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"Body and Wine Podcast: Conversations on Sex and Spirituality" - Charlie Gray interviews guests as they share experiences with sexuality and belief. 

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hello again, Jerusalem

September 30, 2017

the city of creatures 
is alive as ever,
and I notice things
for the first time amoung the all-seeing stones.
like giant jade trees,
more than the soldiers in number -
if you can believe it there are that many
jade trees
though the same colour as the young guns,
they are far prettier.

 

this is my first time noticing the jade trees,
because there are more distracting things
in Jerusalem than succulents...

 

 

 

 

 

my young relationship 
with the old city 
is changing as I grow,
buying tobacco to roll
myself, I'm a grown-up now
and this is how I roll -
shittily, mostly straight, and only socially,
only sometimes…

this place makes you want a cigarette,
but I don't feel guilty about it.
I haven't had much success with guilt.

I go this way
and then that way,
then up and down
and over and over again,
yet I am here again
only lost once,
like the maze is becoming a friend.

this time I see more soldiers
than I saw before, on newly nested perches 
built so that the people look up to them,
whether or not they actually do.

but, I see more soldiers
less than I did before.

the city of creatures 
is alive as ever,
and I notice things
for the first time amoung the all-seeing stones.
like giant jade trees,
more than the soldiers in number -
if you can believe it there are that many
jade trees
though the same colour as the young guns,
they are far prettier.
 

this is my first time noticing the jade trees,
because there are more distracting things
in Jerusalem than succulents.
 

and amoungst the fun and tricks

and laughter echoing along streets of corridors,
it's like life moves anyway
while people are occupied,
except for those who've gone
since I last came,

and those I can't see
because someone made them
build a wall around their own families. 
fuckers.

yet that fucking wall I still see it because 
it cannot be unseen once your eyes have been opened,
not for all the jade trees or
the uprooted olive trees.
this is how I *rolls the tobacco leaves.*

my navy blouse long-sleeved silk, 
waving sheer in my shadow,
is hot as I try modesty on - 
that and I'm not sure what to do with the
(lack of) colour of my own skin.
I want to take it all off
and just be here,
cool and comfortable.

but to be here is to be 
hot and uncomfortable.
at least it feels like that, again.

Some of the people say,
"Please go,"
Some of them say,
"Please stay."
"Them," I say,
because we've told them
they are they,
and not us or we
and I am...
you can call me a colonizer 
or a sympathizer, 
because who am I
to say I'm neither.
I'm not sure.
But I'm here.
Hello again, old stones.

while I sit around the table,

invited to share in stories and laughter

and the essentials of humanity
am I 
supposed to be here
allowed to be here
wanted or unwanted here
a colonizer here
abandoning there?
Hello again, Jerusalem, here
I am.

these are questions
that no longer fill my mind
the way they used to
along the maze,
the maze that is becoming my friend
full of enemies, the eccentric, 
the strangers, lovers, acquaintances.
I am just here.
Again, Jerusalem I am here.

I'm not as angry
as I once was,
though it's still there
amoungst the ramblings and
the finding my place in privilege, and when 
I get deja vu 
every time they spread the legs
of the young boys
again and again
oh it's not deja vu,
again Jerusalem,
I am here.
whether or not it matters.
deja vu.

I laugh, less angry with
those who taught me 
this the greatest lesson:
laughter is a practice
for the living.

but you have to practice.

and we do it
with wine in hand

caffeine and spoons of sugar in our veins,
tears in our eyes
and colours of skin
we cannot shed.

Hello Again, Jerusalem,
again, 
I am 
here.