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Republishing Art made from ashes: a message to ISIS

Editor’s Note

This was poem by Jay Sizemore was originally published by Crab Fat Magazine but unpublished due to complaints from a certain sect of the poetry community. I found this very ironic as the main message of the poem was ISIS destroying works arts because of their perverted fundamentalist religious worldview. As an editor of That Lit Site I found this unacceptable in the same way I felt members in the literary community protesting against Charlie Hedbo winning a Pen Award unacceptable and decided to republish the poem on That Lit Site.

Well, That Lit Site is founded in Boston and the head of the site was afraid of cyber attacks or even worse from Islamic Terrorists. That is pretty reasonable and even more of a common sense realization that Islamic Terrorism is a serious threat against freedom and expression.

I am not anti-Islam and find Sufism to be a beautiful and peaceful region (a religion that has suffered deaths under Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorists).Just like I was outspoken against Christian fundamentalists bigots who were against gay marriage, I will also support art that challenges Fundamentalists groups that support misogyny, anti-Semitism, hate, and violence.

I want to turn this is into a positive, so every Wednesday I will publish a poem that challenges religious fundamentalism of any sect. Please email it to I will always be on the side of free expression and will not apologize or ‘unpublish’ anything.

Christoph Paul


Art made from ashes: a message to ISIS

By Jay Sizemore

Can you burn all the words out of my mouth?
Can you rip the colors from the landscape,
make the horizon as pale as your palm?
Can you rub sand in the eyes of the past,
feeding photographs, and pages to the flame
stolen from a dragon’s throat,
a blurred and holy reverence
for unwashed genitals?
Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil ‘alamin.

Allah is a cunt.
Allah is a coward.
Allah is a rapist
of women and children,
the number one customer
of gay porn websites.
Allahu akbar.

Your legacy is the sound of dust
sifting through the detritus,
your prayers are the wind
stirring plumes of chalky dirt
amid the decay. Your god is a liar,
and a thief of joy,
a cloying scent of perfume
slathered onto a rotting corpse.
In sha’ Allah, then disappear.

Murder makes a martyr of art,
and chaos is a shrine to chaos,
built on the bones of the damned,
and we are all damned,
every last one of us.
Assulamu’ alaikum.

accepted to Crab Fat Magazine, April 2015

Published inPoetry

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