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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 4: July 2020
Nonfiction: 109 words [R]
By Yahia Lababidi

[Selected Aphorisms]


I. From Signposts to Elsewhere (2019):

Like cars in an amusement park, our direction is often determined through collision.


II. From “Angels and Demons: Aphorisms” in AGNI Online (1 July 2016):

Scars are treasure chests.
As we make peace with ourselves, we become more tolerant of our faults—in others.
A poem arrives like a hand in the dark.


III. From “Aphorisms on Art, Morality, and Spirit” in World Literature Today (25 July 2012):

The seduction of social media: a taste of omniscience.
Those for whom the natural is extraordinary, tend to find the extraordinary natural.
Artists are like mystics, they lower their buckets deep into our communal well to retrieve what we thirst for.


IV. From “Aphorisms” in AGNI Online (1 July 2009):

Tattoo: graffiti on a masterpiece.
Hope: the refusal to accept things as they are.
We are born with one umbilical cord but die with many.


—Aphorisms appear here with author’s permission.


Yahia Lababidi,
Issue 4, July 2020

an Egyptian American, is the author of eight critically acclaimed books of poetry and prose; his most recent is a collection of essays and conversations in which literature, social activism, and mysticism intersect, Revolutions of the Heart (Wipf & Stock, 2020). His Balancing Acts: New & Selected Poems (1993-2015) debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases.

He is also the author of two books of aphorisms: Signposts to Elsewhere (Hay House, 2019) and Where Epics Fail: Aphorisms on Art, Morality and Life of the Spirit (Unbound, 2018), the latter of which was featured on PBS NewsHour and generously endorsed by Richard Blanco, President Barack Obama’s inaugural poet.

Lababidi’s work has appeared on NPR, Best American Poetry, AGNI, World Literature Today, and On Being with Krista Tippett. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize three times, his writing has been translated into several languages, including Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Slovak, Spanish, and Swedish. Lababidi has participated in international poetry festivals throughout the USA and Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Never Forget, Never Remember, a short essay by Yahia Lababidi for “One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism” in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (29 June 2018)

I Saw My Face, a poem by Lababidi in Serving House Journal (Issue 8, Fall 2013), with a portrait of the poet by artist Sarah F. Russell

Meditation on Murder, an essay in Serving House Journal (Issue 2, Fall 2010), which was selected as a finalist for Best of the Net 2011

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