Joel, Josh, and Jeiran – say sum thin 7 – Final Draft

8 Jul

Below is the final version. To add context at the start we will project a place and a date on the screen at the back which will fade when the objects are lit.



These Londoners can’t place me.
These crusading eyes of city streets,
They survey my terrain,
Look for a flag.

It becomes a game.

I play strangers in bars,
Ask where they think
My voice reflects from.

Their answers never land near truth.

The glasses between us must refract,
Because when I say ‘Kazakh’
They hear ‘Borat’.

We laugh,
Agree that he
Is a very funny
English man.

Now the luggage under my eyes
Is English too.
Brought on by English nights,
French fries and
Bottom of bag taxi rides.

I don’t drink. It’s a sin.
But when I do,
I shouldn’t call him.
But I did.


Your Father and I miss you.

This wire keeps
Your voice kite like.

I’ve got this end
Coiled around my finger.
I need you familiar.

I know. I

I know.

There’s too much
Of the London
In your intonation now.

That dirty air,
Your sound is darker.
Your voice.

Do you talk of home?
Do you think of us?

Yes, Yes.
The family thrives,
Best health.

Your brother will be married
By summer.

When will we see you?

I know.

Do you need money?

I know.


In Kazakhstan my pages turned to stone by winter
And flickered again like sails in the true winds of home,
Not change, home.
Do you not crave to be back in a country
That can truly hold and move you?
This place has a different meaning
For the word stoned
It is not becoming
And the winds only blow you into
Into problems and loose, wandering people.

Your identity is stone
Who you are is stone
This country is pulling Kashmir …
Softening your accent
Taking taxi rides away from your tongue.
You have to speak in multiples
For even your mother to understand you now
Your hooks are unholy
Your purpose is yesterday
Your purpose is yesterday
Your tickets are unbooked
Your first class, emirates, window seat
Is being thumbed over by some want to be business man from Canada.
Your taxi to the airport is waiting on every busy London street.
It will always be there
There will always be planes
There won’t always be forgiveness
There won’t always be patience.


Yes. Yes!
Your brother is now married,
He sends the love.

It’s a shame
You couldn’t be here.

We picked a dress,
Light, and beautiful
As whisper romance.

It hangs
Now, ready
For when you come.

You should have been here.


I have your identity tattooed
Across my chest
I reflect you best.
Why are you in Europe still
Your education is finished
And the money lives in Dubai?
Not this draw,
I know.

I always have your face at the back of my mind,
Don’t shy away from that picture.
For it is as clear
As photobooths.
Everything was clear in Kazakhstan.
I know you best,
Who else but family and god
Would stick with you for ten years at a time?
Who else will travel with you
To places we don’t belong
And stay here in the dark even when the purpose has gone?

You can’t even buy horse meat here
Pah… The animals…
Don’t keep me in this top draw next to…
The Bible of all things.
This infidel has nothing to say that I want to hear.
Your landlord has some explaining to do,
Subletting Muslim space to Christian texts.

I don’t belong in an English draw
When you have no explanations.
For Allah’s sake!
Type my numbers into
The Emirates
And fly away from this nation
Of shopkeepers and drug dealers.
Don’t act like I don’t know.


I still wear Kazakh colours,
Only now I buy them
From Topshop.

It becomes me.

New shoes have me
Tilt to tip toe,
But there are still some
Words I cannot reach.

I’ve been on the roof again,
Burning paper to lips.

My hands want to read
The Qur’an the western way,
Turning pages from right to left.

Now walk in the park
Is muscle memory,
Is second nature.
I feel safe here.

The last time I asked someone,
Where they thought I was from,
They said Streatham.

I’m the worst Muslim I know.


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