bassam (they/them or xe/xim) is a spoken word poet, proud auntie, and settler residing on the traditional territory of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant (Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendatt, and Mississaugas of the New Credit).  

 they are a member of the League of Canadian Poets, an executive board member with Spoken Word Canada, and has toured Turtle Island performing spoken word.  

bassam earned title of national slam champion at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) in 2016 with the Guelph Poetry Slam team, and Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS) finalist in 2017. they were editor-in-chief for ‘these pills don’t come in my skin tone’, a spoken word poetry collection exclusively by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) on the topic of mental health and illness, released in fall 2017. 
a (gender)queer, Jewish person of Middle-Eastern descent and a longtime sufferer of body dysmorphia, bipolar and eating disorders, bassam believes in radical kindness as resistance to colonization, that there is no peace without justice, and that intersectionality is vital in the struggle against kyriarchy.

I am a bathroom floor model

obsessed with falling between

the downward spiral

of a stairwell vortex mouth

that’s been begging never

to be sold.

I can only be bought,

by a currency so foreign

it has been out of circulation

since you dug yourself a

burial plot of my stomach’s basement:

sat with the lights off

only climbing up to the last step

when I’m so hungry,

I could eat a nightmare

throw up a memory,

and flush with a tank full of tears

that forever could never swallow.

And while I sit at the

dinner table toilet,

an acrobat, shitcrazy

balancing on a tightrope

above purging,

I could spell all the ways

these fingers have tasted,

could count every

caloreason I kneel.

Praying in private cliché

that on the sabbath day,

this body did not rest.

on the sabbath day,

this body attempted to light one fire

by extinguishing another

on the six days prior,

this body was destroyed,

the heavens were burned and

the earth was bread being returned,

like a backward blessing in

a hot oven,

like my body is not already the

bread I wish to soak

in the horrors of a stomach

I no longer want

because you’re home there.

because you never left,

I never let you.

because our self-abuse

will never lets us leave.

because our self-abuse

will never leave.

because our self-abuse

leaves us feeling more

dead than alive and alive and dead

at the same time,

like hour and minute hands

meeting once every hour

but it only takes a second

to separate them.

it only took us a second to separate.

everything before that was

as dismal as it was hopeful,

every waking moment was

like waking up on mattress

dreams that smelled like

awakened bakeries,

felt like foam mattress fondant,

sweetness sprinkles

between sheets of icing

too beautiful to believe

in the decadence of

our pious palettes.

I was more than just a trigger

without a handle on the barrel,

this tongue was but a projectile

whose only way to feel alive

was to feel the fire feed on us both.

Discarded like empty cartridge

casing fallen on the

bathroom floor model fired out of a

downward spiral stairwell vortex mouth

I’m still sorry, Sarah

that I shot us both.

when the angel food

becomes property of the devil,

no:

when the angel food is

consumed by the devil,

no:

when the angel food

becomes the devil,

it tastes like sin.

Categories: LITERATURE

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