Happened And You Didn't Call Me (Tinfish Press, 2012), and Portait of the Poet as an Engineer (Pressed Wafer, 2009). His translations of contemporary Egyptian poetry have appeared in Jacket Magazine, Banipal, and Denver Quarterly. He performed his work at Subtext, Bumbershoot, the Kootenay School of Writing, St. Marks Project, Evergreen State College, and The American University in Cairo. Maged is the recipient of the 2013 Genius Award in Literature from the Seattle weekly The Stranger.